As we start shipping our Christmas presents cross-country, here are some great tips to make sure your package gets there safe and sound.

UPS delivers about 16 million packages every single day.  As as good as private couroiurs generally are aboout getting our stuff from point A to point B without incident, some of them boud to get trashed or maybe even lost.  How can you make sure that doesn't happen to Your package?

Here are four secrets from a former UPS worker on how to make sure your package gets where it's going safely.

  1. Don't bother writing "fragile" on the box.  Each handler loads about 250 packages an hour.  They aren't going to notice "fragile"  and because so many people write "fragile" on the box, they'll probably ignore it anyway.
  2. Disguise your box as a gift from a child.  Handlers might take special care of a package is if it looks like a kid put some effort into making sure it looks good.  So wrap it, add bows, and (this is a big one) add a handwritten message in crayon.  Awwww.  How cute, right?  It'll stand out and better the odds of being handled with care.
  3. Don't reuse boxes without removing every single old sticker.  During most of its journey, your box doesn't touch human hands.  It's constantly being scanned and shuffled around on conveyors.  The scanners scan the first barcode they encounter.  So if there's an old shipping label on there, or a FedEx or Post Office label that could scan your package could be lost.
  4. Follow their instructions perfectly.  If your package is destroyed or lost, you might be able to get reimbursed but follow all of their instructions.  Much like insurance or car warranties, you have to follow guidelines to the letter if you expect to be compensated.  Use a new box, don't overpack it, use wide tape, and waterproof what's inside.

Cracked