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SAN DIEGO (Profitable.com) The holidays are supposed to be filled with good cheer, but the logistics of shopping for gifts, shipping packages and planning the family trip can take the happy out of holidays. Fortunately, the more than 4,300 The UPS Store ® locations across the country provide a variety of services to help keep the holidays happy and hassle-free.
“Whether it’s packing and shipping gifts to loved ones, shipping luggage ahead to grandma’s house, printing the family’s holiday newsletter or opening a mailbox to receive all those online orders, we’re a one-stop shop that can handle many of our customers’ holiday logistics,” says The UPS Store franchisee Karen Hurley.
Plus, this holiday season, The UPS Store invites you to “Send Your Heart for the Holidays” to receive 25 percent off packaging and to be entered to win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards. Through Dec. 31, visit www.theupsstore.com/holidayheart to design your personalized holiday heart that reflects the love and happiness you want to share this holiday season. Upload a photo, decorate with holiday art, include a short message and make it your own. Then share your heart across the social Web. A public vote and viral influence will help determine the winning hearts. The official contest rules, including judging criteria, can be found at www.theupsstore.com/holidayheart.
Participating The UPS Store locations also offer the Pack & Ship Promise, which reimburses customers the cost of packaging materials and service as well as shipping costs in the event a center-packed item shipped via UPS is lost or damaged (subject to the lesser of actual value, replacement or repair cost).
For customers who prefer do-it-themselves, Hurley offers the following tips:
- Begin with the proper materials, including: a new cardboard box designed for shipping, professional-grade packaging tape and packaging material like foam packaging peanuts or bubble cushioning (at least two inches all around).
- Include a label on the inside of the package with the destination and return addresses.
- Use a shipping option, like UPS, which provides a package-tracking number.
- Take batteries out of toys, electronics, etc., before shipping and wrap separately to avoid contact with metal.
- Seal home-made holiday treats in an interior airtight container or plastic bag before packing them. Use an expedited air service, such as UPS Next Day Air ®.
- Ship wrapped gifts and luggage ahead to your destination, especially if traveling by air.
“Not having to carry a suitcase while traveling during the holiday is a great convenience,” said Hurley. “You can ship your luggage as is; place it in a box for shipment, or, at select The UPS Store locations, purchase a luggage box, eliminating the need for a suitcase altogether.”
Hurley adds that with only 20 shipping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, good timing is critical. Mondays are typically the busiest shipping days and Dec. 13-17 is expected to be the busiest week of the year. “But we see the holiday rush as late as Dec. 23 for delivery on Dec. 24,” said Hurley.
At participating The UPS Store locations, you also can help mitigate the climate impact of your holiday packages. When shipping UPS, you can choose UPS carbon neutral by paying a small fee at the time of your transaction. Many centers also accept clean packaging peanuts for reuse.
To find your neighborhood The UPS Store location, please visit www.theupsstore.com. For additional tips and information on how The UPS Store can help with the logistics of the holidays, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theupsstore or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theupsstore_pr.
With more than 4,700 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc.® network comprises the world’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers. In the U.S., The UPS Store locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., a UPS subsidiary. In Canada, locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of master licensee MBEC Communications, L.P. For additional information, please visit www.theupsstore.com or www.mbe.com.
Editor’s Note: To view and/or download B-roll of The UPS Store franchisees demonstrating proper packing techniques for a variety of items, please visit the UPS YouTube channel. To schedule a live pack-and-ship demonstration, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.