USPS Label Broker

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November 14, 2023

Digital innovations continue to transform how businesses, shipping carriers, and consumers transact with one another.

In the United States (U.S.), eCommerce accounts for 14% of the total retail. Amazon, Walmart, and eBay take the largest shares of the e-commerce market, and 77% of the population makes purchases online.

In today’s frantic world of eCommerce and online shopping, the demand for efficient and hassle-free shipping solutions has never been more crucial.

Whether you’re an online retailer looking to streamline your order fulfillment procedure or a consumer, you’ve likely asked, “How can I print my shipping labels efficiently?”

You might also wonder if USPS (United States Postal Service) — the most frequently used mailing service in the U.S., no doubt — offers a convenient program for your shipping label needs. 

FindPostOffice.org is a one-stop website for everything related to post offices in the U.S. This article discusses the USPS Label Broker service, a feature USPS offers for printing shipping labels.

Learn more about how USPS Label Broker can meet your cost-effective, streamlined label printing process requirements.

What Is the USPS Label Broker Service?

The USPS Label Broker service simplifies label printing by allowing customers with no printer access to print shipping labels at a local post office.  

Easy Label Printing for Online Shoppers

USPS Label Broker helps ease transactions between eCommerce businesses and online shoppers by allowing customers to print outbound or return shipping labels.

Eligible label providers (participating post offices) can give customers a Label Broker ID (identification) with a QR code (quick response code) and have USPS print the label.

Is This Service Available at All Post Office Locations?

Most automated USPS post offices can print Label Broker labels. If unsure whether a particular office supports Label Broker, you can do the following: 

  1. Go to USPS.com.
  2. Click the “Find Locations” link.
  3. Choose “Label Broker” from the “Services” drop-down menu.

You can also print labels via USPS.com or at Automated Parcel Drops (APDs). 

APDs are self-service machines where you can ship parcels using merchandise return parcels and prepaid shipping labels.

How It Works

If you run a small business, online shipping probably takes much of your operating hours. No wonder you’re looking for label solutions to minimize the hassle.

You already know the USPS Label Broker service can help with your concern, but how does it work? 

Say USPS has approved your shipping process. In that case, you can record customers’ postage-guaranteed (return) or prepaid labels in the USPS Label Broker repository.

You can then give your customers a single-use (unique) Label Broker I.D. they can use to print a shipping label. 

Here’s the step-by-step process to help you understand the service better:

  1. Make labels for customers and offer Label Broker as a distribution option.
  2. Record labels in the Label Broker database and inform your customers (via text or email) about their personalized Label Broker I.D.
  3. Your customers bring their Label Broker I.D. and parcel to the post office. The office scans the I.D. and prints the shipping label at the counter.

Note: USPS customers can print shipping labels through USPS.com if they can access a printer.

  1. You can manage all your customers’ labels easily by updating, deleting, or checking the tracking details anytime.

What Label Broker Offers

Label Broker provides a convenient way for customers without a printer to print labels. 

This U.S. Postal Service feature creates no-postage necessary (for example, returns) or prepaid shipping labels online. It also allows customers to print these labels at RSS (Retail Systems Software)-enabled retail counters. 

RSS is an innovative program designed to replace retail point-of-service software installed at post office self-service kiosks.

Mobility

Label Broker offers mobile solutions by giving busy, on-the-go customers quick access to a QR code via their smartphones, which they can use to print USPS shipping labels.

Convenience

Say you’re a USPS client, knee-deep in the hustle and bustle of your business operations. You’re likely looking for ways to save time on logistics.

Fortunately, retail associates can print shipping labels at any participating post office location when customers are ready to send a USPS package.  

Choice

Label Broker also offers flexibility, allowing customers to choose where to print their online-generated labels. They can print them at participating USPS locations, at home, or specific self-service USPS kiosks.

“Will USPS Print a Label for Me?”

As mentioned, if you don’t have a printer, RSS-enabled post offices can print your shipping labels. In-store associates can scan a Label Broker QR code or I.D. from a client’s phone. 

USPS postal workers can also input the code presented by the customer into the RSS home screen to print the shipping label. They can then affix it to the package.

“Is It Free to Print My Labels With the Label Broker Service?”

The Label Broker features seem nice, right? However, the next question likely running in your mind is, “Does USPS offer the service for free?” 

Short answer: You don’t have to pay extra for USPS Label Broker. 

However, like with other shipping services, you must pay the shipping cost depending on the USPS product you bought. 

You Can’t Take the Label Home

Label Broker is subject to USPS regulations. One primary rule is that Label Broker labels must be affixed to the parcel at the retail window. In short, you can’t take the labels home.

What Type of Labels Can I Print?

You can print any domestic CNS (Click-N-Ship) label using Label Broker, provided these labels do not require a customs form. For example, you can’t use Label Broker for military packages. CNS is an online application for creating postage labels.

Can You Print Labels at the Post Office?

Yes. As you know, Label Broker’s primary use is to allow customers to print their labels at participating post offices. 

Here’s how you can access this service with the CNS application:

  1. Click the “Print Labels Later at the Post Office” option on the “Payment Confirmation” page.
  2. Present the QR code (emailed to you) to an approved post office location. Note: Bring your parcel with you to the post office.
  3. The retail employee will scan the QR code, print the shipping label, stick it to the package, and register it into the system for processing.

You Can Do It Online, Too

You don’t always have to visit a physical office to print labels. As mentioned, you can print USPS shipping labels from USPS.com once you can access a printer.

“Can I Print the Label Straight From My Phone?” 

Yes. The postal employee at the counter can scan your single-use Label Broker-generated QR code from your phone and immediately print your shipping label.

Your Parcel Won’t Be Posted

Write your contact information legibly on the shipping label form.  

Your parcel will be less likely to appear on the USPS system if the label is illegible. Difficult-to-read labels may result in delivery delays, misrouted shipments, or package loss.

Is It Cheaper to Print Your Own USPS Label?

Label Broker and other USPS services allowing you to generate labels online and have them printed at a local post office are the cheaper option than printing the USPS label on your own.

After all, if you want to print labels at home, you must buy label rolls, paper, and ink cartridges. 

That said, some prefer to print labels at home to avoid the hassle of driving through heavy traffic and waiting in long lines.

“Can USPS Print My Poshmark Label?”

Poshmark, a social eCommerce platform, offers QR code-compatible shipping labels. 

Suppose you want a “print-less” shipping option. In that case, show your Poshmark-generated codes with your parcel at a USPS post office. 

USPS will print the label based on the QR Code and deliver the labeled package.

“Do I Need to Take the Package With Me When I Print From USPS?”

Yes. As shown above, the retail associate must affix the label to the USPS package immediately after printing it. They will then introduce the labeled package to the system for delivery.

Can You Print a USPS Shipping Label With a QR Code? Will USPS Print Your Label With a QR Code?

Again, the Label Broker service gives customers a QR code to present at RSS-enabled retail counters. USPS retail associates will scan this code to generate and print the shipping label.

“Any Other Important Information Before I Head to Print My Labels?”

Another crucial information to remember is that Label Broker supports many but not all USPS shipping options. 

The service is compatible with prepaid postage labels, including PC (personal computer) postage, ePostage, and Postage Guarantee labels.

For example, Label Broker supports the following USPS mail classes:

  • First-Class Package Service
  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • Parcel Select Ground
  • Retail Ground
  • Bound Printed Matter
  • Library Mail
  • Media Mail
  • All USPS Returns
  • Domestic Matter for the Blind
  • Parcel Return Service – Retail Channel
  • First-Class Package International Service

Some mail classes Label Broker does not support include the following:

  • Parcel Select (destination entry)
  • Parcel Select Lightweight
  • Marketing Mail

Note also that you must buy extra services in advance and include them when storing the label via Label Broker. You cannot add another service to a Label Broker label at the counter.

How to Use a USPS QR Code

You typically receive an email from USPS containing the QR code or Label Broker I.D. that your customers should present at Label Broker printers and locations. 

Note the following details when using a USPS QR Code:

  • Suppose you buy multiple labels and use Label Broker. In that case, you will get a separate email and code for each label.
  • On the other hand, say you change your mind and want to print the label yourself during CNS checkout. You can check the CNS “Shipping History Label Details” and request a new Label Broker code.
  • Suppose the labels in the cart are ineligible for Label Broker. In that case, the Label Broker will not show on the CNS page at checkout.
  • Assuming you want to choose the Label Broker option for eligible labels. You can access the CNS Shipping History Label Details and request a Label Broker code.

Can You Use a QR Code to Print Labels at a USPS Kiosk?

You can print labels at USPS self-service kiosks (SSKs) using a QR code or a Label Broker I.D.

You can print shipping labels you created online via the CNS application or an approved third-party provider. You can also print labels using the code or I.D. sent to you by an online seller. 

USPS SSKs process approximately 80% of retail window clerks‘ transactions. 

In 2022, USPS launched a new “rapid drop-off station” (RDS) concept to help customers speed up Label Broker and prepaid mail acceptance processes. You can also print shipping labels through RDS.

How Do You Scan a USPS Label Broker QR Code?

The retail associate can scan your USPS QR code. So, if you prefer face-to-face interactions, you can present the code at the counter.

If you want to scan the code yourself, follow the instructions at an SSK or RDS. Put the printed label on your package, then drop it off in the receptacle or take it to the counter.

The email containing the QR code may include the following information:

  • The addresses of nearby post offices
  • USPS Label Broker ID (QR code)
  • The ship date
  • Instructions for printing the label at the post office location

After Presenting the Post Office Associate the QR Code

Customers must present the QR code to a post office associate at the counter. The employee will scan, print, and affix the label to the package for shipment. 

The retail associate can do any of the following methods to print a Label Broker label:

  • Scan the QR code in the Label Broker workflow screen (Mail/Shipping > More).
  • Manually input the Label I.D. in the Label Broker workflow screen.
  • Scan the QR code from the RSS home screen.

Already Have a Label Broker I.D.?

You can access your USPS Label Broker I.D. from your smartphone. This ID shows a QR code with 8 to 10 characters underneath.

Present your I.D. and package to a post office offering Label Broker printing. 

You can use FindPostOffice.org’s search tool to know a particular post office’s opening and closing times. You can also use the tools to see each post office’s services.

On the other hand, if you’ve got access to a printer, you can print shipping labels directly from USPS.com.

Expecting a Parcel From USPS?

Avoid clicking strange web links from anonymous or unfamiliar sources when waiting for a parcel from USPS.  

Say you received an unsolicited mobile text message requiring a response from you. It will best to ignore the notice, especially if you have never requested tracking info from USPS.

USPS does not send customers email or text messages without the customer’s official request for tracking updates. More importantly, USPS messages do not contain a link.

You can report suspected USPS-related scams by sending an email to spam@uspis.gov.

Need Help?

For more details regarding USPS Label Broker’s function and eligibility requirements, you can check the following online resources:

References

  1. Global e-commerce trends report
    https://www.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm/treasury-services/documents/global-e-commerce-trends-report.pdf
  2. Share of online stores that use the main shipping service providers in the United States in 2020
    https://www.statista.com/forecasts/1081152/united-states-top-shipping-service-providers-ecommercedb
  3. Label Broker® Feature
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Label-Broker
  4. USPS Label Broker
    https://www.usps.com/business/label-broker.htm
  5. How can we help?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Label-Broker
  6. USPS Testing Automated Parcel Drop Stations
    https://blog.stamps.com/usps-testing-automated-parcel-drop-stations/
  7. October 10, 2019
    https://naps.org/files/galleries/Joined_with_Large_shipping_solutions_vendor_to_use_Label_Broker_Dean_10_10_19.pdf
  8. Audit Reports
    https://www.uspsoig.gov/reports/audit-reports/retail-systems-software-deployment-and-functionality
  9. How do I print a Click-N-Ship® label?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/How-do-I-print-a-Click-N-Ship-label
  10. How to ship using a QR Code
    https://support.poshmark.com/s/article/ship-using-QR-code?language=en_US
  11. Terms and Conditions of Use for USPS® Label Broker
    https://www.usps.com/terms-conditions/label-broker.htm
  12. Self-Service Kiosks
    https://www.uspsoig.gov/reports/audit-reports/self-service-kiosks
  13. Rapid Dropoff Station
    https://link.usps.com/2022/08/03/rapid-drop-offs/
  14. USPS Click-N-Ship Label Broker ID
    https://www.usps.com/c360/images/label_broker/cns_label_print_code.jpg?_gl=11lxqpze_gcl_au*MTAxMjU0ODcxMi4xNjkxOTQ5Mjc2a
  15. Smishing: Package Tracking Text Scams
    https://www.uspis.gov/news/scam-article/smishing-package-tracking-text-scams