Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time -.
Online shopping is convenient, and as platforms and processes improve, it’s becoming easier. As life continues moving to an online interface, we find ourselves in a unique situation where more shops vie for our attention (and patronage) by offering us various incentives, including discounts, membership benefits, and, most important, free-shipping options. But which desirable stores offer free shipping, how do their policies work, and what are the catches?
- Many stores offer free shipping across the US.
- Some stores require a minimum purchase before you’re eligible for free shipping.
- Other stores offer free shipping to people that join their membership/loyalty programs.
- Still, other stores offer free shipping on most of their products without prerequisites.
- There is substantial diversity in the store type offering free shipping, from general department stores to specialized fashion, music, and stationery stores.
- Most stores ship to all states; however, some only ship to the 48 contiguous states.
- Most free shipping is standard shipping, which usually arrives between 2 and 7 days.
- Stores offering free shipping usually do so as a marketing tool. They often work the shipping price into the product, so you’re not getting it for “free” per se.
Big box department stores and mega e-commerce sites are similar in that they offer a wide range of products at competitive prices, but which of these trading giants offers free shipping on their goods?
Unsurprisingly, the largest online marketplace (e-commerce) offers free shipping on purchases (equal to and) exceeding $25. Amazon’s range is tremendous, and a third-party affiliate is likely to have it if they don’t have something.
Free shipping from third parties is usually subjective to the thrid-party, so it’s wise to read the fine print.
An Amazon Prime membership costs between $4.99 and $14.99 and grants access to many benefits, including faster free shipping, exclusive deals, and media options.
Macy’s range is typical of a department store, from clothing and kitchenware to toys.
Macy’s Star Rewards Platinum and Gold members are eligible for free shipping on purchases. Other customers (in the contiguous US) qualify for free shipping when they spend $25 or more on purchases.
Macy’s also offers a free in-store collection.
One of the largest department stores, Target, offers free shipping to patrons who spend a minimum of $35.
Target’s extensive catalog includes clothing, food, toys, furniture, and electronics.
Target also offers free shipping on purchases without a minimum purchase to people who sign up for their Target REDCard membership. The red card deal also earns you a 5% discount on your purchase.
Walmart is the largest department store franchise in the US. Their vast range means you’ll be hard-pressed not to find what you’re looking for on their online platform.
Walmart offers free shipping on purchases of $35 or more. They also offer 100% free shipping on in-store pick-ups. I.e., you request your order to go to a nearby store and pick it up there.
WalmartPlus is a membership/loyalty program where you get free shipping and other benefits once you subscribe ($12.95 per month).
Sometimes looking in a general store for specific home improvement or decorations is not as effective as browsing a dedicated/specialized shop’s catalogs. The examples below offer furniture, kitchen items, and DIY materials for improving the aesthetics of your home.
If you’re looking to do a bit of DIY around the home on your next holiday/weekend, Ace Hardware might be your next stop.
Ace Hardware offers free in-store pick-ups when you purchase items online and select that they deliver the items to your nearest Ace Hardware outlet.
When you join their membership program and spend $50 or more, you’ll also be eligible for free shipping.
Home Depot is another home improvement/DIY hardware store with a fantastic selection of goods and services.
Unfortunately, they require a minimum order of $45 to qualify for free shipping, but they offer free shipping of over one million items.
Items ordered online through Home Depot also qualify for free in-store pick-up.
Lowe’s caters to DIY, home improvement, and other hardware. They offer free shipping on orders equal to or exceeding $45, with the option of free in-store pick-ups.
As their name suggests, Crate & Barrel is a home decor store, offering a selection of goods for home, adding aesthetic appeal to your home.
Crate & Barrel offers free shipping within the US on selected items, so you’ll need to check the eligibilityof the items before purchasing them to avoid a nasty surprise.
Although Overstock specializes in furniture sales, its extensive range includes decor, kids and baby toys, home improvement, and kitchen-related goods.
Overstock offers free standard shipping on all items, with no minimum purchase required. Unfortunately, free shipping is not available for Hawaii or Alaska.
Goods usually arrive within one to two business days.
It is quite peculiar to note that most clothing and fashion stores offering free shipping do so without a required minimum purchase, i.e., you qualify for free shipping on almost any item no matter the total cost at checkout. These stores include:
Bonobos is a men’s fashion retailer that offers free FedEx shipping without a minimum purchase.
The order usually takes up to four working days to ship. Business insider’s website lists various promo codes for Bonobos.
If you’re looking for new shoes, DSW stocks men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes in many varieties.
DSW offers free shipping, with no minimum amounts, to people who sign-up for the DSW VIP membership program. This free-to-join loyalty program provides various additional benefits.
Free shipping is only available to non-members when they spend $75 and more on their purchase.
Kate Spade specializes in fashion and accessories, including handbags, jewelry, clothing, home decor, and stationery.
Kate Spade offers free shipping within the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) with no minimum purchase.
Free shipping is restricted to three to seven-day ground shipping and USPS priority shipping (three to eight business days). You’ll need to place your order before 2 pm (est) to qualify for the shipping.
Another clothing retailer that offers free shipping is Lilly Pulitzer.
This mostly female fashion and accessories store provide free shipping with no minimum fee to patrons in the US. However, the standard shipping option takes up to two weeks.
The Marie Claire website offers additional promos for Lilly Pulitzer merchandise.
Another clothing store offering free shipping without a minimum purchase is Madewell. However, to qualify for free standard shipping, you need to join their membership program, Madewell Insider.
The loyalty program is free to join, and there are various additional perks, including discounts and birthday gifts. There are paid options that provide other perks, like faster deliveries.
Neiman Marcus stocks clothing and accessories for men, women, and children.
They offer free standard shipping in the US, which takes three to five business days to deliver.
The Forbes website offers a Neiman Marcus free-shipping (and other specials) promo when you follow their affiliate link.
Nordstrom is a fashion retailer with a wide range of children’s and adults’ clothing and accessories.
They offer free shipping within the US (including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico) on orders with no minimum price.
Nordstrom also offers free in-store pick-ups. The benefit of in-store pick-up is a wider product selection.
Reformation is a specialty clothing store with a range of women’s clothing. Reformation offers free standard shipping on all orders globally.
Orders usually take three to ten working days (longer for Hawaii, Alaska, and abroad).
Timberland is a clothing retailer that specializes in footwear and outdoor gear. Their range is also extensive, offering free shipping on all purchases.
According to their shipping policy, Timberland offers free-three-day shipping (arrives in three to four business days) on all items, and free standard (ground) shipping, which arrives in four to six business days.
This shipping is restricted to the US, and deliveries to a PO Box incur a charge of $16.50.
Universal Standard is another retailer which specializes in women’s fashion and accessories. Universal Standard offers free standard shipping in the US. Delivery usually takes between five and ten days.
Some items on sale are not included in the free shipping and might require an additional payment.
Further adding to the list of clothing and accessory retailers that offer free standard shipping in the US, Zappos has no minimum requirement to qualify. Additionally, Zappos provides free shipping to Hawaii and Alaska.
Zappos also offers free “expedited” shipping to Zappos VIP members. This loyalty program is free to join. Standard shipping usually takes around four to five days.
Aside from clothing stores, stores that sell jewelry, bath and beauty products, and other accessories also offer free shipping. Many of these stores also offer free shipping without a minimum purchase “gate,” making them quite convenient.
Molton Brown offers a range of luxury bath and beauty gifts for men and women. They also offer free shipping on all purchases when shipped to addresses in the 48 contiguous US states.
Orders usually take between three and seven days to arrive. They also offer free in-store collections if you live close to a store.
Good news for those who enjoy quality sunglasses. Ray-Ban offers free standard shipping on regular and custom products in the US.
Delivery usually takes up to four business days. However, due to local shipping laws, Ray-Ban cannot ship Ray-Ban stories to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
The esteemed jewelry and other luxury accessory store Tiffany & Co. offer free standard ground shipping on orders under $1 000. These orders take between three and five business days to ship.
When you spend $1 000 or more, Tiffany & Co. offers free express shipping, which delivers your packages within one to two days.
Tiffany & Co. only ships within the US and won’t ship to a PO Box address.
Away from fashion, but also specializing in a particular direction (i.e., not general stores), electronics stores that sell TVs, computers, and mobile phones and who provide internet services also offer free shipping on many of their goods, including:
Surprisingly enough, Apple, the technology giant, offers free shipping on all but customized and engraved items, provided they are in stock and are not purchased through financing.
Depending on the product and availability, shipping options include next-day and two-day shipping. However, Apple does not ship to PO Boxes.
The largest provider of telecommunication services in the US, AT&T offers free shipping on all its products with no minimum purchase required.
Shipped products usually take two to three business days to arrive but may take up to five, depending on availability.
AT&T offers free curbside pick-up when you pop into a local store to collect your item(s).
Electronics provider, Dell, offers free shipping in the US.
All customers are eligible for standard free shipping on purchases without a minimum purchase.
Dell Rewards members gain access to free expedited shipping on all eligible purchases.
Delivery times vary, but standard shipping usually takes between three and five days.
Staying in step with the competition, Microsoft offers free standard shipping on most of its products. Expedited shipping (some items are eligible) usually takes two to three business days across the US and Puerto Rico.
Standard ground shipping usually takes between three and seven business days but does not include Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
Although OtterBox has a wide range of products, its primary line is electronic accessories, particularly water and drop proof cases for mobile phones.
OtterBox offers free shipping for purchases of $50 or more on most items. Shipping is usually within three days.
For those who join OtterBox VIP, you’ll be eligible for free shipping on all items.
The Wired website lists various promotions and discounts for OtterBox.
Samsung is another well-known electronics retailer featuring phones, tablets, TVs, and more.
They offer free standard shipping within the 48 contiguous states of the US on most items, with no minimum payment. The delivery time is usually up to five days.
Samsung offers free in-store pick-ups if you’d prefer that option (when purchasing goods online).
Verizon is a network operator that provides wireless internet, smartphones, TVs, and other electronics. Verizon offers free overnight shipping when you place an order for devices online.
They also offer in-store collections, where you order online, then pop in at your local store to collect the item.
Accessories require a minimum purchase of $49 to qualify for free two-day shipping.
Stores that sell music and those that sell the instruments required to make music are niche-market stores. However, some of these stores offer free shipping on almost all purchases, no matter the total. Examples include:
Although DVDs, CDs, records, and other “hardcopy” forms of recorded music have mostly been replaced by clouds and the internet, some stores, like Amoeba Music, still stock older technology. They also trade in second-hand CDs, etc.
Amoeba Music offers free USPS shipping in the US on all movie and music formats (CD, Blu-Ray, DVD, LP, etc.), with no minimum purchase required.
Unfortunately, they don’t offer free shipping on magazines, posters, books, t-shirts, and other accessories. Deliveries should arrive between three and fourteen business days.
Guitar Center, as the name implies, is a goldmine for musical instruments. Not limited to guitars, this music shop stocks a variety of instruments and accessories. They offer free shipping to the 48 contiguous states on purchases of $25 or more.
Guitar Center offers free in-store collections on all orders.
If you’re more into making music, Sweetwater Sound Inc. offers a superior range of instruments and gear for musicians.
Sweetwater offers free shipping on most of its items (including cables and guitar strings), with no minimum purchase required, provided the item is in stock. Unfortunately, oversized items and special orders do not qualify for free shipping.
Most orders arrive between one and five days.
If you’re not musically inclined or interested in sprucing up your wardrobe, certain shops that stock books, stationery, printers, ink, and other office-related items also offer free shipping.
Not limited to literature, AbeBooks is an e-commerce platform that sells books, artworks, and other collectibles.
AbeBooks offers free shipping on some of their books/merchandise, and books sold by third parties often also include free shipping.
Specializing in book sales, Better World Books sells new and used books.
They offer free standard shipping on orders of $15 or more that takes five to seven days to arrive.
Staples stocks ink cartridges, paper, printers, stationery, and other office supplies. Unfortunately, they have a price gate on free shipping, where you’ll need to spend at least $35 before you qualify for free next-day shipping.
However, Staples Rewards members are eligible for free shipping, among other benefits. Free in-store collections are also available when you purchase items online and ask them to deliver the items to your nearest Staples shop.
For those whose tastes are not in music, DIY, or fashion, some popular sporting shops also offer free shipping on certain products.
Dick’s Sporting Goods is one of the most significant sports equipment retailers.
They offer free shipping on select brands, provided you meet the minimum cost of $65 for your order. Unfortunately, oversized and overweight items are not eligible for free shipping.
However, Dick’s Sporting Goods offers free in-store collections.
Although many stores offer free shipping, is it free? Or is “free shipping” another marketing hook to get you to buy the stuff you might not need?
There is no such thing as “free shipping.” Shipping/courier companies also need to earn an income and charge for their services. So even if a shop advertises free shipping, the real question is, “who is paying for the shipping?”
Stores that offer free shipping usually work the cost of shipping into the product’s total cost. Most stores offer standard shipping as their free option.
According to the UPS website, Flat Rate shipping ranges from $9.45 to $24.30. Expedited rates (and overweight/oversized items) are usually more expensive.
Occasionally vendors will “take the hit” and pay for the shipping out of their profits. Still, it’s usually only the bigger corporations that can feasibly do this (stores with much wider profit margins).
Free shipping has become a prerequisite for online shopping, as one Etsy vendor shares her story on the Atlantic’s website.
Aside from the “marketing” value of advertising free shipping, consumers’ attitude toward purchasing items online has changed. Customers specify “free shipping” in their searches, so algorithms prioritize those stores offering free shipping on their products.
To stay competitive, stores need to either take the hit and offer free shipping or work it into the price of their products to keep customers happy.
Although free shipping is a powerful marketing tool, many smaller, specialized shops usually can’t afford to offer free shipping. This inability is due to higher expenses versus profit margins. Many smaller retailers don’t sell the volume required to cover shipping costs and need every penny they make.
Many shops that don’t offer free shipping outright often offer free shipping after a pay gate. I.e., once you’ve spent a certain amount of money, you make it worth their while to “gift” you with free shipping.
Stores that offer free shipping after you spend a minimum amount also try to encourage you to purchase more from their store to “cover” the cost of shipping you’ll otherwise incur.