Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Free Shipping Day

There are plenty of shopping days left until Christmas.

Of course, that's not a license to procrastinate, but who wants to shop for the holidays when we're working on our Halloween costumes?

Knowing how often I shop for gifts late in the season (I actually like holiday shopping during the holidays - crazy, huh?), I've already marked my calendar for Dec. 17, this year's Free Shipping Day.

This revolutionary idea is the brainchild of an entrepreneur I interviewed, Maisie Knowles, for my podcast this summer.

She and her husband Luke founded FreeShipping.org in 2007. Last year, they had a last-minute brainstorm and created Free Shipping Day in time for the 2008 holiday shopping season. They were surprised to get participation from 250 retailers and 250,000 visitors in a 10-day period, including over 100,000 visitors on the actual day itself.

This year, the Knowles' expect to attract more than 500 retailers. If you're a small business owner selling online, it's an idea that worth considering.

How does it work? Free Shipping Day occurs on the last possible 24-hour period when retailers can guarantee on-time delivery by Christmas Eve. Retailers who participate promise to provide free shipping for online orders placed on that day. So far, merchants like Toys R Us, Babies R Us, FAO Schwartz, eToys, Baby Universe and Crate & Barrel have confirmed they will participate this year.

My calendar is marked; how about yours?

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