GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Inflation and increased labor and material costs have led to a rise in shipping rates across the country.
A new survey from topcashback.com shows that 86% of Americans say they will look elsewhere for gifts if shipping is too expensive.
News 8 spoke with the website’s public relations manager about some tips if you’re are shopping online and want to avoid high prices.
First, shoppers are advised to beware of shipping deadlines. Experts say you should mark your calendar for Wednesday, Dec. 14. This will likely be the last time most retailers will offer free shipping and guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve.
You’re also advised to compare prices and rates. Shipping rates could be different depending on which online retailer you’re using.
Another way to save money is to keep your gift digital, by giving someone a digital gift card.
One of the most important tips: know the store’s return policy.
“While some gift (returns) can be made at the physical store, sometimes you can only ship it back if the store’s too far away or the store’s only online. So in that case, you may need to find out if you have to pay to ship the item back, or if the retailer has free returns,” said Rebecca Gramuglia, the public relations manager for TopCashBack Inc.
Experts say another good way to save some money when shopping online is to pick up your item at a brick-and-mortar location, if the company you’re buying from has one.