Why You Always Need to Check Shipping Prices When Looking at Deals


Like the new business cards I just ordered? A few weeks ago, I purchased a deal from Living Social which was $10 for $50 at Vistaprint. I had used referral credits (thanks everyone) so I didn't actually pay anything for the deal itself.

Prior to purchasing the deal, I spoke with someone from Vistaprint and she told me the deal didn't include shipping but that I could use it to pay for shipping so I thought I'd be able get stuff for completely free if I kept the purchase and shipping total under $50. Turns out she was incorrect in her information and Vistaprint's shipping is not always cheap.

I got my purchase as close to $50 without going over but the shipping for that purchase was going to be $19. That's when I noticed something on the top of the page. It stated that if I spent $25 over the value of my voucher, I'd get free shipping. I hadn't planned on purchasing $75 worth of merchandise but since I would already be spending $19 in shipping, an extra $6 for $25 worth of stuff seemed worth it.

I also discovered that I could add free items and have them included in that free shipping. I looked around the site and ended up getting lots of goodies, including stuff I can use for my students. For a total of $25.39 I got:
  • 250 free business cards
  • 2500 premium business cards
  • 1 "Great Job!" blue ink stamp
  • 1 "Keep It Up" blue ink stamp
  • 25 checks
  • 1 "Making Cents of It" pen

I did upgrade the free items to bring my total up, including changing the ink color of the free stamp and removing the Vistaprint logo from the business cards.  I tried a few different combinations of upgrades until I found the lowest price over $25.

The point of this post is to remind you all that a good deal can easily turn sour if you don't consider the final cost of a promotion. With online deals, check the cost of shipping. With in store and restaurant deals, make sure to see if the fine print mentions a minimum purchase.


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