The big picture: It's hard to believe but the holiday buying season is now upon us. While many don't consider it the holiday season until after Thanksgiving, retailers in recent years have moved the unofficial "start date" up by several weeks in order to one-up the competition and get the revenue rolling in early.

Best Buy is bringing the fight to Amazon this holiday season. The electronics retailer on Tuesday announced that it is offering free next-day delivery on thousands of items including tablets, headphones and espresso machines through the holidays.

Standard customers (non My Best Buy Elite and Elite Plus members) will need to place an order of at least $35 to qualify for free next-day shipping. In the event you live in an area where the service isn't offered or you order something that doesn't qualify, you'll still get free standard shipping, we're told.

Best Buy also reserves the right to limit next-day delivery during Thanksgiving week and will not deliver purchases on Sundays.

Speaking of qualifications, Best Buy notes that size and weight restrictions apply. For example, major appliances and televisions 51 inches or larger may have different delivery terms.

If you'd rather not fool with shipping, there's always the store pickup option where Best Buy will have your online purchase ready to pick up at your local Best Buy within an hour. Considering that 70 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a retail store, that might be the way to go.

Masthead credit: Best Buy store by Sean Pavone