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Shipping Pointers & Information
Shipping is a necessary part of selling most physical products, and it can get complicated, hopefully this info will help clear way some of the confusion. For experienced shippers, hopefully there are some interesting tips.

Special Note: USPS has changed the name of "Parcel Post" to "Standard Post", and added "Parcel Select" for purchasing postage online. Note: Retail rate is what you pay at the post office and Commercial Base is the rate for printing post online. More below under USPS section.

On This Page - Further Down

Shipping With:

USPS - Click here. UPS - Click here. PayPal - Click here. eBay - Click here.
Packing & Shipping Services & Supplies

Shipping/Postage Supplies & Services

Note: eBay has arrangements with several shippers so that eBay sellers receive a discount. Carrier Options.

eCommerceBytes - Shipping Services.

Shipping Supplies

BubbleFast - Wholesale shipping supplies. FBA - We have Self-Seal Suffocation Warning Bags, Scotty Peelers, Box sizer tools and more for your FBA shipping needs.

Endicia - Software that streamlines your shipping process.
Endicia Blog - Postage Meter Users - Changes to USPS Package Tracking Are Coming.

Fastpack Packaging - Shipping supplies, also has a blog with shipping info.

Leaman Container - The Box Outlet - Ask for online seller discounts. Fort Worth, Texas - Locations: East/West/Bedford

Pack Secure - Sells bin boxes, poly bags, bubble lined mailers, stencil machines, impulse sealers, inks and paints, literature mailers, paper products, poly tubing and sheeting, tags and labels, loose fill and loose fill machines, zip bags, cloth bags etc.

Pitney Bowes - Small business soluitons.

ShippingEasy - Online shipping software that saves you money through discounted shipping rates and makes it easy to print labels, process orders, and automate tracking.

Shippo - Connect with multiple different carriers, get discounted shipping labels, track parcels, and much more with just one integration.

Shyp - We pick up, package, and send your stuff for the lowest price.
eCommerceByes - 03-16-2016 - eBay Expands Shyp Partnership to Boost Consumer Selling.

Stamps.com - Reduce trips to the Post Office. Print postage right from your PC! Try Stamps.com today!
Stamps.com Blog - eCommerce Weekly
USPS Announces Postage Rate Increase - Has 2016 Rate Charts.
UPS® and FedEx® Ground Delivery will change to DIM weight for all packages starting in 2015.
How to Calculate Dimensional (DIM) Weight for Ground Shipping. Info and charts.

Print your own postage.

TrueShip - TrueShip the Best Choice for FedEx, UPS & USPS Shipping Software? ReadyShipper was built for your business. It is a system simple enough for the small business shipping 10 packages a day, yet robust enough for the enterprise that will ship thousands.

ULine.com - Shipping Supplies. They have a huge physical catalog availabe.

uPaknShip - Custom Designed ready to purchase packaging that showcases your personality and unique brand look. From bold, colorful poly mailer designs, to bright pink shipping supplies, or standard white poly bubble mailers. Custom designer packaging available. All quantities.

USPackagingAndWrapping - Specializing in shrink wrapping, food packaging, garment bags, anti-static, poly tubing & bags, pallet covers, kraft paper, and more.

ValueMailers - Shipping supplies.

Shipping Services

Shipping Services

Citizen Shipper - Matches shippers with transporters, truckers, and moving services to move large items, cars, household, and more, across the street or across the country, EVEN PETS.

FedEx - Having a FedEx account provides many time-saving and convenience benefits. For example, you’ll have immediate access to a full range of tools that make shipping and account management a snap.

FreightCenter - With our freight shipping technology, you can easily arrange freight shipping for your items and get your large, heavy eBay items to their destination fast, easy, and safe. eBay shipping tools.

Inxpress - Cost effective, personal, and rapid international shipping specifically geared to meet needs of cross-border Amazon sellers. Our partnership with DHL Express gives our customers discounts, free pickup and tracking, and best in class customer service, for zero fee. If you are an Amazon seller shipping to an international FBA warehouse. Our rates, speed, and customer service are exactly what you need.
For personalized assistance, please contact Blake Waller directly at: blake.waller@inxpress.com.
Inxpress - On Facebook - On Twitter.

Kyozou - Multi-Channel Inventory and eCommerce Management. Inventory Management - Multi-Channel Management - Order and Shipping Management - Webstore eCommerce platform.

Old Dominion - OD Freight Line has been in the global shipping, cargo and freight business for over 80 years. In that time, we've learned to leverage state-of-the-art processes and technologies to help our domestic and global shipping clients manage their cargo and freight efficiently.

ReShipper - We make the process of buying and shipping products from the U.S. easy and affordable.

ShipHawk - Software that finds the best way to ship any sized item, packed or unpacked, integrated seamlessly into any online shopping cart.

ShippingEasy - Online shipping software that saves you money through discounted shipping rates and makes it easy to print labels, process orders, and automate tracking.
eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2016 Shipping Rate Changes. From ShippingEasy.

Ship Station - We integrate with all the most popular shopping carts and marketplaces so you don’t have to.
Free trial of ShipStation

ShipWorks - ShipWorks downloads orders from your online stores and makes it easy to get them shipped.
You can use ShipWorks for custom invoices, pick lists, monthly reports, promotional emails, and all sorts of great stuff that you need to do after you make a sale.
FREE - ShipWorks for eBay - Powered by DYMO Endicia.
ShipWorks: An Essential Guide to eCommerce Shipping.

Specialty Fulfillment Center - SFC is committed to delivering a full range of order fulfillment solutions in an easy-to-implement, cost effective friendly manner. SFC specializes in helping fast growing companies develop and execute accurate, economical, competitive, web based order fulfillment strategies. Inexpensive, accurate and service oriented.

uShip - We make shipping BIG stuff easy - 326,554 carriers worldwide!

uShip - At website click on their logo to see: Over 670,000 customer-rated Transporteres standing by to haul your stuff. -- List your shipment to automatically alert thousands of uShip transporters. Read your transporter's reviews, and book online to lock-in your rate. Get real-time status alerts from most carriers at pickup, delivery, and everywhere in between.

Shipping Large Items

UPS (United Parcel Service)
UPS Aricle - September 2012 - You make a living from where?!
UPS - Get your free UPS for iPad app.

USPS (United States Postal Service)

WhiteGloveDelivery - Whether you're moving a residence or a design studio, a priceless work of art or a family heirloom, you can trust WG Storage & Delivery to handle your move with care. Our facilities are equipped to offer any and all packaging, crating and shipping solutions.

UK & Europe

Asendia - One of the world’s top three international mail, shipping and distribution organizations, delivering your packages, parcels and documents to more than 200 destinations across the globe.

Parcel2Go - The Cheapest Parcel Delivery Service in the UK.

Shipping Large Items

Ship Station - We integrate with all the most popular shopping carts and marketplaces so you don’t have to. No more copying and pasting just to create a label. You can mix & match creating labels for UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, OnTrac, & more in batches of up to 500 labels at a time. (Packing slips, too!) Import, sort, and process your orders just the way you want them.

Wherever you sell and However you ship - ShipStation Wherever you sell and however you ship - ShipStation

InternetRetailer - 06-15-2015 - ShipStation Announces Integration with Freestyle Solutions.

Warehousing & Order Fulfillment

Warehousing & Order Fulfillment Services

CommerceHub - DemandStream Marketplace. List more products and sell more on marketplaces.
Internet Retailer - 04-04-2016 - Fulfillment vendor CommerceHub’s revenue grows 33% in 2015.

eBayEnterprise - When it comes to order fulfillment, you need a proven partner to do the heavy lifting. The eBay Enterprise order fulfillment solution handles everything. Benefit from state-of-the-art direct-to-customer fulfillment, advanced warehouse management systems, and returns processing. Over seven million square feet of space allocated for our order fulfillment solutions in the US and Canada alone.

eFulfillment - With a 13-year proven track record, an accuracy rate that exceeds 99.9%, and friendly, straightforward terms, it's clear why eFulfillment Service has become one of the most trusted and respected names in eCommerce order fulfillment.

National Fulfillment Services - NFS is a complete fulfillment service proving a full range of solutions for distribution, customer care and order management, at an affordable price. NFS offers a full range of fulfillment services, from B2C and B2B distribution solutions to contact center, customer care and sophisticated order fulfillment management with complete reporting.
National Fulfillment Services - eBay Fulfillment Services. NFS can manage orders from your eBay stores providing order, inventory and shipment confirmation integration services to make fulfillment fast, easy and efficient for you and your customers.

Selery Fulfillment - Pay as you sell - you are charged for only the space you need and the orders we ship.We help you focus on sales, by removing the hassles and cost of storage and shipping. Our fulfillment centers are located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and all completed orders will be shipped out within 24 hours. We actively sell multiple marketplaces, and understand the importance of things like; DSR, feedback, shipping time, tracking numbers and seller ratings.

Shipwire - eBay fulfillment services. Our enterprise logistics platform will help lower your cost, grow your sales, and
deliver a great experience for your customers. Ingram Micro is now powering Shipwire. As the world's largest wholesale technology distributor and a global leader in supply-chain and mobile device lifecycle services

WhiteBox - You're a dreamer, a creator, an innovator. You make amazing products. Focus on what you do best and we’ll handle all aspects of online sales for you, from product listings to fulfillment. Whether you’re just beginning to sell online or struggling to keep up with your volume, Whitebox will lift the weight of managing ecommerce from your shoulders and give your customers an excellent online shopping experience.
eCommerceBytes - 11-08-2015 - Whitebox Does the Heavy Lifting for Online Merchants.

WhiteGloveDelivery - Many of the businesses that we work with would rather outsource the warehousing portion of their business and concentrate on the retail side of their business.

Fulfillment Articles

FitSmallBusiness - 02-04-2016 - Order Fulfillment Services: Who’s The Best?
Only discusses two, ShipBob and RedStag, but good pricing info and a reader comment section at the bottom.

Rakuten Super Logistics - 10 Secrets to Successfully Outsourcing Your eCommerce Order Fulfillment.

Skip Mcgrath - FBA and eBay: Using Amazon’s Fulfillment Program to Ship your eBay Orders.

Shipping News & Articles
Shipping News & Articles

eCommerceBytes - 04-22-16 - Etsy Integrates FedEx into Its Shipping Labels Program.

eCommerceBytes - 04-20-2016 - International Selling May Be Worth Another Look.

eCommerceBytes - 04-11-2016 - As USPS Lowers Postage, Variations Arise for Online Sellers.

WebsiteMagazine - 04-04-2016 - BeLikeAmazon: Free Shipping.

InternetRetailer - 04-01-2016 - Giving consumers control over delivery. Interesting charts & statistics.

eCommerceBytes - 03-31-2016 - How to Get Acceptance Scans on Your Ecommerce Packages.
Note: In addition to the SCAN Form, USPS route carriers can scan your individual packages, just ask. More info farther down this page - General Shipping Tips.

InternetRetailer - 03-17-2016 - FedEx adds surcharges to more packages.

eCommerceBytes - 03-15-2016 - USPS Rolls Back Market-Dominant Postage Rates.

eCommerceBytes - 02-26-2016 - Shipping Through Amazon Just Got More Expensive.

eCommerceBytes - 01-19-2016 - One Case Where It's Cheaper to Ship at the Post Office.

eCommerceBytes - 01-19-2016 - Amazon Deal with USPS Gives Sellers Unprecedented Discounts.

eCommerceBytes - 01-15-2016 - eBay Negotiated Postal Rates Disappoint Sellers.

eCommerceBytes - 01-14-2016 - Low Margin Sellers: Every Ounce Counts.

eCommerceBytes - 01-08-2016 - Date of USPS Rate Hike Looms for Online Merchants.

eCommerceBytes - 01-07-2016 - New Guide Helps Sellers Cope with Higher Cost of Shipping.


B2B E-Commerce World - 11-12-2015 - Stamps.com sticks to its expansion plans by acquiring Endicia.

eCommerceBytes - 10-26-2015 - Holiday-Shipping Preparedness Presents Marketing Opportunities.

eCommerceBytes - 10-19-2015 - UPS Announces 2016 Rates and Higher Fuel Surcharge.

InternetRetailer - 10-19-2015 - UPS raises its fuel surcharge and advises e-retailers to expect holiday deliveries will take longer.

InternetRetailer - 09-18-2015 - Shipping weighs more heavily on consumers’ minds.

eCommerceBytes - 08-11-2015 - How eBay and Amazon Benefit from Sellers' Shipping Costs.

DCVelocity - 07-20-2015 - eBay sells off fulfillment arm to focus on online marketplace.

InternetRetailer - 06-15-2015 - ShipStation Announces Integration with Freestyle Solutions.

InternetRetailer - 06-15-2015 - UPS buys a company that insures shipments of jewelry and watches.

eCommerceBytes - 03-26-2015 - Stamps.com to Acquire Endicia.

eCommerceBytes - 03-19-2015 - USPS Ends Support for Click-N-Ship for Business App.

UPS-Compass - March 2015 - 3 ways to get a higher payoff from WorldShip 2015.
UPS-Compass - Solutions - Worldship - Automate global shipping.

eCommerceBytes - 02-26-2015 - What April USPS Rate Changes Mean for Online Merchants.

eCommerceBytes - 02-10-2015 - Google Now Supporting Dim Weight in Merchant Center.

eCommerceBytes - 01-26-2015 - USPS Priority Mail Rate Filing Impacts Merchants.

eCommerceBytes - 01-26-2015 - Study: Merchants Unaware of Dim Weight Shipping Rates.
Stamps.com - How to Calculate Dimensional (DIM) Weight for Ground Shipping. Info and charts.

eCommerceBytes - 01-16-2015 - USPS to Raise First-Class Mail Rates in April.

eCommerceBytes - 01-02-2015 - Etsy Reminds Sellers of Postage Rate Changes. (Canadian Post)
Etsy Quote: The US Postal Service announced that it would not be making rate or service changes in January and have potentially postponed them until later in the year.

Shipping News Prior to 2015 is at the bottom of this page.

Unknown Source
General Shipping Tips

Will USPS & UPS & FedEx Pick Up Packages?
(I am not a shipping authority, but these are my observations.)

Yes. If the package has the postage printed and affixed to the parcel you can call for a pick-up, or you can just give your package to any authorized parcel carrier/driver (for the parcel service you are using, of course).

People often think that they have to call for a pick-up in order to have a parcel service come to their home or business and pick-up a package, because that was the way it was many years ago. Today people can just print their own labels with postage and simply hand their package(s) to their normal route carrier/driver or any other authorized representative. Also, many post offices are closed on Saturday or may close early, but you can usually go to the pick-up door and knock (and after waiting a long time -LOL) just hand a package to the postal employee who answers the door. If the package is small, I was told by a postal employee that it can just be put into the mail slot. During normal business hours, it is generally not necessary to wait in line at the post office if a parcel already has the label with postage; there is usually a designated counter space near the entry for shippers to just drop off parcels with the postage already affixed.

If you do not want to print your own shipping labels, then you will need to take your packages to the post office or other parcel service, or set-up a billing account with a parcel service for pick-up of your packages. Further down this page there is a list of some parcel services.

USPS Scanning Acceptance of Packages

One tip about USPS and getting your package(s) scanned that they have been accepted by the route carrier. Some route carriers do not know that when someone hands them a package, with a printed label, that they can scan the package into their system. If a USPS carrier says they can not scan a package, you might suggest they check with their post office manager to learn how to scan a package.

At this writing... When a package is taken directly to the post office for mailing, it is "acknowledged" right away when the postage is bought, but when someone prints their own label and leaves it on the counter at the post office or gives it to a carrier who does not know how to scan packages, from my experience, the package probably will not get scanned until it reaches the first sorting facility, and that's just Priority Mail, it can take longer for other services like parcel post and media mail. This can be confusing for the person the package is being shipped to, because when the buyer tries to check the USPS tracking number, they may get an automated message that might sound like the package has not been shipped yet.

There is also an option available to print a SCAN Form or a Multi-Order SCAN Form for shippers to give to their USPS clerk or driver. (See PayPal exclusion of single label form below.) But as stated above, a driver can simply scan a shipping label bar code to show acceptance of a parcel, the Mulit-Order Form makes it easier for a postal clerk or driver to the scan the form rather than all of the packages individually.

Here are several versions and discussions to help clarify SCAN forms.

eBay - How To Print A USPS Scan Form Using Paypal.

Endicia - Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice (SCAN) for packages. (Shows example of SCAN form.)

PayPal - How do I print multiple USPS labels for PayPal purchases? (For eBay see link above.)

Stamps.com - USPS SCAN Forms.

USPS - Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice (SCAN).

PayPal Community - USPS SCAN Form 5630 if NOT using multi-order printing.
Quote: "Single label printing doesn't offer the ability via PayPal to create a SCAN form."

eBay Community - How do I scan form for the USPS for multiple packages?

eCommerceBytes - 11-28-2014 - Are Postal Carriers Scanning Computer-Generated Labels?
Interesting discussion by seller of the subject of scanning computer shipping labels.

eCommerce Weekly - 02-09-2015 - USPS SCAN Forms: How They Work, Benefits & Restrictions.

Get Free Postage
Boxes & Shipping Materials

Shipping Materials

What shipping materials are needed by online sellers depends a great deal on what a seller is selling. The obvious basics are boxes and wrapping/packing materials. This is a huge subject, these are just some basic thoughts on shipping materials.

There are many sources of shipping materials including: Office Depot, Staples, UHaul, Home Depot, Lowe's and Wal-Mart. Surprisingly, home improvement stores have a wide variety of shipping supplies, from boxes to brown paper. Remember to search eBay and Amazon, most shipping supplies are readily available online. Sam's Club even carries some more local selling needs, like plastic grocery type bags, and for smaller sellers they have a good variety of box sealing tape.

Boxes can be purchased online and at various local sources, and most major cities have box companies, which often have outlet stores for both new and over-runs. Free boxes can often be found at local retail stores, including smaller stores like Dollar stores (often deliveries are conveniently on specific days) and liquor stores.

How to wrap items and stuff boxes for shipping depends on the product. Brown paper is a popular option. If using newspaper for box stuffing, it might be a wise to wrap the product in something like a plastic grocery shopping bag to keep it clean from the newspaper ink. Bubble wrap can be purchased in rolls, even at places like Wal-Mart. From what I have been seeing, one of the least popular is "popcorn" Styrofoam pieces, they are expensive and a total mess in my opinion. Amazon does not even allow FBA sellers to send packages to Amazon that are stuffed with "popcorn" pieces. On the rare occasions that I use popcorn pieces, I put them into plastic grocery bags and tie the bags closed.

For shipping small items, envelopes and padded envelopes are available at most stores. For packing small items, small plastic bags, like for jewelry, can usually be found at craft stores, often in the bead section.

For large items, finding plastic bags locally is a bit more difficult, but online places like ULine have a variety, and, of course, the obvious, eBay and Amazon. If you need something quick and local, try craft stores, dry cleaners, and WalMart has some really huge Glad bags which are in the grocery paper-plastics section, bigger than the ones that I have found in the container-totes section, could be different for your store. If you have a box outlet, they might have large bags. Remember some marketplaces, like Amazon, require suffocation labels on bags.

Newspaper tip. Newspaper has many uses! It has an easy to carry list of garage and estate sales in the classified section. Sunday's edition has grocery coupons. The newspaper can keep you current on grocery store and retail store sales. And newspaper can be used as packing material, as mentioned above, products can be wrapped to keep them clean. Newspapers seem expensive, but introductory prices are often available, and some price haggling at renewal time, or senior discounts are often possible to reduce the cost. As a bonus, the newspaper can actually be read for current news and events! :)

Sourcing Boxes
In the section above, Shipping & Postage Services & Supplies, there are various shipping supply services listed, this is more about free boxes.

eCommerceBytes - 10-05-14 - How Using the Right Shipping Box Can Save You Money.
Remember the USPS over 12"X12"X12" ballon charge has to do with zones, not just size, see below.

Resizing Boxes
Box Size Tool - Available on Amazon. Here is an example. Aviditi SIZER Carton Sizer/Reducer.
Chris Green has some quick videos on YouTube for cutting down and telescoping boxes and more.
One of my favorites with what you might have around the house to cut down a box. Use a knife to cut down along the four corners. Take a yard stick and either draw a line, or use the yard stick as a guide, to score the flap fold line. Score by just lightly cutting into only one layer of the cardboard, do not cut through, so that it will fold neatly long the line.

Suzanne a. Wells - Getting Creative with Frankenstein Boxes.

Leaman Container
The Box Outlet

Fort Worth, Texas

Leaman Container - The Box Outlet - Ask for online seller discounts. Fort Worth, Texas - Locations: East/West/Bedford

Ship Station - eCommerce Shipping Fast and Simple. USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Free to Try! Wherever you sell and However you ship - ShipStation
Shipping Tips

Shipping Tips

50States.com - List of the US states. Also Zip Codes, Area Codes, State Tax Forms, Maps, and More.
50 States.com - State Abbreviations.

eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2016 Shipping Rate Changes. From ShippingEasy.

eCommerce Weekly - 01-16-2015 - How to Calculate Dimensional Weight in 2015.

ListLabelShip - We offer a label printing solution for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Packaging Strategies

USPS.com - Look Up a ZIP Code™

Zip-Codes.com - US and Canadian Zip Codes.

Additional Shipping Notes:

eBay Guides - Printing PayPal Thermal Shipping Labels - Zebra LP2844 - by e-sell4dollars.
eBay Guides - Printing issues w/ Zebra LP 2844 (eBay & PayPal Help) - by garon_biz.
eBay Guides - Printing Thermal Labels on eBay with a Mac - by menswear-market.
eBay Answer Center - Using a thermal printer for eBay labels - using a Mac.
eBay Answer Center - Good Thermal Printer for Mac - eBay Shipping Label...

Amazon Shipping and Product Labeling - See Amazon Page in this website.

Shipping Services - USPS - United States Postal Service & UPS - United Parcel Service

Unknown Source
Coffee Wholesale USA - Wholesale Prices for Everyone
United States Postal Service
Retail Rate -
is what you pay at the post office.
Commercial Base -
is the rate for printing post online.
USPS (United States Postal Service)

USPS - 2016 Postal Holidays

Friday, January 1 -- New Year’s Day
Monday, January 18 -- Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 15 -- Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 30 -- Memorial Day
Monday, July 4 -- Independence Day
Monday, September 5 -- Labor Day
Monday, October 10 -- Columbus Day
Friday, November 11 -- Veterans Day
Thursday, November 24 -- Thanksgiving Day
Monday, December 26 -- Christmas Day

Unknown Source

USPS (Post Office) - Printing Shipping Labels

The standard size shipping label for the post office mailing program (that I use through eBay/PayPal) is the Avery #8126, 2 sections per sheet, 51/2" X 8 1/2". Pack of 50 labels, but 25 sheets. The post office system might could be altered, but this is the basic format, it prints the shipping label on one half and the shipping information, to keep for your records, on the other section. The record portion can be cut-out and affixed to a 3 X 5 card.

Avery - Shipping Labels
Available for Laser and Ink Jet Printers. Various quantity packs.
Office supply stores carry Avery labels.
WalMart carries a small pack of the correct size for eBay.
There are many places to buy labels, Avery is an easy example.

Avery Shipping Labels

USPS Offers Online Shipping Discounts. - When purchasing postage online. At the "Postage Price Calculator" after the shipping zip codes and weight information are entered, then click "Continue", and at the next page there is a "Price" and an "Online Price".

PayPal Shipping Center - Information and Demo. (Tiny button "See Demo" in upper right corner.)

USPS Get to Know the New Click-N-Ship - Information and video.

Creating shipping labels and packing slips on eBay - Information.

eBay - How do I print my own shipping labels? - Information.

USPS Custom Forms. Are available at the post office, but they are also availabe online. USPS Custom Forms.

USPS Articles

Stamps.com - Understanding USPS Parcel Select (Has a good summary of the details.) - On January 27, 2013, the USPS discontinued the Parcel Post mail class and replaced it with two options — Parcel Select for online postage buyers and Standard Post for customers who buy postage at the Post Office. Delivery service for both Parcel Select and Standard Post are almost identical to Parcel Post, with delivery within 2-8 days.

Endicia - Pricing and Services Updates to Competitive Mail Classes - Standard Post is ONLY available at the retail counter. This adjustment clarifies the relationship between Parcel Select and Standard Post, with Parcel Select being more cost effective for nearly all packages weighing less than 27 lbs. Tracking/Delivery Confirmation is now FREE for Standard Post. This is NEW in 2013.

USPS (Post Office) - Recent PO Box Change
Post Office Will Now Accept UPS/FedEx Type Parcels

I received a note in my PO Box dated January 19th, 2012 that basically says that if a PO Box holder signs an agreement paper, that the Post Office will now accept packages for the box holder from private carriers (UPS/FedEx types) and they can even accept signature-required packages and packages addressed to the box holder's street address. The letter indicates that these packages will be placed into the large parcel locker boxes for 24 hour pick-up. From my understanding of the letter, box holders will use the street address of the post office, where their box is located, for their address, so this gives the added benefit for a business of having a street address, rather than a PO Box for their address. (I can not find this information at the USPS web site, so I do not know if this is a test program or if this service is available everywhere.)

USPS (Post Office) The post offices has more prices and features than could possilbly be included here, these are just some of the main features. The features change so much it is hard to keep up, be sure to check the USPS web site for current costs and features.

eCommerceBytes - 12-09-2014 - Online Merchants Should Prep as DIM Weight Pricing Looms.

USPS - Compare Domestic Business Services

USPS has changed the name of "Parcel Post" to "Standard Post" and there is a similar service for buying shipping postage online "Parcel Select".

USPS Quote: With expected delivery in 2 to 8 business days and affordable pricing, Standard Post® service is a reliable and economical ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages. Also, Standard Post service accommodates larger packages, up to 130". Available depending on the zone and at retail only.

USPS Quote: Features:
*Expected delivery in 2 to 8 business days.
*An economical way to send packages.
*Allows packages that are too big for Priority Mail Express™ and Priority Mail® delivery
*Includes USPS Tracking™
* Used for gifts and general merchandise, Standard Post shipments may also contain books and other printed matter weighing 70 pounds or less. The maximum size is 130 inches in combined length plus girth (distance around the thickest part). Tracking may be available for Standard Post shipments at no additional cost. Extra Services, such as Insurance, can be purchased for an additional fee.
* Standard Post "Balloon Price" - Parcels that weigh less than 20 pounds and measure more than 84 inches but not more than 108 inches in combined length plus girth (distance around the thickest part) are charged the 20-pound Standard Post zoned price.
* Standard Post Oversized Price - Parcels that measure more than 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined length plus girth (distance around the thickest part) are charged the oversized price regardless of weight.
* Online shipping convenience - Standard Post delivery status is available through Track and Confirm at USPS.com or by calling 1-800-222-1811.

Parcel Select - USPS Quote: Designed for large and medium sized shippers looking for an economical ground delivery service, Parcel Select® is our best pricing on ground delivery.

USPS Quote: Features:
*Maximum weight is 50 lbs or 50 pieces.
*There are restrictions for mailing restricted and hazardous materials.
*Maximum combined length and girth of 130". Meaning the combined measurement of the longest side and the distance around the thickest part can’t be more than 130". Items larger than this can’t be sent with the Postal Service™.
*A surcharge applies to certain items including packages weighing over 35 lbs (25 lbs for books and printed matter) and certain shapes (e.g. tubes, rolls, and large packages).
*Special prices are added for bulky packaging.

Priority Mail features are way to complicated to list here, the above Standard and Select services are noted above due to name changes and similar names. But in general, for shipping boxed style packages, there is also Priority Express Mail, Priority Mail and Flat Rate Priority Mail. Flat Rate Priority Mail requires specific boxes that are specific sizes and priced by size. Priority Mail is available both nationally and Internationally to certain countries.

USPS (Post Office) - Shipping Services
(Info from my research and experience, but things can and do change.)

Post Office: United States Postal Service/USPS - http://www.usps.com/
At the Postal Service™, we have a variety of convenient mailing services* for businesses.

USPS - Compare Domestic Business Services
USPS - Business Mail 101 - Package Services and Standard Post

USPS provides FREE Priority Mail boxes in various sizes:
Order FREE boxes: The Postal Store (There is a variety pak you can order.)
Up to 12" X 12" X 8" cube shape / 15 1/2" X 12 1/2" X 3" rectangle shape / 38" triangular-tube length container.
Also Priority Flat Rate boxes in various sizes: Small / Medium / Large up to about 12" X 12" X 5 1/2".

Priority Mail - Prices for Regular Priority Mail and Flat Rate Boxes: Postal Rates.

Shipping Insurance - USPS now has free insurance for most Priority Mail pieces. Domestic Insurance & Extra Services - Quote: Up to $50 of insurance is included with most Priority Mail shipments. Up to $100 of insurance is included with most Priority Mail Express shipments.

Priority Mail has some quirks, for example, if a package is over a 12" cube size (1,728 cu. in.) and it is going to zones 5 - 8 then there may be a hefty surcharge. When using a shipping calculator, such as eBay has, be sure to include the package size, especially for larger items. To calculate 1,728 cu. in., multiple the Length X Width X Height of the package.

Another Priority Mail quirk is that if a package is over 84 inches, weighs under 20 pounds and is going to zones 1 - 4, it will be charged at the 20 pound weight due to the large size (example might be a long fishing pole).

Maximum parcel size, regardless of delivery service, is 130 inches inches combined length and girth, but there is a pricey surcharge for over 108 inches. From USPS web site: Length = longest side of parcel. Girth = the distance measured around the thickest part of the parcel.

USPS - Can You Ship It? Detailed shipping size information with pictures of how to measure length and girth.

USPS - Can You Ship It Media Mail? - USPS Quote: Media Mail - Generally used for books (at least eight pages), film, printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, and computer-readable media. Advertising restrictions apply.

One of the major dividing lines for determining what qualifies as Media Mail seems to be "advertising".
USPS Quote: ...containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers' own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.

Additional USPS Tips: Can You Ship It?
USPS collection boxes are limited to packages not over 13oz.
No alcohol. (If using an alcoholic beverage box, the labeling needs to be covered.)
No prescription drugs (except by registered practitioners), cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or handguns.
When shipping live animals (see USPS for acceptable animals) ship early in the week to avoid weekends.

If you print your own USPS shipping labels, you can call for a pick-up, give your package to a route carrier, or carry your packages to the post office and leave them in a designated counter area without having to wait in line. Note: Unless it has changed, only Priority Mail gets scanned quickly, usually at the first sorting facility, from my understanding; however, route carriers normally have scanners and can, if they know how, scan all of your packages for tracking purposes.

Notes: Sellers, remember that although USPS, eBay, or PayPal may give you a discount for printing your own labels, you are still incurring the cost of labels and ink. And if you are printing your own shipping labels and need to tape down a shipping label, do not tape over the bar code.

Address Labels: PO Box verses Street Addresses
eHow - Proper Way to Include Both PO Box & Street Address on Mail

USPS Shipping Rates - Huge, long page of postal prices.

U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2014

USPS - 08-14-2013 - Postal Service Launches Major Upgrades to Priority Mail
Improved Priority Mail® includes free insurance, free tracking and day-specific delivery.

USPS (Post Office) - Proper way to address mail.

In Care of Address

Quote from USPS.com:

Addressing mail "in care of".
If you would like to send mail to an individual (John Doe)
in care of another person (Robert Smith),
use the following format.

CITY ST 99999-9999

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What to do if a Buyer gives you "2" Addresses, such as a PO Box and a Street Address.

Quote from USPS.com: How is mail with two (2) addresses handled?

If a street address and a PO Box address are placed on the same line, the US Postal Service will attempt delivery to the PO Box address. In this example, the ZIP Code on the mailpiece should correspond to the PO Box address.

In the following example, the mail would be delivered to the PO Box address:

222 WALL ST STE 500
PO BOX 985
NEW YORK NY 21212-2222

The intended delivery address should always be placed on the line immediately above the city, state, and ZIP Code™ line. If necessary, the additional address should be placed on a line above the intended delivery address line.
When a mailpiece consists of both a street address and a Post Office™ Box address on two (2) lines, the United States Postal Service® priority will be to attempt delivery to the address immediately above the city, state, and ZIP Code. The ZIP Code on the mailpiece should correspond to this address.


Quote from USPS.com: Sequence of information for the destination address.


(Note: in some countries, the postal code may precede the city or town name)
Properly formatted destination address examples:


06570 ST PAUL

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UPS (United Parcel Service)

UPS (United Parcel Service) - UPS 2016 Holiday Schedule

In the United States, UPS observes the following holidays:

New Year's Day -- January 1, 2016
Memorial Day -- May 30, 2016
Independence Day -- July 4, 2016
Labor Day -- September 5, 2016
Thanksgiving Day -- November 24, 2016
Christmas Eve -- December 24, 2016
Christmas -- December 25, 2016
Chrstmas (Observed) -- December 26
New Year's Eve -- December 31, 2016
New Year's Day -- January 1, 2017
New Year's Day -- (Observed) - January 2, 2017

UPS (United Parcel Service) - Tips

On large, heavy packages UPS may have lower prices than the USPS, depending on destination and weight.

If you print your own UPS shipping labels, you can call for a pick-up, give your package to any UPS driver, or carry your packages to a UPS office.

eCommerceBytes - 12-09-2014 - Online Merchants Should Prep as DIM Weight Pricing Looms.
eCommerceBytes - 06-19-2014 - Merchants Face Higher Shipping Costs Due to UPS Price Change.

UPS - Find Locations.

UPS - Shipping Tips and Tools.

UPS - What items you can not ship with UPS.
Chapter 3 - Commodities Handled and Restrictions on Service.

UPS - May 2011 - Shipping batteries means special precautions.

UPS - October 2011 - Does your package contain hazardous materials?



FedEx - Shipping Service.

FedEx Newsroom - 50-20-2014 - Announces Pricing Changes.

eCommerceBytes - 05-13-2014 - FedEx Price Change Will Pose Challenge for Ecommerce Shippers.

eCommerceBytes - 11-20-2013 - FedEx One Rate Promises eBay, Online Sellers Predictable Pricing.

eBay & PayPal Specific Shipping Information
Entertainment Products & Party Supplies
From Cat Addicts
and Cat Addicts on Facebook
PayPal Specific Shipping Information

PayPal - How to Reprint or Void Shipping Labels

In PayPal, the options to void or reprint labels are at the bottom of the transaction details page for each shipped item.

PayPal Quote:

Reprint Label - Clicking Reprint Label enables you to reprint your shipping label on your printer. Please note that shipping labels may only be reprinted up to 24 hours from label purchase date. Shipping labels can never be reused.

Void Label - By clicking Void Label, you are taken to a page in which you can void the U.S. Postal Service shipment. You may void the shipping label you have purchased for this item only if it has been less than 48 hours since you generated the label, AND you have not used the label to ship the item.

PayPal Tip - How to Print a Non-eBay Shipping Label
(Such as sending gifts to friends and family and paying for the postage with PayPal.)

Two ways

1. Go to http://paypal.com/shipnow nice and simple.

2. Hard way. From your PayPal Account page.

  • My account tools - (on right)
  • Multi-order Shipping
  • (At new page, close pop-up window)
  • File - Top left
  • Create New Orders
  • + Expand All (to see the whole window)
  • (Skip "Order Details")
  • Shipping Details (First option - Apply Preset = None)
  • File in Shipping and Address Details
  • Save and Close Button
  • Print (Small icon - top left)
  • Brings up another Print and Ship icon
  • Goes to USPS web site to print the shipping label.

PayPal Tip

How To Cancel Automatic Payments

This is perhaps a little off the shipping subject, but here is another PayPal tip, how-to cancel automatic payments. If you have set up any type of automatic payment to come out of your PayPal account, you can stop it IMMEDIATELY.

Go into your PayPal account. (Sorry there is not a direct way to provide a link, but the answer is below.)
* In the search block at the top right of your PayPal page enter "cancel automatic payments" or "cancel subscription".
* From the list select "How do I cancel an automatic payment I have with a merchant?"

PayPal Answer - Quote:
Here is how to cancel an automatic payment with a merchant.

Log in to your PayPal account.
Click Profile at the top of the page.
Click My Money, then click Update beside My preapproved payments to find your payment.
Select the payment, and then click Cancel.

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eBay Specific Shipping Information

eBay - January 2015 - New Fedex, UPS Rates in Effect. - eBay Quote: These carriers recently announced a number of changes, affecting both domestic and international services. The shipping calculator—and shipping labels on both eBay and PayPal—have been updated to reflect these changes, so make sure your shipping costs reflect these new rates as well. For more information, visit the UPS and FedEx sites.

eCommerceBytes - 12-14-2012 - eBay and Etsy Shipping News

eCommerceBytes - 11-01-2012 - eBay Officially Announces Global Shipping Program

eCommerceBytes - 10-26-2012 - What eBay Sellers Should Know about FedEx

eCommerceBytes - 03-26-2012 - PayPal Launches New Shipping Labels for Sellers Powered by eBay

eBay - Printing Shipping Labels

Labels for eBay sales can be easily created either from the eBay website or PayPal website. On the eBay "Sold" page, on the right side, under "Actions" is "More Actions" with a "Print Labels" option. The PayPal transaction page has an option to print shipping labels for eBay sales. At this writing, the eBay labels program was offer shipping price discounts for some parcel carriers, but some discounts require that a seller be a Top Rated seller.

eBay Shipping Labels - Ship with ease. Use eBay Labels.

eBay - New Shipping/Tracking Requirement For TopRated Sellers.

Quote from eBay PowerUp Newsletter - April 16, 2012 - Tracking information needs to be uploaded to eBay within your stated handling time on 90% of transactions with US buyers to keep Top-rated status starting in June. With eBay Labels, tracking info is uploaded automatically! Start uploading by May 1 to make sure you qualify by June 20.

eBay - Uploading Tracking Info Video
eBay - Adding Tracking Information

The verbage sounds like only eBay Labels will automatically upload the required tracking information, it does not mention PayPal. If you use PayPal, check your selling page info to see if PayPal has automatically added your tracking information. Go to your selling page, then check the little square box at the left of a sold item. Just above your sold items are oblong, rounded buttons, one says "Add tracking number" click it and the tracking information will be shown for the sold item that you selected. This is basically how you would add a shipping tracking number if you use a shipping service that is not supported by eBay's label program.

eBay Encourages Sellers To Offer Free Shipping To Buyers - Good or Bad Idea?

There is a lot of controversy about eBay's "encouragement" of offering free shipping to buyers, and some confusion as to whether or not offering free shipping will increase sales. Like most sells techniques, it probably depends on what you are selling.

Here is the latest news and opinions from eCommerceBytes:

Debunking the eBay Myth of Free Shipping eCommerceBytes 04-09-12 - If free shipping is the industry standard, as eBay states, then 21 of the top 25 ecommerce retailers have not gotten the memo. (Read the article with chart of major retailers.)

Does Free Shipping on eBay Lead to Higher Sales? eCommerceBytes - 04-08-12 - Article with individual's comments at the bottom.

eCommerceBytes - 01-28-2014 - Online Selling Trends 2014: Free Shipping or No Free Shipping?

eCommerceBytes 04-08-12 - Quote (Last sentence in the article/2 question survey.): We would like to know if you offer free shipping on eBay, and if you think it leads to higher sales. Please take our survey, and we'll publish the results in a future issue.

Last thought about offering free shipping. If you have very few returns, it probably does not matter too much, and free shipping is very popular at places like Best Buy and with Amazon Prime, but if you have a lot of returns here is something to think about.

You will on occasion have to issue refunds, whether it is your listing error or buyer's remorse. If the error is your error, you will probably elect to absorb the shipping costs. But, what about buyer's remorse? If your listings state that a buyer is responsible for all shipping charges in the case of buyer's remorse and if the shipping is separate, then if you sell an item for say a total of $60 ($50 for the item and $10 for shipping) you only refund $50. If you sell an item for a flat price of $60 which includes the free shipping (free means no shipping charges) you have to refund the full $60. Big difference. You can, of course, get complicated and require a restocking fee in hopes of off-setting this difference. eBay Quote: Restocking fee: State if you charge a restocking fee. “Typical” restocking fees vary by product type. “No restocking fee” is ideal for buyers, but 15% is often considered reasonable.

eBay no longer allows sellers to charge buyers a separate fee for shipping insurance.

Quote from eBay web site (to sellers): "Insurance: You can't charge a separate fee for insurance, although you still need to make sure your item arrives as described. Tip: You should incorporate any insurance fees into an item's price or handling cost." Selling practices policy / Policy overview.

Archived Shipping News

Shipping News Prior to 2015

eCommerceBytes - 12-26-2014 - How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier? (There are UPSP rules!)
(Read comments at the end of the article.)
eCommerceBytes - 12-09-2014 - Online Merchants Should Prep as DIM Weight Pricing Looms.
eCommerceBytes - 11-21-2014 - New Development for Sellers Shipping Lightweight Packages.
Internet Retailer - 11-07-2014 - U.S. Postal Service will add Sunday deliveries during the holiday season.
eCommerceBytes - 11-07-2014 - USPS Offers 7-Day Delivery to Keep Pace with Holiday Shopping.
eCommerceBytes - 10-28-2014 - Stamps.com Scoops up Two Shipping Services for Online Sellers.
eCommerceBytes - 10-23-2014 - US Postal Service Publishes Christmas Mail-By Dates.
eCommerceBytes - 10-22-2014 - Online Merchants Face Higher UPS Rates in 2015.
eCommerceBytes - 10-05-2014 - How Using the Right Shipping Box Can Save You Money.
eCommerceBytes - 10-03-14 - eBay Opts Sellers Back Into Global Shipping Program. This is important!
Quote: " The program is controversial for several reasons - not the least of which is that it is an opt-out rather than opt-in program. " (Check your shipping preferences on your lstings.)
eCommerceBytes - 09-18-2014 - FedEx to Raise Rates on January 5th.
UPS - September 2014 - 5 packing mistakes to avoid.
eCommerce Weekly - 08-29-2014 - Upcoming Price Reductions to USPS Priority Mail.
eCommerceBytes - 08-18-2014 - Good News-Bad News: Priority Mail Rates Change Next Month.
eCommerceBytes - 08-24-2014 - Part 2: Online Postage Services: Stamps.com IDs Best Rates.
eCommerceBytes - 08-10-2014 -
Part 1: Online Postage Services: Endicia Innovates.
eCommerceBytes - 05-13-2014 - FedEx Price Change Will Pose Challenge for Ecommerce Shippers.
Internet Retailer - 05-08-2014 - FedEx will start charging based on size, not weight.
eCommerceBytes - 03-25-2014 - Coming to a Postal Carrier Near You: New Scanners.
eCommerceBytes - 03-22-2014 - Delivery Drones & Cardboard: Postal Vision 2020 Conf DC April 10-11.
I just think this is interesting, there have been features on TV about the future of parcel delivery may be packages delivered by drones or Unmanned Vehicle Systems.
eCommerceBytes - 01-28-2014 - Online Selling Trends 2014: Free Shipping or No Free Shipping?
USPS - U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2014.
eCommerceBytes - 01-28-2014 - Top Things Sellers Should Know about January USPS Rate Changes.
eCommerceBytes - 12-14-2012 - eBay and Etsy Shipping News
The Online Seller - 11-12-2012 - USPS Lifts Battery Ban in Time for Holiday Season
eCommercebytes - 11-12-12
- USPS Lift on Lithium Ban Good for Online Merchants
The Online Seller - 09-17-2012 - Which Online Postage Service is For You?
eCommerceBytes - 09-9-2012 - Eight Shipping Tips for Ecommerce Sellers
eCommerceBytes - 09-9-2012 - Small Merchants Use Business Intelligence to Make Better Decisions - Basic Plan is Free - SumAll
eCommerceBytes - 04-11-2012 - "Free Shipping" Myth: Do You Use eBay's Shipping Rules?

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