If you can print documents, you can print shipping labels. It’s that simple. Online merchants have embraced online shipping as a cost-effective way to take control of their shipping process. All the major carriers let you sign up for and access their services online, often at discounted rates. Even better, a digital sending service makes it possible to compare those discounts and services and choose the carrier that best suits you and your customer.
All it takes to get started and print shipping labels online is a sheet of paper and access to a printer. Okay, there are few other office supplies and steps involved, but read on to see how easy it really is.
How to print a shipping label
1. Choose an online shipping service
Most of major carriers offer a way to print shipping labels online. Or you can sign up for a shipping service for access to more carriers, services and discounts. PitneyShip subscriptions start at $4.99 a month to print discounted USPS® Priority Mail® shipping labels.
2. Choose the best way to print shipping labels for your business
You have several options when it comes to choosing the best label for your budget and desired results.
- Option 1: Print a shipping label using a thermal label printer and adhesive 4×6 labels. This is the most expensive option. It’s also the most convenient, doesn’t involve ink or toner, and looks extra professional.
- Option 2: Print a shipping label using a regular printer and standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper. This is the least expensive option and the method of choice for many budget-minded sellers.
- Option 3: Print a shipping label using a regular printer and half-sheet adhesive labels. Don’t want to invest in a thermal label printer but not that into cutting and taping paper? This is your best option.
3. Weigh and measure twice, print once
Avoid the refund process by printing your shipping label right the first time with all the right specs in hand.
- Verify your addresses
- Measure your package’s dimensions
- Weigh your package
Another advantage of signing up for PitneyShip: the software automatically verifies all shipping addresses are correct and includes a free scale.
4. Print your shipping label
The following steps are specific to PitneyShip* but are close to what you can expect when you print shipping labels online.
- Follow prompts to create your shipping label:
- Enter recipient’s information or select Choose from Address Book
- Select Package type and enter package information
- Select a service date and service type (USPS Priority Mail, FedEx Ground®, etc.)
- Choose any optional services you want to include
- Select Print at the bottom of the screen. The Label Options screen opens.
- In the Select a print size field, select either Roll – 4 x 6 or Plain Paper – 8.5 x 11.
- Add a brief note to customize your label (this step is optional but adds a nice touch).
- Select Print Sample to verify to print a test shipping label and verify the label aligns correctly when printed. When the sample label appears in a new tab, print it and check the alignment and information.
- Select Print. Your label opens as a PDF and can be printed on any printer you can access through your computer or mobile device.
Where to print shipping labels if you don’t have a printer
You can print your shipping label at your local library, an office supply store or anywhere that offers printing services. You’ll need your digital PDF shipping label on hand. PitneyShip includes a free mobile app that allows you to access your shipping history and print your shipping labels wherever you are.
5. Stick and send (or cut, tape and send)
Whether you’re using standard paper or adhesive labels to print your shipping label the same tips apply.
- Place your label somewhere that’s easy for your carrier to see and scan.
- Make sure label is adhered securely (if using paper avoid taping over any barcodes).
- Don’t allow the label to extend over the sides of your package.