Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, which makes navigating this busy shipping season just a little more difficult. You’ll probably see a day or two added on top of normal delivery estimates for almost every mail carrier, so the best course of action is to have all of your shopping and shipping completed in the first half of December.
Of course, there are always special circumstances (like procrastination and forgetfulness) that may have you scrambling just days before the big gift exchange. To help you manage the Christmastime crunch, we’ve gathered some shipping deadlines from major carriers and online retailers so your gift can make it under the tree with plenty of time to spare.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines for USPS, UPS, and FedEx
USPS Christmas Shipping Deadlines
Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail
Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express Service
Dec. 19 – UPS 3 Day Select
Dec. 21 – UPS 2nd Day Air
Dec. 22 – UPS Next Day Air
Dec. 12 – FedEx SmartPost
Dec. 16 – FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
Dec. 20 – FedEx Express Saver
Dec. 21 – FedEx 2Day A.M. and FedEx 2Day
Dec. 22 – FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx Standard Overnight
Dec. 23 – FedEx SameDay City (Standard)
Dec. 25 – FedEx SameDay and FedEx SameDay City (Priority)
Holiday Ordering Deadlines for Online Retailers
This year, Amazon is one of the few major online retailers to guarantee Christmastime delivery. Other stores are simply warning of extra processing and transit times, and not giving order cutoff dates, which means you’re left making a judgment call on whether to stick with free standard shipping or pay for expedited delivery.
Below are tips and guidelines for some of the more popular stores within the Slickdeals community:
Amazon.com Ordering Cutoff Date (Guaranteed delivery by end of day Dec. 24)
- Dec. 16 – Free Shipping
- Dec. 19 – Standard Shipping
- Dec. 22 – Two-Day Shipping (Free with Prime)
- Dec. 23 – One-Day Shipping (In select cities. Free with Prime)
- Dec. 24 – 9:30 am local time – Same-Day Delivery (In select cities. Free with Prime)
- Dec. 24 – 9:45 pm local time – Two-Hour Delivery (In select cities. Free and exclusive for Prime Members via Prime Now)
Best Buy (Free standard shipping on everything through Dec. 24)
Note: some items take extra days to process before shipping — refer to the estimated arrival date on the checkout page.
- Standard Shipping – Three to seven shipping days
- Two Day Shipping – Two shipping days
- One Day Shipping – One shipping day
- Same Day Shipping – in select areas
Last year, the only guarantee that Kohl’s would make was on their one-day shipping, and the ordering cutoff was Dec. 20 – not a lot of confidence in their service, if you ask me.
Additional processing time will add to the already lengthened eight business days for standard shipping during the holiday season. Plan accordingly.
Target (Free standard shipping through Jan. 1, 2017)
Choose free Holiday Shipping Delivery for eligible items to receive your order before the holiday. Make note that Target’s normal shipping options do not include weekend deliveries (Christmas Eve is on Saturday this year.)
- Standard Shipping – up to five business days, no weekend deliveries
- Premium Shipping – within two business days, no weekend deliveries
- Express Shipping – within one business day, no weekend deliveries
Note that holiday orders can take up to two days to process before they ship; marketplace orders can take up to three business days to process.
- Newegg Ground Delivery: up to five business days
- Super Eggsaver Shipping: up to seven business days
Toys R Us
Enjoy free holiday shipping on purchases $19 and up — allow up to nine business days for delivery.