Tips For Getting Your OWC Order In Time for the Holidays

Globe-GiftsThe holidays are creeping ever closer, and we at OWC hope that everyone is ready for a safe, wonderful Thanksgiving! And while spending time with family and friends is a popular Thanksgiving tradition for most, there’s another tradition that many others like to partake in – waiting in long lines for Black Friday deals.

But there’s a much easier way to still get your shopping done early and get your packages in time without leaving the comfort of your home for the discomfort of a cold, hard sidewalk. By shopping online, you can avoid the craziness of maniacal Black Friday shoppers and if you start early enough, just about every retailer offers free or extremely discounted shipping options this time of year.

The emphasis is on starting early – but during the chaos of the holidays, who among us can truthfully say we’re batting 1.000 on that? With so much on our plates (other than turkey), it’s hard to make time to get ahead on shopping.

Here at OWC, we’re big believers that knowledge is power, so we’ve once again set up some tips and shipping estimates and deadlines to help make sure you get your order from us on time. After all, holidays are much better spent enjoying quality time with family and friends, rather than stressing over shipping times.

Tip #1: Aim for the Friday before as your absolute last date for receipt. –Monday, Dec. 23rd and Tuesday, Dec. 24th are delivery days for most carriers so if for some reason your shipment is delayed; you have an extra couple days, just in case.

Tip #2: Watch where your package is shipping from and that company’s daily shipping deadlines. For our customers, we’re in Woodstock, Ill., so anything shipping from our location is only a day for anywhere in Illinois, a good chunk of Wisconsin and Iowa, and some of Michigan, Indiana and Missouri. We also have a new shipping facility in Nevada for enhanced order processing and fulfillment.

Why spend more on faster shipping if you don’t have to? Our daily shipping deadlines vary by carrier and service, so you’ll want to make sure you check our Shipping Options page to make sure you order is in on time.

Tip #3: Watch the weather. Winter is coming and, typically, that means winter storms aren’t too far behind. A good storm can easily ground cargo planes or cause accidents for the trucks on the road, and that can cause delays both big and small. If there’s a storm coming, select a faster method than you technically need, just in case. Cutting your time in half, if possible, will help make sure that if something does go wrong, you still walk away happy.

Tip #4:  Ship to yourself as often as possible. Responsible merchants will be confirming credit card information to help prevent credit card fraud to their customers during the holiday season. Shipping to the same address the card-issuing bank has on file for you will ensure speedy processing and fewer delays.

Now for the good stuff! Here are our recommendations for holiday shipping estimates:

U.S. Postal Service:

Only the U.S. Postal Service (and UPS SurePost Saver) can ship to PO Boxes and military APO’s, FPO’s etc.

  • Parcel Post – approximately 2-3 weeks (3-6 for HI and AK) – May not make it by the holiday.  Not a guaranteed service
  • First Class Mail – Up to 2 weeks – Should make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 9th.  Not a guaranteed service
  • Priority Mail – Up to 1 Week – Will definitely it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 16thNot a guaranteed service
  • Express Mail – 2-3 Days – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 18th.

* Not a guaranteed service – Read as, the carrier makes no promises that this shipment will arrive by any date.  The carrier may offer some of the above services as guaranteed to the general public, but as a merchant, we may not be able to get that same guarantee when shipping thousands at a time. (Although you can bet we try!) 

UPS:

  • Mail Innovations – Up to 9 Days – Should make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 11th.  Not a guaranteed service.
  • SurePost Saver – Up to 8 Days – Should make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 12th  Not a guaranteed service.
  • Ground – Up to 5 Days – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 17th.
  • Two Day – 2 Business Days – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 20th.
  • Standard Overnight – 1 Business Day – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec 23rd.
  • Priority Overnight – 1 Business Day – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec 23rd.

Please note for Priority services the latest possible delivery time is specified by the carriers, varies by region, and is often extended during holiday hours. Please confirm with the carrier what time they consider priority delivery until in your area before counting on this service to arrive prior to any specific time.

Fed Ex:

  • Ground – Up to 7 Days – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 13th. (Continental US by Dec. 17th)
  • Two Day – 2 Business Days – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 20th.
  • Standard Overnight – 1 Business Day – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec 23rd.
  • Priority Overnight – 1 Business Day – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec 23rd.
  • Saturday Delivery – Will specifically deliver on Saturday – Will definitely make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec 20th.

Please note for Priority services the latest possible delivery time is specified by the carriers, varies by region, and is often extended during holiday hours. Please confirm with the carrier what time they consider priority delivery until in your area before counting on this service to arrive prior to any specific time.

For our international customers, we recommend reviewing the estimated delivery times to your area with your preferred carrier. Since we ship to over 200 countries it is difficult to give average estimates for international shipments via express carriers, so you may wish to check these carriers’ Web sites to confirm shipping times.

The U.S Postal Service does not yet have a good tool for quick lookup. For these services, we have seen their longest delivery times as:

  • First Class (or International Mail Service) – Up to 45 days – May not make it by the holiday.  Not a guaranteed service.
  • Priority Mail – Up to 2 Weeks – Should make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 9th.  Not a guaranteed service.
  • Express Mail – Up to 1 Week – Should make it in time for the holiday if ordered by Dec. 16th.  Not a guaranteed service.

Please note, all shipments domestically from OWC are shipped with just the packing slip included, which does not include prices for those of you shipping gifts directly to friends and family. International import laws require that all packages shipped internationally include the appropriate customs paperwork, which will include the cost of the items being shipped be adhered to the outside of the package. Any duties, taxes or brokerage/import fees due will be collected at the time of delivery.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions; we’re always here to help make sure you find exactly what you need and get it when you need it. You can contact our friendly and helpful Sales, Customer Service or Technical Support by phone at 800-275-4576 or Internationally at 815-338-8685, or via Live Chat or email via our website.

We wish all the best to you and yours during the holiday season. Happy shopping!


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