Free Shipping Day Saves Cash (and Grief) for Last-Minute Holiday Buys

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Still putting off buying Christmas gifts? Today’s the day to stop procrastinating. (via It’s Your Money)

That’s because it’s Free Shipping Day, the annual event where more than 1,500 online retailers are offering free shipping on all items, with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. And these stores aren’t small potatoes — big-name brands like Sears, Dell, Barnes & Noble and L.L. Bean are participating. The promotion started in 2008 in an attempt to help merchants by extending the holiday season, and help last-minute shoppers get great deals.

(See TIME’s holiday gift guide.)

If you can’t find the perfect gift online today, you probably won’t find it at all. Free Shipping Day founder Luke Knowles told TIME that massive retailers and specialty stores alike are jumping to give you a discount.

The number of merchants participating in Free Shipping Day has increased quite a bit year to year. Last year 750 merchants participated, which was up from 250 the year before. This year we were hoping to have over 1,000 merchants participate, but we’ve passed that by far. Part of this is due to the fact that we’ve seen a large increase in smaller merchants that sell unique one-of-a-kind items. For example, more than 40 Etsy stores will be participating this year.

See the full Q&A with Knowles at It’s Your Money.