Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shipping From Home -- Small Business Tips

Memories for Life photo

When selling online, shipping is a big part of our business process. You want the best rates, the best service and the fastest shipping for your money. You also want your package to arrive safely!

Today I'll introduce you to the main way I ship my packages. In the coming weeks, I'll have posts on Shipping Internationally, Shipping with UPS and Shipping Suppliers.

When I first started selling online, I took every package to the post office. Luckily I live in a small town, so there weren't usually lines, but I didn't enjoy the 20 minute round trip every time I needed to ship a package. So I did my research and began printing my shipping labels at home with Paypal and having my mailman pick them up. I haven't looked back!

It really is easy to print your own labels at home. All you need is a cheap scale and a printer! I got my scale off eBay for less than $20. I recommend a digital scale just because they are more accurate, but even a kitchen scale will do the job. And you can either print your labels on regular paper and tape them to your package or purchase adhesive labels made specially for printing shipping labels. (Also another eBay purchase.)

After you've got your supplies and you're ready to print your first label, simply follow the steps through Paypal and watch the magic happen :) Go online to and Schedule a Pickup so your mailman will know you have a package for him/her. My mailman is great and allows me to just leave him a note in the mailbox as to where my package is.

I encourage you to buy a scale and see how easy it is to print your own labels from home. You'll wonder how you ever survived without your scale before! And if you're a little worried at first, just take your first few prepaid packages to the post office to have them make sure your scale is correct and you've done everything right.

Happy Shipping :)

Stay tuned for more articles on shipping tips for this blog Shipping Series.

*Shipping From Home
*Shipping Internationally 
*Shipping with UPS 
*Shipping Suppliers

Edi is the creative mind behind Memories for Life Scrapbooks (and Laser Engraving). She has been paper crafting for over 15 years and recently purchased a laser engraver that is keeping her creativity at an all time high!


Erika said...

Thank you for the tips, Edi! I have been thinking about getting the adhesives instead of taping the shipping label.

Splendid Little Stars said...

great post, Edi! I love printing labels at home. It's so easy and it's less expensive than taking packages to the post office!
I'll look forward to your future posts on shipping!

BeadedTail said...

Great advice Edi! I use the adhesive labels too but don't like to waste the other side by the instructions printing on it. How do you stop that? Also, I think you can schedule mail pickups only if you have priority mail so those of us who mail First Class can't do that.

Rose Clearfield said...

Great post! I am so glad that I got a digital scale and can print my labels at home now. I print on regular paper and tape them on myself.

Memories for Life said...

Glad you all found this helpful :)

Sharla...Good point about Scheduling a Pickup for First Class Packages. If they will fit in your mailbox, I believe you can prepay and place them in your box. Or make friends with your mailman and let him know when you have a FC package :)

As for the receipt...
When you go to the second page of your paypal screen, there will be a blue link at the bottom that says "Edit Printer Settings". When you click this, there will be a box you can uncheck that says "Print Receipt".

Hope this helps :)

Jenny said...

Great post! I'm still taking packages to the post office but have been curious about shipping from home. Thanks for that information.

storybeader said...

that's great. I don't usually ship from home because I don't have a lot of packages going out. But if I do (when I do!) I'll remember to go digital. I do have my own scale and used to weigh my jewelry... {:-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Edi! I do the same (not that my orders are as many). I haven't actually bought the adhesive labels yet, but will at some point!

Kathleen said...

Great tips, Edi! I have printed a few shipping labels from home - lol - but I still have to go to the PO because there is no pick up or delivery out here.

Linda E. Pruitt said...

Printing my own shipping labels is great but I don't leave mine for the postman, since I live in a huge apartment complex and I would have to leave them out by the mail boxes--luckily the PO is only 1/2 mile away!

Judy Nolan said...

I used to use adhesive labels to print my own postage, but now I just print on plain paper and tape it to the package with packaging tape. I also print a 2nd copy just for my own records.

Unknown said...

I didn't know that you could print labels at home and have USPS pick up your packages. My friend has her own home business and makes several trips to the post office each week. Printing labels at home might be a good option for her.

jade said...

. You want the best rates, the best service and the fastest shipping for your money. You also want your package to arrive safely! home business

jacob20martin said...

These are some really helpful tips. My brother has started working for a courier company and he tells me about the same day courier service they have. I don’t know if this goes for the international orders as well but it would be amazing to receive the package within 24 hours from anywhere.