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TCMPiIt’s in the Mail: Nine Tips on How to De-stress Holiday Gift Shipping


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It’s difficult enough to select the gifts you’ll send to clients, business partners and employees; getting the gifts delivered on time is yet another stress-laden problem.

Now’s the time of year when shipping corporate gifts for the holidays commands the foresight and precision of a finely tuned military maneuver. If such activity falls under your job description (you know, the “and other duties as assigned” line at the bottom of the page), you may benefit from these sure-fire ways to avoid shipping stress and delivery dilemmas.

  1. OK. OK. We all know we’re supposed to plan ahead. But really, how often do we get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the tomorrows? Quite often. Well, when it comes to shipping holiday business gifts, there is no tomorrow. It’s now or never. (HINT: For help with planning, download the eWorkbook Corporate Gift Giving for the Holidays: A Practical Guide for the Harried Planner here.)
  2. Managing the expectations of your clients, business partners and employees can help forestall disappointment if gifts don’t arrive on time. Consider subtly letting people know they will be receiving an “end of the year” gift, not a “holiday gift.” That way, if the package arrives on December 28th, or January 3rd, all is well in client-relationship-land.
  3. Get out of line! Go to the head of the class when you avoid the busiest shipping days. Mail or ship early and not only will you spend less time in line or waiting for a delivery pick-up, you’ll virtually guarantee that your gifts will arrive on time. HINT: There are only twenty regular shipping days between “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S.) and Christmas. And remember, the farther you ship and the later you ship, the more likely you’ll pay a premium.
  4. Don’t scrimp on the packaging. A new box is always best. Lots of tape is good. A clear label (both the “to” and “from” sections) is essential. Woe to the person who ships a perfectly wonderful business gift in a package that arrives bedraggled or broken.
  5. Track your package. Most delivery services offer some form of tracking of your packages. Don’t simply rely on them when your package has already gone missing; track from day one. That way, you’ll be on top of missed milestones and know immediately if your shipment has been waylaid. Tracking is there as a customer service. You’re a customer; use it.
  6. Consolidate your shipping needs. Set up an account with your preferred shipper. Save your frequently used addresses and names to your account. If there’s a calendar available on the service, use it for scheduling.
  7. Don’t leave the office. Have the shipping service come to you. Again, you’re the customer, use every customer service tool your shipper offers.
  8. Watch the clock. Depending on what day of the week a holiday falls, regular delivery dates can vary as much as two to three days. This year (2012) Christmas is on a Tuesday. That means you can probably ship within the continental U.S. as late as the prior Thursday and take a chance on on-time regular delivery. If you want to be really certain your business gift will arrive in time, ship no later than Monday, December 17th for delivery by Friday the 21st since many people will have Monday, December 24th off from work.
  9. Let someone else do it. Your corporate gift company should offer not only a great selection of appropriate business gifts but delivery to multiple locations. Check with your rep to see exactly what services your company provides.

Planning and managing a corporate gift program is challenging at best and a thankless task at worst. Take some of the stress out of it with the eWorkbook Corporate Gift Giving for the Holidays: A Practical Guide for the Harried Planner. You can download it here. Also when it’s time to deliver your company gifts, remember these nine tips for shipping success. And keep in mind that you’ll probably be doing exactly the same thing again next year. Happy Holidays!

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