Shipping Deadlines Closing In

December 11, 2008
Special Feature

Want to make sure your holiday gift arrives by Christmas Eve? If you’re shopping on the Internet instead of at the mall, make sure you check the vendor’s shipping deadlines.

Want to make sure your holiday gift arrives by Christmas Eve? If you’re shopping on the Internet instead of at the mall, make sure you check the vendor’s shipping deadlines. Most of the big e-tailers, including Amazon and Target, have a December 18 deadline for standard shipping. (If you use Amazon’s free “Super Saver” shipping option, the deadline is December 17.) Others, like Barnes & Noble, have a December 16 deadline for standard shipping.

Best Buy is offering guaranteed arrival by December 24 if you order before 11:59 p.m. on December 21. If the gift is late, you get credit for the shipping costs plus a coupon worth $10 or $20 depending on the cost of the order. Barnes & Noble will guarantee on-time delivery if you order by December 18 and use the company’s “expedited” shipping, which is free if the order totals more than $25. And at most Internet sites, laggards can always choose to pay more money for next-day or two-day shipping.

These shipping deadlines are generally earlier if you’re planning to send a gift outside the lower 48 states. Some merchandise, usually large or heavy items, may also have to be shipped earlier. And if you’re shipping gifts for Hanukkah, which begins on December 21 this year, make sure you check shipping deadlines with the merchant.