USPS Mailing Standards For Lithium Batteries

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

Shipping Regulations
When shipping lithium batteries, businesses must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) standards for preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries.  The standards are in place to ensure the safe transportation of shipments that include these batteries and cells.  Shippers are responsible to comply with these regulations or risk fines.

Luckily the USPS shipping regulations align with DOT and PHMSA regulations—so as long as your shipment follows USPS regulations, you are in the clear.

USPS Standards for Domestic Shipments Containing Lithium Batteries

  • Each cell cannot contain more than 1 gram of lithium
  • Each battery cannot contain more than 2 grams of lithium
  • All packages must contain a complete return address
  • For non-installed batteries, your package must have a DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090)

Standards for Shipping Installed Batteries

  • Installed batteries must be protected from short circuit
  • Devices with batteries must have protection to prevent accidentally being powered-on
  • Equipment must be cushioned

Shipping Lithium Batteries to International Destinations?

Lithium batteries can only be shipped internationally if they are installed in the equipment they operate.  Shipping carriers are not allowed to ship packages containing only lithium batteries or cells to international locations – they must be included inside a product.  No markings or documentation are allowed on these international mailpieces.  This rule applies to all international as well as APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

More info on the U.S. Postal Service’s Lithium Battery mailing standards is available on the USPS.com site.

Easy Guidelines To Follow For Effective USPS Shipping

April 4th, 2019 Comments off

A smooth shipping process not only helps streamline your operations as an e-commerce seller, but also ensures your products reach your customers without undue delays.  Moreover, you can focus your efforts on growing your business instead of dealing with customer complaints and questions around package delivery status or postage due at the time of delivery.

What can you do to ensure a seamless shipping experience from the time your package leaves your hands and reaches your customer?  Follow these five easy USPS shipping guidelines!

Pay Attention To Your Package

Guideline #1 – Round up on Weights:  Did you know that the USPS rounds up package weights to the nearest ounce or pound depending on the mail class used?  To avoid underpaying for postage or even worse having your customer pay postage at the time of delivery, always round up your package weight.  As an example, if your package weighs 10 lbs. and 5 oz., you should use the shipping rate for an 11 lb. package.

Guideline #2 – Check the Dimensions:  Your package size can make a difference in how much you pay shipping!  Dimensional (DIM) weight may apply to a USPS package that is larger than 1 cubic foot (12″ x 12″ x 12″).  Pay attention to the dimensions of your package and avoid unnecessary empty space to lower shipping costs.

Does Your Shipping Label Match Your Package?

Guideline #3 – Verify the Mail Class:  What mail class should you use to ship your package?  This depends on the weight of your package, how soon you need it to be at its destination and also how much you want to pay for shipping.  Remember, each mail class allows packages up to a certain weight limit only.  Choose First Class Package Service for packages weighing up to 13 ounces and Priority Mail for packages over that weight limit!

Guideline #4 – Double check the Shipping Zone:  USPS Shipping Zones are calculated based on the distance between the origin and destination addresses.  Stamps.com customers should verify that the origin zip code (the zip code for where you ship your packages from) is set up correctly.

Guideline #5 – Match the Label to the Packaging:  Your shipping label should match your package!  For example, based on the package weight, size and shipping zone of your package, if you have decided to use a Flat Rate Priority Mail Box for your package, make sure to choose the corresponding mail class while printing your label.  Also, your Flat Rate label must only be used on a Flat Rate box.

USPS Shipping Made Easy With Stamps.com

When you ship with Stamps.com, you don’t need to worry about underpaying for postage.  Use your Stamps.com digital scale to accurately weigh your package and the software will automatically use the rounded up weight and charge you the appropriate shipping rate.  Next, enter the package dimensions so Stamps.com can determine whether or not DIM weight applies to your package.  Select the correct package type or enter the dimensions of your package.  Also, make sure to set up your origin zip code correctly. When you enter the destination address, Stamps.com automatically calculates the correct shipping zone for your package.  Finally, choose your mail class and Stamps.com will print the appropriate USPS shipping label for your package.

 

 

Saving with USPS Metered Mail – 2019 Rates

February 19th, 2019 Comments off

Since its introduction in 2014, Metered Mail rates have offered businesses of all sizes a way to save using Online Postage. Metered Mail rates apply to First-Class Mail® Letter postage printed through USPS licensed software (such as Stamps.com) or using a postage meter. Online Postage costs the USPS significantly less than traditional postage stamps, and the savings are passed on to customers through Metered Mail rates.

 

Metered Mail Savings Are Bigger Than Ever – Save 5 Cents on Every Letter!

With the recent 2019 USPS Postage Rate changes that started on January 27, 2019, single-piece letter senders can save even more using Meter Mail as opposed to retail (or Post Office) rates. The Metered Mail rate for one-ounce First-Class Mail® Letters has increased from $0.47 to $0.50, while the retail rate has increased from $0.50 to $0.55. These new rates mean businesses save $0.05, or nine percent, on one-ounce First-Class Mail® Letters when using Online Postage. 2019 marks the first time ever that the Metered Mail savings have exceeded $0.03. For businesses looking to reduce postage cost, there has never been a better time to switch to Online Postage.

 

Additional Ounce Rates Have Decreased

In addition to the changes to the base price of First Class Mail, the rate of each additional ounce has also changed. Whether you purchase First Class postage at the post office or with at the Metered Mail rate you will pay $0.15 per additional ounce, a $0.06 decrease from 2018. The new additional ounce rate means that while 1 oz. rate for First Class Mail has increased since last year, the 2 oz. and 3 oz. rates have decreased.

 

USPS First Class Mail Rate Change – Post Office
Weight 2019 2018
1 oz. $0.55 $0.50
2 oz. $0.70 $0.71
3 oz. $0.85 $0.92

 

USPS First Class Mail Rate Change – Metered Mail
Weight 2019 2018
1 oz. $0.50 $0.47
2 oz. $0.65 $0.68
3 oz. $0.80 $0.89

 

New Metered Mail Rates Are Built Into Stamps.com

Stamps.com customers automatically receive the new discounted Metered Mail rate. When printing Online Postage for First-Class Mail® Letters, customers can select the Metered Mail rate or manually enter a stamp amount. In addition to Metered Mail, Stamps.com has also been updated with every USPS Postage Rate for 2019.

Categories: Letter Mailing Tags:

Seller Confessions: My Biggest eBay Fails

September 24th, 2018 Comments off

Nobody wants to lose money, but even the most experienced eBay seller makes mistakes.  Here are three of my biggest eBay fails.  Read and learn.

 The Trader Joe’s Nightmare

About 8 years ago, I bought $1,000 worth of Trader Joe’s sea salt caramels to sell on eBay.  I’d never sold food before, but I looked them up, and they were in demand.  I soon realized that I had purchased too many.  Before I knew it, summer arrived, and I had stacks and stacks of these tasty treats sitting in my garage.  Although we were still getting orders, they were melting in transit.  People were not happy.   Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait until winter to get rid of them because they had an expiration date.  We started eating sea salt caramels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  What else could we do?  I gained five pounds trying to get rid of those suckers.  Eventually, I gave the rest away as presents.  Remember: If you’re going to sell food, always check expiration dates, and be careful buying items that cannot be shipped in hot weather.  Lesson learned.

The Shoe Emergency

Many of our biggest fails involved shoes.  Years ago we did not understand the importance of inspecting preowned shoes before listing them.  Shoes can look brand new but may fall apart the first time they are worn if they have been sitting in a closet for years.  For example, some manufacturers produce soles that do not stand the test of time and will disintegrate or even split in half if they get old.  When we first started selling on eBay, we listed a pair of name brand clogs.  The woman who bought them worked at a hospital and thought they were an amazing deal!  Unfortunately, the first time she wore them to work, she left a trail of rubber wherever she walked.  The soles were literally disintegrating all over the emergency room.  Uh, oh.  Instant refund.

The Fashion Fiasco

In another instance involving shoes, a buyer purchased a pair of beautiful designer heels.  She wore them to work with her favorite outfit.  A few minutes after she got to work, one of the heels fell off – the entire heel.  So embarrassing!  She hobbled around the office for the rest of the day.  Luckily, she thought it was funny.  We quickly issued a refund, and offered to send her a pair of shoes for free.   We now know the importance of closely inspecting all preowned shoes before listing them on eBay.  In addition, we have purchased a one million dollar insurance policy that covers us if anything goes wrong with the products we sell.

Selling on eBay is an adventure, but, like anything, it does come with some risks.  Luckily, each of these fails taught me an important lesson and made me a more successful seller!

 

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

Save time and money with Stamps.com automation tools

November 28th, 2017 Comments off

As your online business grows, you’re likely looking for ways to make the workflow easier so you can get orders out the door as efficiently as possible. This is where automation comes in handy. The robust Stamps.com software offers automation tools to help ecommerce businesses streamline tasks while minimizing or eliminating the chance for human error.

Here are three ways Stamps.com can help save you time and money through automation:

  1. Automatically import orders

Manually typing in address information for a shipping label is a time-consuming task, and one that could lead to errors. Eliminate this process by automatically importing your orders via the Stamps.com Order Import tool.

Stamps.com has direct integrations with eBay, Etsy, Amazon and many other shopping carts. Once connected, Stamps.com will automatically import orders, allow you to print multiple labels, and will then send the tracking information back to your order source.

  1. Increase fulfillment processing speed

The faster you can process an order and get the product to the buyer, the happier your customer will be. The longer it takes to deliver packages, the more likely customers are to contact your support center looking for the whereabouts of their package.

Use Stamps.com’s Preset feature for your commonly shipped items. If you find that you are using the same shipping options on many orders, you can create various templates for these options. These templates can consist of mail class, weight, dimensions, and even customs form information. When this template is applied to your order or a group of orders, all of the various shipping choices defined in the template will be applied to the orders selected.

Stamps.com also offers the Shipper Toolbar, which can save you time if your orders are in a database or spreadsheet and you process them individually.  Simply scan a barcode or type an order number and all of the order information will populate, and your shipping label will be ready to print.

  1. Lower shipping costs

Shipping costs change every year and identifying the lowest cost option can be challenging. Don’t leave this decision up to your shipping staff.

The Stamps.com BestRate USPS Shipping Rate Comparison Engine automates mail class and shipping rate selection for your packages. Once you set up these rules, Stamps.com will automatically select the best mail class for your package based on the attributes for that specific package, such as box size, delivery time, shipping rate and destination. Want to only ship using Priority Mail? The BestRate tool will select the lowest cost option among all Priority Mail options. Want to save as much money as possible and aren’t worried about delivery times? Try the “Use least expensive mail class” option.

Have any questions about how Stamps.com can help you with automation? Contact us at 1-855-889-7867.

Categories: Software Updates Tags:

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