How-to Ship Your Holiday Gifts
Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even with safety precautions such as limiting travel or family get togethers; you can still spread holiday cheer through gift-giving. Most gifts can easily be shipped to friends and family with a little time and preparation. Below are some tips to help shipping your gifts easier.
1. Shop for easy-to-ship items
This past year has definitely made it seem like you can order anything and have it delivered to your doorstep. Furniture? Groceries? Five course meal? But if you are shipping gifts you might want to keep things easy on yourself. Consider small, lightweight, and non-fragile items such as: clothing, scarves, stuffed animals, books and fashion accessories. Everything on ShopColumbia's web-store was selected for easy shipping. But if you have your heart on giving a large, awkward or fragile gift; consider purchasing from a company that can ship it directly to your gift recipient.
2. Research your shipping Options
When shipping within the United States, there are three primary shipping options: United States Postal Service (USPS), UPS or FedEx.
As a general rule: when shipping anything less than 1 lb, the cheapest option will be USPS. Items that are heavier than 1 lb or larger than 1 cubic foot will be cheapest sent through FedEx or UPS. But if you are planning on shipping multiple gifts, it might be worth your time to just choose one shipping provider.
Each shipping company has multiple shipping options and can be confusing choosing he best option. Below are the cheapest option for each company:
• USPS First Class Mail Package (less than 16oz) and Priority Mail Package (heavier than 16oz)
• UPS Ground
• Fed Ex Ground delivers to businesses and Fed Ex Home Delivery is for residential destinations.
3. Know your deadlines.
Below are the shipping deadlines to ensure delivery before December 25th. Remember, the later you ship, the more you will pay.
• USPS, UPS ground, FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery: December 15, 2020
• FedEx Express Saver or UPS 3 Day Select: December 21, 2020
• FedEx 2-day or UPS 2nd day Air: December 22, 2020
• UPS Next Day Air: December 23, 2020
*Please note: ShopColumbia is suggesting customers place their orders by December 14th to ensure delivery before December 25th.
4. Package for safety
Assume that your package will be tossed, dropped and stacked. Below are tips to increase the odds of your package safely arriving damage-free:
• Use a new, sturdy box that is a few inches larger than your gift on all sides to allow for plenty of cushioning
• Use at least 1 inch of cushioning such as bubblewrap around all sides of the item. Then fill any gaps in the box with packing peanuts, crumpled Kraft paper or additional bubblewrap. Clothing or towels can also work as sustainable/green padding and can add value to the gift.
• If packing liquids or liquid-like items such as cooking oils, lotion, jelly, pickles… First check with the shipping provider if it is allowed! Then package the liquid item in two sealed plastic bags in case the item leaks or breaks. You do not want everything in the box damaged because of one leak.
• Perform the shake test. When you shake the box there should be little to no movement.
5. Get Creative with shipping alternatives
• Porch Drop-off. If you have friends or family nearby, consider delivering the gifts to their porch yourself. Think of it as a more festive and friendly ding-and-dash. Ring the doorbell and then give them plenty of space to adhere to the social distancing guidelines. You might not be there when they open their gifts, but you will still get to see their faces.
• Celebrate at an alternate time. If the holidays are too hectic and you are not finding the time to ship gifts...suggest to friends and family that you will exchange gifts at another time when it is safe to do so.
We'd love to see how your celebrating the holidays! Tag ShopColumbia on any of our social media pages and use the hashtag #HowToHoliday2020 on your posts.