The retailer is making sure your loved ones don’t discover their holiday gifts before you want them to.

By Claudia Fisher
Updated November 05, 2019
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Part of the magic of gift-giving is maintaining the surprise until the person tears off the wrapping, opens the box, and sees what present is inside. For the entire history of gift-giving (one can only assume), parents have had to come up with creative hiding places to keep snooping kids in the dark, and spouses have had to white-lie their way through over-eager spouses’ interrogations—all to uphold the sanctity of gift-giving traditions.

This holiday season, Amazon is making it a little easier to keep your presents a secret (no more waiting anxiously at the front door to grab a package so you can hide it before anyone sees it). To help you get through the season as smoothly as possible, Amazon rolled out a slew of new and improved delivery options in addition to some holiday shopping hacks newly available to customers. Here are all the latest Amazon shopping tricks you should know about before the naughty people in your life start scavenging for their gifts.

Holiday Shopping Hacks

Along with these shipping and delivery features, Amazon recently rolled out a slew of holiday shopping tools that will help you save time by grouping gift options into several curated storefronts and guides.

Amazon’s Holiday Store

Now through November 21, the retailer will be continuously offering new early holiday deals—not just every day, but multiple times throughout each day—and the Holiday Store landing page is where you can keep up with the latest discounts.

Curated Gift Guides

Amazon editors created their own gift guides this year across categories like Fashion, Electronics, Luxury Beauty, Home, Books, and Toys. There are also several other ways to search for gifts, including guides by price, occasion (like a white elephant party), type (like stocking stuffers), or by what’s trending.

Each list features about 100 items Amazon editors think you and your giftees will love, with many including new releases and exclusive styles. On top of these editor picks, Amazon is highlighting hand-picked gifts from Something Navy’s Arielle Charnas and Pink Peonies’ Rachel Parcell.

Gifts That Give Back

Amazon is giving shoppers the chance to spread holiday cheer by making purchases that benefit more than just their immediate circle. The AmazonSmile program lets you shop on Amazon with all the usual holiday bells and whistles (fast shipping, low prices, special deals) while donating a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice. This year also sees the return of Amazon’s Charity Lists through the AmazonSmile portal—which connects shoppers directly to charities in need of certain donations—to make giving back over the holidays as convenient and meaningful as possible.

New Shipping and Delivery Options

If you’re not a Prime member yet, you may want to consider signing up for a 30-day free trial now so you can reap the benefits of some stellar shipping and delivery options through the holidays. Yesterday, Amazon announced a few major expansions to its already fast, free shipping model.

Free One-Day and Same-Day Delivery

If you’re a Prime member, you’ll be treated to One-Day and Same-Day shipping options on millions of items—including things like luggage, kitchen appliances, cooking tools—with some packages able to arrive in just a few hours after you’ve checked out. Whether you need to sneak in a last-minute gift or deck your halls with decorations before your guests arrive, these faster-than-ever shipping methods will help you get what you need in a crunch.

For Same-Day delivery on orders over $35, plug in your zip code here to see what items are eligible near you.

Choose the Specific Delivery Day

For the first time, shoppers can choose a specific date they’d like their packages to be delivered on most Prime-eligible items so no surprise is ruined by the wrong person answering the door for the delivery person. If you know your husband or wife will be out of the house on Thursday, for example, you can use Amazon Day to have one (or all) of your orders delivered then. The flexible plan is even available on high-demand gifts like Apple AirPods and weighted blankets. Schedule your personalized delivery at check out to sneak gifts by your roommates, family, and friends.

Choose the Delivery Location

If you don’t want to risk a surprise gift showing up on your doorstep for all to see, you can opt to have shipments delivered to self-service Hub Lockers or at stations in select Amazon partner locations, like Rite Aid and GNC, across the U.S. at no additional cost. See the nearest location to you here.

Another new customizable delivery option in select locations is Key by Amazon, a delivery system that lets you choose to have packages placed inside your home, garage, or cars to keep them hidden from weather elements or prying eyes. To take advantage of this new perk, download the Key by Amazon App, and see if you’re eligible for each option here: garage, in-home, and car.