Sunday, April 6, 2008

Review: USPS Carrier Pickup

Do you ship packages but can’t stand going to the post office and waiting an hour or more?

This USPS.com ad says it all: You have places to go and people to see and none of them are at the post office!

-USPS Carrier Pickup-

Try using Carrier Pickup. You enter how many packages you are going to be sending and a Postal carrier will pick up your packages on the day you request.

Carrier Pickup is totally free! (Besides for the cost of the actual shipping label)

USPS has two main shipping methods:

  • Parcel Post is the cheapest, but can take a long time to arrive.
  • Priority Mail usually arrives within 2-3 days.

In order to request Carrier Pickup you 'officially' need to be sending at least one of the packages Priority Mail. Unless the package is really big or heavy, the cost is similar to Parcel Post. A benefit of Priority mail is that it includes Delivery Confirmation (Tracking Number). I have found that sometimes Priority Mail can come out even cheaper then Parcel Post, i.e. a small heavy item that fits in to a Priority Mail flat-rate box.

I recommend using Priority Mail unless Parcel Post is much cheaper.

You can use Carrier Pickup without printing out any labels from USPS.com. You can use labels that you have from other sources, e.g a return label from Amazon.

-Printing Shipping Labels-

  • You can print shipping labels at USPS.com
  • The only downside with USPS.com is that they only let you print out Priority Mail labels, not Parcel Post.
  • Paypal allows you to print Parcel Post labels. (Officially only for products that were paid for via Paypal, but this link bypasses that.)

  • If you need shipping boxes, the USPS will send you whatever size you want for free, but they are Priority Mail boxes and can’t be used with Parcel Post. Click here to order.

Useful tip: If you get a note saying that USPS tried to deliver your package but nobody was home, and that the package can be picked up at the Post Office: There is a number on the back of the note. Call them and ask them to redeliver it, or click here to request a redelivery online.

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