We are now just a month away from Christmas, so many of us are making good progress on our present shopping.
But if you haven’t started yet, don’t panic - there should still be plenty of time to get those orders in and still receive the gifts in time for the big day.
That said, different retailers have very different final order dates when it comes to guaranteeing you will receive your items in time for Christmas, as well as different charges for actually delivering those goods.
If you’re leaving it late to do your pressie shopping with Amazon, then the good news is you still have plenty of time to get your orders in. The last date for standard orders is 21st December, but for one-day delivery you have until the 23rd. In fact, in certain regions Amazon does evening deliveries up until Christmas Eve.
For standard deliveries, you have until midnight on the 20th December to place your order, which is free when you spend over £30 or else costs £3. Alternatively with express delivery you can leave it until 23rd December, though this will cost up to £8.
The last order date for Currys or PC World varies, depending on the size of the items you’re buying. If you’re going for a large item, like a TV or fridge freezer (who doesn’t want a freezer for Christmas?) then you need to place the order by 7pm on 22nd December.
For smaller items you have until 8pm on 23rd December to guarantee delivery in time for the big day.
The cost of delivery will vary depending on the size of the items you’re buying and the length of the timeslot you go for.
For standard deliveries, you need to place your Debenhams order by midnight on the 17th December. Delivery is free when you spend over £50.
For next day deliveries - which cost £4.99 - you have until the 21st December, while the retailer’s click and collect is an option for orders placed up until 9pm on 22nd December.
Picking up some presents from Dorothy Perkins? You need to place your order by the 20th December for standard delivery, which is free when you spend £50, or the 23rd for nominated day delivery, which costs £5.95.
If you need to pick up some beauty or grooming products for your loved ones from Feelunique, then the last order date for standard or tracked deliveries is 19th December.
However if you go for click and collect or next day deliveries then you have until 21st December to get your order in.
Costs range from free to £4.95.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of bling. If you’re looking to get some brownie points with a loved one, then you need to place your H. Samuel order by 22nd December for standard delivery (costing £2.95) or click and collect.
Otherwise you have until 7pm on 23rd December for express delivery, which will set you back £4.95.
Orders need to be placed by 5pm on 21st December for standard or next day deliveries with H&M (costing £3.99), or by midnight on 22nd December for click and collect.
If you’re happy to click and collect with John Lewis, then you have until 22nd December. It’s free when you spend £30 or more.
If you need a home delivery, then standard delivery (which is free when you spend over £50) has a final order date of 19th December. With next day delivery you have until 22nd December, with the cost starting at £6.95.
Marks & Spencer
This isn’t just any Christmas, it’s an M&S Christmas. For standard delivery you need to get the order placed by 17th December. It’s free when you spend over £30. With nominated-day delivery, you will have to pay £3.99 but you have until 22nd December.
With Miss Selfridge you need to order by 19th December for standard delivery, which is free when you spend over £40.
Alternatively, there’s express home delivery which will set you back £6 (or free when you spend over £70) and is available until 23rd December.
Picking up some nifty shoes for a Christmas present? If you’re ordering from Office, then for standard deliveries you have until 18th December. It’s free on full price items, or else costs £3.50.
For next working day or weekend deliveries, you have until 21st December, with costs starting at £5.
If you fancy treating the family to a personalised photo album or even a mug with your smiling face on it, then Snapfish is accepting Christmas orders until 18th December for standard delivery. You have until the next day to get in orders for tracked delivery.
Picking up a book for a loved one? If you’re shopping with Waterstones, then you have until 19th December for second class deliveries or 20th December for first class. For courier deliveries you need to get your order in by 21st December.
What about returns and refunds?
Even when we put some real thought into picking the perfect present, there are times when we simply get it horribly wrong.
Remember, shops are only legally required to provide a refund or exchange if the item is faulty or unfit for purpose, though most are generally happy to be a bit more flexible around this time of year.
It’s also worth remembering that while usually you only have 28 days in which to return non-faulty items, most retailers extend this over the festive period, meaning shoppers have a little bit more time in which to change those presents for something they really do want.
Nonetheless, it’s a really good idea to hang onto the receipt. You may need to have the original packaging as proof of purchase as well - be sure to check the returns policy before you actually go through with any purchase.
Don’t forget cashback
If you’re ordering presents online, it’s always a good idea to see if you can pocket a little cashback along the way. Cashback websites like TopCashback and Quidco get paid a referral fee if you follow the links from their sites to retailers and then spend money. They then pass some of that money back to you.
The cashback may look quite small on individual purchases - in some cases just 1% of the money you spend for example - but it can quickly add up, particularly at this time of year. You can then put some of that cashback you earn towards and extra gift just for you.