The Best Time to Start Gift Shopping is Now

Regardless of the season and occasion, it’s always a good idea to shop sooner rather than later.
Early gift shopping will save you a lot of time and headaches, and you’ll get numerous benefits like lower prices, less queues and waiting time, faster shipping (if you decide to ship earlier), the possibility to return an item and get the right replacement (especially for clothes), etc.

However, the more important question here is: how to plan your gift shopping and ship gifts with PackageHopper? What should you do, and how long is it going to take for your gift of choice to get from the warehouse shelves to your desired destination?

Let’s find out!

The best time to start gift shopping

Frankly, it is never too early or too late to start shopping for gifts. However, if you want to give someone a great, expensive, crazy, unexpected gift, it is recommended to start shopping for it three months in advance.

Thus, we have the three golden, unwritten rules to take into consideration:

  • Firstly, you should not wait until the last minute to start looking for a gift.
  • Secondly, you should know the person's interests and what they need or want.
  • Thirdly, you should not spend more than your budget allows.

Sounds good? Let’s move on.

Since 2.14 billion of us shopped online in 2021, our focus here will be mainly on online gift shopping, order management, packaging, and shipping/delivery time.

What are the steps of a typical Order Management Process (OMP) and why does it matter?

The process of receiving, managing, and fulfilling consumer orders is referred to as order management. The order management process begins with the placement of an order and finishes with the consumer receiving their delivery.

Some sellers provide a two-way sync, ensuring that order information is transferred between the seller’s order management system and their e-commerce platform while giving you visibility into the entire process. This can aid in the automation of the flow of sales order information to each component of the retail supply chain.

But there’s a catch! Not every online seller uses software for order automation as some are just startups and small businesses that cannot afford it or are still learning; so while you think your order is on the way, it might still not have left the seller’s storage space.

Some sellers, especially locals who make handmade merch, might need some time to find, write down, and prepare your order. In instances like this, last-minute shopping is a big no-no.

The best advice here is to do your research and/or contact the seller if you’re having doubts about how long the delivery process might take.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to always check the Holiday Shipping Deadlines around Hanukah, Christmas, and NYE time. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Take the time to properly pack your gifts

Phew! The wait is over and now you have your precious gifts, which means it’s time to commence Phase 2: Proper Package Protection.

You can read our detailed guide on how to pack and ship fragile items (or really any item in general), but to sum it up, in order to get your package safely across the pond, you’ll be needing:

  • A sturdy box of the right size.
  • Cushioning materials like Styrofoam, packing peanuts, padded dividers, and everyone’s favorite bubble wrap.
  • High-quality, water-resistant packaging tape.
  • Filled-out paper forms for international shipping.
  • Clear and visible shipping labels.

If this isn’t your favorite thing in the world to do, you might want to take a few days to gather the necessary materials and prepare your gift for shipment.

Ship your gifts with PackageHopper

The final step is to leave it to us to take care of your shipment.
At PackageHopper, we use package weight 99% of the time to calculate your shipping costs. However, our carriers have weight and size restrictions for their services, which we strongly advise you to check before shipping.

Also, don’t forget to check our list of restricted and prohibited items. This can delay the arrival of your package by a lot, so you want to make sure that everything you’re shipping is in accordance with the laws and labeled properly.

Once these crucial steps are taken care of, it’s time to choose the best shipping option for your current needs and budget, and then find the nearest drop-off point.
Your gift will reach its final destination in 6-10 business days with USPS International Priority.

Final thoughts

Proper gift shopping and shipping can be time-consuming. A lot of time can pass from finding the perfect gift to finding the right packing materials for it, to printing labels, then filling out forms, taking it to a drop-off point, and finally - waiting for it to reach its receiver.

Experts recommend that you take care of these things at least three weeks before the important event or holiday, preferably sooner.

So, what are you waiting for?

How are you going to be using PackageHopper? Let us know on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter