Black Friday is approaching fast, and for those of us in the U.S., that might mean taking a trip to the mall, trekking to outlet stores, or just sitting down at our desks and placing online orders to have shipped to us at home. But for those serving abroad in the military, finding out which stores ship to APO/FPO addresses takes a little bit of research.
Several services, such as the AAFES, Oconus, Shipit.APO, and ENCS work with retailers and brands to facilitate the process of shipping to military families abroad.People in the military deployed overseas do a lot of shopping online. Some may find that AAFES can be overcrowded, doesn't have items in stock, or carry certain things. But many online stores do ship to APO addresses and provide effective service.
One fact to note and be cautious of is that, last year, Stars and Stripes reported that some retailers were over-charging customers for sending merchandise abroad (Walmart offered refunds to customers they charged for shipping and dropped the charge for future shipments). Merchants are not required to pay higher shipping costs to send packages to APO or FPO addresses, as the Department of Defense picks up the tab, so these costs should not be passed on to the consumer.
Many retailers ship to APO/FPO addresses for free. Here is a list of 10 retailers with shipping deals to APO/FPO military addresses this holiday season:
1. Sears. Sears offers free shipping for standard UPS shipments. Since sending APO/FPO items requires retailers to send items nationally, standard weight and size requirements on shipments exists.
It should also be noted that Sears had another great deal for the military this year: Heroes at Home Wish Registry offered gift cards for the military. The program is now closed, due to Sears receiving more than 25,000 applications in 24 hours; however, there should be another program next year.
2. Amazon. For orders over $25, Amazon provides free shipping this holiday season. For everyone, including soldiers.
3. Target. Target has a deal this year for customers who purchase orders for more than $50. Any shipments made to APO/FPO addresses qualify for this offer.
4. GameStop. On orders over $20, GameStop is also offering free shipping. Their shipping policy includes shipping to APO/FPO addresses.
6. Walmart. Walmart's International shipping rules stipulate that items it ships to APO/FPO addresses are clearly marked. This year, it is offering free shipping for standard shipping addresses.
7. Shop Zoolu. This baby store is military-friendly and ships to all APO/FPO addresses for free.
8. Puma. Puma has a few shipping deals this holiday season, specifically deals that ship to APO/FPO addresses for free.
9. Cheryls. This military-friendly gourmet cookie shop offers deals on shipping to military stationed overseas. Enjoy lots of treats abroad this holiday season.
10. Holiday LEDs. If you are in need of holiday decorations during your deployment overseas, Holiday LEDS offers free shipping to the troops stationed across the Atlantic.
10 Retailers With Shipping Deals to Military Families on Black Friday and Beyond