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Thread: Never Printed Shipping Labels Through Paypal - Need Advice

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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    Default Never Printed Shipping Labels Through Paypal - Need Advice

    So up until now I've been manually printing out shipping addresses, cutting them out, and then just taping them to my packages & that was the end of it. Time consuming to say the least.

    Now I'm thinking of buying up a Brother QL570 label printer & going through paypal so I don't have to wait in lines at the post office. I've never done this though, EVER.

    Could anyone here give me a rundown on what's involved with all of this? Is it a good idea?

    What I understand:

    I assume I can just drop off my packages at the post office and won't have to wait in line anymore.

    I THINK tracking numbers are free if I do this and are automatically sent to customers through eBay. This would of course help if a package gets lost, etc right?

    What I need help With:

    Would this save me any money, appose to just waiting in line and going through the post office every time?

    I guess I need a scale of some sort to weigh all of my packages as well. Printing this labels requires a scale, so what scale do you recommend?

    Also, any general info & feedback about this process would be appreciated.
    Last edited by wingzrow; 02-13-2011 at 05:57 AM.

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    You get a bulk shipping rate discount since you are purchasing through third-party proxy, you get to ride in on their contractual rate. And yes, you just walk in and drop the boxes off at the counter, skipping the line. Some post offices have a certain place for it while others might not. Just ask, "Where should I leave these?" if it's not obvious where you should. You are eventually going to get some yahoo in line pissed at you at one point. Just ignore them. It takes too long to explain why your bypassing line, and if they freak, it's near guaranteed that they are an ass that's not worth dealing with. I suggest whistling and strutting out like you own the place, to maximize their rage and your entertainment value.

    Pelouze digital shipping scales are good and not very expensive. I got one about 5 years ago and it cost $20. Office Max or Depot, can't remember which, but it was one of the two. Any office supply store should have them.

    I buy postage and print through Paypal when I can. I print my stuff out on cheapo paper and tape over it with clear shipping tape. I've never used labels.
    Last edited by Icarus Moonsight; 02-13-2011 at 05:47 AM.


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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    Well a label maker just seemed like it would streamline things a bit. Thanks for the recommendation on the scale too, that's really important since i'm going to order one soon.
    Last edited by wingzrow; 02-13-2011 at 06:06 AM.

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    Figured I'd throw a question in too.

    Can you only pay for postage online for Priority and Express? I'd understand not being able to do media, as the automated machine at the post office doesn't let you do it, but what about first class?
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    https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

    Link was given by FABombjoy.

    I posted a similar topic a little over a year ago:

    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137622

    Hope you can get any info from it. Was very valuable for me at the time.

    Through the link above, you can print out Fist Class Mail and other shipping services as well. Delivery Confirmation is free with Priority Mail and 19 cents for First Class Mail.

    You don't have to wait in line, and if an employee says you have to, they are lying.

    Printing labels online saves you a few cents, specially if you use Delivery Confirmation, since it's over a 50 cent reduction, not counting the actual shipping reduction. But for me, the ability NOT to do a line anymore wins.

    When I am going to send a package, I print the label to a date prior to me shipping. For instance, if I say that I will ship a package tomorrow, I print it today with today's date. That way, when it's shipped tomorrow, the label is already "active" and ready to go.

    BE WARNED!

    Shipping labels have this nasty tendency to cut out certain portions of the address, specially if the address is too long. ALWAYS VERIFY THE PRINTED ADDRESS WITH THE ONE ON FILE BEFORE SHIPPING! Once printed, look at the label and compare it with what the buyer gave you: you will either:

    -See things the same, for which no problem

    -See more info added to it, which sometimes is no problem, but sometimes it's a pain the ass because this "added info" can fuck things up. I usually cover it with liquid paper.

    -See that a few lines of the address "disappeared". If there is something missing, ADD IT MANUALLY.

    That's it! Trust me, it's well worth printing labels online.
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    I believe it goes something like this. Correct me if I'm wrong...

    You can print media, and first class domestic packages. Not first class letters or first class international (meaning printed postage is priority/express only when sending outside US). Tracking isn't quite free on printed first class, media, or parcel (unlike priority/express) but it seems mandatory for any printed postage.

    Downside is inability to send small items to foreign buyers who don't mind how slow first class can be.
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    Everything I've read here looks correct in my experience. Lots of good advice. There isn't a shipping discount online for First-Class (or slower), but there is a discount on the (mandatory) delivery confirmation for First-Class ($0.19 vs. $0.75 at the PO). Prices are the same discount as you can do through the USPS website for Priority, but you can't do First-Class through USPS website at all, so that's a huge benefit to Paypal shipping.

    The only time I queue anymore at the PO is for First-Class International like someone above mentioned. Once you are spoiled by online postage, this seems like a huge PITA, and so I charge a few bucks extra for International 1st class.

    The label printer would be awesome, but honestly if you aren't doing online postage yet, then you very likely aren't shipping enough stuff to justify the label printer purchase. Go for it if you've got the money and want the convenience, but it would take quite a while to recoup that investment. Another option that is nearly as convenient, and the one I went with, are half-sheet label paper. You use these in a regular printer, then just peel off and stick it to your package. Saves a ton of hassle versus cutting paper and taping it on like I used to do. Paypal shipping has a tick-box that makes it just print the label part, and not the unnecessary receipt part, so you get 2 labels per page. I got a bunch of it from a place called LabelDog on Ebay (http://stores.ebay.com/labeldog2007). Watched a bunch and found that they sometimes do auctions instead of BINs and you can get them cheapest that way.

    I've also been buying black ink for my older printer when I come across it in my searching, so that saves me a lot of money and evens the score between the label and regular printer options. My printer recently gave out on me completely (HP 7550), so I looked on CL for another one that takes HP56 ink, and found one that someone was giving away for free. I have so much HP56 ink, in fact, that I'm still going to pick up another printer when I find one cheap so I have it as a backup.
    Last edited by Cornelius; 02-13-2011 at 01:51 PM.

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    Okay, I just looked up that label printer you are looking at, and that is way cheaper than I expected. This is definitely an option that makes a lot of sense, assuming it isn't some really funky (read expensive) label paper that is required. One of the Amazon reviews even has pretty nice directions on how to make this label printer work with Paypal. If I didn't have this stockpile of ink and paper, I'd probably go that route.

    I forgot to comment on the scale, but from what I've read, most are pretty good. I have a Royal ex2 that I got from seller oldwillknot (or somesuch) off eBay. I don't like that it doesn't have a replaceable battery, but I've had it for years now with no problems. I don't think they make this model anymore, but I'm sure there is something similar.

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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    So am I right in saying that I won't be able to print these labels for international sales or have I missed something? I ship all my packages first class & I would say half of my sales go to canada & the united kingdom.

    Also, what does everyone think of this scale? I would like to order one tonight if it looks good to you guys.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Pelouze-SP5-...item56405f8f33
    Last edited by wingzrow; 02-13-2011 at 08:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingzrow View Post
    So am I right in saying that I won't be able to print these labels for international sales or have I missed something? I ship all my packages first class & I would say half of my sales go to canada & the united kingdom.

    Also, what does everyone think of this scale? I would like to order one tonight if it looks good to you guys.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Pelouze-SP5-...item56405f8f33
    That is correct. You cannot print 1st class mail international online at all. I do still find it handy to print the address on label paper rather than taping it on, but you still have to fill out the little green customs form by hand as far as I know.

    You can do Priority or better online.

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    Sweet! I can do first class and even media mail!

    For the topic on hand, I don't think I'd print enough labels to make it worth it for me however. I just put some tape over the label I print. But I wonder if those sleeves that stick to the package and people put shipping slips in would be helpful for some.

    How expensive are those things?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oobgarm
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    Trust me the money you will save on the delivery confirmation alone will quickly pay for itself. Also if you do a lot of priority packages you will see a lot of savings there too. Printing your own labels is the way to go certainly. Ebay recently made an improvement that lets you print them right on the site without having to go through paypal which is a huge time saver.
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    Go to ebay and type in paypal labels, you should be able to find them. I pay about 10-12 for a roll of labels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VACRMH View Post
    For the topic on hand, I don't think I'd print enough labels to make it worth it for me however. I just put some tape over the label I print. But I wonder if those sleeves that stick to the package and people put shipping slips in would be helpful for some.
    I don't recommend covering the entire label with tape, specially the Delivery Confirmation portion.

    What I do is cover everything, except the top half of the DC bar code. I do cover the bottom portion and the actual number that follows. I do this because at times, the bar code scanner they have does not read the bar code when the tape was placed improperly. But the uncovered portion scans fine. I do cover the number itself so it won't get ruined by moisture.

    I too was deciding whether to purchase sticker labels instead, but I don't ship as often as to require it.
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    Just got my label printer and scale in and WOW, my first test label was so much faster & more professional than what I've been doing up till now. Maybe I can get my shipping score up on eBay with this. Was sad to see I only had a single package to ship domestic to test it with though ( canada loves my items for some reason )

    My only question so far is this. If my package weight ends in a decimal and is say.... 1.1 ounces, do I round all the way up to 2.0 ounces or down to 1.0?

    Also, thanks for all the help and suggestions. I think this is really going to get my eBay sales up once this is all done.

    PS: Is it just me or is this cheaper than going through the post office? I could swear that even with the delivery confirmation, this is cheaper by weight. And yes, I realize they charge more for delivery confirmation at the post office.
    Last edited by wingzrow; 02-19-2011 at 09:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingzrow View Post
    My only question so far is this. If my package weight ends in a decimal and is say.... 1.1 ounces, do I round all the way up to 2.0 ounces or down to 1.0?
    You need to round it to 2.0. Once it passes to the next ounce, eve if it's a 0.1, you need to round it to the next one that follows. So a 13.3 ounce package automatically goes to 14 ounces, a 6.4 to a 7.0, etc.

    Suggestion: if a package weighs 7 ounces, I usually say it weighs 8 ounces. I do this as an average, in case some reason it goes slightly higher when I put the label and all.

    PS: Is it just me or is this cheaper than going through the post office? I could swear that even with the delivery confirmation, this is cheaper by weight. And yes, I realize they charge more for delivery confirmation at the post office.
    In most cases, yes. And more convenient.
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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    Just dropped off my items.

    Two more questions for you guys

    1: I asked where I should drop off my items and the post person today said I could actually drop off any package I have payed for through eBay in any regular blue mail box if I want.

    Any truth to this?

    2: eBay asks for a ship date for your item before you even drop it off. If I print a label today, and then ship it a few days later, would this be a problem? Do you have to ship your item the exact same day you print your label?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingzrow View Post
    1: I asked where I should drop off my items and the post person today said I could actually drop off any package I have payed for through eBay in any regular blue mail box if I want.
    You could, but I would highly NOT recommend this. I go to the post office in person and hand them to the clerk personally. It's safer that way.

    2: eBay asks for a ship date for your item before you even drop it off. If I print a label today, and then ship it a few days later, would this be a problem? Do you have to ship your item the exact same day you print your label?
    Yes and no. You could print the label today, and if the "ship" date is today, you could physically ship the item tomorrow or the next following day since it was already paid. However, you cannot ship today if you paid shipping for tomorrow. For example, you do the online label thing but say to "activate" tomorrow. You have to ship tomorrow if you did this, because if you said to "activate" tomorrow and you ship today, it's "not registered". Nothing may happen but I would be "safe than sorry".

    When I ship items, I prepare a label for the same day I have the package prepared and then ship the items the next following day. If I were to ship items on Monday (the 21st) I would print a label stating I would ship on the 20th. This way, when I ship on the 21st, it's already "active".
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    Quote Originally Posted by wingzrow View Post
    Just dropped off my items.

    Two more questions for you guys

    1: I asked where I should drop off my items and the post person today said I could actually drop off any package I have payed for through eBay in any regular blue mail box if I want.

    Any truth to this?

    2: eBay asks for a ship date for your item before you even drop it off. If I print a label today, and then ship it a few days later, would this be a problem? Do you have to ship your item the exact same day you print your label?
    1. Yep! I usually leave the smaller packages in the bin at the mailboxes in my office building.

    2. I don't think it would be a problem, but the buyer would be wondering why the DC information isn't being updated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VACRMH View Post
    1. Yep! I usually leave the smaller packages in the bin at the mailboxes in my office building.
    Office building is understandable, though I would not deposit packages in street located mailboxes.

    2. I don't think it would be a problem, but the buyer would be wondering why the DC information isn't being updated.
    This too, although there are times the Post Office doesn't even update until the item is delivered anyway.

    Just don't procrastinate if Ebay stipulates a delivery date and you ship very close to it, causing the package to arrive after the date stipulated. Even though this happens to early shipped items as well, I've noticed that ever since Ebay added this "feature", buyers have become more and more desperate. So when the buyer gets their item a day after the expected delivery date, they start to complain, and this in turn can lead to negative feedback.

    Fucking stupid Ebay.
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