Ordering holiday gifts? Check these top retailers' policies and deadlines

Ordering holiday gifts? Check these top retailers’ policies and deadlines

Specialists advise shoppers to buy presents, and ship, early for the vacations this yr, as supply-chain snags and price cuts on the U.S. Postal Service sluggish deliveries. It is also sensible to verify retailers’ web sites for transport and supply deadline policies. Many massive retailers now supply same-day and last-minute supply choices in addition to longer operating hours.

Here is what you have to learn about main retailers’ and shippers’ deadlines to make sure holiday packages arrive on time. 


Check the web large’s Holiday 2021 web page for particulars on how greatest to get your present delivered by the holiday. Scrutinize the supply cart window fastidiously for up to date dates and instances. Check Amazon’s shipping and delivery policy page.

Amazon will ship to via Dec. 24 “whether they chose to shop now or later,” a spokesman stated. Final yr, particular holiday dates had been launched in mid-December. 

Amazon invested in its transport and logistics programs forward of the holiday seasons. Service enhancements included including extra ports-of-entry, increasing its plane fleet and including tens of hundreds of employees, the corporate stated on its website. Nonetheless, the tight labor market means hiring stays a problem, Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon’s international shopper enterprise toutdated CBS’s Face The Nation late final month. 


Holiday transport deadlines range by product, in keeping with Apple’s website. Newer mannequin iPhones could be ordered by Dec. 22, whereas most iPad ordering deadlines for supply have already handed. 

If the “order by” date has handed, Apple gives on-line looking for in-stock gadgets for pickup at an area Apple retailer or two-hour courier supply. To ship a bodily present card, order by Dec. 21, in keeping with the web site.

Greatest Purchase

Greatest Purchase gives free transport for orders — on what it says are hundreds of things (together with main home equipment and televisions) — above $35. The payment is waived for members of its Elite and Elite Plus packages. Check the shop’s website for particulars on transport prices and timing.

Greatest Purchase additionally provides shoppers the choice to select up purchases at greater than 16,000 alternate areas, corresponding to brick-and-mortar FedEx and CVS shops. Like many retailers, Greatest Purchase additionally gives contactless curbside pickup choices.


The net service that helps impartial bookstores recommends transport via USPS precedence mail or UPS floor no later than December 10. It has prolonged the location’s common return coverage to 21 days through the season, in keeping with its website


On its web site, Costco warns shoppers of potential “small parcel” transport delays and advises clients to enroll in UPS “My Choice” program and join textual content updates from Costco. 

“Should we encounter any unexpected issues after you order, we will email you,” in keeping with a statement on its web site. Costco would not anticipate any delays for giant gadgets like furnishings, grills, mattresses and home equipment.  A whole lot of “additional” non-food gadgets can be found to be delivered through Instacart, the corporate stated.

To determine if same-day supply is accessible, search for the “Quickest Delivery/Shop Same-Day Now” button on the merchandise web page. 

L.L. Bean

For a lot of the attire maker’s merchandise, order by midnight (Japanese on Dec. 20 to get free transport on orders of $50 or extra. In case you are transport to a P.O. field, orders have to be in by Dec. 9. Categorical transport is not accessible to P.O. packing containers after Dec. 9 at midnight, in keeping with the corporate’s website.


Macy’s on-line ordering deadline is 5 p.m. Japanese on December 22 to obtain gadgets through customary supply by December 25. The retailer, which additionally operates Bloomingdales, offers a number of pickup choices together with contactless curbside pickup; purchase on-line, choose up in retailer; and same-day supply through DoorDash, in keeping with an organization statement.


Goal gives same-day delivery via its Shipt service and has beefed up its curbside pickup spots at retailer websites, the corporate said in October. 

Shoppers can join a $99 annual membership to Shipt to obtain limitless same-day supply on certified Goal orders of $35 or extra, or pay $9.99 per order, in keeping with Goal’s website


Walmart gives free next-day supply on on-line orders over $35 within the continental U.S., although if the acquisition is not eligible a $6 payment will probably be tacked on. So verify the free-shipping web page on the shop’s website for particulars.

Walmart just lately prolonged its supply instances two hours to 10 p.m. The retail large additionally gives same-day, in-store pickup for on-line orders. Beware, although: You possibly can’t choose up some purchases, like gadgets heavier than 350 pounds.

Identical-day supply choices

Many different retailers additionally supply some type of same-day supply via companies like DoorDash or Instacart if the merchandise is in inventory, with some solely in choose markets and usually for a payment primarily based on an inventory compiled by blackfriday.com. They embody Big Lots, Bloomingdale’s, GameStop, Office Depot & OfficeMax, PetSmart and Sephora.

Shippers: USPS, FedEx and UPS

The USPS, FedEx and UPS launched advisable ship-by dates for presents to be delivered in time for the December 25 holiday. Right here they’re, in keeping with the shippers’ web sites.


Continental U.S.:

  • December 15: USPS retail floor service
  • December 17: First-class mail service (together with holiday greeting playing cards)
  • December 17: First-class packages (as much as 16 ounces
  • December 18: Precedence mail service
  • December 23: Precedence mail categorical service

USPS For Air/Military/Fleet/Diplomatic submit workplace addresses:

  • November 6: Retail floor service
  • December 9: Precedence mail and first-class mail
  • December 16: Precedence mail categorical navy service

USPS Alaska and Hawaii: 

  • December 17: Hawaii to/from mainland — precedence mail and first-class mail
  • December 18: Alaska to/from Continental U.S. — first-class and precedence mail 
  • December 21: Alaska to/from Continental U.S. and Hawaii to/from mainland — precedence mail categorical


  • December 9: floor financial system
  • December 15: floor and residence supply
  • December 21: categorical saver
  • December 22: two day and two-day a.m.
  • December 23: in a single day companies
  • December 24: identical day


  • Floor transport, verify the web site for pricing quote
  • December 22: second-day air companies 
  • December 23: next-day air companies
  • December 25: no pickup service, UPS holiday 
  • Notice: UPS’ service guarantee remains to be suspended for many companies as a result of COVID-19
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