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Amazon extends holiday shipping deadline

Retailers are using shipping deals to compete for shoppers. Most deadlines are this week for delivery by Dec. 24.

By Teresa Mears Dec 13, 2010 2:31PM

Today may be the biggest shipping day of the year for holiday purchases, but that doesn't mean you have to finish all your online shopping just yet.

Amazon has become the latest retailer to extend the deadline to order an item in time for delivery by Dec. 24. The new deadline is Dec. 17 for free "Super Saver" shipping on orders over $25.


You can find a list of deadlines for holiday shipping at the Free Shipping Day website. Post continues after video.

This has been the year of the free shipping wars, as online retailers compete for your dollars with shipping promotions. Wal-Mart started the competition when it announced that 60,000 items were eligible for free shipping, no minimum purchase required. Many retailers, including Amazon, offer free shipping of orders that exceed a certain dollar amount, but small purchases often encounter a shipping cost greater than the cost of the item itself.


Wal-Mart's deadline for purchases to be shipped by the holidays is Dec. 20, the last day of its free shipping deal.


While other major retailers didn't match Wal-Mart's free shipping deal, they did offer deals of their own, lowering the amount of the minimum purchase required to get free shipping or offering free shipping on certain items.


This year's survey of online retailers by, a branch of the National Retail Federation, showed the importance of shipping promotions in retailers' holiday plans:

According to's eHoliday survey, four out of five online retailers (84.8%) will offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season. More than one-third (36.7%) of retailers surveyed said their budget for free shipping is higher than last year. The popular promotion continues to be a driver in winning over online shoppers as one-third of holiday shoppers (31.5%) plan to spend more online this holiday season specifically because of free shipping.  

More than 1,100 retailers are participating in Free Shipping Day on Dec. 17, pledging to deliver items ordered that day by Dec. 24.


As Kelli B. Grant of SmartMoney reminded us last week, most of these deals don't guarantee delivery by Dec. 24, so it's wise to shop sooner rather than later. Winter storms can, and do, disrupt delivery schedules.


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