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Deadlines Loom for Online Shoppers Buying Christmas Gifts

Wednesday is the last day to get free shipping with Amazon.com and still receive gifts in time for Dec. 25.

One of the busiests shopping weekends of the year is coming up as gift-givers grapple for last-minute goods to put under the tree. Fortunately, stores are open all the way up to Christmas Eve, and some even on Christmas Day.

But for those avoiding the malls and opting to shop online, there are only a few days left to order gifts in time for Christmas delivery.

Online retail behemoth Amazon.com can provide local express delivery by Dec. 25 for gifts ordered as late as Christmas Eve. The website also has one-day shipping available for orders placed by noon Saturday. The best deal to get delivery before Christmas is to order by today, Wednesday, Dec. 19 — the last day for free shipping.

Also, remember that some Amazon products come from independent sellers who may need longer to get the gifts in the mail. Be sure to check the fine print when ordering.

Here are more deadlines from online retailers:

  • For REI.com, order by 9 a.m. on Friday and use "express shipping."
  • Zappos.com guarantees Christmas delivery for orders placed before midnight Saturday.
  • Walmart.com offers one-day rush shipping
  • eBay.com has a gift guide full of items that can be sent via expedited shipping so they arrive in time for Christmas.
  • On Target.com, order by midnight today and choose "seasonal shipping" to get gifts by Dec. 25.

Out of time? As a last-ditch effort, give a gift card. Most online retailers offer gift certificates that can be purchased on their websites and printed out.

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