November 20, 2008, 12:00 AM

More top 100 online retailers offer free shipping

Free-shipping offers were more common this week than last week among the top 100 online retailers, as 10 more introduced the offers while four discontinued them, for a total of 69 offering free shipping, a survey by Internet Retailer finds.

Free-shipping offers were more common this week than last week among the top 100 online retailers, as 10 more introduced the offers while four discontinued them, a survey by Internet Retailer finds. In all, 69 offered free shipping on the web sites this week, up from 62 last week.

The survey compiled the number of free-shipping offers presented on the web sites of the top 100 online retailers as listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, 2008 Edition. It did not include all free-shipping offers that may have appeared only outside of the web sites, such as in e-mail marketing campaigns.

Retailers joining the free-shipping bandwagon this week include J.C. Penney, Overstock.com, Buy.com, PC Connection, Cabela’s, Foot Locker, J.Crew and American Girl.

Those no longer showing free-shipping offers that appeared on their sites last week were Spiegel Brands, American Eagle Outfitters, TogShop.com and Orchard Brands Corp.’s Blair.com.

Some free-shipping promotions this week were noticeably more elaborate than the crop offered last week. Newegg.com, for instance, noted that it was offering free shipping on a more extensive range of products. Best Buy extended its free-shipping offer to cover orders of $75 and more for electronic games and accessories, then also offered free shipping on all orders of $99 or more Nov. 20-22. OfficeMax noted this week that it was offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more to addresses within 20 miles of an OfficeMax store.

Buy.com went from offering no free shipping last week to offering it on orders of $75 or more for sports and games products and on orders of $25 or more on books, music and video products.

Many retailers clarified that their free-shipping offers were only good for orders shipped to addresses within the 48 contiguous states, and several retailers put a time limit on their offers. J.C. Penney launched a free-shipping offer this week on all orders of $49 or more through Nov. 25. Saks Fifth Avenue extended its free-shipping offer on orders of $200 more through Nov. 23. Disney extended its offer on orders of $89 or more through Nov. 21. J. Crew introduced a free-shipping offer this week on orders of $150 or more through Nov. 20.

American Girl launched free shipping this week, with no minimum order value, through Nov. 25, but restricted it to one order and one ship-to address per customer. Oriental Trading Co. has repeatedly offered a “One day only” offer for free shipping on orders of $49 or more.

Foot Locker introduced free shipping this week on orders of $50 or more; PC Connection and Cabela’s introduced it on orders of $99 or more.

Several retailers are offering low-cost shipping deals, either in addition to or in lieu of free-shipping offers. Overstock, which offered a special $1 shipping charge on all orders last week, returned to its usual policy of charging $2.95 on all orders but with an extra offer of free shipping on select orders. Systemax introduced this week $1.99 on all orders placed through TigerDirect.com.

Blair.com no longer showed its offer of free shipping on orders of $60 or more, but it offered 99-cent standard shipping on all orders.

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