Shipping gifts can get quite expensive! Use these 7 Ways to Save on Shipping Christmas Gifts this year.
For many of us that have friends and family spread all over the country and even the world, shipping our gifts is a must. With the price of shipping really going up the last couple of years, it is important to save wherever you can. Here are 7 ways you can save on shipping your gifts this year:
1. Be conscious of weight and size when purchasing a gift to begin with. Too many times have a bought something and thought, “Wow! This would be perfect for so-and-so” only to later realize that it will be way too heavy or large to ship inexpensively and/or it may require so much packaging to keep it from breaking that a better choice could have been made. If you find something that your loved one would like, but it is too expensive to ship, try buying some accessories for it and including a gift-card and a note for them to go out and purchase it for themselves. For instance, let's say you want to get your nephew a new BluRay player. Calculate what the price is where he is at, throw in a gift-card with a couple new movies and ship.
2. Use different packing materials. Newspaper can be pretty heavy. Instead, try using popcorn. It is light and airy and surprisingly, it protects items pretty well. You can pack it loosely or in bags, depending on what you are shipping and it virtually weighs nothing.
3. Use the free packing materials provided by the postal service. For priority mail, the postal service will even ship you boxes to use for free. Just request them and they will be on your doorstep in a day or two. Then, it's as simple as packing and scheduling a pickup. You can even save yourself time by printing off your own shipping forms.
4. Use flat-rate. This is a great option if you are sending a bunch of gifts to one household. A large flat-rate shipping box (12-1/4″ x 12-1/4″ x 6″) can be stuffed full and still ship at the same rate of $16.85 for a large sized box.
5. Utilize media mail. While media mail is slower than priority or first class, it is far cheaper than those options as well for things like heavy books. Media mail usually takes 7-10 business days, o make sure you plan well in advance if you wish to get it there by Christmas as there is no express option for it. Also, keep in mind that it can ONLY be used for media such as DVDs, Blu-Rays, books, magazines, and records.
6. Don't wait until last minute to ship. Last minute shipping options are very expensive. You could pay as much as $50-$60 to get it there in time if you wait past the 20th of December. Also, shipping early allows you to not worry as much about timing because as the postal service gets busy, there are delays in processing and shipping and your packages may take longer than normal.
7. Skip the extra frills. Unless the gift you are shipping is highly expensive, there is no need for extra insurance. If you are planning on sending an expensive gift, instead of shipping from home, buy the item online and have the company ship it to the recipient. Not only can shipping rates be lower, but you have some extra piece of mind knowing that if the item is lost in the mail, the company you order from will most likely compensate you for it and ship another.