Tahlequah Daily Press

November 15, 2013

Holiday mailing begins

Keeping tabs on the deadline will ensure gifts arrive on time

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Although Thanksgiving is almost two weeks away, many folks are already getting Christmas gifts together for shipping to family across the country and abroad.

Amber Taylor, manager at Mail Mart, said the holiday shipping season has already begun.

“We’re getting there, and business is beginning to pick up,” said Taylor.

Mail-Mart offers three shipping options: U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service and Federal Express. The business is also equipped with all the items needed to ensure gifts are properly packaged and arrive safely at their destinations.

“All you have to do is bring your gifts in,” said Taylor. “We’ll measure them, put it in the right box with the right packaging, and get it to your loved ones.”

Taylor said its sometimes easier for customers to just bring the gifts in, as the staff at Mail Mart are trained to get the biggest bang for the buck.

“UPS and FedEx have strict packaging guidelines when it comes to making claims if an item is damaged,” said Taylor. “Many people don’t know about these, and we are trained.”

Shipping costs are determined by a number of factors, including the ZIP code of the package’s destination, the packages weight, size of the box and the desired delivery date.

“We make sure the boxes are just the right size,” said Taylor. “Sometimes people make the mistake of putting items in a box that is too large, and end up paying more than they should.”

Deliver options available to Mail Mart customers include overnight, two-day, express three-day and ground delivery.

“UPS will deliver on Christmas Eve,” said Taylor. “We haven’t yet received updated holiday shipping information from FedEx, but it generally mirrors that of UPS.”

For delivery for Christmas via UPS by Tuesday, Dec. 24, customers can ship UPS Next Day Air on Monday, Dec. 23; Second Day Air by Friday, Dec. 20; and Three-Day Select by Thursday, Dec. 19. Shipments can by tracked anytime at ups.com.

Taylor said it’s also important for people to remember there are a couple of popular gift items that cannot be shipped under any circumstances.

“The two most common items people want to send, but can’t, are perfume and alcoholic beverages, like bottles of wine,” said Taylor.

Mail Mart will retain its regular operating hours during the holiday season, but will have additional staff on hand to ensure swift service. Mail Mart hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We will be open on Christmas Eve, from 8:30 a.m. to noon,” said Taylor.

Another shipping option is that of the U.S. Postal Service. According to the UPSP website, for delivery by Christmas, First-Class mail service parcels should be sent by Friday, Dec. 20; Priority Mail Service by Saturday, Dec. 21; and Priority Mail Express Service by Monday, Dec. 23.

International shipping, along with military APO/FPO/DPO shipping are reliant on varying factors, including type of service used, ZIP code, country of destination, etc. The deadline for standard post service for military mail was Tuesday, Nov. 12. The deadline to ship via Space Available Mail to the military is Tuesday, Nov. 26. For a comprehensive list of shipping dates, visit www.usps.com/shipping dates.