Time running out for online shopping, parcel deliveries
Shoppers have less than 10 days left to make their festive purchases online - or risk not receiving them by Christmas.
The Australian Retailers Association warned orders needed to by finalised by Saturday, December 12 to give the postal service a chance to deliver them in time.
Australia Post delivered more than 40 million parcels in November - at least six million more than the same time last year.
The spike has been fuelled by the pandemic, which has seen fewer people shop in store and instead go online.
"Australia Post is working hard to deliver parcels and cards quickly, but due to COVID-19 and these high volumes expect Christmas deliveries to take longer," ARA chief executive officer Paul Zahra said.
"We encourage shoppers to make a list and check it twice and get in early to make sure they have a targeted and purposeful shopping experience."
The Australia Post delivery cut-off dates for consumers who are buying from Australian retailers is Saturday, December 12, while for express post purchases the cut-off date is Saturday, December 19.
"Make sure you get your shopping done early to be confident it will arrive in time," Mr Zahra said.
Australia Post's executive general manger of business, government and international Gary Starr urged shoppers to be more organised than previous years with potential delivery delays in the remaining weeks.
"In a year like no other we know this will be a Christmas like no other too which is why we're asking customers to get their parcels in the post a little earlier than usual this year," he said.
"We're delivering as quickly and safely as we can but many items are taking longer than usual due to challenges presented such as reduced domestic flights and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, couple with more parcels coming through our network than ever before."
Australia Post will also be delivering on weekends and they have introduced twilight deliveries up until 8pm in locations where it's required.
The competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's deputy chair Delia Rickard, also warned customers to make sure they are clear on the returns, refunds and replacement laws when buying goods in case the item they receive isn't quite right.
"If there is something wrong with the goods, it doesn't match its description and it's broken in some way then you are entitled to exercise your consumer guarantee," she said.
"This gives you the right to a refund, replacement or repair, those rights even if you are purchasing from overseas but they can be harder to enforce."
New data shows complaints made to the ACCC relating to consumer guarantee has fallen across most categories in 2020 compared to the previous year.
This includes the automotive industry 6049 (-2252), electronics and consumer whitegoods (-708), homewares, furniture and manchester (+57), clothing and personal goods (-503) and non-store retailing (-282).
• Order from Australian retailers with normal post delivery by Saturday, December 12.
• Order from Australian retailers with express post delivery by Saturday, December 19.
Originally published as Time running out for online shopping, parcel deliveries