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My Parcel Delivery Blog

Parcel Pitfalls; our top 5 parcel sending fails

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The art of parcel sending this Christmas. You might think you’ve got this down to a tee: you wrap up your gear, slip it into a packet, add gift wrap (optional) and send it on its merry way. But here at My Parcel Delivery we’re always seeing people getting it wrong. Really wrong. Here we look at the five most common mistakes we see people making when sending their parcels, so you can make sure the next time you send something, you won’t be left out-of-pocket and red-faced.

1. Auto fill Auto fail

When booking a courier service online, you’ll be asked to provide your address and the delivery address. With most website browsers on desktops and even mobiles, when it comes to filling in this information you may find the “auto-complete” box appear offering a list of addresses. This is supposed to save you time and improve efficiency; seeing your address spring up automatically is great, as you believe that the browser is going to get it right first time for you. Well think again. Sometimes the technology just can’t keep up. Chrome, for example, asks you to fill in a full address all within the “postcode box”, see below.

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And, if you’ve lived at multiple addresses, certain browsers might confuse parts of the address, attempting to match the first line with the wrong towns and postcodes. Here at My Parcel Delivery we have even seen customers sending parcels to themselves; a nice present for you maybe, but the person you were meant to be sending to probably won’t be best pleased. So be sure to double-check each line of the address you are sending to before clicking the order button.

2. Wrap it good

Getting your parcel wrapped up and ready to go shouldn’t be taxing, so long as you use some good, old-fashioned common sense. Be sensible with your packaging; use new, double-walled boxes that aren’t packed so full they’re going to burst open, secured with good quality parcel tape. If you do recycle packing boxes then be sure to remove any old labels or addresses that could confuse the delivery company if they are scanned by mistake. And of course make sure you label correctly; we’ve seen some senders get in quite a pickle over the humble label (see below). For a full list of our packing do’s and don’ts, read our packaging guidelines.

3. DIY labelling

Labelling your parcel correctly doesn’t have to be an anxiety-inducing test. Having said that, we’ve heard lots of horror stories about people printing labels from printers running out of ink, and even one case of someone trying to draw a barcode on a parcel by-hand. Making sure your parcels’ labels are correct and as clear as possible will ensure a smooth delivery and prevent your parcel from getting lost. And if you can’t print a label, then you can choose one of our couriers who can print one for you and bring it with them when they collect your parcel.

4. Pack safely

Urban myths of people attempting to post animals (including bees), thousands of pounds in cash and even children continually bounce around the postal industry. And frequently parcels are rejected and even destroyed by a courier if people attempt to send prohibited or illegal items. Again, using your common sense is paramount here, but if you’re unsure about something you want to send, then you can check out our comprehensive list of restricted items to make sure you’re not sending something that could be unsafe. Remember that parcels are x-rayed and meticulously checked, so risking it is never a good plan.

5. Paperwork

Getting all of the paperwork right relating to your parcel is vital, particularly when sending parcels overseas. Not filling in a pro-forma invoice for international deliveries (anywhere outside the EU) means your parcel will be stopped at customs, slowing down the whole process. This can also mean that parcels are returned to the sender, which sometimes incurs a fee. You can keep up to speed with all things relating to international delivery here.

Ahead of Christmas this year with a little forward planning, and an equal amount of common sense, there’s no reason why your parcels can’t fly through our courier services in no time. Just remember to package securely, to label clearly and to keep it legal. And no bees. Never send bees.