Stamps.com is software that allows businesses to buy postage online through an integration with the United States Postal Service (USPS). How Stamps.com works for you is that you can print shipping labels and schedule package pickup without making a stop at the post office. Monthly plans start at $17.99, excluding postage costs.
How Stamps.com Works
Stamps.com is an online provider of postage and shipping labels for use with the United States Postal Service (USPS). When you have a package to send, you’ll use the Windows desktop application or web-based app to order the postage and print the label right with your own printer. Then you can schedule a free USPS pickup right within the app.
Stamps.com has three different plans to choose from. The lowest-cost plan is $17.99 per month and the next plan is $24.99 per month. There’s also an Enterprise plan, and its pricing is customized based on your company’s needs. The difference between each plan is just the number of users you’ll have.
In addition to monthly costs, you’ll pay for postage. What you pay for postage is less than what USPS charges—typically about 5 cents less when mailing letters, and even more when mailing packages. Stamps.com also provides packaging materials, which you can order from its online store.
Printing your labels directly with Stamps.com makes order fulfillment easier, and you can get free tracking with several USPS services when you print your labels. These services include First Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express. Stamps.com also enables you to seamlessly import name and address information from ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy. This makes it easy to handle your ecommerce shipping and handling needs.
Who Stamps.com Is Right For
If you’re a business owner who ships between 50 and 500 packages per month, you might find that you enjoy using Stamps.com. However, there are certain types of businesses that tend to do better with Stamps.com than others. These include ecommerce businesses, brick-and-mortar stores, or those who need to ship packages to tourists’ homes.
Shipping using Stamps.com works best for:
- Brick-and-mortar businesses: If you have several storefronts, there’s a good chance you’ll need to ship between stores often. Or, if you’re in a tourist area, shipping a product to a customer’s home when they can’t take it on a plane can increase sales.
- Ecommerce businesses: You’ll send a lot of packages to customers who place orders on your website.
- Businesses shipping more than 50 packages per month: The monthly subscription doesn’t make sense if you’re shipping any less than this.
- Businesses shipping less than 500 packages per month: If you’re sending a larger volume of packages, you might benefit from using a provider who offers large volume discounts.
Using Stamps.com can be a great way to save money and time. Pay close attention to profit margins to determine if the monthly subscription fee for Stamps.com is a smart move or not for your business. This subscription fee might not make sense for the volume of packages your business ships on a monthly basis.
It’s important to understand that if you continue your subscription after your free Stamps.com trial, you will need to pay for that month plus the current month. There are three plans you can choose from: one is $17.99, the next plan is $24.99, and the Enterprise plan has custom pricing (you’ll need to contact Stamps.com for a quote). You’ll also pay for any postage, but not to worry—the postage itself is less than what you’ll get at a retail cost.
Stamps.com costs include:
- Monthly fee: Subscriptions start at $17.99, and go up from there depending on how many users you need. Enterprise customers will need to contact Stamps.com for a custom quote.
- Postage: The cost of postage will depend on what you’re shipping, where it’s going, and how much it weighs. For example, a regular stamp costs 55 cents at USPS. If you use Stamps.com, you’ll pay 50 cents.
- Free trial: If you continue your account after the free trial, you’ll pay for the month you have the trial plus the current month’s subscription dues.
Examples of Stamps.com Postage Pricing
Up to 1 oz
Up to 2 oz
Up to 3 oz
How to Get Started With Stamps.com
Getting started with a Stamps.com account is easy. You’ll need to fill out a short form with your email address, username, and password. The form will also ask how you heard about Stamps.com and what you’ll use the service for.
After completing the form with your login information, you’ll need to input your address and credit card information to begin your free trial. If you choose to keep your account after the free trial, you’ll be charged for the free trial and your first month’s subscription cost.
To pay for postage and print shipping labels, you’ll input the weight and dimensions of your letter or package. You’ll also include the shipping destination and how soon you need your package to arrive. After you pay for your postage and print the label with your own printer, affix the label to your package or letter. You can even schedule a free package pickup from USPS. With your free trial, you have access to all of the features available in a paid plan.
Features of Stamps.com include scheduling USPS pickups, printing packing slips, and reports to track purchases. An ecommerce store owner who does a lot of shipping gets to save time by scheduling free package pickups versus going to the post office. An insurance company that has to send a lot of prospectuses can print shipping labels right from the office rather than waiting in line at the post office and paying a premium for postage.
Stamps.com features include:
- Shipping labels: Pay for your postage and print the shipping label from your home or office. If you’re sending a letter, you can even print the postage and label right on the envelope.
- Shipping insurance: You’ll have the option to add insurance to your package when paying for postage.
- Notification emails: Customize your settings to automatically send customers an email as soon as their package ships. Customers can then subscribe to tracking updates.
- Any printer: You can print your Stamps.com labels and forms from any printer.
- SCAN forms: If you have multiple boxes in a group shipment, a SCAN form is used to create a master barcode. This way, each box is tracked in a shipment.
- Packing slips: Create packing slips with your company’s logo with the click of a button within Stamps.com.
- Bulk printing: If using a Windows-based computer, use the desktop app to bulk print shipping labels for all of your orders.
- Hide postage cost: Print labels that don’t have the postage cost on them. This is important if you don’t want your recipient to see how much you paid for postage.
- Reports: Track postage costs, expenses, and claims with Stamps.com reports.
- Pickup scheduling: Stamps.com allows you to schedule a free pickup from USPS.
- Email return labels: If your customer initiates a return, you can email a return label to print out and send back the product.
Pros & Cons of Stamps.com
Using Stamps.com can make the process of shipping your products seamless. However, if you choose to cancel your account, you lose access to the account and all shipping records that went with it. While very convenient to use, you do need to pay a monthly subscription, which might not suit low-volume shippers.
Pros of Stamps.com
- Necessary equipment provided: When you sign up for a Stamps.com account, you’ll get a free postage scale. You just have to pay shipping and handling.
- Convenient: Use your own printer to print mailing labels. You can also schedule carrier pickups.
- Discounts: You get discounts on shipping and insurance rates compared to what you’ll find going to the carrier directly. This is because Stamps.com shares its commercial discount with you.
Cons of Stamps.com
- Monthly subscription: Plans start at $17.99. If you’re a low-volume seller, the monthly subscription cost may not be worth it.
- Lose records when canceled: If you cancel your Stamps.com account, you’ll lose the shipping records for the account.
- Not Mac-friendly: Mac users can’t download the desktop app for Stamps.com. Instead, they’ll need to use the web-based version.
Alternatives to Stamps.com
Remaining profitable as a business means you’ll need to plan for profit. If you’re not in the place to use a service such as Stamps.com, there are other ways to save on postage and shipping costs. There are even providers that mix-and-match shipping carriers so you can save the most amount of money on shipping your products.
Alternatives to Stamps.com include:
Pitney Bowes provides mailing equipment such as online postage as well as postage meters and the necessary ink. When you get a postage meter with Pitney Bowes, it’s completely self-contained. This means you don’t need a computer to use it. However, if you want to use SendPro, which allows you to print postage from your computer, you’ll need an internet-connected computer.
ShipStation is completely web-based to help small businesses meet shipping needs. It allows users to mix and match shipping carriers to save the most money. It’s built specifically for ecommerce merchants and integrates with partners such as Shopify, Amazon, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Wix.com.
ShippingEasy is another ecommerce-specific provider. It integrates with ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and Etsy. Download orders, track shipments, check order status, print labels, and save money on postage with ShippingEasy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This section includes the most frequently asked questions about how Stamps.com works.
What is Stamps.com & is it the USPS?
No, USPS is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the government of the United States. Stamps.com is approved by USPS to sell postage online, and it is a public company trading on the NASDAQ exchange.
Does Stamps.com offer cheaper services than USPS?
Yes, Stamps.com offers discounts on many of its services. These include domestic and international shipping and package insurance. Plus, you get a free digital scale when you sign up for Stamps.com—you’ll just have to pay for shipping and handling.
Does Stamps.com use carriers other than USPS?
Right now, the only shipping carrier used by Stamps.com is USPS. However, you might see additional shipping carriers in the future.
How does Stamps.com differ from Click-N-Ship?
You can print postage online using a normal printer at USPS.com, similar to Click-N-Ship, but only for Priority Mail products. With Stamps.com, you get the same savings on Priority Mail products and can also get discounts on other types of mail that are not available from USPS.com, such as First Class and Ground.
Bottom Line: How Does Stamps.com Work?
Stamps.com allows a business to buy postage online and print shipping labels right from the home or office. How Stamps.com works for you is that you can schedule package pickup without making a stop at the post office. Monthly plans start at $17.99, excluding postage costs. It’s suitable for a business that ships many packages per month, or for a business that wants to save time.