Black Friday: ShopRunner, or How To Avoid Return Shipping

You know it’s happened to you. You want to save yourself the hassle of shopping in the busy holiday hubbub on Black Friday, or you know you can get what you want online on Cyber Monday. Your purchase looks fabulous on your computer screen, you order it, it get’s delivered and you hate it or it doesn’t fit. So now, even if the initial shipping was free, you have to pay for the return and that is like throwing money in the garbage! Not okay.

There are ways to avoid this and we’re here to help!

1. In fact, this exact dilemma is what a site called Shoprunner.com proposes to prevent, so we checked it out in preparation for our major gift purchases this season.

Basically, as a member of the site you are able to make purchases from a bunch of different vendors, including Toys ‘R Us, Borders, ebags and more, select a particular shipping method through Shop Runner with your online purchase and you will get 2 day free shipping as well as free return shipping. Not too shabby! Right now they have some pretty good partners like the few mentioned above, but they are soon to get some even better ones (that are more fashion-centric) like Ruelala and shoes.com.

Here’s the catch—isn’t there always one?!—You have to pay (about $80 annually) to be a member. However, they do offer a 30-day free trial so you can check it out before deciding if you want to pay for it or not. Frankly, if you are a frequent online shopper you’ll probably make your membership fee back in shipping, especially if you do a lot of returns around the holidays.

2. Another way you can avoid shelling out megabucks for stuff you don’t even want is to return items to the store. Yeah, yeah, we know–the whole point was to avoid setting foot there but hey, you will save the money by returning an unwanted item to the physical location and we think that’s worthwhile. Most stores will allow this including Bloomingdales, Target, and other large department stores that are great for holiday gifts.

3. By doing the proper research before purchasing items you can be sure to avoid the annoying return shipping rates. Many larger e-commerce sites always give you a prepaid return packaging. Check out sites like Endless, Zappos, Shoebuy, and even Amazon for items within the U.S.

With these tactics in mind, we wish you luck in your online shopping endeavors! We’d love to hear if you have any more suggestions!