5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Doing Your Holiday Mailing
The holidays are the busiest time of the year for a lot of businesses, and that goes double for the shipping industry, whether it’s the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, UPS, or any other shipper. A lot of that can be chalked up to people doing their holiday shopping online—we’ve got to get those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, after all!—but the holidays are also a time when we ship a lot of things to friends and family who maybe live too far away for us to see them in person, or to family members in the military who are stationed overseas. Whether it’s Christmas cards, presents, or care packages, chances are you’re going to be mailing something this holiday season. Here are a few tips from your neighbors at Storage ‘R’ Us to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes people make when shipping for the holidays:
- Get it insured. If all you’re sending out is a Christmas card, then maybe you don’t need any insurance to see to it that it gets where it’s going. But if you’re shipping something valuable, put down the few extra bucks that it takes to insure it. Not only does it make sure that your package gets to its intended recipient, but it also buys you peace of mind. The USPS offers a variety of options when it comes to insurance and special handling instructions for fragile or perishable items, and most other major shippers have insurance options as well.
- Ship it right. Maybe most things can just be boxed up and dropped in the mail, but some things require special handling, or special types of postage, and a few things—such as fireworks and ammunition—can’t be sent through the mail at all. The holidays are a particularly popular time for shipping food. So if in doubt, take it to your local USPS or other shipping outlet and make sure that you can ship it, and that you’re doing it right.
- Use correct postage. Sure, it’s tempting to try to use up all those old, out-of-date stamps to send that sweater to grandma, but you won’t be so merry if that box comes back to you in a few weeks because you didn’t put enough postage on it. Most USPS offices have automated scales that can tell you how much postage you’ll need to ship out your package, so make sure that you’ve got it covered before you put it in the mail.
- Verify their address. These days, we tend to stay in touch with people more through emails, Facebook, and phone calls, so even if it’s a family member you’re sending something to this holiday season, it’s possible that they’ve moved since the last time you actually mailed them something. Make sure that the address you have is current, and if you’re unsure about address formatting, a quick search on Google Maps can often set your mind at ease.
- Send it in time! Probably the number one mistake that people make when shipping out packages for the holidays is not sending them in time. With the holiday season being the busiest time of the year for shipping, if you want your packages to get where they’re going in a timely fashion, make sure you ship them early! (This is especially important when shipping packages to military personnel stationed overseas, where deadlines for shipping to APOs is December 10th for First Class and December 17th for Priority.) For shipping within the United States, the cutoffs for a package to reach its destination by Christmas are December 20th for both First Class and Priority, and December 2nd for Priority Express. Be warned, though, the usual Priority Express money-back guarantee is suspended for packages shipped after the 22nd!
Whatever your shipping needs are this holiday season, you don’t have to go down to the post office and fight the long lines in order to get them taken care of. We can help you right here at Storage ‘R’ Us, while also handling all your holiday storage and military self-storage needs! All of our convenient locations offer boxes and supplies that you can use for packing, and our East Gore location in Lawton, OK even has a full-service USPS station that can handle all of your holiday mailing and shipping needs!