This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
Stamps.com, available via desktop app and cloud-based platform, lets businesses buy postage online and print postage and shipping labels through its integrations with the United States Postal Service (USPS) and United Parcel Service (UPS). Users can save even more time by scheduling package pickup straight from their place of business.
Monthly plans start at $17.99, and postage costs are discounted over standard USPS and UPS prices. Currently, you can test Stamps.com with a four-week free trial, which comes with $5 in free postage.
How to Use Stamps.com
Stamps.com can also be used to print packing slips, purchase shipping insurance, and update customers on their order status.
Not only does printing labels through Stamps.com make order fulfillment easier, but it can help business owners save on shipping with its reduced postage rates. USPS postal rates are discounted for certain types of mail and packages, and users can save up to 62% on shipping via UPS.
To get started using Stamps.com for your business, follow these steps.
Step 1: Sign Up for a Free Trial
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 plan to use the service for—business mail, packages, or home use.
After entering login information, input your address and credit card details to begin your free four-week trial. If you do not wish to continue using Stamps.com, be sure to cancel your trial within the first four weeks.
Step 2: Integrate Your Sales Platform
If your business uses an ecommerce platform or online marketplace (like Shopify, BigCommerce, Etsy, or eBay), you can integrate the tools with Stamps.com to import orders, customer names, and addresses for seamless shipping.
Stamps.com integrates with more than 70 platforms, and businesses can register for a developer account to create additional custom integrations. Most of these direct integrations are two-way compatible—so once a label is printed through Stamps.com, the order status automatically updates in your sales platform.
Step 3: Print Postage or Shipping Labels
When it’s time to send a package, 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. The process is fairly automated, as Stamps.com will choose the most affordable and fastest shipping option based on the information you entered.
Businesses can use any laser, inkjet, or high-speed thermal printer to print postage and shipping, so no special equipment is required. You can print on plain paper, envelopes, labels, or Stamps.com’s NetStamps labels (which are used like a traditional postage stamp). You can also generate return shipping labels and print them to send with the package or send to customers digitally upon request.
Step 4: Schedule Free Package Pickup
Through the Stamps.com dashboard, you can schedule a free package pickup to ship out your orders. Alternatively, you can drop off your packages at any post office.
Step 5: Let Customers Track Their Orders
Once you print a shipping label for a customer order, you are emailed a Shipment Notification that includes an expected delivery date, a link to the tracking number, and an optional customizable personal note.
Who Stamps.com Is Right For
Stamps.com is typically best for businesses that ship anywhere from 50 to 500 orders per month. It’s primarily used by ecommerce businesses but also appeals to brick-and-mortar retailers and non-retail offices.
If your business relies heavily on metered mail, you’re more likely to benefit from the savings available through Stamps.com. That said, lower-volume businesses may be better suited by shipping providers with a lower monthly fee or free plan such as ShippingEasy or OrderCup.
Shipping using Stamps.com works best for:
- Ecommerce retailers seeking a simple solution: If your online store ships a moderate-to-large volume of parcels, Stamps.com may be a good fit to save time and money. The software doesn’t offer inventory management, order management, automations, or other ecommerce features—so it’s best for simple shipping needs.
- Brick-and-mortar stores: Consider Stamps.com if your retail business frequently ships between multiple storefronts, sends orders to out-of-state customers who can’t make it into your shop, or is transitioning to a multichannel platform.
- Offices that mail client invoices: If your office sends out a large volume of mail for billing or other business purposes, you can print shipping labels and postage in-house rather than waiting in line at the post office and paying full price.
Pros & Cons of Stamps.com
While Stamps.com is a smart option for many business owners, it may not be the best fit for everyone. Before committing to a paid plan, consider the advantages and disadvantages of using Stamps.com for postage.
|Free postage scale provided||Monthly subscription starting at $17.99|
|Convenient to print labels at home and schedule package pickups||If you cancel your Stamps.com membership, you’ll lose all shipping records for the account|
|Significant postage discounts||Stamps.com’s desktop app is not compatible with macOS; Mac users must use the web-based version|
Using Stamps.com can save some businesses time and money. That said, you should pay close attention to monthly shipping needs and profit margins to determine whether the Stamps.com subscription fee is worth it for yours.
Apart from offering a four-week free trial, Stamps.com charges subscribers a membership fee and shipping costs. Click on the tabs below for its free trial and pricing details.
Beyond just printing postage and shipping labels, Stamps.com makes it easy to schedule USPS and UPS pickups, print packing slips, track expenses with the platform’s reporting tools, and more.
Stamps.com features include:
- Packing slips: Stamps.com lets business owners easily customize and print packing slips with their company logos.
- Shipping labels: Users can pay for postage from their home or office and print shipping labels from any printer. Stamps.com even makes it easy to print postage and labels directly on the envelope.
- Bulk printing: If using a Windows-based computer, Stamps.com customers can use the desktop app to print shipping labels in bulk. Mac users must use Stamps.com Online to print postage from any web browser.
- SCAN forms: When sending multiple boxes in a group shipment, customers can use a SCAN form to create a master barcode. This way, each box is tracked in a shipment.
- Hidden postage cost: Users can further customize their shipping experience by printing labels that don’t disclose the cost of postage. This is important for business owners who don’t want recipients to see how much shipping costs.
- Shipping insurance: In addition to paying for basic postage, users can add insurance coverage to individual packages.
- Customer notifications: Users can customize their settings so that Stamps.com automatically sends customers an email when their package ships. Customers can then subscribe to receive tracking updates.
- Reporting: Business owners can use the Stamps.com reporting tools to track postage costs, expenses, and claims.
- Pickup scheduling: Stamps.com lets users schedule free USPS pickup without having to visit a post office.
- Return labels: If a customer initiates a return, Stamps.com users can email a return label the customer can print out and use to send back the product.
Alternatives to Stamps.com
There are alternatives to Stamps.com that may offer different solutions to better fit your business model. We researched the following providers and recommend them as alternatives based on specific business needs, equipment, and overall functionality.
Businesses that want out-of-the-box hardware solutions
Provides mailing equipment, such as online postage, postage meters, and the necessary ink
Lets you integrate USPS and other carrier services into your shipping platform
Ecommerce businesses that need to optimize inventory, order management, and fulfillment
Is totally web-based; no need to manage hardware
Allows you to mix-and-match carriers to get the best rate, plus marketing and extra ecommerce features
Online merchants looking for a budget-friendly shipping solution
Connects with dozens of store platforms; does not require any specialized hardware
Is easy to use and has excellent customer support and a price comparison tool with discounted rates
Ecommerce businesses seeking a hand-off solution for order fulfillment and shipping
Provides 15 specialized fulfillment center warehouses; no personal hardware needed
Has third-party fulfillment that handles your stock and ships orders for you with discounted rates
Outsourcing your ecommerce fulfillment can save more time and money than shipping software. Read our guide to in-house fulfillment vs fulfillment centers to learn more.
Stamps.com is a convenient service that offers great value for small businesses and online sellers—particularly those operating out of their homes or small workspaces.
Significant UPS and USPS postage discounts (along with automated shipment notifications and free package pickups) can save independent operators a lot of time. Plus, as your business grows, Stamps.com has the ShipStation integration upgrade to scale with your needs.