Amazon saves procrastinators by extending order cutoffs for Christmas delivery

December 16, 2014, 5:06 PM UTC
Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Scrambling to find the perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones? Well, Amazon (AMZN) wants to make sure you get a little more time. The online retail giant announced Tuesday that it’s extended the cutoff for free shipping deliveries to ahead of Christmas morning until Friday, Dec. 19 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Prime members, or Amazon’s customer base who dole out money for perks including the company’s free streaming services and faster delivery options, have until Monday, Dec. 22 for free, two-day shipping, according to the announcement.

But that’s not all. Amazon said that for the “truly last-minute shoppers,” there’s another option. Customers who live in 12 cities across the U.S. have the opportunity to order their gifts by 10 a.m. local time on Dec. 24 to “have items delivered before Santa arrives,” although it’s unclear exactly how much the service will set non-Prime customers back. For Amazon members, it’s $5.99.

Amazon’s decision to extend its holiday deadline cutoffs comes a week after Wal-Mart (WMT) said on Dec. 11 that it would guarantee shipment arrivals for Christmas on orders placed by Dec. 19. For its rush-shipping service, the deadline is Dec. 22.

Last year, delivery woes prevented millions of packagings from arriving on time for Christmas due to severe weather and retailers making promises they were unable to keep.

The United States Postal Service said in November it would offer shipping for seven days a week leading up to Christmas in competition with FedEx (FDX) and United Parcel Service (UPS). The United Parcel Service, meanwhile, announced in September the decision to double its holiday hiring to prevent another 2013 debacle.

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