The premise behind Amazon's year-round offer is pretty simple: Spend $25 or more, get free five- to eight-day shipping. Getting there on small orders, however, can be a little more complicated. While Amazon shows mercy by granting a free shipping mulligan to consumers pre-ordering $24.99 Blu-ray copies of
or even the $20.99 Blu-ray version of Angelina Jolie's
, those paying $24.99 for the Michael Cera-led comic book comedy
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Blu-Ray/DVD+digital copy combo pack still get hit with a $2.98 shipping fee.
There are many ways to show Amazon packers how cheap you can be in pursuit of that Super Saver shipping.
So how do you get Amazon's free shipping without adding another item that will likely cost more than the shipping fee? The answer is filler, and Amazon shoppers have turned it into an art form. One shopper-compiled filler list includes a library of Dover Thrift and Signet Classic public-domain $1 to $4 book reprints, including a festive $1 Super Saver shipping-eligible copy of Charles Dickens'
. Other sub-$3 options include a 93-cent
, a $1.99
and a $1.50 collection of
Hunting down free-shipping-eligible items may cost you more time than that $2.98 is worth, which is why it's best to let someone else do it for you. The
lets consumers enter the small amount standing between their item and free shipping and pulls up dozens of low-budget, shipping-eligible options. Short by a dime? Pick up a 16-cent pack of
. Does dad really want a Blu-ray copy of the obscure 2008 Val Kilmer action vehicle
but the 50-cent shortfall is giving you second thoughts? Turn it into your own little game by sending him the movie with a
. You'll not only get free shipping, but the added entertainment value of seeing which one he'll still be using next holiday season.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.
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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.