You might run a small business from home, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in the house. A mobile shipping app can turn your home-based business into a wherever-life-takes-me business.
Most online marketplaces offer sellers a single web-based platform from which to print shipping labels, sometimes their own and sometimes through a service like PayPal. But few include an option for printing shipping labels with your phone or mobile device. This might be fine if you’re a dedicated homebody or just getting your business off the ground.
But as your confidence and your business grows, you’re going to want to expand your options, including managing sales and printing shipping labels from your phone on the go. An online shipping service that offers a mobile app to manage your shipping fulfillment tasks is the best way to get that done.
What types of shipping labels can I print from my phone?
You can print two types of shipping labels from your mobile device using an online shipping service app: outgoing shipping labels and prepaid return shipping labels.
Outgoing shipping labels
Shipping labels display the information needed by carriers like USPS®, UPS® or FedEx® to deliver a package to its intended destination, including names, addresses and postal and tracking barcodes/QR codes. Label printing templates vary from carrier to carrier to best meet their specific routing and storage processes, but for the most part they all include the same standardized information.
Shipping labels also vary in price by carrier and service. With an online shipping service like PitneyShip, you can compare and choose from all the major carriers and use the PitneyShip app to print your carrier-approved shipping label right from your phone. The platform allows you to add your own unique QR codes.
Prepaid shipping labels
Customers love seeing prepaid shipping return shipping labels included with their orders—even if they have no intention of returning the item. Don’t let the idea of prepaid scare you. You’re not charged for the postage unless the customer uses the label and it’s scanned by the carrier.
You can print a prepaid shipping label at the same time you create your outbound shipping label and include one with your customer’s shipment. Or you can email your customer a digital copy straight from your phone using your online shipping service’s app.
Common questions about printing shipping labels from your phone
How do I print address labels from my phone?
This question is asked by a lot of new home-based sellers. But is it really an address label that’s needed? An address label is not the same thing as a shipping label. As explained above, in addition to addresses, a shipping label contains paid postage and routing and tracking barcodes. A label without paid postage and carrier barcodes is for informational purposes only. In other words, it’s an address label and your package will still need postage applied before you can ship it.
Now back to the original question. Yes, you can print an address label from your phone using the same online shipping service app you use to print shipping labels.
How do I print shipping labels from my iPhone®?
Using your iPhone or iPad for label printing is a great way to plan shipments on the go. First, check that your WiFi is enabled and that you’re connected to the printer you want to use for label printing. Then, open the file for your label or access it in the third-party app you’re using to create labels. Depending on the app or file, look for the share button (a square with an arrow), the more button (three dots), or the reply button (an arrow pointing to the left). Tap the appropriate button and select “print.”
The ideal way to create labels from your iPhone or mobile device is through third-party apps designed to create labels, such as PitneyShip®. If you are using PitneyShip, here are step-by-step directions for installing a printer in the app when using an Apple device. Once your printer is connected, you’ll be printing like a pro.
How do I print shipping labels from an Android™ phone?
Printing labels on demand from your Android device can be a great way to save time for other tasks. First, make sure your WiFi is enabled and you’re connected to the printer you want to use. Access the file for the label you plan to print, and look for the three vertical dots in the right hand corner. Tap “print” and select your printer.
Using a third-party app designed to create labels, such as PitneyShip®, can make the process even easier. For more on using PitneyShip® to print from an Android device, here are directions for installing a printer. Follow the instructions and you’ll be printing crisp, clear labels in no time.
Can I print Avery® labels from my iPhone® or Android™ phone?
Avery is the most well-known provider of adhesive labels with a range of over 900 shapes and types, including parcel labels. There are countless phone apps you can use to print Avery and other brands of labels. But if you want to print official shipping labels you need to apply paid postage as well. Using an online shipping service with a mobile app option lets you consolidate purchasing postage and printing shipping labels in just a few steps through a single interface.
Do I need an online shipping service to print shipping labels from my phone or mobile device?
You can buy shipping labels directly through some merchant marketplaces but printing those shipping labels from your phone might require some workarounds.
For example, if the marketplace you sell through doesn’t have a phone app for shipping tasks you can potentially email the shipping label file to yourself then access it through your phone. If you’re selling through multiple channels or shipping in any kind of volume, this might be more hassle than it’s worth.
Why should I pay for a service just to print shipping labels from my phone?
There are far more benefits to subscribing to an online shipping service than just printing shipping labels with your phone. Think postage savings instead.
A carrier-approved online shipping service provide commercial discounts on postage that aren’t available anywhere else. PitneyShip subscriptions start at just $4.99 a month and offer discounts on First-Class letters, Priority Mail packages and UPS daily rates. The PitneyShip app is just a bonus!
You can use the PitneyShip App to create a shipping label on an iPhone or Android phone and either print it directly from your device or save it as a ship request to print from your computer later. You can quickly populate address fields by taking a picture with your phone and create your shipping label by adding the carrier, packaging, weight, dimensions, and shipping services. You can also use the app to track the status of your shipments.