Shipping costs run high when you need something in a day or two, but occasionally ground will get there just as fast without the added cost. Ricky Van Veen, co-founder of CollegeHumor, discovered that shipping delivery time maps can clue you in to this cost-saving trick:
Any delivery destination in yellow will get there overnight by simply getting the basic ground service. Anything in orange will be a 2 day delivery, again while still just paying for basic ground shipping.
Before you pay for expedited shipping, just check their ground map system to see if it's necessary.
Ricky refers to UPS delivery time maps (pictured above), which you can generate here. FedEx also offers delivery time maps, and hot pink indicates overnight and aqua for two-day shipping. You just enter the originating zip code to find out lead time. If you're just sending someone a package this is a pretty straightforward task, but a lot of the time you just want to find out how quickly you'll receive a package from an online retailer. Always check the shipping location first with these maps before paying more. If you're looking for this information from a third-party seller on Amazon.com, you can usually find it on the store's info page (and see the state directly in the listing). Checking only takes a few minutes and can save you a lot of money on shipping costs.