Updated: Wednesday, 27 February, 2019
At some point you are going to finish up at the Post Office. It can a fact of life. Long lines, cryptic guidelines, endless forms plus sometimes less than helpful counter-top staff. But with a little know-how and a tiny investment you can nearly eliminate any need to visit the post office ever again.
The key to this postage nirvana is taking a few simple steps before you have to mail something. If you possible until the mail is in your hand chances are you will be back at the Post Office waiting in line again. Thinking ahead really does repay.
In the past I used to buy a book of stamps and keep them handy. This worked for the most part but invariably the Post Office would replace the postal rates. This meant either going back to Post Office to buy stamps in the denomination of the big difference, or a new reserve of stamps. Very frustrating, and a major waste of time and money.
This clumsy situation has recently been solved by the new Forever Stamp. The Forever stamp is usually valid for First-Class postage on standard envelopes weighing one oz or less, regardless of any subsequent increases in the First-Class rate. Lower part line - they are valid forever.
Not only does this eliminate unnecessary trips to the Content Office, it also saves you money. If the postage rate goes up you can still use the Forever Stamp that you bought at the lower rate. They come in books of 20 rubber stamps, but you can also order a packet that contain 100 Forever Stamps right from the USPS web site.
In the event that you have to snail mail a package you have two problems to get over. The first is identifying the weight of your package. The second is calculating and printing the required postage.
To effectively calculate the weight you are going to desire a scale of some kind. The ideal solution is to buy a little digital postal scale. You can find these on places like Amazon and Ebay. But if buying a dedicated nota scale seems like pure excess to you personally a good quality digital kitchen scale will work just as well. Please remember my advice earlier. Choose the postal scale now. Don’t wait until the package is siting on your desk.
Today that we have the package weight we are ready to calculate the postage amount and print our shipping label. To do this we are going to use a feature available from PayPal called ShipNow. (If you have never sold anything on auction web sites before the ShipNow option will be missing. Observe below about how to fix this. )
From the ShipNow screen select USPS as the carrier and enter the required information. You can print your shipping label using simple paper or better yet a self adhesive label.
The labels print on standard 8. 5 Back button 11 inch paper using your existing inkjet or laser printer. The real shipping label is 6X4 inches, so make certain your package is big enough to accept this. You are able to print a dummy sample label first to check that your printer is working correctly. PayPal also lets you void an ingredients label within 48 hours if you need to (e. g. your printer jammed. )
Unlike regular postage stamps ShipNow postage labels are only valid for the date specified. Thus make certain to mail your package by the chosen ship date. You can specify a ship date up to three days and nights in advance at the time you create your label. ShipNow will allow you to ship your package internationally, however you are restricted to the more expensive Express and Priority mail classes.