I love my job. Selling on Etsy is profitable and ever so rewarding. But, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Oh the packages!
The United States Post Office offers FREE package pick-up right at your front door. Your local mail carrier comes to your home every day. Why not set up a free USPS package pickup today? You need three simple things to make this happen. Read on to find out how…
As my orders increased (which I am not complaining about!), so did my trips to the post office. Trips that I didn’t have time for.
So, I looked into USPS package pickup and it has been a game-changer. It’s free and can be scheduled whenever you wish. I’m going to tell you about it all right here.
Oh yes, scheduling home pickups for your parcels will save you money. Pretty cool if you ask me!
Honestly, I assumed it would cost more to have my packages picked up from my front door. But I did the math and was pleasantly surprised.
Here are my savings for just one week of Etsy selling:
- I saved $3.34 on an 18 x 18 x 5 parcel
- I saved 38 cents on a 10 x 10 x 10 parcel
- I saved $2.22 on a 12 x 12 x 8 parcel
- I saved $3.71 on a 5 x 5 x 5 parcel
- I saved $4.93 on a 9 x 6 x 1 parcel
In total, I managed to save $14.58 in a week. Talk about a bargain! Don’t even get me started on the savings I made in gas money for my car. As my husband would say, ” Yes Lisa, you really made a nice profit on that sale, but did you calculate in how much it will cost you in gas to get that item to the post office?” I hate when he’s right.
USPS’ Pickup Rules
Granted, the word “rules” right after “savings” seems to zap the goodness out of the package pickup system. But trust me, it’s not as restrictive as it might sound.
The rules exist to ensure their service runs smoothly. And unlike rebels would say, these are not there to be broken.
Let’s take a look at the three of them, shall we?
If you’re not registered with the USPS, you need to be. You can’t use the free pickup service if not!
Don’t worry, it’s free, and I’ll show you how to do it later. When registering on the USPS website, all you need is an e-mail address and a creative password. No worries, we will get you set up quickly……so read on.
#2 Paid Labels
For your package/packages to qualify, you need to stick a prepaid USPS barcode label on the front. Paying online saves the mail carrier a lot of time and ensures the process is seamless for you too.
You can purchase shipping labels directly from the USPS or you can buy them through your selling platform (I use and Etsy and Pirate Ship). Do you need a fancy label printer to print these labels? The short answer is no.
When I started shipping I would print these labels right off my HP home printer on plain paper, cut them to size and tape them onto the shipped box. Shortly after, I purchased a label printer, which for me was a game changer. Have a look at this review on our blog entitled: Dymo Label Writer 4XL Thermal Printer Review: Do You Need this Label Printer? Spoiler Alert: You don’t need a label printer, but for this seller it was a monumental time saver.
Who Offers The Best Shipping Rates For Etsy Sellers?
Before you print that shinny new label, you might want to know: Where to I purchase my labels?
Here at SellersTable we did a deep dive into the three most popular ways to purchase your shipping labels. You can always go to the default and purchase your shipping labels right inside Etsy.
Did you know you have other shipping rate options? We tested the heavy hitters in the mix and what we found may surprise you! Get Ready to save again, my friend. Take a peek at our findings at ShipStation VS. Pirate Ship VS. Etsy Labels: Who Has The Best Shipping Rate For Etsy Sellers? We Found Out!
#3 Package Limits
You’ll be pleased to know that there aren’t any package limits in place when scheduling your pickup! However, at least one parcel must be Priority Mail.
Scheduling a Free USPS Pickup: The Step-by-Step Guide
Now you’re equipped with rules, let’s focus on the how-to portion. It’s super easy once you know, I promise!
Step 1. Register with the USPS
As promised, I’ll show you how to register with United States Postal Service. It shouldn’t take much more than 10 minutes, especially when you follow the steps below:
- Head to the USPS website.
- Click “Register” found on the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Select “Sign Up”.
- Enter your:
- 2 x security questions
- Pick your account type (business or personal).
- Enter your contact information and home address.
- Select “Verify My Address”.
- Click “Create My Account”.
That’s all you need to do!
Step 2. Print the Label
As a small business, paying for and printing your own shipping labels is a must. Sure, you can write them out by hand and head to the post office. But trust me when I say that home printing is the way forward. You can get everything done and dusted in one fell swoop.
The process is different depending on the website you use. We’ll take a look at how to use Etsy, eBay, and USPS here.
Printing Shipping Labels from Etsy: The How-To
- Head to Etsy’s website.
- Select “Shop Manager”.
- Go to “Orders and Shipping”.
- Click “Get Shipping Label” in the new order section. The icon is a van.
- Measure your parcel’s height, weight, and length.
- Type the dimensions into the shipping dialog box.
- Weigh your parcel.
- Change the weight in the dialog box if necessary.
- Hit “Review and Purchase”.
- Click “Purchase” once more.
- Select “Print Shipping Label”.
- Click “Print”.
- You’re finished!
Printing Shipping Labels from eBay: The How-To
- Head to eBay’s website.
- Select “My eBay”.
- Navigate to “Sell”.
- Select “Sold”.
- Choose “Print Shipping Label”. It’s inside a blue button.
- Check the weight and size of the package in the dialog box.
- If any weight/size changes are needed, adjust the figures. Don’t forget to hit “Update” afterward.
- Click “Purchase and Print Label”.
- Log in to PayPal.
- Choose your payment method.
- Select “Print”.
- You’re finished!
Printing Shipping Labels from USPS: The How-To
- Head to the USPS website.
- Navigate to the Click-N-Ship tab.
- Enter the:
- Return address
- Delivery address
- Package value (optional)
- Shipping date
- Package weight
- Package size
- Select a service (plus any extras).
- Click “Add to Cart”.
- Review the label information found on the “Shipping Cart” page.
- Select “Next: Billing Information”.
- Choose your payment method and enter your information.
- Click “Next: Pay and Print”.
- You’re finished!
Step 3. Request Your Pickup
Once you have applied the label to your package, it’s time to request a pickup from the United States Postal Service. Amazingly, it takes less than 5 minutes to schedule it!
Follow these steps to do just that:
- Sign in to your USPS account you created earlier.
- Using the pull-down menu at the top, navigate to the “Mail and Ship” section.
- Select “Schedule a Pick Up”.
- Enter your contact information. You won’t have to enter it every time. Just make sure it’s correct!
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Check Availability”.
- Find the “My Shipment Will Be…” drop-down menu.
- Pick the location where you will leave the package for the mail carrier.
- Use the “Optional Additional Instructions” if you need to give your post person more information to pick up your parcel.
- Find the “What Time Should We Pick Up?” section.
- Click the time you desire. I always choose “During your regular mail delivery”.
- Navigate to the calendar to see the available delivery dates.
- Click the date for your parcel to be picked up.
- Tell the post office how many parcels they will be picking up. This should be done under the “How many items are we picking up?” section.
- Go to “Pickup Summary”.
- Click the box and enter the weight of your package (or packages).
- Check the “Terms of Agreement” box.
- Select “Schedule a Pickup”.
- After that, you’ll see the confirmation notice and you’re finished!
Step 4. Leave Your Package Out
The only thing left to do is remember to leave your package out in time for the mail carrier.
Although… You Should Probably Think About How You’ll Keep Your Parcels Safe
You may well be happy with leaving your parcels out on your porch or front step. But, do you really want to risk someone stealing them?
No matter your neighborhood, there’s always a chance someone will grab the opportunity to steal unattended packages. So, I suggest getting yourself a storage container. You can even lock it and tell your mail carrier where the key will be kept!
Anything to keep your parcels safe and you comfortable, right? You can always read my storage solution article if you want more info on this topic!
The Bottom Line
You’ve gone from a parcel pickup newbie to an expert in no time at all! I know shipping can be difficult sometimes, but saving money and time by package collection is a no-brainer.