Holiday shopping: What to know about shipping deadlines, delays

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Thursday, December 2, 2021
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7 On Your Side has what you need to know about shipping deadlines and delays this holiday season.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Christmas is just a few short weeks away, which may feel like plenty of time to still shop. But if you're ordering online, you need to be mindful of shipping deadlines and delays.

Santa's helpers already have overflowing sleighs full of packages, and it's not even crunch time for deliveries.

Alexandra Duff didn't take any chances this year. Her gifts were already shipped to her brothers in Los Angeles and Connecticut and and her grandmother in Massachusetts.

"I started back in October," she said. "I can't risk it. I need to know it's going to be there."

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The longer you wait, the more you'll pay for shipping, especially if you need rushed delivery like overnight or same day.

Amazon's standard shipping deadline to arrive by Christmas is December 17, while the U.S. postal service and UPS say December 15 is the cutoff for basic ground.

It's December 23 to ship Priority Express or next day air.

FedEx also wants your basic ground shipments by the 15th, though it will offer FedEx Same Day on Christmas Eve -- but it will be close the price of flying there yourself.

The big takeaway is to try to leave plenty of cushion.

2020 was a quagmire of volume, logistics and manpower, resulting in long delays that stretched in January for deliveries.

This year, with supply chain shortages slowing everything down, carriers are hoping the hiring of a quarter of a million workers will ease the strain.

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No matter how you ship, don't forget to spend the extra bucks to insure your gift's value.

In September, Brenda Trinidad sent a rare new Xbox Series X to her nephew Tyler in Georgia. The $600 gift never got there.

"The maximum they can reimburse me for is $100 because it was not insured," she said. "Plus the shipping."

Remember, if you want to avoid the headache by opting to buy online and pick up in store, you can avoid shipping cost altogether.

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