I've done all of my Christmas shopping, and birthday shopping for the daughter whose birthday is 5 days after Christmas, and even wrapped much of it! Hooray for me! (I'm allowed to cheer for myself, honestly, I am). And it was all done from this chair where I sit now.
See? That's a lot of stuff. Of course, I shop for a lot of people.
So, being the friendly individual I am, here's a report on the various merchants I used, and their shipping habits, so maybe I can save you from the crowds in the future:
Amazon.com: I have the prime membership, because I got mad when they shipped things via USPS once too often, and they never arrived (some of you know the post office saga for my little town, and I won't bore the rest of you with it). So now if I want a $3 item, I order it, and they have to ship it free. Much of the time, their prices are fair, and they do ship very quickly, always via UPS.
Barnes & Noble: Fast for books, 2 to 3 days generally. Sometimes ship via USPS, sometimes UPS, sometimes Fedex. That's a crapshoot. Often they offer free shipping.
K-Mart: Yes, I shop at K-Mart. Corelle is the same whether you get it a bargain price, or pay more from Macy's. Just sayin'. I've ordered from them 4 times this season, and always gotten things in 2 days, via UPS. Shipping has always been free, because I ordered over a certain amount. They can certainly continue to supply me in the future.
Wal-Mart: Surprisingly fast on big things, like a vacuum cleaner and microwave that I had drop shipped to a daughter in a distant location. Both arrived in 2 days. Small things? Kinda iffy. I ordered a camera with case and memory card for someone, which needed to be shipped from here with other gifts. The camera arrived in about 5 days, the memory card in about 8 days, and the case still isn't here. Bah! They use Fedex for the most part. Sometimes shipping is free, but sometimes they're crappy about it. I ordered a set of plastic hangers with about $75 worth of other stuff, for which shipment was all free. The hangers were $18, and they wanted $5 for shipping them. I cancelled the hangers. You don't charge me 1/3 of the purchase price for shipping.
Pfaltzgraf for kitchenware and such: under a week for delivery, fair prices, good quality merchandise. They ship via UPS, also.
Clothing sites such as Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, Dockers, American Eagle, Forever 21, PacSun are slower to ship. Oh, they offer free shipment, but that takes about 2 weeks. To have it in under a week, you pay a premium for shipping. If you know sizes, and if you think far enough in advance, they're all good.
Drugstore.com is my go-to for staples like toothpaste and mouthwash and deodorant and advil. Really, I know when I open the last container I have of any of those things, and I can certainly think far enough ahead to order a week before I need it. Shipping is free for over $25 (and how hard is it to spend $25 at the drugstore), and usually arrives here in 2 to 3 days.
So there you are. I hope this information helps some of you!