How to Arrange a Prepaid Shipment

Set up a prepaid shipment via phone or website.
Set up a prepaid shipment via phone or website. (Image: Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The steps for arranging a prepaid shipment depend on a few different factors. The procedures are quite similar overall, but can vary with shipping company and item shipped. It also makes a difference whether you set up the prepaid shipment for something you buy from a vendor, or for something you ship from your own location. In any case; be prepared to submit identify verification information and possibly a valid credit card number.

Contact a shipping company such as DHL, FedEx, UPS or the United States Postal Service. Telephone the shipper or find their website on the Internet.

Supply the shipment information. If you speak to someone on the telephone, they ask you the information they need. If you set up the prepaid shipment online, there are fields you must type the information into. In general, the information they require is your address, the destination address and payment information, usually a credit card. You must also inform the shipping company about the weight and dimensions of the package to be shipped.

Record the confirmation or shipment number the shipping company gives you for the package. Put this and other information on the shipper’s shipping label. You can print out a shipping label from most shipping companies’ websites. You can also obtain blank shipping labels and fill one out by hand. You must visit a place where blank labels are available in advance, such as a post office or storefront shipping center.

Coordinate with the shipper when and where you want the package to be picked up. Tell them when you would like the package delivered and whether or not you want to track it. You can require someone to sign for it as well.

Affix the shipping label to your package according to the shipper’s specifications. The label must be in a self-adhesive clear plastic pocket or taped to the package with clear packing tape.

Have the package sealed and ready for pickup when the driver arrives at the appointed time. Alternatively, you can drop the package in the shipper’s drop box or at one of their store locations.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you will have regular or frequent prepaid shipments in the future, consider opening an account with the shipping company. They can keep your payment and contact information on file to make setting up prepaid shipments quicker and easier. You can open an account online or via telephone.

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