We’ve reached the final few days before the holidays, and in the interest of getting gifts delivered on time — and not paying handsomely for shipping — you should be wrapping up your shopping as soon as you can.
Thankfully, several retailers are making those shopping duties cheap and easy by offering free and fast shipping. It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little stress, but you can avoid at least some of it by finishing up your shopping before the window for on-time delivery comes to a close.
As of publish time, a couple of retailers haven’t released their holiday schedules yet; we’ve noted that where relevant. We’ve also listed the delivery windows for FedEx, UPS, and the USPS in case you are shipping packages yourself.
Store pickup is always the best way to ensure you get your gifts in time, but (especially this year when many of us are staying at home) it’s luckily not your only option. While we’re still waiting for Walmart’s holiday cutoff dates, these are Walmart’s usual shipping arrangements:
Walmart’s free NextDay shipping is available for certain orders over $35; under $35, it costs $5.99 Other items are available for two-day or three- to five-day shipping, depending on the item; shipping is free for orders over $35 and costs $5.99 if they are under $35
We’re still waiting for Amazon’s holiday shipping calendar, but as is always the case, you’ll get your gifts faster if you have an Amazon Prime subscription.
If you have Prime, have an order of at least $35, and live in an eligible ZIP code, you can get Same-Day Delivery on certain items. Same-Day Delivery will not be available on Christmas Day. Most other items are available for two-day delivery if you are a Prime member If you are not a Prime member, shipping times and rates will be determined during checkout
Target provided the following statement to The Verge for the 2020 holiday shopping season:
We’re using our nearly 1,900 stores, just miles from 75% of the population, to fulfill online orders and give guests choices in how they get their online purchases. The fastest and most convenient way to shop online at Target is via our contactless same-day services – with Shipt delivery offered nationwide, and free Order Pickup and Drive Up at nearly every Target store. These services have orders ready the same day, and can be delivered or picked up whenever a guest chooses – no membership required.
While same-day services are the fastest growing and most popular, we also anticipate shipping millions of items out the back of our local stores, which reduces the distance and time it takes for delivery. We don’t have a broad cutoff date to share at this time, but our guests are always able to see the date an item will arrive before checking out. Guests in need of last-minute gifts or other holiday items will have the option to place same-day pickup and delivery orders up to two hours before their local Target store closes on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24).
Through the holidays, Best Buy’s minimum purchase amount to receive free shipping on online orders is $35.
December 21st is the cutoff date in most areas for large home delivery items, but there are exceptions. The earliest delivery date will be available when you check out. For select items, you can check out before 8PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, to get your deliveries by December 24th In select areas, 12PM local time on December 24th is the cutoff for same-day delivery Lastly, 5PM local time on December 24th is the cutoff for store pickup
Here are the holiday shipping and return policies for Apple, Google, Microsoft and others
Shipping gifts yourself?
If you’re picking up gifts and shipping them yourself, there are a few important dates to keep in mind:
Shipping via FedEx: December 15th is the cutoff date for Ground and Home Delivery parcels, December 21st for Express Saver, December 22nd for 2Day service, and December 23rd for overnight service Shipping via UPS: December 21st is the cutoff date for 3 Day Select shipping, December 22nd for 2nd Day Air service, and December 23rd for Next Day Air service Shipping via USPS: December 18th is the cutoff date for First-Class deliveries, December 19th for Priority Mail, and December 23rd for Priority Mail Express
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