For the procrastinators and those adverse to in-store shopping, there's still hope for getting those gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.
Some retailers are still guaranteeing holiday deliveries, but it's best not to wait much longer to place orders. While shoppers may have been able to take advantage of free shipping last week, some may find hefty shipping fees will apply for holiday orders placed today or tomorrow. After that, the best option for tardy shoppers are gift cards or actually visiting a store in person.
If you haven't finished checking off your Christmas list, you are not alone: About 15 percent of all holiday shoppers wait until the last minute to make purchases, according to a survey last week from shopping app Retale. The company advises procrastinators to have a plan before heading to the stores, and if all else fails, order gift cards.
The free shipping deadline for Amazon.com (AMZN) passed on Friday, for example. But two-day shipping is available for orders placed today, while one-day shipping can be paid for on Tuesday, Dec. 23. For tardy gift-givers living in cities where Amazon offers same-day delivery -- such as Boston and New York -- the absolutely last day to make a purchase is on Christmas Eve.
Today is the final day for customers to place rush orders at Walmart.com (WMT) for home delivery by Christmas, according to a spokeswoman. The last day to order online and pick up gifts in a store is Dec. 23. For last minute gifts on Christmas Eve, the best idea is to visit a store in person or buy a gift card, the company advises.
For many retailers, today, Monday, is the final day to order for guaranteed delivery. Among them is Macy's (M), which is advising customers to order online by 5 p.m. ET Monday, for free guaranteed delivery. Want to make sure that tin of peppermint bark is waiting under the tree? Williams-Sonoma is offering delivery by Christmas as long as orders are placed by 9 p.m. ET Monday.
Target (TGT), meanwhile, is advising customers to order by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23 for in-store pickup.
Of course, the best option for last-minute shoppers is to visit a store in person, although they're likely to be stuck in a crowd. While discounts are plentiful, some shoppers may have trouble finding in-demand products, such as the "Frozen" Castle and Ice Palace play set, which is sold out at Toys "R" Us, according to The New York Times.
Some stores are extending their hours to make the most of last-minute shopping excursions. Best Buy, for one, will be open on Christmas Eve from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., while Kohl's will keep its stores open for 132 hours straight until it closes at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.