Are You A Christmas Gift Packaging Klutz Too!

Try as I might, wrapping presents has never been my forte’. So, finding an alternative solution suits me just fine. Maybe this is how you feel too. If so, then grab onto this simple solution.

In my The UPS Store 5183 in Superior Colorado we carry decorative shipping boxes. During Christmas we carry brightly colored cardboard boxes with holiday designs that you simply put your gift in the box, close it up, and put a bit of tape on it! That’s it!

Either give it to your loved one to display under a tree or ship it by UPS and have it show up in its pretty skin on the doorstep of your family and friends.

If your contents are fragile ask us to put some packing peanuts in it or wrap it with bubble wrap. If we don’t have a decorative box large enough to fit we have lots of regular shipping boxes that will get the job done.

Christmas Shipping Done Cheaper and Easier

Have you ever gotten to a shipping counter and found shipping your item cost more than what you were sending? Frustrating isn’t it? So, what can you do to reduce your costs?

Size and weight is the key. Find a gift to send that is small and light. Pricing a shipment is based on both size and weight. That is because only so much fits in a truck or plane. Weight is important  because the trucks use more fuel to move heavy objects. Also, trucks are regulated and can only transport so much over our roads. The heavier the trucks the more ware on the asphalt.

Make sure you have the right sized box. If you think you can find a cheap box and throw your gift in it to save money think again. A store like The UPS Store 5183 Superior Colorado has lots of different sized boxes. They are trained to use the smallest box and filler to get your gift there safely. The smaller box and lower weight saves you money!

Simple!

Low Cost #Shipping in #Superior #Colorado

There is more to saving money on shipping rates then the rates themselves. Save money by considering the following:

Points to consider:

  • Which #UPS shipper offers the best rate, the small mom and pop, the big box office supply store or The #UPS Store close by your office or home?
  • Is the right sized box important or can you just grab the cheapest box you can find?
  • How much money do you get back if the #shipper loses your package or it gets lost?
  • What happens if your valuable merchandise gets broken and you fail to meet the shipper’s guidelines for packing?
  • What time is it?

Which shipping outlet should you use for low rates?

Mom and pops frequently contract to ship through two or more shippers, so you might think you can get a bargain there. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out. The mom and pops have no limits on what they can charge you for UPS shipping. Get a quote from one or more of them and then ask a UPS Store for a quote. The UPS Stores are contractually bound to be no higher than the official UPS hub rates. In exchange for this they get the best rates of any of the shipping outlets from UPS to allow them to make a reasonable profit. The small mom and pops don’t get these rates and they may have to upcharge to higher prices to get by. Or they may think they can get by with high rates in their area.

What time is it?

Getting your package into the hands of a UPS driver before their deadline may save you a day in shipping. For example. You may need a package shipped from Phoenix to Southern California in two days. The UPS pickup spot you normally use picks up at 4:00 PM. It is now 4:30 PM. That means to get your package guaranteed delivered to your destination in two days requires next day delivery because you missed the pick up today and it officially gets shipped tomorrow. However, if you get it shipped today you may have the option of using the guaranteed ground transportation option that could be 1/3 to 1/4th the cost of next day air because ground guarantees two day delivery to many contiguous areas.

Check www.UPS.com for the latest times near you. The UPS Stores get favored pick up times so that may be your best bet if there is one close by (with over 5,300 store nationally that is likely).

Why is box size important?

Your shipping costs are determined by both size and weight. Trucks obviously have limited space in the back. And they can only run certain weights over the highways; as heavy trucks damage the roads.

In the case of air transportation, weight is even more important than size. In both trucks and airplanes weight also adds fuel cost as it takes more energy to move heavier items. It is simple physics and math. So, when you pick a box make sure it is as small as possible and still allow enough dimension for proper packing peanuts and bubble wrap. By the way, newspaper sucks as a packing material. It crushes and never bounces back. Your merchandise then rattles around in the box and may get damaged.

Well trained shipping stores normally keep a lot of different sized boxes handy to keep your box size to a minimum; thus saving you money. They know the required packaging needed to get fragile and normal items delivered safely to their destination.

They also know how to cut a box down to size. They can cut down the corners of a box and then perforate the box where they will fold the new flap over. Thus they can make a custom sized box to save you even more money and reduce the packing material needed to fill the box.

What about refunds for lost or broken items shipped?

UPS has many private store outlets. Only one has the Pack and Ship Guarantee. See The UPS Store web site for details but generally it says that if you ship with a participating The UPS Store you will get the value of the lost or damaged item back plus the cost of the packing materials and the cost of shipping. This only happens if the UPS Store packs and ships the item for you. No other UPS shipper can provide this to you. All other UPS outlets and other competing shippers will only give you the value of your damaged or lost item. Make sure you know the detailed rules before you take advantage of this important benefit. Your local The UPS Store can help.

What if you decide to pack the item yourself and it gets broken?

UPS and other common carriers all provide insurance. However, they will look at the condition of the package used to ship the broken item to determine if it was packed to their required specifications. If it isn’t they may choose to deny your claim. So either get on the web site of the carrier you are using, and follow their #packing #material requirements, or hire a knowledgeable shipping store to help.

Saving money means more than the cheapest shipping rates!

Rates are important, which store you choose to ship with is important, when you ship is important and who packs your merchandise is important. Select wrong and your shipping may cost you a lot more than you thought it would.

You will find us at The UPS Store 5183 in Superior Colorado by clicking here.

Did Your EDDM Campaign Work?

Its the message on the post card that gets people to call you. EDDM – Every Door Direct Mail – is cheap and easy when done right. It is expensive when nobody responds. Make sure your message gets read and that people respond.

Do you have to be an advertising guru off Madison Avenue to get your piece read and acted upon? No. You just need to find a cheap way to test your message.

Start with researching what your potential customer/client is looking for. No doubt you have some ideas but you may be surprised at what works and what doesn’t. In fact most of us really don’t know our client’s as well as we think we do. Google words associated with your product or service. Read trade journals to see what challenges they face. Ask your customer what words they would use to search for your product or service. Ask them what catches their eye and why.

For now lets focus on testing what you come up with as the topic of research is a rich and deep subject by itself. Mailing post cards to test your message gets expensive and may quickly put you out of business. Using a cheap Google Adwords test can get you the answer to what works faster and less expensively.

Craft two messages and get them on Google Adwords. Then see which works best; or if at all. Then keep the best ad copy and try a new one. Simply repeat until you can no longer get a better response. This simple process will most likely surprise you. Frequently I find the words I think will work don’t, and the ones I don’t think will work as well work better. Just throw it out there. Keep failing until you succeed.

Once you have the message, work with a graphics designer to design your ad. Then work with a vendor that can help you identify the neighborhoods you want to reach. (EDDM is done neighborhood route by route. There is no mailing list). Then use a printer, like my The UPS Store 5183, that can print great quality post cards and knows how to bundle them for the Post Office.

Then pick them up and deliver them to the local Post. Or pay us to deliver the for you.

Lots of people print post cards and do EDDM but how many help you with your message? We do, so look us up here. When you call or email ask for Ken Davis, the owner.

What Small Businesses Should Know About Shredding

The Federal Government and most states have laws that require small businesses to protect their client’s data. Putting sensitive client data into your trash without shredding it is literally a Federal offense. It is considered serious enough to provide both penalties and jail time in some cases.

Sensitive data is name, birth date, Social Security number, account numbers, etc. It is also info on people’s health information, among other things. Thieves troll trash cans and you jeopardize your client’s wellbeing if you don’t protect their data. The thieves then use it to access client bank accounts and other web sites.

I attended a seminar on this issue put on one of the most prominent law firms in Phoenix. They have full time staff monitoring all the different laws on the books. Even with that they admitted it was a tough job to stay up with it all. So how does a small business person protect themselves?

Well ask your attorney how to protect yourself. And what I personally do is shred anything with this kind of info on it. I am not an attorney and provide no legal advice. I just want my businesses friends and clients to be aware of how serious this is and how regulated it is.

Businesses with offices keep those locked cabinets with slots in the top around the office to provide a place for their employees to dump their sensitive documents into. A service person comes by later with the key and puts the documents into their truck to be shredded on site or to be shredded back at a plant.

Some small businesses work from their home and have too much to feed into a low cost shredder two sheets at a time. That gets the job done but takes way too much time. Your time is valuable!

An alternative is to stop by a local The UPS Store to have them dispose of your bulk documents you accumulate for shredding. If you are in the Scottsdale area drop by my The UPS Store. Click here for my store info and a map to find us. We would love to see you.

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What Is EDDM – Every Door Direct Mail From U.S.P.S.?

EDDM is a simplified, lower cost form of direct mail. Direct mail is the name the advertising industry uses for all the advertising mail you receive in your mailbox. It is also called bulk mail or junk mail.

It is called bulk mail because the U.S.P.S. gives advertisers postage discounts because the advertisers sort it and provide bar codes that make sending the mail through the system less costly to process. However, the rules are so complex that most people use a mail processing house to prepare it which eats up part of the savings. Unless the mail campaign is large enough, the savings will not pay for the processing. There are other limits not discussed here. There are various levels of cost for bulk mail postage based on how much processing is done and how geographically concentrated the mailing is done.

EDDM, or Every Door Direct Mail – Retail, is a much simpler, lower cost form of direct mail.

EDDM is highly attractive to small businesses because it is very low cost. The Postal Service only charges 16 cents to deliver an EDDM mail piece to mailboxes. It can afford to do this because it is based on postal carrier routes instead of individual addressees. They do not have to run it through their sorting machines. The mail pieces are delivered in stacks of 50 or 100 directly to the post office that delivers to the specific carrier routes chosen by the advertiser. The Post Office simply hands it to the carrier of the routes chosen.

No permit numbers are required, no bar codes or sorting is necessary. And there are no mailing lists to purchase. It is a lot like what is called “door knockers”. Door knockers are those oversized post cards that are put on your front door. EDDM post cards land in your mail box instead.

In addition to not requiring mailing lists, EDDM allows you entry into closed, gated communities where door knockers cannot be placed. Thus giving advertisers access to exclusive communities inexpensively.

Also, because the post cards do not go through sorting machines, there are no roller marks or chewed up pieces of mail. The cards are placed in the mailboxes in a pristine state.

The oversized post cards can be delivered to specific neighborhoods for less than the cost of a 46 cent postage stamp. This includes full color printing on both sides of an oversized post card ; postage included. Generally the more you send the lower the printing costs.

The only real downside to EDDM is that you cannot do target marketing based on individual addresses. You have to send to entire carrier routes. However, there is a mapping system available online that allows you to pick carrier routes and see where your pieces will land. It tells you how many residential addressees there are as well as commercial. You can leave out commercial. You can also include or exclude P.O boxes from the mailing.

We help our business customers pick routes, and design the mailing. We print the pieces and deliver them to the Post Office for our clients. All in our The UPS Store in Scottsdale Arizona. We are close to the Scottsdale Airpark. Come by or contact us. We can ship pieces to neighborhoods all over the U.S. Just call us and we can help you design the cards. We will send you a sample to get your approval. Then we print and mail them for you.

How To Take The Hassle Out Of Traveling WIth Golf Clubs

The UPS StoreTheir big, bulky and awkward to carry. And then there is the additional airline fees for baggage to contend with (This could cost up to $50 to $200 each way);  especially if they weigh more than 50 pounds. So what is the golfer to do with his golf clubs?

Plan a couple of days in advance and ship them by ground transportation and avoid the hassle. Either use a golf club case or bag made for shipping; or drop by a The UPS StoreThe UPS Store 5183 where they both pack and ship. Get a sturdy box that will ship both ways and is reusable.

Consider a trimmed down golf club set and a smaller bag. The lower the weight and size the less the cost to ship. Remember the weight of your golf bag makes a difference too. A light weight bag coupled with a cardboard box may be less expensive than that big fancy bag you like to use at home.

The time to ship to your destination by ground transportation may be surprisingly short. Take a look at this ground shipping map on the UPS web site. If you ship with The UPS Store they will automatically tell you how long ground and other air options will take and cost, and if there is a known weather condition that may delay your shipment. And of course they will give you an accurate price based on size and weight. And you do not have to home within a time window for pick up. The UPS Store does that for you.