Avoid the Post Office – Your Guide To Shipping From Home

If you sell anything online, you know it’s a real hassle to bring your packages to the post office, wait in line, and then pay crazy amounts to ship.  Am I right?

I started shipping all of my packages from home years ago.  Not only do I save time (no post office visits!), but I also save a ton of money!

Ready to learn how?

What You’ll Need

It’s not difficult to ship from home, but there are a few things you’ll need.

1. A printer:  I use an Epson WF-3600 that I’ve had for a couple years with good success.  They don’t make that one anymore, so I would recommend a relatively inexpensive printer like this one.  I also purchase off brand replacement ink cartridges, which I save even more money on by shopping through Ebates (sign up for Ebates using my link, and you’ll get $10 bonus sign-up cash when you spend your first $25!)

2. Paper:  Plain printer paper works just fine for printing labels at home!  I don’t ever get anything fancy.  I usually purchase a ream of paper at Walmart when I need one.

3. Packaging tape:  This you can literally purchase anywhere.  You will need packaging tape to tape your labels to whatever packaging you are using to ship!

4. A scale: a simple kitchen scale, like this one, is all you will need to weight your packages for the post office labels.  Seriously….totally worth it, and I’ve never had an issue of underpaying for my labels.

5. Bubble Mailers:  Of course, you need something to ship your packages in.  If you haven’t already figured out a good size envelope, I recommend using 6” X 10” bubble mailers (size 0), like these.  For bigger purchases, I use FREE USPS Priority Mail envelopes.  I recommend getting a free account with USPS so you can order these free shipping supplies and have them send directly to your home!

6.  A FREE PirateShip account: To save the most money on shipping, you need to get Commercial Plus shipping rates.  PirateShip offers this, with NO monthly fee.  In addition, they SAVE your customer’s shipping information, so you don’t have to re-enter everything every time!  My favorite part is the integration with WooCommerce, which allows me to pull my online sales orders from my website over without entering another thing!

 

Step By Step Shipping Instructions

Now that you have all of your materials lined up, what’s next?

First, you are going to package your orders like you normally would for the post office.  I recommend wrapping each piece of jewelry in a sheet of tissue paper, then putting it in a Paparazzi bag before putting them in your bubble mailer.  I use the bubble mailers for up to 4 pieces, and then switch over to Priority Mail packaging for larger orders.  Works great for me, and no one has ever received a damaged package from me yet!

To ship from home:

1. Log in to your PirateShip account. I know…seems like a no-brained, but someone will ask!

2. Enter your customer’s information.  You should have their info from your invoice, whether you chose to use PayPal or Square to invoice. (Side note:  Did you know you can now request a shipping address when you invoice with Square?  Totally love this feature!)

3. Select the package size.  If you’re using the bubble mailers above, they are 6 X 10.  Otherwise, know your package size!

4. Weigh your package on your scale!  Round up to the nearest ounce.

5. Get rates and print your label!

6. Cut your label to size and use packaging tape to secure the label to your package. I cover the entire label, EXCEPT for the scan code, with clear packaging tape.

7. Walk out to your mailbox, put your packages inside, and raise that flag!  Your mail person will do the rest!

Isn’t that EASY?

Even though you MAY have some initial expense to start shipping from home, I’ll bet you recoup that cost quickly in both time and money saved from visiting the post office!

Do you already have some of the supplies?  All of the supplies?

Which tip are you most excited about?

Leave me a comment and let me know if this guide is helpful!

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