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College Students Can Cart Less To Campus Thanks To Bed Bath And Beyond's Pack And Hold Service

By Marcia Layton Turner / www.forbes.com / July 31st, 2017

Whether your child is attending Princeton, University of Maine, Texas A&M, UCLA, Sweet Briar or a school somewhere in between, you'll want to check out Bed Bath and Beyond's Pack and Hold service to reduce the stuff you have to bring. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

College students and their parents are already gearing up for the rite of passage called dorm move-in day. They're shopping. They're shopping for bedding, towels, trash cans, shelving units, rugs, furniture, storage, and dozens of other things students probably didn't realize they needed to survive the coming year away from all the comforts of home.

In days gone by, parents would stuff all of those purchases, plus everything else the student owns, into the trunk of the car and onto a rooftop carrier. They would make the trek to campus in a vehicle stuffed to the gills with living essentials. And then they would unpack the car, schlepping it up who knows how many flights of stairs to the student's dorm room, where they would discover that they brought a number of duplicates they really don't need and had wasted money on. Those items would then be carried back to the car, then back to the store to be returned.

Fortunately, Bed Bath and Beyond felt your pain, parents. Several years ago they created a program to lessen your load, quite literally, and make preparing for college easier and less stressful. With their Pack and Hold program, Bed Bath and Beyond allows college or boarding school students and their parents to choose all the gear you think they need and have it shipped and held for you at the Bed Bath and Beyond nearest your child's campus.

No more stuffing the car to the gills.

Caroline of Boston, who did not want her last name used, recently shopped at the Framingham, Mass. Bed Bath and Beyond with her daughter, who is headed to The College of William and Mary next month. "I purposely picked out large items that do not have to be washed, like bed toppers, under-bed storage, drying racks, etc., so we could save the room in our car for important stuff, like her clothes," Caroline says. She has heard that some people "are shipping suitcases thru UPS, but we would be worried that the suitcases would get lost," she says. "It is also NOT cheap to ship suitcases," she points out, after having researched the cost.

Pack and Hold is fairly simple. Head to your local Bed Bath and Beyond store and identify all the items your college student thinks he or she needs using a wand similar to the one used for bridal registries. You can walk through the store and scan the UPC code of the comforter your child wants, the rug you think coordinates with the bedding, as well as towels,  lighting, organizers, and just about everything else you can think of. Many stores provide shopping lists to help organize your search.

Once you've made some initial choices, you can have all the options shipped to the store closest to your college campus, so that they're ready and waiting for you on arrival. With Pack and Hold, you don't pay for the items until you pick up your selections during move-in weekend. So you can pick and choose from what you had shipped, only paying for what you opt to keep. That means you can also present one or more of the ubiquitous Bed Bath and Beyond coupons to help cut the cost of your purchases.

While many retailers target college students in their marketing campaigns, Bed Bath and Beyond has gone a step beyond mere promotions to develop a program that makes college move-in less stressful. It's likely they're winning a larger share of the budget for college accoutrements as well.

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