Want to beat the Christmas rush? Here are key shipping deadlines for the holidays

With the annual holiday shopping frenzy here, those of us who would rather shop online than brave long lines in chilly temperatures need to be aware of key ordering dates for the holidays.

The stakes are especially high this holiday season. Online spending this holiday is expected to see a nearly 15% increase to $ 124 billion, according to a forecast by Adobe Analytics, a company that tracks transactions from top retailers.

Ordering gifts in time for the holidays? Know these key dates

That means that if you wait too long to order your goods online, you run the risk of being empty handy when it comes time to exchange gifts. To help online shoppers, retailers are offering free shipping or dropping their purchase minimums.

Many have also banded together like in years past to offer “free shipping day,” set for December 14, 2018. This is the ship-by date that retailers are guaranteeing that your packages will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Of course, delays are quite common around this time. UPS has already announced that its shipping schedule in parts of Southern California is being affected by the wildfires.

Here are some other key dates to keep in mind:

Here is the UPS 2018 holiday shipping schedule

  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Thursday, December 20 (delivery on Monday, December 24)
  • UPS Next Day Air: Friday, December 21 (delivery on Monday, December 24)

For the most accurate appraisal of when your specific package will arrive at its destination, UPS is encouraging customers to log on to see its Calculate Time & Cost tool.

Here is the U.S. Postal Service 2018 holiday shipping schedule

The USPS recommends mailing and shipping on the following key dates for expected delivery by December 25:

USPS Retail Ground Friday, December 14
APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Tuesday, December 18
First-Class Mail (including greeting cards), Priority Mail Thursday, December 20
Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail Thursday, December 20
Alaska & Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express Saturday, December 22
Priority Mail Express (includes Alaska & Hawaii to mainland) Saturday, December 22

Here is the 2018 holiday shipping schedule for FedEx

SmartPost Monday, December 10
Ground Friday, December 14
Home Delivery Monday, December 17
Express Saver Wednesday, December 19
2-Day Services Thursday, December 20
Overnight Services Friday, December 21
Keep up to date with the latest money-saving tips and more at Clark.com. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Here are some more Black Friday-related articles from Clark.com:

clark.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Amazon Announces Free Shipping for Holidays — No Prime Membership Needed

Amazon is the latest e-commerce retailer to offer free shipping on all pre-holiday purchases, regardless of membership status.

Amazon typically offers free two-day shipping to Prime members, who pay $ 119 for the privilege. Otherwise, shoppers must hit a $ 25 purchase minimum to access free shipping.

“All Amazon customers can enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase amount on orders that will arrive in time for the Christmas holiday,” the company announced on its website.

It also noted that eligible items typically ship in five to eight days.

The promotion started Nov. 5 and is available “for a limited time.”

Amazon’s offer is likely in response to increasing competition from other retailers that hope to lure customers to their e-commerce options.

Target announced Oct. 23 that it would offer free two-day shipping to all online shoppers without requiring a minimum order size. That promotion began Nov. 1 and will continue through Dec. 22.  Target typically has a $ 35 minimum order requirement to access free shipping.

Meanwhile, Walmart announced the same day that it’s expanding its free two-day shipping option to Marketplace items sold by third parties.

“In the coming months, you will see millions of additional items with the two-day free shipping label,” the company announced. Walmart.com will still require a $ 35 minimum order for free two-day shipping.

Customers in search of the best shipping deal for their online holiday shopping should watch the fine print for deadlines and restrictions that could delay delivery of those gifts.

One Last Free-Shipping Hurrah?

These free shipping offers are enticing for customers, but retailers may not be so generous next holiday season.

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a 9% to 12% increase for the parcel select shipping service used by Amazon for the last leg of delivery. FedEx also announced that ground and home delivery shipping rates will increase by an average of 4.9%.

These increases don’t go into effect until January 2019. But they surely have major e-commerce players preparing to adjust their shipping strategies or make up for the increase in other ways — potentially by increasing prices.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, where she covers the retail and grocery industries.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.


The Penny Hoarder

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Sam's Club Membership Offer

Target Offers Two-Day Shipping With No Minimums For Holiday

(AP Photo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Target will be offering for the first time two-day shipping with no minimum purchase this holiday, raising the stakes in the delivery wars during the busiest shopping season of the year.

The offer, announced Tuesday, will start Nov. 1 and end Dec. 22. It’s part of the retailer’s overall strategy to bolster its delivery services from curbside pickup to same-day delivery for customers as it competes with such rivals as Walmart and online leader Amazon.

The move comes as the Minneapolis-based retailer has been reporting strong sales growth both at stores and online, helped in part by its online delivery services as well as its efforts to remodel stores.

“Our approach this holiday is to make it easier for our guests,” Brian Cornell, CEO of Target told reporters at a holiday briefing in Manhattan.

With last year’s $ 550 million acquisition of delivery service Shipt, Target has expanded its same-day delivery of groceries and other merchandise to 200 markets, up from 160 markets in August. It’s also expanding its curbside pickup service to nearly 1,000 stores by the end of this month, ahead of schedule.

Target has been a laggard when it comes to two-day delivery.

In January 2017, Walmart began offering two-day shipping for online purchases over $ 35 on millions of frequently purchased items like household essentials. And with its annual Prime membership of $ 119, Amazon customers receive two-day shipping, along with other perks like movie and music streaming services.

In previous holiday seasons, Target had waived the shipping fee and offered free shipping but there was no time frame. In March, it announced two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items for shoppers who spend $ 35 or more.

[ione_media_gallery id=”458657″ overlay=”true”]

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

Life & Style – Black America Web

BEST DEAL UPDATE: