Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to Purchase Postage and Send Packages From Home!

I think I shall SHOUT this from the mountain tops…I’ve discovered the best kept secret ever….I may never have to stand in the long lines at the post office ever again.  

It is quite possible, to do all my mailing from the comfort of my home, in my PJ’s and slippers.

I don't think there is one person out there who has never endured the long post office lines, had the person behind you breathing on your neck and huffing because they are impatient, or got all the way to the counter before you realized you didn’t have your wallet.

 I will show you how easy it is to mail things from home, and hopefully it will help you experience the same 'mailing bliss' I have experienced lately.  When I first started purchasing postage online I was a bit ‘old school’…it just didn’t feel right to not be going to the PO, waiting in line, handing my box to the clerk, paying in person….blah, blah, blah.  But I soon got over it, and discovered that technology is a beautiful thing.  Now if I can only get my mother to agree.

 1.  First thing to do is to buy yourself a mail scale that will weigh ounces and pounds.  Look for scales at Amazon.com, Fred Meyer, the post office, or office supply stores. Also pick up some packaging tape, and a roll of brown paper, if desired.  Sometimes it's necessary to wrap your package in brown paper to hide stuff on your box or to make the package a little more secure.  I've discovered a brown paper grocery bag works just the same, and it's free.

2.  Decide what kind of packaging you will be using, I have discovered that Priority Mail is usually cheaper than my own envelope depending on the weight.

There are two different ways to package your stuff.

Place your goodies in your own store bought envelope OR go to www.USPS.com and request that your mailman bring you Priority Mail envelopes or boxes to your door, or once in awhile I stop by the post office and pick up a supply of these envelopes and boxes which are free and are usually available upon request, or at a free-standing rack in the post office.

3. Place goodies to be mailed inside packaging and weigh.

4. Go to www.USPS.com and click on “Ship a Package”

Then click on “Print a Shipping Label Now” – here’s where you will have to make yourself an account.  Don’t let this stop you, it’s easy to sign up. 

 5. From here you will follow the simple instructions for buying postage.  Be sure you are purchasing the correct amount for the size and weight of your package.  You will be asked for a credit card to pay, then you will be able to print your shipping label. 

The shipping labels print on regular paper, nothing fancy.  Then you will cut to size and tape to front of package.  Instructions for placing label on package is included when you print the label.  Just remember to not tape over the tracking number.

If you want your mail carrier to pick the package up, then check this box when you are filling out the form online.  Rumor has it that the mail carriers actually get paid more to pick these packages up from our homes.  I think that is cool.  Not only do I get a discount for NOT going to the post office, I’m helping the carrier to get a little bonus.

Note:  If you are not comfortable using your own credit/debit card to purchase online, go to the store and buy a prepaid Visa card…these are a lot safer than giving out your own numbers.  And if you have money on your card leftover you can buy yourself some music off of Itunes. ;)

PS. You can also purchase International postage online too!

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