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Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

Cut Costs with 50 Ship Saver Boxes

September 29th, 2016 Comments off

Stamps_Blog_50ShipSaverThe holiday season is quickly approaching! We know you’ll want to maximize profit and protection for your shipments. Stamps.com’s 50 Ship Boxes can help!

What are they?

These boxes are designed to fit within USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate® Envelopes and Legal Flat Rate Envelope and are the only USPS®-approved boxes you can use with these Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes. They are made of heavy-gauge corrugated cardboard, providing increased protection for a minimum of bulk.

How does it work?

First, place the item you’re shipping into a 50 Ship Box. We offer six varieties, so you can use these boxes to ship a wide range of items.

Next, slip the box into a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope and seal it. You’ll pay a Flat Rate Envelope price for shipping a box—how cool is that?  As a Stamps.com customer, your mailpiece will receive the Commercial Base rate of $5.75 for Flat Rate Envelope and Legal Flat Rate Envelopes (the retail rate is $6.45).

Also, you’ll have built-in USPS Insurance for $50 and receive a tracking number. By clicking on “USPS Pickup” on the left side of your Stamps.com account screen, you’ll also have the ability to schedule a free USPS Pickup.

Selections and varieties 

We offer a great variety of shapes and sizes to fit various mailing and shipping needs.

There are two primary 50 Ship Box types:

50 Ship Legal Saver Boxes are available in three sizes, all designed to fit within a USPS Legal Flat Rate Envelope:

– Legal-sized Short (11″ x 6 3/8″ x 2″)
– Legal-sized Medium (10 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ x 2 1/2″)
– Legal-sized Tall (9 1/2″ x 4 7/8″ x 3 1/4″)

50 Ship Letter Saver Boxes are also available in three sizes, all of which are all designed to fit within a USPS letter-sized flat rate envelope:

– Letter-sized Short (8 3/4″ x 6 1/8″ x 2 1/4″)
– Letter-sized Medium (8″ x 5 5/8″ x 2 1/2″)
– Letter-sized Tall (7 1/2″ x 4 7/8″ x 3 1/4″) 

The Variety Pack

Not sure what box sizes you’ll need? We offer the 50 Ship Variety Pack, which contains four boxes each of all six sizes for a total of 24 boxes, so you will have 12 boxes for Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes and 12 boxes for Priority Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelopes.

Something to keep in mind: since the legal flat rate envelope is larger, all six 50 Ship box types will fit into the legal envelope. However, only 50 Ship Letter Saver Boxes fit in the letter-sized Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes since that one is smaller.

Ordering 50 Ship Boxes 

Ordering 50 Ship Boxes is easy! Just log in to your Stamps.com account and click on “Online Store,” which will pull up our complete catalog. Select the “Shipping Supplies” tab and click on “Boxes.”  Look for the 50 Ship Letter Saver Boxes, 50 Ship Legal Saver Boxes, and 50 Ship Variety Pack options.

If you need to order Priority Mail envelopes, look for the category called “Free USPS Supplies.”

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USPS now offering Priority Mail Flat Rate Precious Cargo Boxes

September 23rd, 2016 Comments off

Blog_SDC_Precious CargoThe United States Postal Service recently introduced new Priority Mail Flat Rate Precious Cargo BoxesTM to its lineup of shipping materials. Here’s what you need to know.

What are they?

These new Flat Rate boxes, fitted with polyethylene foam dots and inserts, are designed to give customers a more secure way to ship valuable items like smartphones and laptops. Three types of boxes are available:

Precious Cargo Table

It’s worth noting that these new boxes can’t be used for damaged or defective recalled devices unless specifically approved by USPS.

How much do they cost?

Customers using these new boxes will be charged Priority Mail Flat Rate postage, but will also be charged an additional cost for the boxes. The small box costs $6.99, the medium box costs $12.99 and the large box costs $15.99.

Where do I get them?

A pilot test for these boxes began Sept. 1 and will last approximately six months, according to a recent Postal Bulletin article. During the pilot, boxes can only be purchased through the Postal Store.

Redirect Shipments with USPS Package Intercept

September 16th, 2016 Comments off

Blog_SDC_USPS_Package_InterceptUh oh!  You’ve shipped out your merchandise to a customer, but you’ve received notice that it went to an incorrect address.

The good news is that you might be able to redirect or intercept the package if it has entered the mailstream but hasn’t been delivered yet thanks to the USPS® Package Intercept process.

Package Intercept options vary depending on whether you are a retail customer visiting the Post Office™ or commercial mailer with a permit linked to the postage payment known as the Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS).

Package Intercept Options 

If you’re a retail customer shipping from the Post Office, Package Intercept requests can be made to redirect the mailpiece back to the sender.

If you are a commercial mailer, you have a couple of more options:

1. You can reroute the mailpiece to a new, alternate address.

2. You can redirect it to the sender.

3. You can redirect the mailpiece to a Post Office for Hold For Pickup.

What You Need to Know 

Some things to keep in mind:

1. Only domestic packages can be intercepted. Package Intercept is not available for international packages, APO/FPO/DPO destinations or for anything requiring a customs form.

2. No guarantee is available for Package Intercept. If the USPS is not able to intercept your package, unfortunately a refund for the service won’t be available.

3. All domestic mail classes are eligible for Package Intercept except Standard Mail and periodicals with a tracking or Extra Service barcode.

Paying for Package Intercept

Currently, the fee for Package Intercept is $12.55 per piece.

However, if you are a commercial mailer, you do have the option of adding extra USPS Special Services (such as Insurance or Signature Confirmation), so additional fees may apply. If you want to redirect the parcel to a new recipient, additional postage costs may apply.

Learn how to redirect a shipment using USPS Package Intercept here.

Need further information? Check out our USPS Package Intercept page.

Shipping Policy Best Practices

September 12th, 2016 Comments off

SDC Blog Shipping Policy Best PracticesClearly laying out shipping policies on your ecommerce website helps your customers better manage their expectations and helps your position as the seller should there be a dispute. Here are tips to help ensure all shoppers understand your ecommerce store’s shipping methods, options and timelines.

– Start fresh and be clear. Although it may be tempting to cut and paste another store’s policy or direct language from your preferred shipping carrier, it’s important to customize your policies. Keep in mind, also, that although you’ve taken the time to educate yourself about the ins and outs of shipping, your customers usually haven’t. Stay away from industry jargon and work to use language anyone can understand. At the same time, avoid peppering your policies with stern absolutes or language that may feel threatening to shoppers, such as “you must.”

– Resist temptation to inflate shipping costs. Yes, you can account for handling and packaging costs, but shoppers are wary of prices that seem out of line with the competition’s. Building a strong customer base is just as important as adding a few extra dollars to the coffers.

– Consider shipping promotions. Sending out a free shipping code to customers every so often, offering limited-time free or reduced shipping, or throwing in free shipping for large orders helps shoppers develop loyalty to your store.

– Be realistic about timelines. Once you choose your shipping methods, lay out the timelines and costs. If you would like to offer expedited or less expensive options as well as your standard shipping choice, be sure to include those terms too.

– Make your return policy easy to find. Don’t hide this information, because many shopping decisions are dependent on return options. Put a prominent link to your policy on your home page and consider putting the link on banners and product pages, too.

– Explicitly explain returns. Being upfront now will save you hassles down the line. Make sure you take into account any differences in policy due to personalized or seasonal items, the acceptable timeframe for returns, and whether you will offer a refund, replacement or store credit.

– Account for delays. If your product takes extra time to produce (such as custom orders) or properly prepare for shipping, be sure to state that upfront. This goes for potential holiday delays and international shipping, too.

– Be accountable. Obviously, if you ship the wrong product or the customer receives damaged merchandise, promptly make it right—even if you cut into your profit margin to do so.

– Offer tracking. Automated updates are easy to set up with services like Stamps.com, and offer your customers peace of mind. However, if you sell certain high-cost or high-risk items, be aware of a growing criminal movement that redirects these shipments depending on carrier policies. Of course, you will want to communicate with your customers if their transactions fall in this category and explain your actions.

USPS Updates Standards for Shipping Firearms

September 1st, 2016 Comments off

SDC Firearms Blog PostThe United States Postal Service recently revised their rules regarding “Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.” While most changes were done in order to correct erroneous references and provide greater clarity to existing language, anyone shipping firearms should know that the following language has been added:

“All regulated firearms must be mailed using a USPS product or Extra Service that provides tracking and signature capture at delivery.”

Also worth noting is a change to the requirements for mailing rifles and shotguns (Section 432.3), which now states that these items must include “Signature Confirmation service or insured mail service (for more than $500) requiring a signature at delivery.” That insured mail service amount is up from $200.

While these changes to the firearm requirements are fairly minor, this update serves as a good opportunity to remind shippers about USPS content restrictions.

Here are some resources we think you’ll find helpful:

– USPS to Limit Shipping of Hoverboards—This blog post explains restrictions for shipping “hoverboards,” also known as motorized balance boards. The USPS implemented restrictions due to safety concerns and the risk of fire caused by the lithium batteries used to power hoverboards.

– While on the subject of batteries, this blog post details USPS standards for mailing lithium batteries.

– USPS International Restrictions by Country—Anyone who wants to ship to customers outside of the U.S. will want to take a look.

– Keep up with all USPS News on the Stamps.com blog.

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