Published July 16, 2010 by
If you know someone who lives too far away to visit, and she is expecting a baby in the near future, you are probably facing the fact that it is time to start considering the purchase and shipment of a gift. Picking out a baby gift can be fun and exciting as your peruse the aisles of adorable clothing, bouncers, high chairs, car seats, toys, and more, but, what about the shipping? This can present a myriad of problems, but with a little bit of research you can tackle this problem. Depending on the time of year, the shipment method, and the gift you are sending, you will have to ship at different intervals in order to assure the gift arrives within a week or so after the arrival of the bouncing baby boy or girl, and that it arrives in one piece.
Shipping UPS or FEDEX ground If the recipient is within your state, UPS or FedEx ground will get there the following business day. That means that the gift shouldn’t be sent more than a day or two before the day of the shower or the expected arrival date of baby. If the recipient is out of that zone (zones are different areas of the country that delivery services have divided up to provide lead times for customers), then you can usually assume two to three days. UPS or FedEx also charge by the weight and the size of the package, so you will want to be careful if your package is too big either dimensionally or from a weight standpoint. UPS and FedEx have maximum weights and dimensions, weight is usually up to seventy-five pounds, and the maximum dimension varies, so be sure to check out their website for that information if you are shipping on your own, as opposed to straight from the manufacturer.
Oops, I have waited too long If you wait till the last minute, and you have to get that package out UPS and FedEx provide next day air red (NDA) or blue, which is two day air anywhere in the continental US. This form of shipping can be very costly and depending on the final destination, the two day guideline may not apply. This is especially true of areas not within the continental U.S.; Alaska and Hawaii. You can get freight quotes from these providers by visiting their websites and following the prompts on how you want to ship something.
Making sure it arrives in one piece The next step you want to think about when sending a package is packaging. How many times have you received something flattened or damaged in the mail? Oftentimes when you ship something, whether it is with an independent agency like UPS or FedEx or with the US postal service they will offer you the option to put insurance on the package. The fee is usually pretty small and is worth the money when you if you have an incident often times will not be covered by the agency because you declined insurance options. Claims with these companies are arduous and almost impossible when you think that these people are dealing with hundreds of claims a day and often with huge companies that have the clout to push them around. So your measly claim gets pushed to the bottom of the pile. Nevertheless, get the insurance because you will eventually be reimbursed if there is an incident.
Another option The US postal service is a tried and true agency with a long standing track record of SLOW delivery speeds. This agency is really for small mail and parcels. If you have a large package, go with the two giants UPS and FedEx. Depending on your location, one will be better than the other. So go to their websites and price up your delivery. Often, you can even use one quote from one agency to pit against the other agency. They usually will try to match one another and beat it by a percentage. The upside of postal delivery is that it is affordable, but of course, the downside is that they don't really have up to the minute package tracking and delivery can often be slow.
The easiest method Of course, the easiest way to ship a package is to let someone like Baby Gifts & Gift Baskets do it for you! We ship hundreds of gifts a day so all you have to do is order up your favorite baby gift and we'll take care of the rest!
Photo Credit: Baby Rocking Horse Gift courtesy of Baby Gifts & Gift Baskets
Need some ideas for what to get the new baby? Try this article on Top Ten Baby Gift Ideas.