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Has Your Shipment Come In?

It's that time of the year for gambling--not at the blackjack table, but on the page at an online store where you get to choose between delivery methods. Usually, you can pick between slow but cheap shipping (ideally, slow and free) and more expensive, expedited options. What'll it be? First, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky?

So far, I've opted to save my money. That was definitely the right idea with Barnes and Noble, which had a few books at my door--for free--within the advertised three days. So far, Amazon.com has also been underpromising and overdelivering: Two books I ordered yesterday under its "super saver shipping" option have already left the warehouse, six days earlier than Amazon's estimate. (My colleague Jacqueline Dupree, however, told me yesterday that three recent orders by her and her husband arrived via slow bulk or media-mail shipping instead of the usual USPS first-class or UPS ground.)

The Apple Store needed about a week to land a package on my front porch but charged me nothing for shipping.

And then there's Best Buy. I would have gladly selected its in-store pickup option, but that function on its Web site wasn't working as a one-day sale was expiring. I opted for the $1.99 standard-delivery option, thinking my purchase would still show up in a matter of days. (Last year, an order from Circuit City's site arrived only a day or two after my click of the "buy" button.) Instead, it didn't materialize for another 10 days or so.

What kind of delivery options have you picked? Has your faith in online retailers' shipping-time estimates been rewarded so far?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  December 11, 2007; 10:13 AM ET
Categories:  The business we have chosen  
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