If you’re sending out many packages this Christmas season, one alternative to the post office is the UPS store. They’re professional, well-respected, and careful with packages, but will they pack your item for you in their store itself?
UPS will generally pack your items for you in the UPS store itself. They have a wide variety of packaging materials and a range of box sizes and can wrap and box most items for you in-store. However, fees are attached to this service, and certain items must be legally eligible to be shipped by the UPS store.
Keep reading to learn more about in-store packing at UPS, how much it costs, and what items can and can not be wrapped up and boxed by UPS staff.
Will the UPS Store Wrap My Item for Me?
The great thing about the UPS store is that it excels and is well-equipped for one main task; safely packaging and shipping almost anything professionally and carefully. The UPS store is well-stocked with a wide variety of supplies, such as bubble cushioning, foam wrap, and foam planks to help keep delicate or small items protected and in place during transport.
The UPS Store also offers a great range of boxes, inserts, and envelopes suited for almost any size, shape, and purpose. The staff at the UPS location is well-trained to carefully wrap and box almost anything you may need shipped. They can select the type of protective packaging material and the shipping box or insert perfect for your item. They’ll take care of all of this for you; all you need to do is show up with your item and the “send to” address, and the staff at UPS can help you with the rest.
What Can Be Shipped?
Now that you know how the staff at the UPS store can help you, what can be shipped? Most standard items, whether delicate or durable, can be shipped by UPS. This includes antiques, golf clubs, sports equipment, artwork, electronics, glass items, food (including food that requires refrigeration or freezing), and furniture.
UPS stores have 20 standard box sizes and can even have custom-sized boxes made for you, depending on the item’s size. 24″ by 24″ by 24″ is the largest standard box size available in-store. Specialty boxes will have to be requested and ordered ahead of time. 30″ by 20″ by 6″ sized boxes also exist for the transport of artwork.
What Can Not Be Shipped?
While UPS ships most items, certain items are prohibited by law or by UPS policy, these items include money (except antique coins), fireworks, human remains, human body parts, marijuana, ivory, vaping products, and shark fins.
Items that are heavily restricted and need special clearance, authorization, and permission to ship include alcohol, ammunition, firearms, hemp, plants and seeds, and tobacco. If you wish to ship these items via UPS, you’ll need to be a high-volume seller or corporation with a special UPS contract and verified legal clearance to ship these items. You’ll also need a special UPS account.
But most items can be shipped by UPS, especially items typically purchased as gifts. It’s a good idea to check with the UPS store ahead of time if you have any questions about whether your item can be legally shipped.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price to ship an item via UPS depends upon the weight of the item being shipped, the speed with which you need the item to arrive, the size of the UPS box that you use, the zone you are shipping in and shipping to (how far the item needs to travel to its destination), and the amount and density of packing materials that will accompany your item.
Let’s say you wanted to ship a 3-pound item 500 miles via UPS Ground. This would cost you about $13.16 plus the cost of the UPS box and any packing materials. Your total shipping charges could come down to about $30-40, depending on the box size and the volume of bubble wrap or foam materials used.
If you’re shipping closer to Christmas, “Peak / Demand” surcharges will also apply, as the sheer volume of freight will make speedy delivery a bit tougher and more costly.
How Long Will It Take to Deliver My Item
UPS has various plans to help you get your item shipped on time. If you’re shipping with the US to another US location, it will take anywhere from 1 day to 5 days for your item to arrive, depending on the shipping service type you choose.
If you are shipping internationally, your item will take anywhere from 1 day to 5 days in most cases to an indefinite amount of time in the case of “UPS Standard” shipments to Mexico and Canada.
How long it takes to deliver the item depends on your chosen plan and how far away the item is traveling. UPS does not currently offer same-day delivery but does offer next-day delivery on most items. A UPS Store sales representative can explain the differences in processing and shipment times and help you select a plan that is right for you.
The UPS Store will happily wrap your item for you, so long as the item is not illegal to transport. UPS has a wide range of boxes, containers, and shipping materials to help your item reach its destination safely and on time.
The price to ship your item depends upon the item’s weight, the distance it will need to travel to reach its destination, the size of the UPS box you use, how fast you want the item to reach its destination, and the density of any packing materials.
The time the item takes to reach its destination depends on your selected shipping plan. A typical package shipped within the United States will take 3-5 days to reach its destination.
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