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University Place shipper accepts parcels, Santa letters

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A Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling is part of a one-of-a-kind interior at The Mail Room Gift & Ship Co., 6824 19th St.  W. at University Place.

A Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling is part of a one-of-a-kind interior at The Mail Room Gift & Ship Co., 6824 19th St. W. at University Place.

Brandon Beauchene

A Washington state shipping company owner says paying attention to seemingly innocuous front-end details can save money on holiday freight.

Brandon Boschen is the owner Mail Room Gift & Ship Co., 6824 19th St . W. in University Place. The site bills itself as “the last independent package and delivery store in the greater Tacoma area.”

His store is now gearing up for the holiday season, complete with a Letter to Santa mailbox and an upside-down Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling.

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A mailbox awaits letters for Santa at The Mail Room Gift & Ship Co., 6824 19th St. W. at University Place. Brandon Beauchene

“Our goal is to provide a delivery experience unlike anywhere else,” he told The News Tribune.

Beauchesne enters its sixth peak holiday season as an owner/operator. He and his wife, Britt, purchased the business in October 2017, and Brandon was trained by the previous owner’s son, Chris McPherson.

The store’s full range of gift shops includes items from local artists such as Anne de Mille Flood, who will be part of a pop-up event at the store from 10am to 4.30pm on December 6.

Ahead of the 2022 holiday season, The News Tribune asked Beauchene for his advice:

Buy and ship early. “Christmas is on a Sunday this year, so try to get your parcels delivered no later than December 17th to avoid paying for expedited shipping.”

Do not send cash. “None of the carriers allow you to send cash, so if anything happens to them, you’re out of luck. Gift cards, checks and money orders are accepted.”

Don’t miss out on insuring your parcels. “Package thefts are happening everywhere. The cost of insurance easily outweighs the need to replace expensive gifts. All carriers provide coverage up to $100 on most items, and you can add extras if needed.”

Do not wrap boxes in brown paper. “Most package sorting is done by machines. When the machine tears off the paper, the shipping label goes with it, making it almost impossible to know where it’s supposed to go.’

Do not wrap gifts that are sent overseas. “Customs will open your gifts before your loved ones do, so you can skip the wrapping.”

“I know it’s a bummer,” he added.

Use the right size box. “Every inch counts and is always cheaper than paying for dead space.”

Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She talks about business and development, local and regional issues.

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