At least wear a towel – and other top tips from a courier this festive season

Couriers are knocking on hundreds of doors a day as parcel deliveries ramp up for the festive season – prompting one driver to offer a few tips to ensure you get your long-awaited packages hassle-free.

Top of the list is that people “should be dressed when we deliver to them”, NZ Post courier Sandra Gevers says.

That’s not to say being fully clothed is a must.

Gevers recalled one incident when she left a card-to-call and continued on her run when no one answered her knocks at a particular house.

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A few streets away, she noticed the customer had followed her.

The customer told her they couldn’t come to the door initially because they weren’t dressed.

“I said: ‘Just put a towel around you, I’m happy with that.'”

The exception was when she delivered to a nudist camp, which she said was “very interesting”, but she remained tight-lipped on any further details.

Gevers has been doing the Rolleston delivery route for 15 years after moving to New Zealand from South Africa.

Courier Sandra Gevers says she delivers hundreds of parcels a day, and one of the main things she wants in return is kindness.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

Courier Sandra Gevers says she delivers hundreds of parcels a day, and one of the main things she wants in return is kindness.

In that time she has seen the area’s population boom. She used to be able to cover her run – which includes Burnham and Dunsandel – alone, but now she needs another five couriers to cover the growing territory.

She delivered between 280 and 450 parcels a day, and said there were several things customers could do to help increase delivery efficiency:

  • Ensure your parcel is addressed correctly and clearly.
  • If there are animals on your property, shut them away to allow the courier safe access to knock on your door or leave the parcel.
  • If you know you won’t be home for a delivery, enable an Authority To Leave and specify where.
  • Clear obstacles out of the path. Gevers said getting to someone’s door could be “quite tricky sometimes”.
  • Ensure your house number is clearly visible from the street.

Couriers sometimes hesitated to enter properties with tall fences because they could not see if any dogs were behind them.

“Normally we leave a card-to-call in the letterbox [in that case].”

She urged people to come to the door in case their parcel required a signature – which was usually the case.

If you know you won't be home, fill out an Authority To Leave so the courier can leave your delivery in a safe place.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

If you know you won’t be home, fill out an Authority To Leave so the courier can leave your delivery in a safe place.

“That will help us get through our days quicker and get to the next delivery point quicker.”

She advised customers to order early: the sooner an item is ordered, the sooner it can arrive.

Gevers said she got a real buzz out of delivering parcels, especially in the lead-up to Christmas as recipients knew they were getting gifts for themselves or a loved one.

“The more packages for me the better, I love it,” she said.

“Children, they make your day when they scream ‘the courier is here’.”

If you can’t be home to collect the package, and don’t want it to attract the eye of a thief, requesting a parcel to be left at the front door might not be the best bet (unless, as is the case of one Rolleston resident on Gevers’ run, your Labrador is trained to fetch it).

Customers can leave instructions via the NZ Post Parcel Leave service – the standard places are behind the bins, under a barbecue cover or behind a bush near the front door.

Safer yet, is to have it sent to a store through the Collect my Parcel service, which includes NZ Post stores, Countdown stores, and Z Energy petrol stations.

Don’t try sending magnets, batteries, perfume, nail polish, gift cards, vouchers and money – they can’t be sent through NZ Post’s network.

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