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Amazon expands delivery options across U.S. for last-minute holiday shoppers

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If you’re the kind of person who leaves the Christmas shopping to the very last moment, then changes to Amazon’s delivery operation Amazon’s latest move may come in handy.

The company said on Wednesday, December 13 that it’s expanding its Prime same-day and next-day free delivery options to thousands more cities and towns across the U.S., bringing the total to served to 8,000.

In addition, Prime Now, Amazon’s service for Prime members that promises delivery within a couple of hours, is offering to get your order to your door right up until 11.59 p.m. on December 24 in more than 30 cities.

Prime members searching for items eligible for free same-day or one-day shipping should look for those logos beside product listings or use the filter tool on the webpage. Select same-day or one-day shipping at checkout and eligible orders will be delivered for free — but only if the total comes to more than $35.

The online shopping giant says that eligible same-day orders placed in the morning will arrive between 6 and 9 p.m., while orders placed in the evening, or through the one-day option, will arrive the next day.

If you’re a non-Prime members in an eligible zip codes who wants same-day delivery, you’ll need to add $9 per order, plus $1 per item.

Greg Greeley, VP of Amazon Prime, said that in 2016, the last same-day delivery order from Amazon that made it to its destination address in time for Christmas “was ordered at 10:23 a.m. on Christmas Eve.” For the curious, the order included “Venum Contender Boxing Gloves, and was delivered to a Prime member in Richmond, Virginia at 2:42 p.m.” on the same day.

Not one to miss a chance to gather more people into the Prime family, Amazon reminds current non-members that they can try Prime and its benefits for free for 30 days, including fast shipping for free. What it doesn’t suggest is that having made the most of the delivery options during the busy shopping period, you can cancel your $99-a-year membership before your trial expires.

The expansion of Amazon’s fast-delivery options is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to make its service more attractive to shoppers and boost its Prime membership numbers. But competition is intensifying with, for example, Target announcing on December 12 that it’s acquired online grocery delivery company Shipt with the aim of using its platform to bring same-day delivery to half of its stores by early 2018. Walmart has also been working hard to improve its delivery efficiency.

Finally, here’s Amazon’s holiday shipping cheat sheet:

For free shipping before Christmas, visit The following shipping dates apply*
• Dec. 15: Free shipping on millions of items fulfilled and shipped by Amazon, free for all customers
• Dec. 18: Last day for standard shipping, free for Prime members
• Dec. 22: Last day for two-day shipping, free for Prime members
• Dec. 23: Last day for one-day shipping, free for Prime members
• Dec. 24: Last day for same-day delivery, free for Prime members (order by 9:30 a.m. local time or earlier)
• Dec. 24: Prime Now offers Prime members free two-hour delivery windows (order by 9:00 p.m. local time or earlier)
• Dec. 24: Whole Foods Market stores and Amazon Books open Christmas Eve (store hours vary by location)

*Please note that not all shipping speeds are available for all products in all regions, and order minimums may apply.

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