Going to the post office to send a parcel isn’t always the simplest (or most fun) process, especially considering the long queues and frequently poor customer service.
Whether you’re mailing a package or a large number of letters, everything can be packaged, sealed, and shipped directly from the comfort of your home. It isn’t as difficult or costly as you may believe.
How Can I Safely Ship a Package from Home?
Shipping a package from your couch is a very easy process. Most of the top shipping companies offer scheduled pick-up services. Typically, you need to package your items properly and buy shipping labels before scheduling a pick-up.
If you need to send perishables, you can check specific packaging guidelines in our article on How to Ship Perishable Food Items. However, here is the step-by-step process to ship successfully from home:
1. Gather Packing Supplies and Important Information
Your laptop (or smartphone) and internet service are the two key items you’ll need to ship packages from home. There are a few more things you’ll need to finish the task, as well as a few to make it stress-free:
Printer: To generate your shipping labels, you’ll need access to a printer. Thermal label printers are built specifically for this purpose. However, all you need is a good laser printer or inkjet. Is no printer available? There’s no need to worry as most couriers can bring documentation for you to fill.
Scale: When shipping from home, you need a scale to measure the package in order to calculate the cost. Some shipping services include a free scale as part of your membership. If you have no scale, you can opt for flat-rate shipping boxes.
Shipping Info: The obvious information, such as the recipient’s and sender’s addresses and phone numbers, is included in this section. However, you need to consider how you want to pack your item as well as how quickly you need it to arrive at its destination.
Labels: You can print the labels on ordinary paper or half-sheet self-adhesive to look polished and save time.
2. Pack and Measure Everything
Depending on their shape, size, and weight, items can be packaged in an envelope, a box, or a tube. You can pad fragile goods in the box and tape it tight with packing tape or properly cover the tubes.
Not only should you choose a box larger than the items you’re shipping, but you should also leave enough space for adequate padding material – peanuts, foam, and so on.
After packing the items, confirm the weight using your scale and measure the box dimensions. These two pieces of information will impact your cost of shipping significantly. Most carriers and shipping agents have online postage calculators; you can get a shipping cost by entering your package information.
3. Choose The Right Carrier And Shipping Service For Your Package
No single carrier or shipping service is considered the gold standard for package delivery. The size, weight, speed, and distance of your package will determine which delivery option you use.
It is crucial to keep in mind that the faster you want your items delivered, the higher your shipping fee will be. Flat-rate boxes will be your best bet if you are shipping a small but heavy item. You should also consider insurance and handling fees when shipping valuable or delicate items.
4. Print and Attach the Shipping Label
Once you have picked a carrier and packaged your item properly, you can enter the delivery information on your carrier’s website, pay for shipping labels, and print and attach them to the box clearly.
You can also label your package using a marker. All you’ll have to do is to write the address plainly on the envelope or box.
Whatever method you use, make sure the recipient and sender’s addresses are on the same side of the box.
5. Schedule a Pick-up
Now that you’ve chosen a carrier and packaged it appropriately, it’s time to ship the items. You can use the ship-from-home technique if you ship packages regularly or have a hectic schedule. Most carriers are available to pick up your box at home; all you have to do is keep it in a well-covered, dry location.
There are also a number of approved postal providers or third-party shipping agencies who can transport your shipment to your carrier’s station at any time.
3 Best Ship From Home Services
Here are some of the top couriers that can ship your packages without you going to the post office. Once your item has been picked up, you will receive an email confirmation from the courier you chose.
To schedule a home pick-up with USPS, you must first order a shipping label via the USPS Click N Ship service. After that, go to the Schedule a Pickup page and verify availability by entering your address information.
The postal service will then confirm if it can be picked up in your region, and you will provide answers to a few questions, including whether you have a dog, where you’ll put your item, and when you’d need it picked up.
USPS offers a free pick-up service as long as is with regular mail delivery time. However, it costs $24 if you want to plan for a specific time.
To arrange a FedEx pickup, create a FedEx account by providing a username, password, and payment card information. This allows you to use FedEx Express and FedEx Ground to ship your packages. FedEx pick-up rates vary greatly. You can look up pick-up fees for your item in the Guide to FedEx® Pickups.
After that, you’ll need to generate a shipping label for your item and set a pickup date. Provide information about where the shipment will be kept, such as on your front porch near the door.
UPS is your best choice if you cannot print a shipping label. You can schedule a pickup without shipping labels, and the driver will deliver shipping documents to you. It is essential to note that you won’t be able to pay with a check or money order.
You can only call UPS and provide them with your payment information over the phone, or write it down on the slip the driver gives you to cover any shipping or pickup expenses. You’ll be able to view the entire amount of your order once you’ve confirmed the pickup details.
With UPS, the pick-up fee can be as low as $5 or as high as $50, depending on the shipping option and timing.
Aside from these three options, there are a handful of approved postal providers that can deliver your item to your carrier. Some of these third-party agents offer competitive rates. You can learn how to ship large items from home in our article on How To Ship Large Items.