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US Postal Service Publishes Christmas Mail-By Dates

The USPS has published its “Mail-By” dates. To ensure that holiday mail and packages are delivered in time for Christmas (December 25, 2014), the Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

Dec. 2: First-Class Mail International
Dec. 2: Priority Mail International
Dec. 10: Priority Mail Express International
Dec. 15: Standard Post
Dec. 17: Global Express Guaranteed
Dec. 20: First-Class Mail
Dec. 20: Priority Mail
Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express (Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed Dec. 22–25.)

Online merchants promised last-minute shoppers last year they could get their packages delivered in time for Christmas, but bad weather and unexpected heavy volume in the final days leading up the holiday led to some disappointment.

We compared this year’s dates to last year’s to see if the USPS made any changes to its schedule and found the mail-by date for Priority Mail packages was December 21 last year. But since that falls on a Sunday this year, that’s the likely reason the mail-by date was pushed back a day this year.

Online sellers will have to get their Priority Mail packages into the mail stream by Saturday the 20th in order to ensure delivery before Thursday, December 25th.

The Postal Service published recommended mailing dates for packages going to military APO/FPO/ DPO addresses overseas on this page of the USPS website.

It also offered shipping tips for consumer-shippers, and estimated that customers will ship 15.5 billion Christmas cards, letters, and packages this holiday season.

USPS Consumer Advocate John Budzynski said, “The key to holiday shipping is being prepared and starting early. This is our season and we are ready to deliver. The Postal Service’s knowledgeable employees are here to help customers ensure their holiday packages are packed, tracked and delivered with ease.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.