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Five Holiday Shipping Tips From a FedEx Driver

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Exactly how many boxes are arriving at your doorstep this week? 😮

Tis’ the season of online shopping! 🎁 With that said, chances are you have boxes arriving often from all of those HOT deals you’ve been scoring on Hip2Save! Need a fun doormat? 🙋 Here ya go!

We recently received a few tips from an actual FedEx driver! Read below for their tips on ways to make your holiday deliveries go smoother, and to ensure your packages stay safe!

1. Go outside after dark to see if your address is visible. Common mistakes include painting the numbers the same color as the house, having a light too bright as it puts a glare on the numbers, and hanging Christmas decorations over the address.

2. When expecting a delivery, you can leave a tote on your porch for the delivery to be put in to help disguise and protect it. Other options include leaving just a porch door unlocked so package can be set inside the porch. Drivers can only secure your package for you if there’s a place to secure it. Some customers leave the garage door up just high enough to slide the package in. Use what works best for your situation.

3. FedEx now offers pick up service at Walgreens. They will hold your package until you can get off of work to retrieve it.

4. Remember there are things your driver cannot control such as the weather. They are trying to deliver all the packages as efficiently as they can so they can get home to their families. Asking them to explain why your package is late when there’s 8 inches of snow will just delay them longer.

5. Be nice!

Show your driver a little appreciation! Check out these simple gift ideas with FREE printable tags.
Join The Discussion

Comments 91

  1. Winnie

    I can’t hide them because my husband will notice the piling up of carboard boxes. It’s a very nice doormat though

  2. Just passing through

    I’ve got a wagon on my porch and no one ever puts the package in it or even behind it! I live in the country so no big deal but it makes me chuckle.
    Also I’m told leaving the garage door slightly open is bad for the garage door system

    • Trish

      I always keep my garage open and they never put it in there. They put it on my front sidewalk for the world to see.

      • Yevette

        Create a free account on their website and then you can specify on your deliveries where you would like your package left.

  3. Celi

    Fedex lost my 2 packages both in the same week from Kohl’s, I contacted them and they say there’s nothing they can do but I have to call Kohl’s and ask for my money back

    • Sarah

      Becareful who you blame unless you know the whole story. Last year I received a package from kohls, inside was a toy (I didn’t order) and an invoice for a family in Texas. I never received the order I had placed and kohls had to replace the order for me.

      • Audra

        Yeah. I don’t shop Kohl’s anymore. After about 15 separate headaches, in-store and online, I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore. Not worth the stress to save a few bucks.

        • DjaksMom

          Exact same for me. This is the first time I’ve ever went a holiday season without purchasing a single item from Kohl’s. Shipping issues, items seem much lower quality now, supposed “hassle-free” returns in which the hassles are starting to come, etc., etc. As you said, just not worth it anymore.

    • Susan

      I’m having problems with Kohls right now. They sent the wrong set of luggage we ordered on Black Friday and when husband called Kohls the person he talked to said she is getting a lot of calls about the wrong items being sent.

    • holly

      It wouldn’t be Christmas if Kohls didn’t mess up my order, usually by sending wrong items. Sometimes just leaving items out.

    • Michelle C

      I just got a package last week from Kohl’s with shirts I ordered….also in there but not mine was 2 cologne gift set and 3 bath towels!

      • Tia

        Merry Christmas to somebody!

    • Tara E

      I ordered some things from Kohl’s a couple months ago and never got my package. I kept checking tracking and it said it was ready for pickup in some city halfway across the country. I contacted kohls and got my money back because they were unable to resend the package after it was returned to them. Didn’t make much sense but they did refund my money.

      • Raya

        Your all making me nervous. I only chose ship to home once for a birthday outfit and it was two weeks late. I thought that maybe that was a fluke… Today I shipped everything to home. Lets hope and pray a little child has Christmas gifts.

    • Rae

      Something I recently learned… Kohls sends things “non-returnable” that means that if your package becomes non deliverable at any point they can’t return it to Kohls and will be “disposed”.
      I had an order tracked all the way up to being handed off to USPS and then I got an email from Kohls that said “your package has been delivered ” with a city that was NOT my city delivered by USPS. The next day I got a notice that it was being processed by the USPS DISPOSAL SITE. It was shoes for my daughter. I don’t know how they could deliver a tracked package to the wrong address in the wrong city but they did. I called Kohls and they said there was nothing they could do and I had to take it up with the USPS. They gave me the 1800 number to call and that was a ridiculous loop of no help at all. Then I called my local office and no one ever answers the phone there either. They questioned if my address on my ID and on the tracking was correct. They questioned if I had moved recently. They questioned if they had attempted to deliver the package and I was not home… anything to make it not their fault. They told me that they keep small packaged at the office that are sent to the disposal site just in case some one comes looking for them. They went and found the package and it was opened, MY ADDRESS and name on it with a “return to sender” written in black marker on the bag. The ladies looked at each other and again asked if I had moved and I said “NO!” and they then said “oh it must have been delivered to the wrong address…”
      I love me some Kohls deals and shopping but I hate dealing with USPS so much I would rather just shop in-store.

    • R

      My husband got a shirt he didn’t order in one of his packages.. it was an xl muppets shirt that said “because science”. Was the weirdest thing!

    • Jennifer

      Kohls has “lost” my 2 apple watches I ordered. They emailed me and said “it might arrive by the 15th.” Needless to say, that wasn’t acceptable to me and the battle has begun. I have $715 worth of product floating around out there somewhere and nobody can tell me where it is.

  4. Linburmom19

    Make friends with your neighbor!We watch out for eachother arrivals and swing over and grab them til she gets home just to be extra safe!

  5. Erika

    My favorite part of this post is the last tip…be nice. My husband is a FedEx manager/driver and works extremely hard during the holiday season (6 days a week, leaving for work before the sun is up and getting home after the sun goes down) so a simple thank you really does make all the difference in the world. Thank you for this post and all you do Hip2Save! Happy Holidays everyone!

    • Nifty

      My husband is a UPS driver. He’s out right now delivering packages in the dark. Be nice is a very good tip because you never know just how crazy his wife at home is. LOL

      • Erika

        Lol Nifty! My hubby is still out delivering too. Hoping he gets home soon. Hope yours does as well. Happy holidays! : )

      • Crystal Goodwin

        We love our UPS drivers. They are always so nice. It’s always nice to remember them at Christmas too.

      • joannem

        I could never be a ups driver, I’d be too tempted to open all the packages, lol!!

    • laureen

      Lol. I completely understand erika. My husband works for fedex express. Last year around this time i just started my maternity leave so i would wake up at 3am with the baby and be wide awake til 430 to wake him up. I’m so happy my baby sleeps through most of the night now.

  6. Martha Music Gal

    Great ideas! My husband gives me a hard time about the gifts arriving in December. He jokes with our UPS delivery man too. I’m thankful for the convenience of on line shopping, but it’s not always perfect. Keep positive communication with your mail carrier/delivery man!

  7. Edy

    Love the door mat , I had my husband gift ship to my daughter law firm adress to her then package got to her early and she parks far, she called me to tell me that package was big wouldn’t fit on her backpack that she was worried about walking out so had to get on my car and go get it from her , good thing I wasn’t at work the things we do , thank you hip to save and everyone

  8. Tee

    I appreciate my delivery drivers. For the most part, they’re wonderful, I won’t let the bad apples spoil my view of them. I rarely see the UPS guys because they’re gone before I even make it to the door, lol. Would it be ok to leave a care package for them like hot chocolate, hand warmers, mini lotions and hand sanitizer, etc. in a little bag near the door? I’ve seen suggestions to leave cold water during the summer but I wonder if there are any suggestions for things to do during the winter?

    • LM

      I think any driver would appreciate anything you do for them. Just make sure you have a clear sign or note that it is for them. Here in Florida we are still approaching 80’s during the day so they still appreciate the cold water and Gatorade lol

      • 3WonkyDogs

        I, too, live in FL and I do the same thing! Because there is a high turnover of carriers in my area, I like to do it all throughout the year starting with Three Kings Day, Valentine’s, Easter and so on. I always get a kick out of getting the little gifts read!

    • Michelle C

      I’ve always left a care package for my driver. He gets a few a year because he delivers a LOT to my house and even brings my dog treats!

    • Randi

      Yes that is a great idea! I work for usps and just today I delivered a bunch of parcels to one house. When I get up to the porch there was a basket full of items specified for ups fed ex and usps. Items included Gatorade water and random snacks! It was nice to feel appreciated and its things like that that keep us moving this holiday season 😀👍❤

    • Amy

      We buy treats for our delivery people during the Christmas season! Always brings a smile, so I’m guessing they appreciate it. 🙂

    • Michele

      Love the hand sanitizer idea

    • Sarah

      My husband is a UPS Driver and really appreciates the few gifts he does get. Granted they get paid for it but they work so hard. They really do try to take care of your packages too. He can rarely see through his truck this time of year with over 200 stops. Last night he wasn’t home until after 11pm. I’m sure if you put a card on the package “to the UPS man” that they’d see it. He gets some baked goods, gas cards, a wooden ornament and a locally made candy bar from a dentist’s office every year, and once he got one of those gourmet caramel apples. I think gloves or anything else small and useful would be appreciated too.

  9. Frugal Lady 2

    Same situation with Celi a year ago & was told by Fed Ex & Kohls how unfortunate that I live where people steal stuff & all I have to do was search for the packages under the bushes! I don’t even have any bushes on my front yard. I live in a very quiet and nice neighborhood here in So. Cal. I was not refunded for the lost items & was told that it was my responsibility for my own stuff! This is one of the reasons I rarely shop @ Kohls & if I do, I tried to avoid ship to home but instead pick up at store and only.——end rant!

    • Hannah

      I wish I read your comment earlier. My package got held up at a Post Office and now I don’t even know where it is. I still got chrged for that.

      • Erin

        Does your tracking number show that it has been delivered? If not contact your credit card company. I had to do this for a Gymboree order last holiday season that got lost at post office. Tracking number said out for delivery but was never delivered. My credit card company opened a case and Gymboree I think had 90 days to prove I received it. Eventually I got my money refunded

  10. LM

    Number 5 is important. These drivers endure a lot in the next 5 weeks. My hubby is UPS and got home at midnight last night and it’s not even December yet

    • trace

      Tell him I’m sorry but we really do thank him for helping make Christmas special for so many families! Hiptosave=job security for delivery men!!

  11. 2littleones07

    good notes for all

  12. Jeni

    What’s the best way to gift the UPS driver and mail carrier?? just leave the gift in the mailbox but what about like UPS or FedEx driver??

    • Cara

      Week before christmas I always leave little treats for delivery people. Some wrapped ( surprise chritmas presents ) and some are just candy bars or drinks. I label the basket for mailman/ delivery man “thank you”. They can pick what they want .

      • Val

        I do the same thing when it gets a little closer to Christmas and I know they are working so many hours. I leave a bowl of candy out on my porch with a note to take a sweat treat to keep their energy up and of course, thank you.

      • tracy

        I left a basket out last year with different options and a thank you. Some did take. It’s in my mind to get one ready…
        They are coming about everyday

    • Sarah

      I say just put it on the porch with the card showing clearly, “to UPS Driver.” Try to watch though, as some of them have helpers this time of year, you might want to make two baggies of snacks. I can tell you they really enjoy the pick me up after 10-12 hours.

  13. MarMar

    I absolutely LOVE my mailman, John! He is the kindest mailman and person I’ve met since moving into my neighborhood. He goes above and beyond to satisfy. You can tell he loves his job. I would like to show him gratitude for doing what he does everyday, in every element the seasons bring. Any suggestions on what would be a great gift?

  14. marykatz

    I like that they have pick-up at Walgreens. Thanks Fed-EX and Hip2Save for the great tips!!!

  15. Alma

    I love this! I get packages all the time! I’ll have to make this with my new cricut 😁

  16. Kim R.

    Last year my kids and I made a “goodie basket” with packaged treats and bottle waters by the front door. We placed a thank you note to all UPS, FED EX and delivery drivers and told them to help themselves to a treat. It was the least we could do to say thank you for all their hard work at Christmas and all year long.

    • MeliH

      We did the same thing last year. They were all very appreciative on the rare occasions I was actually able to get to the door. We’ll be doing it again this year 🙂

  17. Angela V.

    I love our USPS, UPS and Fed Ex delivery people! Feel super lucky as they’re all conscientious about leaving the packages close to the house, and have even wrapped some in plastic when it’s been pouring out. Last year I gave each a gift card and a thank you note. I truly appreciate the work they do!

  18. AOhio

    Thank you for this post. Good to know about picking up at Walgreens! Yes, a simple “thank you” can really make someone’s day.

  19. Anne

    LOVE the doormat😂😂😂 I put out a giant bowl full of candy leading up to and after Halloween with a note and I had to replenish it almost every day😂

  20. Liz

    I figured maybe someone could use this JCPenney extra 20% off code expires 12/31
    Online code: 44MOVER
    Serial number: 217306400

  21. Michele

    Even though it might be cold in December but a bottle of water is still a welcome treat. Dehydration can happen in the winter too.
    As a driver my favorite treat is a tiny piece of chocolate or candy. Just enough to make my day sweet. But I never turn down a small gift either. 😳

  22. Katrina

    We have the best UPS man (PMS man as my daughter says). He always leaves 2 treats for our 2 dogs. So the dogs are always as excited as I am to see him 🙂

    • sne3103

      Lol @ PMS man.. kids are the best 😂

  23. Trish

    What bugs me the most is 98% of the time my packages are delivered I am home and they never ring the doorbell to at least let you know it’s there but more than that almost every single time I can hear them drop/almost throw my package to the ground from inside my house even when it says fragile…why!?

    • Becky

      Because there are a lot of sleeping babies, etc. They are told not to ring the bell unless a signature is needed. If you put a note on the door asking them to ring the bell, i bet they would!!@

      • Trish

        Good idea 🙂

    • CJ

      mine never rings the bell, but always knocks…he’s in the truck before I get there, BUT what really alerts me is my phone! As they scan the package, I get a message that it has been delivered so I go to the door right away! Sign up for phone notifications and you won’t need the door bell rung 🙂

      • Trish

        I didn’t know that was an option! Thanks 🙂

    • Sarah

      My husband (UPS) says he never rings the bell anymore because of people working different shifts and babies napping. I have to say I was ticked today when I had a house full of preschoolers napping and the Mailman rang the bell. It’s always about 1:30/2pm and he comes every day so I don’t need the notification. It’s not his fault though, it’s not like he knows my schedule.

      • Kelly

        Just as mentioned above, you can put a note out so they don’t ring the bell. Our daycare has a note to please not ring between 12-3.

  24. Tolu

    I need that mat bahahaha

  25. Meg

    Punks here are following around UPS and Fed Ex trucks….one lady said by the time she got to the door, the dude was jumping in his car and taking off. So annoying!

    • Tee

      It’s sad. The state that I live in was just ranked as #1 for package thefts and I unfortunately can’t have packages delivered to my job so I’m always hopeful that no one decides to play Grinch while I’m working. I’ve heard that in some areas, delivery drivers are being targeted and robbed before they even leave their trucks. Stay safe drivers.

  26. Jen D

    I updated the 2nd line of my address on Amazon to default to say “if not home leave behind side gate”. I enter that manually when shopping on other sites too. It helps a lot and usually they do it. Sometimes they are still left at my front door but I thankfully haven’t ever had a package stolen yet.

    • Fran

      Wow I love that idea

  27. JenB

    I did not know that about Walgreens. Great tips here! And I really like that door mat 😉 It’s soo funny!

  28. Dawn

    We live on a very bumpy dirt road that can only fit 1 vehicle at a time. My UPS guy is amazing and always takes the time to call me and let me know he will be in the area soon and we meet at the end of the road. It saves me the headache of having to hunt down a package that is noted as undeliverable, and it saves him having to deal with packages that have been tossed all around his truck like popcorn. I really want to give him a gift card or something, but UPS customer service said they are not allowed to accept gifts at all. I know I could slip him a Christmas card with one in it, but he has had seasonal workers helping for the holidays. I don’t want to get him in trouble!

    • Michele

      Dawn not sure if the rules, but I believe a gift of less than a certain value is ok. I’ve had customers give me a box of chocolates and another gave a coffee gift bag. Very appreciated gifts that don’t violate the rules.

    • brenda

      Dawn I don’t know what the “official” rules are but I work for a shipping company & our drivers get all kinds of gifts from customers. I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble. Please everyone remember to also be kind to the people working behind the scenes trying to fix problems, correct someone else’s mistake, taking your special requests etc. We also work VERY hard during this season as well but don’t receive any special gifts or treats because most of our contact is over the phone so a little kindness & patience goes a long way. :-).

    • Sarah

      My husband drives UPS and loves the “tips” he gets from customers at the holidays. They range from homemade baked goods to small gas gift cards. Most that give make a plate/baggie for his helper and him, or they share. The drivers don’t come back and tell anyone in the office about them, i’m sure your driver would let you know if he couldn’t accept something. Every driver I know gets little gifts.

    • Cara

      I think I read somewhere that as long as its below $20 it is ok. One time I handed one seasonal delivery person a small gift and when I turned my back she returned it to my mailbox. Since then I just give my regular usps guy a present and the rest I leave treats outside so they can pick.

  29. Kristy

    I had a vacation hold on with Fedex and they still delivered a package to my house. Needless to say, the package was gone when we made it back home. They said the package was shown as delivered so there’s nothing they can do so I had to contact the retailer. They are the one who delivered during a vacation hold!!! UGH!! The worst part was after checking the tracking number, it showed the package was scanned as a hold the day before they delivered.

  30. joannem

    I knew an item was going to be delivered in a box that would show what the item was, I did not want my grandkids to see it, so I left a note on my door for the FedEx driver to please leave it by the garage door. He did and it saved a big Christmas gift surprise from being spoiled!!

  31. Casey

    Really love the garage door idea!

  32. Mama

    Thanks for all of the tips!

  33. chuck

    fedex driver here

    i’d say definitely take advantage of the walgreens locations. it’s a simple prompt online when you’re at your tracking screen.

    also as a tip to save you shoppers a couple extra dollars… never pay overnight unless you absolutely have to. this time of year we take every single package out no matter what day it’s due. pay for that express saver service and odds are it’ll still be delivered within a day or two.

    and for sure be nice 🙂

    • AP

      Thanks for the tip, Chuck!

  34. TJ

    These are great tips, if the driver deserves the praise. I’ve been dealing with FedEx for over 2 weeks. Not sure if we have a new driver on our route or what. I’ve lived here for 6 years, had dogs the entire time. I live in the country, the dogs are outside during the day while I’m gone. Suddenly all packages are marked as “delivery exception, customer not available to accept delivery.”. These aren’t signature packages either. The one time I saw this guy in the last 3 weeks, he said he was scared of my dogs, even though I explained they are well behaved and have on invisible fence collars. He doesn’t actually even come to my house to try and deliver. He just marks it off. I know that because 3 days that he marked a package with the delivery exception, I was home. Nobody ever came in my drive. So far, at least 10 phone calls, and it happened again today. Pretty piss poor customer service.

    • Heather_P_423

      Home deliveries isn’t an ideal job for someone who is afraid of dogs… that kind of comes with the territory! I could understand if the dogs were actually vicious, but otherwise it’s no excuse to skip a delivery! I would be livid, too.

  35. laura

    #5. Please follow. My husband is a fed ex driver and this is the worst part of their year. They already have a regular heavy load and this puts them into mandatory OT each week until after Christmas to get our gifts to us. A smile and a thank you go a long way!

  36. Riss

    I love our UPS and USPS delivery persons! FedEx guy, not so much. Good thing the retailers I usually order from use UPS and USPS. FedEx left a package right in front of the door for everyone to see in more than one occasion. He could’ve put it behind the brick post tucked in the corner so no one could see it.

    • Sarah

      Same here. I hate when anything comes FedEx. Luckily it’s not often. Every driver in this area is rude and the center is over 45 minutes away if you have to pick something up. But I just assume it’s because the drivers are just contractors, they don’t actually work for the company, just the owner of that route, so there’s no company loyalty or care about customer service. Glad it’s mostly UPS and USPS around here.

  37. tinawall

    Thanks to everyone for these great ideas. Not only do I order a lot online, but I also ship out a ton through USPS because I have an eBay store. I always get my USPS carrier something at Christmas but never thought about leaving snacks for the delivery folks. I LOVE that idea! I love Hip2Save and the great community on here!

  38. Miss Notyetrated

    Where did you buy the mat?

  39. Fedex Ground Driver

    I have been doing this for 28 years, and am retiring next March. If you’ve never delivered packages at Christmas, you have no idea what we go through. Long, hard hours, inclement weather, biting dogs, and impatient customers. Imagine having your Christmas ruined year after year. There’s very little joy in it for us. As for the lady that has gentle dogs,, we try to make pals with the dogs on our routes with treats and what not. I had three of the eight drivers I supervise bitten in one week! And we’ve even had drivers threatened with fire arms when delivering after dark. I always notify customers when I am coming with a signature required package, and have even bagged USPS and UPS packages for them when it was threatening rain. I take care of my customers, and am always taken care of by them at Christmas.
    Here’s a few tips to expedite delivery of your items.
    1. Be sure your home and your mailbox has a number. We don’t have time to hunt you down, and this can delay your packages.
    2. Please secure any dogs you have loose when you are expecting deliveries. I have heard “he won’t bite” several times, then had to fight off a dog attack.
    3. If you are expecting a signature required package, please make sure someone is there to sign for it. We really are too busy and stressed to have to return time and again to the same house for the same package.
    4. Expect a lot of garage deliveries this time of year. Studies have shown that it is a much safer location than the front door, and most folks enter their home through the garage anyway.
    5. Toys with pictures on the box. Most of us will go to the door when we arrive and inform the parents that said package is in the truck. We certainly don’t want to ruin a child’s happiness, but if you are not home, we must leave the package. Maybe have it redirected to your place of business? I also deliver medical supplies, and will carry these items and any heavy items indoors for the elderly.
    Hopefully these tips were helpful. Oh, almost forgot. I delivered a deep fryer to a lady that lived two blocks from a Wal Mart Super store. I was interested in getting one for myself, so she told me what she paid. I went to the Wal Mart and bought the exact same item for 17 dollars cheaper than she paid. So much for “free shipping”.
    Hope you all have a good Holiday.

  40. Samii

    After a package vanished one year. They said the “wind blew it away” We moved into our own place and I bought a Ring doorbell. Best thing I ever did.

  41. Tami

    I was a letter carrier before. I heard the “My dog won’t bite” line many times. you don’t know what they will do when a stranger shows up on their property. I don’t blame those drivers for not delivering to a home with animals loose. I will say the post office I worked for took great pride in treating our customers well. Unfortunately the carriers in the area we moved to don’t do the same.

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