As a small business owner I believe that shipping can make or break your business. I know as a customer I expect my packages as quickly as possible (unless it's noted otherwise on the site of course). Being able to ship your products from home maximizes your time and can save you money. Depending on the volume of your business, you may require more supplies than what I currently use (like a fancy label printer), but here are the key things to get you started:
- Postal Scale
- Business PayPal Account
If you want to print a label without a transaction (like for a giveaway winner, etc.) you can use this link to get to the print a label page, which looks like this:
Here you can fill in the customers information, or if you clicked the nifty box next to their transaction it auto fills.
For Service Type I use First Class Parcel 2-5 days for most of my products. When I have a package over 13 ounces, I use Priority Mail 1-3 days. This is where you can use the flat rate envelops and boxes that you can get for free from the post office (or even order them from their web site!).
For Package Size, I use Package/Large Envelope.
For Weight, I round my package up to the nearest ounce. Keep in mind that to use First Class your package can NOT weigh over 13 ounces. Normally if it's the weekend I will change the date to Monday. :)
When you click Continue at the bottom, the next page is just making sure that everything is correct. At the bottom you hit Pay and Continue, and a pop up window comes up with your label.
Next, hit Print Label. Half of the page has the label and the other half is like a receipt for you with the customers information and the tracking number (which comes free using PayPal). There are several other ways to print shipping labels from home, but right now this is the method that works best for me.
The best part is you can schedule the USPS to pick up the packages at your home or just drop them off at the Post Office or a drop box! Nifty!
Do you currently ship from home or drop of packages at your local postal branch? Which do you prefer?