FAQs

Can I drop off my prepaid packages at Uncle Marty’s?
You betcha! We’re very happy to accept your DHL, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and USPS prepaid items as a public courtesy and keep them safe until our next regular pickup. For pickup times, please visit our Contact page.

Why is there no blue mailbox on the street in Collegetown?
Because we’re a United States Postal Service Approved Postal Provider, the USPS considers us a mail collection point for Collegetown and therefore doesn’t have a blue box on the corner like they do in many neighborhoods. So, bring your mail in to us and we’ll be happy to include it with our daily pickup!

Does size matter?
Absolutely. Shipping rates are based on a matrix of size, weight, destination, and value. Commercial carriers assign a dimensional weight to most shipments and the rate for the greater of either the dimensional or actual weight is charged. So, when at all possible and when not compromising the safety of the contents, cut your boxes down (We’re happy to do this for you with our special tools.) or switch the box to a smaller size. Shipping with empty space inside can put a box at risk of caving in when something heavy is placed on top of it, make the contents shift and damage, and is, in general, just plain silly.

Why does it matter how my shipment is packed?
The shipping cycle is rough! In carrier vehicles, hubs, and warehouses, boxes are stacked, tumbled, subject to drops as high as three feet between conveyor belts, and travel at very high speeds down sorting chutes. So packing your fragile items safely is uber important. We have toured these shipping hubs (One of the most amazing experiences of Marty’s life was a midnight tour of the FedEx Memphis SuperHub!) and have been trained (and have trained many others at a national level) as certified Advanced Packing Specialists, so please ask our advice and request our professional packaging service for anything that requires extra care.

If I use FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP stickers, will it make a difference?
Not in the least bit. Packages are sorted in the carriers’ giant hubs and warehouses on conveyor systems that pay no mind to special requests. We are very careful when your shipment is in our store, and individual drivers are generally very careful as well, but the automated shipping cycle does not discriminate.

Can I ship in a container that’s not a corrugated cardboard box?
Sure! However, it will be subject to additional handling fees that certain carriers impose. Sometimes it’s more economical to purchase a close-fitting box (We sell over 50 different sizes.) than to pay the additional handling fees. That being said, we often ship suitcases, plastic bins, and other sturdy items as they are (upon request and with extra taping and stretch wrapping, of course).

What’s the best way to tape a box?
We call it the “H method.” Boxes are designed to have opposing flaps folded together (two in, two out), not folded in a pinwheel pattern that weakens the box. Use one strip of tape down the center seam and then one strip on each end so there are no edges or catch points exposed that could cause a problem by getting snagged on the conveyor system. Don’t forget to tape both the bottom and the top of the box equally (because you can be sure it’ll flip, flop, roll, and tumble during the shipping cycle). If the tape pattern looks like an H, you did it right!

What kind of tape is best to use?
Packing tape is the best tape to seal with, and we sell a wide variety of tints, widths, and roll sizes at our store. To reinforce a box after it’s been sealed with packing tape, we recommend strapping tape (which we also sell) that, when strapped all the way around and back onto itself, acts as a reinforcing band against box bursting.

What kind of tape should I stay away from?
The worst types of tape to use are masking tape and duct tape, and both must be covered up by packing tape for a carton to be ready for shipping. Masking tape isn’t strong enough to hold a box closed and duct tape can delaminate during extreme temperatures, leaving an untaped, sticky box. We know that duct tape solves all of the world’s problems, but sealing a box is a rare exception to its usefulness.

Do I need to bring my own tape to Uncle Marty’s?
Of course not! We sell tape, but would never make you buy tape just to seal a shipment you’re leaving with us (even if it’s a prepaid drop-off). We’re always happy to tape your box professionally, free of charge, or reinforce the tape that you’ve already applied.

What kind of lead time do you need for special printing jobs?
That really depends on the job at hand. We can do simple jobs immediately, however more complex printing and document finishing jobs require more dedicated time and other customers that are in our store must require our primary attention. We recommend asking us if you have something large or complicated and we’ll give our best estimate. That being said, we work fast and always have satisfied customers!

Can you duplicate any key?
If we have the correct blank, we can duplicate it. We stock hundreds of different blanks, including the most popular ones for the Collegetown neighborhood. However, if an original key is marked “DO NOT DUPLICATE,” our hands are tied and we are not legally allowed to make a copy for you. (You must get those duplicates directly from the property owner.)

Where do you get your greeting cards from? I love them!
We hand select the vast majority of our greeting cards from a variety of vendors. Our goal is to have a unique mix that you can’t find anywhere else. In fact, Marty often goes to gift and stationery shows across the country to meet greeting card designers, source new lines to carry, and see what’s hot and trending. We even have our own line of greeting cards, postcards, and magnets (Uncle Marty’s Greetings) that feature local and university landmarks.

I’m so happy to discover you! Why don’t you advertise more?
Our reputation speaks for itself. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so please spread the word!

For more FAQs relating directly to semester and break storage, please visit our Storage page.

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