How to Print Postage at Home Without a Monthly Fee
Print and Ship U. S. Postage From Home
United States postage can be purchased and printed easily from your home using a regular printer. Printing your own postage is convenient and can save a lot of time. You will not have to worry about keeping stamps on hand and you will be able to skip the post office lines. You can mail your package at any time, you often will have discounts on the postage costs, and extra services, such as delivery tracking, are often included in the base price of the postage.
Three Free Options For Printing Postage At Home
The USPS and PayPal are great options for printing postage from home. I love the convenience and speed of printing my postage at home. Here is a summary of the services:
- Flat rate shipping at USPS (easy, free shipping supplies, flat rate boxes hold a lot, cost effective for many heavier items)
- USPS Priority Mail standard shipping (free shipping supplies or use your own)
- PayPal (easy method to get a variety of postage types if you have a scale that measures ounces.)
The Easiest Method: The USPS
The United States Postal Service is the easiest way to print your own postage and ship a package from home. You can ship any Priority or Express Mail package. Both flat rate and standard shipping options are available. You will not need any special equipment to print from the USPS. You will just need a computer, Internet, a printer, some paper, and clear packing tape. The downside is that this method only works for Priority or Express Mail.
1. Flat Rate Mailing
Flat rate envelopes and boxes are my favorite method to ship from home. This method provides you with a special envelope or box that you can fill. The weight limits are very generous for domestic and international shipping. You don't have to weight your package so no scale is needed to use the flat rate print at home option. Another benefit is that you will not have to buy your own packaging. The envelopes and boxes are free. You can order them online from the post office (free shipping) or stop by a post office and grab some. (There are often more styles of packaging available online than in the post offices themselves.) Once you have your flat rate shipping package ready you can print your postage in a few easy steps. You will not need to know postal zones for this method.
- Get a flat rate mailing package from the post office either online or in person.
- Package up your goods and seal the box.
- Go to https://cns.usps.com/go and select the flat rate options.
- Open an account and then fill out the form.
- If you want your recipient to know the package is on its way make sure to click "Notify recipient of shipping"
- Click "Save this to my address book" if you want your recipients mailing address to be saved for future shipments.
- You do not need a reference number, leave it blank if you don't have one to enter.
- If you would like insurance, enter the value of your packed goods.
- Choose the shipping services.
- Enter your payment information.
- You will get to a screen where you can save the PDF or print your label. If you are having problems printing, you may find that it is easier to save and then print the PDF. I often find that this works best on Safari on my Mac.
- Tape the postage onto your package with clear packing tape. Make sure that it is covered with tape so that the label is protected from rain or snow.
- You can schedule a home pickup for free, drop the package in a mailbox, or drop it off at your post office (you can skip the lines and just hand it over the counter).
2. Non-Flat Rate Priority or Express Mail
If you cannot use the flat rate mailing materials to mail your package (for instance, the stuff will not fit in the provided boxes) or if you have other reasons not to use flat rate shipping, you may print Priority or Express Mail postage for standard, weighed packages as well.
Package your items in whatever box or envelope that you feel like using. Follow the directions above for shipping a flat rate package. When the option shows up on the form, choose to enter your package weight. You can use a kitchen food scale, postage scale, or other scale that can measure ounces to weigh your parcel. Enter the weight in the form. The computer will give you options based on the weight of the object and the zones of the recipient and the shipper. You will not need to determine the zones as the computer will figure it out based on the provided addresses. You will be given your shipping options with the various prices for each option. Pick your option, print your label, and make arrangements to get your package to a postal worker.
3. Print Your Own Postage Using PayPal
PayPal offers First-Class, Express, Priority, Parcel Post, and Media Mail postage on its website. The postage is not easy to find as it is primarily intended for Ebay merchants, but it can be used by anyone with a PayPal account. To print your own postage using PayPal, use this link. The link will have you log into your own, personal PayPal account. Package up your parcel and tape it shut. Weight the ounces of your parcel on a scale. Enter the weight on the PayPal form. Choose the shipping type for your item. Click next and print out the label. If you are having problems with printing, you can either save to PDF or print to PDF and then print the label from the PDF viewer.
Please leave me any comments you have about your experiences with these services. Also, I would love to know if there are any other options for printing your own postage without a monthly fee.