Christmas falls on a Monday this year; if you usually put off your holiday shopping until late in the month, you might have to get expedited shipping. Fortunately, more businesses are tapping into the delivery market and offering immediate solutions for Christmas gift procrastinators — and even options for same-day delivery gifts. Read on to see our comparisons and suggestions for which shipping companies are the best for your last-minute Christmas presents.
Last-Minute Shipping Services
If you already have the gifts and need to ship them, make sure to abide by these shipping dates. For each service, shipping costs depend on a package’s size, weight and final destination.
FedEx offers several options for those in a time crunch — but you’ll pay for the extra flexibility. The last posting date for Ground and Home Delivery is Dec. 15 — Dec. 13 if shipping to Alaska or Hawaii; the FedEx 2Day deadline is Dec. 21; FedEx First Overnight and FedEx Priority Overnight shipments are due on Friday, Dec. 22. For those who are really going for the last-minute gift, FedEx offers parcel delivery on Dec. 25, though you’ll need to check the FedEx website details about availability.
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UPS will make no deliveries on Dec. 25, so time your shipping accordingly. You’ll need to visit your local UPS store by Dec. 18 to send your gifts by 3 Day Select and Dec. 20 to send by 2nd Day Air. You can pack and send a gift Dec. 21 if you select 2nd Day Air with the Saturday Delivery option. Dec. 22 is the last day to send your presents by UPS Next Day Air.
3. USA Couriers
Combining a courier service with a shipping service, USA Couriers is a lifesaver for last-minute shoppers. The company offers same-day delivery of gifts and packages 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. Customers simply need to call 800-450-4872 and press zero to speak with a coordinator. Within 90 minutes of your call, the package will be picked up and on its way to your intended destination.
USPS sells affordable shipping supplies and is typically the cheapest option among the big delivery companies; however, it also has the earliest posting dates for your gifts to arrive in time for Christmas. You have until Dec. 14 to send your Christmas gifts by USPS Retail Ground, Dec. 19 with First Class, Dec 20 when using Priority Mail, and Dec. 22 if you opt for shipping packages via Priority Mail Express. All packages come with USPS tracking, so you can verify that your gift arrived on time.
Last-Minute Delivery Services
Thanks to the internet, procrastinating on gift giving has never been easier. With the touch of a button, many companies now offer last-minute options for gifts — even if you needed them yesterday.
All Amazon orders will arrive by Dec. 24. To get free shipping without being an Amazon Prime member, the last posting date is Dec. 15 for specific items. For standard shipping in the contiguous United States, order by Dec. 18; order by Dec. 22 for two-day shipping and order by Dec. 23 for one-day shipping. For same-day shipping, order by Dec. 23 before 9:30 a.m. local time, though this service is only available in some cities. The Amazon Prime Now service is also available in some areas and offers two-hour delivery on orders placed before 9:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Amazon Prime subscribers might be eligible for holiday shipping discounts, and certain cities might qualify for same-day gift delivery through Prime.
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Although eBay delivery times depend on the individual seller’s policies, you can make sure to only purchase items that have short shipping and handling times. The listing should note the typical expected handling and delivery time from the seller, so double-check before you buy. Many sellers are also happy to upgrade shipping if you pay the difference.
3. Google Express
Google Express is a delivery service meant to rival the rise of other same-day services such as Amazon Prime Now. You can become a member of Google Express, which includes perks like free shipping on eligible orders, with no service fees. You can sign up for notifications to find out when it’s available in your city.
Unlike other services that are only available in major metropolitan areas, Google Express has expanded into Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Same-day delivery is still only available in major cities, but you can get overnight delivery in other regions.
Google Express works like similar services. You can order an item from a store, and Google Express will ensure it’s delivered to you. Partner stores include retailers such as Costco, Target and Walgreens.
You might already use Uber to get around, and now the ride-sharing service offers delivery of holiday presents in certain markets. UberRUSH began offering the service last year and allows businesses to sign up to be part of the UberRUSH network.
Currently, this service is only available in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Whether you need to buy supplies for a last-minute potluck or gifts for your brother’s new girlfriend, UberRUSH can deliver goods to your door within a short period of time. Deliveries of up to 30 pounds can be made by bike, but deliveries of up to 50 pounds will need to be delivered by car.
At a Glance: Best Delivery and Shipping Services for Last-Minute Christmas Gifts
GOBankingRates broke down and compared the differences and the options offered by each delivery service so you can find the best choice this holiday season:
|Best Delivery and Shipping Services for Last-Minute Christmas Gifts|
|Service||Delivery Type||Last Posting Date to Arrive by Dec. 24||Cost|
|Amazon||Free shipping for non-Prime members on small items||Dec. 15||Free|
|Standard Shipping||Dec. 18||By shipment size and weight|
|Two-Day Shipping||Dec. 21||By shipment size and weight|
|One-Day Shipping||Dec. 22||By shipment size and weight|
|Same-Day Shipping for Prime members on orders over $35 in select cities||Dec. 23||Free|
|Same-Day Shipping for Prime members on orders under $35 in select cities||Dec. 23||$5.99 per order|
|Same-Day Shipping for non-Prime members||Dec. 23||$8.99 per order plus $.99 per item|
|Same-Day Shipping for gift cards||Dec. 23||$3.99 per order|
|FedEx||Ground and Home Delivery||Dec. 13 when shipping to Alaska or Hawaii|
Dec. 15 everywhere else in U.S.
|By weight and destination|
|FedEx 2Day||Dec. 21||By weight and destination|
|FedEx First Overnight and FedEx Priority Overnight||Dec. 22||By weight and destination|
|FedEx SameDay||Dec. 25||By weight and destination|
|Google Express||Same-Day Delivery or later, depending on merchant||N/A||$4.99 small-order service fee for purchases below minimum|
|UberRUSH||New York City||N/A||Calculated based on distance|
|Chicago||N/A||Calculated based on distance|
|San Francisco||N/A||Calculated based on distance|
|UPS||3 Day Select||Dec. 18||By weight and destination|
|2 Day Air||Dec. 20||By weight and destination|
|2 Day Air with Saturday Delivery||Dec. 21||By weight and destination|
|UPS Next Day Air||Dec. 22||By weight and destination|
|USA Couriers||Same Day||Dec. 25||By weight and destination|
|USPS||Standard Post Service||Dec. 14||By weight and destination|
|First-Class Mail Service||Dec. 19||By weight and destination|
|Priority Mail Service||Dec. 20||By weight and destination|
|Priority Mail Express Service||Dec. 22||By weight and destination|
How to Choose the Right Last-Minute Delivery Option
The delivery service you should choose depends what kind of shopper you are. If you prefer to pick out the gifts yourself, try using USPS for your delivery services. It offers the best prices and will get your presents under the tree for Christmas if you mail by the deadline.
Although UberRUSH and Prime Now deliver goods from local businesses, their services are only available in limited areas. Unless you’re living in New York City or another major metropolitan area, finding a similar service might be a challenge. If you’re not in an area with these services but you have a particular store in mind, call to find out about their delivery options.
If you’re short on time, ship using FedEx. Its deadlines allow you to send out a gift as late as the same day. You’ll pay a pretty penny for that privilege, but it might just be worth it if you really need it.
All delivery information and pricing current as of Nov. 18, 2017.