It's that time of year, when "free shipping this," "free shipping that" offers are everywhere.
This is, to be sure, a free shipping promotion with a difference.
"Sign up" here to purchase, say, an evil eye bracelet. Cost: $12. Provenance: Greece — which just so happens to be one of the cities served by upstart airline Norwegian, the JetBlue of Europe. Get lucky, and you can "free shipping" yourself and a friend to Greece, along with the bracelet.
To be clear, this is a lottery — not, precisely, a flash sale. This is the twist: Not everyone will get to "free ship" themselves across the ocean for the price of a couple Frappuccinos. It works more like a raffle than a sale: Sign up, get picked at random, and take advantage of your seriously reduced ticket price. "It's like 20 different sweepstakes," explains Ad Age.
"This time of year, every retailer on the planet is touting free shipping like it's the best thing ever. But why should all the stuff we buy get to globetrot for free instead of us?" Stevie Archer, group creative director at McKinney, asked Ad Age. We can see that, and we appreciate it. But does it make us a grinch if we wish Norwegian had plowed all the money they spent advertising this promotion (in pursuit of those ever-covetable millennials) into lowering ticket prices — even farther — across the board?