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!

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Comments

  1. Larry says

    Shoprunner is a scam. Not all items on a retailer’s site will be ‘shoprunner eligible’. Also beware of the 30 day trial, I hear they charge at right at 30 days, and are unforgiving if you are a day late, even if you barely used the service.

    • Angela says

      Hey Larry — thanks for sharing your experiences! Of course, we always recommend that you read the fine print (ALL of it) when you sign up for such services … and while we loooove forgiveness, charging right at 30 days IS what they say they’re going to do — which is why it’s really important to not sign up for something unless a) you are REALLY sure you want to use it, and b) you can afford the fee, no matter what.

  2. Larry says

    You right Angela, that fine print is important! I just think it’s a bad way to run a business, in this economy, particularly from a customer service perspective. The companies that are successful for the long haul put customers first (instead of making money on fees for unused services).

    • Angela says

      Now that I can’t argue with — that’s one thing more and more businesses ARE learning from this economy, that customers will not be loyal (because they can’t afford to be) if you don’t work with them and give them real value. We’ll see, I guess, how this business model works for ShopRunner in the long run …

  3. says

    Great idea bad results. I signed up excited to save and not one of my items qualified for this service. I will recommend that everyone stays away from this site!! What a waste of my time!!!!!

  4. Allyn says

    While this is a great deal, there are catches, which is why you need to read the fine print. Personally, I think it’s a great deal. I’m busy and don’t always have time to run to the store. For $80/year, you can’t beat free shipping at two of the stores I shop at most (Babies-R-Us and Toys-R-Us). If you get charged that amount, you need to make it work for you. I realize not everything is covered under the free shipping, but even if you take off 1/2 of the shipping costs, you’re saving a lot of $$.

  5. MB says

    Stay away!!!!

    We are contacting the BBB and the Ohio Attorney General. What they advertise is very misleading and they are very hard to work with…awful! Most of my items qualified, but I was still charged by NFL.com. They give you the run around…in hopes that you just plain give up? Allyn…my guess is that you work for ShopRunner. They have online trolls EVERYWHERE trying to cover the mess that is their company. STAY AWAY. In the end, you will end up paying more than double for standard or two day shipping with this company. My guess is that they will not make it more than six months…and you will end up paying! The stores (Toys-R-Us, NFL) told me they are hard to work with…Toys-R-US gave me free shipping out of their own pocket…they said they (ShopRunner) is a third party company and that they are having a hard time with them. Save your money…join Amazon Prime or go to RETAILMENOT.com. Free site with 1,000’s of free shipping codes. (No, I do not work for them…but the site has saved me a TON of money!)

    STAY AWAY from SHOPRUNNER!!!!!

  6. tmv says

    AVOID Shoprunner.

    I did the 30 day “free” trial. When I tried to log onto the website to cancel, for some strange reason it wouldn’t accept my password! Huh!

    When I got around to calling a day or two later, I was informed that I was past the 30 day trial period (by two days, exactly) and would be charged the $79 for the year. They gave me a hard time about getting a refund. Eventually they agreed to refund $65 and cancel the membership. That’s a $15 fee for a service I used once during the trial period. The entirety of the membership was two days.

    You’re better off paying the shipping for the site you’re buying from, believe me. This service is a massive rip off.

  7. says

    Shop runner is awful. I signed up for it because it advertised free shipping from Dicks Sporting Goods. It did not deliver so I cancelled it in the same day or so I thought. Today when I checked my bank account I found that Shop Runner had taken 79.00 out with out my permission. When I called to get a refund they said it will take up to 5 business days !!!! They took my money and now I have to wait for them to get the time to put it back like I inconvienienced them !!!

  8. Tenecia says

    ShopRunner is horrible! They claim I joined on December 9th (I show the purchase as December 10th) so you would think I would have until January 9th to cancel right? WRONG! December has 31 days in it so, I had to cancel by January 8th. And of course, they don’t want to refund. Hopefully they will go under soon.

  9. Hope says

    BEWARE Shoprunner.com. Not only are just a limited number of items available, but as others have warned, they charge at exactly 30 days and I’m still trying to get my refund. Their ‘customer service’ does NOT listen to you or try to understand your request in its entirety. I tried to cancel my 30 day ‘free’ trial on day 25 and on day 27. No one could even locate my account, but I tried calling back two days later just in case. Still no one could find my account so I thought I would be safe. No way. I was still charged. I finally managed to speak to one person who knew what he was doing and issued a request for my full refund and provided me an ‘issue ticket’. When the refund still didn’t appear in my account, I contacted them again with the issue ticket number and explained the entire situation again and the representative said “out of courtesy” they will give me $65 instead of my entire $79 – still not listening to me and trying to understand how to help me. I’m so frustrated I might just settle for the lesser amount. My time is worth more than dealing with those idiots.
    Beware. I recommend you STAY AWAY from this service.

  10. Doug says

    Shoprunner is a scam, they won’t honor cancellations of the “free trial” stay with Amazon so you won’t get cheated. I tried out the “free” trial and most of the good items I wanted were not available for the free 2-day so I cancelled via email. Of course their website now says “Cancel requests: We cannot guarantee the processing of cancel requests through email.” How convenient for this SCAM.

  11. Ace says

    I had little problem cancelling after my free trial was up and I didn’t even call. Use Twitter, swear, it’s the absolute best thing to use when it comes to customer service. A couple of tweets asking for a refund was all it took, and 3 days later, I had my refund.

  12. says

    The whole company is a scam. Even you cancelled the memership in 30days trial period, they will still charge you $79 after that. They put non-sense policy on their website-saying if you used their service in the trial period, you are not eligible for any refund and cancellation.
    Stay away from this company and may be we should go to BBB together to beat this company.

  13. Lisa says

    Shoprunner is a horror! They make sure that you cannot reach them to cancel.
    Then when you finally get through they state that you are past the 30 days and will not even prorate! Unfortunately Amex hasn’t helped very much despite my pleas!
    Next time Amazon and Discover card!!!!!

  14. Victoria Carter says

    Out here in West Texas, we call these folks “horsethieves.” Tried to cancel by phone, and encountered long waits such as 15 minutes or longer, and was hung up on one time. Tried to cancel by email, and their site was down. Wrote a letter too! Called as I had not received cancellation confirmation letter and they said they never received any cancellation. They stated they could not do a refund as the charge had not completed. Contacted the credit card company and they said it was still being processed so Shoprunners could still cancel the charge. Called Shoprunner back and they said CitiBank did not understand “their” system. I reminded them it was CitiBank’s system, and they hung up on me. This company is nothing but thieves and everyone needs to let the companies they work with know that Shoprunner.com is a common horsethief. You know in Texas they used to hang horsethieves. Complain to the company they partnered with and you will see them go out of business!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Phred says

    Funny how the people on here complaining about “scam” are actually the ones who were trying to scam ShopRunner…

    HERE is a review from a ShopRunner CUSTOMER: I have used both Amazon Prime and ShopRunner and ShopRunner is superior. And I GLADLY pay the $79 annual fee because I have already made enough purchase in December to get my money’s worth and I still have 11 more months. I’m now getting my vitamins, and pet supplies with free express shipping (NOT slow ground shipping) and they keep adding more and more stores.

    ShopRunner is great for legitimate consumers, and I think that needs to be pointed out. Even according the self accounts of every person complaining: ShopRunner did NOT “scam” you — you attempted to scam THEM. And then you whine after you FAILED your part of the bargain.

    People like you make the cost of everything go up for all of the rest of us so I’m not a huge fan of whiny free-trial-abusers… If your goal in life is to scam companies out of free stuff — you’re probably best just keeping your credit card in your wallet in the first place. Trust me, those companies don’t need “customers” like you and neither do the rest of us.

  16. Sheri says

    Shoprunner provides little of what it promised. Items that were eligible for free shipping last time I ordered or no longer eligible. So the value of this service is fairly useless for me. Suppose to make my life easier. Sounds great when you have a new baby and sick husband. Makes my life more complicated in that everything I want to order doesn’t qualify. I think it is also bad customer service that they won’t let you cancel with a pro-rated refund.

  17. Roy says

    Shoprunner is a terrible value.

    There is not been a single item I have found on shoprunner that I can not find for significantly less from another vendor, and that includes accounting for shipping.

    Another horrible aspect is you go to their website and the advertise exclusive “deals” from their partners. Well you click on these so-called deals and the products they link to ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for the free shipping.

    Do not sign up for shoprunner.

  18. zhiges says

    SHOPRUNNER IS A SCAM INDEED.

    Why else would the membership be NON_REFUNDABLE, even if “YOU HAVEN’t USED THE SERVICES IN THE TIME OF ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP”

  19. Retired HFO says

    Pathetic Service. They do NOT ship via 2-day shipping if they think they can get away with. Meaning for many shipments, they use the SAME UPS Ground method that you would have received without upgrading.

    They will make the argument that the item will still arrive via their generous 2-day timetable. LISTEN UP mentally-challenged defenders of antiquated business practices, when someone signs up for 2-day shipping, they expect the item to be sent via a 2-day shipping method, not ups ground. Making an argument that the fine print lets you get away with something is NOT the same as saying something is RIGHT or WRONG. But like all pathetic businesses, Shoprunner is not capable of having the SAME CONVERSATION as those critiquing their BAD BUSINESS PRACTICES.

  20. Discusted says

    Shoprunner truly behaves like a bait and switch car salesman that makes huge promises, which would be a fair deal if real, only to pull the rug out from under you when it comes time deliver. I regularly buy a product from one, only one, of their participating businesses, and over one year’s time it would have been about right in cost to use shoprunner’s services on free shipping, if their representation of the facts held true. Maybe it was my own misunderstanding of the fine print, but why should that matter? I thought I was getting a service, that I was buying something that turned out to be not as I understood it was advertised; so I want my money back. This is how transactions of justice are performed. Not with shoprunner. They have a “gotchya” policy. I would never buy a service from any business locally or otherwise who practiced such psychopathic heartlessness. This company behaves like a psychopathic predator, viceous, unforgiving, wholly without regard for their own reputation…see how they malign their former customers’ and their complaints. This is a company that operates outside the norms of human morality, takes advantage of a business climate and ethos that is predatory in the most viceous sense of the term…it’s a subhuman business entity, and deserves the status of ‘pariah’, and public boycott. If this is how America does business, may it be sunk in oblivion.

  21. Matt says

    Shoprunner is truly a horrible company. I decided to try their trial for 30 days. I got quite a bit of use out of it. I saved over 400 in shipping. After that I subscribed for 1 full year. Within 3 weeks of service, my account was disabled. They claimed I was a reseller. They have absolutely no proof of this whatsoever. They refuse to give me a refund. The person on the phone told me that I used over 79 dollars worth of shipping, and this was why my account got flagged. That is right people, if you actually God forbid use 79 in shipping, they close your account. Do not buy their service, at best you break even.

  22. Angry says

    I cancelled my membership before the trial period ended but I never receive a email but I figured, it said online that it was cancelled so I have nothing to worry about. Next I know, I check my account and there is a charge of $79. Livid is a mild way of putting what I feel right now.

    I called customer service. They said, without a confirmation they’ll couldn’t refund my $79.00. They say they see nothing on their end. B.S. Of course they would say that because you have no confirmation number of the cancellation. Nothing like someone being held captive. YOu don’t plan on ever using the service again but you are out the $79 dollars. Too bad they say, to put it in my own words. They think more about the fee that they are getting then actually leaving a good taste in your mouth for the company. That is the opposite of customer service. If I planned on continuing to use it I would have not cancelled. But since I have no “proof” i didnt’ cancel. Sure, Now i’m going to go out and tell people that they should by an annual membership with Shoprunner. I’m going to speak good things about their customer service and compare them to Zappos and their superior customer service. Yeah right, I’m not going to recommend them. I’m not going to renew. Since they have my $79. I have to figure out where I’m going to use it. Am I happy about it. NO! So much for building up their reputation in a positive manner. Really. Why would I lie about cancelling. I liked their service but I didn’t plan on using it any more. Without saying it, they are calling me a liar and I blacklist companies that treat their customers like crap and try to get around refunding customers money. That is perfectingly “legal” but an idiot business practice. You don’t gain happy repeat customers by treating people like they did me.

    When you cancel, make sure you print out EVERYTHING from the computer screen. If you don’t get an email, CALL THEM! Have them send out an email with a confirmation #. If you don’t get it within a reasonable about of time, 5 minutes. Call them again and again and again until you get your money back!!!! The manager was probably looking at my cancellation but because I didn’t have an email, they said too freaking bad.

  23. Angry says

    @zhinges. YOu are completely on the ball there. I didn’t use it at all and still they said no. I cancelled but I didnt’ get a email and never followed up believing I had nothing to worry about. And that Phred person. How is using a free-trial scamming the company. That is the most idiotic thing I have every heard. Free-trial is a free-trial. Eventually you like a service and you buy the membership. And I suppose exchanging gifts after Christmas is a form of abuse as well. Give me a break. Just because its a free-trial doesn’t mean you are obligated to buy their service. I suppose you will be the judge at to what constitutes a free-trail abuser. Who made you judge and jury.

  24. CMW says

    Typically if I even see this many arguments over whether a company is a scam its a good sign that I should stay away no matter what. Additionally, I’ve read this EXACT review from “Phred” on other websites while investigating this company…. fake.

    But people who complain about being charged when they try to cancel on day 31 are idiots and had it coming. One thing shoprunner does do well is very clearly warn you that you will be charged if you don’t cancel in time.

  25. Christine says

    I signed up for this and wanted to keep the membership after the 30 days.
    I was then charged TWICE for the $79 fee…make sure you check your
    bank accounts!! After 2 phones calls (one with a Supervisor) and 2 emails, I still am
    being asked to send a copy of my bank statement so the corporate office can “review”
    it…obviously would NOT recommend this service

  26. DAvid says

    I tried shop runner and never used it for a whole 350 days. They said if you never used it for a year you can get your money back. When I canceled they credited a defunct old credit card with closed account. then then said it was my problem. I have never received a refund..

    TOTAL SCAM!! DONT DO IT! go to Amazon Prime!

  27. Marbled Pages says

    Will not respond to my requests to cancel membership.. This has dragged on beyond the dealing for cancellationl what should I do now? They are not prier and use unethical and illegal practices. If I stand to long waiting for their help will become an old lost story in the archives of letter of confusion an dimly. Aaargh!

  28. says

    SHOPRUNNER SCAMBUGS !

    Get this ! I never heard of “Shoprunner” . I never Email them ! Never subscribe to any two days shipping ! Just today a got my AMEX. bill and I see on november 28.2012 they charge me  79 dollars for services. They will pay for this dearly. how did they get my AMEX. number?

    What a filthy thews. 

  29. Guest says

    You guys do know that this is a subscription service? Are you guys all stupid or something? You have to cancel before the 30 days. Get with it.

  30. craiizee says

    About two years ago they offered the service free for a year, no credit card information required. I signed up & after a year they renewed my subscription for free. I’ve never had any problems with it, but I also wouldn’t pay $80 a year for it.

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