Create USPS Shipping Label
November 15, 2023
A shipping label is crucial in the organized delivery of modern shipping carriers like the United States Postal Service (USPS). A properly created USPS shipping label can ensure packages reach their correct destinations.
However, some may wonder how one can create a shipping label. Also, can people print these labels in their homes, and does it cost much?
This article discusses the available methods to create a USPS shipping label. It also provides factors to consider, including tips and best practices, when creating shipping labels for USPS.
When sending packages via USPS, it’s best to have a handy facility locator that can access the over 31,330 USPS retail offices in the country. Visit FindPostOffice.org and get detailed information on thousands of post offices that cater to over 161.4 million addresses in the United States.
How Do You Create a USPS Shipping Label?
Let’s say you’re a private individual wanting to send a package to someone or a small business shipping an order to a customer. One important thing you must know is how to create a USPS shipping label.
The good news is that creating labels is a straightforward process. You can create shipping labels for many mail services like Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express through a free online service called USPS Click-N-Ship.
How Do You Create a Prepaid USPS Shipping Label?
You can sign up for a USPS.com account to print shipping labels or create a prepaid USPS shipping label via Click-N-Ship.
When printing labels, you must provide information like your return address, the recipient’s address, the package’s details, and the shipping date. In some cases, you may also have to indicate the package’s value.
Afterward, you’ll have to choose the mail service you prefer. Once finished, click “Add to cart” and review the shipping label you created. At this point, you can pay for the order and print the label.
What Size Should You Use for USPS Shipping Labels?
The preferred label size in the shipping industry is 4in by 6in. However, a single standard shipping label size isn’t practical or applicable for all package types. So, shipping labels can also come in 6in by 3in and 4in by 6in.
All kinds of shipping labels can be printed on standard-sized paper. If the shipping label has extra space, you can include personalized messages.
However, ensure that the personalized message doesn’t overlap with the label image. Be careful not to write over the shipping label’s barcode.
Address International Shipping Labels
When creating a shipping label for international destinations, you must choose the destination country.
The online form fields automatically update and format your address correctly, so ensure your packages get delivered to someone in another country.
Create a First-Class Mail or Media Mail Label
Through USPS’ Click-N-Ship, you can create labels for First-Class Mail and Media Mail.
First-Class Mail is one of the most common and affordable ways to send letters and lightweight packages.
On the other hand, Media Mail is a cost-effective way to ship any media items like books, video and audio recordings, and other data-storing devices.
You only need to create a USPS.com account and select Click-N-Ship. Once you’ve signed up, you can enjoy the features of this service, including bulk editing and file upload.
Things to Know About Creating Labels
Shipping labels are crucial in the modern USPS delivery process. Imprinted on the label is scannable information that identifies your package from another.
Understanding Shipping Labels: What Is a Shipping Label?
Simply put, a shipping label contains the package details the courier needs for speedy delivery. It visually displays the shipping method, whether expedited or not, the delivery address, return address, package weight, and the tracking number.
In cases of international shipping, the label includes the package’s content.
How Much Are USPS Shipping Labels?
Generating shipping labels is typically free. However, you can’t use the label to mail a package unless you’ve paid postage. The postage price depends on the mail service you want to use.
Alternatively, through the enhanced Click-N-Ship, you can request USPS Label Delivery to mail physical shipping labels to your address for $1.25 per label.
Where Do You Get a Shipping Label?
You can get USPS shipping labels online at the USPS website and your local post office. If you have a printer, you can do the following to get a shipping label:
- Print a label from the USPS website and pay postage by purchasing stamps or postage meters.
- Print a shipping label with paid postage from the USPS website.
To print shipping labels, you must have a USPS account and a payment method accepted by USPS. Payment methods for USPS shops like the Postal Store include PayPal and credit cards.
Shipping Label Best Practices
Properly using shipping labels and understanding them can help accurately deliver packages to their correct destinations.
Furthermore, with correct shipping labels, eCommerce businesses can ensure their customers’ online shipping orders are timely. For this reason, mailers must adopt the following best practices when using shipping labels.
Understanding Your Shipping Needs
Before you create any labels, you must understand the various rules and regulations associated with items you can ship. You must consider your item’s perishability, fragility, or whether it is under the criteria of hazardous materials.
For instance, if you’re shipping perishable items, you must mark your package as “perishable.” Appropriate labeling is also required for fragile items and hazardous materials.
Double-checking the Shipping Information
Shipping information must always be accurate. Incorrect information can result in delays and other problems during delivery.
Always ensure that the ZIP code is correct, the weight is properly indicated, and the return and delivery address are accurate.
Have the Shipping Capital Ready
Prepare the necessary budget for your shipping, especially if you’re an online business owner. You may have to allot a specific amount per package to make calculations easier.
For instance, you can set a budget of $8.00 for the mailing expenses per package.
Partner With a Shipping Carrier
You can take advantage of the business-friendly shipping options carriers like USPS offer.
For instance, USPS serves over 165 million addresses in the United States and provides business services to help entrepreneurs make the most of the company’s extensive services.
So, you can determine whether partnering with USPS can help you cater to more of your customer’s needs. If so, then work on that.
Where Can You Print USPS Shipping Labels?
After understanding the fundamentals of shipping labels, where to find them, and some best practices, it’s time to print them.
Can You Print USPS Labels From Home?
You can print USPS labels from home through USPS-approved Stamps.com.
Through their online services, you can create a shipping label specific to the type of packages you’re sending, which you can print from home. You only need to create an account on their website and have a decent printer to create shipping labels.
Can You Print a USPS Label From a Phone?
You can print two shipping label types from your phone: outgoing shipping labels and prepaid return shipping labels.
An outgoing shipping label displays the information needed by carriers like USPS to deliver the package to its intended destination.
A prepaid return shipping label is used by the customer when they want to return the items they’ve ordered back to the warehouse.
Can You Print USPS Labels on Regular Paper?
You can print a USPS label on regular paper 8 1/2in x 11in paper or on self-adhesive labels. You don’t need fancy or special printing equipment or materials to create shipping labels from your home.
Tips for Printing and Shipping
USPS provides helpful tips for individuals and small businesses regarding printing labels and shipping.
It’s best to consider these tips and incorporate them into your shipping process or routine at home or in your company.
Printing a Domestic Click-N-Ship Label
USPS provides four easy steps to print a domestic Click-N-Ship label.
- Enter the label information. It includes the return and delivery addresses, package details, shipping date, and package value (optional).
- Choose the service type for your package and any extra services you want as an add-on.
- Review what you’ve selected, ensure all information you’ve provided is accurate, and then add the shipping label to the cart.
- Lastly, pay for the shipping label and print it in your home or a Post Office location through the Label Broker service.
Printing an APO, FPO, DPO, U.S. Territories, Possessions, or Freely Associated States Shipping Label
The United States has locations and jurisdictions with particular circumstances, placing them in a unique category.
Here are some tips on how to print shipping labels to these locations.
- U.S. territories, possessions, and freely associated states: USPS treats these locations as domestic mail. However, they follow standard Customs forms requirement and eligibility for Priority Mail Express refund.
The following are the locations under these three categories.
- U.S. territories and possessions
- American Samoa
- Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Wake Island Atoll
- Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
- Freely associated states
- Republic of the Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- The Republic of Palau
- Army Post Offices (APO) are post offices associated with Army or Air Force installations (Army bases and military airfields).
- Fleet Post Offices (FPO) are post offices associated with Navy installations (naval bases).
- Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO) are post offices associated with U.S. diplomatic locations (embassies or consulates).
When writing to these military and diplomatic installations, consider these components of an APO, FPO, and DPO address.
- The recipient’s name
- The type of address where the mail or package is going
- The number included in the address
- The recipient’s P.O. Box number (if applicable)
- The military post office type
- The state designator
- AE – Armed Forces in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada
- AP – Armed Forces in the Pacific
- AA – Armed Forces in the Americas, excluding Canada
- The ZIP Code
Here’s an example of an APO address:
PFC John Doe
PSC 1234, Box 12345
APO AE 09204-1234
Note that “PFC” is the recipient’s rank (private first class), and the PSC is the location within the army installation (postal service center).
Printing an International Shipping Label
Here are five steps to print an international shipping label:
- Enter the label information, including the return and delivery addresses, package details, shipping date, and the package’s value.
- Choose the service type for your package and any extra services you want as an add-on.
- Enter your package’s customs information, like detailed information about the shipment’s contents.
- Review all the information and ensure everything is correct. Once completed, click “Continue.”
- After payment, print your label or save it as a PDF (portable document format) and print it later.
You can also reprint the label from the shipping history until 11:59 PM Central Standard Time (CST) of the shipping date.
Printing a “2-Up” Label
You can print two labels on one sheet of paper through 2-Up label printing. However, the two labels should be 4in by 6.5in Click-N-Ship domestic labels to fit on one piece of self-adhesive paper (8.5in by 11in) medium paper.
Note that 2-Up printing only applies to labels that don’t include a customs form.
Add Insurance to Your Shipments
Insurance gives you peace of mind that your shipments are protected in case of any loss during delivery.
You can buy insurance coverage of up to $5,000 in indemnity. Insurance is based on the item’s value, but not all types of items can be covered.
Include Delivery Instructions
When you have items for delivery, you can give the courier specific instructions on handling your package.
For example, you can instruct the courier to leave the package at a specified area if no one receives it or have it held up in the Post Office for the recipient to claim.
Save Time With Ship Again
For recurring shipments that use the same service, weight, and delivery address, there’s a quick technique you can use.
Instead of repeatedly reentering the package information, you can go to your shipping history and choose “Ship Again.” A label will be added to your cart with a new shipping date.
How Do You Send a Prepaid Shipping Label With USPS?
Suppose you need to send return shipping labels to customers. In that case, it’s a better idea to send out digital labels than actual labels.
The reason for this is that after purchasing the original shipping label, it must be created within seven days. After the label is created, it must be used within 90 days, or it will expire.
If you need a USPS retail office locator, visit FindPostOffice.org. Our website gives you access to over 31,330 post offices in the United States. Businesses can benefit from this vast database of USPS facilities, allowing them to better cater to the orders of their eCommerce customers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I just write my own shipping label?
You can write your shipping label as long as your handwriting is legible. However, other parts of a shipping label, like the barcode, should still be printed.
- What kind of printer and paper should I use to print Click-N-Ship labels?
You can use a high-quality inkjet or laser printer to print Click-N-Ship labels. However, for inkjet printers, 600 DPI (dots-per-inch) is recommended. Furthermore, you should only use white or self-adhesive paper when printing labels.
- What if I accidentally printed a second (duplicate) label?
You can’t make duplicate labels when you are charged once for postage. The postage is linked to the unique label number intended to be used only once. You can be liable for fraud if you intentionally use a duplicate label. Also, the USPS database lists duplicate postage, which the Postal Inspection Service monitors.
- Can you tape over a shipping label?
You can tape all four sides of your shipping label with clear tape to secure it to the package. However, it’s not recommended to tape over the barcode or any scannable part of the label because the scan might fail.
- Are shipping labels free?
Big shipping carriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS offer free shipping labels you can order online and pick up at local carrier locations. Free shipping labels come in different sizes and formats for different mail types.
- How do I print a Click-N-Ship® label?
- Media Mail Service
- Print Click-N-Ship Online Postage
- Click-N-Ship Field Information Kit
- What Forms of Payment are Accepted?
- What US Possessions, US Territories, and Freely Associated States are Considered Domestic?