Holiday shipping deadlines: how to get your gifts on time

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The same thing happens year after year. Things get busy with work, school, and life in general until suddenly you find yourself racing against time as you race your gifts to your local post office, FedEx store, or UPS location. We’ve all been there – in fact every year I find myself in this predicament in one way or another – but we’d love to help you plan your next move and ship your holiday packages.

If you plan on sending your gifts via traditional mail, here are the upcoming domestic shipping deadlines for various retailers and carriers so you can make sure your packages arrive before Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or whatever holiday you’re celebrating this time of year. year. Hopefully it helps you avoid some holiday stress, if at all possible.

With UPS, you have until Thursday, December 22 to ship via Next Day Air and have your package arrive on Christmas Eve, December 24. Wednesday 21 December is the last day to ship via 2nd Day Air if you want your package to arrive on Christmas Eve. You can choose UPS’s 3 Day Select option until Tuesday, December 20th to have it arrive on the 23rd. Before that time you can opt for the normal collection and delivery service to get your packages to where they need to be on time. Learn more about UPS shipping deadlines here.

FedEx’s Same Day shipping can get your package where it’s needed on Friday, December 23. That’s the last day FedEx can guarantee your package will arrive before Christmas. If you send it by Wednesday December 21, you can choose the 2-day shipping method. If you manage to get it to FedEx on Tuesday, December 20, you can take the Express Saver route and (hopefully) pay a reasonable fee for shipping. Learn more about Fedex shipping times here.

Friday, December 23 is the last day to ship packages (and have them arrive on Christmas Eve) through USPS via the Priority Mail Express service. The deadline for Priority Mail shipments is Monday, December 19, to arrive on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, first-class postal packages and packages that you want to send via Retail Ground must be sent before Saturday 17 December. Learn more about USPS shipping deadlines here.

Illustration by Alex Castro / Acutely

Amazon 2022 Deadlines

  • If you subscribe to Amazon Prime and live in an eligible US zip code, you can receive same-day delivery for select items through December 24. You must meet the ‘minimum threshold’ of eligible items in your shopping cart. Whatever that means, this helpful post breaks it down as “over $25 in certain cities” or with a “rate of $2.99 ​​per order”.
  • Prime members can get one-day delivery on eligible products with no minimum purchase amount until December 23, or two-day delivery until December 22.
  • If you’re a Prime member in select US cities, you can take advantage of two-hour grocery delivery through December 24.

Shipping times and prices may vary depending on product type, size, and whether it ships directly from Amazon or a third-party seller. So make sure you check the expected arrival date at checkout and then make your choice.

Best Buy logo superimposed over white and yellow labels.

Illustration by Kristen Radtke

Best Buy 2022 deadlines

  • If you’re a subscriber to Best Buy’s Totaltech program, you can get free same-day or next-day shipping (depending on your zip code) and there’s no minimum order.
  • Customers who don’t subscribe to Totaltech must cross the $35 order threshold (before taxes but after coupons), and select items are available for next-day and standard shipping.
  • December 21 is the cut-off date for home deliveries of large items in most areas, but there are exceptions. The earliest available delivery date will be displayed when you check out.
  • Free next day delivery is available for select items through December 23.
  • In certain areas, December 24 is the deadline for same-day delivery. If you place your order before 2:00 PM local time, you will receive it the same day before 9:00 PM local time.
  • Finally, since Best Buy stores are closed on Christmas Day and December 24 is the closing date for in-store pickup. If you place an order before 5:00 PM local time on December 24, it should be ready for in-store pickup before 7:00 PM local time the same day.

Best Buy shipment arrival dates may vary depending on the type of item you receive. Major appliances may also take longer to ship at this time.

A stock photo of the Walmart logo

Illustration by Kristen Radtke

Walmart 2022 Deadlines

Walmart has not provided specific dates for its 2022 vacation plans. The edge has contacted Walmart for current information and we will update this notice as we receive it.

However, in the past, the retailer has offered in-store pickup until December 24, pending availability, as long as you place your order before December 23. The retailer also offers free next-day and two-day shipping to Walmart Plus subscribers with no minimum order, though the arrival date of your package may vary depending on whether Walmart ships your item or is a third-party seller.

The Target logo on a repeating pink and white bullseye illustration

Illustration by Kristen Radtke

Aim for 2022 deadlines

As with Walmart, Target has not shared its holiday shipping information for 2022. What’s below is accurate in terms of shipping policies, though we’ll update this post if Target provides updated information.

  • Target RedCard credit cardholders enjoy free two-day shipping on many items from the big red retailer’s site. Eligible orders must be placed before December 21.
  • Many, but not all, orders over $35 qualify for free two-day shipping, even without a RedCard. It is determined by the location of the item and your zip code.
  • Target also offers same-day shipments from its stores with a service called Shipt. A subscription to Shipt includes unlimited deliveries on orders over $35 for $99 per year. Alternatively, through the Target site, you can pay per order for same-day shipping with Shipt. Shipping costs may vary depending on your location and the contents of the order. Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions that can help you.
  • Items in stock at your local Target can be ordered for pickup and will be ready in under two hours. It helps to choose the desired location as “My Store” in the top left corner of Target’s page, so that each product listing automatically indicates whether the item can be ready for pickup there.
  • Target stores are open on Christmas Eve, though it’s best to get pick-up orders and orders for same-day shipping before Dec. 23 to be on the safe side.

As with Walmart and Amazon, be aware if an item is shipped or sold by a third party at Target, which can result in longer turnaround times. Product listings usually describe your options for pickup, same-day delivery, and standard shipping—complete with estimated availability times—before you add them to your cart.

Update 4:50 PM ET, Dec 9, 2022: Accurate shipping dates and related information added to this post for the 2022 holiday season.

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