With this year’s Black Friday and holiday shopping season shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent years, retailers have drawn battle lines around free shipping.
Stores like Amazon, Target, Walmart and Best Buy are all luring customers with offers of free shipping. But what are the differences? Who has the best shipping offer? How is a customer to decide?
Stores with free shipping for the holidays
One thing you need to know is that while many businesses are offering free shipping, relatively few have dropped the requirement of a minimum purchase.
Still, the stakes are enormous for retailers, who are willing to pull out the stops to attract and retain new and loyal customers. “From same-day delivery with Shipt, Drive Up, Free 2-Day Shipping and more, no other retailer can match the convenient delivery options that Target will offer this season,” company CEO Brian Cornell said in a written statement.
Which stores have free shipping for the holidays?
So that you can get a better handle on (literally) what’s in store, we’ve compared each of the free shipping offers from the major retailers. Highlights:
- Amazon announced that even non-Prime members will get free shipping an any order set to be delivered before Christmas.
- Best Buy says it is offering free shipping for the holidays, as well as same-day delivery on select items.
- Target has free shipping for the holidays and customers don’t have to worry about meeting a purchase threshold.
- Walmart’s free shipping is no holiday promotion — it has always offered the service. The store has expanded it, though (see below for details).
|Store||Dates||Exemptions||Free shipping details|
|Amazon||Through Dec. 22||None||Your order will be delivered 5-8 business days after all your purchases are available to ship.|
|Walmart||Year-round||Purchases under $35 excluded||In time for the holidays, free 2-day shipping has been expanded through Walmart’s marketplace.|
|Target||Through Dec. 22||None||Free shipping offer comes with no minimum purchase and no membership requirement|
|Best Buy||Through Dec. 25||Special order delivery items, some scheduled delivery items are among those not available for free shipping.||During online checkout, choose an estimated arrival date from the options provided. Same Day Delivery only available in select areas.|
Amazon recently announced that customers “for a limited time” can “enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase amount. Any item with “FREE Shipping” messaging on the product detail page that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon is eligible.”
The free shipping offer was originally an exclusive perk for Amazon Prime members, but facing unprecedented competition this year from big-box retailers, the Seattle-based online giant is rolling it out to all customers. Prime members in the United States can also shop free same-day delivery on eligible items.
RELATED: The top 10 best Black Friday deals!
The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer announced earlier this fall that Walmart.com shoppers will be able to take advantage of expanded two-day shipping on millions of items.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer used to exclude many third-party sellers from free two-day shipping. For the holidays, as long as shoppers spend at least $35, that requirement is lifted.
Up until December 22, Target is also choosing to lift the $35 shipping minimum on free shipping. The deal, which is being offered for the first time by the Minneapolis-based company, comes with no membership requirement.
If your order is not delivered within two days, it may be because you didn’t beat the cutoff time (typically 12 p.m. local time). Plan accordingly.
Through December 25, Best Buy is offering “free shipping on everything all season long.” The Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer is trying to beat out Walmart and Amazon for electronics purchases for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
See the store’s key ordering dates to have items shipped where you need them for the holidays.