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Best shipping times during the holiday season

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Fastest shipping times for holiday gifts

If you're shopping online for holiday gifts, some retailers are much better than others with meeting delivery times. A new study reveals which online stores are more likely to get your holiday gifts to you in time for Christmas.

Woman shopping online for Christmas

According to STELLAService, an independent company that rates the customer service quality of online retailers, Zappos.com has the fastest standard delivery times this holiday season; the company is shipping gifts in an average of two days. At the other end of the spectrum, ToysRUs.com and HSN.com have the slowest standard delivery times — an average of 5.5 days.

For this research, STELLAService ordered six products via standard shipping (or similar method) during November and December 2011. Two items from each retailer were shipped to the West Coast, Midwest and East Coast.

Fastest shipping

The eight fastest retailers had an average shipping time of three days or less:

  • Zappos.com (2 days)
  • Newegg.com (2.3 days)
  • HPshopping.com (2.5 days)
  • JCPenney.com (2.7 days)
  • Amazon.com, (2.7 days)
  • Gap.com (2.8 days)
  • Dell.com (2.8 days)
  • SonyStyle.com (2.8 days)

On the flip side, three retailers had average shipping times of more than 5 days: ToysRUs.com (5.5 days) HSN.com (5.5 days) and Kohls.com (5 days). Where you live matters, too: New Yorkers fare better than Californians. The West Coast experienced the slowest delivery times, with an average of 3.7 days, while the East Coast had the fastest deliveries at 3.4 days.

While some companies missed expected delivery windows, six retailers actually beat estimated delivery times:

  • Zappos.com: Real shipping time, 2 days; estimated delivery time, 4 to 5 days
  • SonyStyle.com: Real shipping time, 2.8 days; estimated delivery time, 5 to 7 days
  • Newegg.com: Real shipping time, 2.3 days; estimated delivery time, 4 to 7 days
  • HPShopping.com: Real shipping time, 2.5 days; estimated delivery time, 5 to 7 days
  • Amazon.com: Real shipping time, 2.7 days; estimated delivery time, 3 to 5 days
  • Dell.com: Real shipping time, 2.8 days; estimated delivery time, 3 to 7 days

Average standard delivery time for top 25 retailers

  1. Zappos.com — 2.0 days
  2. Newegg.com — 2.3 days
  3. HPShopping.com — 2.5 days
  4. Jcpenney.com — 2.7 days
  5. Amazon.com — 2.7 days
  6. Gap.com — 2.8 days
  7. Dell.com — 2.8 days
  8. Sonystyle.com — 2.8 days
  9. Williams-Sonoma.com — 3.2 days
  10. Nordstrom.com — 3.2 days
  11. LLBean.com — 3.3 days
  12. BestBuy.com — 3.3 days
  13. Macys.com — 3.5 days
  14. Shop.avon.com — 3.7 days
  15. Overstock.com — 3.8 days
  16. Store.Apple.com — 4.0 days
  17. Target.com — 4.0 days
  18. Walmart.com — 4.0 days
  19. VictoriasSecret.com — 4.2 days
  20. QVC.com — 4.3 days
  21. Sears.com — 4.3 days
  22. Buy.com — 4.4 days
  23. Kohls.com — 5.0 days
  24. HSN.com — 5.5 days
  25. ToysRUs.com — 5.5 days

More holiday shopping tips

How to curb overspending during the holidays
8 tips for savvy holiday shopping
How to save money on your holiday shopping

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