Ways to Save Money

Need It By Christmas? Order by These Dates to Save Money on Shipping

December 11, 2015
by Dana Sitar

Now that Black Friday sales have passed and Cyber Week has waned on most corners of the Internet, online shopping may be your best bet to get good deals on the remainder of your holiday list.

But Christmas Eve is nigh!

When you’re on a deadline, online shopping can be a gamble. Order too late, and you either risk missing the party or pay an exorbitant amount in shipping fees to have it arrive on time. Suddenly you’re forced to ask yourself just how much each friend and family member is worth to you…

Avoid the stress by planning ahead. We’ve rounded up the shipping deadlines for some of the most popular retailers this year.

Here’s when you need to place online orders to receive items by Christmas Eve, without paying extra for expedited shipping.

Note: Deadlines are for delivery by Dec. 24 within the continental U.S., unless otherwise noted.


Prime members can order eligible items anytime for free two-day delivery or even same-day delivery in some cities.

For non-Prime members, holiday shipping will be business as usual. For orders eligible for free shipping (4-5 business days), order by Dec. 16 for Christmas Eve delivery.

For paid standard shipping (4-5 business days), order by Dec. 18.


If it’s available in your area, sign up for Walmart’s Shipping Pass — $50 for a year of unlimited three-day shipping.

For eligible items, order online and choose store pickup for free shipping.

Some items are available for “Free Pickup Today” — place an order before 6 p.m. and pick it up within four hours. Orders available for “Pickup” will be available at your store within six to nine business days.

Place Pickup orders before Dec. 14 so items arrive at your local store by Christmas Eve. Place your order by Dec. 16 for standard delivery (four to seven business days).


Through Dec. 25, Target offers Free Standard Shipping (three to five business days) on all orders.

Order by Dec. 18 to receive your order by Christmas Eve without paying for shipping.

eBay and Etsy

How quickly your eBay or Etsy packages arrive depends entirely on when the sellers ship them and which service they use.

Once the seller ships your items, delivery could take up to seven days, so you’ll want the item shipped by Dec. 14.

To be safe, get your eBay orders in early and skip the worry.

Best Buy

Most items on Best Buy’s site are available for free standard shipping through January 2. Items arrive three to seven business days from order date.

To get your items by December 24 with free standard shipping, order before 10:30 a.m. CT on December 17. For movies and music, order by 10:30 a.m. CT on December 15.


To get your order by Christmas, order before 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 21.

For a gift card, get free standard shipping, but order before 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 15.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Get free standard shipping (three to seven business days) on orders over $49. Order before Dec. 16 to get your items by Christmas Eve.


If you have Sephora FLASH for $10 a year, you’ll get free two-day shipping with no minimum order.

Standard shipping (“3-Day Shipping”) is four business days — the company adds one day for order processing). Get free standard shipping on orders over $50, or $5.95 on orders under $50.

Order by Dec. 21 to receive your items by Christmas Eve.

If your Sephora order contains hazmat items, including aerosols and alcohol-based products (e.g. pressurized spray cans, hairspray, nail polish remover, etc.), ground shipping is required.  It’ll take two to eight business days, so if these are on your list, place your order before Dec. 15.


Ikea delivery in the U.S. comes from one of three distribution centers around the country. Delivery time varies depending on your order and your location.

Ikea recommends ordering before Dec. 13 to receive your items before Christmas Eve.

Shipping rates are either $10 for small items or $99 for large items, depending on the weight and size of your order.

Apple Store

Apple offers free next-day shipping on any in-stock iPhone.

Order before 5 p.m. local time Monday through Friday to get your iPhone the next day.

Get free two-day shipping on other in-stock items when you order before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Toys R Us and Babies R Us

Save money on Toys R Us or Babies R Us online orders by placing your order by Dec. 14 and opting for Economy Shipping (six to nine business days).

For Standard Shipping (two to five business days), order by Dec. 18.

TJ Maxx

Order by 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 18 for free shipping.

Minimum amounts may apply, so double-check your order to ensure it meets the requirements before confirming. Gift cards ship for free with standard shipping.

Sears and Kmart

Get free standard or ground shipping on most orders over $35.

Sears and Kmart ship with UPS, so order by Dec. 18 for delivery by Dec. 24.

JC Penney

Get free standard shipping (four to seven business days) on orders over $25. Order by Dec. 20 for standard delivery on most items before Christmas.

For gift cards, order by Dec. 15 for free standard delivery.


Order with your credit card or Qcard by Dec. 15 for guaranteed delivery of most items by Dec. 25 at no extra charge — just the standard shipping rate.

On-air items and select items online and through the QVC app are available for the guaranteed delivery if you order before Dec. 21. For perishable food items, order by Dec. 20.

Maximize Your Savings

You still have plenty of time to plan ahead and save on shipping for your holiday orders!

While you’re at it, try some of our other tricks for saving on your holiday shopping.

Your Turn: Do you do your holiday shopping online?

Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more.

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

Share Your Thoughts

Top Articles