USPS International Shipping Tracking


March 13, 2024

Sending a package on an international voyage in the early days brought many uncertainties. With limited options, poor navigation systems and tools, and unreliable vessels, it’s unsurprising that many parcels didn’t reach their intended destinations in time or at all. 

Fortunately, remarkable advancements and technological innovations in transportation and communication have eliminated various international shipping challenges.

Today, you no longer have to release your mailpieces into the unknown with apprehension, hoping for the best. Instead, you can now enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the ability to track your shipment’s journey every step of the way.

This article delves into USPS International Shipping Tracking, from the mechanisms and tools to the innovations that empower shippers (senders) and recipients to follow their packages precisely and confidently.

Are you sending a mail item on an international journey? Find out how the U.S. Postal Service can help you ensure your package arrives safely on your recipient’s doorstep. Visit to find your area’s post office locations.

What Is USPS Tracking?

At its core, USPS tracking is a service that the United States Postal Service (USPS) provides that lets you monitor your shipment’s progress. The tracking service comes at no additional cost with most USPS domestic and international mail products.

So whether you’re sending a package to U.S. locations or international ones like Australia, Canada, or Great Britain, USPS tracking ensures you stay in the loop about your package’s whereabouts and expected delivery date and allow you to leave delivery instructions.

What Is U.S. Mail Service Tracking?

Before we dive deeper into USPS tracking, let’s clarify what “U.S. Mail Service” means. This term encompasses the range of services that the U.S. Postal Service offers, including international shipping. 

In other words, U.S. Mail Service tracking is USPS’ streamlined monitoring system. It provides customers precise and real-time information about their packages, including delivery status, location, and expected delivery date and time.

About U.S. Mail Service

The United States Mail Service, also known as USPS, is a U.S. federal government agency established in 1775 that today provides package delivery services to over 160 million addresses nationwide.

With various shipping options, such as USPS Priority Mail and First-Class Mail, and competitive rates, USPS is the go-to option for sending letters, packages, and parcels domestically and internationally. 

What Is USPS Tracking Number?

Your USPS tracking number is the key to monitoring your international shipments. This unique alphanumeric code is assigned to each USPS package and is what you use to reveal your mail item’s journey.

How Does U.S. Mail Service Tracking Work?

USPS will assign a tracking number whenever you ship an item through the post office. As your package progresses through the Postal Service’s massive network, postal workers scan its shipping label and barcode at different points along its journey.

These scans create a digital trail you can follow using the USPS tracking tool, providing real-time updates about your package’s location and status until it reaches its recipient.

How Does U.S. Mail Service Premium Tracking Work?

USPS’s standard tracking service allows you to access your package’s tracking information for 120 days. The premium service, or USPS Tracking Plus, extends this access window from 6 months to 10 years.

The main benefit of subscribing to the U.S. Mail Service’s premium tracking option is that it provides extended access to tracking information for Proof of Delivery, which is essential for resolving disputes and lost or damaged package claims.

Can I Track USPS International Package?

With USPS tracking for international packages, you receive the same monitoring capabilities as those for domestic shipments. However, shipping regulations vary wildly depending on the mail class and the country you’re shipping to.

For instance, the USPS Priority Mail International service automatically includes tracking. However, this monitoring option is only available for most destinations. It is unavailable if you’re shipping flat-rate envelopes and small boxes.

To ensure your USPS international package includes tracking, visit the USPS website or call its customer service hotline at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

International USPS Services That Offer Tracking

According to the U.S. Postal Service, its Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International, and Global Express Guaranteed services automatically include tracking.

U.S. Mail Service First-Class Mail International Tracking

Unfortunately, end-to-end monitoring is unavailable for First-Class Mail. However, you can purchase return receipts and certificates of mailing to ensure your recipient receives your package and has coverage when lost or damaged.

While you can buy USPS Tracking Plus and USPS Delivery Confirmation International services for your First-Class Package International mail items, their availability varies by country.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail International Tracking

Priority Mail International offers faster 6- to 10-day delivery times and includes tracking. This USPS international shipping option comes with up to $100 insurance for documents and $200 for merchandise.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail Express International Tracking

USPS Priority Mail Express International is the expedited version of the standard USPS Priority Mail International service, offering 3- to 5-business-day delivery. It also comes with free package pickup, insurance, and USPS Tracking.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail Domestic Tracking

Like its international counterpart, the domestic USPS Priority Mail also has tracking, allowing you to monitor your packages as they journey throughout the USA.

USPS International Shipping Tracking: How to Find Your Package Fast

The U.S. Mail Service offers several ways to find your international shipment, allowing you to stay informed about the whereabouts of your package and providing peace of mind regardless of where you are.

The following sections discuss the most common methods of finding your package fast.

Track U.S. Mail Service by Number: How to Check the Status of Your International Package Using the USPS Tracking Number

Tracking your international shipment’s status is straightforward, and here’s how:

  • Visit the USPS website: On your web browser, head to the official U.S. Postal Service website, find the “Search or Track Packages” section, or visit USPS’ tracking page and enter your parcel’s tracking number. Alternatively, you can download the USPS mobile app.
  • Call USPS: For tracking information on your package, call USPS’ domestic and international USPS tracking hotline at 1-800-222-1811. To use the UPSPS deaf/teletypewriter (TDD/TTY) telecommunications device, call 1-800-877-8339.
  • Text USPS: Send a text including your tracking number to 28777 (2USPS) and receive the latest update on your international package. Note that standard data and message rates may apply.

How to Parcel Track With USPS Text Tracking

As mentioned above, you can access your international package’s tracking information by texting USPS. USPS Text Tracking is a convenient monitoring service that lets you tailor updates to your preferences.

By texting your tracking number followed by the keyword “Delivery,” you’ll receive notifications based on the expected delivery date. At the same time, you can text your tracking number plus “DND” to receive updates on each delivery attempt.

To receive the list of keywords and their definitions, text “KEYWORD” to 28777 (2USPS). For more information on USPS Text Tracking, talk to a postal service representative. 

To find your area’s nearest post office locations, visit

How to Use USPS Tracking Other Than Tracking

Occasionally, USPS’ tracking system may be unavailable due to a service disruption or maintenance. Fortunately, you can still monitor an international package on other websites.

“Where Can I Find My USPS International Tracking Number?”

Depending on how you shipped your package, such as if you dropped it off at a post office or printed your own customs form, you can find your USPS tracking number in several places, including the following:

  • Your shipping receipt: Whenever you send a parcel through the post office, you’ll receive a shipping receipt. This document will include the service type, postage costs, additional surcharges for extra services like USPS Tracking Plus, and the tracking number.
  • Your insurance sales receipt: If you purchased insurance for your international shipment, the shipping receipt generally indicates the parcel’s tracking number.
  • USPS email confirmation: You can pay the postage fees online and print your shipping labels with USPS’ Click-N-Ship. When you do so, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing the tracking number.
  • The parcel’s shipping label: If your chosen USPS international shipping service includes USPS tracking, the mailpiece’s unique tracking number will typically be at the bottom peel-off portion of the shipping label.

USPS Tracking Numbers and Formats: What Does My Tracking Number Look Like?

USPS tracking numbers come in various formats, depending on the service and package. These tracking digits are usually a combination of letters and numbers uniquely identifying your parcel within the USPS system.

For international shipments, the tracking numbers look like the following:

ServiceExample Tracking Number
USPS Tracking9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
Certified Mail9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Global Express Guaranteed82 000 000 00
Priority Mail Express InternationalEC 000 000 000 US
Priority Mail InternationalCP 000 000 000 US
Signature Confirmation9202 1000 0000 0000 0000 00

How Long Does It Take for Tracking Information to Show Up on U.S. Mail Service?

Once the U.S. Postal Service scans your package, the tracking information should appear in the USPS system within 24 to 48 hours. However, factors like the distance between USPS facilities and system updates may cause delays, particularly for international shipments.

What Is U.S. Mail Service Informed Delivery?

In a nutshell, USPS Informed Delivery is a service that allows you to preview your incoming mail and track and manage your packages online. It also lets you set parcel tracking notifications and redirect Signature Confirmation mailpieces to a preferred delivery location, such as a P.O. box.

U.S. Mail Service Intelligent Mail Barcode: U.S. Mail Service IMB Tracking & Tracing

The Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) is a comprehensive tracking and tracing solution that enhances your ability to sort and monitor multiple packages by combining their tracking information into a 65-bar barcode, which lets you automate pricing.

Different USPS Status Meaning

When checking your international package’s progress using USPS Tracking, you may encounter various status messages that can provide insights into what’s happening. 

The following sections explain what these statuses mean.

What Does “In Transit” Mean in U.S. Mail Service?

An “In transit” message indicates your package is heading to its destination. However, this doesn’t mean that your parcel is out for delivery. Instead, it’s in one of USPS’ facilities.

What Does “Out for Delivery” Mean in U.S. Mail Service?

An “Out for delivery” status signifies that your package is on the final leg of its journey, heading toward the intended recipient’s doorstep.

What Does “Delivered” Mean in U.S. Mail Service?

If a “Delivered” message appears on the USPS Tracking tool, your package has successfully reached its destination and has been received.

What Does “Return to Sender” Mean?

If no one at the destination address receives a package and the intended recipient is unavailable, a “Return to sender” status will appear on the monitoring tool.

Fortunately, USPS will hold the mailpiece at a local post office for a specified period of time before sending it back to the shipper, allowing the receiver to retrieve it.

“Inbound Out of Customs” Meaning

An “Inbound out of customs” status means your package has successfully cleared entry into the U.S. Conversely, an “Outbound out of customs” message indicates that your parcel cleared U.S. customs and is now heading towards the destination country.

What Do Customs Do?

A country’s customs administration plays a critical role in international shipping. Some of its primary responsibilities are assessing package compliance for public safety and ensuring that mail items entering a country’s territory pay applicable taxes.

How Does the Customs Clearance Process Work?

Depending on the country, the specific customs clearance process can vary. However, the process generally involves verifying the validity of customs declarations and the package’s contents. Moreover, customs clearance also covers the inspection and interception of prohibited items.

Other U.S. Mail Service Tracking Statuses

Aside from the above statuses, you may also encounter other messages that provide specific information about your package’s progress, including the following:

  • Damaged in Transit: This status indicates that your package sustained damage during transit. You can file a claim if your USPS international shipping service includes insurance or a money-back guarantee.
  • Uncontrollable Customs Delay: When customs hold your parcel for regulatory or procedural reasons, you’ll receive an “Uncontrollable Customs Delay” status message. Contact USPS to determine your next steps.
  • Missed “In Transit” Pickup Scans: This message may occur if the destination country has limited or no tracking service.

My Package Shipped by U.S. Mail Service Shows No Tracking Information

As mentioned, some international shipping options may not include tracking. In these instances, you can purchase an extra service like Delivery Confirmation. 

While delivery confirmation doesn’t provide an end-to-end monitoring feature, it informs you once your package reaches the post office conducting the final leg of the delivery.

U.S. Mail Service Delayed Mail and Packages: What Are the Reasons Behind Tracking Not Updating?

Sometimes, your package may appear stuck in one location for an extended period for various reasons. 

Here are some potential causes for your package’s delay:

  • Unfavorable weather conditions: Severe weather events like snowstorms, thunderstorms, or hurricanes can disrupt transportation operations, leading to delays in scanning and updating tracking information.
  • Barcode irregularities: In cases where the barcode on a package or mail item is compromised, USPS may have trouble inputting it into its system, causing a lapse in tracking updates.
  • Transit delays: At times, packages can encounter delays or become temporarily stuck at specific points during transit, such as in customs, resulting in a halt in tracking updates.
  • Technical glitches: Occasional technical glitches or system malfunctions within the USPS tracking system can cause delays in the timely update of tracking information.
  • Incomplete scans: Mistakes can happen, and postal workers can miss your mailpiece for scanning, leading to gaps in the continuity of tracking updates.

U.S. Mail Service Package Not Moving for a Week, a Month, or Stopped: Why Is My Package Still in Transit USPS International?

In some cases, your package may appear stuck in one location and display an “In Transit” status for an extended period due to various factors. For one, the destination country and USPS service you chose aren’t eligible for express shipping.

If you’re concerned about your package being stuck in transit, contact USPS customer service or a post office representative at your local Postal Service facility. Find U.S. Mail Service offices by visiting

I’ve Received My Packages, but Still, U.S. Mail Service Tracking Is Not Updating

You might have received your package, but the tracking information has yet to catch up. What does this mean? 

Scenarios like this can happen due to discrepancies in the scanning process, such as the destination country not supporting USPS Tracking services.

What USPS International Shipping Is and Why You Should Use It

USPS offers a range of international shipping services that cater to various needs. Whether you’re an individual sending a gift to a friend or a business owner fulfilling orders for customers, USPS has got you covered, shipping to over 180 countries worldwide.

Know When and Where Your Shipments Are

One of the primary benefits of using USPS international shipping is, as mentioned, the ability to know where your shipments are and when you can expect them to arrive at their destination at all times. 

That said, not all USPS international delivery services offer tracking. For example, First-Class Mail and some destinations may restrict monitoring. However, you can purchase a USPS extra service and receive delivery confirmation as an alternative.

For additional information on tracking USPS international shipments, visit the USPS website at You may also talk to a Postal Service representative at your local post office, which you can find using’s USPS facility locator tool.

USPS International Has These Advantages Over the Competition

While other mail delivery providers, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, also offer international shipping services, USPS offers various benefits that set it apart from the competition, including the following:

  • Broad coverage: One of the standout advantages of USPS international mail services is its expansive reach. Coverage spans over 180 countries, including prominent destinations like Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, and Mexico.
  • Flexible delivery options: Versatility is a hallmark of USPS international shipping, allowing you to choose from various services based on delivery speed or price, including flat-rate postage.
  • Tracking and insurance: As mentioned, USPS gives you tracking tools to ensure you can monitor your package’s journey. However, USPS also provides loss and damage coverage, giving you the peace of mind that your mailpiece is protected.
  • Enhanced Click-N-Ship experience: Through a free USPS account, you can use the Click-N-Ship platform to print shipping labels and customs forms and have USPS pick up your parcel batches from your doorstep for free.
  • Free shipping supplies: The U.S. Postal Service provides packaging materials, from envelopes to large boxes, at no additional cost. You can also order these delivery supplies and have USPS send them to your address for free.

USPS International Shipping Rates: Secure, Affordable Global Shipping

With tracking options and insurance on your international shipments, you know that USPS delivery services can securely get your packages where they need to be.

With all these benefits, you may think that USPS must charge excessively for its international shipping services. Fortunately, it doesn’t. While international delivery costs vary by destination, USPS is one of the most affordable mail carrier options.

Here are the starting prices for USPS international shipping as of August 10, 2023:

Global Express Guaranteed$71.10
Priority Mail Express International$54.75
Priority Mail International$30.35
First-Class Package International$15.75
First-Class Mail International$3.00
Airmail M-Bags$55.00

U.S. Mail Service Expected Delivery Window: What Shipping Options Do I Have for International Delivery?

Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or need your package to arrive quickly, USPS has an international shipping solution.

Here’s a quick overview of USPS international delivery options:

ServiceDelivery SpeedWeight Limit
Global Express Guaranteed1 to 3 business daysUp to 70lbs
Priority Mail Express International3 to 5 business daysUp to 70lbs
Priority Mail International6 to 10 business daysUp to 70lbs
First-Class Package InternationalVaries by destinationUp to 4lbs
First-Class Mail InternationalVaries by destinationUp to 15.99oz
Airmail M-BagsVaries by destinationUp to 66lbs

U.S. Mail Service Global Express Guaranteed

USPS’ Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) service is the fastest international shipping option that the U.S. Mail Service offers, guaranteeing 1- to 3-business-day delivery.

GXG lets you send packages up to 70lbs to over 180 countries. What sets GXG apart from other USPS international offerings is that it allows you to specify a date for USPS to deliver, including the following day for many addresses in Canada or your money back.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail International Standard and Express Service

The standard and express Priority Mail International options are USPS’ affordable global shipping services. With USPS Priority Mail, you can use flat-rate packaging, such as Flat Rate Boxes and Large Envelopes. In other words, you can pay a fixed price regardless of the parcel’s weight.

US Mail Service Priority International Delivery Times: How Long Does Priority Mail Take?

U.S. Mail Service Priority International delivery times can depend on whether you’re shipping with the standard or the express option. With Priority Mail International, expect delivery within 6 to 10 business days and 3- to 5-business-day shipping with the USPS express option.

What Is U.S. Mail Service First-Class Package International?

With a starting price of $15.75, the USPS First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS) is an economical option for sending lightweight packages to around 180 countries.

How Long Does First-Class Mail Take?

Unfortunately, unlike the U.S. Mail Service’s expedited international delivery options, USPS takes approximately 12 to 20 working days to deliver packages, depending on factors like the destination country and customs clearance protocols.

How to Use USPS International Shipping: How Do You Get Your Package With US Mail Service Delivered?

Sending a package through USPS international shipping is straightforward. It’s just like shipping a parcel to domestic addresses with a few additional steps.

Here’s how you send a mailpiece through USPS international mail services:

  • Choose a USPS service: USPS offers several international shipping options depending on the speed or postage price. Your choice will dictate how you can prepare your package and the type of shipping supply you need to send it in.
  • Prepare your package: You can get free shipping supplies from USPS. Use padding and tape to secure your parcel to prevent damage or loss. You must also provide the recipient’s full name and international address.
  • Pay for shipping: You can purchase postage at a post office or through the Click-N-Ship platform. USPS provides a postage calculator tool to help you determine your delivery costs.
  • Receive the tracking number: Once you’ve paid the shipping costs, you’ll receive your package’s unique tracking number. You can use this identifier to monitor your shipment’s progress and status.
  • Send your international shipment: You can ship your out-of-the-country package, including dropping it off at your post office, leaving it at a USPS Collection Box, or asking USPS to pick it up.

Customs Forms

You must provide customs information for international shipments, including a comprehensive list of mail items, particularly if you’re sending merchandise (anything that’s not documents or correspondence).

You can use the USPS Click-N-Ship service to help guide you through this process or visit a post office location and fill out Form PS 2976-R. For more information on ensuring smooth customs clearance at the destination country, contact USPS at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

Alternatively, you talk to a Postal Service representative at a post office location. Visit to narrow the over 31,000 USPS facilities to your area’s most convenient ones.

U.S. Mail Service Delivery Hours

The U.S. Mail Service’s delivery hours can vary depending on the specific USPS service sending the package and the delivery location. However, USPS generally ensures the arrival of mailpieces by 5 PM.

U.S. Mail Service Sunday Delivery and Saturday Delivery Hours

Mail delivery providers like FedEx offer shipping every day of the week. Does U.S. Postal Service do the same? Let’s find out.

Does U.S. Mail Service Deliver on Saturdays?

USPS offers Monday through Saturday deliveries. However, the availability of Saturday shipping depends on the specific USPS service. For instance, USPS Priority Mail features Saturday delivery.

Does U.S. Mail Service Deliver on Sundays?

Unfortunately, only Priority Mail Express and Amazon packages are eligible for USPS Sunday shipping.

U.S. Mail Service Business Solutions

The U.S. Mail Service offers a range of cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs. Here are some valuable tools and services designed to enhance your business shipping experience:

  • Click, ship, and save: Unlock the power of lower commercial rates by utilizing the enhanced Click-N-Ship feature. By paying for and generating shipping labels online, you save on shipping costs and streamline your shipping process.
  • Direct market to potential customers: The USPS Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service allows you to target specific geographical areas, ensuring your marketing materials, like media mail, reach the right audience.
  • Cost-effective business shipping: With USPS’ Business Solutions Associates, you can discuss your shipping needs and explore solutions to optimize your shipping processes, reduce costs, and improve your business’ efficiency.

eCommerce Platforms and USPS Tracking

If you’re running an eCommerce business, USPS Connect eCommerce service allows you to work directly with the U.S. Mail Service. Doing so lets you take advantage of discounted shipping rates and provide USPS Tracking to your customers.

How to Enable USPS Tracking on WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a plugin that you can use to enhance your website’s functionality. Adding USPS Tracking on your eCommerce site allows you and your customers to monitor your shipments and orders.

Fortunately, enabling the Postal Service’s tracking system on WooCommerce is straightforward:

  • Visit the WooCommerce “Order” page.
  • Enter the USPS tracking number.
  • Click the “Add Shipment I.D.” button.

U.S. Mail Service Parcel Select Ground

The USPS Parcel Select Ground service balances cost-effectiveness and reliability, making it a popular choice for eBay sellers. While this U.S. Mail Service is a domestic shipping option, it does offer USPS Tracking at no additional cost.

U.S. Mail Service Parcel Select Delivery Time

USPS Parcel Select Ground is one of the Postal Service’s cheapest mail delivery options, with a starting price of $3.78. However, it’s also one of the slowest, offering a delivery time of between 2 and 8 business days.

USPS Customer Care Service / Contacts

If you have questions or concerns about USPS international shipping tracking, call 1-800-222-1811. For general inquiries, contact USPS customer care at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). For USPS deaf/teletypewriter (TDD/TTY) telecommunications devices, call 1-800-877-8339.

You can also reach USPS customer service by visiting your local post office, where you can easily find locations using’s USPS facility locator tool.

Frequently Asked Questions About USPS International Shipping

  1. When will my letter carrier or mail arrive?

Your international package’s delivery time and date vary depending on the U.S. Mail Service handling the shipping. For instance, expect 1- to 3-business-day arrival with USPS Global Express Guaranteed and 6 to 10 days with Priority Mail International.

  1. Is my USPS international package lost?

To determine whether your USPS international shipment is missing, check its status using the USPS Tracking tool. You can also speak to a Postal Service representative by calling their customer service hotline or visiting a post office.

  1. U.S. Mail Service package lost or stolen: What should I do?

When you believe your mailpiece is lost or stolen, file a Missing Mail Search Request. Once you do so, USPS will investigate and update you throughout its search efforts.

If the U.S. Mail Service finds your package, it’ll be sent to the delivery address. If not, you can file a claim. Only services with money-back guarantees and insured parcels are eligible for refunds.

  1. What can I do if my mailpiece hasn’t been delivered?

If your international package has yet to arrive within the expected delivery window, you must check its status. Doing so allows you to determine the progress of your shipment and whether unforeseen events caused its delay.

  1. How do I monitor an incoming international package?

You can track an incoming international parcel using USPS Tracking, available on the USPS website and the Apple and Android Mobile apps. You can also call or text USPS to track USPS packages.

  1. How do I track a U.S. Mail Service return receipt?

You can track a USPS return receipt like you would monitor a mailpiece through the Postal Service’s tracking tool.

  1. How can I leave delivery instructions?

USPS Delivery Instructions is a service that lets you authorize other individuals to receive incoming shipments or redirect them to a different location. To leave delivery instructions, click the “Delivery Instructions” button once you’ve entered your package’s tracking number.


  1. 7 fun facts you didn’t know about the shipping industry
  2. USPS Tracking
  3. USPS Tracking® – The Basics
  4. USPS Postal Facts
  5. USPS Tracking Plus® – The Basics
  6. How to Send a Package: International
  7. International Mail & Shipping Services
  8. How to Track a USPS International Package
  9. USPS Contact Us
  10. International Insurance & Extra Services
  11. Priority Mail International
  12. Priority Mail
  13. USPS Text Tracking™ FAQs
  14. USPS Tracking Not Updating? Here’s Why
  15. Informed Delivery by USPS
  16. Intelligent Mail® Barcode
  17. US Mail Service Tracking
  18. Return to Sender Mail
  19. The Multifaceted Role of Customs and Its Importance for the Economy and Society
  20. International Services
  21. Click-N-Ship® – The Basics
  22. The Postal Store
  23. Global Express Guaranteed
  24. Priority Mail Express International
  25. First-Class Package International Service
  26. Delayed mail and packages?
  27. Weekend delivery: FedEx does it right
  28. Small Business Solutions
  29. USPS Connect eCommerce
  30. How to Enable USPS Shipments Tracking on your WooCommerce Store?
  31. Parcel Select®
  32. USPS Price List
  33. USPS Parcel Select Ground: What You Need to Know
  34. Find Missing Mail
  35. USPS Delivery Instructions™ – The Basics