Ship from home. An investment in a postal scale can be a moderate expense with a big pay-off in convenience. Scales can be found online ranging from $25. and up, and can be found on sites like Ebay, Amazon, and the USPS website. Rather than standing in line at the Post Office, you’ll be able weigh your packages and print postage at home, even for international shipments.
Integrate. A natural option for many sellers is to use Paypal shipping. When a buyer pays you via Paypal, you’ll be able to print domestic postage, as well as Express and Priority International, with a few simple clicks. Paypal can automatically send an email to the customer when you print postage, and provide their Delivery Confirmation number. Postage can also be printed for customers who have not paid via Paypal by using their “Multi-order Shipping” tool. Paypal automatically adds Delivery Confirmation to shipments and its accompanying .18 fee (free on Priority), but there is no additional fee for using Paypal shipping, and it’s a tool that is already at most of our fingertips.
Mary from herbanlifestyle says: “As far as shipping services go, I exclusively use the U. S. Postal Service (USPS). For one, it’s very convenient since I can use Click-n-Ship and ask for pick-up, or easily drop off my packages at my local station.” Click-n-Ship is available through the USPS website and offers a number of shipping options. The site lets you easily compare prices and delivery times for their services, and create an address book on the site which is handy when shipping to your “regulars”. The USPS Shipping Assistant offers the same conveniences as Click-n-Ship, but without purchasing postage. You can use the free download to create labels, compare pricing, and then either affix stamps or take the package to your Post Office for payment.
Endicia is another option for printing postage, and is one that offers postage for International First Class, unlike Paypal or USPS Click-n-Ship. For someone who often ships via International First Class, the convenience of shipping them from home may outweigh the cost of Endicia’s service. Shipping plans start at $9.95 a month, and there are several different plans available. Tiffany from Picnicbasketcrafts opted for the full bundle including a Dymo printer and upgraded service and says that she loves it. She appreciates that she can immediately track every package, right through her shipping software, and know whether or not it has been delivered, and is enjoying the convenience that the Dymo printer is affording her.
Carrier Pick-Up. Don’t have time to take your packages to the Post Office? Can’t shove those packages into the slot at the drop-box? Have the Post Office come to you. By using Carrier Pick-up you can schedule a pick-up with your mail carrier to retrieve your packages. Pick-ups are easily scheduled either the day before or scheduled up to 3 months in advance. They can be scheduled directly through the USPS site or through Paypal shipping. There are a few stipulations, such as you will need to be shipping at least one package via Express, Priority, or International, and there is a weight limit of 70 pounds per package.
Box it up. Cindi from BrassPaperClip points out that the USPS offers free shipping boxes for Priority Mail. Not only are their boxes eco-friendly and cradle-to-cradle certified, but they’ll be delivered right to your door. A number of different sizes are available through the USPS store. It takes a few days for the boxes to reach you so plan in advance.
What shipping options are you taking advantage of? What is really working for you?
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