5 Tips for Easy Holiday Shipping

December 4th, 2013 No comments

blog_5-holiday-shipping-tips-headline2Follow these simple tips to maxmize your shipping just in time for the holidays.

#1 Ship Products as Fast as Possible
During the holidays, expectations for delivery are high and tolerance for delays is low. Try to ship products out the same day the order was placed to keep customers happy! Maintain an accurate list of shipping carrier pickup times to ensure your shipments are mailed at the earliest possible opportunity.

#2 Pre-Pack Your Orders During Downtime
Survive the holidays by pre-packing orders during the calm before the storm. Fulfill orders for commonly shipped items and write package weights on the surface of boxes. This way, you’ll be ready for an unexpected rush.

#3 Keep a Healthy Inventory of Shipping Supplies
The last thing you want is a lot of holiday orders and nothing to package them with. Keep a good inventory of supplies and order enough necessities and free USPS packaging to last you throughout the holidays.

#4 Eliminate Trips to the Post Office
If you are shipping with Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express, save time by scheduling a free USPS Pickup online. There’s absolutely no additional charge for home or office pickups, no matter how many packages you have.

#5  Always Update Your Customers
Use Email Notifications for Package Tracking: When a purchase is made online, customers want to know that their packages are in transit. Make sure your shipping system can automatically send out a shipment notification email that includes a link to the tracking number. It will help eliminate Customer Support calls and make for happier customers.

Top Questions & Video: International Shipping Webinar

October 30th, 2013 No comments

Stamps.com recently participated in a webinar for the Top Rated Seller Webinar series, a monthly webinar that focuses on helping eBay sellers expand sales.  The October topic was “Best Practices for International Shipping” and it featured Bryan Goodman and Jason Smith from ThriftingWithTheBoys.com. If you missed the webinar, watch the recording below.

Here are the top questions and answers from the webinar:

#1  What is the best shipping option to Alaska & Hawaii? While carriers like FedEx and UPS charge additional fees to mail to Alaska and Hawaii, the USPS mails to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and other U.S. territories for the same cost of domestic postage.   So if you live in Dallas and need to send a package to Alaska, it is the same price as sending a package to Houston.  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#2  Why doesn’t Mexico order anything from me? I have the country turned on, yet I never get any sales – is there a way to get listed better in search? Mexico has never been a great one for sales for me, only a few here and there. Not sure it is worth the time and effort to market there.  Better to concentrate on getting sales everywhere.  Perhaps use of social media targeting Mexico might improve visibility.   (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#3  What insurance do you recommend for First Class International packages? Your best bet is to use a private insurance program such as Stamps.com Insurance (insured by PIPInsure.com), U-PIC or others.  These programs allow you to insure all mail classes including First Class Package International Service and they are much cheaper than USPS insurance.  Also, you can file claims online and claims are typically processed within 7-10 business days. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#4  Is there a way to set up the eBay International Shipping Calculator to calculate the shipping costs plus a small handling fee from seller in eBay? Yes, there is a way to add handling fees for international packages.  You should see a handling fee box at in the pricing area. This image should show you where: http://screencast.com/t/At0wXfqKS    (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#5  Would you have any advice for shipping expensive items (anywhere from $250 – $1,000) internationally? I would suggest using Priority Mail Express International (formerly known as Express Mail International).  The service comes with $200 of insurance and packages are delivered within 3-5 business days, with money-back guarantee for certain destinations.  You also get complete tracking. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#6  Who does the Global Shipping Program benefit and how much does it cost?  What does the buyer get charged for shipping? It benefits those sellers who are afraid to sell internationally by giving you an added layer of protection. As a seller you need to get the item to a warehouse in Kentucky. The only cost is what it costs to ship the item to Kentucky.  The Global Shipping Program handles the rest.  Best way to see what a buyer is charged is to view your listing from another county’s website.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#7  When will Stamps.com work on a Mac? Stamps.com will not be building out a dedicated software product for Macs.  Customers using a Mac can use our Stamps.com Online Product, which is completely web-based.  Batch imports (method that allows you to import orders from eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.) is currently being developed for the Stamps.com Online product.   ETA is in early 2014. You can see an example of Stamps.com Online at http://www.screencast.com/t/6s6Imh8b .  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#8  What is the benefit of using Stamps.com over just printing labels from eBay? Can I use it for my Amazon shipments? Stamps.com is built for people who need to speed up their shipping process.  Printing labels inside Stamps.com is much quicker than eBay Shipping, USPS Click-N-Ship or other shipping software programs.  Also, you can import orders from multiple eBay accounts into one interface, as well as import orders from Amazon, Etsy, Shopping Carts, PayPal, and other marketplaces/data sources.  This turns Stamps.com into a shipping label management system.  You can print labels by product, box size, destination, etc.  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#9  Should I wrap/package things differently when selling internationally? Not really, unless you expect it to get rougher handling or be exposed to extreme weather elements that could potentially harm what is inside.  Just realize that these shipments are subject to being opened by authorities so you may want to make it fairly easy to open and be re-wrapped.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#10  When do I need to include that plastic envelope on my package for the Customs Forms? The customs envelope is for the USPS Form 2976-A Customs Form, which includes 4 copies of the standard Customs Form.  Generally speaking, you need to include this on any Priority Mail International or Priority Mail Express International package.  If you are shipping with First Class Package International Service, generally you can use the USPS Form 2976 Customs Form, which is a one page form. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#11  Do you have a list of countries that currently support First Class Package International Service Tracking? Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#12  If the customer doesn’t receive their package, do you refund the customer for the item and shipping? Yes, how would you want to be handled if you purchased an item and it never arrived?  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#13  I have shipped International for years, I always enclose packing slip, do I need to always do that? Stamps.com suggests you always include a packing slip in your international packages.  Some countries require it as your package goes through Customs.  Also, if the label ever came off during shipping, a packing slip with the sender’s address and recipient’s address will help the local postal authority properly identify the package. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#14  I have a lot of problem with UK shipments not being delivered and therefore we have stopped shipping items there. Any suggestions? Keep shipping to the UK. Very few problems and now with better tracking your problems should be minimized.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#15 How do you track a package once it passes customs? USPS tracking for international packages is getting better every day.  This image http://www.screencast.com/t/rckEvhobu  shows examples of how a Priority Mail package travels to its final destination.  Note:  Tracking is different for every country, but the USPS continues to try and improve/standardize the tracking. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#16  How do you protect against us sending an item and then a customer deciding against paying the custom fees or taxes and doesn’t pick up the item, and then contacts us that they didn’t get it. We then are required to refund the customer! I find this is happening way too often. This may be an instance where you might want to consider using the Global Shipping Program.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#17  How do we know how much a buyer has to pay for customs, or is that already included in the calculated shipping price? When you are shipping an item to an international destination yourself, the buyer would be responsible for researching the import fees (known as “landing costs”).  The buyer would need to go to the specific country’s Customs site, where all the fees and tariffs would be listed for specific products.  These listings are normally very general in listing (i.e. “men’s shoes” rather than “Nike Air Jordans”).  If a seller uses eBay’s Global Shipping Program, all of the tariffs, taxes and duty fees are shown to the buyer along with a brokerage fee.  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#18  Do you offer return policy for international shipping? Sure, same as US, buyer pays for return shipping.   (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#19  I use Inkfrog with Stamps.com for shipping and the International labels print with the Electronic Delivery Confirmation to the additional countries recently added for First Class Package International Service. When I go to Stamps.com directly to print labels to any for these countries, I don’t get the Electronic Delivery Confirmation.  Why is this happening? You need to download the latest version of the Stamps.com software.  The current version of Stamps.com is Version 10.5. You can download it at http://www.stamps.com/download/  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#20  Another very important point to consider is Paypal Seller Protection plan does not cover all countries.  Do you still sell into countries not covered by Paypal Seller Protections? Yes, but if it was a very expensive item I would consider alternative ways to guarantee arrival such as Priority Mail Express International  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#21  Does Stamps.com show list of prohibited items per country? Yes. When using Stamps.com, the program automatically will show the product prohibited items/restrictions in a window next to the package details.  The window will automatically appear based on the country you are shipping your package to, pulling the data from the address field. You can see an example of this window at http://www.screencast.com/t/BZYs3Ow3a (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#22  Can we use label paper for the one page Customs Form? Yes, the one page Customs Form (USPS Form 2976) can be printed on regular paper or on a 4″x6″ adhesive label and placed directly on your package.  No Customs envelope is needed. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#23  Is there a $400 limit on Priority Mail International. Or can we ship higher value items with Priority Mail International by providing additional forms/documentation? For regular Priority Mail International packages, you are able to mail an item up to $2,500 in value as you normally would.  If your item is over $2,500 in value, you’ll need to include an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) number on the Customs Form and you may be required to get a license or perform other actions.

There is a $400 limit for smaller Priority Mail International packages.  Those packages are ONLY the Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope (regular, legal sized or padded) and the Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box.  For those packages/envelopes, and only those packages, the contents may not exceed $400 in value. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#24  Priority Mail Express International to Russia required us to go to the Post Office. However, Priority Mail International to Russia for the same package was accepted. What is the logic? As long as you print your shipping label using online postage, you should not need to drop your package off at the Post Office.   When you use online postage, the software prints an electronic round stamp on the Customs Form.  This electronic round stamps indicates to the USPS you are a “Known Mailer” (you have an established online postage account in good standing) and you may give your international package to your daily mail carrier.  You do not need to go to the Post Office.

About ThriftingWithTheBoys.com and ShippingWithTheBoys.com: Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman are Top Rated Sellers who have each been selling on eBay for over 12 years. Nearly all of the products they sell come from thrift stores. Known in the eBay community as “Thrifting with the Boys,” Jason and Bryan are regular guests on eBay Radio and have presented to standing room-only audiences at eBay on Location, eBay Radio Party and other e-commerce events. They also serve as Worthologists for Worthpoint, lead a popular Facebook group and offer thrifting excursions. Jason and Bryan recently created a new shipping educational website called ShippingWithTheBoys.com, where they share knowledge, advice and success stories on how to ship products worldwide.

Top Rated Seller Webinars is a FREE monthly webinar series that provides educational information for eBay and e-commerce sellers.  The webinar series is underwritten by Stamps.com, PageMage, Outright, eBay Radio, Terapeak and Kabbage.

Free Webinar: Shipping Internationally, Best Practices to Ship Overseas

September 30th, 2013 No comments

FREE WEBINAR!
Shipping Internationally – Best Practices to Get your Orders Overseas

trs-webinar2Opening up your eBay listings to international sales is a great opportunity to grow revenue. However many sellers get scared away by the complexity of shipping packages overseas.

Join Bryan Goodman and Jason Smith of ThriftingWithTheBoys.com/ShippingWithTheBoys.com and Eric Nash of Stamps.com as they show you how easy it is to ship internationally, and discuss common issues that come up with international package delivery.

Topics covered in this webinar:

• Selling & Shipping to International Markets
• Options for Shipping Internationally
• Understanding Customs Forms and Duties/Taxes
• Shipping to Problem Countries
• How Tracking Works for International Packages
• Plus much more!

WHEN: Wednesday, October 2, 10:00 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

SIGN UP: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/263592919

Presented by Bryan Goodman and Jason Smith from ThriftingWithTheBoys.com/ShippingWithTheBoys.com with Eric Nash of Stamps.com

thrifting-with-the-boys

About ThriftingWithTheBoys.com and ShippingWithTheBoys.com:
Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman are Top Rated Sellers who have each been selling on eBay for over 12 years. Nearly all of the products they sell come from thrift stores. Known in the eBay community as “Thrifting with the Boys,” Jason and Bryan are regular guests on eBay Radio and have presented to standing room-only audiences at eBay on Location, eBay Radio Party and other e-commerce events. They also serve as Worthologists for Worthpoint, lead a popular Facebook group and offer thrifting excursions. Jason and Bryan recently created a new shipping educational website called ShippingWithTheBoys.com, where they share knowledge, advice and success stories on how to ship products worldwide.

Top Rated Seller Webinars is a FREE monthly webinar series that provides educational information for eBay and e-commerce sellers.  The webinar series is underwritten by Stamps.com, PageMage, Outright, eBay Radio, Terapeak and Kabbage.

Tax Tips for eBay Sellers (Video)

March 1st, 2013 No comments
If you sell products on eBay, knowing all the IRS tax obligations you have at year-end is a very important part of your business.  You have sales tax to collect on product purchases, quarterly estimated taxes to pay and of course the traditional year-end tax forms to submit in April.
Worried over which records to keep? Confused about which tax forms you need to file, where to report your income, or how to account for your inventory? Then this book is for you!
Top Rated Seller Webinars recently had a webinar focused on key IRS tax laws, forms and possible deductions for online sellers featuring financial-industry experts Laura Messerschmitt and Cliff Ennico.
<iframe width=”480″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/oTFyJ4iY678?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Topics in the webinar include:
- The whats, whens, and hows of income taxes for eBay sellers
- How to handle the 1099-K you received from PayPal
- Is selling on eBay a “business” or a “hobby”, and does it matter?
- Calculating your income from selling on eBay
- Common deductions that eBay sellers take
Top Rated Seller Webinars is a monthly webinar series for eBay sellers that is sponsored by Stamps.com, Outright, PageMage, eBay Radio, Terapeak and Kabbage. Sign-up for a webinar today!

If you sell products on eBay, knowing all the IRS tax obligations you have is a very important part of your business.  You have sales tax to collect on product purchases, quarterly estimated taxes to pay and of course the traditional year-end tax forms to submit every April.

Top Rated Seller Webinars recently had a webinar focused on key tax laws, IRS forms and possible deductions for online sellers featuring financial-industry experts Laura Messerschmitt of Outright accounting software and Cliff Ennico, attorney and best selling author of numerous eBay books.

Topics in the webinar include:

  • The whats, whens, and hows of income taxes for eBay sellers
  • How to handle the 1099-K you received from PayPal
  • Is selling on eBay a “business” or a “hobby”, and does it matter?
  • Calculating your income from selling on eBay
  • Common deductions that eBay sellers take

200x200_top-rated2Top Rated Seller Webinars is a monthly webinar series for eBay sellers that is sponsored by Stamps.com, Outright, PageMage, eBay Radio, Terapeak and Kabbage. Sign-up for a webinar today!

How to Print a SCAN Form (Video)

January 7th, 2013 No comments
Did the package ship? With the U.S. Postal Service’s SCAN Form (Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice), you and your customers will always know the answer.
What is a SCAN Form?
The SCAN Form is a piece of paper that contains a master barcode that includes all the packages associated in a shipment.  The SCAN Form saves the USPS employee time by allowing them to scan only one barcode (the SCAN Form) to enter all of the associated packages into the USPS’s Track & Confirm database rather than scanning each package individually. Once scanned, both you and the package recipient can see the date the package entered mailstream.
Steps to Print a SCAN form in Stamps.com
#1.Print shipping labels for all your packages for the day, and label and seal your packages.
#2.Click SCAN form under the View History menu, which is located in the left navigation bar when using the software or in the top navigation bar for the website.
#3.In the table, select the check box that corresponds to each of the day’s packages that you want to include on the SCAN form.
Click Print SCAN Form. The SCAN Confirmation dialog box opens.
#4.If desired, select Also print instructions & details. With this option, the SCAN form is printed with a list of the packages that are associated with it, to help you organize your packages. This list is not part of the SCAN form, and should not be presented to a USPS clerk or carrier.
#5.Click Print SCAN Form. Your browsers Print window will open.
#6.Select your printer and click Print to print the SCAN form.
#7.If the print was successful then click Close on the SCAN Confirmation dialog, otherwise click Print SCAN Form again to reprint.
After you print the SCAN form, gather the packages together, and bring them and the SCAN form to the Post Office (or leave them with the SCAN form for your carrier to pick up). The clerk or carrier will scan the barcode on the SCAN form. The SCAN form will be returned to you for your records.
Note: For best results, finish printing your postage for the day and print your SCAN form by 9:00 p.m. (local time). After that time, Stamps.com starts electronically submitting information about your packages to the USPS, and any items submitted this way cannot be included on a SCAN form.

Did the package ship? With the U.S. Postal Service’s SCAN Form (Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice), you and your customers will always know the answer.

What is a SCAN Form?
The SCAN Form is a piece of paper that contains a master barcode that includes all the packages associated in a shipment.  The SCAN Form saves the USPS employee time by allowing them to scan only one barcode (the SCAN Form) to enter all of the associated packages into the USPS’s Track & Confirm database rather than scanning each package individually. Once scanned, both you and the package recipient can see the date the package entered mailstream.

Steps to Print a SCAN form in Stamps.com

#1  Print shipping labels for all your packages for the day, and label and seal your packages.

#2  Click “SCAN form” under the View History menu, which is located in the left navigation bar when using the software or in the top navigation bar for the website.

#3  In the table, select the check box that corresponds to each of the day’s packages that you want to include on the SCAN form.  Click “Print SCAN Form.” The SCAN Confirmation dialog box opens.

#4  If desired, select “Also print instructions & details.” With this option, the SCAN form is printed with a list of the packages that are associated with it, to help you organize your packages. This list is not part of the SCAN form, and should not be presented to a USPS clerk or carrier.

#5  Click “Print SCAN Form.” Your browsers Print window will open.

#6  Select your printer and click “Print” to print the SCAN form.

#7  If the print was successful then click “Close” on the SCAN Confirmation dialog, otherwise click “Print SCAN Form” again to reprint.

After you print the SCAN form, gather the packages together, and bring them and the SCAN form to the Post Office (or leave them with the SCAN form for your carrier to pick up). The clerk or carrier will scan the barcode on the SCAN form. The SCAN form will be returned to you for your records.

Note: For best results, finish printing your postage for the day and print your SCAN form by 9:00 p.m. (local time). After that time, Stamps.com starts electronically submitting information about your packages to the USPS, and any items submitted this way cannot be included on a SCAN form.