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Christmas presents may not arrive until AFTER December 25, experts warn

Children could miss out on Christmas presents this year as postal services struggle to cope with a huge influx of online shoppers.

Australians plan to do 90 per cent more festive shopping on the web this holiday season, with many looking to avoid large crowds in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

That means if online shoppers leave their gift-buying until the last minute eager kids won’t get the latest video game or iPhone until Boxing Day, or worse.

‘If shoppers don’t plan ahead, a significant number of people could get their Christmas presents late this year,’ Paypal consumer expert Cathy Jamieson told Daily Mail Australia.    

‘It could very well be a serious issue. Everyone wants their Christmas presents on time, particularly kids. You just can’t have your presents turning up the next working day. They have got to be there on the date.’

Children could miss out on Christmas presents this year as postal services struggle to cope with a huge influx of online shoppers (stock image)

Children could miss out on Christmas presents this year as postal services struggle to cope with a huge influx of online shoppers (stock image)

Pictured: An employee places parcels on a conveyor belt at an Amazon warehouse

Pictured: An employee places parcels on a conveyor belt at an Amazon warehouse

New data by the financial services giant shows about 25 percent of Australians plan to do their Christmas shopping in the final two weeks before December 25.

Ms Jamieson warned that last-minute gift-buyers may have been able to get away with it in years gone, but not this time.

‘If they do that, their presents will not arrive on time,’ she said.

‘These folks are going to miss the Australia Post cut-off for parcels which is December 12, or December 19 if you want to pay extra for express post.’

To make sure your loved one’s gifts arrive on time there are a few things online shoppers can do.

‘Check the estimated delivery time because even though some merchants may say two to three days the real deadline you have to work with is what Australia Post is putting out there,’ Ms Jamieson.

Online shoppers need to look for sellers that have online stock held in Australia or the state where the parcel is being delivered.

How to make sure your presents arrive on time this Christmas: 

To ensure your loved one’s gifts arrive on time this Christmas, there are a few things online shoppers can do.

1. Check the estimated delivery time because even though some merchants may say two to three days – the real deadline you have to work with is what Australia Post is putting out there.

2. The other thing online shoppers can do is look for sellers that have online stock held in Australia or even better, held within your state. This will make sure it your package arrives much faster.

3. Click-and-collect services also provide a far quicker way to secure your Christmas purchases, especially if you’ve missed the cut-off date. 

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New data by the financial services giant shows about 25 percent of Australians plan to do their Christmas shopping in the final two weeks before December 25 (pictured, Santa makes an early appearance at Bourke Street in Melbourne on November 12)

New data by the financial services giant shows about 25 percent of Australians plan to do their Christmas shopping in the final two weeks before December 25 (pictured, Santa makes an early appearance at Bourke Street in Melbourne on November 12)

Last-minute gift-buyers may have been able to get away with it in years gone, but not this time (pictured, shoppers at Pitt Street Mall in Sydney pile in for holiday sales in 2018)

Last-minute gift-buyers may have been able to get away with it in years gone, but not this time (pictured, shoppers at Pitt Street Mall in Sydney pile in for holiday sales in 2018)

Click-and-collect services also provide a much faster way to secure your Christmas purchases, if you’ve missed the cut-off date.

Australia Post cut-offs: 

Sending within Australia:

Send Parcel Post by Saturday December 12, 2020.

Send Express Post by Saturday December 19, 2020.

Sending Internationally:

USA, Canada, UK, Europe: Monday  November 16, 2020. 

Most of Asia: Monday November 23, 2020.

New Zealand: Friday November 27, 2020.

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Paypal estimates that about two million Australians started shopping regularly online for the first time this year as a result of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown in March.

With retail stores shut and social distancing guidelines urging everyone not to gather in large crowds, growth in digital services skyrocketed.

‘2020 has been a really unusual, unsettling, depriving and pretty horrible year for all of us,’ Ms Jamieson said.

‘Covid-19 really changed aspects of all our lives. So many things that were already going virtual… but they just took this giant leap.

‘We jumped five years ahead in the space of eight months or so and that happened with virtual medicine, working from home, online learning and it also happened with virtual shopping.’

But although online shopping has sharply increased, total average spend on Christmas gifts this year is expected to fall significantly after a massive economic downturn.

On average Australians will spend about $560 on presents – a figure $59 lower than previous years.

With less money to throw around, shoppers are set to focus on quality over quantity. 

New data by the financial services giant shows about 25 percent of Australians plan to do their Christmas shopping in the final two weeks before December 25 (stock image)

New data by the financial services giant shows about 25 percent of Australians plan to do their Christmas shopping in the final two weeks before December 25 (stock image)

With less money to throw around, shoppers are set to focus on quality over quantity (pictured are parcels at an Amazon warehouse)

With less money to throw around, shoppers are set to focus on quality over quantity (pictured are parcels at an Amazon warehouse) 

A growing number of Australians are also consciously planning to buy local.

Campaigns like Buy from the Bush – set up to help struggling rural businesses – are expected to see a wave of online purchases ahead of Christmas with about 40 percent of Australians more wary of where they are spending their dollars in 2020.

‘Australians have this great thing where we support each other and stick together during tough times,’ Ms Jamieson said.

‘We saw that with the drought, we saw that with the bushfires and now we are seeing it with the pandemic, and there are a lot more people that are looking to buy local.’

The Queen Victoria Building in Sydney is pictured on April 1, 2020, after being shut down following the Covid-19 crisis

The Queen Victoria Building in Sydney is pictured on April 1, 2020, after being shut down following the Covid-19 crisis

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