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You can still buy gifts with fast, free shipping at most retailers

You can still buy gifts with fast, free shipping at most retailers


Plus, some important info if you’re shipping gifts yourself

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

We’ve reached the final few days before the holidays, and before you know it, going to a local retailer — and dealing with mobs of people — will be your last resort for buying gifts on time. To avoid having that happen, we’d suggest buying items online as soon as you can.

Thankfully, several retailers are making those shopping duties cheap and easy by offering free and fast shipping. It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little stress, but you can avoid at least some of it by finishing up your shopping before the window for on-time delivery comes to a close.

Here’s where you can get free shipping online:


Store pickup is always the best way to ensure that you get your gifts in time, but it’s not your only option.

  • Until December 17th, you can select the “3-5 Day” shipping option.
  • The free TwoDay shipping option that applies to orders over $35 ends December 22nd at 2PM ET.
  • Walmart’s cutoff for free NextDay shipping on orders over $35 is December 23rd at 12PM ET.
  • For same-day pickup, the cutoff is 4PM local time on December 23rd.


As is always the case, you’ll get your gifts nice and fast if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, but even then, there are restrictions as we get closer to the holidays.

  • The window for free shipping (for orders over $25) ends on December 16th.
  • Your last day to pay for standard shipping and receive items before Christmas is December 18th.
  • If you have Amazon Prime, December 22nd is the cutoff day to place orders.
  • You’ll be pushing it, but December 23rd is the absolute final day to have items shipped via Prime with One-Day Delivery.


Order by 1PM ET on December 20th to have your gifts arrive by December 24th.

Best Buy

  • December 20th at 11:30AM ET is the last opportunity to place an order and have it arrive by December 24th.
  • If you live in LA, Chicago, or NYC, you can order as late as 8PM local time on December 23rd to have your items arrive by Christmas.
  • In select areas, 12PM local time on December 24th is the cutoff for same-day delivery.
  • Lastly, 5PM local time on December 24th is the cutoff for store pickup.

Shipping gifts yourself?

If you’re picking up gifts and shipping them yourself, there are a few important dates to keep in mind:

  • Shipping via FedEx: December 16th is the cutoff date for Ground and Home Delivery parcels, December 19th for Express Saver, December 20th for 2Day services, and December 23rd for overnight services
  • Shipping via UPS: December 19th is the cutoff date for 3 Day Select shipping, December 20th for 2nd Day Air services, and December 23rd for Next Day Air services
  • Shipping via USPS: December 20th is the cutoff date for First-Class deliveries, December 21st for Priority Mail, and December 23rd for Priority Mail Express

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