Cutting down shipping costs is one of the best ways to increase your e-business profit margin. Regardless of your business size, we agree that the cheapest way to print shipping labels is to do it yourself. Read on to get amazing cost-effective tips. 

woman-receive-parcel

Source: Pexels

Printing shipping labels and shipping packages are a vital part of e-Commerce. And order fulfillment and shipping entail costs that may comprise a large chunk of your operational budget. But business-wise, you can significantly cut down these costs and rake in savings if you choose the cheapest way to print shipping labels. We all know how much every penny counts if you are a starting or small business. 

This article will discuss why printing from your own office or home is the cheapest way to print shipping labels. In addition to this, we will run down tips on how you can save on shipping labels.

What is the Cheapest way to Print Shipping Labels?

Printing your shipping labels at home or office gives you flexible options to save on shipping costs. Here are why we think this is the best and cheapest way to print shipping labels. 

  1. Saves Time. You can save valuable time from taking trips to the carrier’s office and fall in line whenever you want to send out an order. Instead, you can print your shipping labels for all packages you wish to ship and schedule a pick-up with your carrier.
  2. Saves Money. You can cut transport costs with fewer trips to the carrier’s office. You can also avail of amazing discounts from third-party and carrier services whenever you opt to print your shipping labels at home. Tip: Check out the various discounts you can avail such as loyalty rewards, premium account benefits, and large-volume shipping from different carriers and third-party services. 
  3. Flexible Options. On top of these benefits is the flexibility to choose the most cost-effective printer and paper combinations. You have the option to shop for printers and labels that are well within your budget. 

Here are best practices by eCommerce businesses that you may choose to integrate into your own business to lessen your shipping expenses without sacrificing quality shipping label printing. 

(a) Thermal Label printer & 4" x6" Shipping Labels

Buying a thermal label printer and its compatible 4″ x6″ shipping labels tops our list of best printer and paper combinations for all business sizes. Purchasing this set is an investment that delivers a lesser cost per print. Thermal printers print through heat-sensitive media and eliminate the need for inks and toners.

The shipping labels are perfectly sized into 4″ x6″, the standard shipping label size in the US, and convenient. These labels are usually self-adhesive for easy printing and sticking on your package surface.  

(b) Regular Printer & Letter-size Bond Paper

The cheapest way to print shipping labels is to use whatever is readily available, especially if you are still saving to buy specialized printers. Buying a regular inkjet or laser printer or using an available one from your home or office is also good.

If you don’t have an upfront budget for thermal papers, you can always turn to your trusted office printer. Using a regular 8.5″ x11″ paper, you can print your shipping labels, cut them according to size and tape them to your packages easily.

(c) Regular printer & Half-Sheet Paper or Sticker

You can also go for a regular printer and print your labels on half-sheet (8.5″ x5.5″) paper or sticker paper, so you no longer have to cut the extra paper on the edges of the label. 

Is it Cheaper to Print Shipping Labels at Home?

Creating your shipping labels gives you control over the shipping process. This reason is why the cheapest way to print shipping labels is to print them at home or in your office. You can explore several options that work best for your business needs and operational costs.

Printing at home is cheaper and, at the same time, more organized. You can allot a schedule at your most convenient time to print shipping labels. You can also check to make sure all entries are accurate. Here are some important tips on how to print shipping labels at home. 

  • Check the address, package weight and dimensions and other information before printing. Once you have generated a label and need to change some information, you need to create a new label and request a refund from your carrier for the unused label. 
  • Carriers calculate the postage according to travel distance, package dimensions, and weight. Make sure you enter accurate information. Your carrier will charge extra for changes. 

Can you Print Shipping Labels for Free?

Carrier-collect-parcel

Source: Pexels

The cheapest way to print shipping labels is to find options that allow free generation and printing. Carriers usually charge a minimal service fee for printing labels. But, if you are shipping volumes, this minimum amount could mean large savings. 

You can print shipping labels for free and only pay for postage once the carrier has scanned the package for delivery. Generating a shipping label is free, but the carrier will only ship your package once you have paid the postage. Shipping rates differ by carrier, method of shipping, and additional options such as insurance and tracking. Here are some ways to print shipping labels for free. 

1.

Carrier's Programs

Major carriers such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx offer programs where you can create and generate labels for free. The cheapest way to print shipping labels through the carrier’s programs is to create an account from their website. Check out the list below to learn about the features o these programs. 

(i) USPS Click-N-Ship

The USPS Click-N-Ship feature allows you to generate, download, and print shipping labels from home. The service is free, and the postage is slightly lower than the Post Office rates. This feature allows you to print labels for the following shipping methods. 

    • Priority Mail Express
    • Priority Mail
    • USPS Retail Ground
    • First-Class Package International Service
    • Global Express Guaranteed
    • Priority Mail Express International
    • Priority Mail International

This feature does not allow you to print labels for the following shipping methods. 

    • First-Class
    • First-Class Package
    • First-Class International
    • Package Services
    • USPS Retail Ground

This feature also offers benefits to starting and small businesses. Check out the USPS website to find out how to print shipping labels for small business. 

(ii) UPS

You can generate a UPS shipping label for free through the UPS website. Create an account and enter a payment plan for postage and additional options such as signature on deliveries and insurances. You are ready to print your label using a device from home or office. 

(iii) FedEx

FedEx allows you to generate labels for free through their website. As a guest or account holder, the website feature prompts you to create and send the label to your email. FedEx also offers features where you and your business can create multiple shipping labels at a discount. 

2.

e-Commerce Platforms

E-Commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Shopify, and eBay, allow account holders to print shipping labels for free. E-Commerce platforms, generally, feature a system that creates labels of your preferred carrier as part of the Order Fulfillment Process.

This feature works once your customer places an order and you fulfill the order. The platform prompts you to create a shipping label that you can download and print for each order fulfilled. After printing, you can attach the shipping label to the package. 

3.

Third-party Solution

Third-party solutions offer full integration software that allows you to generate and print labels. This option works best for large-volume shipping. If you want to free valuable time from creating and printing shipping labels, you can use third-party solutions to accelerate the process with fewer to no errors. 

Where can I get a Cheap Shipping Label?           

Carriers offer free shipping labels at limited quantities. Label manufacturers are another option to get cheap, but high-quality, shipping labels. Enko Products offers a variety of high-quality shipping labels at very low rates. We recommend the following products from our catalog. 

Source: Enko

The Enko Zebra-compatible shipping labels come in a roll of 220 labels, with each piece measuring 4″ x6″. The bright white, scratch-proof, water-resistant finish gives these printable labels a professional look and a contrast template for clearer prints.

Enko designs the roll with perforations in between labels for easy tearing, and the peel-and-stick media adheres well to packages without the hassle of gluing or taping. These labels are also compatible with Datamax, Sato and other thermal label printers for 4″ width media. 

Source: Enko

If you are shipping large quantities of packages a week, you will find the 4″ x6″ fanfold shipping labels an ally to your printing needs. Fan folded, these labels are stacked at the back of label printers such as Rollo, Zebra, Fargo, Datamax, Elton and Sato to minimize the time required for loading rolls of label cartridges inside the printer. Self-adhesive and pre-perforated, these labels come in a stack of 2,000 pieces for easy tear, peel and stick.

Source: Enko

The Enko half sheet shipping labels are the affordable alternative to the Avery 5126® shipping labels. Each printable label measures 8.5″ x 5.5″ and provides a perfectly-sized half sheet media for the regular Deskjet and label printers. Each package contains 100 sheets of two labels per sheet.

Printing your Labels for Shipping

The most convenient and cheapest way to print shipping labels is to create them yourself. This option allows you to explore the best fit for your business needs and budget. You can choose the carrier that offers the most cost-effective shipping rate, the printer-paper combination that addresses your shipping volume needs, and the best method to satisfy your customers without breaking the bank. Happy shipping!

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