The U.S. Postal Service offers various methods of shipping at varying price points. Media Mail is a postage schedule designed to be a cost-effective way of shipping small and large packages under 70 pounds in weight. Individuals may wish to buy Media Mail postage online to save themselves the time and hassle of taking a large package to their local post office or office supply store.
Use PayPal to purchase and print Media Mail postage for personal, small-scale and eBay shipments. PayPal is best for those who find themselves shipping on a limited bases and don't wish to rent or pay for additional hardware, as it works on any computer with a modern Internet browser and printer. Login to the PayPal Shipping Center (see Resources) and select the radio button next to "United States Postal Service." Click "Continue" and follow the on-screen prompts to purchase Media Mail postage and print your own shipping label. There are no additional service fees, and the cost of postage is directly debited from your PayPal or bank account.
Try Stamps.coom (see Resources) if you plan on printing more than just the occasional Media Mail label. As of August 2009, the service costs $15.95 a month and is only compatible with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Individuals receive a scale on which to weigh their postage. The scale sends the weight of the package to your online Stamps.com account, which then prints the postage on your home or office printer. While using this online service does not provide any benefits for Media Mail postage, the company offers discounts of up to 10 percent on Priority and Express postage.
Sign up for Encidia (see Resources) for a Windows- and Mac-friendly online printing solution that is ideal for individuals sending small- to high-scale volumes of Media Mail shipments. As of August 2009, prices start at $9.95 a month. The service works like Stamps.com and uses a scale that syncs with the customer's online account to generate postage for each individual package and is one of the only Mac-compatible mass postage online services. Varying levels of service are offered to meet the demands of even high-volume business shippers.
Tips & Warnings
- Consider the PitneyBowes postage rentals, which are ideal of small- to large-scale offices that find themselves shipping often. Though not an online postage solution, it may be a good choice for businesses shipping Medial Mail packages in bulk.
- Use an accurate scale to ensure you are paying for the appropriate amount of weight. Medial Mail postage is not available online through the USPS website itself.
- Photo Credit Billy Alexander
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