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Deadline, Deal Day for Online Gift Senders

Attention online shoppers! Today's a big one on this season's holiday calendar.

As CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller explained on "The Early Show," it's the second-annual Free Shipping Day, designed to extend the online holiday shopping season for merchants and give procrastinating consumers one final chance to order gifts that can be delivered by Christmas Eve.

Today (Thursday) only, participating merchants (more than 700 of them!) are offering free shipping to their customers with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.

See our big Holiday Gift Guide

Today is also the last day to you can mail your gifts via United Parcel Service ground and guarantee of delivery by Christmas Eve. For much more on Free Shipping Day, click here.

With everyone scrambling to get their gifts in the mail, Miller went to a Manhattan UPS Distribution Center and got gift-packing tips from someone in-the-know: Karen Cole of UPS. She told how to get your packages to their final destination in perfect condition!

As you are packing an item, make sure you use proper packaging materials, things like air bags, foam packaging peanuts and bubble cushioning to prevent the box from crushing. Use at least two inches on all sides. The box should be filled entirely and there should be no movement inside if it's packed properly. Do not use newspaper, as it's not strong enough cushioning. The package is going to go through a lot of hands and a lot of drivers before it reaches its destination. Make sure there's enough in the box so when you push the box down you can almost sit on it, I like to be able to put pressure on the box so it doesn't crush under it. Newspaper doesn't cut it for cushioning.

In case the label on the outside peels off, if it happens we look inside the box. If something gets wet put an extra label inside the box. In case it gets damaged by water or it falls off, stick an extra label in side the box

What is the value, we want to make sure that we insure it properly. Don't want anyone coming back later saying it's $1000 and they only insured it for the minimal hundred dollars

Avoid using duct or masking tape as these materials can come loose. Using packing tape designed for shipping. You want to make an "H" to close the box to create a strong seal.You go across the center and on each side, they call that the H series.

And if you don't want to package it yourself, you can bring a wrapped gift to UPS and they'll pack it up for you.

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