Free Shipping Day set for Friday

NEW YORK (AP) ? Dread the thought of braving the holiday shopping crowds? Consider shopping online this Friday.

More than 2,000 retailers have signed up so far to offer some type of free shipping for the fourth annual Free Shipping Day. The one-day event gives procrastinators incentives to shop online and have their purchases delivered by Christmas Eve.

The idea behind the day is to keep shoppers spending online in mid-December, when some worry it’s too late place orders for the holidays.

The exact terms of retailers’ offers will be revealed on at midnight of the designated day. Participating retailers include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Jos. A Bank, Lands’ End, Sears, Sephora and Zales.

Before you leap at a free shipping offer, however, be sure to check the policy on returns. Retailers may require customers to pick up the cost of mailing back unwanted items. If it’s an exchange, shoppers may need to foot the bill for shipping the new item as well.