Stamps.com Blog

Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

Important Stamps.com Operating System Security Requirements

July 4th, 2018 Comments off

 

Important information about connecting to Stamps.com!

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council, a coalition of credit card payment processors such AmEx, Visa and Mastercard, has updated their protocols for transmitting secure credit card transactions. As of June 30, companies will no longer be able to transmit credit card data using the older Transport Layer Security protocol TLS 1.0. In order to remain PCI compliant, only TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 will be allowed starting July 1, 2018.

Older Operating Systems Can No Longer Login to Stamps.com
Due to this TLS requirement, older operating systems and browsers will not be able to connect to Stamps.com after June 30, 2018. The following operating systems and browsers DO NOT have native support for TLS 1.1/1.2:
• Microsoft Windows Vista
• Microsoft Windows XP
• Microsoft Windows 2003
• MacOS 10.8 and below
• Internet Explorer versions 10 and below
• Mozilla Firefox versions 26 and below
• Google Chrome versions 29 and below
• Apple Safari versions 6 and below

In order to login to Stamps.com, please update to a supported operating system and internet browser on or before June 30, 2018.

Windows 7 User Verification:  Some Windows 7 users may not have modern versions of TLS enabled by default. Stamps.com Software utlilizes specific Internet Explorer settings to make a connection to our server.  If you are using Windows 7, you will need to check/update your TLS settings within Internet Explorer. To check or update your TLS settings, open the Internet Explorer browser, then click on the “Settings” gear icon and select “Internet Properties”. In the new window, select the Advanced tab, and make sure the boxes next to “Use TLS 1.1” and “Use TLS 1.2” are checked.Learn more info on how to check your TLS settings for Windows 7.

View of TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 settings inside the “Internet Properties” section of Internet Explorer (IE)


Stamps.com Online Customers
: All of your account information will be available after updating your operating system and browser. Stamps.com Online updates itself automatically, and is accessible from any modern internet browser.

Stamps.com Software Customers: When you update your operating system and reinstall Stamps.com PC Software, most of your information will move to your account except for your address book. Before you update to a new Operating System, you MUST export your existing address book, keep the file handy, and then import it after you update.

What do I do if I cannot update Operating Systems?
If you are unable to update to a supported operating system, the latest version of the Stamps.com Software includes enhancements that may help you avoid a service interruption. To download the latest version, go to www.stamps.com/download.

 

Categories: Software Updates Tags:

Australia Changes GST Laws for Imports Under A$1,000

June 29th, 2018 Comments off

International e-commerce sellers that ship products to Australia should be aware of a new tax starting July 1, 2018. The Australia Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 10% fee that the Australian government adds to all goods and services being imported into Australia. The GST is meant to help protect Australian businesses from cheaper overseas manufacturers, with the hope the tax will level out the retail product pricing.

Australia’s Goods and Services Tax – What is Changing?
Prior to July 1, 2018, consumers in Australia could purchase products from international sellers and have them imported duty and tax-free as long as the product value was less than A$1,000. (GST was already being applied to goods and services over A$1,000.) This created a perfect buying market for U.S. online retailers since most e-commerce orders were low-value items such as sporting equipment, clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and electronics.

Starting on July 1, 2018, Australia will now apply the 10% GST to all imports, including products valued under A$1,000.

International E-Commerce Sellers – Registering for GST
Retailers with OVER A$75,000 annually in revenue
In order to comply with the recent changes made to the GST, international e-commerce merchants who have over A$75,000 annually in sales (sales directly to Australia) will be required to register with the Australian Taxation Office. Once registered, online retailers will need to charge and collect the GST tax when selling goods to Australian buyers. Note: This GST tax collection by the online retailer will be indicated on the customs documents.

Retailers with UNDER A$75,000 annually in revenue
If your sales are under A$75,000 you are not required to register with the Australian Taxation Office. When you sell a product to an Australian buyer, the GST tax will be applied at the border when the product is imported.

Be Ready for the New GST Law Changes!
If you are an international e-commerce merchant selling to Australia with sales over A$75,000, you MUST comply with the new regulations.

There are severe penalties for not complying with the GST law, including:

  • Imposing an additional 75% administrative penalty (legally payable)
  • Intercepting funds from Australian buyers that are destined to seller account(s)
  • Registering the debt in a court in the U.S.
  • Requesting the Internal Revenue Service to recover the debt on behalf of Australia

Register your company as a GST business with the Australian Taxation Authority.

Stamps.com has you covered when it comes to shipping your goods overseas!  The shipping platform fully supports the new GST requirements. If you’re shipping items to Australia for your business, you will not need to add additional information to the labels on your packages to be in compliance with the new law.

How to Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner

June 22nd, 2018 Comments off

If you’re just starting out with AdWords for your online business—or are curious about digital marketing in general—it can be very confusing to figure out how to deal with keywords. Fortunately, Google has long included a keyword planning tool as part of the AdWords platform that handles advertising campaigns within its search engine network.

Even if you’ve worked with the keyword planner before, you may need a refresher since Google recently redesigned the entire AdWords portal, including the planner.

Here’s how to use to Google’s AdWords keyword planner to figure out which keywords you want to include in your search marketing campaigns.

Evaluating Keywords With Google AdWords

To get started, first navigate to Google AdWords and create an account, if you haven’t already.

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be presented with the AdWords home page and are ready to begin.

1. Click on the wrench icon in the upper-right toolbar, then select “Keyword Planner” from the “Planning” column.

2. Enter a specific keyword or key phrase related to your site, or simply enter the link to the website itself. The Planner uses this information to display suggestions for related keywords.

3. The next page is the main section of the Keyword Planner, “Keyword ideas.” This screen displays a variety of related keywords and key phrases, and gives you several options for organizing and analyzing the results.

4. If you want to narrow down the results by location or language, use the drop-down menus at the top left of the screen.

5. To only see keyword ranks for specific times of the year, adjust the date range in the calendar drop down at the top right of the screen.

6. To see which related keywords and phrases are searched for most often, click the “Avg. monthly searches” button at the top of the related column to re-sort the results.

7. Sorting the “Competition” column tells you how difficult it would be to “break into” the search results for those keywords or phrases. High competition keywords already have other ads that dominate those search results, while low competition words are easy to increase ranking.

8. If you plan to use these keywords to develop an advertising campaign, use the “Top of page bid” columns to see how much you’d need to spend to have your ads rank highly.

Whether you just want ideas for new keywords or projecting marketing budgets, AdWords Keyword Planner is a valuable tool. Search engine marketing is all about getting a leg up on the competition, and mastering AdWords Keyword Planner can give you just the competitive advantage you need.

Categories: Marketing for Ecommerce Tags:

USPS Certified Mail FAQ

June 11th, 2018 Comments off

Certified Mail is a USPS service that gives mailers an official receipt providing poof the item was mailed. After the Certified Mail document is delivered, the mail carrier requires a signature from the recipient. Mailers using Certified Mail can also request a physical or electronic Return Receipt with the recipient’s signature. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the USPS service:

How long will it take for USPS to deliver my Certified Mail letter?

Delivery time depends on the mail class chosen to add the Certified Mail service to. If you are sending a First-Class Mail letter, delivery usually takes 2 to 5 business days. For Priority Mail, delivery is usually within 2-3 business days. However, USPS does not guarantee an exact delivery time for either First-Class Mail or Priority Mail.

Why would I use Certified Mail?

Mailers typically use certified mail when they need to provide proof that a mailpiece was sent and received. The most common uses of Certified Mail are to send tax returns, bank documents, and time-sensitive communications with debtors or creditors.

Do I have to be present at a Post Office to send Certified Mail?

No, as long as you affix the proper Certified Mail Forms and the correct amount of postage, you can have a USPS mail carrier pick up your Certified Mail mailpiece or drop it in a mailbox.

Can Certified Mail go to a P.O. Box?

Yes, when Certified Mail arrives at the delivery Post Office, the letter carrier will place a delivery notification inside the P.O. Box that instructs the person to present the delivery slip to the window clerk. Keep in mind that a recipient is under no legal obligation to sign the delivery slip regardless of where the mailpiece is delivered.

Can anyone at the mailing address sign for Certified Mail?

Yes, with standard Certified Mail anyone present at the mailing address can sign for the mailpiece. If you send a mailing with restricted Certified Mail, however, only the person who it is addressed to may sign for it.

Which name goes on the receipt, mine or the person I am mailing it to?

On the green and white “Certified Mail Receipt”, write the name of the person you are mailing the mailpiece to. Their address should be entered at the bottom.

If the Certified Mail is returned to sender as not deliverable, should the sender sign the green card?

No, the sender should not sign it. The fact that it was returned as undeliverable with the unsigned green card intact is proof that you tried to send it.

How can I use Certified Mail with Stamps.com?

  1. Connect to Stamps.com to print Certified Mail – Our software connects you to your Stamps.com account where you can print Certified Mail.
  2. Click on “Envelopes” from the left navigation bar.
  3. Select “Letters” as your Mailpiece type.
  4. Enter the weight of your mailpiece.
  5. Select your mail class – Keep in mind that only First-Class Mail and Priority Mail are options when you use a Certified Mail Form or Envelope.
  6. Choose additional services – At this point, you may select options such as Return Receipt and Restricted Delivery. Remember, depending on your chosen services, unused portions of the form may contain the word VOID when printed.
  7. Specify the required address information for your mailpiece.
  8. Select your printable choice – From the “Printing On” list, select Stamps.com’s pre-formatted Certified Mail Envelope or Form.
  9. Print – Load the form into your printer, then click “Print Postage.” We recommend you print a sample on a blank sheet of paper so you know the correct loading direction for the form. And remember, the method of affixing the Certified Mail Form to your mailpiece will depend on any additional services you selected in Step 8. Pay close attention to the directions printed on the form to ensure you affix it properly to your mailpiece.
Categories: Letter Mailing Tags:

USPS International Weight Limits

May 31st, 2018 Comments off

Did you know that USPS weight limits vary by mail class and destination country? Check out the table below to determine how much your international package or letter can weigh:

 

Categories: Shipping Tags:

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