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Hacks for Shipping Holiday Gifts

Hacks for Shipping Holiday Gifts

The holiday season is a time when you are shopping around for the best deals on gifts. However, not all of your gifts can be given in person, and not all of your deals are always found online. This turns into you having to make sure of shipping services to ensure that your gifts are sent and received in a timely manner.  Today, let’s go a bit over how to find the most affordable provider, how to stay on top of deadlines, and ways on how to track your shipments effectively.

Shipping Providers: Compared

For this article, we will focus on American shipping providers. The main providers are FedEx, UPS, and USPS. In terms of price, USPS is a good choice for individuals who don’t have an issue with size. If you item is able to fit into USPS’s flat rate boxes, you will be able to pay a specified price, as long as it’s under 7 pounds.

This is perfect for individuals who aren’t frequent shippers and want to take the guess work out of shipping. So, when is UPS or FedEx a good choice? The holiday season is a unique time when timing is of the essence. You may send a card or gift throughout the year for birthdays or anniversaries, and if they come a couple of days later than expected, then it’s not a problem.

However, during the holidays individuals are more serious about delivery times, something USPS isn’t as good at holding on to. FedEx and UPS aren’t apart of the postal service, these shipping companies are focused solely on shipments, and in turn they have been more reliable in terms of arrival times and dates. If price and delivery timing is an issue, you best bet would be FedEx.

Affordable Supplies for Shipping

If you are price conscious, USPS is a provider that provides individuals with free flat rate shipping items by request. These boxes, usually arriving at your door step a week after request, allows you to not only skip having to rush out for shipping supplies relative to your item’s size, but you can also ensure that you’ll pay a certain price. If you are shipping with USPS or considering this option, here’s how to get your boxes.

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    Deadlines: Closer than you Think

    You can choose a provider with the best deals or the fastest delivery times, but all of these titles become empty if you don’t put in the effort to ship on time. Providers love when we ship late because this gives them a promise to hike up prices.

    Don’t become victim to last minute shipping price gouging by making sure you know the deadlines for your basic ground shipment dates. As follows, USPS’s deadline is December 20th, three days earlier on the 17th (ten days from today) is FedEx’s deadline on Ground shipments, and finally, UPS is the most attractive in that you can ship anytime up till December 24th, they will be shipping on Christmas Eve.

    Of course, in the end, everything comes at a price. FedEx is moderately priced, USPS is one of the cheapest, but UPS is the most expensive. This, of course, isn’t taking into consideration if you miss the aforementioned dates, which means you’ll have to pay even more for next day or two day shipping.

    Amazon shoppers: more on specific deadlines are found here.

      Tracking the Package

      Apps for tracking your packages are available on almost every system that you use. First, let’s look out for our iOS users and list a couple of applications that help with tracking packages:

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        Slice for iOS – Focused not just on package tracking, but also your online spending habits, Slice automatically adds packages to track based on what you purchase online through your connected email accounts. Also, track how much you are spending and more. (Free)

          Delivery Status Touch – Resembling Parcels for Android, Delivery Status Touch makes use of visuals (including color scheme) as a way for you to quickly tell the provider. You can also get a high quality map view on the right side and up-to-date parcel information at the very bottom. ($2.99)

          Next up, Android users. Here are a couple of applications available to ensure that you know the status of your package.

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            Parcels for Android – This free application ensures that you stay updated on your shipment. even without having to lift another finger after first setting up. Package statuses are viewable in the application’s Google Maps view. (Free)

              TrackChecker – This basic barebones tracker application is perfect for our international shipping readers out there. (Free)

                Package Tracker Pro – Along with package tracking, Package Tracker Pro also allows you to receive up-to-date notifications and the ability through the sync site to automatically add/remove shipment tracking. ($1.99)

                An IFTTT Hack: Shipment Tracking

                If you aren’t familiar with IFTTT (no pun intended), the website allows you to create your own online algorithms allowing different websites to connect with each other to perform novel tasks, allowing the “Internet to work for you”.

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                  One quick example would be “If I take an Instagram photo, automatically add the photo to a specific folder in Dropbox”. Get it now? Well, there’s an algorithms (or recipe as they are called) for package tracking that can be sent as a text message to your phone, perfect for the non-smartphone owners. Simply edit the XXXXs with your tracking number, and there you go! Here’s the link to the recipe.

                  Holiday shopping can be stressful, but shipping your items don’t have to be. Let us know in the comments which tip was most helpful for you and which tips you have for our other readers.

                  Featured photo credit:  Tug boat taking out the ship from the harbor via Shutterstock

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                  Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                  100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                  100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                  Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                  By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                  Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                  83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                    84 write random letter

                      85 use a rubberband

                        86 dorm smell bad

                          87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                            89 how to waterproof your shoes

                              90 take a picture of the name card

                                91 iron inside out

                                  92 old newspaper

                                    93 tumble try shoes

                                      keep a card like this

                                        SONY DSC

                                          94 soap bar

                                            95 make a hole

                                              96 drop the battery

                                                97 use a coozie

                                                  98 when taking a picture

                                                    use a clean dust pan

                                                      try a pants hanger

                                                        use your cellphone light

                                                          use a spring from an old pen

                                                            quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                              user binder clips

                                                                wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                  put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                    clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                      use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                        doritos are great for kindling

                                                                          use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                            use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                              freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                  almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                    sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                      unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                        cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                          remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                            turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                              for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                  tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                    place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                      ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                        use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                          take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                            how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                              put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                  user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                    good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                      turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                        50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                          the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                            add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                              38

                                                                                                                                hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                  stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                    the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                      how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                        the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                          use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                            to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                              user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                  rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                    use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                      50

                                                                                                                                                        51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                          52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                            rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                              kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                  58

                                                                                                                                                                    59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                      60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                        hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                          Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                            hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                              use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                  keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                      drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                        use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                          use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                            do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                              when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                  put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                    75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                      use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                        pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                          78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                            79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                              80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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