Ten Tips for Holiday Shopping Success in 2021
With so much Holiday shopping taking place online these days, successful holiday shopping is now dependent on successful holiday shipping. Here are ten tips that will help keep your holidays happy by shopping smart and keeping the end goal – a successful and on time gift delivery – in mind.
1) Don’t Wait For The Sales. Orders placed earlier in the season have a higher likelihood of being delivered on time and are less likely to be lost in the last-minute crush.
We ship small items and orders via USPS; larger items and orders are shipped via UPS. As we approach the holiday peak, we may shift more items to UPS as we found them to be more reliable late in the season last year. UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box, so please be sure to provide a physical address for your shipping address, especially for larger items and when ordering later in the holiday season.
2) Ship Direct If Possible. Most websites allow for an order to be shipped to someone other than the purchaser. Not only will shipping directly to your gift recipient save on time in transit, it will also save you money by not having to ship it again once you receive it.
To save paper, we do not typically include a packing list with orders. From now through the end of the year, we will include a packing list (without prices listed) with each order. This will make things easier on the giftee when you ship direct, should they need to contact us about the order for any reason. Likewise, any gift message typed into the “Order Notes” section will be printed and included with the order.
3) Keep Porch Pirates At Bay. Many shipping services allow for both email and text message updates on packages. They will let you know when your packages are delivered, so you can grab them from your porch before someone else does.
Text message (SMS) tracking updates are now available! When your order ships, you will receive an email with a tracking number; follow the link to the tracking page for your order. On that page, you can enter a mobile number to receive tracking updates.
4) Skip Shipping Altogether By Picking Up Locally. While the term BOPIS – Buy Online, Pickup In Store – has yet to catch on because of its clunky acronym, the shopping method is gaining popularity. While you still have to hunt for a parking spot, you can avoid most of the shopping crowd, as well as any shipping delays, and you don’t risk the item selling out while you drive to the store.
We are happy to make an appointment for contactless pickup at our shop. Just let us know in the “Order Notes” section when placing your order.
5) Don’t Wait For The Sales, Part 2. Many supply chains are backed up due to both COVID and shortages of labor and supplies. At some ports, container ships are queued up for the next three months. Waiting to purchase could mean missing out altogether.
We have updated inventory to what is currently in stock on all items. In stock items will ship within one business day. While we may not be able to provide an ETA on out-of-stock items, it never hurts to ask. We do allow backorders on our most popular items when they are out of stock. Backorders will be fulfilled in the order they are received.
6) Get Help From An Expert. Small businesses are happy to work with customers to find the right gift! Personal shopping or concierge appointments are a great way to make sure you will see smiles when your giftees unwrap their presents – small business owners know both their products and their customers better than anyone else. Asking the experts reduces the risk of having a purchase being returned, which makes everyone involved happier!
We are always happy to chat with you to make sure your purchase is exactly what your giftee wants. We will also be available during two events: Lambtown Festival’s Personal Shopping Experience on Small Business Saturday, November 27th, from 3-5PM Pacific, and Camp Yarnsie’s Concierge Shopping on Saturday and Sunday November 27th and 28th.
7) Order in time for Holiday delivery. The days of ordering on the 23rd of December for delivery on the 24th are long behind us. Most companies will let you know when their shipping cutoff dates are. This year, UPS, USPS, and FedEx have set their Ground service date as the 15th of December for delivery by the 24th (Christmas is on a Saturday this year).
Tuesday, December 14th is the last day to order in stock items for guaranteed delivery by Friday, December 24th. Orders for in stock items placed after that may make it in time; if you have a question about delivery or may need to upgrade your shipping service, please call or email before placing your order.
8) Keep Porch Pirates at Bay, Part 2. If you cannot be around to meet your mail, include additional delivery notes if possible. While large companies may ignore them and delivery companies are not bound to them, adding a note like “Please deliver inside screen porch” to your order may help keep your packages in your possession.
Delivery instructions included in the “Order Notes” section of each order will be printed in large font and placed on packages next to the shipping label.
9) Don’t wait for the sales, Part 3. Besides simply being out of stock of many items, supply chain constraints have also increased prices of just about everything. As Holiday shopping season approaches its peak, prices are more likely to go up than down.
We managed to hold prices steady through the pandemic but have been hit with price surges of 10-25% on everything from wood to motors to cardboard boxes in the last few months. Rather than taking a price increase right before the Holidays, we have decided to hold prices steady through the end of January.
10) Patience, patience, patience. Please remember that the holiday season is supposed to be joyous and peaceful. Be good and kind to others and treat other people as you would want to be treated!
Unfortunately, we know that even if you follow all these practices, some packages are bound to fall off a conveyor or get stuck in a trailer that doesn’t get unloaded until January 4th – both of which happened to packages we sent last year. Keep in mind – especially when working with small businesses – that there’s an actual person doing the making, packing, and shipping!
Looking for gift ideas? Check out our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide.