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Sending A Cake Or Care Package To College 101: What You Need To Know

We’ve been sending cakes and other treats to college and boarding school students for nearly 20 years and have learned many lessons along the way. Follow our tips to ensure your gift is delivered in a timely manner. We ship through UPS (but these tips also apply for FedEx packages).

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

Contact the school’s mail services department and tell them you're shipping a UPS package to a student. They will tell you the correct way to address the package. 

2. Each school has its own rules 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 will notify the student by 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 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 when 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 with UPS over the weekend. If your student has a Monday birthday, you must unfortunately send your birthday cake or care package 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, try 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 gift from Black Hound New York, you’ll receive a shipment email with your UPS tracking number. Check your tracking number periodically on www.ups.com or through your Black Hound New York account. UPS does not call the recipient if they are unable to deliver the package on the first attempt due to an incorrect address or other issue. Contact us immediately if you see any delivery issue. We’ll 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 college.

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 customerservice@blackhoundny.com for assistance.