If you have not heard, the U.S. Mint is offering free standard shipping starting today at noon eastern time through September 30, 2013. This means that all orders made over the telephone (800-USA-MINT or 800-872-6468) or their online catalog will not be charged the $4.95 shipping costs regardless of the purchase price and size of the order.
Expedited shipping will be charged only the UPS 2nd Day Air fee of $12.95.
Bag and box orders will be charged only the $7.95 surcharge.
If your order qualifies for free expedited shipping upgrades by costing more than $300, then your expedited shipping will be free.
Because this offer is only for domestic standard shipping service, international orders will continue to be charged $14.95 + $2.95 per item.
Although the U.S. Mint has not announced why they are doing this, they might feel that they need collectors to spend more money in order raise revenues. Since the U.S. Mint is largely self-sustaining, revenue projections may be lower because of the lowered production, the lack of enthusiasm for commemorative coins, and a reduction in sales of bullion products as the costs of precious metals continue to trade off their highs from earlier this year.
Since this offer will be good through the end of September, I probably will not buy anything from the U.S. Mint at the World’s Fair of Money. After all, I think it will be easier to have my collectibles shipped home than have to schlep it through the airport.