I have never seen free shipping from BBTS - I think they don't do it because they know that people will take advantage of their pile of loot feature.
I don't think these 1/4 scale figures really make it to brick and mortar stores - they take up too much shelf space and I don't think many stores are willing to dedicate that much space to them. TRU stores did carry wave 1 of the 1/4 scale Predators but I think they stopped after that wave and then just started selling them exclusively on their website.
And also, for what it worth, I check TRU.com nearly every day for new NECA items they put up for sale. I did see the 1/4 GD put up for one day and it was in stock and I debated getting it too. The next day it was pulled from their site from what I can tell.
So yeah, one day only - thats pretty fast for it to sell out.