Free shipping day not as big as it once was

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - It's hard to get consumers hyped up about free shipping these days because, well, we expect it. Retailers, like Target, are delivering with free shipping offers if not year-round, then for several months during the busiest shopping season. 

Free shipping day started in 2008 as a way to extend online holiday shopping. In years past, it was the one day when hundreds of retailers offered free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas. But this year, the company that literally invented the holiday, www.FreeShippingDay.com, is not even publishing a full list of participating retailers.

Thursday, a day ahead of the holiday, a message posted on its homepage said the site will continue to host shipping offers year round, but will not have a comprehensive list as in years past. "It's been an incredible journey, but now it's time we settle in for a long winter's nap," read the message. 

On Friday morning, we noticed free shipping offers from 106 retailers posted on the site. It's far from the nearly 1000 merchants listed last year. Some offers are truly free shipping on any order with no strings attached. Other retailers have minimum order requirements that will get you free shipping any day, not just on Free Shipping Day. 

Here are the retailers offering free shipping today only no matter how much you spend: 

Macy's
Old Navy 
SteinMart 
Soma
JC Penney
Express 
Bass Pro Shops
The Children's Place
Eddie Bauer 
Gap
Forever 21
American Eagle
New York & Company
Harry & David
Sur la Table
Kate Spade 
Levi's 
The North Face
Puma
Lord & Taylor 
Journeys
The Limited 
Bloomingdales
Finish Line 
J. Crew 
Guess
Guitar Center 
Sorel 

The good news for consumers is that most retailers say you still have time to order gifts and get them by Christmas, even if you don't order today. Nordstrom says you can order by Dec. 18 to get your items by Christmas. The department store offers free shipping and free returns as a general rule. 

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