Pay attention to Amazon's shipping deadlines so you get your gifts on time

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Do you know the worst time to receive the packages you ordered for Christmas? The days after Christmas. Don't be that person scrambling to wrap a Snickers bar and beef jerky you bought from the gas station on Christmas Eve because the gifts you ordered for your friends and family didn't get to you in time. Amazon is highlighting exactly when you need to order your gifts to get them on time before Dec. 25. If you're an Amazon Prime member you actually have quite a lot of room to procrastinate (a dangerous game to play, though, my friend).

While usually Prime comes with free 2-day shipping, it's going to be tough to make that mark in the days leading up to Christmas. I can tell you just from the products I ordered on Black Friday that the shipping times fluctuated quite a bit. I ordered a new monitor from Amazon and was told it was five days away from getting to me, but then I found it on my front porch when I came home from lunch. And the small earbuds I ordered at the same time took almost a week. While Christmas doesn't have quite the same issues as Black Friday, you still want to give yourself some cushion.

Amazon has listed Sunday, Dec. 22, as the last day for free regular delivery on millions of items guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. Monday, Dec. 23, is the last day for free one-day delivery before Christmas, and Tuesday, Dec. 24, is the last day for free same-day delivery. The first two deadlines require no minimum purchase, but same-day delivery has a $35 shipping threshold you'll need to hit.

Keep in mind, these times apply to most things, but many items tend to impact the delivery time and speed just based on things like size and number. Be sure to check the estimated delivery dates when you're checking out. These dates also only apply to the contiguous United States, so if you're living in Hawaii or on a ship in the military or something like that, you'll need to plan ahead even more.

Need some gift ideas? We have been tracking Amazon's 12 Days of Deals, which has included a lot of great ways to save and plenty of unique gift possibilities.

If you're ordering a lot of items you should look into Amazon Day, which gives you the option to have all the items you're ordering shipped on one specific day so you don't get delivery drivers showing up every morning. It makes your deliveries more predictable so you can be there when they arrive. Plus, it's good for the environment. You can also use Amazon Lockers and hubs to have packages delivered to somewhere other than your home. That's a great way to hide gifts from the curious.

These are just some of the ways you can use Amazon to your own advantage. Be ultra prepared for the holidays this year.

John Levite
Deals Editor

J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now covers deals for Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.