FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The holiday shopping and shipping season is here. Shipping services are already seeing an influx of people dropping off packages.

The UPS Store on Shiloh Drive in Fayetteville is ready for the influx. Jordan Lucero said while he’s seen the normal increase of people coming in for shipments, he’s also seen an abnormally large amount of people coming in for returns.

“I’ve noticed it more in the past few years. I think it’s just the increase in online shopping. That’s really just driving Amazon returns to come in at a bigger rate,” said Lucero.

Lucero said the prices of shipping will depend on the dimensions and weight of the box and where the package is going. Smaller packages normally cost around $15 to ship from a small distance, but prices can go up the further you ship away from the original office.

If you’re trying to cut down the amount of time you spend sending out packages in a store, Lucero recommends packing the gifts yourself before you ship. They can package items in the store, but it takes longer.

Last year, the United States Postal Service shipped over 11 billion pieces of mail and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, Julie Chudy with USPS, said she expects the same volume, if not more.

“We hire temporary employees, we maintain our machines, we get our carriers ready,” said Chudy.

Chudy says to use a sturdy box that won’t break down in the mail, make sure your addresses are legible and place a “to and from” label inside the box. According to Chudy, workers are ready for Christmas.

“We want to make sure the packages delivered to your friends, relatives and loved ones get their stuff in time for Christmas,” said Chudy.

Hannah Harris is an avid gift buyer. During the holiday season, she gets about two to three packages per week. Her advice to holiday shippers: do it early.

“Just get your stuff in early. Get your shopping done right now,” said Harris.

Adela Urizar is a student at the University of Arkansas. Her sister is volunteering out of the country over the holidays, and she sent her a gift early to make sure it got there on time.

“I wanted to make sure I could ship something to her to make her happy,” said Urizar.

If you have already packed up your box, you can check the cost by going to the USPS website.

Here are some of the deadlines for UPS, USPS and FedEx shipping within the United States:

  • USPS
    • Ground Service: Dec. 17
    • First Class Service: Dec. 17
    • Priority Mail Service: Dec. 19
    • Priority Mail Express Service: Dec. 23
  • UPS
    • UPS 3-Day Select: Dec. 20
    • UPS 2nd Day Air: Dec. 21
    • UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 22
  • FedEx
    • FedEx Ground: Dec. 14
    • FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 20
    • FedEx 2Day: Dec. 21
    • FedEx Same Day: Dec. 23