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How to Get Free Shipping on Your Holiday Gifts

Take advantage of Free Shipping Day on December 16 to get guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve from thousands of online retailers.

Save big on your unfinished online shopping for holiday gifts by waiting to make your final purchases on Friday, December 16. That's when about 2,000 online retailers will offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve as part of the fourth annual Free Shipping Day.

At least 60% to 70% of participating retailers will provide free shipping on all orders, not just certain items or purchases above a particular dollar amount, says Luke Knowles, creator of Free Shipping Day and founder of FreeShipping.org. Plus, he's working with retailers to get them to offer special discounts on Free Shipping Day.

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Knowles expects that most major retailers will participate. Big-name merchants such as Macy's, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Lands' End have already signed on, along with hundreds of small merchants that sell unique items. And this year eBay and Bonanza.com sellers will participate for the first time (Bonanza is an online marketplace for homemade and specialty items). The homepage of Freeshippingday.com lists all the participating merchants, so it's easy to find retailers you know and discover new ones.

The Freeshippingday.com site also will have a new feature (available only on December 16) that will allow shoppers to see which merchants are offering free shipping on all orders.

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Before jumping at a free-shipping deal, though, make sure you're getting the best price for an item. Use a price comparison site, such as Amazon.com, PriceGrabber.com or the relatively new Extrabux.com, to see whether another retailer is offering a similar item at a price that's low enough for you to come out ahead even without free shipping (if it isn't offered).

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