Not deferential enough: Flock the maidens to the shipping

Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Flock the maidens to the shipping

by Gina Hamilton

A friend of my son's once drew a line in the sand.  "Uh, I don't pay for shipping," he told someone on the phone, as if that phone bank person had the authority and the ability to waive away shipping costs for whatever it was Sean was ordering that day.  In the end, he canceled the order because he didn't pay for shipping, and the company didn't want to pay for it either.

I am beginning to understand the line in the sand thingie.  I have six boxes of things to send to the exiles - mostly cookies and candles and coffee and jam - and am finding that the shipping is the most expensive part of the whole debacle.

I knew that at some point in dimmest memory, i.e., last year when I did the same thing.  This year, I thought I was ahead of the game a little, because I purchased baskets that would fit in the "if it fits, it ships" boxes - more or less.  But apparently the game still got ahead of me.  To send a large "if it fits it ships" box is $16.80, which means that if you are sending six of them, you're spending a hundred bucks and change.  That's a lot more than I spent last year, when the shipping was about $60 or so, which means I'm probably back to square one with the shipping thingie.  Considering that the whole cost of the exile baskets, including the materials I needed to make the majority of the gifts, was approximately $60, including the cookie tins and the baskets themselves, a hundred dollars just to send something somewhere is way too expensive. 

Considering if I asked LL Bean to do it, like sending a blueberry pancake boat and tote, it would cost less per gift than making them myself and sending them myself, that's really outrageous.

I wish I had a mail scale at home so I could actually figure out the real price of sending stuff parcel post or priority.  That might be an investment for next year. But for this year, I have to pack everything up, schlep it down to the post office, where the very nice people will weigh the packages for me and give me the bad news.  My guess is that for most of the packages, priority will be less expensive than "if it fits, it ships".  I hope I can just pay the priority rate once my packages are in the flat rate boxes.  I suppose I could call and ask.  But my guess is I am better throwing myself on the mercy of the very nice clerks.  Worst case, I can buy boxes there and repack them in the car.

Sending packages is my least favorite part of the holiday. I like decorating - well, except for hauling boxes in and out of the closet, that is.  I like baking.  I like entertaining.  I'm less fond of cleaning, but will do it in the interest of keeping guests from knowing exactly how slobby we are most of the time.  I don't mind wrapping gifts.  I don't even mind shopping for gifts, or making gifts.  I don't mind assembling the baskets, but when it comes to shipping, it's another story.

Maybe next year everyone will get a less personal LL Bean breakfast boat and tote or something.  They don't charge for shipping.

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