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Holiday shipping deadlines

“Think twice if you’re up against a shipping deadline and the package has to travel a long distance, too. The U.S. Postal Service states that mail traveling the longest distances is going to be most affected by its service changes,” Katie Roberts, consumer analyst with, told Shop TODAY in an email.

“You’re going to want to leave yourself a considerable delivery cushion this holiday season, especially for products that will be traveling a long distance before arriving at their destination,” Roberts told us.

Last year, Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with, gave us three pieces of advice that still ring true for shoppers hoping to receive their orders in time for Christmas: Shop early, opt for in-store pickup and embrace gift cards.

To avoid the possibility of delays, virtual or in-store pickup is a viable option for items that are in stock at your local store.

“Many retailers let you buy online and use in-store and/or curbside pickup, and these let you skip shipping costs altogether!” Roberts said. “And if it’s not crucial for the package to arrive on a specific day? Forget it — go with the lowest-price delivery option and don’t worry about shipping deadlines in those cases.”