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Posted by on September 17, 2012

Just because they are away at school doesn’t mean they aren’t still close to your heart, and don’t let anyone tell you sending cards and treats is only for holidays and birthdays. At Black Hound New York, we understand the importance of a great present whether for a special occasion or just because they are special to you.

So why not send a delicious cake or other treats because
… it’s Tuesday, and you know there is a group project due Friday.
… Greek Rush is over, and they received a bid from the #1 house of choice.
… Or simply, you miss them.

We’ve been sending cakes and other treats to students at colleges and private schools across the country for nearly 20 years and have learned a few lessons along the way. The following are tips for ensuring your gifts are delivered in a timely manner.

1. Each school has a special way to address packages sent through UPS (or FedEx). This is usually different from how letters or packages are sent through the postal service are addressed.

Contact the school’s mail services department and tell them you’re shipping a perishable package via UPS to a student. They can provide you with the correct way to address the package.

2. Each school has its own protocol for receiving and delivering UPS packages to students.

At most schools, UPS packages are delivered to a central mailroom or a mailroom within a large dormitory. The school then notifies the student via email or a note in his/her mailbox that there is a package for pickup. Schools rarely allow UPS to deliver directly to the student. The school’s mail services department can explain their specific delivery procedure to you.

3. Let your student know to expect a package on a specific date.

Parents often tell us they want to surprise the student. We strongly recommend spoiling the surprise since college students don’t always make a daily trip to the mailroom due to their busy schedules. Tell your student a perishable package is coming on a specific date and must be picked up that day. Although we place a perishable label on the shipping carton, mailrooms will not refrigerate a package or contact the student if the package is still waiting for pickup days later.

If you are still determined to keep your package a surprise, ship it to someone you have told and trust to pick up the package for your student (i.e. RA, friend, roommate).

4. Avoid Saturday UPS delivery whenever possible.

With a little bit of planning, this is easy. You’ll save money since Saturday UPS delivery is more expensive than weekday delivery. You’ll also avoid a possible headache since many mailrooms are closed or have limited hours on Saturdays. Before ordering, ask the mail services department about their Saturday hours and if they receive UPS deliveries on Saturdays. If the mailroom is closed when UPS tries to deliver on a Saturday, they will not attempt redelivery until Monday.

5. Monday birthdays usually require some flexibility.

We (and most other companies which ship) won’t send cakes for Monday UPS delivery since your package would sit in a UPS facility over the weekend. If your student has a Monday birthday, you must unfortunately send your birthday cake for arrival before or after the birthday. If you can’t bear that idea and absolutely, positively must have your birthday cake delivery on a Monday, your only option is to find a local bakery near the student’s school. If your student attends school in NYC, we can deliver on Mondays. See #7.

6. Check your UPS tracking.

When you send a cake or other gift from Black Hound New York, you’ll receive a tracking number from UPS. Check your tracking number periodically on Based on our years of shipping experience, UPS does not call the recipient in they are unable to deliver the package on the first attempt due to an incorrect address or other issue. You should contact us immediately if you see any delivery issue. We’ll then follow up with UPS. Due to our shipping volume, we have access to a special customer service team who can resolve the issue more quickly than if you call UPS directly.

7. Contact us before ordering online if your student is at NYU, Columbia, or other NYC-based colleges.

We have additional delivery, flavor, size, and decorating options if your student attends college in NYC. Since we’re located in NYC and frequently deliver to many of the colleges here, we can help you determine the best option given your student’s address and schedule. Contact us at 800.344.4417, live chat on our website, or for help.

We know you want as many ways to send love, hugs, and inspiration to your students away at school. Let Black Hound New York help you send your “We love you”, “We miss you”, “Good luck”, and of course “Happy Birthday” cakes and other treats.

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