Helpful Holiday Shopping Tips for 2021

The news outlets and retail experts have been advising consumers to start their holiday shopping early this year.  What is the reason?  Concerns over the supply chain. 

Many companies started increasing their demand for goods once cities started to lift the restrictions on businesses due to the pandemic.  There seems to be a need for more merchandise now that things are starting to slowly return to normalcy, and people are getting out of the house and buying goods.  However, this increase in demand has taken a toll on the shipping industry.

If you have not heard, container ships are parked offshore through the major ports in California.  Apparently, the trucking industry is struggling to keep up with the inventory as it is unloaded which is causing the ports to only unload containers that can be moved.  Because of this, you might want to start crafting the perfect strategy for Holiday shopping this year to avoid the mess of not getting the items you seek.

Here are some tips to help you avoid the chaos this holiday season:

  1. Plan and research – as you start to plan for your holiday needs, research the items of interest to see if they are readily available to purchase. Also, consider buying products that are in demand as soon as possible.
  2. Create a list – of those items and find where they are readily available.
  3. Shop both online and in-person – this way you will most likely be able to meet your needs as some sites may have an increased demand that can slow shipping. If you can find that item at a local store, it’s best to get the item while you can.

If you can simplify your shopping by purchasing and giving gift cards, that will help avoid any frustrations, especially if the items you are seeking seem to be out of stock with no indication of a date of return.  Once those ships are cleared, we don’t know when we will be able to purchase them.  That availability date may end up being after the holidays.

And let’s not forget, for family, friends, and loved ones out of state, the shipping deadlines apply.  So, what are those deadlines for 2021, here are some cutoff dates to ensure your package will make it by Christmas:

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines for the US

  • Retail Ground: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
  • First Class Mail: Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Priority Mail: Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Priority Mail Express: Thursday, December 23, 2021       

FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines for the US      

  • FedEx Ground: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
  • Express Saver: December 21, 2021
  • 2Day Service: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
  • Overnight Services: Thursday, December 23, 2021

UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines for the US

  • Ground: Check
  • 3 Day Select: Tuesday, December 21, 2021
  • 2nd Day Air: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
  • Next Day Air: Thursday, December 23, 2021

Note:  Information may vary for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. Also, if you are interested in deadlines for Thanksgiving and New Year’s, please visit the carrier’s website.

So the bottom line is, do your research for the best deals, shop early and get those out-of-state shipments out early to prevent any unforeseen circumstances that may cause a gift delay this holiday season.


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