I avoid the mall during the holiday shopping season. Fighting for a parking spot is just too much for me. If I want something I just order them online.
Many online stores offer free shipping with a minimum purchase. Some waive the minimum order size from November to December. However, not many stores offer free return shipping.
Especially when it comes to clothing and shoes, if I’m not sure about sizes, I usually order two sizes, try them, and return one. Return shipping is getting quite expensive. Sending just a small 2-lb package costs $10. If the store has a local presence, I can do the return there, but then it involves going to the store and fighting for parking, which I wanted to avoid to begin with.
That’s where ShopRunner comes in. ShopRunner offers free shipping and free returns for many stores. Even if you can get free shipping from the store directly, the free return is a unique benefit for using ShopRunner.
Here’s a sample of stores ShopRunner works with:
Altogether there are over 100 stores working with ShopRunner. Clothing is the largest category, which is also where free return shipping is most useful.
The good thing is, if you have an American Express card, ShopRunner is free, not just free for the first year, but free indefinitely. It must be a “real” American Express card issued by American Express. American Express cards issued by Citi, PenFed, or Bank of America/FIA don’t count.
You just go to ShopRunner.com. Click on the small banner that says complimentary membership for eligible American Express card members.
You go through a verification process to show that you have an American Express card issued by American Express. They won’t charge your card.
When you are shopping online at a supported store, choose ShopRunner as the shipping method, which then prompts you to login with your ShopRunner user name and password. You would get free 2-day shipping, usually with no minimum purchase required. The order is then recorded at ShopRunner.
If you need to make a return, go to ShopRunner, find the order, and then click on return. You will get a free return label. You still fill out any return form the store wants you to fill out and you include it in the return package. You slap on the free return label and drop it off for UPS. That’s it.
In order to get free return shipping, the original order has to be shipped via ShopRunner. Therefore even if the store itself offers free shipping, you should still choose free shipping via ShopRunner.
I already used ShopRunner a few times this holiday shipping season. It works. Of course I wish it covers more stores, but since it’s free for just having an American Express card, I’m happy to use it wherever I can.