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Friday, November 9, 2012

Click It and Ship It: Taking Advantage of the Web to Wrap Up Your Holiday Shopping

Order and Ship Early to Complete Online Holiday Shopping
Online Holiday Shopping
Buying Christmas gifts can be super stressful! Rather than run out to the shopping mall and drag yourself down hundreds of crowded aisles, why not sit at your computer and find thousands of gifts with just a couple clicks of a mouse? Find something for everyone, from Mom to Uncle Bob, and avoid shoving matches and fistfights over the last I-Pod on the shelf. The best part: you can do it all in your bathrobe!

Okay, online shopping is a cinch, but shipping debacles can really mess it up! Here is a quick shipping tutorial to get you informed and just a click away from wrapping up that holiday shopping!

Shipping Deadlines 101
Shipping deadlines are oftentimes misunderstood, and end up causing lots of unnecessary holiday trauma!! I cannot emphasize it enough… ORDER EARLY. You will save yourself a boatload of money by simply allowing yourself the time to select ground shipping, especially on heavier items. For example, consider a package with a ground shipping cost of $10.99. This is no big deal, right? For this same exact package, overnight or next day air shipping costs can be as high as $65.00!! Saturday delivery options are even costlier.

Free Shipping Caution
Many online retailers offer free shipping on selected items. This is really exciting, but when you read the fine print, this usually applies exclusively to the ground shipping option. Retailers don’t want to have to pay costly last minute shipping fees, either! The lesson here, GO WITH GROUND. Plus, Christmas always seems to fall smack-dab in the center of a snow storm, and bad weather can shut down shippers, so order well in advance to steer clear of a possible Mother Nature tantrum.

Baby Girl Personalized First Christmas OrnamentShipping Personalized Holiday Gifts
Personalized items are usually a big hit for online shoppers. Having an item engraved or monogrammed is a super way to add a thoughtful touch to any gift! Here at Arttowngifts.com, we have a large selection of personalized gifts that are very popular, however, sometimes shoppers forget that it takes longer for personalized gifts to ship out. Even with the quick turnaround on our customized collection, shoppers still have to allow us some time to make their gift extra personal! Here are the ordering deadlines I would recommend to

          1.    Help out overwhelmed retailers during holiday madness
          2.    Avoid weather mishaps
          3.    Account for personalized items

For all items with personalization: Place orders by December 10th
For all items without personalization: Place orders by December 13th

Shipping Deadlines 102
Okay, now we’re ready to get into the nitty gritty details about shipping. Here are a couple of super important tips to keep in mind for your holiday shopping:

- There is no shipping on weekends and holidays, so these don’t count towards your shipping transit days
- Shippers pick up in the afternoon, so if you want an item delivered today, place your order in the early morning to account for time zones
   --Example: If you place an order on Friday night, it won’t ship out until Monday morning 

Let’s say you select ground shipping for an order. Here is a schedule of what you can hope to expect regarding days in transit. We will use Monday as ship day.
               Monday:    Ship Day    Does Not Count as Transit Day
               Tuesday:      Transit Day 1
               Wednesday: Transit Day 2
               Thursday:     Transit Day 3
               Friday:         Transit Day 4
               Monday:       Transit Day 5

Your package should arrive by Monday at the latest. The ground option usually states a 3 to 5 day delivery period. This variation is a function of the combination of the Ship From (Warehouse) location and the Ship To address of the recipient.

Holiday ShippingOne last note: Please, please, please check and re-check the Ship To address you specify. A wrong address will put the smack down on your delivery in no time! Nothing is more frustrating than finding out your gift will not be delivered on time because you entered 201 Park Place instead of 1201 Park Place. Plus, shippers will charge you an address change fee, so get it right the first time to avoid an unnecessary expenditure.

Whew! That was a workout. Even the frugal mind of a bargain hunter is probably feeling dizzy after this. But really, there is only one takeaway here, and I bet you can guess what it is. Yep, it’s ORDER EARLY. That’s all you really have to keep in mind. Good luck out there and happy holiday shopping!

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