Free Shipping Day: Hundreds of retailers take part, packages expected to arrive before Christmas

Christmas is now just a week away, and Wednesday may be your last chance to buy presents online and still get them in time.

December 18 is "Free Shipping Day" when hundreds of retailers are expected to waive the usual shipping costs, and guarantee your gifts will be delivered by Christmas Eve.

So far more than 900 merchants are joining in, click here for a full list of participating stores.

Free shipping day: http://bit.ly/JCb9CW

 

Here are some tips to save even more when shopping online this holiday season and every day:

Earn cash back: Go to websites like my favorite Ebates.com , but there are others like BigCrumbs.com , ShopAtHome.com , FatWallet.com — that will give you back a percentage of your purchase. Usually you can choose to receive a check in the mail, a deposit into a PayPal account or a gift card.

Compare prices: Start with a web search of the product you want or use a price-comparison website such as Bizrate.com or PriceGrabber.com .

Use coupon codes: Always, always look for coupon codes. Consult popular websites such as RetailMeNot.com or CouponCabin.com . Or even just do a Google search for the store you're shopping and the words "coupon code" or "promo code."

Avoid shipping charges: Today is the national holiday for free shipping many websites likely will prominently display that they aren't charging shipping. You can also search for free shipping coupon codes on sites like freeshipping.org.

Read product ratings, reviews: Reading what other customers say about a product can provide helpful information.

Do more research: Check out forums like Slickdeals.net and Fatwallet.com , which are user-driven deal-sharing websites.

ONLINE SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips to protect yourself against unscrupulous online retailers, scammers and hackers:

Shop on trustworthy websites. You can check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses at www.bbb.org.

Beware of deals too good to be true.

Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, charges made on a credit card can be disputed if the item never is received. Many card issuers also have zero-liability policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it.

Beware of phishing. Legitimate businesses don't send emails asking for ID and bank account information.

Verify when to expect a shipped item's delivery, and review the website's return policy and warranty information before making your purchase.

Keep the documentation: Save a copy of your confirmation notice and receipts and warranty information.

Source: Better Business Bureau (bbb.org)

Additional reporting by Kelly Tyko, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

 

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