Mailing through USPS online is a life saver

For those of you in the US, the post office can be a life saver. I send all of my books (which way over a pound) via US Priority Mail. Here’s how it works.

  1. I order free FLAT RATE PRIORITY MAIL envelopes from the USPS Web site. I also order FLAT RATE PRIORITY MAIL boxes in which I can send multiple copies of the book. Both take 7-10 business days to be delivered, so order them early.Flatrateep14f_d
  2. My assistant inputs recipients’ names and addresses in the USPS online address book. She’s in Vermont, so this online thing works for us! By the way, you don't need an assistant. It's very easy to do yourself and I often add addresses on my own. As far as I can tell, other online postage systems charge a fee AND require software. With USPS, it’s all done online.
  3. (I stuff the books into plastic bags to protect them and insert into the envelopes.)
  4. I print the postage onto labels, which I get at When I print postage online, I save 5 whole cents. And, incidentally, the same envelopes can be used for international shipping. It just requires more postage.
  5. I request a home (or office) pick-up online. This must be done by 2 a.m., which is no problem since I’m into a deep sleep by then. The form asks me my name, pick-up location, phone number, number of packages and total weight.
  6. The next morning, I put my shipment on the front porch and they pick it up.

So . . .

  • You get free envelopes
  • You save a little on postage
  • You get free pick-up at your home

If you don’t use this system and were to mail any package over 12 ounces, you would have to go to your local Post Office window because anything over 12 ounces has to be hand-stamped by them. BUT . . .  you don’t have to worry about this with online postage and home pick-up.

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13 comments to Mailing through USPS online is a life saver

  • Boy, you have got it going on and down to a science! I am loving that you do! I am too loose in this department, hmmm, so I am inspired to look into it. Thanks.

  • Another little tip for US shipping (whether you’re within the US or shipping to there): get the extra 4 digits of zipcode and it speeds up distribution! A fellow artist on Etsy shared this tip. Go to and top left is a link to find zipcode. Even if you have the 5 digit one that’s fine, USPS will give you the extra extension. With the longer zipcode I’ve even had packages delivered to the US from the UK in 2-3 DAYS. (and in December too!)

  • I have started using the usps click & ship option on-line and it has been great, in fact in 10 minutes I will be dropping offthe last of my prepaid packages for the season. I use both USPS and Fedex for larger stuff … they keep all your tracking info organized.

  • Thanks for all the great info!

  • It’s so refreshing to hear someone say something nice about the USPS! I come from a postal family and I try to use them for all my shipping, but some people just don’t offer that service.

  • Alyson Stanfield

    Tina: You don’t need 4 digits if you use online shipping. It automatically adds it!

  • I’ve been doing this – except the online pick up part because the construction guys would run over it. Good thing there is a PO down the street. Can you do this with international also? I don’t see you mention the customs form that is required for these. I’ve been taking these into the PO and for non-priority the PO is telling me it costs less to ship than click-n-ship.

  • Steve

    I get the odd sized mailing labels I need from Also they have an adhesive that sticks to plastic film envelopes…

  • maron

    Hello!! How are you? I write comment first time. Thank you.

  • I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. Joyce

  • Lisa: Sorry I didn’t respond to this! Yes, you can do it with international. The PO prints an automatic customs form with the label.

  • This is such a great way to ship, I totally agree.

    Also, you save more than a nickel — the free Delivery Confirmation is worth about 60 cents these days. It’s really comforting to be able to track the packages for no extra charge.