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By Zina Kumok / GoBankingRates
December 11, 2015
Klaus Vedfelt—Getty Images

If you’re the type who goes Christmas shopping on Dec. 23, ordering overnight shipping for your holiday presents, it’s time to start researching your delivery options. Fortunately, more businesses are tapping into the delivery market and offering immediate solutions for last-minute Christmas gifts. Read below to see our comparisons and suggestions for which shipping service to choose.

Last-Minute Shipping Services

If you already have the gifts and need to ship them, make sure to abide by these shipping dates. For each service, shipping costs will depend on the size, weight and final destination of whatever you’re shipping.


If your main concern is price, USPS is typically the cheaper option. However, it also has the earliest posting dates for your gifts to arrive in time for Christmas. If you want to send Standard Post Service, you need to send by Dec. 15; for First-Class Mail Service, you have until Dec. 19. Priority Mail Service must go out by Dec. 21, and last call for Priority Mail Express Service is Dec. 23.

2. UPS

There will be no UPS delivery on Dec. 25, so time your shipping accordingly if you want your gifts to arrive before Christmas. You have until Dec. 18 to send your gifts by 3 Day Select, and Dec. 22 to send by 2nd Day Air.

3. FedEx

If having more time is your biggest concern, FedEx offers more options — although you’ll pay for having more flexibility in your shipping dates. The last posting date for Ground and Home Delivery is Dec. 16; Express Saver is Dec. 21; 2Day and 2Day A.M. is Dec. 22. Your last day to send by Standard Overnight, First Overnight and Priority Overnight is Dec. 23. If you’re really going for the last-minute gift, the deadline for SameDay is Dec. 25.

Last-Minute Delivery Services

1. Amazon

All Amazon orders will arrive by Dec. 24. If you want it to ship for free, and you’re not an Amazon Prime member, the last posting date is Dec. 16. For standard shipping, send by Dec. 18; two-day shipping by Dec. 22; one-day shipping by Dec. 23. For same-day shipping, send it by Dec. 24. Amazon Prime subscribers might be eligible for holiday shipping discounts.

2. eBay

Although eBay delivery times really depend on the individual seller, you can make sure to only purchase items that have short shipping and handling times. The listing should note the typical expected handling and delivery time from the seller, so double-check it before you buy. Many sellers are also happy to upgrade if you pay the difference.

3. UberRUSH

If you typically use Uber to get you where you need to go, now, in certain markets, it can also get your holiday presents delivered. UberRUSH is a new service that allows businesses to sign up to be part of the UberRUSH network.

Currently this service is only available in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Whether you need to buy supplies for a last-minute potluck or gifts for your brother’s new girlfriend, UberRUSH can deliver goods within a short period of time.

Uber Home Delivery Service Helps Small Businesses Compete

4. Google Express

Google launched Google Express, a delivery service meant to rival the rise of other same-day services like Amazon Prime Now. You can become a member of Google Express, which includes perks like free shipping on eligible orders, with no service fees. You can sign up to get notified when it’s available in your city.

Unlike other services that are only available in major metropolitan areas, Google Express has expanded into Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Same-day delivery is still only available in major cities, but you can get overnight delivery in other regions.

Google Express works like similar services. You can order an item from a store, and Google Express will ensure it’s delivered to you. Partner stores include retailers like Costco, Target and Walgreens.

5. Etsy ASAP

If you want to give novel Christmas gifts to your loved ones, give Etsy a try. The retailer is partnering with Postmates to offer Etsy ASAP, a service that delivers goods from Etsy sellers to your door. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind vintage dress or a handmade ring, you’ll be able to get it the same day, or next day, from participating sellers.

The delivery cost is a flat fee of $15, which is a promotional rate for the holidays. This can be a great option for people looking for a gift no one else will likely have under the tree. Currently this service is only available in parts of the New York City area.

Last-Minute Delivery Services for Christmas Gifts
Service Delivery Type Last Posting Date to Arrive by Dec. 24 Cost
USPS Standard Post Service Dec. 15 By weight and destination
First-Class Mail Service Dec. 19 By weight and destination
Priority Mail Service Dec. 21 By weight and destination
Priority Mail Express Service Dec. 23 By weight and destination
UPS 3 Day Select Dec. 18 By weight and destination
2nd Day Air Dec. 22 By weight and destination
FedEx Ground and Home Delivery Dec. 16 By weight and destination
Express Saver Dec. 21 By weight and destination
2Day and 2Day A.M. Dec. 22 By weight and destination
Standard Overnight, First Overnight and Priority Overnight Dec. 23 By weight and destination
SameDay Dec. 25 By weight and destination
Amazon Free Shipping for non-Prime members on small items Dec. 16 Free
Standard Shipping Dec. 18 By shipment size and weight
Two-Day Shipping Dec. 22 By shipment size and weight
One-Day Shipping Dec. 23 By shipment size and weight
Same-Day Shipping for Prime members on orders over $35 Dec. 24 Free
Same-Day Shipping for Prime members on orders under $35 Dec. 24 $5.99 per order
Same-Day Shipping for non-Prime customers Dec. 24 $8.99 per order plus $0.99 per item
Same-Day Shipping for gift cards Dec. 24 $3.99 per order
UberRUSH San Francisco n/a $6 within a mile of pickup, $3 per extra mile
Chicago n/a $5 within mile of pickup, $2.75 per extra mile
New York City n/a $5.50 within a mile of pickup, $2.50 per extra mile
Google Express Members n/a Free delivery on eligible orders when you meet store minimums; otherwise, there is a $3 small-order service fee. Deliveries scheduled for a two-hour delivery window (where available) start at $2.99 for each store in the order. The cost might vary based on the delivery window you choose.
Non-members n/a Delivery starts at $4.99 per store for eligible orders; otherwise, there is a $3 small-order service fee. Deliveries scheduled for a two-hour delivery window (where available) start at $4.99. The cost might vary based on the delivery window you choose.
Etsy ASAP Same-Day or Next-Day Delivery n/a $15 flat fee (promotional holiday rate)


How to Choose the Right Delivery Option

These services vary by what kind of shopper you are. If you prefer to pick out the gifts yourself, try using USPS for your delivery services. It offers the best prices and will get your presents under the tree for Christmas if you mail by the deadline.

UberRUSH delivers goods from local businesses. Etsy also allows you to get delivery within a day. Unfortunately, these services are only available in limited areas. Unless you’re living in New York City, finding a similar service might be a challenge. If you’re not in an area with these services, but you have a particular store in mind, call to see what the delivery options are.

If you’re short on time, ship using FedEx. Its deadlines allow you to send out a gift as late as the same day. You’ll pay a pretty penny for that privilege, but it might just be worth it if you really, really need it.

All delivery information and pricing current as of Dec. 9, 2015.

This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.

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