How can I send a package from home without a printer?

For friends and family, handwritten shipping labels are perfectly acceptable—and sometimes even preferable. But for customers, it’s much harder to get away with labels that aren’t crisp, clean, and professional-looking.

People have been sending packages with handwritten labels since Ben Franklin founded USPS in 1775 (well, long before that, but you get the idea). Modern parcel scanning technology makes handwriting much less reliable these days, so it’s a good idea to find a way to print your labels, especially if you’re running a business.

Though your best bet is to get either a standard desktop printer or a specialized label printer like the SendPro®/PitneyShip™ Desktop SendKit, here are some workarounds that may help you out in a pinch:

  • Find a printer near you: Your local library is a good bet, though they will charge a nominal fee. You could also find a print shop, which will likely have better hardware, but will also charge you more. And of course, local friends and family may help out from time to time if you stay on their good side.

  • Hire a courier: This is not cheap, and the service may be hard to find in rural areas, but if you’re pressed for time and can’t get labels printed any other way, they can pick up your parcels, affix labels they printed based on the information you provide, and drop them off at your shipping provider.

How can I save time and money on shipping?

If you’re starting a business or need to dial back costs, it may seem like a good idea to forgo printing shipping labels. But think twice! Not only is it time-consuming and hard on your hands, you are sure to find yourself saddled with more delayed or undeliverable packages, which will certainly affect your bottom line. Printing labels can save you money in the long run, so it’s a good idea to consider using a printer and a postal solution like PitneyShip.

Discounted postal rates

Commercial postage rates can be 40% less than regular rates—that alone can make a huge difference and pay for the printer of your choice very quickly. In order to qualify for these rates, you’ll need to abide by the carrier’s restrictions, which usually include clearly printed labels with barcodes. It’s easy to save money with commercial rates, or to go hunting for even lower rates from other carriers, when using software like PitneyShip.

Ordering home pickups

Every business owner knows that time is money. That means that every trip to USPS®, UPS®, or FedEx® (not to mention time spent waiting in line) is costing you, and that cost starts to add up as your business expands. If you’ve got fairly regular shipments (more than 10 per week), it can be quite cost-effective to schedule pickups from one or more shipping providers. PitneyShip makes this easy to do for one-offs or regular pickups, saving you time and effort you can use for other important tasks.

Prepaid return shipping labels

Returns are a part of doing business, but you can control how much they cut into your bottom line by including prepaid return shipping labels with your parcels. You’re only charged for the ones that get used, and they give you control over which shipper is used and how much you’ll get charged for the return. That’s great in and of itself, but you also earn a little goodwill from every customer who sees the label included, whether or not they ever use it.

Of course, each shipper has rules about prepaid return labels, and at the top of the list is “use a printer.” You can go a step further and automate the process with PitneyShip, and as your business grows, you should consider a dedicated label printer like the SendPro®/PitneyShip™ Desktop Sendkit, which can save you money on maintenance and supplies in the long run.