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Holiday shopping 2012: Shipping deadlines and Free Shipping Day

Services and ShoppingUrban Outfitters IncorporatedU.S. Postal ServiceToys "R" Us, Inc.Christmas

By now, holiday shopping stress is in full force – and so is procrastination. Here’s how to make sure your online purchases reach their intended recipients in time.

If sending gifts via the U.S. Postal Service, today is the last day to use Parcel Post for Christmas arrival. First-class mail must go out by Dec. 20, Priority mail by Dec. 21 and most Express mail by Dec. 22.

At UPS, Next Day Air packages must be picked up by the 21st to arrive on the 24th. 2nd Day Air items must be sent on the 20th.

FedEx Home Delivery and Ground shipments must be in place by the 17th to arrive by Christmas. Customers using the 2nd Day service have until Dec. 20; those using overnight options can delay until the 22nd.

Shoppers can also visit freeshippingday.com for a list of more than 1,400 retailers offering delivery, gratis, on Monday with delivery by Christmas Eve. Participants include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Godiva, REI and Lego.

Free Shipping Day is an annual event. Last year, the effort pulled in $1.07 billion in spending for retailers, 14% more than in 2010, according to research from comScore.

And offering cost-free delivery seems to entice consumers to open their wallets wider. In the week ending with Free Shipping Day last year, 56% of transactions involved the option, a nearly 4% boost from 2010.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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