‘Tis the Season for Shop & Ship

Now that it’s December, many of us are counting the days until Christmas and Hanukkah, making lists and shopping for presents.  For those who live abroad, being far from family means the added time and cost of shipping gifts.

This year both holidays fall in the same week; Hanukkah is celebrated from December 22 to 30.

Shoppers frequently take advantage of the option to have online purchases shipped directly to the recipient.  This is especially convenient when gift wrap is an option. Merchants typically provide “order by” dates that tell you when to ship for guaranteed delivery.  Perishable items like chocolates or cheeses often require two-day or similar shipping, and certain delivery addresses may be restricted.

But sometimes you have gifts for several family members – or multiple gifts for one person — which you need to consolidate into one box and ship yourself.

The main international shippers provide tools to let you estimate time and cost, based on various package criteria. Click their links below:

DHL      *         FedEx        *     UPS

When using these tools, be prepared to enter the shipping and receiving addresses (or at least postal codes), as well as package size, weight, and value of contents. Speed of delivery will also affect your price. Customs regulations vary by country.

Another way to send gifts from abroad is to utilize gift cards with email notifications. Many gift cards are digital, requiring no shipping, and are instantaneous or can be scheduled for delivery on a given date. You can send cinema tickets, restaurant gift certificates, music service subscriptions, or spa vouchers, for example, without a physical package.

Finally, if your loved one has a favorite local merchant or food vendor, you may be able to contact them from abroad and arrange a local delivery. Perhaps a hometown florist or bakery has the perfect gift for the holidays.

Plenty of options are available, and with a little planning, everything will arrive where you want it, on time!

Written by Ellen Harris, GMS, Product Manager, Content Group