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Special Delivery: Great Holiday Shipping Tips
Make sure perishable and nonperishable items arrive safely for the holidays
The Holidays are right around the corner and that means decorations, vacation planning, and the holiday shopping season! If you haven't already put holiday shipping tactics in place here 's how to determine what shipping options will get your gifts to their destination safely, on time and without busting your budget.
Holiday Shipping Tips - Shipping Times
If you're relying on standard shipping policies to figure out delivery times, check the fine print for what a specific retailer's shipping times really mean. Often, you need to add a day or two for order processing. For example, Buy.com's complicated shipping policies say you should tack on an additional five days for products purchased using Google Checkout.
Holiday Shipping Tips - Verify Addresses
Make sure to verify the shipping address for completeness and correctness. If the address is incorrect or not printed CLEARLY, the package may get lost in shipping. Make sure to add your return address, as well. Not only that, if "Avenue" is entered instead of "Street" you may be charged extra by the shipping carriers for fixing the address.
Holiday Shipping Tips - Pack Wisely
If you choose to pack your items yourself, make sure you choose the proper type of box: be sure to package them in strong, corrugated cardboard boxes. Check the bottom of the box for a weight limit. Don't wrap the outer box in any kind of paper; it could tear off and your gift could be lost or delayed. (U.S. Postal Service, UPS, DHL and some FedEx boxes are free.)
Holiday Shipping Tips - Ship Direct
If you're shopping online, have your gifts shipped directly to the recipients. Many online vendors offer free shipping on at least some popular items. You may have to pay for gift wrapping, but most companies will let you include a free gift message and will provide gift receipts that don't show the price in case the giftee wants an exchange.
Holiday Shipping Tips - Ship Perishables Correctly.
Send baked goods, meats, cheeses and fruits on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, ideally via next-day delivery. If you send them on a Thursday or Friday, make sure the foods can handle extremely hot or cold temperatures for up to four days. This may require the use of frozen gel packs.
Holiday Shipping Tips - Shipper Deadlines
If you choose to ship gifts yourself, check the holiday shipping deadlines for the U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service, and FedEx. "The earlier you ship, the more options you have," says Megan Belt, a spokeswoman for The UPS Store.
Apple doesn't make any holiday shipping guarantees, but it does offer detailed explanations of what time frames to expect for its various shipping options (standard, 2-day shipping, 2-3 day international shipping, and next business day). If you're thinking of doing your holiday shopping at Apple's online store, check out its Gifting page, which tells you where you can send gifts paid for with a U.S. credit card, as well as its packaging and card options.
Here you go-- 6 great tips for savvy holiday shipping . We've also written some articles on holiday gifty guide, great gift for iPad lovers, 2011 black friday digital camcorder deals, etc, just Let iFunia take you window shopping through all the best and brightest gift, apps, games, movies and more with our handy-dandy 2011 Holiday Buyer's Guide.