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Avoid Shipping Fees: Easy Tips and Tricks to Help You Pay the Least

No one wants to pay a shipping fee, but sometimes it feels like you can't avoid it. Here are some tips to help skip the extra costs.

Amazon boxes on abstract background
Jared DiPane / CNET

Have you ever changed your mind at the online checkout after realizing there was a shipping fee that you didn't want to pay? I've done it several times -- in fact probably more than I'm willing to even admit. There's just something about the extra cost of having an item shipped to me that just feels wrong, even though I understand why it's there. 

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to shop online and skip delivery fees? There are a few easy ways to do this, and while it won't apply to every single retailer out there, it works for many of the largest ones that you likely use regularly. These tips allow you to avoid shipping and delivery fees, and they aren't hard to pick up on.

Let's take a quick look at some of the best ways to avoid delivery fees on your online order. If you're looking for more ways to maximize your online shopping, be sure to check out this hidden Amazon coupon page to help you save money and ways to save some of your own time after your next Wayfair purchase.

Opt for in-store or curbside pickup

Target drive up order pick up location

With Target's Drive Up service you don't even have to get out of the car for your order.

Target

Sometimes, shopping online is easier and more convenient than going into a store. If you happen to live near one of the retailer's store locations, you may be able to place your order online and then pick it up from the store at no additional cost. If the item happens to be available locally, you might be able to pick the item up as soon as that same day, otherwise you may have to wait while the warehouse ships the item to the store.

This is a great way to ensure you take advantage of a price drop or discount that's showing online before it sells out or the deal expires.

Check your subscriptions for free delivery

Subscription services like Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus also include free delivery for members, and the best part is that there's no minimum order amount to qualify. That means whether you need a box of Kleenex or a new TV, you can have it delivered to your door at no extra cost to you.

Sure, these have a monthly recurring cost, but eliminating the order minimums and the increased shipping speeds easily make up for that, in addition to all the other benefits you get alongside the free shipping.

Look at your credit card perks

A Shipt shopper delivering a customer their order

Shipt will shop for your order and deliver it to your home, often within just a few hours.

Shipt

Some credit cards offer free shipping through partners like ShopRunner. According to the company's site, you can get a free membership from select American Express, Chase and Mastercard accounts, and certain PayPal members may be eligible as well. ShopRunner does offer a free three-month trial of its service for everyone else. 

In addition, there are other services like Shipt, which works with Costco, CVS, Petco, Sephora, Target and other retails. Shipt and similar services offer a $0 delivery fee on your first order.

Look for filler items

While it's not exactly ideal, sometimes this move makes the most sense. A lot of retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and more have preset order limits you need to meet in order to qualify for free shipping. If you don't meet that minimum, there's usually a delivery fee of $6 or more on the order, but sometimes avoiding that can be as simple as adding a pack of gum or some candy to your order. 

That's right, finding a low-cost filler item could push you over the threshold, and while you may not need that extra item, it's better to have it than to pay for a shipping label to be printed, right?

Don't worry, our shopping tips don't stop there. Did you know that StockX is more than just a place to buy shoes? Or that Amazon has a whole section of its site with huge discounts on slightly used products? Be sure to follow along for more.