11th Hour Shopping? Here are 6 Tips to Make Sure Your Last Minute Holiday Gifts Make It On Time

Vlad Nardin, a spokesperson for consumer advocacy group Pissedconsumer.com, shares 6 tips to remember when purchasing your last minute holiday gifts. After all, nothing’s more awkward than telling your special someone, “Hey, Happy Holidays to you! I do have something for you, but you’ll have to wait till January mid-week to get it.”

How to Make Sure Your Last Minute Holiday Gifts Make It on Time

1. Confirm that the item you want is not on back-order. If possible, Call the website’s phone number to confirm the item’s availability.

2. “Ship to store” options aren’t always “fail-proof”. Some retailers will offer free or lower rate shipping if they ship directly to your local retail store, but at checkout, your store may not have it available. Nothing still beats visiting your local retail location and having the store order it as needed.

3. Visit your courier early in the morning. Timing is everything! Many gifts fail to make it on time simply due to confusion at the post office or UPS store as the day wears on. Workers become tired, things get missed, so do your shipping early in the morning when the doors first open.

4. Be OCD with mailing labels! Add a To and From label inside the package just in case the outside packaging gets damaged in shipping.

5. Check the Christmas shipping dates and deadlines. Many retailers still do not offer an arrival for Christmas guarantee, so be sure to read the fine print carefully, and when in doubt, call for verification. TBF has recently posted on the online shipping deadlines for 2012.

6. Shop Amazon and other e-retailers. A consumer has a better chance of receiving an item from Amazon rather than the hot item on a retail store’s website. Amazon uses an advance distribution and inventory system, which increases the chances of your item arriving on time.