Christmas shipping deadlines loom as holiday approaches

Christmas shipping deadlines loom as holiday approaches

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Customers wait in line at the Cedar Bluff Post Office. Customers wait in line at the Cedar Bluff Post Office.
"Chaos would be an understatement at this point," said David McGill, Manager at the Cedar Bluff Post Office. "Patience is definitely a virtue at Christmastime here with the Post Office." "Chaos would be an understatement at this point," said David McGill, Manager at the Cedar Bluff Post Office. "Patience is definitely a virtue at Christmastime here with the Post Office."

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With less than two weeks until Christmas, the pressure is on to get all those gifts in the mail.

"Chaos would be an understatement at this point," said David McGill, Manager at the Cedar Bluff Post Office.

Forget the lines. If you don't want to get gouged by those last-minute shipping prices, then you need to hurry even faster.

For the Postal Service you have until Dec. 14 to ship parcel post, the cheapest rate it offers. The prices go up after that until your only option left is express.

"Priority mail would be Dec. 21 and express mail you can wait all the wait until Dec. 22 to get it there by Christmas morning and we will be delivering on Christmas morning," said McGill.

FedEx Ground will give you the best rate there and you have until Dec. 17. After that, the final deadline is Dec. 22 for express at a much higher rate.

The deadline has already passed to guarantee a Christmas arrival with UPS Ground. Now the price climbs until the very last day, Dec. 21, for next day air.    

If you do decide to wait until that last possible minute, you'll want to pack more than just some extra cash.

"Patience is definitely a virtue at Christmastime here with the Post Office," said McGill.

"Whether its patience when you're shopping or patience when you're driving, patience standing in line waiting to get your things shipped," said FedEx District Manager Cindy Catlin. "Have fun. Just be a little patient and it will all get there in time."

If you plan to avoid the lines altogether and order your gifts online, you have a few days left at most stores to get discount shipping or free shipping and still have it arrive on time.

Below is a list of major retailers and their cut off dates:

  •     Target: Friday, December 15
  •     Amazon: Tuesday, December 18
  •     Toys R Us:  Wednesday, December 19
  •     Apple: Thursday, December 20
  •     Best Buy: Thursday, December 20

Several stores are participating in Free Shipping Day on Monday, Dec. 17.

To find out when and if your favorite store is taking part just head to the Free Shipping Day website.

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