Know when to buy: The latest on holiday shipping deadlines

Holiday shipping deadlines are approaching faster than you'd expect with many cutoffs coming in less than two weeks. If you like to procrastinate or are just waiting for a new deal before ordering your presents online, Dealnews and other sites are compiling lists of shipping cutoff dates to make sure your package arrives by Christmas Eve.

For those who want to pay less using standard shipping, the clock is ticking. Many online retailers' shipping guidelines require you to place an order by between December 14 and December 20. However, on December 17, more than 500 retailers are expected to participate in the second annual Free Shipping Day. That gives a lot of wiggle room for those falling behind on their shopping and looking to save on shipping costs. True procrastinators willing to pay up for expedited shipping, can order as late as December 23 on some sites.
Overall, this year's shipping policies aren't much different from those of holiday seasons past.

"Disney Shopping is the only one that stands out," Dan de Grandpre, CEO of Dealnews, told WalletPop. "Two years ago, Disney started its 'After-Christmas Sale' five days before Christmas because their infrastructure was so poor that they couldn't ship items to arrive by Christmas from then on. This year, they're shipping as late as December 22, which is average."

The Shipping Deadline list at Dealnews provides at least two cutoff dates so that you can easily know when to order, depending on how much you want to pay for shipping. Some stores offer more to account for free shipping, in-store pickup and other options.

The list of holiday shipping deadlines below also include selections from dealhack's Holiday Ordering Deadlines list and Coupon Sherpa's Holiday Shipping Deadlines for Christmas 2009. You can view additional details and deadlines at over 170 stores by visiting any of these Holiday Shipping Deadline Web sites.

Store
Shipping Method
Order Deadline
(for Dec. 24 delivery)
Source
AeroPostale
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 17 (12:00 pm ET)
Dec. 21 (12:00 pm ET)
Dec. 23 (12:00 pm ET)
dealhack
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Standard shipping
Next Day
Dec. 17
Dec. 20
Dec. 23 (3:30 pm PT)
Dealnews
American Eagle
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 15
Dec. 22 1:00 pm ET)
Dec. 23 12:00 pm ET)
dealhack
Apple Store
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 15
Dec. 21
Dec. 22
dealhack
Best Buy Standard shipping
Next Day
Dec. 21 (10:59 am ET)
Dec. 23 (10:59 am ET)
Dealnews
Dillard's Standard shipping
Next Day
Dec. 19 (11:59 pm)
Dec. 21 (11:59 pm)
Dealnews
eBags Standard
Expedited
Dec. 14
Dec. 21
dealhack
GameStop
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 21
Dec. 22
Dec. 23
Coupon Sherpa
JCPenney Standard shipping
Next Day
Dec. 18
Dec. 23 (11:59 am CT)
Dealnews
Kohl's Standard
Expedited
Dec. 17 (12:00 pm ET)
Dec. 23 (3:00 pm ET)
Coupon Sherpa
L.L. Bean Free in-store pickup
Standard shipping
Express
Dec. 17 (9:30 pm ET)
Dec. 20 (11:59 am ET)
Dec. 23 (11:59 am ET)
Dealnews
Macy's Standard shipping
Express
Dec. 21 (11:59 pm ET)
Dec. 22 (11:59 pm ET)
Dealnews
Nordstrom
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 20 (1:00 pm ET)
Dec. 22 (3:00 pm ET)
Dec. 23 (3:00 pm ET)
dealhack
Old Navy
Standard
Expedited
Dec. 15
Dec. 23 (3:00 pm ET)
Coupon Sherpa
Target
Standard
Expedited
Dec. 18
Dec. 22
Coupon Sherpa
Toys R Us
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 20
Dec. 22 (3:00 pm ET)
Dec. 23 (3:00 pm ET)
WalletPop
Victoria's Secret Standard delivery
Next Day
Dec. 18 (3 pm ET)
Dec. 23 (3 pm ET)
Dealnews
Walmart
Standard
Expedited
Fastest
Dec. 20
Dec. 21
Dec. 22
Coupon Sherpa

In addition to online store shipping deadlines; here are the deadlines you need to know if you are shipping gifts yourself.

Shipping
Company
Shipping Method
Order Deadline
(for Dec. 24 delivery)
FedEx
Ground
Express Saver
Standard Overnight
Dec. 17
Dec. 21
Dec. 23
UPS Standard shipping
Next Day Air
Dec. 16
Dec. 21
USPS
Military Mail Priority
Military Mail Express
First Class/Priority
Express
Dec. 11
Dec. 18
Dec. 21
Dec. 23

If you miss Free Shipping Day, another resource for scoring free shipping, any day of the month, is RetailMeNot's Free Shipping Coupon Page. Here you can find free shipping coupon codes for many retailers and a Twitter stream of free coupon codes for additional offers.

How late will you be waiting to buy presents this year?

This story is an updated version of a story that ran on December 4, 2009. The latest version includes more shipping guidelines.

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