Whether you're doing your holiday shopping online or shipping presents to friends and family across the U.S., it's smart to pay attention to deadlines. The U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS have all released their respective recommended shipping dates for gifts to arrive before December 25. And the earliest cutoff is coming up on December 9.
"You should probably take a page from the retailers facing the same delays this year and opt to ship your items no later than December 9 or 10," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com.
The faster you can get your presents shipped, the better, Ramhold adds: "It's important to note that the longer you wait, the more potential shipping delays you'll run into and the less likely your items will be to arrive on time."
Here are the dates you need to know if you're relying on major shippers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx to shuttle your holiday gifts within the continental United States.
- December 15: USPS retail ground service, ship in 2 to 8 business days. Prices start at $7.95
- December 17: First-class mail service, ships in 1 to 5 business days. Prices start at .58 cents for a stamp
- December 17: First-class packages, ships in 1 to 3 business days. Prices start at $4.30 at the post office
- December 18: Priority Mail, ships in 1 to 3 business days. Prices start at $7.95 at the post office or online.
- December 23: Priority Mail Express, ships next-day to 2-day guarantee by 6 p.m. Prices start at $26.60 at your local post office location and online but may vary based on the size of the package being sent. If you're shipping to Alaska or Hawaii, find recommended shipping dates here.
- December 21: 3-Day Select
- December 22: 2nd Day Air services
- December 23: Next-day Air services
Prices vary on weight and size of package along with shipping destination. You can get a quote on the UPS website.
- December 9: Ground & Freight Economy
- December 15: Ground & Home Delivery
- December 21: Express Saver
- December 22: 2 Day & 2 Day-AM
- December 23: Overnight services
- December 24: Same-day services
Prices vary on weight and size of package along with shipping destination. You can get a quote on the FedEx website.
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