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A mixture of manufacturing and supply chain delays have started to impact delivery times for holiday shopping.
Nintendo announced it won’t be able to make as many Nintendo Switch consoles as it originally expected, while Apple has begun using parts originally meant for the iPad in the iPhone, which’ll make it harder to get Apple’s popular tablets.
These issues, combined with the fact that UPS, FedEx, and the USPS are always overloaded around the holidays, means its better to shop now than risk running against shipping deadlines and risking after-holiday delivery.
Amazon has sidestepped this issue by developing its own shipping company whose sole focus is fulfilling its own orders. Whether you’re shopping soon, or waiting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in the next few weeks, we recommend signing up for Amazon Prime.
Amazon’s subscription comes with a bunch of great perks, but the biggest one is free two-day shipping on tens of thousands of items with no minimum purchase requirement. Amazon Prime costs $12.99 per month ($119 for a year), but you can sign up for a free 30-day trial to test it out for the holidays.
You’ll have access to all of Amazon Prime’s features during your free subscription, and can cancel at any time without a penalty. After your trial is up, you’ll be billed for a monthly or annual subscription depending on what plan you’ve chosen. Most items sold on Amazon are eligible for two-day shipping if you’re a Prime member, but gear sold by third-party sellers may not be.
You can place as many orders as you want during your Amazon Prime trial, and won’t get hit with any extra fees or face restrictions. If you’re placing a large order, Amazon may ask if you’d prefer to receive items as quickly as possible, or in as few shipments as possible.
If you haven’t given Amazon Prime a try, right now is the best time of year to sign up. You can finish (or start) your holiday shopping without worrying about items arriving after New Year’s Day. Some items — like AirPods Pro — are liable to sell out quickly, so it’s wise to start shopping as soon as possible.