This software tutorial is actually a quick introduction to the fabulous USPS website. Now a lot of people love to hate on the post office - slow! expensive! incompetant! But really the USPS website is fantastic and has a lot of goodies in store for anyone who runs a small business. We used the USPS site exclusively when we first started - to look up package rates, order stamps and supplies, even print postage.

While this tutorial is USA-centric, your government's post office probably has a pretty good system themselves so check it out to see what free things they offer.

Printing postage

First thing you'll want to check out is the ability to print shipping labels with postage! This is great for when you dont want to haul yourself to the post office and wait in line.
You'll need a laser/inkjet that can print on the sticker paper, you can buy that from the USPS shop or from ebay in packs of 50-500.
We used to use this service a lot, when we were first starting out. You just link your credit card to the account and buy any amount of international/domestic of postage and it's charged to your card (and if you have a rewards card, that's a nice way to save up miles for a vacation flight!) Last we checked, you can even get free delivery confirmation when you use this system. Then you can have a pickup or just drop small packages into the bin at the post office - no waiting in line.

Only problem is it's really tedious and slow and doesn't link into any sort of database service.

Free shipping supplies!

If you want to save a little money, and you use USPS a lot, you can pick up **free shipping supplies **for Priority/Express mail service. Priority mail is a really superior way to ship around the US, especially with the flat rate boxes for heavy stuff. You'll have to do the math on whether your goods are dense enough to make flat rate boxes a better choice than using the postage system mentioned above.

Free pickups

At some point, you may have sooo many packages, hauling them to the post office is a total pain. Another thing is that you can't drop international packages into the bin at the post office - they must be handed to a USPS employee. That's why we looooove USPS pickups. A friendly carrier comes by and takes all the packages away for you. The only thing we'd suggest is dividing up the packages so that the First Class, Priority, Express are seperated, that makes it easier for them. You can schedule on the website - we have one every day.

This guide was first published on Feb 27, 2013. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (USPS Website) was last updated on Feb 20, 2013.

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