Holiday Shipping Deadlines Are Earlier Than Ever For 2021

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If you haven’t already started holiday shopping, you better get on it ASAP. Shipping is going to be even more delayed than ever. Thanks to the pandemic still causing people to prefer online shopping, plus retailers doing early Black Friday deals, the backups the post office is going to see is going to be brutal.

Adobe’s 2020 report suggests not to order anything that comes in standard shipping after December 11. At least, that would’ve been thee last day if we’re basing it on last year’s trends. However, if you want to guarantee that you’re going to get your gifts in time for someone to open it on Christmas morning, the earlier the better—yes, sometimes even before the 11th.

Below are the estimated domestic holiday shipping deadlines for some major retailers:

Amazon: Gone are the days you can rely on two-day Prime shipping. While some items might be available until the last minute, be sure to check its estimated arrival date when you place the item in your cart. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with Amazon eGiftcards for everyone (which you can purchase on Christmas Day).

Barnes & Noble: December 12 for free shipping or December 18 for express shipping.

Etsy: Like Amazon, Etsy sellers all vary with their deadlines. See the cutoff dates for the delivery services below, which may help.

Kmart: December 16 at 4 p.m. CST for free shipping, December 18 at 4 p.m. CST for standard shipping and by December 20 same for premium shipping. You can also pick up orders in-store on Christmas Eve by 3 p.m.

Kohl’s: December 19 at 1 p.m. CST using two-day delivery and by December 20 at 1 p.m. CST using one-day delivery.

Sears: December 16 at 4 p.m. CST using free delivery or December 20 at 4 p.m. CST using premium delivery.

Sephora: Historically, you could order by 3 p.m. on December 21 using Sephora’s free FLASH shipping, but 2021 dates aren’t posted yet.

Urban Outfitters: December 19 at 3 a.m. ET using standard shipping, December 22 at 3 a.m. ET using express shipping, or December 23 at 9 a.m. ET using rush shipping (which will get your gift there by December 23!).

Walmart: In years past, free next-day delivery or two-day shipping was available on eligible items over $35, if orders were placed by 2 p.m. local time, but 2021 dates aren’t posted yet.

Additionally, below are the estimated domestic holiday shipping deadlines for major delivery services:


USPS Ground: December 15

First Class Mail: December 17

Priority Mail: December 18

Priority Mail Express: December 23


UPS Ground: December 15

UPS 3 Day Select: December 21

UPS 2nd Day Air: December 22

UPS Next Day Air: December 23


FedEx Home Delivery®: December 15

FedEx International Ground®: December 17

FedEx Express Saver®: December 21

FedEx 2Day®: December 22

FedEx Standard Overnight®: December 23

FedEx Priority Overnight®: December 23

Are you typically an early holiday shopper? Have you already started shopping or need to get on it soon?