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Ho-Ho-Holiday Shipping Tips: How to Get Your Item to its Destination On-Time and in One Piece

The holidays are almost upon us: time to get your to-do list ready: shopping, gift wrapping, packaging and shipping.

The post office and UPS store will be wishing you happy holidays, but what they’ll actually be gifting you with is long lines and high fees, not only for shipping but for packing materials as well.

What’s the alternative? Probably the best-kept secret in Clarence and East Amherst: the FedEx shipping counter at Room to Spare Storage.

Wendy Merkle, owner of Room to Spare, originally installed the FedEx counter to facilitate shipping for items that she sold through her own online selling business. “It was a logical choice because of all the packing and shipping we did,” Merkle says. She decided to open her own FedEx counter to give customers the advantages of the shipping discount she enjoyed and a better experience than competitors.

Why ship through Room to Spare?

  1. You’ll save money.

“The Fed Ex office and UPS Store have a hefty markup,” Merkle says. “If you come to me, you’ll notice a significant difference.” That includes both the shipping and the packaging supplies.

  1. Fewer lines.

“Have you been to the Post Office in December? Or on a Monday?” Merkle says. “We have two terminals going all the time so you’re not going to wait in line.”

  1. All the packing supplies you’ll need.

You won’t have to look elsewhere for packing materials for an item to be shipped. This includes specialty items like custom corners for shipping a painting. In fact, Merkle has her own bubble-wrap machine. Plus, if you buy the packing materials from Room to Spare, they will pack it for you at no charge.

  1. No need to fill out paperwork unless you insure a package for more than $100.

Both UPS and FedEx will cover you for a claim for $100 without insurance.

“That’s the limit of their liability,” says Merkle. “Anything over $100, you’re hiring a lawyer.”

That’s why Merkle says it’s much smarter to pay for extra packing than for extra insurance. “You have to play their game and you have to pack it properly,” Merkle says.

  1. You can easily track your package through FedEx.

The Post Office charges extra for tracking.

  1. Personal service.

Because she is so familiar with FedEx’s various shipping options, Merkle is able to play a bit with how she ships things. “I’m going to figure out the best way to ship a package based on your needs,” she says.  “If you go online, you don’t get a choice.”

In 15 years, Merkle has never lost a package.

  1. Less hassle.

At Room to Spare, “it’s a better experience, it’s less expensive and it’s something customers can easily check off their list,” Merkle says.

The cut-off for Christmas delivery is December 17th. Stop by Room to Spare at 7545 Transit Road in East Amherst from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and wrap up that holiday list. For more information, visit or call 716-636-4620.