Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season for many people. The next step for those of us not joining family for the holidays is to send gifts by courier or mail. Here’s some tips to make sure gifts arrive safe and sound.
Prepare your gift for wrapping. Is your gift fragile or have small moving parts? Use bubble wrap to “square off” any odd angles to make them less fragile during shipping. If your item is shallow or hollow inside, like a vase or bowl, fill that space to protect it – bubble wrap or firmly crumpled packing paper will work!
Pro Tip. Avoid using newspaper for padding as the ink can transfer onto the item you are already trying to protect from damage.
Pick the right-size box. Use a new, sturdy box that’s a few inches larger than your gift to allow for cushioning, but not too much movement. If reusing a box, remove all old shipping labels, then make sure it’s still strong enough to stand up to shipping (no torn flaps, holes, dents or water damage). Don’t overstuff the box; if you do, the contents are more likely to break out of the box before reaching its destination. Check the box’s bottom flap for the maker’s certificate, which tells you the maximum weight the container can bear.
Pro Tip. When mailing multiple items in the same box, bubble wrap each item separately, then tape them together. This way, they won’t clank against each other reducing the likelihood something will break.
Before sealing your shipping box, give it a gentle shake. If you hear anything moving, add more padding.
Pro Tip. Put an extra address label in the box. Sometimes winter weather can streak or remove shipping labels. Putting the shipper and recipient’s address information inside the box adds that extra insurance if a parcel is lost.
Seal your box to keep out sleet or snow. Pros use the “H” method: Tape along all the seams — it will look like there’s an H on both the top and bottom of your box.
Pro Tip. Always use real packing tape; the other stuff doesn’t hold up in transit.
Label it right. Always include the recipient’s complete street address including the postal code. Also, include the apartment or unit number, if applicable. If the person or business you are shipping to uses a P.O. Box, make every effort to include a street address or your delivery may be delayed. For insurance also include the recipient’s telephone number on the label. For international shipments, always include a contact name, telephone number, and postal code.
Pro Tip. To reduce the amount of handling during shipping place a shipping label on the top of the package and never over a seam or on top of sealing tape. To avoid confusion, place only one address label on the package. If you are using a packing slip, place it on the same surface of the package as the address label.
Keep deadlines in mind to insure your packages arrives on time. In Canada, parcels should be sent by Dec. 9 for Christmas delivery. The same date applies for US delivery. International shipping: Deadlines vary by region, but as a rule, allow a minimum of four weeks for parcels. But if you miss a deadline don’t panic! Premium services offer shorter delivery times worldwide.
Looking for the right size box or some bubble wrap, packing paper or packing tape? Talk to your friends at Medicine Hat Storage we have these items in stock.