Monday, August 20, 2012

Blogging & the City 2.0 (Part 8): @Staples & @UPS are your Swag's Best Friends #BlogHer12

This is the story of how Staples & UPS got 26.5 Ibs of Swag back to Detroit for $20...

This is the last post in my series "Blogging & the City 2.0" where I recounted all my adventures at the BlogHer12 conference in New York City.  And today, I decided to end this series by telling you a funny story about Swag.

When I attended my first Blogher Conference back in 2010, I discovered BlogHer has some great Swag. For those of you who don't know what swag is, in this case, it is FREE items that are given to conference attendees. But what I also discovered is, when you fly to a conference, you better choose your swag very carefully since you will need to pay to ship home whatever you cannot fit in your luggage.

This year, Laura (from and I prepared for the possibility of bringing home extra Swag.  Since Laura travels more than I do, she has a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card that allows her and her travel mates to check a bag each on Delta for FREE. So both of us took a big piece of luggage to the conference. When we weighed the luggage at the airport, we found out we could bring home 20 pounds of Swag each without going over the weight requirements for FREE bags.

So I was very selective in what I took home from the conference and my bag was actually way under the weight requirement (see me patting myself on the back).

CoreBody Reformer by Nautilus, Inc.
Sometimes Swag just happens...
During the conference, Laura wanted to attend a special fitness event hosted by Bowflex to introduce their new CoreBody Reformer™ by Nautilus, Inc. During this event, we got to exercise with celebrity trainer Jennifer Galardi who showed us all the ins and outs of using the CoreBody Reformer™.

This unique fitness product combines three popular exercises into one: Yoga for flexibility, Pilates for muscle strength and dance for calorie burn. I have been exercising for years - running, walking, and lifting weights - and nothing prepared me for this machine. Within 10 minutes I was sweating like a pig and was out of breath like I had run a marathon.

Part of working on the machine is that you have to balance yourself like a gymnast in the Olympics - this makes you find your center. I kept falling off (totally embarrassing) and when I finally got my balance, I had to add in the hand straps (which are really 3 to 12 pound weights) and then I started falling off again. By the end of the hour, I was exhausted and every part of my body had been worked out.

After class was over, we were all sitting on the floor recovering when the BowFlex team announced they were ready to start the giveaway for a CoreBody Reformer™.

Did I mention each CoreBody Reformer™ is $250?  HOLLA!

Now the odds of Laura or I winning was good because there were only eight bloggers in the room and they were giving away four CoreBody Reformers. So when my name was called I was over the moon - till I realized I had to get a 26.5 pound exercise machine back to Detroit.

Now if you remember my swag post from BlogHer10 (How UPS Saved my Swag), Laura and I took our swag to a UPS Store two blocks from the Hilton and I paid around $30 total to ship everything home. So I already knew UPS was a great way to ship for a good price.  So I decided then and there we were going to take the CoreBody Reformer to the UPS Store immediately to get it out of the way.

The best laid plans can go wrong quickly....
So I hoisted the 26.5 pound box on my shoulder and carried it two blocks to the UPS Store - but the store was not there - OMG. So here I am in Midtown Manhattan with a 26.5 pound box and no UPS Store.

So Laura pulled out her iPhone and found the nearest UPS store was now another 3 blocks away. I asked if she could walk it to see how far it was since blocks in Manhattan can go on forever. She did not return for 10 minutes - help me!!!

So as we are standing there wondering what to do, Laura looks over and sees the Staples store across the street. Since, unlike me, she is still in her right mind, she remembers that Staples stores have UPS shipping inside. So I put the box on my shoulder and hope this next plan will work out.

I love Staples !!!
We get into the Staples store (with my big lovely box) and go over to the shipping counter. As they are weighing the box, I am praying. And what was my total cost to ship my CoreBody Reformer from New York to Detroit? $20 and change. I could have hugged that Staples store employee.

So if you are going anywhere where swag is king, I suggest you use UPS and that you map out the nearest Staples and UPS stores - before you leave the hotel :)

Thanks Staples and UPS for your reasonable prices, your many convenient locations and your quick shipping. You saved my swag and I love for it!!!

And I hope everyone enjoyed "Blogging and the City 2.0."  Now stay tuned for tons of product reviews and giveaways from brands that I met at the conference.


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