We’ve all done it: put items in our online shopping carts, clicked “Check Out,” seen the cost of shipping, and immediately abandoned ship. Even for hardcore shopping addicts, a $25 top or $15 accessory suddenly looks a lot less appealing when there’s an extra $10 or $12 shipping fee tacked on.
Shipping is expensive for online retailers. Not only do they have to pay UPS, the postal service, or FedEx to get a package to your door, they also have to pay someone to find the items ordered, securely wrap them, and label the box. Then there’s the cost of shipping supplies like bubble wrap, tape, and padded mailers.
Knowing shipping costs are so steep makes it all the more appealing when a retailer offers shipping for free. Even better is when a retailer offers free shipping on any purchase, no matter how small. If you dread paying extra, you can save on shipping costs at some of the most popular online stores. They can get your goods to you without charging an extra cent.
Online Superstores With Free Shipping
Today’s most popular superstores have pretty much anything you need to buy. And most of them can get it to your door fast, usually for free.
Whatever you’re looking for, you can probably find it on Amazon. Although the retailer started out selling books, it now carries everything from clothing to home decor to vinyl records to luggage. If you can’t find it on Amazon, the product might not exist.
You can get free shipping from Amazon in a few ways. Option 1 is to sign up for Amazon Prime, the company’s subscription service. Prime isn’t free. You pay either an annual or monthly subscription rate.
The annual rate works out to be cheaper than the monthly subscription, but you have to pay for it all at once. That can make it prohibitive if you’re on a tight budget, especially if you aren’t sure you’re committed to it all year. The monthly Prime subscription is similar to the cost of a streaming service like Netflix or HBO Go. You can also get a discount on your Prime subscription if you’re a student or have a Medicaid or electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.
One of Prime’s perks is free two-day or even same-day delivery. Prime also includes music and video streaming. If you live near a Whole Foods, you can get free grocery delivery too.
If you’re not interested in paying the Prime subscription price, you can still get free shipping from Amazon. Many items ship free with a $25 minimum purchase. You can also set up a subscription to products you use frequently, such as laundry detergent and cat litter, to get free shipping and up to a 15% discount. As part of the Subscribe and Save program, these items ship to you on a set schedule, such as every four or eight weeks.
It’s worth noting that while the majority of products on Amazon are eligible for both free Prime shipping or free shipping on $25-plus orders, not everything is. Some third-party sellers have their own shipping rules. And some small items, like pens, are only available for shipping if your order total is at least $25. If you only want to see what’s eligible for free shipping, click on the “Prime eligible” box when you search the site.
Target offers free two-day shipping on orders over $35. But there are some catches. For example, some less expensive goods, like a bottle of lotion or a flashlight, only ship if your total is more than $25. Otherwise, you must visit your nearest Target to pick them up. Some merchandise is also “discontinued for shipping,” meaning you can’t get it delivered and its availability at your local store could be limited.
While many Targets carry groceries, you can’t order fresh food like fruits and vegetables from the retailer online for regular shipping. Instead, you must order fresh produce and other perishables through Shipt, Target’s delivery service. Similar to an Amazon Prime membership, you pay an annual fee, which is about the same price as a nice dinner out for two, in exchange for unlimited same-day delivery on orders over $35.
Yet another way to get free shipping from Target is through its restock program. With restock, you get free next-day delivery on orders over $35. But everything you order must fit in a single box. And the restock program only gives you access to daily essentials like personal care products, pantry goods, cleaners, and pet supplies.
Restock lets you know how much box space each product takes up so you can strategize to get the most out of your purchase. For example, a 20-pound box of Fresh Step cat litter takes up about 50% of a box, while a small can of cat food takes up less than 2% of the space.
If you want to get items you use regularly shipped to you for free but don’t have enough to reach the $35 threshold for restock, Target also offers a subscription program similar to Amazon’s. You pick the items you want delivered, like detergent or pet supplies, and how often you’d like to receive them. They ship free, and you get a 5% discount.
Although Target stores typically have a lot in stock, they can still sell out. Ordering online means you’re more likely to get precisely what you want when you want it. It also cuts down on the time you spend driving, browsing, and waiting in line.
If you prefer Walmart to Amazon or Target, this retailer has you covered too. You can get next-day delivery on orders over $35 without paying a monthly or annual membership fee.
Walmart’s next-day delivery program is similar to Target’s restock without the box limitation. Products eligible for next-day delivery include food and pantry supplies, health care products, home decor, and toys. It’s easy to see which products are eligible for next-day delivery because Walmart clearly marks those products on the site.
Note that if you purchase eligible products and ineligible products in the same order, nothing in your cart is eligible for next-day delivery.
Walmart’s next-day delivery is ideal for those who love the retailer’s discounts but don’t like the often crowded in-store conditions and long register lines.
Products at Brandless don’t have brand names or conspicuous logos. The website sells the stuff you need, like cleaning products, personal care, pantry items, and vitamins and supplements. All products have minimal packaging and are usually eco-friendly, with designations like nontoxic, organic, or fair trade. For example, tissues and toilet paper are made from bamboo, not trees.
If you favor minimalist design and have no brand loyalty, you can get free shipping through Brandless when they buy more than $48 worth of products. Like Amazon and Target, Brandless also offers subscription boxes. Fill your box with the products you regularly use, such as toilet paper and cleaning products, and set it to ship as often as you like — every two to eight weeks.
Online Apparel Stores With Free Shipping
Thanks to free shipping and sometimes even free returns, many online apparel stores have taken much of the risk out of buying clothing online. You can now select the clothes and accessories you like, try them on from the comfort of your home, and return them for free using a prepaid shipping label.
Nordstrom has a reputation for being one of the best clothing retailers to shop online. They have clothes for men, women, and children at a range of price points, from budget-friendly brands to designer pieces. So you can buy both the latest trends and pricier investment pieces.
What sets Nordstrom apart from other high-end department stores is its shipping and return policy. Every order ships free, and there are free returns on everything. There’s no such thing as a final sale at Nordstrom. You can find an end-of-season designer dress marked down 70% and return it if it doesn’t fit.
Nordstrom also offers price matching online. If you find something on sale or at a lower price on another website, reach out to the Nordstrom customer service team and ask them to match the price. If it’s in stock in the same color and size, you can probably get it cheaper.
6. J.Crew and Madewell
J.Crew and Madewell sell preppy casual clothes for women and men — and kids in the case of J.Crew. Although they’re separate websites, the same parent company owns them, and they have similar free rewards programs and free shipping deals.
Madewell’s program is called Madewell Insider. It offers free shipping and returns, free hemming on jeans, and a birthday gift. If you spend more than $500 per year, you can expect free expedited shipping on your orders.
J.Crew’s program is called J.Crew Rewards. It offers free shipping but not free returns. You also get one point for each dollar you spend. Once you’ve collected 200 points, you can cash them in for $5 off your next order.
Signing up for either store’s rewards program only makes sense if you shop there regularly. If you just want to make a one-off purchase and there’s a J.Crew or Madewell near you, have your order shipped to a nearby store for free instead. You can pick it up, try it on in the store, and decide on the spot whether you want to keep it or return it.
Reformation is a trendy eco-friendly brand known for its women’s T-shirts, jeans, and dresses, which range from midi-length and flowy to scandalously short. They also have a wedding line and shoe line. When you order online, you get free shipping and free returns.
The free returns are particularly useful, as the retailer’s sizing is inconsistent. Some people have reported finding that they fit into a small in one style but need a large in another. To save yourself time, order multiple sizes of the same garment and keep the only the one that fits.
Everlane’s claim to fame is its “radical transparency.” When browsing the clothing options on the company’s website, you can read all about the factories and people who made each garment and why Everlane chose to work with them.
The brand has also started to focus on selling sustainable clothing, like puffer jackets made from recycled plastic bottles and silk shirts made using more sustainable fibers. It has clothing, shoes, and accessories for both women and men. If you’re into simple designs and like to maintain a minimalist closet, Everlane is worth a look.
Even better, your first order from the site ships free. After that, orders of two items or more have free shipping. You can also occasionally score free two-day shipping on all orders. Look for those specials about one week before a major holiday weekend. There is a fee for returns, but you can forgo that expense by opting for store credit instead of a refund.
Zappos.com got its start by changing the way people shop for shoes. Before Zappos.com, the idea of buying shoes without trying them on first was unheard of. Formerly a shoe store, the online-only retailer now sells clothing for everyone, plus accessories and handbags.
Zappos.com offers free shipping and returns on all orders. You must make the return within 365 days of the order date, which is pretty much a lifetime on the Internet.
If you shop at Zappos.com regularly, it makes sense to sign up for their rewards program, which offers free next-business-day shipping, expedited returns, and points for every dollar spent. You can use the points to get discount codes.
10. Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta
Brands in the Gap family include Gap-branded stores, Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic. When you shop online at any Gap-family stores, you get free shipping on orders over $50. As an added benefit, you can shop all the stores simultaneously from one central hub and combine products from each retailer to reach that $50 threshold.
Gap-family brands are ideal if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your family’s clothing. You can get jeans for the kids from Old Navy, work clothing for you and your partner from Banana Republic or Gap, and leggings for your next yoga class or outdoor adventure from Athleta.
If you have a weak spot for designer fashion, Net-a-Porter is the site for you. The retailer has more than 800 designer brands and over 200 high-end beauty brands on offer, all of which ship to you for free. Returns in the U.S. are also free.
Accessory Stores With Free Online Shipping
Plenty of clothing retailers sell some accessories. But there are also a handful of stores that focus on the details that complete your outfit. And whether you’re looking for shoes or jewelry, these accessory retailers will ship it to you at no additional charge.
Unlike Zappos.com, returns aren’t free. But exchanges are, so you can try out a different size, color, or even an entirely different pair of shoes without having to pay the return fee. If you know your size in a particular brand and you want to get an excellent deal on your next pair of shoes, Shoes.com is worth a look.
Buying online from this iconic jewelry store gives you the chance to give someone that classic little blue box even if you don’t live near a Tiffany store. And if you’re getting ready to propose, you’re probably eager to save on the engagement ring. Good news: at Tiffany, you get free shipping.
As a bonus, the jewelry company offers free returns on all online orders. So if the ring doesn’t fit or your loved one doesn’t like the style you chose, you can send it back without paying a fee.
14. Blue Nile
When it got started in 1999, Blue Nile was a disruptor in the diamond ring industry, giving people the option to shop for conflict-free wedding and engagement rings in the comfort of their homes.
Today, the website continues to offer free shipping on any order. And if you spend more than $1,000, you get free priority overnight shipping. You can also return your purchase for free within 30 days.
Online Personal Care & Beauty Stores With Free Shipping
Sometimes, it makes sense to go in person to try out new cosmetics or to make sure that shampoo actually does smell as good as your pal says it does. But if you’ve settled into a routine and have your regulars when it comes to products, buying online is a lot easier. Many popular beauty and personal care stores give you free shipping when you shop online.
If you’ve ever been to a Sephora on Saturday or Sunday, you can understand why shopping online is a lot more convenient. You don’t get to try before you buy, but you also skip the lines and crowds. Plus, three-day shipping is free on orders over $50.
When you create an account on Sephora’s website, you can save your favorites. When it’s time to stock up, you just visit your favorites list, add what you need to your cart, and check out. Sephora also has a rewards program, which gives you a point for every dollar you spend and the option to trade in your points for trial-size freebies.
If you order from Sephora a lot, it’s worthwhile to upgrade to their Flash two-day shipping program. For about the price of a meal at a fast-casual restaurant, you get free two-day shipping on any order.
Ulta offers free shipping on orders over $50. The retailer sells a mix of cosmetics, skin care products, and hair care products at both high and low price points. Ulta gives you a mix of high-end brands, like Kiehl’s and Lancome, and drugstore favorites, like Nyx and Burt’s Bees.
The store also has a rewards program, Ultamate Rewards, which gives you a point for every dollar you spend. Once you’ve racked up a certain number of points, you can trade them in for a discount, such as $3 off in exchange for 100 points.
MAC cosmetics have been in demand since Madonna wore one of its matte red lipsticks in a photo shoot in the 1980s. The brand has a loyal following, and if you’re among its fans, you’re in luck. MAC offers free standard shipping on all orders.
MAC does discontinue colors and products from time to time. But not to worry. If you decide to try something new and it doesn’t work for you, MAC also offers free returns, even on opened and used products.
Online Home Decor & Furniture Stores With Free Shipping
Shopping for home goods and furniture has evolved thanks to the Internet. You no longer have to spend a weekend afternoon wandering the aisles of a big-box home-design store looking for the perfect rug or vase. Now, you can do it from your couch any time of day. Plus, online home furnishing shopping means you have more options than ever before when it comes to making your home look just the way you want it to.
18. Wayfair, AllModern, Birch Lane, and Joss & Main
Wayfair is a massive online home goods and furniture retailer. It’s so big it has a series of spinoff sister brands: AllModern, Birch Lane, and Joss & Main. Whether you need a couch, bed, or planter for your patio, you can find it on Wayfair or one of its sister sites.
For the most part, free shipping on furniture is unheard of. But the Wayfair family of brands offers it on all orders over $49, including on big items like couches and tables.
Like the Wayfair family, Overstock has a massive selection of furniture and home decor. They sell overstocked and close-out products on the site in addition to new merchandise. There’s also a section of handmade goods if you’re looking for something unique or custom for your home.
If you live in the lower 48 of the United States, you get free shipping on purchases over $45. And if you anticipate shopping there often, you can sign up for its membership program, Club O, which costs about as much as an annual magazine subscription. As a member of Club O, you receive free shipping on all orders, free returns, 5% back in rewards, and a price-match guarantee.
Online Technology Retailers With Free Shipping
Put your hand up if you’re tired of dealing with pushy salespeople when trying to buy a new computer, smartphone, or home appliance. Luckily, you can get pretty much all your tech needs met through online shopping, and you don’t have to pay for shipping.
Mac devotees can get their purchases from Apple shipped for free. You can buy all the brand’s products directly from its website, including MacBooks, iPads, Apple TVs, and iPhones in addition to accessories. Most items ship with two-day shipping, but you get free next-day shipping on iPhone orders.
Samsung offers free shipping on all its products, including tablets, phones, computers, and home appliances. You can get free white-glove delivery on Samsung TVs over 55 inches. Free shipping is even available on oversized goods like refrigerators, but you have to pay extra for installation and haul-away.
22. Best Buy
Maybe you’re a Mac who married a PC. What can you do? Instead of buying directly from the brands themselves, you can look to a store like Best Buy, which sells Apple and Android all in one place. But they don’t just sell phones. Best Buy is a one-stop shop for all things electronic, like TVs, home appliances, and stereo equipment.
No matter what you buy, you get free shipping or delivery on orders over $35. But you do have to pay extra if you’d like it installed.
While free shipping was once a rarely seen online shopping unicorn, today, it’s more common than ever. Many retailers throw in free shipping as a way to get you to order more or encourage you to sign up for membership or subscription boxes.
Some stores only offer free shipping occasionally, during holiday sales or special promotions. You can track down free shipping specials by browsing sites like RetailMeNot or Rakuten. Both sites not only help you find free shipping offers and discount codes but give you cash back when you shop through their links. For example, RetailMeNot has previously offered $5 cash back on $65 purchases from Sephora, while Rakuten offered 3% cash back on all Sephora orders.
Along with offering free shipping to your home, plenty of online retailers with brick-and-mortar locations — such as Target, Walmart, Gap family stores, and Nordstrom — also offer free in-store pickup.
What are your thoughts on free shipping? Is it something you think all online retailers should offer?