Free Shipping Day is a bust. Here's why.

Free Shipping Day sounds like a sweet deal, but many retailers have already been offering free shipping during the holidays. In fact, waiting for Free Shipping Day to finish your holiday shopping could mean you end up spending more. 

Kyle Grantham/Star-Tribune/AP/File
In this photo taken last month, Daniel Holmquist raises his forklift to the top shelf of the Sierra Trading Post Fulfillment Center's racks in Cheyenne, Wyo. Free shipping Day is Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, but it might be wiser to get you Christmas shopping done before then.

It may not have made it onto calendars yet, but December 17 is now known as Free Shipping Day, a made-up holiday shopping event (not unlike National Regifting Day) that is angling to be the next Black Friday or Cyber Monday. But while our archives indicate that the latter two events actually result in concrete deals that live up to the hype, the same cannot be said of Free Shipping Day — and you should be weary of putting off your holiday shopping just to get the supposed discount on delivery.

The site boasts more than 1,300 participating merchants for 2012, with 77% offering free shipping on all orders. It is difficult to assess the deals since they are "hidden" until the 17th, but based on offers from years past, a large number of the retailers will have restrictions on the type of products that qualify for free shipping or will require minimum orders. Moreover, the sheer number of participants might be misleading, as you probably haven't heard of the majority of them.

It's important to realize, too, that many retailers have already been offering free shipping, throughout the entire holiday season. It would be erroneous to assume that December 17 is the only day to receive such a discount. In fact, the demand for free shipping throughout the entire year has become so high that many retailers regularly offer discounted delivery. Case in point: one of the stores included in the list, Shopbop, has been offering free shipping every day for several years. Best Buy is another store that's noted to be participating in Free Shipping Day, but when we checked the hundreds of deals we've posted from Best Buy in just the past two months, a whopping 93% of them included free shipping. So why would you wait until December 17 to order?

Waiting, in fact, could be harmful if you're aim is finishing holiday shopping. Christmas delivery deadlines are fast approaching, so holding off until December 17 to take advantage of free shipping that might be available to you now anyway, isn't smart. Instead, search for free shipping promotions and be aware of stores' shipping deadlines for Christmas Eve delivery.

Laura Heller is a contributor to dealnews.coma website devoted to finding the best deals on consumer goods. The site pledges to list the best deal, whether or not it's from an advertiser, although it does work with advertisers to craft deals for readers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click hereThis feature first appeared in 

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