December 24, 2008, 12:00 AM

Free shipping offers taper off in the final days before Christmas

Fewer online retailers offered free shipping in the last few days before Christmas, though many continued to offer it as a way to promote post-Christmas sales, an Internet Retailer survey found.

Fewer online retailers offered free shipping in the last few days before Christmas, though many continued to offer it as a way to promote post-Christmas sales, according to a survey by Internet Retailer. For instance, eBags offered free shipping on orders of $75-plus to launch a winter sale.

61 of the top 100 online retailers offered free shipping during the final three days leading up to Christmas, down from 66 the prior week and the lowest number since Internet Retailer started the survey the week of Monday, Nov. 10, when 62 offered free shipping. The survey covers web site offers by the top 100 online retailers as listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, 2008 Edition.

The Home Depot continued offering free shipping on select items, including wine coolers and other household appliances. Target said it was offering free shipping on more than 30,000 items, including furniture, plus items such as apparel, fragrances and luggage on orders of $50 or more.

Apple and Newegg still offered free shipping on an extensive range of items. Dell offered free standard shipping on select products and on all printers priced at $39 and up. Hewlett-Packard’s web store shipped for free select laptops and desktops and printer supplies, plus other items in orders of $59.99 or more.

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