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Old 10-17-2012, 05:47 AM   #21
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

Great thread

International is always a pain, there really isn't an easy way of going about it honestly.

If you ship a lot seriously consider thermal printers. Once you make an investment of $75-$100 for a good used one like the Zebra LP2844 on eBay, you won't have to spend a dime on labels or ink any more.

Buy one, open up a free UPS account and order one of their free roll of 4x6 (200 label count) thermal label for free. You can use it for both USPS & UPS without a problem. Not to mention if you use UPS often your rates will go down; great for shipping heavier items like prefolds and whatnot.

Our thermal printer has been going strong for about four years now and honestly haven't spent any money on labels. Probably saved us hundreds of dollars on labels and ink.

If you can justify paying for services like Stamps.com and other postal service, I would do it. You can just copy/paste from PayPal and not having to type everything out. Combine it with a cheap $20 handheld scanner and you can print out the label, scan the barcode for PayPal tracking and you're done. It probably takes us less than a minute per package.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:56 AM   #22
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

Wow, learn something every day!!

What purpose does the handheld scanner serve? If I scan it myself, does that somehow update DC on the USPS website?

Here's a little secret about easy international shipping. This is how I do it (for first-class shipments that you can't print labels for on paypal).

I use eBay shipping. eBay does allow for international first-class labels.

I have an agreement set up with an international buyer of one of my old eBay items. When I need to print an international label, I select the previous transaction I had with her, "print another label", and change the destination address. Voila. International label printed. No need to go to PO. (And the buyer knows to just ignore any eBay messages that come to her because of this.) I then update paypal tracking info with the customs label number of the eBay printed label.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:03 AM   #23
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

Yep, where the tracking field goes you can just barcode scan it after the label is printed and is filled automatically. It just speeds things up & prevents mistyping the information also. I think we have this one: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

Plus it auto scans when you bring the label close to it
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:16 AM   #24
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

But when you print labels with paypal, it automatically populates the tracking info with the DC anyway. I guess I'm not understanding what further action the scanner would do beyond that?
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:18 AM   #25
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

Ah, we don't use PayPal for printing either. We use Stamps.com so we still have to populate the tracking information. So that scanner cuts down on time for entering that info.

Thermal printer either way is great though. I used to cut and tape but when there are multiple orders it just gets crazy!
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:33 AM   #26
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Don't buy packing supplies at usps! I think that's were another poster was confused. That there are two different areas to get boxes from.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by jaelynsmommy61607
Don't buy packing supplies at usps! I think that's were another poster was confused. That there are two different areas to get boxes from.
Our local dollar tree always has the packing tape and various envelopes. I found poly mailers on Staples.com
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:40 AM   #28
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliRoll View Post
Our local dollar tree always has the packing tape and various envelopes. I found poly mailers on Staples.com
WAAYY more expensive than eBay. Aren't these store-bought envelopes like 25 to 50 cents each? Some are even $1 or more per piece. (I also buy packing tape on eBay, although Walmart has it too.)

On eBay, you can buy polymailers in lots of 50, 100, 200, 500, etc. and depending on the purchase it can work out to 1 - 10 cents each. Some mamas here buy and split them up. If you're a volume shipper (like 20 packages per week), it makes a huge difference.

As I said though, I don't pay for shipping supplies anymore, between freecycled mailers, reusing other people's mailers, and the USPS shipping materials.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:18 AM   #29
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Re: PSA: Please... Ship Smart. Save money, time, frustration!

Awesome post that deserves to be cross posted and stickied!
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:43 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ~happy2Bamommy~
Awesome post that deserves to be cross posted and stickied!
Agreed!

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