People in Switzerland spend several billion francs each year shopping online. Sites like Amazon, Ricardo and Zalando are particularly popular. Ordering is straightforward and convenient – which is often more than can be said for delivery. Here we've compiled some tips to help you receive your item sooner rather than later.
Ordering online often comes with a catch for those who work. Instead of the long-awaited parcel, you just find a yellow collection card in the postbox. Since the postal counter generally opens late in the morning and closes early in the evening, it is difficult to pick up a parcel. Many days often go by before you finally receive your delivery – even though the item purchased online was shipped quickly.
However, there are some options you can try to get your parcel sooner:
- Office delivery: Using a workplace address has the great advantage of not having to chase after a parcel and rush around because of limited opening times. You can specify your office as the delivery address alongside your private billing address when you place your order. You can also arrange for the delivery to be forwarded to your office after you’ve received the collection card. With companies such as DHL and UPS, this is definitely the easiest solution because they have relatively few pick-up locations in Switzerland. This option is also available with Swiss Post, but there is a charge for the service.
- Pick-up at a train station or petrol station: With PickPost, you can have deliveries sent to one of 700 collection points such as train stations, post offices or selected petrol stations.The catch is that the opening times of these collection points can be inconvenient. Nevertheless, this may provide a practical alternative for those who want to pick up their delivery from somewhere near their workplace. The service is free of charge. To take advantage of the service, you must register in advance on the Swiss Post website. Then, when you place an order, you provide the address of the relevant PickPost point. You are notified by text message when the delivery arrives, and have 7 days in which to collect it.
- 24-hour terminals: Swiss Post offers a new service called My Post 24, which allows you to collect your parcel around the clock. To use the service, you must first register for My Post 24. When you place your order, you specify the address of the terminal as the delivery address. When the parcel arrives, you are notified by text message and are given a login code to enter when collecting the delivery from the terminal. The terminal locations can be found online. The service is free of charge. So far, Swiss Post only has a few automated parcel terminals. They are usually located in shopping centres outside city centres.
- c/o: Using c/o in the address, you can have your delivery sent to another address, such as a neighbour's. For example, if Ms Jones wants to have the parcel sent to Mr Smith, she addresses the parcel to “Ms Jones, c/o Mr Smith, Mr Smith's street, Mr Smith’s postcode and town”.
- Poste restante deliveries: Poste restante deliveries are held directly at the post office and can be collected within one month. You just need to remember to label your delivery “Poste restante”, after your name. The service is free of charge.
- Parcel box: Securely mounted parcel boxes can be installed on a building. The postal worker places the parcel in the box, takes the badge contained inside, locks the box and drops the badge in the recipient’s postbox. This service is not available for parcels that require a signature or are too large for the box.
- Extend collection period: If you miss a delivery, you can go to www.post.ch/collection-note to extend the collection period, order a second delivery, have the parcel forwarded to an alternative address or authorize someone else to collect it. Just enter the number of the collection note and order your preferred service. Alternatively, you can download the Post-App, scan the code on the collection note and order the service there.
- Delivery when you're not at home: With the authorization for delivery service, you can have parcels delivered even when you are not at home. They can be left at your front door or in another suitable place. For more information, see www.post.ch/authorization-for-delivery.