Preloved and Parcel2Go – Partners in Value

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It’s official: Christmas is over. The mince pies have gone; to be replaced by unused gym membership cards and the festive spirit has given way to scanning the travel sales in a desperate bid to find some fun to look forward to. On top of all this, your house is now cluttered with the many, many presents that have gone from guaranteed, Christmas Day hilarity to inevitable, yearly clutter. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easier way?

Parcel2Go are delighted to announce a new partnership with increasingly popular marketplace website Preloved. Famed for providing an easy to experience to swap or sell your unwanted items; Preloved has grown to one of the nation’s favourite second hand e-commerce platforms. With an ethos focusing on an unbeatable customer experience, incredible value (for both buyers and sellers) and providing the best service possible; Parcel2Go and Preloved are a natural fit!

When you list your item on Preloved (did we mention it’s free?) you can now opt in to have available Parcel2Go services appear on your advert, letting potential buyers immediately see how much it will cost them to arrange a delivery. Currently offering all our door-to-door services at our usual low prices; many deliveries can be sent from as little as £2.48+VAT. And with plans to add further services including Parcel Shop drop offs and even lockers; any potential buyer will easily be able to both purchase your item and arrange the shipping meaning your item won’t stay cluttering your home for long.

With the usual Parcel2Go focus on value and simplicity, your order will be fully integrated between Preloved and Parcel2Go meaning you can arrange the shipping in minutes. And by bringing your item to the attention of a nationwide audience; the right buyer for your item just became a whole lot easier to find. Need further convincing: did you know your item will be fully tracked all the way to delivery?

So the next time you want to clear out your unwanted items, or make a few quid from the frankly rubbish present your uncle sent you, why not try listing on Preloved? With no listing fees, and fully integrated delivery options with Parcel2Go, your only limit’s the amount of clutter you need to clear!

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Top 5 Collection Of Famous Authors’ Letters

When we think of the literary works from the likes of Virginia Woolf and P.G. Wodehouse, the last thing that comes to mind is the other type of literature – letters. However, it’s easy to overlook this medium – living in a digital age where we greatly rely on electronic communications and instant messaging has meant that we forget that traditional mail still exists.

To highlight this, a website titled ‘Letters of Note’ has amassed a collection of over 125 letters from some of history’s most iconic figures – showcasing their most private thoughts and offering us a glimpse into their personal insights as opposed to their professional publications. Here we’ll highlight our five favourite letters from some of the world’s most famous authors – see if you can find your preferred penman (or penwoman) in our list!

1. A Life in Letters: F. Scott Fitzgerald. While this collection tends to go in and out of print every so often, this must-have can easily be tracked online. As a source of inspiration for many a budding novelist, avid fans will love reading his early letters – chronicling his life lessons as well as messages to his daughter.

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2. Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963. As one of the most admired writers of all time, Sylvia Plath created a legacy that has made a huge impact on the writing community. This book features a compilation of Plath’s letters collected by well-known scholars as well as her fans – a highly recommended book for those with a vested interest in her life story.

3. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. A prominent figure in London’s writing society, this English writer was renowned for titles such as ‘Orlando’ and ‘To the Lighthouse’. Check out the most significant writer of the 20th century by exploring the hidden wisdom in her letters, in this complete volume from 1888-1912.

4. Graham Greene: A Life in Letters. Highly regarded as one of the world’s greatest novelists, Graham Greene made a profound impact among the cinema and theatre industry. Here readers will see his passion for politics in his letters, making their way from Britain all the way to destinations such as Vietnam and Estonia.

5. P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters. We have Wodehouse to thank for his hilarious prose – with the brilliant Jeeves books among some of the most celebrated titles. But with this book, enthusiasts see a different side to this acclaimed novelist – with letters sent to writers including Agatha Christie, George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh. There’s also a lot to learn from his experiences in the Second World War, as well as his time spent in a Nazi internment camp.

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Did you find your favourite writers in our letter-related list? Has this inspired you to follow suit and send mail the old-fashioned way? Well what are you waiting for – put your pen to paper now!

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5 Christmas Gifts Most Likely To Be Returned And Refunded

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – to return and refund your unwanted Christmas presents? While it’s certainly lots of fun waiting in anticipation for Santa to deliver your gifts, when the excitement eventually wears off, those rose-tinted glasses you wore when you received the obligatory bath salts presents have since cracked – and weirdly enough you’re not as enthusiastic about the opportunity to indulge in some muscle-relief toiletries.

So if herbal therapy doesn’t float your boat, what other Christmas presents also face the prospect of being returned to its original sender? Here we list the top five festive gifts most likely to make its way back to the retailer:

1. Fashion. US department retail store, Kohl’s, carried out a study back in 2011 that found clothes and shoes to be the most returned Christmas presents. That same year, MarketTools confirmed this fact – reporting clothes and shoes accounting for 62 per cent of all returns.

2. Consumer gadgets. You might think that being gifted the latest smartphone or state-of-the-art tablet is a dream come true, but you’d be surprised by how many have been disappointed by their top-priced tech! With a plethora of different devices and specs to choose from, factors such as memory and brand play a strong part in consumer choice – so be careful when picking presents, as being an Apple aficionado or Samsung supporter plays an important part in whether or not your Christmas gift ends up back on the shop shelf.

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3. Kitchen/bath accessories. Goodbye, beloved bath salts. Buying a kitchen appliance or any type of toiletry can be done at any time of the year, so why wait until Christmas? Put some thought into your present purchasing, and buy something that’s unique – just like the recipient.

4. Jewellery. Ladies – try buying your boyfriend that new video game they’ve been talking about. Not the easiest of tasks, as not only do you have to ensure you’ve chosen the right title but you also have to make sure you chose the right console for said title to be played on. So if you think that’s tough, spare some thought for men buying jewellery for their other half. With many women particular about certain metals (from being allergic to gold to preferring a silver finish), finding a present that meets their particular tastes can be quite the challenge. When finding a specific gift, it’s best to shop with your partner – that way you have a definite idea of their desired present.

5. Cosmetics. Oh, that bright pink lipstick you bought at the last minute really brings out her eyes…maybe? While it’s a meaningful gesture, cosmetic purchases are one of the toughest things to get right – and it’s best left up to the experts (ie your ladyfriend).

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What other Christmas presents have you been guilty of returning? Confess your Christmas crimes in the comments box now!

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Are You A Business? Then Free Shipping Day Is Your Customer’s New Favourite Holiday

So you’ve spent hours browsing online for the best deals, and you’ve finally come across a bargain too good to be true – but just as you get to the checkout page and realise just how extortionate shipping fees are, you’ve given up on the whole buying process just as quickly as you’ve given up on your New Year’s resolution.

But it seems that all is not lost, as there’s a special day in December that guarantees to make your delivery dreams come true: introducing Free Shipping Day, taking place on Monday 15th December. A concept developed by Luke and Maisie Knowles back in 2008, this event has now grown into a yearly tradition celebrated the world over – designed to offer free shipping as well as guaranteed delivery on online orders in the days leading up to Christmas. Its purpose? For this generous offer to extend the e-commerce period, thereby boosting sales during this festive season.

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The benefits of offering free shipping
While many businesses depend on their shipping costs as a way of boosting profits, there are several other organisations out there that are still doing well for themselves financially without the need to add on extra delivery costs. Earlier this year, a blog published by CPC Strategy noted that a staggering 73 per cent of online shoppers highlighted unconditional free shipping as “critical to a purchase” – with an overwhelming 93 per cent of online buyers encouraged to buy even more items if free shipping is included!

So what are the benefits to providing free shipping? Merchants will instantly notice a boost to their online sales, which in turn, results in even more orders and profits – while customers tempted by this incentive could take advantage of the free shipping and request a bulk order. With regards to the long-term benefits, think of the loyal customers you will have amassed thanks to your generous free shipping – as not only will you have retained your existing customer base, but you’ll also have attracted the interest of many others. Additionally, you’ll be miles ahead of your rivals – with customers preferring your business over others.

Understanding the free shipping model
However, before you rush out to completely overhaul your shipping policy, make sure this model benefits you as much as it does your customers. Factors such as the loss of profit margin as a result of shipping expenses as well as the advertising behind increasing awareness about your company’s free shipping costs valuable time and money, which is why you must first do the following:

• Establish your margins (varying levels of discounted shipping costs)
• Consider your goods (such as dimensions, and how weighted items will naturally cost more)
• Assess your orders (maybe introduce free shipping for orders over £50)
• Know your customers (their locations will greatly impact delivery costs).

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As a customer, do you feel that free shipping contributes to the make-or-break of completing a transaction? Maybe you’re a business considering making free shipping a feature within your operations, but not sure of the logistics? Voice your thoughts in the comments box below – or get in touch with our Customer Help Centre for more information today.

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The Time Is Now: When Should You Post Your Christmas Cards?

When it comes to Christmas, there tends to be two types of people: the smug, organised bunch who planned way ahead in advance with their Christmas correspondence, and the panicked, disorganised lot who have left their Christmas card mailing list to the last minute. If the description of the latter sounds familiar to you, then don’t despair – as we’re here to advise on when to mail out your season’s greetings as well as the last posting dates.

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While you may think that you have just over a couple of weeks to get your Christmas cards out on time, you’d best check whereabouts your recipients are located – especially when it comes to international mail. So before you lose all hope in getting your mail delivered before Christmas, let Santa’s little couriers come to your rescue:

• Airmail (international standard/tracking/signature services). The list below details the last post for airmail to the following countries:
- Canada, Poland: December 9
- USA: December 12
- Western Europe: December 13
• Inland UK. The last posting dates for UK inland are:
- 2nd Class and Signed For: December 18
- 1st Class and Signed For: December 20
- Special Delivery Guaranteed: December 23

Standard deliveries will be carried out as normal on December 22, 23 and 24, however there will be no deliveries or collections on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Deliveries will resume on December 27, 29, 30 and 31, though no deliveries or collections will take place on New Year’s Day – deliveries will then go back to normal on January 2, except in Scotland as it’s a bank holiday.

If you’re short for time, the majority of local delivery offices will extend their opening hours until late from Monday December 8, so you can collect your packages at a time that suits you. Alternatively, you could arrange for a courier to deliver your parcels – simply book online via our site and receive a quote instantly. Just type in where your item will be collected and delivered to as well as its weight, and once you’re happy with your quote, we’ll take care of the rest.

Showcasing an excellent track record for customer service (4.9/5.0, thank you very much) as well as over two million customers (and counting) having used Parcel2Go as their trusted courier, why not try out our services today? With huge savings on international delivery, Christmas really has come early – only with Parcel2Go.

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Last Christmas Delivery Dates 2014

Last Christmas, you gave me your…infographic detailing the last posting dates for the festive period? As it’s the season of generosity, the team at Parcel2Go have decided to go the extra mile by creating an infographic listing a selection of leading online retailers and their delivery dates during the Christmas holidays.

That’s right, we’ve compiled (alphabetically – you’re welcome) a directory listing which businesses offer standard and express/next day delivery as well as the dates they won’t be delivering on throughout the Christmas period. Featuring major names including ASOS, Selfridges and O2, we’ve also thrown in our own delivery dates (because we’re generous like that).

With the different delivery options marked in green, red and grey, this easy-to-read chart shows you just how much time you have to put your online orders in – so whether you’re after the latest tablet or that must-have dress for the office Christmas party, with a little help from our infographic, knowing when the last posting dates are for Christmas really gives new meaning to it being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’!

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Speedy Santa: How Quick Does Father Christmas Need To Be?

Festive pinch and a season’s greetings punch – it’s the first day of the Christmas month! December’s come around quickly, which means Christmas Day is fast approaching: and Father Christmas has his work cut out if he wants to make sure everyone gets their gifts on time.

We decided to create our very own infographic to track how just how many miles he would have to cover as well how fast he’ll be travelling – and it turns out that Santa’s got some speed on him that even a comet or a space shuttle can’t compete with!

But it’s not like Father Christmas doesn’t get rewarded for his hard work – so long as families the world over remember to leave him a mince pie and a glass of milk for his efforts, this staggering total should be enough to tide him over until next Christmas.

So without further ado, we ‘present’ to you our speedy Santa infographic – got any facts you’d care to share? Post in the comments below – and remember, spread the Christmas cheer by sharing this post with other festive fans today!

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Post-Job Interview: Do You Or Do You Not Send A Thank You Letter?

You’ve sent in your covering letter and CV, landed the interview and now the hiring manager has said they’ll be in touch – there’s nothing left to do but to sit and wait, as the job-shaped ball is now in their court, right? Actually, there is something you can do – express your gratitude that they took the time to consider your application and interview you, by sending them a thank you letter.

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While many view this as a sign of etiquette, others are of the opinion that this move has other intentions – such as attempting to influence the hiring manager’s opinion into offering you the job. It’s reported that only five per cent of those actively seeking for jobs actually send out thank you letters following a job interview – so let’s see what concerns the remaining 95 per cent have on this matter:

1. Doesn’t it come across as though the candidate is sucking up to the prospective employer? With many courtesies in the workplace often overlooked, to receive a thank you letter is rare – which gives you an edge over the other candidates. By showing that you care enough to take the time to write a thank you note, many employers see this as a sign that you care enough about the position; as well as differentiating you from the rest of the competition to help you stand out from other interviewees.
2. OK, you’ve convinced me – how should I write my thank you letter? Just as you’ve carefully crafted your covering letter and CV to meet the requirements of your desired job role, apply the same attention to detail with your thank you letter – ensuring all spelling and grammar is correct. Keep it brief and bespoke: short enough so that it’s straight to the point and doesn’t come across as though you’re grovelling for them to consider you, and bespoke by highlighting how you felt you identified with their company culture.
3. If I’m interviewed by a panel, should I send a thank you letter to each interviewer? It’s recommended to personally thank each person interviewing you – and while you could send the same letter to each recipient, you should definitely vary a few of the sentences so they’re tailored to the interviewer (just in case the panel compare their letters).
4. How soon after the interview should I send my thank you letter? Time is of the essence – and if there are many people interviewing for your role, the best way to ensure the interviewer remembers you from everyone else is to send your thank you letter within 24 hours of your interview.

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How many of you have sent a thank you letter to an employer after an interview? Alternatively, how many of you received a thank you letter following an interview you carried out? Tell us your experiences in the comments box below!

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A TED Talk By Hannah Brencher: Love Letters To Strangers

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When you think of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks, you think of speakers discussing innovative political ideas or even radical developments made in the world of technology – but the humble postal service has also been known to make an appearance, thanks to the work of Hannah Brencher.

Hosting a TED talk entitled: “Love letters to strangers”, Brencher lent inspiration for this presentation following her mother’s practice of sending her letters during Brencher’s time at college. After moving to New York City in October 2010, she experienced depression – so to combat this, she decided to leave love letters throughout the city. In the course of nine months, she mailed out over 400 love letters to complete strangers across the world, and has now started a global project named: The World Needs More Love Letters.

What is ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ about?
According to Brencher, it is: “a global love letter writing organization that harnesses the power behind social media to write and mail love letters to individuals across the globe”. After leaving random scraps of letters in places such as coffee shops as well as in coat pockets in department stores, she decided to document her experiences – blogging about the letters and publishing one extremely small but life-changing question: “Do you need someone to write you a love letter today? Just ask.”

Millions all over the world now partake in Brencher’s letter-writing project in three ways:

• Mail letters. To commemorate certain worldwide events, More Love Letters collaborates with worthy causes – where in this instance, More Love Letters has partnered up with This Bar Save Lives in honour of World Food Day. The premise is simple: for every letter written in the next 30 days, This Bar Saves Lives will donate a packet of life-saving food to a child in need. Alternatively, you can also write letters to charity workers posted overseas, mailing them words of encouragement.

• Leave letters. You can follow Brencher’s example and leave random love letters in your hometown, or perhaps on a park bench for someone to discover. Write the URL moreloveletters.com on the letter, then check the site in a few days to see if someone uploaded a photo of your letter for all the world to see!

• Start a campus charter. Want to spread the word amongst your academic associates? Then you can apply to bring Campus Cursive to your university – and if successful, your mission will see you spread love letters around your campus, your university town as well as the rest of the world.

Have you been the recipient of a random love letter? Or perhaps you’ve left a love letter or two for a stranger to read! Does the More Love Letters scheme sound like something you’d be interested in? Tell us who you’ve written your letters to or where you’ve left them – post your experiences in the comments below today!

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Put Pen To Paper: Saturday 15th November Is ‘I Love To Write’ Day

November 15th marks an important date in the writing calendar, celebrating the event of ‘I Love To Write Day’. It’s the world’s biggest party for writers, and you’re all invited – all that’s required is that you have a passion for writing, whatever your preferred prose!

This creative day was first thought up by Delaware author John Riddle, giving writers the opportunity to compose a variety of written forms. From a romantic poem to starting a novel, there’s countless possibilities to craft your written project – and you can spread the word by encouraging friends and families to partake in this day.

Here are some suggestions to kick-start your writing for ‘I Love To Write’ Day:

• Letter to the editor. Seen a story you wanted to share your opinions on? Keep it short and succinct – a recommended word count would be around 300. Make sure it’s a recent event or article your letter can make valid connections to, and ensure it’s a topic you’re well-acquainted with – as this will help establish you as a source of authority in your chosen field. Additionally, check to see if the publication comes with any guidelines, as following a set of criteria increases your chances of having your letter published.

• A poem. Whether it’s a short limerick or a clever haiku, poems come in all shapes and sizes. How about writing an acrostic poem, where the first letters of each line align vertically to form a word? See if you can compose a five-line poem in the form of a cinquain, or test your knowledge of the English language by coming up with rhyming couplets!

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• Essay. That coursework you’ve been putting off? We feel your pain – especially when ‘I Love To Write Day’ falls on the weekend. But having this day of respite could be the perfect opportunity to get your head down and get productive! What with this being a celebrated writer’s day, it’d be rude not to cram in as much writing as you can – plus you can reward yourself with the relief that you’ve completed your assignment and got all your writing out of the way.

• Novel. Many writers aspire to come up with a best-selling novel, but often don’t know where to start. There are plenty of novel-writing classes to partake in, while there are several book-writing clubs popping up in many a café. Coincidentally, ‘I Love To Write Day’ takes place in the same month as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – a yearly celebration and challenge for those wanting to write a novel in a 30-day period). While we’re already halfway through this event, it’s worth checking out – and serves as a great platform to meet like-minded writers wanting to get started on their novel just like you.

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• Letters. When was the last time you wrote a letter? Perhaps it was a complaint to a customer services department, or maybe to a former pen pal. Why not go back to basics and abandon your email for a letter instead? You never know whose day your personalised post could make!

Will you be participating in ‘I Love To Write Day’? If so, what do you reckon you’ll write? Get your creative juices flowing and share your writing suggestions with us today!

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