Online shopping is not going away any time soon. I love shopping on the internet, and most of the time I chalk this up to laziness -- but I realized that it's also a lot easier to save money when you have the whole World Wide Web to search for great deals, rather than driving from store to store to compare costs. But one of the biggest gripes I have is the cost of shipping, so here are some tips to reduce your shipping costs and savor the bursts of joy when the FedEx guy rings your doorbell. These hints are courtesy of notmadeofmoney.com.
1) Shop at sites that offer free shipping
Yes, they exist! Many sites have special "free shipping" days, so if you're a frequent shopper at certain sites, sign up for email updates that will announce these AMAZINGLY SPECIAL FANTASTICAL days. And there are sites that always offer free shipping, such as Zappos and LL Bean.
2) Join member's clubs
If you shop at a certain site all the time (like my long-term committed relationship with Amazon.com), consider joining a member's club if they have it. Amazon Prime charges a yearly fee, but if you're a member, you get free shipping on almost all purchases, so the savings add up if you order stuff every other week. (I don't do that . . . at all . . . ever.) Barnes & Noble also offers a service like this. It's totally worth it if you order stuff all the time, but if you're a casual shopper, don't bother.
3) Use free shipping codes
You may loathe the emails that stores automatically sign you up for (I bought a pair of cheerleading shorts from a cheer supply shop for a costume one Halloween, and now I get emails to "stock up for my cheer season!" every month.) However, stores like Macy's and Nordstrom's will periodically send you free shipping codes that qualify you to save some money ca$h. Retailmenot.com also maintains a list of current promotional codes for popular sites, so check it out!
Of course, there are a ton more tips out there if you scour the internet. Don't settle for paying full price for shipping unless you've exhausted all your options (and you can't live without the product!)