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she added.

Senders also need to be aware of what can and can’t be shipped via U.S.

Mail. Even during the holidays, the same rules that always apply to the mail still apply. There are restrictions and regulations on perishable items, live animals, electronic and magnetic items, and other materials, such as tobacco and firearms. Check with your local post office or visit for more detailed guidelines on mailable items. If it is questionable, just take the item unwrapped to the post office or your shipper of choice, and if it can be shipped they will give you your best options.

As for the competition, Tolliver-Gay says the post office definitely has felt the impact of shippers like FedEx and UPS. With online shopping becoming so prevalent, shipping companies often get consumers “coming and going,” shipping the item to the giver, who in turn ships the item to its ultimate recipient.

Online shoppers may want to use “drop shipping,” which will deliver the item in question straight to the final destination. As long as the buyer doesn’t have the need to inspect the quality of the item first, such as an item bought on eBay, this method can save time and money.

UPS and FedEx have carved their share of seasonal business with competitive pricing and on-time guarantees, and both carriers offer Christmas Eve delivery on packages shipped on Dec. 23. Online retailers like Amazon have had to scale back their 2day delivery guarantees due to shipping delays. The post office says they can deliver on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day in many cases. The post office offers shippers a few other conveniences as well.

“Online,” said Tolliver-Gay, “you can buy postage, schedule at home pick-up, all without leaving your house.”

If it becomes necessary to venture out, though, Tolliver-Gay had praise for the staff at the West Memphis Post Office.

“They know what people need this time of year. And we’ll do lobby sweeps to help customers as well.”

She said West Memphis is one of the state’s busiest locations.

So consider your options this holiday season to ensure your gifts reach the hands of those intended.

More Deadlines to Know

• FedEx (excluding Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico) FedEx Ground – Dec. 15 FedEx Home Delivery Dec. 15 FedEx Standard Overnight – Dec. 23 FedEx Priority Overnight Dec. 23

• UPS Ground – Dec. 15

• UPS 3-Day Select – Dec.


• UPS 2nd Day Air – Dec.

22 UPS Next Day Air – Dec.

• 23 Regardless of which carrier you choose, consider insuring packages and give them enough time to get there.

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