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UK
Guaranteed next day Special Delivery and Parcelforce 24hr …….. 23rd December
Parcelforce 48hr…………………………………………………………. 22nd December
UK first class ……………..………….........................…………………...21st December
UK second class…..………………………..……………...………………18th December

INTERNATIONAL
Ireland, Belgium and France ……………………...………………... .18th December
Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands and Norway.. 16th December
USA, Canada, Italy, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Czech republic. 12th December
Australia, Greece, New Zealand and Turkey ………….................... 11th December
Cyprus and Malta …………………………………………………….. 10th December
Africa, Asia, Carribean, Central and South America ………………… 9th December

DON'T DELAY My first and biggest piece of advice is to make sure to avoid delay and post your gifts and cards sooner rather than later. Throughout the pandemic there have been countless reports of delays to mail all over the world including the UK and I expect that the normal Christmas slower transit times will be far worse this year. The official dates above are recommended based on a regular year, they are not guaranteed and do not seem to have been adjusted for the current state of the world.

COMPENSATION AND PEACE OF MIND You may also want to consider using tracked services as not only are the items prioritized over regular non-tracked services but it will also give you the opportunity to check the status of the journey of your items as well as give you higher compensation in the event of loss or damage. Just as a reminder, standard first class, second class, airmail and surface services only cover you up to £20 compensation, Signed For covers you up to £50 and tracked covers you up to £250 abroad and £2,500 in the UK.

WEIGHT MATTERS Unfortunately, as you know, Covid-19 has already impacted many facets of our life especially when it comes to financial issues. Royal Mail hiked their prices for all international items in the summer with items being posted to the US being the worst affected. So my advice is to try and keep your foreign parcels as light as possible.

PREPARATION Please remember all parcels going to countries that aren't part of the EU need a custom form. To save time why not ask for a few next time you visit as this will allow you to fill them out in advance and will therefore reduce the amount of time spent at the counter and speed up queueing times.

Another time saving tip is to write your sender's details on the back of the parcel which will ensure your parcel is returned to you if the postman is unable to deliver or the item isn't picked up from a collection point.

DANGEROUS GOODS Lastly just a reminder that it's a legal requirement for us to enquire as to the contents of your parcel to ensure that we comply with national and international regulations governing the carriage of mail. Therefore certain items may be considered restricted and will need labels to warn of their contents and in some cases we may need to reject your parcel or we may advise you to remove something and repackage as contents include prohibited items.

Common items that are simply restricted for quantities and type in the UK but are prohibited going abroad are aerosols, perfumes, nail varnish and spirits.

GIFT IDEAS With Covid-19 having such a huge impact on online shopping keep in mind there are options available at the post office that might be suitable for your gifting needs. We sell iTunes gift cards as well the popular One4all gift cards that give you many stores both in person and online to choose from. For the full list of options as well as details of which ones are available online please visit www.one4all.co.uk.

Other gift options that are simply produced as a code on a receipt that you can then place in a card are: Amazon, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, Spotify,Google Play and Netflix. They start at £10 or £15 depending on which you choose.

REMINDER And finally a reminder that some companies such Amazon or Zara will allow you to select a post office for "local collect". You will not therefore need to be home to receive your goods and will be able to collect your parcel 7 days a week during the shop's opening hours.

If your online shopping needs to be returned via the free shipping return service we can easily and quickly deal with those for you and provide you with a proof of return. Whoever you purchased from will either give you or ask you to print out a prepaid postage label or they will email you a QR code that you can show us on your smartphone or tablet for scanning.

Giorgia