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Free and Affordable Shipping for Australian Shoppers

Online shopping provides a hassle-free and enjoyable method to purchase desired products from the comfort of your home. However, shipping costs can sometimes deter potential buyers. It is disheartening to pay more for delivery than the actual item price.

Thankfully, there are strategies to reduce shipping expenses while shopping online in Australia. This guide aims to assist you by offering tips and tricks to obtain free or reasonably priced shipping for your online purchases. Additionally, we will suggest reputable online shopping platforms that provide free shipping, promo codes, and other advantages specifically for Australian customers.

## Why is shipping so expensive in Australia?

There are several reasons why shipping is relatively expensive in Australia:

  1. Limited carrier competition: Australia Post dominates the domestic market, while international shipping is mainly handled by DHL, FedEx, UPS, and TNT. These carriers have higher operating costs and profit margins, which are passed on to consumers.
  2. Low population density and vast distances: With a population of around 25 million spread over a vast area of 7.7 million square kilometers, there are fewer customers per delivery and longer distances to cover. This increases fuel and labor costs for carriers.
  3. Complex customs and quarantine regulations: Australia has stringent rules for importing goods, particularly for food, plants, animals, and biosecurity risks. Additional paperwork, inspections, fees, and delays are required to comply with these regulations, adding to the overall shipping costs.
  4. Exchange rate fluctuations and inflation: Fluctuations in the Australian dollar against other currencies can impact the cost of importing goods. Additionally, inflation can increase the overall cost of living and doing business in Australia, affecting the prices of goods and services, including shipping.

These factors collectively contribute to the relatively higher shipping costs in Australia.

6 in 10 are shopping online every 2-3 weeks, maintaining the frequency of shopping over the last year
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Source: IAB Australia

## Online Shoppers: How to save money on shipping costs when shopping online in Australia

Despite the higher shipping costs in Australia, there are effective methods to reduce or even avoid them when shopping online. Consider the following strategies:

  • Seek out free shipping offers: Many online shopping sites provide free shipping for orders that meet specific criteria, such as a minimum order value or enrollment in a membership program. For instance, Amazon offers free delivery on millions of eligible items to Amazon Prime members, while THE ICONIC offers free shipping on orders over $50. Utilize resources like Finder’s free shipping guide to identify online retailers that offer free shipping to Australia.
  • Utilize promo codes and coupons: Take advantage of promo codes and coupons to secure free or discounted shipping on your online purchases. Websites like Finder, OzBargain, and RetailMeNot frequently feature such codes. Additionally, consider subscribing to newsletters or following social media accounts of your preferred online stores to receive promotional offers. Remember to review the terms and conditions of promo codes and coupons, as they may have expiration dates or minimum spending requirements.
  • Compare prices and shipping options: It’s always wise to compare prices and shipping options before making a purchase online. Different websites may offer varying prices or shipping methods. Some sites may include shipping costs in the product price, while others charge them separately. Tools like Google Shopping, Shopbot, or Price Hipster can assist you in comparing prices and deals from multiple online stores.
  • Shop locally or regionally: Opting to shop from local or regional online stores can help you save on shipping costs. These stores often have shorter delivery distances and lower customs fees compared to international stores. Additionally, supporting local businesses not only reduces shipping expenses but also promotes the local economy and minimizes environmental impact.
On average, 5.5 million Australian households made at least one online purchase each month. Shipping
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Source: Australia Post

Some of the best local or regional online shopping sites in Australia are:

Here are some notable online shopping sites in Australia that offer free shipping, promo codes, and other benefits:

  1. Kogan: Kogan is a renowned online retailer that offers a diverse range of products, including electronics, appliances, furniture, fashion, and more. With a Kogan First membership, you can enjoy free shipping on eligible items, fast dispatch, and convenient payment options like Afterpay and Zip.
  2. Etsy: Etsy is a global marketplace known for connecting buyers with sellers offering handmade, vintage, and unique goods. While free shipping may vary by seller, you can filter your search on Etsy to find Australian sellers and potentially discover items with free shipping.
  3. SHEIN: SHEIN is a popular global fashion site offering trendy and affordable clothing, shoes, accessories, and more for women, men, and kids. By making a purchase of $59 or more, you can benefit from free shipping. SHEIN also provides free returns and exchanges within 60 days and accepts Afterpay as a payment option.
  4. Myer: Myer is Australia’s largest department store chain, offering a wide range of products such as fashion, beauty, homewares, and toys. Myer provides free shipping on orders over $49, allowing you to save on shipping costs. Additionally, Myer offers free returns within 30 days and accepts Afterpay and Zip as payment options.

These online shopping sites can provide you with opportunities to save on shipping costs and enjoy additional benefits while making your purchases.

    • Shop in bulk or bundle your orders: By purchasing items in bulk or bundling multiple orders together, you can often reach the minimum spend threshold required for free shipping. This helps you avoid individual shipping fees and take advantage of the cost-saving benefits of free shipping. Additionally, consider coordinating with friends or family members to combine orders and share the shipping costs, further reducing expenses. However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid overbuying or purchasing unnecessary items solely to meet the minimum spend requirement, as this may result in spending more than you intended.
    • Choose a slower or cheaper delivery option: If time is not a critical factor, opting for a slower or cheaper delivery option can help save on shipping costs. Many online shopping sites provide different delivery options with varying prices and estimated delivery times. Selecting a standard or economy shipping method instead of express or priority shipping can significantly reduce shipping expenses. Additionally, some sites offer the option to pick up your order from a nearby store or locker, which may eliminate shipping fees altogether. However, ensure that you carefully review the tracking information and delivery confirmation to avoid any potential issues or delays.

    By implementing these strategies, you can effectively minimize shipping costs and make your online shopping experience more cost-efficient in Australia.

    ## Quick takeaways

    By implementing these various strategies, Australian customers can effectively save money on shipping costs when shopping online. It’s essential to explore different options and take advantage of available offers, such as free shipping, promo codes, and discounts. Comparing prices and shipping options and shopping locally or regionally can also contribute to significant savings. Additionally, considering factors such as bulk purchases, slower delivery options, and splitting shipping costs with others can help reduce expenses.

    Remember to stay informed about the latest deals and promotions from online retailers and use resources like promo code websites, price comparison tools, and local shopping guides to make the most of your online shopping experience in Australia. With careful planning and smart shopping strategies, you can enjoy the convenience of online shopping while keeping shipping costs manageable.

    Happy shopping!

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