Top 10 Tips for Smart Holiday Shipping

holiday-shippingYou know it’s the holiday season when the post office has a line out the door and you find yourself using anything you can find as packing material! Shipping gifts in time for Christmas can put an unexpected dent in your holiday budget. That’s why I’ve compiled the following 10 tips for smart holiday shipping!

1. Know the rules. Before you fall in love with a gift, make sure you can ship it without hassle. Some states restrict the types of items you can ship, including liquor, plants, produce and other liquids.

2. It’s all about the box. Selecting the right box will make a big difference on how much you spend for shipping. Make sure it’s sturdy and in good condition, and fits your item with an inch or so clearance all around.

3. Shake, shake, shake! Once the item is packed and ready, give the box the shake test! You shouldn’t hear any movement. If you do, reopen and add packing material, or look for a better-sized box that doesn’t require as much cushion. This will save you on shipping, too!

4. Remove old labels. Some couriers will not ship items that have old shipping labels on them, so be sure to remove or cover these labels thoroughly. Also, cover any logo or reference to liquor if you’re using a box you got from the liquor store!

5. Shop Free Shipping Day. Avoid the hassle of shipping entirely by shopping on Wednesday, Dec. 18. That’s the sixth-annual Free Shipping Day when hundreds of retailers waive minimum order requirements and deliver by Christmas Eve. Done and done!

6. Sign up for free trials. You can enjoy the benefits of a free shipping subscription without paying a dime, at least at first. ShopRunner, Amazon Prime and Shop Your Way Max from Sears and Kmart offer free trials of their free shipping services. You’ll get free two-day shipping or discounted overnight shipping during these trials.

7. Dare to compare. Use the online tools provided by UPS, USPS and FedEx to compare shipping rates. You can also visit your local shipping store to help determine the best method of shipping for your budget and timeline.

8. Keep track. Once a package is out of our hands, we might think our work is done. Not so! Make sure you hold onto tracking numbers and confirm delivery since you paid for it! Also, follow up with the recipient to ensure they received the right package.

9. Know your deadlines. Knowing holiday shipping deadlines is a must when you want your items to be received by the holidays. Check out for a comprehensive list of shipping deadlines for standard, express and overnight shipping methods from over 130 stores!

10. When in doubt, email! If you’ve struggled to find the right gift or just plumb ran out of time, there’s always e-gifts. Gift cards are the top most requested gift for the seventh year in a row, plus you can get them for a discount through You’re recipient will love it and you’ll be done shopping with the click of a button!

Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who regularly contributes to leading national and regional news stories. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Dr. OZ, Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News with Diane Sawyer, and been quoted in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Better Homes & Garden and many others. Andrea also enjoys writing articles for various personal finance and lifestyle websites and blogs. Andrea is passionate about sharing ideas and tips to help you live on less without having to sacrifice. She says making a few small tweaks to daily and monthly spending is all you need to do to achieve your dreams within your means. Follow Andrea on Facebook and Twitter for daily savings tips and check back for new videos, magazine stories and blog posts all about saving money!

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