Online shopping continues to grow in popularity every year. The convenience of being able to get everything you want without leaving the house simply cannot be beat. One of the ways online retailers separate themselves from the competition is by offering free shipping to their customers. Getting items mailed to your house for no charge may seem like an excellent deal, but it may actually cost you more money in the long run. These are the four most common reasons why free shipping may cause you to spend more money.
Increased buying habits
Free shipping has a way of naturally changing your buying habits. Since you know delivery is going to be free, you are more likely to spontaneously buy things you did not plan on getting. This is especially true on sites that do not traditionally offer free delivery on every order. If the retailer is only going to offer free shipping for a limited time, then this makes you want to buy more items to get the most out of the deal. This type of thinking is exactly why stores are willing to waive delivery costs so often.
Adding extra items
Online retailers are also able to get you to spend more money by only offering free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount. This is very painful when your initial order is only a few dollars short of the free shipping threshold. You must then choose between finding another item or paying the shipping costs. Everyone that buys items online has faced this dilemma, and almost everyone opts to purchase another item. This add-on item is essentially being offered at an exclusive discount, so it is very hard to turn down.
Not price shopping
The idea of getting free shipping has a tendency to make some online shoppers avoid browsing other retailers for the best overall price. The lack of shipping costs makes your brain believe you are already getting a great deal. Once you have this thought in your brain, you are extremely unlikely to price shop. While it does not happen every time, the lack of price shopping has the potential to cost you some extra money. You absolutely should never buy anything online without spending time to find the cheapest price.
Pickup at store
Some retailers only offer free shipping to their brick and mortar stores. This forces you to come inside the store to pick up your online orders. This is done for a very strategic reason. Since the pickup counter is often in the back of the store, you must pass everything on your way to pickup your order. This creates an added temptation that is not present when shopping online. Very few shoppers are actually able to ignore the temptation and leave the store without buying something else. This causes you to spend a lot more money than if you just paid to have your online order shipped to the house.