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      Holiday shipping deadline closes in, affordable rates are still out there

      With less than two weeks until Christmas, shopping lists become shipping lists as mail carriers boom with business. At The Shipping Shop in Marquette, customers seek out FedEx and UPS deals that come in a bundle.

      "You have the tracking so you can see where the package is going, you can see when it's delivered, you have the automatic $100 insurance so you have a lot of protection built right into the service," said Dion Krysmalski, owner of The Shipping Shop.

      But experts say, be careful with careless packaging. What you save in security, you could pay in measurements. Those sending gifts with FedEx and UPS need to remember that size matters. Dimensions, weight and where your package is headed can all add up, which is why stores, like The Shipping Shop, offer savings on top of carrier deals.

      "We are constantly comparing rates through the different carriers, trying to figure out which is going to be the best fit for the customer," Krysmalski said.

      But don't underestimate the value of traditional mail. At the post office in Ishpeming, employees have seen a 70 percent increase in packages during the holidays. Most customers send gifts to loved ones all across the country for one flat rate.

      "Our best shipping option that we have right now is the priority flat-rate box," said Patrick Frye, postmaster at the post office. "You can ship them anywhere in the U.S., up to 70 pounds; they're usually shipped within 2-3 days."

      Some of our Facebook viewers agree.

      "I find sending packages using flat rate boxes or envelopes with the USPS is more cost effective than the others," said Facebook viewer Jason Asselin.

      And much like their motto, If it fits, it ships, be sure to use the space.

      "You don't want to be paying for a lot of air, so you want to make sure your present fits the box," Frye said.