November 13, 2012, 11:06 AM

Groupon Goods gets into free shipping

The flash-sale site also offers free returns and launches an online holiday catalog.

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Daily deal operator Groupon Inc., which is now selling merchandise as well as vouchers, is moving to match the holiday offers of rival e-retailers with its launch of free shipping and free returns for its flash-sale site Groupon Goods.

The free shipping offer applies to U.S. and Canadian orders that cost at least $15 before tax. Large, oversized items that weigh more than 150 pounds, are longer than 105 inches, have a girth larger than 165 inches or are delivered via special carriers are excluded from the free shipping offer, Groupon says. Those large, oversized items are also ineligible for free returns. Shoppers can return other unused items within 14 days of purchase.

“The holidays are a time for giving but no one wants to give half their budget to pay for shipping,” says Faisal Masud, head of Groupon Goods.  “We’re happy to alleviate some stress and help shoppers stretch their dollars with the debut of free shipping for purchases over $15, just in time for gifting season.”

Groupon also launched two online holiday catalogs—one for toys and the other for more general gifts.  Groupon will refresh the items featured in the catalog Friday. Those offers will remain live through Nov. 22. Groupon did not immediately say what would happen after that.

More than 4.3 million shoppers have bought physical products via Groupon Goods since launching in September 2011,  the company says.

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