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While some folks still head to the stores on Black Friday and throughout December, many of us are turning to the web for Christmas shopping. Just one complication: shipping tends to bottleneck during the holidays and some gifts simply don’t arrive on time.

But we’ve sorted all that out for you.

Here are the order deadlines for folks buying their gifts online who want them delivered by Christmas.


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If you are ordering on Amazon and do not have a Prime membership, the latest date you can place your order with free shipping is December 15. If you want to splurge and pay for standard shipping, the deadline is December 18. Prime members can order as late as December 22.

Also of note, Amazon recently expanded its same-day and one-day shipping offering to some 3,000 new cities, so before you rush your order, check and see if you’re in one of Amazon’s new same-day cities.

The United States Postal Service (USPS)

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USPS requires that you place your order by December 14 for ground shipping. Yes, that’s tomorrow. But don’t fret. First Class mail will arrive if the order is placed by December 19, priority mail by December 20, and priority express can be ordered as late as December 22. It’ll cost you, but it gives you a bit more time to figure out what you’re getting for your SO’s parents.


(Photo: 400tmax/iStock)

UPS is slightly more complicated. Three-Day Select service packages can be ordered as late as December 18. However, you can order as late as December 21 if you select Two-day air service, but you must label the package for Saturday delivery. Not all ZIP codes are eligible for Saturday delivery, so if you’re unsure, play it safe and order by December 18. Another note: Saturday delivery fees cost you an extra $16/package.


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If you want to play it safe with FedEx, place your order by December 15. FedEx ground shipping is not delivering at all on Saturday, December 23. But FedEx Express (First Overnight, Priority Overnight, and 2Day service) will be delivered on the 23rd if you’re down to pay the $16/package Saturday delivery fee.

If you’re still stumped on what to buy for your loved ones, we’ve got a wide variety of gift guides for you to peruse right here. And don’t tarry. You’re very literally running out of time.

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