Free shipping isn't exactly 'free'

POSTED: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 7:21pm

UPDATED: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 3:49pm

Many online retailers are offering free shipping for online shopping but buyers beware that free shipping could end up costing you.

Getting free shipping isn't automatic. On many sites, you have to spend a minimum amount of money to get it, ranging from $25-$100.

Consumer analysts warn just because the shipping is free doesn't mean it will get delivered to you fast.

"You're not going to get overnight,” stated George Belch, an SDSU marketing professor. “If you want to get something within 2 or 3 days you're going to pay a little extra for it. Probably a lot of the free shipping is going to go into that lower category of perhaps 5 to 8 days. So you really need to be conscious of it."

One online research group found shoppers trying to get free shipping added an extra 15 percent more on their shopping cart than those people who paid for shipping.

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