Know Your Holiday Shipping Deadlines

While Santa might wait till Christmas Eve to load up his sleigh and deliver all the holiday presents, online shoppers will need to put a little more planning into the holiday shopping to make sure that their holiday gifts arrive on time. This means knowing the standard, two-day and overnight shipping deadlines. Also be aware of any promotions that include free holiday shipping.

The good news for shoppers is that many retailers are planning to use free shipping as one of their incentives to keep you out of the store and shopping online. According to a recent holiday survey, four out of five retailers are planning to offer free shipping some point during the holiday season. More than 1,500 retailers will be participating in Friday, December 17th, Free Shipping Holiday Event. Why Friday? Because for many retailers the last day that you can order holiday gifts and send them by standard shipping for Christmas delivery is Saturday, December 18th.

If you’re a procrastinator, like Santa, and wait to order your holiday gifts after this weekend, make sure to keep these shipping deadlines in mind:

  • Two-Day Shipping – deadline is December 21st
  • Overnight Shipping – deadline is December 23rd

These are typical shipping deadlines. If you want to be sure, make sure to double-check your shipping options before selecting a method of delivery by a certain date. Other retailers just give you an estimate. I always recommend adding a day or two on those estimates because the Post Office, UPS and FedEx are overworked this time of year. Some retailers may require a signature for them to drop off the package so if you’re not going to be home, you might check and see if work will let you have your holiday gifts delivered there.

Remember, the later you wait to do your last minute online shopping, the more you could be paying for shipping. Don’t be like Santa and wait till the last minute to get presents under your tree.

About the Author

The following post is from Kathryn Katz, a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who works for Consolidated Credit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Their non-profit agency helps families through financial crisis using credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education.