3 steps to smart shipping spendings

By glblguy

In today’s climate of bad economy and higher fuel prices it is natural we need to save on everything. Online shopping offers us quite a number of cool opportunities – one of them is to save on gas by shopping from home and getting our purchases delivered to our front door. The following hacks will get you one step further: not only will they allow you to save money on fuel, they will also help you save on the transportation service.

Be Smart: Look for Free or Discounted Shipping Deals

There are a number of aggregating shipping deals across multiple retailers. My personal favorite is FreeShipping.org. I like it for a few reasons: it is free and clean. The site provides exhaustive information for you to decide if the offer suits your needs. You can navigate it using the list of categories (to the right), via the merchant brand names (with help of the drop-down menus) and using the search option (it will search by the retailer’s name).

If you are a frequent shopper, you can also subscribe to their mailing list and receive weekly deals to your email box.

Each page dedicated to a separate retailer contains comprehensive information on the deal: the coupon code, expiration date and the conditions to qualify. Note: the site lists free shipping offers without conditions (that is, your purchase will be shipped to you for free no matter what you buy) as well free shipping deals with minimum purchase (your purchase will be delivered for free if your order total is over the set minimum) and free shipping deals on the selected items. Besides the deal details, you will also be able to see the merchant’s official shipping and return policies. Here is the exampe of the retailer’s page – Macy’s coupons:

Be Picky: Let Shipping Providers Bid for Your Package and Choose the One That Fits

UShip is an online auction that “lets customers choose the Transportation Service Provider who will give them the best service at the best price”. You will be able to register there for free and choose the lowest possible price for your package to be delivered. The sign-up process is fast and smooth. Immediately after the sign-up you will be offered to specify the details of your package. You will be able to provide the exhaustive information of it to save time on further discussion with the service provider – you can even upload a photo and add comments.

The auction is eBay-style meaning you can view the service provider’s ratings and reviews and thus avoid any sort of scam.

You can also link your eBay account to your UShip account to get your purchased shipped with ease.

Be Prepared: Estimate Your Shipping Charges Beforehand

Two online calculators will allow you to estimate the shipping cost and also compare it throughout major service providers. One is ShippingSideKick. It compares shipping rates for USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL.

ShipGooder is another one. Transportation services listed include the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, DHL, Purolator, Canada Post and various local couriers. You can choose the table view: to compare either by days or couriers. You are also able to save the report in Excel, print it or email it to a friend:

The guest post by Ann Smarty – check out her SEO Consulting blog or follow her on Twitter.

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