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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3 Angriest (And Funniest) Complaint Letters Ever Written

You know how it is – you go to a restaurant and expect a delicious slap-up meal only to be met with tasteless food, awful service and the realisation that you’ll never get that hour and a half of your life back. Feeling wronged by this underwhelming experience, you decide to complain – and in true British style, you quietly seethe at your seat until you head home where, armed with an internet connection and an email address for the Customer Services department where you’ll be directing your anger at, you write a complaint letter expressing your anger and disappointment.

While many of us tend to keep it short and sweet, other complainants will jump in at the deep end – listing a barrage of grievances which quickly escalates from a brief letter to a lengthy essay. Let’s take a look to see many of you can identify with these five angriest and funniest customer complaint letters:

1. Vodafone. One Mr Jenkins wrote to Vodafone after experiencing a ‘communicational conundrum’ – initially wanting a Sharer plan needing “on average 3000 minutes per user, so for 15 users I needed 45,000 minutes. However, this fell on deaf ears:

“…now, I’m no Shakespeare Nick, but I would proclaim to have a certain grasp on the English langue, so when I uttered the words, ‘I do not want 3000 minutes fixed per phone; I want the whole 45,000 minutes to be shared between the 15 users’, I stupidly assumed that Vodafone would understand this, but in hindsight, I now see that this was all too much for Hayleigh Hegar and Jenna Bird to comprehend.

“In the space of 4 months, I have been escalated to more than 7 people. I don’t think it gets much higher than this Nick, I’m walking on the moon, I’m walking on sunshine, I’m free as a bird Nick, I’m singing in the rain.”

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We feel your pain Mr Jenkins – we really do.

2. Lothian and Borders Police. The author wrote to the Lothian and Borders Police due to concerns they had over certain youths hanging round their local neighbourhood:

“As I’m writing this e-mail there are eleven failed medical experiments (I think you call them youths) in West Cromwell Street…Six of them seem happy enough to play a game which involves kicking a football against an iron gate with the force of a meteorite. This game is now in its third week and as I am unsure how the scoring system works, I have no idea if it will end any time soon.

“What I suggest is this. After replying to this e-mail with worthless assurances that the matter is being looked into and will be dealt with, why not leave it until the one night of the year (probably bath night) when there are no mutants around then drive up the street in a panda car before doing a three point turn and disappearing again. This will of course serve no other purpose than to remind us what policemen actually look like.”

Fingers crossed this hasn’t spoiled your admiration of the beautiful game (or the police, for that matter).

3. Virgin. In what is considered to be the most widely published complaint letter of all time, Oliver Beale discusses his disdain at the airline food:

“I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat there with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.

“Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this.”

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While it was certainly an underwhelming experience, rumour has it that Sir Richard offered Oliver a job shortly after receiving the letter!

What’s the angriest – or funniest – complaint letter you’ve written? Share your grumblings with us today!

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Happy Halloween! 3 Fun Care Packages

That ghoulish time of year has descended upon on us once again – from the latest horror film releases terrifying moviegoers to fancy-dress enthusiasts putting on their scariest costumes when taking part in the tradition of trick or treat, Halloween has well and truly arrived.

But while many of us are fortunate enough to celebrate it on our doorstep, there are others who aren’t so lucky – often situated miles away as a result of university or being in the military. However, there’s nothing stopping you and your loved one from joining forces on 31 October – all it takes is a little packaging, and a LOT of imagination. Check out these four great care packages: fun or fearful? You decide…

Gruesome goodies
You can never go wrong with sending sweets (unless they happen to have a sugar allergy, of course) – so why not recreate a sense of nostalgia by preparing a selection of goodie bags filled with their favourite sweets? Just pop to the shops and gather a variety of Halloween-themed pick ‘n’ mix, chuck in some chocolate bars, place into some ghoulish goodie bags – and you’re done. Once your recipient opens their parcel of scary surprises, they’ll certainly think it’s the “sweetest” thing you could ever do for them!

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Fright night
Should a parcel of goodie bags fail to hit the sweet spot (no pun intended), then entertain your loved one the good old fashioned way – a horror film. Whether you choose to include a classic scary movie or perhaps want to surprise them with the latest terrifying release, complete the cinematic experience by including some typical movie snacks – such as popcorn and cookies. However, if the idea of hiding behind the sofa doesn’t seem like their perfect Halloween night, maybe send them a Halloween-inspired mix tape: from the quintessential scary song of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to “Ghost Town” from The Specials, they can have their own low-key celebrations with a medley of macabre music.

Spook the students!
If you’re a parent, you’ll know firsthand just how disorganised your little ones are – and even though they may have flown the nest to make a start in their first steps of university life, you can guarantee that when it comes to important events, they’ll have left their planning to the very last minute. Make sure they’ve got everything need to make this a Halloween to remember, and send them a parcel containing their favourite costume and petrifying props. From party decorations to even a pumpkin carving set, there’s a whole range of spine-chilling ideas to ensure they have a spooktacular night!

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Alternatively, you could send them a collection of ghost stories – or if they’re brave enough, a book from the horror writer legend himself; Stephen King. What ideas do you have up your scary sleeve to send this Halloween? Post your hair-raising recommendations in the comments below!

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5 Rejection Letters Written To Famous People

Success – celebrities make it look so easy, don’t they? With many a film credit to their name as well as Grammy awards lining their shelves, you can’t help but feel a pang of envy that these stars managed to achieve fame so quickly. However, this is far from the truth; with the reality being that these celebrities will have worked for years before they got their big break.

Yet despite their instant worldwide acclaim, you’d be surprised by how long it will have taken them to get to the successful position that they’re in today – and the amount of rejections they will have faced before finally achieving that coveted celebrity status. For instance, did you know that a publisher once turned down George Orwell’s world-renowned novel, Animal Farm, citing: “It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA”?

For a lesson in inspiration, take a look at the following rejection letters – and imagine how different the world would have been had the recipients given up on their dreams:

1. Andy Warhol

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Back in 1965, the artist submitted one of his pieces to the Museum of Modern Art absolutely free – but was swiftly rejected. Yet his luck soon turned, because as well as having his own museum in Pittsburgh, the Museum of Modern Art now shows off 168 of his original pieces.

2. Madonna

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The ‘Material Girl’ eventually signed with Sire Records in 1982, with her debut album selling a staggering 10 million copies worldwide. As the best-selling female artist ever, it just goes to show that a little perseverance goes a long way!

3. U2

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The Irish rockers very nearly missed out on their chance to grace us with their musical presence, after RSO Records rejected the band. But in a matter of months, U2 signed with Island Records to release “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” – bagging 150 million records and winning 22 Grammy Awards. Not bad for an initial rejection!

4. Sylvia Plath

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What if we had never laid eyes on one of the most celebrated literary works of all time, ‘The Bell Jar’? This very nearly became a reality, when then New Yorker asked the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet to have the first half of ‘Amnesiac’ to be dropped. While this wasn’t a rejection per se, a compromisation on her part could have completely altered the outcome of her written masterpieces.

5. Tim Burton

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Burton’s trademark black and white style within his films could have escaped us had he ignored this criticism – but that was not the case, as he learnt from this feedback and improved upon his skills. Despite this rejection, he later got hired as an animator’s apprentice with Disney – bringing us classics such as ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.

While it’s never easy getting difficult news in the post, eventually getting that successful piece of news makes it worthwhile. What rejection letters have you received, and how did you turn your luck around? Let us know in the comments below!

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