CLEVELAND — Time is running out to get your holiday shopping done and if you’re a last-minute shopper you could face some challenges this year buying gifts online. Consumer experts say at this point you should assume your online orders are going to be a few days late.
Michael Bonebright, a consumer analyst for DealNews.com, says opting for in-store or curbside pick-up may be your best bet.
“Realistically, right now, every single shipping company all over the world is backed up. More people are buying products online than ever before,” Bonebright said.
Bonebright says the problem is we're competing with shoppers from all over the world and dealing with some retailers who have to ship products from places like China.
“It's not going to get better. So place your orders now,” he said.
If you're thinking express shipping will help speed up delivery, think again. Bonebright says it can take days for your order to be processed through a retailer's system and most retailers operate on business days only.
“You really want to avoid paying for all of that extra shipping that can add an extra 20 bucks to your order, which basically wipes out any sale that you've just taken advantage of.”
Finally, when in doubt buy a gift card, but make sure to purchase them with a credit card to protect yourself from scammers.
“December is actually the best time all year to buy gift cards because if you're buying in bulk, you can actually score extra store credit or you can score extra gift cards,” said Bonebright.
If you don’t mind the delays and aren’t in a rush to get your gift, you may consider waiting until Green Monday on Dec. 14 to shop online. Bonebright says is an easy way to save a few bucks and enjoy more online sales.