How to ensure your Christmas gifts arrive on time

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Christmas is just around the corner and right now is the busiest time of the year for retail and online shoppers – which means it’s the busiest time of the year for couriers and postal services.

Sending gifts to friends and family far away always comes with the chance that your specially selected present won’t make it to its destination on time.

Add to the strain on delivery systems, the chance that, in a rush, you fill out delivery details wrong, forget to tape a box or miss a delivery cut-off date, and getting your prezzies into the right hands this time of year can be a right challenge.

Spokesperson for Couriers Please (CP), Jessica Ip, says “our own data found that 62 per cent of Australians will be taking their Christmas shopping online this year”.

So, how do you ensure your gifts make it under the tree on time? Try these six tips from CP.

1. Try to get your online orders in ASAP
Last year, one in five shoppers weren’t planning to start their gift purchasing until December – leaving them open to late Christmas gift arrivals. To guarantee on-time delivery, get your online orders in by mid- to late-November. Items that may usually take five to seven business days to deliver can experience at least an extra day delay.

2. Be aware of delivery cut-off dates
Retailers and parcel delivery companies have cut-off dates to guarantee deliveries before Christmas, with separate cut-off dates for different metro and regional cities across the country. For example, the cut-off date for domestic CP deliveries in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are between 18–19 December, while in Western Australia it’s 12–13 December. International dates also differ. Pay attention to these crucial dates or your loved ones may be left empty-handed on the big day!

3. Don’t be sloppy with delivery details
It’s a busy time of year for all, and it’s easy to make mistakes. But low attention to detail, such as misspelling street names or providing the wrong postcode, means that you run the risk of having your item sent to the wrong address or experiencing delays in delivering to your intended recipient.

4. Take advantage of flexible delivery options
With December a busy social period for most of us, your recipient might not be home to sign off on your gift deliveries if they require a signature on arrival. Consider using the Authority to Leave option with your parcel delivery service, so that your gift can be left in a safe location at the delivery address. Some couriers, such as CP, allow the option to nominate a neighbour up to three houses away in either direction who can accept a delivery on your behalf. There may also be the option of leaving it at a drop off points, which will enable collection after hours or on weekends.

5. Check local taxes and duties when ordering from overseas retailers
Purchasing from overseas online retailers is sometimes thought to be cheaper, but don’t forget that, as of last year, they are subject to GST when goods under $1000 are purchased by online shoppers. Goods over $1000 will incur other charges and taxes. The near-bargain you thought you may have been getting by purchasing overseas could result in you paying more than you expected.

6. Be careful when sending your Christmas gifts in recycled packaging
Reusing parcel wrapping and boxes is encouraged but be extra attentive to the condition of the packaging. For instance, remove old delivery labels as this may create confusion to the company delivering your item – resulting in delays. It’s also a good idea to include delivery details inside and outside your item, in case the packaging gets damaged en route.

Do you have any tips for making sure your parcels arrive on time at Christmas?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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