Comparison shopping could save you cash on shipping holiday gifts

Shoppers are buying mountains of Christmas presents and many will spend piles of cash shipping them to loved ones across the country.

But how can you save time and money to get your present to its destination by Christmas?

Bob King juggled 3 Christmas presents into the post office, where he spent $55 shipping gifts that cost him only $30 to buy.

"It's crazy. It's nuts, but you have to do it," says King.

But do you have to spend that much? And of all the major shippers who's the cheapest. A few set out to find out using some typical Christmas like gifts; a fleece shirt to go with pants and box everything up for a destination in New Jersey.

The first stop was a US Post Office where two day shipping cost $19.80. Five day arrival time was significantly less.

At the UPS store, things got a little complicated. Two day shipping cost $16.66 and the five day option jumped to $34.19.

Over at FedEx, two business day delivery cost $14.77, but waiting until Monday cost twice as much.

Cathy Oâ??Brien did some comparison shopping and reached the same conclusion - the post office came out on top with the lowest prices.

"It was easy. It was painless. And it's the postal service. It's the postal service," says O'Brien.

But numerous factors determine shipping costs. Getting gifts to grandma's house without putting you in the poor house requires your own comparison shopping.

The Post Office came out on top because the shopper wasn't in a hurry to get the gifts there. FedEx had the lowest two business day shipping.

Rates vary with the shipping time and distance, and the weight and size of the box.

(Courtesy NBC News)