Online Holiday Shopping Wars: Free Shipping Now Available from 6 Big Retailers

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No minimum purchase required. No annoying coupon codes to hunt down. Just place your order, and it’ll arrive on your doorstep, usually within a week or so.

Best Buy is the latest major retailer to announce free standard shipping is available on thousands of items ordered online by December 21.
Exclusions? Yep. Plenty, including laptops, iPads, video game consoles, and major appliances.

Amazon said it would match Walmart by offering free standard shipping on the same tens of thousands of products shipped for free by Walmart, which once again is serving as the Godzilla vs. Amazon’s Mothra this holiday season.
Exclusions? Yep. Too many to name here. Amazon is only matching the free shipping, no-minimum-required offer announced by Walmart last week. Amazon does, however, also give free standard (slow) shipping on pretty much everything when you order $25 or more worth of merchandise.

L.L. Bean will ship for free all orders placed by December 20.
Exclusions? Almost none. Furniture and other bulky and heavy items that would incur home delivery freight charges aren’t free, but that’s about it.

Walmart offers free shipping on roughly 60,000 items, including electronics, video games, toys, jewelry, and more, so long as they’re ordered by December 20.
Exclusions? Yes, tons. But many of the things which don’t allow for free shipping—bikes, for instance—can usually ordered online and shipped free to a Walmart store for customer pickup.

Two big shoe specialty retailers, and Zappos also offer totally free shipping and free shipping on returns, as they have long before the holiday free-shipping battles among other retailers began.
Exclusions? Nope, none, anything goes. In terms of returns, however,’s policy explains: “Please note that, while we want you to be happy with your purchases, an excessive number of returns in a twelve-month period may cause us to reject future orders from you.” Also, allows for returns within 60 days of purchase, while Zappos has a 365-day return policy.

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