Best deals on Free Shipping Day | News
You cyber-savvy shoppers have another holiday to celebrate: Dec. 16.
That's Free Shipping Day for online purchases. More than 2,000 retailers are expected to waive shipping fees that day.
Jordy Leiser, co-founder of the customer service rating site STELLAService.com, got his network of mystery shoppers working their keyboards to find the e-tailers who are throwing in a few extra freebies on Free Shipping Day. They also offered these insider tips:
* TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SPECIAL PERKS LIKE GIFT-WRAPPING. The mystery shoppers of STELLAService.com gave big props to Gap.com and Apple.com for their free gift-wrapping. They also praised Nordstrom.com and VictoriaSecret.com for including free do-it-yourself gift wrap kits with purchases (Nordstrom.com offers free shipping all of the time).
* CONFIRM THAT THE E-TAILER'S HONORING FREE SHIPPING. Apple.com, NewEgg.com, Nordstrom.com, WalMart.com, and Zappos.com offer free shipping on all orders during the holidays, according to STELLAService.com. Be sure to ask the e-tailer's customer service about its shipping policy or check for its posting on the store's website, not only on Free Shipping Day but also on any day you buy something online. For a list of e-tailers who are offering free shipping as late as Dec. 23, go to STELLAService.com.
* ASK ABOUT FREE IN-STORE PICK-UP. BestBuy.com, JCPenney.com, and ToysRUs.com offer free in-store pickup of items purchased on their websites.
* REQUEST LIVE CHATS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. STELLAService.com confirmed Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and Sears.com offer live chat customer service, allowing customers to bypass robotic call lines. Ask other retailers if they offer live chat or look for it in the customer service sections of their sites.
* SHOP RETAILERS WITH RELIABLE PHONE SUPPORT. Zappos.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, and VictoriaSecret.com offer 24/7 phone support, while Amazon.com, BlueNile.com, and DisneyStore.com all use live operators instead of automated systems, cutting down hold times.
* DO NOT RESORT TO E-MAIL FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. Leiser said retailers take an average of 14 days to respond to a customer's e-mail complaint.
* EXPLOIT SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ASSISTANCE. Leiser is one of the leading proponents in using Facebook and Twitter to get retailers' attention. Register your concerns on retailers' corporate Facebook pages, Twitter feeds or dedicated customer service forum pages. Someone's always monitoring them.