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Best Buy to battle Amazon with free next-day shipping for the holiday season

(Image credit: Flickr (via Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine))

We are fast approaching the time of year when retailers mark down everything under the sun, and to further entice shoppers, Best Buy is offering free next-day shipping to almost everyone in the US (around 99 percent of Best Buy customers, the retail chain says).

The remaining 1 percent who fall out of bounds of the designated next-day shipping zones will still get free standard shipping on "thousands" of qualifying items.

That's well short of Amazon's free shipping offer for Prime members, which extends to millions of items. However, Best Buy's product catalog is narrower than Amazon's. This offer actually applies to most of what Best Buy carries, though larger and heavier items such as big screen TVs and refrigerators are excluded.

There's no membership required for this, though the next-day shipping offer necessitates a $35 minimum purchase. Otherwise, standard shipping is free for orders under $35.

Best Buy is also offering same-day delivery to 42 US metro cities, when placing a qualifying order by 3:00 pm local time (or 2:00 pm local time on Sundays).

It's worth keeping an eye on what kind of Black Friday deals Best Buy ends up offering. The free shipping perk also extends well beyond both Black Friday and Cyber Monday—it's already begun, and runs through December 25 (Christmas Day).