Gift delivery can be an ideal option for those that are busy with work or other commitments.
However, there are several potential pitfalls that should be avoided, as we’ve detailed here.
- Order in advance
If you’re sending a gift to friend or family member that needs to reach them by a certain date, always order in advance. Placing your order last minute can be extremely risky! For one, the item in question may be out of stock. In addition to this, it’s important to remember certain calendar dates are busier than others, such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Easter. This can often mean a delay in your gift delivery.
One exception to this is perishable goods, such as flowers and food with an early sell-by-date – ordering too far in advance may mean the goods go off by the time the recipient opens them. If the company allows you to, place the order in advance and select a delivery date.
- Add a delivery note
If there is the option to add a delivery note to your order, it’s wise to do so. This may include directions to the property, the name of a neighbor you are happy for the delivery driver to leave the gift with if the recipient is out, the floor the recipient’s office is on (if delivering to a work address) and a phone number, just in case they get completely lost.
If the address you are sending the item to is particularly difficult to find, it may be worth drawing a map or alternatively, suggesting the driver leaves the item at the local shop.
Another factor to take into consideration is time. If the recipient works all day, pick an early morning time slot or an evening time slot. You can request a preferred time on the delivery note. This will usually be promoted for at the checkout.
- Avoid hidden delivery costs
A number of companies offer free gift delivery, although this is often subject to certain factors. For example, if you want the gift to arrive the next day, you may have to pay extra. Similarly, if you are sending a gift to a recipient who lives overseas, the delivery cost may be higher. It’s always worth emailing or calling an adviser at the company in question to check this prior to placing your order. If not, your gift delivery may be delayed and you may end up spending more than you bargained for.
Other hidden charges may come in the shape of fees applied to credit card payments, PayPal charges, fees for speedy delivery and extras such as gift wrap.
- Check the company delivers to your chosen location
If sending a gift to someone who lives outside of the UK, it’s a good idea to check that the company in question is able to deliver to your chosen address. In some cases, you may be able to input the address at checkout and it won’t be until later that they call you to explain that they’re unable to deliver items overseas. If you want the gift to arrive for a certain date, always call and check first.
- If ordering in bulk, speak to an adviser before placing the order
If you’re planning on ordering a number of the same item, it won’t hurt to place this order over the phone. This will allow you to ensure they have the number you require in stock, especially as many websites don’t tend to feature livestock numbers. If ordering the likes of flowers for an event, this is a must!
You may also be able to secure a deal when ordering in bulk, which is why it’s worth speaking to someone in the customer services department.
When sending a gift to a loved one, be it a friend or a family member, the last thing you want them to receive is the invoice. When placing the order, make sure you request that the invoice is sent to your own personal address and the gift to that of the recipient. If not, they’ll learn of exactly how much you have spent, where the item is from and most likely, personal details including your own address and credit card numbers. If there isn’t an option to choose separate delivery addresses for both the gift and invoice, it may be a better idea to have both items delivered to your own abode. You can then send the gift at a later day, or alternatively, give the present to the recipient in person. This will also allow you to wrap the present and write out a card. Not all companies provide this service. It’s worth bearing in mind that without a message and gift wrap, a gift can seem a little impersonal.
- Check the small print
When ordering a gift online, be sure to read the item’s details carefully. Check the likes of sizing, color and whether the extras featured in the image actually come with your order – it may be that you need to order the likes of vases, gift wrap, and cards separately, and at an extra cost.
When you reach the checkout screen, check the particulars before proceeding! Certain websites will showcase gifts alongside other gifts, or with other props, in order to make the imagery and website look more aesthetically pleasing. Prints may appear in frames, flowers in vases, plants in plant pots and items of jewelry with matching pieces. However, this doesn’t mean they are included in the price. Similarly, a certain gift may be available in various sizes.
For example, if you order a rug, it’s likely you’re able to buy it in small, medium and large, and the price won’t be the same for each size.
Gift delivery has many benefits but you do need to be careful when ordering online. It’s always best to be watchful over your purchases and to use online retailers that you know and trust, or ones which are accompanied by a number of positive reviews.
Author: Sarah Marsalle
Sarah Marsalle is a dedicated gifting expert since 2016. She helps people to do, say and give in more gracious and loving way. She is a guru in gift traditions and has thousands of ideas for any and all important events in life.