How To Buy Online Postage and Ship Packages The Right Way

Shipping and mailing for home-based businesses is easier today than it ever has been in the past. If you run a business out of your home you now have several different options to buy postage when it comes to shipping merchandise. Choosing the right method will determine whether you keep customers and thrive or lose customers and close the doors. So what’s the right way?

A large percentage of businesses that routinely ship products to customers use the United States Postal Service (USPS) as their first option. In many cases USPS is the most cost effective means of shipping merchandise to customers especially if you are shipping any type of media as USPS offers a reduced price for media mail. In addition, the parcel post rates are reasonable which enables businesses to buy postage and not hurt their profits or their customer service ratings. Businesses that prefer faster shipment of packages may also choose the USPS Express Mail option. When shipping via Express Mail (or even Priority Mail), packages will be delivered in anywhere from one to three days and at a very economical rate. In addition to saving money when they buy postage, a business also has the option of using the packaging materials provided by the post office that are exclusively for United States Postal Service Priority Mail. Most times these boxes and envelopes are free of charge, of excellent quality and can also be delivered by the USPS right to your front door by your postal delivery carrier.

Another reason why the USPS is a convenient method of shipping merchandise or documents for businesses is that they also offer an option to buy and print postage online eliminating the need to make a trip to the post office every time you need to ship packages. There are many online postage services such as Stamps.com, USPS’ Click-N-Ship and Endicia.com that thousands of businesses use every day saving them time and money while making for happy customers. Whoever thought you could buy online postage right from your own home or business computer instead of standing in long lines at the post office!

There are alternatives though. Many times companies require shipment of larger items and that’s where they’ll turn to UPS, Federal Express, DHL and many other private shipping companies. One of the more popular options that many home-based businesses prefer to use is United Parcel Service (UPS.) When you use UPS you can schedule the pickup of the packages that you need to send which is very useful if you normally mail a large quantity of packages. Another advantage to using UPS is that your package will be insured without the need of having to purchase the insurance as an extra, which you will have to do if you use the United States Postal Service to mail packages.

Federal Express and DHL are also vying for a piece of the shipping pie and are also extremely popular in the US. Both of these companies are a reliable method of shipping to your customers, and they too offer scheduled pickup of your packages (or you can drop off your shipments at one of their shipping locations.) Federal Express also has a great user interface online which allows businesses to login to their accounts, buy online postage for the package they want to ship and then print out a shipping label to put on the package. No more long lines at the counter or crazy forms that take way too long to fill out.

Any of these shipping methods are useful for the home based business but which one you use will depend on your business’ unique needs. If you do not ship packages frequently or only in small quantities, then the USPS may be your best option. But if you ship many packages each day or you sometimes require shipping larger items then UPS, FedEx or DHL could be your best option (depending on your company’s shipping and mailing budget.) In addition to deciding on which shipping company to use, you will also have to take shipping supplies into consideration. Using the USPS Priority Mail can save on shipping supplies as they will give you free boxes to use which is a great benefit for those that need to have packages arrive in 1-3 business days. But, if you use another company to ship, you probably will have to budget quite a bit for shipping supplies which can get expensive.

Ensuring that your shipping department runs smoothly is one of the best things a business can do for their bottom line. Happy customers will translate into more sales and higher profits. So, next time you’re considering ways to cut down on expenses or increase profits, remember to revisit your shipping and handling of packages. If you buy online postage in the most economical way and purchase supplies only when needed or from the best suppliers, you’ll be in a great position to grow your business in the years to come.

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