If you thought it was too late to shop online for Christmas without paying through the nose for expedited shipping, we’ve got some good news for you procrastinators. Many retailers, in an attempt to keep the cash registers ringing until the last possible moment, have sweetened the pot by offering free upgrades to two-day or next-day delivery on orders placed through Tuesday evening, even as late as noon Wednesday. Some of the orders require a minimum purchase for an upgrade, others don’t.
My colleagues over at the Consumer Reports Electronics blog reported earlier today that Amazon is one of the merchants dangling the carrot of free shipping through tomorrow on certain electronics products, with guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery.
Amazon has plenty of company. Under Armour, for one, sent me an e-mail alert this morning offering free next-day delivery on any order placed by noon (EST) Tuesday. Free next-day shipping is available on select digital cameras and picture frames bought at the Kodak store through Tuesday. At Lord & Taylor, you’ll get free next-day delivery on any order of $99 or more placed by by noon (EST) on Wednesday, but pay for only ground service.
So before giving up and calling it quits, be sure to check out the Web site of your favorite retailers to see if fast and cheap shipping is available.
If you’re really up against the clock, see if you can place your order online and pick up the merchandise at the nearest local store. At Best Buy, for example, you can order as late as 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and the item will be ready for pickup in as little as 45 minutes. Some Best Buy locations even have a reserved front-row parking space for people making a pickup, so you can get in and out quickly.