With COVID-19 cases on the rise, health experts say it's best to start holiday shopping earlier rather than later to avoid shipping delays and crowds.
Most people at the Tanger Outlets in Oxon Hill on Friday said they're doing a majority of their holiday shopping from home and only came out to get one or two items. However, others say holiday shopping in person is a tradition.
“I like going in and looking at the products and being able to see it and just being outside experience," says shopper Tasha Ross.
“This is actually the first time I’ve been shopping in person and I’m more comfortable here since it’s outdoors," says another shopper Sherice Cho.
“Most of the shopping has been online, but like I said it’s a nice day so we wanted to get out and get some fresh air, try to beat the rush," says Tanger Outlets guest Mike Bilops.
If you are planning on doing the majority of your holiday shopping online, time is ticking to get your gifts to arrive by Christmas. USPS and FedEx have put out holiday shopping deadlines.
If you're doing retail ground, both companies say they want you to send your package no later than Tuesday, Dec. 15.
If you plan on using priority mail, USPS says ship out your package by next Friday, Dec. 18 and FedEx says by Dec. 21.
However, even experts say these dates may be a little optimistic, so the less delay, the better. Even if you order priority and expect it in 1-3 days, packages can still take longer than that to arrive.
“It’s honestly just frustration," shopper Lewis Coriolan says. "You’re like, 'God, I could’ve gotten this like in 20 minutes if I drove.' You kind of get spoiled with same-day shipping, next-day shipping, especially with Amazon Prime, and when you don’t get that it’s like, ‘Ugh,’ it’s kind of like a spoiled type of vibe.”
No matter which route you choose to holiday shop this year, retailers say you won't miss out on deals online or in stores. Many say they want shoppers to feel safe and avoid large crowds, so they're offering the same deals through both avenues.