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Free shipping day and how to ship gifts successfully

Friday - 12/13/2013, 7:26am  ET

gift present Christmas (Thinkstock)
When shipping gifts, leave one inch of space around each item and pad the package thoroughly with something more reliable than newspaper. (Thinkstock)

10 smart shipping tips and shipping deadlines

Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert

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WASHINGTON - As a push to get consumers to buy, a lot of big retailers are offering free shipping this coming Wednesday.

"It's December 18, it's free shipping day. Hundreds of retailers are going to be offering free shipping with no minimum order required and guaranteed delivery by Christmas," says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch.

"So you can even pick up some of those easy stocking-stuffers online without paying for shipping!"

Some retailers are setting Friday, Dec. 13, as the last day for shipping deals, so check with individual stores.

Sites such as lastsleighdays.com list retailers' shipping deadlines, so shoppers can avoid paying for expedited shipping to get their gift under the tree in time.

Before you go stand in line to send boxes to your loved ones, Woroch says make sure to pack with care. Leave one inch of space around each item and pad the package thoroughly with something more reliable than newspaper, she says.

"Make sure its a sturdy box - that it's not old or used. UPS found that even if there's a few creases in the box, it increases the possibility of damage by 70 percent," Woroch says.

Some states will not accept some fruits, or wine, or even batteries, so shippers need to check the U.S. Postal Service website for the shipping regulations.

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