Make sure your gifts get there on time this hol­i­day sea­son

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - GIFT GUIDE - Ar­ti­cle cour­tesy of MetroCreative

Thanks to fam­i­lies be­ing more spread out than ever be­fore, to­day’s hol­i­day shop­pers must fig­ure out ways to get hol­i­day gifts to their des­ti­na­tion on time. The hol­i­day sea­son tends to be the busiest time of year for many delivery ser­vices. The fol­low­ing tips should help shop­pers en­sure their loved ones’ gifts ar­rive on time.

• Ship di­rectly. Adobe An­a­lyt­ics re­ported that on­line shop­ping hit a record high of $108.2 bil­lion in the 2017 hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son, and all in­di­ca­tors sug­gest on­line shop­ping will only in­crease in the years to come. Hol­i­day shop­pers who want to en­sure their loved ones will re­ceive their gifts on time can rely on on­line shop­ping. When check­ing out, have gifts shipped di­rectly to loved ones’ homes. Many on­line re­tail­ers will even wrap gifts for a nom­i­nal fee.

• Re­search ship­ping op­tions. In 2018, Christ­mas falls on a Tues­day. Shop­pers who plan to rely on two­day or overnight ship­ping should keep that in mind. Some delivery ser­vices may be open through­out the week­end be­fore Christ­mas, while oth­ers may only be open on Satur­day. Last­minute shop­pers, whether they’re shop­ping on­line or in-per­son, should con­firm their ship­ping op­tions well in ad­vance of Christ­mas. Be­cause Christ­mas is on a Tues­day this year, getting gifts to their des­ti­na­tion on time may re­quire shop­pers to pur­chase and ship them ear­lier than they other­wise might.

• Pur­chase pack­age in­sur­ance. Con­sumer Re­ports notes that UPS and FedEx ship­ments au­to­mat­i­cally come with de­clared-value cov­er­age of up to $100. (Note: De­clared value is the car­rier’s max­i­mum li­a­bil­ity.) Pur­chas­ing ad­di­tional in­sur­ance can ease shop­pers’ con­cerns about lost or stolen pack­ages. Just be sure to keep all in­voices and re­ceipts in case claims must be filed. Shop­pers also should ask for track­ing num­bers on all pack­ages so they can con­firm when pack­ages are de­liv­ered.

• Prop­erly se­cure the pack­age. Many delivery ser­vices now have off-site dropoff boxes that can make it easy to send gifts. This is a con­ve­nient ser­vice, but shop­pers who use them won’t be able to have a com­pany em­ployee pro­vide in­per­son con­fir­ma­tion that their pack­ages are se­cured to com­pany stan­dards. Poorly pack­aged items may never be shipped. Visit the ship­ping com­pany’s web­site for pack­ag­ing guide­lines, and in­clude a busi­ness card and du­pli­cate la­bel in­side the pack­age just in case it is dam­aged af­ter be­ing dropped off.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF METROCREATIVE

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