Shipping gifts is a nuanced practice. There are quite a few things to remember when sending loved ones gift packages when it comes to protecting and getting it to the recipient on time. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are some useful pointers.

Shipping Gifts the Right Way

Similar to most things in life, there are right ways and wrong ways to ship presents. We’ll spare you the obvious, such as using your return address and securing your shipment with shipping tape. But there are a few things to remember when sending your friends and family tokens and keepsakes.

Double Check What You’re Allowed to Send

The number of shipping-prohibited items may surprise you. Whichever courier service you choose, check their list of prohibited items. Typically prohibited are:

  • Liquids (alcohol, perfumes, varnish)
  • Aerosols (common in toiletries)
  • Chocolate and confectionary
  • Flowers and plants
  • Musical instruments
  • Electrical items
  • Anything glass

Shipping Gifts with Sufficient Packaging

  • Beyond securing your shipment with adequate tape (see above), there are a number of things to remember for safe packaging
  • Use a NEW box (or a sturdy one)
  • Padding inside (bubble wrap, cardboard, newspaper
  • Make sure there’s no movement inside the box

Measure and Weigh Correctly 

To avoid delays and additional charges, provide the correct package measurements before shipping. This means measuring and weighing AFTER it’s wrapped, packed, and ready to ensure:

  • The right courier is sending your gift
  • You get charged the correct amount the first time

Shipping Gifts the Wrong Way

Just as there’s a right way, there’s a wrong way to ship presents. So here are a few things to remember to not do. These include:

  • Waiting until the last minute 

Give your gift as much time as possible to arrive to account for any problems with its delivery. This especially holds true during busier times of the year.

  • Using ribbons/wrapping paper

Save the decorations for the inside of the shipment box. This is because wrapping paper may rip and ribbons may get pulled off. Ribbons can also get caught in machinery encountered throughout the shipping process.

  • Forgetting duty and taxes 

When sending outside the country, goods will attract duty and local tax charges of around 10-20% of the value of the item(s).  Generally, you can send items up to $50 to $100 in value without them attracting duty. Regardless, always check before buying your gift with customs in the recipient country.  Or the recipient may receive more than your thoughtful gift (they may also incur a duty fee).

When weighing your shipping strategy options, make sure you’re partnering with the right shipping service. ShipTime lets you enter box dimensions and package weight for an accurate rate quote. Aggregating data to find you the best shipping rates available, the ShipTime search engine finds you the best possible shipping rates. Meanwhile, the ShipTime dashboard speeds your shipping quote with predefined box sizes. It also provides predefined incentive rewards with a “My Pickups” functionality to track scheduled pickups and times.

Learn more here.