Gift-giving season has arrived in full force. And while purchasing those items might have been a breeze, getting said gifts into the hands of friends and family can definitely be an ordeal.
Happily, when it comes to delivering and receiving packages, there are a handful of startups looking to ease the stress of the current mail system through the holidays and beyond.
This self-dubbed “on-demand delivery app for online shoppers" acts as a go-between for your packages by having you set their warehouse as the delivery address. Once they get your package, they’ll send you a notification, at which point you pick a time to have it delivered. For a small per-package fee or a monthly subscription for unlimited deliveries, you won’t have to deal with the annoyance of not being home when your packages arrive ever again. // doorman.co
Shyp makes it easy to mail packages by having one of their couriers pick up your item in person, box it up, and ship it out for you. If you loathe going to the post office more than anything else (which, let’s face it, who doesn’t?), skip the trip this season. It will only cost you shipping fees plus a five dollar service charge. // shyp.com
This startup works as a package locker, where you can either send out or receive items via their kiosks located in stores throughout the city. Use the touch screen to input information about where your package is going, then simply drop it in and they’ll package it up and send it for you. Alternately, you can use the kiosk to receive packages like a P.O. box—they conveniently send you a PIN code for pickup when your package arrives. Especially for more valuable gifts, this option is a good alternative to your apartment mailroom. // swapbox.com
For gifts where the shape and size would make them a pain (and expensive) to ship, turn to Barnacle. They link you up with a network of drivers already going the route you need, and reserve the front seat or trunk for your item so that you don’t have to struggle with awkward packaging. According to the site, people have used Barnacle to “transport bicycles, musical instruments, care packages, pets, and more,” making it a clear go-to for items on your list that can’t go in a box. // p2ppostal.appspot.com
Roadie uses a system of drivers that grab your stuff on the way to their destination, which they liken to “carpooling for cargo.” To ensure your gifts stay safe, they guarantee $500 of coverage for every shipment should anything happen, and you can purchase up to $10,000 of additional coverage. You also get to choose the driver based on previous sender ratings, and there’s real-time tracking in the Roadie app as well as the ability to call your driver at any point while they’re en route. This way, you can simply and securely watch your items get sent stress-free. // roadie.com