We started off by learning a bit about FedEx as a company. They did indeed get their start in sending documents across the country overnight as Federal Express, but there's so much more to it these days. They shortened their name to FedEx, acquired Kinkos a few years ago, and have now become FedEx Office!
One of the Wrap Party activities was to wrap a gift and send it to a friend or family member as a bit of a holiday surprise. I decided on sending some chocolate covered pretzels to my Aunt Mary. She lost her husband a few months ago, and was top on my list for holiday cheer. Before we started, FedEx sent in a packing expert to give us packing tips. I'll admit I ship a lot with eBay, and even I learned a few things!
Here's a few packing & shipping tips:
- Wrap items with bubble wrap 1-4 times depending on how fragile they are.
- Use the right sized box, but still allow for about 2 in. of packing all the way around.
- Newspaper and plastic bags make great packing.
- Tape in a "H" pattern, down the middle and secure the outside edges as well (basically tape all seams)
- Fill boxes up full with packing so it doesn't collapse under the weight of other boxes in transit (stacked on truck or plane)
- Use the extra 4-digit part of the zip code for faster delivery
- Place an extra address card inside the box, just in case
Now, even though FedEx does allow you to use your own materials, they also have everything you would ever need to ship right in the store. Boxes and bubble wrap do cost a little, so look around the house first. Also, if packing and shipping really stresses you out, FedEx can pack it for you. They can even make a custom box for odd shaped items. And, they mentioned at the Wrap Party that if a packing expert packs and ships your stuff for you, it's insured. Certainly something to think about with fragile items or if you're a frazzled parent of little ones. The few extra bucks will be worth the piece of mind.
A few other exciting things I learned:
- FedEx ships worldwide, 365 days a year (so there's still time to ship for Christmas, today is the LAST day to ship).
- They DO NOT ship to APO addresses.
- FedEx Ground usually runs cheaper than UPS (awesome news for me....I'll be checking that out very soon).
- If you set up a FedEx account online you'll save about 16%, and it's so easy to use!
After we were done munching on snacks and packing up our boxes, we took a look around the store. Since I'm a bit of an office supply freak, I was in heaven! It's really a one stop shop for home or business needs. For instance, in addition to downloading pictures for printing photos to pick-up, did you know you can send documents from home (or work) to FedEx Office to print for you? For instance if you prepared a document at home but needed 1000 copies or wanted it printed on pink paper, FedEx is your place. My husband used this feature a lot at his previous job. It saved him money and time!
So, back to my package for my aunt. I got it ready to go, and it was already on the truck and on the way before I even got home. Tracking the box was easy online. I could "see" it leave Dallas and go through Memphis (FedEx home) and head on to Missouri. Since my box was shipped FedEx Express (not FedEx Ground), my aunt was munching chocolate covered pretzels with 24 hours of the Wrap Party. Impressive!
Lastly, we learned about the new FexEx blog called Out Of Office. Cute name, huh? It's a spot to find "Unexpected ideas for creative projects". Even though the blog is pretty new, there are already some great ideas being tossed around on the site.
I had such a great time last week thanks to Mom Central and FedEx. I even got to meet Stacy DeBroff CEO of Mom Central! I enjoyed learning new things, sharing a little holiday joy and meeting some very cool Dallas area bloggers. Thank you everyone for a great time!
I wrote this review after attending an event on behalf of FedEx. I received a holiday food item and complimentary FedEx shipping for it to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me note cards and a store credit to thank me for taking the time to participate.