Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Postage from home


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Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
Postage from home on 11/20/2012 22:31:25 MST Print View

I don't know if this is the right place to post the question, but I need to set up USPS postage online so I can print lables at home, instead of always standing in line at the post office. I have a postal scale coming and I have all the zip code info, but when I go to USPS and try to use thier site, they will only let you mail it by flatrate or express, not first class. I need to be able to do this without ebay or paypal, just print postage from home on my printer. Maybe this isn't possible, I'm not sure, please help if you can.

Thanks, Jack

Edited by jumpbackjack on 11/20/2012 22:33:07 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Postage from home on 11/20/2012 22:37:46 MST Print View

I do it many ways - for my website I ship via Paypal, I also ship via Amazon for other sales. For at home postage for other things I have a DYMO printer. I have bought postage online, you should be able to buy what you need...but if you are doing First Class, DYMO is the easiest.
And honestly, a digital scale to 5 lbs works fine.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
Re: Postage from home on 11/20/2012 22:49:15 MST Print View

Hi Sarah,

I don't want to sound stupid, but what is DYMO?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Postage from home on 11/20/2012 23:30:56 MST Print View

:-) It is a brand - they are thermal printers you hook up to your computer. Very easy to use! Costco and Amazon both sell them. They also print address labels as well - I have the dual printer.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Here's what you do on 11/21/2012 06:58:21 MST Print View

Hey Jack - likely what is happening is that the other options simply are closed in the drop-down menu's. BELOW the info for the Express and expensive shipping options (listed first) you should see a few small bars that can be clicked on to drop down all the other shipping info --> first class, Priority w/ your own box, etc...it can be done as I've used it hundreds of times. Cheers

Edited by Whistler on 11/21/2012 06:59:07 MST.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Maybe on 11/22/2012 07:26:56 MST Print View

I believe you can also do this pretty easily through Stamps.com. I knew some folks who use that site, but I don't know all the specifics. Might look into it.

Ryan

bill king
(Darto501) - F
Seth is correct on 11/26/2012 20:10:40 MST Print View

You CAN print labels at home for first class parcels (not parcel post). Any printer, no other devices or software necessary. The interface is tricky but keep looking and trying, it can be done if you tick the right boxes and don't leave any forms blank. All options will eventually show up.

I would suggest writing a computer file containing a note to yourself reminding of the procedure for the next time. I had to do that for 2 or 3 things on the USPS site (custom forms etc.). I don't have notes for finding first class because that is not a problem as Seth posted.

You *can't send foreign parcels at the cheapest rate (first class) online.
You can send foreign parcels for the higher option rates including doing all customs forums.
You can send domestic parcels first class online and print labels and postage (its tricky).
You *can't send parcel post parcels (neither pirnt labels and print postage) online.

You can schedule the mailman to pick up priority packages from your door online, but only if they are priority or express (not first class parcels UNLESS you also have at least one priority or express parcel to also pick up at the same time (in that case they will take them from your doorstep all including the first class). The mailman will leave a receipt saying he picked up parcels and how many but no other information will be on the receipt.

It is possible to avoid lines at the post office even though all the blue pick up boxes now have small openings that won't take parcels. Just schedule a carrier pick up (for the next day, you can't schedule for the same day).

bill king
(Darto501) - F
bottom line on 11/26/2012 20:14:30 MST Print View

bottom line:

online labels isn't a good idea for foreign shipments, you can get a much cheaper rate by going in to the office and doing it there. MUCH cheaper. About half as cheap!!

It usually is worth it for domestic shipments, never have to leave home, and you actually save money (they give you a tiny price break (not much) over what it costs at the office).

Edited by Darto501 on 11/26/2012 20:18:21 MST.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
Re: Re: Postage from home on 11/26/2012 21:28:51 MST Print View

Thanks Seth and Bill for the info. I tried it again the other night, but still couldn't figure it out, thier site is not very user friendly, to say the least. My brother is a Postmaster, and he couldn't tell me how to do it either, but then again he never uses the web site. I'll give it a go later.

Thanks, Jack

Edited by jumpbackjack on 11/26/2012 21:30:12 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Postage from home on 11/26/2012 22:14:16 MST Print View

Yeah, the USPS website blows and sucks. Hence why I went for the DYMO printer - which buys postage so much easier.

Not mentioned is that in most post offices if your mail is ready to go (with postage) you can dump it on the counter and walk out. Nothing like walking past a loooooong line of disgruntled folks and plopping your mail down and running away ;-) Since I have a PO Box I check every few days, I do take my mail there instead of having pick up.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Postage from home on 11/27/2012 13:39:29 MST Print View

I use stamps.com because it allows you to print labels for any USPS service (including First Class International, customs form included), imports orders from various sources, and handles batch printing pretty well. It's $15.99/mo and many of the features require an included software download, but I think it's worth it if you're doing a large volume and if a fair number or your orders are international.

I print everything on a laser printer (toner cartridges last forever, and the printers themselves are getting cheaper), buy the labels in bulk from Uline (1/3 the price of Avery labels), and schedule a USPS pickup through their site.

It's still not a perfect setup (I do have to print shipping labels and packing slips separately, since PayPal doesn't include packing slip info in its cart export files), but everything goes through one printer and I never have to fill out anything by hand or go to the Post Office.