Still holiday shopping? Follow these steps to make sure your online orders make it in time


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BOSTON — Christmas is 10 days away and a lot of us are rushing to finish up our shipping lists.

You may feel like you have plenty of time if you’re picking out gifts at local stores, but the deadline for online orders is coming up fast.

Shopping experts Trae Bodge and Andrea Woroch shared the keys to making sure your order arrives in time for the big day.


The Krazy Coupon Lady has a list of Christmas shipping deadlines for different online retailers here. However, Bodge recommends placing all your online orders by Monday, Dec. 18.

“Most retailers are guaranteeing on-time shipping if the order is placed by Dec. 18,” Bodge said. “I really don’t like to take any chances with shipping. If it’s after Dec. 18, I’m not going to take the risk.”

Bodge said the good news is she hasn’t heard of any upcoming shipping delays like in recent years.

“We’re not seeing a lot of shipping problems right now,” Bodge said. “Because we’re not seeing the rampant shipping delays we’ve seen in previous years, my guess is that retailers who aren’t able to deliver by their guarantee will be accommodating. They might offer two-day air shipping or a refund for that item.”


If you’re nervous your order won’t make it in time, Bodge said you can still shop online–but look for gifts that are available for local in-store pick up.

“I’d feel more comfortable going into a store knowing that I’m getting that item,” Bodge said.

If you’re having trouble finding a specific item, Woroch recommends searching outside your normal shopping area.

“If it’s not available at stores in your immediate area, expand your search. It might still be better to drive a little further away to get the item in hand,” Woroch said.


What happens if the retailer misses its guaranteed shipping deadline? Woroch says many stores will offer free return shipping or even a full refund.

“Reach out the retailer if you got a guarantee and you don’t get the gift in time because you should get a refund or free return shipping,” Woroch said. “In some cases, those retailers may even tell you to keep the item and still refund you because it costs them more to process the return.”


If you need to turn around and ship gifts to friends and family, the deadlines to make it by Christmas are coming up fast.

According to the U.S. Postal Service website, these are the deadlines for guaranteeing your packages make it before Dec. 25:

  • Dec. 16- 5-Day USPS Ground Advantage
  • Dec. 18- 4-Day Ground Advantage
  • Dec. 19- 3-Day Ground Advantage
  • Dec. 20- 3-Day Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21- 2-Day Priority Mail

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