Stamps.com Blog

Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

How To Use Mailing Tubes With Stamps.com

June 26th, 2015 Comments off

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Gifts and merchandise come in all different shapes and sizes, and often times a USPS tube is the best option for shipping items like fishing poles, posters and prints, telescopes, and golf clubs.  The USPS provides two free packaging options for mailing tubes being shipped with Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express.  While you will need to use your own packaging, First Class Package Service is also a great low-cost alternative to ship tubes as long as your package weight is less than 13 oz.

Selecting USPS Mailing Tubes In Stamps.com

Shipping USPS tubes using Stamps.com is easy!  The first thing to know is that you don’t need to look for a separate mailpiece type called “Tubes” from the drop-down Mail Class/Mailpiece menus.  When mailing tubes, you can select “Packages” as your mailpiece type.  Priority Mail is a great option for shipping tubes with costs ranging from $5.05 to $144.82 for all 9 shipping zones and package weights of up to 70 lbs.

Get Free USPS Priority Mail Tubes

There is no USPS flat rate for tubes, and no special flat rate packaging for tubes.  However, the USPS does offer free non-flat rate packaging for your tubes.  Ordering this packaging is convenient within the Stamps.com software.   You can also use your own packaging, but to order free USPS tube packaging, log in to your software and click on “Online Store,” which appears beneath “Buy Supplies.”   Two types of free tubes are available in the section called “Free USPS Supplies”:

– Dual-Use Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express Small Tube (25″ x 6″ x 6″ x 5-7/8″)
– Dual-Use Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express Medium Tube (37-11/16″ x 6-1/8″ x 5-1/8″ x 5-1/16″)

Package Tracking For USPS Mailing Tubes

Need tracking?  Not to worry.  The barcoded shipping label for your tube (which you can wrap around the tube as long as you don’t cover the barcode), includes built-in tracking for your package.

Important Tips For USPS Mailing Tubes

– You can send tubes by First Class Package Service, as long as the tube’s weight is less than 13 oz.

– Since Priority Mail is zone-based pricing, for certain zip codes you will have to enter the dimensions of your tube in order to obtain the correct rate.

– To create an International shipping label for a tube, click on the International tab and select “Package” as your mailpiece.

– Tape each end of the tube with clear packing tape to reinforce and seal its seams.

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Free Package Tracking Added to Media Mail

June 17th, 2015 Comments off

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As of May 31, 2015, USPS Tracking can now be added for FREE to Media Mail packages.  Prior to the 2015 USPS Postage Rate Increase, it would cost $1.05 to add USPS Tracking if purchased at the Post Office and $0.23 if purchased online with Stamps.com.

No Action Needed For Stamps.com Customers

Stamps.com customers do not need to make any changes to their shipping processes to access free USPS Tracking for their Media Mail packages.  Simply navigate to the “Packages” tab and select “Media Mail” in the drop-down menu for mail class.  You will notice Tracking is included for FREE.

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Lowest Cost Option For Packages That Qualify

With USPS Tracking now included for free, USPS Media Mail still remains the lowest cost option for qualifying items like books, CDs, DVDs etc.  If your package qualifies, you can save big with Media Mail.

 

Priority Mail International: New Shipping Zones For Canada

June 3rd, 2015 Comments off

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On Sunday, May 31 2015, the USPS introduced zone-based pricing for Priority Mail International packages being shipped to Canada.  Previously, shipping rates for each country were based on package weight alone.  However, with the new change, distance has also become a factor in determining the shipping rate for Priority Mail International packages being routed to Canada.

How does Priority Mail International for Canada Work?

Depending on the origin zip code of the package, your shipment is assigned one of 7 pricing zones, that are numbered between 1.1 and 1.8.  This pricing zone along with the weight of your package determines the shipping rate.

Prior to the 2015 USPS Rate Increase, the shipping rate only depended on the weight of your package.  As of May 31, 2015, the shipping zone is also considered in determining the shipping rate of your package.  The table below shows 2015 Commercial Base (Online Postage) rates for Priority Mail International packages weighing up to 5 lbs. that are being shipped to Canada.

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With Priority Mail International, you can send shipments of up to 66lbs. to Canada.

Stamps.com Customers Must Upgrade to Version 13.0

In order to print online postage (Commercial Base rates) for Priority Mail International shipments to Canada, Stamps.com customers must upgrade to Version 13.0 or use Stamps.com Online.

Download Stamps.com Version 13.0 now.

Free Guide: Understanding the 2015 USPS Postage Rate Increase

May 27th, 2015 Comments off

The USPS is implementing the 2015 Postage Rate Increase on Sunday, May 31st.  Check out Stamps.com’s 2015 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide to understand what the changes are and how your mailing and shipping processes may be impacted.

The FREE downloadable PDF Guide includes details on the USPS rate changes for each mail class – both domestic and international – and special USPS services.  Additionally, the 2015 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide provides tips and recommendations on when each mail class should be used along with a comprehensive Q&A to help with commonly asked questions around the 2015 USPS Postage Rate Increase.

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The guide is free and can be downloaded at: http://www.stamps.com/whitepapers/2015-usps-postage-rate-increase-guide.pdf.

Understanding the Metered Mail $0.485 First Class Letter Rate

May 22nd, 2015 Comments off

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In January 2014, the USPS introduced a special Metered Mail category for First Class Mail letters with postage printed using Online Postage (such as Stamps.com) or a postage meter.  This category was introduced to encourage the use of Metered Mail by small businesses.  Metered Mail costs the USPS significantly less compared to letters with regular postage stamps.  Not only do these customers avoid going to the Post Office, but also these mail pieces are already bar coded and addresses pre-cleansed.

Changes to USPS Metered Mail Rate – Starts May 31, 2015

On May 31, 2015, the USPS will be increasing the Metered Mail rate by half a cent to $0.485 from $0.48.  The retail (or Post Office) rate will stay at $0.49, bringing the Metered Mail discount down from 2% in 2014 to 1% in 2015.  Additional ounces will now cost $0.22.

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Click here to learn how your Metered Mail letters will be processed at the Post Office.

Use Stamps.com Version 13.0 for the New Metered Mail Rate

Make sure to download and use Stamps.com Version 13.0 for the new Metered Mail rate that will automatically be updated for you on Sunday, May 31, 2015.  When printing NetStamps, customers will have the option to automatically select the $0.485 Metered Mail rate or manually enter the stamp amount up to the third decimal place.

Three Digit Balances Will Now Appear in Stamps.com

Don’t worry if you start seeing a three digit postage balance or $0.485 printed on your envelope – This is to incorporate the new Metered Mail rate.  For a misprint refund, you will be refunded exactly what you printed, precisely up to the third decimal place.  However, if you decided to close your Stamps.com account and had a postage balance of $6.105 as an example, your balance would be rounded up to the nearest decimal and your refund would be $6.11.

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