I hate paying for delivery, so I’ve found five ways you can get your goods sent to your home for nothing.
When I order online my expectation is delivery should be free. It’s nonsense when you think about it. There are costs for staff to pack and deliver that need to be covered. A few years ago I went to a DPD warehouse for BBC Breakfast and these operations are huge. They have staff working 24-7 to meet our next-day orders. With some shops now offering same-day deliveries, the costs will surely increase.
Plus, going to a shop in person has extra costs associated such as petrol, parking or bus fares, meaning a delivery charge isn’t actually costing much more.
Even so, I’ve become so used to free delivery that I’ll often shop elsewhere if it’ll be an extra cost. But before I do this, I see if any of my tricks can get me my goods straight to my front door for nothing.
Top up your order with everyday essentials
Some shops only give free delivery if you spend a highish amount. This threshold is often really annoying, especially when you’re just a few quid out.
I avoid websites which help you find cheap items such as washers or other random things you don’t need – you’re still paying extra when you do this and these items are likely to just end up in the bin.
Instead, keep a list of those everyday essentials you know you’ll need at some point. So that could be stamps, batteries or hand soap – all of which can be bought at Amazon, Tesco, Ocado, and the other major supermarket websites.
Top up your order with returnable items
An alternative is to add items you know you don’t want with the intention of returning them. I sometimes do this with John Lewis to get to £50. Since anything you buy online can be returned within 14 days of you receiving the goods, the shops have to refund you. The only exception is anything that has been customised or is perishable.
However, you NEED to check the returns policies if you’re doing this as some companies will charge you the return postage costs. For example you’ll pay to return most items to Amazon if you’ve changed your mind, but there are some fashion items labelled “free returns” which allow you to get around this.
You might also want to consider the cost of returning things – which ultimately is going to get passed back to us as consumers somewhere down the line.
Sign up for a delivery pass free trial
A few stores will offer a free trial of a delivery pass, usually giving unlimited deliveries – or at least some money off. The one that most of us are likely to use is Amazon’s Prime service.
If you shop at Amazon, you’ll know it’s free delivery level was lifted to spends of over £20 a while back. The main exception is for Amazon Prime members, who can get free next-day delivery on practically any Amazon (rather than Marketplace) purchase.
It can be costly, at £79 for a year, but there are ways to bring down the cost. You can get a free 30-day trial and if you have others in the household, each of them can do this. Time it for Black Friday sales and Christmas shopping and those last-minute gifts are assured delivery.
Full price isn’t that bad either if you take advantage of everything Amazon Prime has to offer such as early access to deals, extra savings, and movie, TV, e-book and music streaming. If you don’t think you’ll use it enough through a year then you can pay monthly at £7.99.
Collect in store
Another option is to order online and then collect in-store, with this often done for free. Yes, this does mean you have to go to the shops, but at least you know what you are buying will be there when you arrive.
Plus if you’re able to check your purchase at the shop. So if you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit you can usually return it there and then – saving an extra trip.
Search for a free delivery code
A bit more work but some retailers often have a free delivery code. The best bet is to have a little Google and see what comes up.
But if you are combining this code with a cashback site you might find the cashback claim is rejected – so check the terms and conditions.
Ask for a code on chat
You could even get on live chat via the website and see if they can do something for you. First put the items you want to buy in your basket, leave it a little while, then get on chat to say you’re really not sure. They might be able to give you a free delivery code, or even a further discount.
Check other retailers
It’s also worth checking the item isn’t for sale at another shop with free or cheaper delivery. Even if the items itself costs more, the total amount including delivery could well be less.