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.
We’ve also listed the delivery windows for FedEx, UPS, and the USPS in case you are shipping packages yourself.
As is always the case, you’ll get your gifts faster if you have an Amazon Prime subscription. And it’s always a good idea to check to see if your purchase is eligible for any of the following delivery options since Amazon uses many third-party vendors whose products may not qualify.
- If you have Prime, have an order over $35, and live in an eligible ZIP code, you can get Same-Day Delivery on certain items through December 24th
- You can get One-Day Delivery for eligible products through December 23rd, free for Prime members with no minimum purchase
- If you’re a Prime member in select cities, you can take advantage of two-hour grocery delivery through December 24th. In addition, Amazon stores such as Whole Foods Market and Amazon Pop-Up will be open on Christmas Eve.
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. Walmart’s pickup and delivery options are for eligible items and a $35 order minimum.
- Walmart’s free NextDay shipping will be available for eligible items until December 21st at 2PM local time
- Free Two-Day delivery is available for eligible items until December 19th at 2PM local time
- Pickup and delivery slots from local stores are available to book through December 24th at 4PM local time, pending availability. (Check using your Walmart app.)
- Express Delivery lets you order by 1PM local time through December 24th for delivery in two hours or less, pending availability
- And finally, if you want to pick up your order at a local store on December 24th, you should make the order by December 23rd at 4PM local time
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
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