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Hey gang,
I am finally having my first batch of shirts printed and I need to decide on a shipping method. I have ready many, many of your opinions on this topic, and it seems going through USPS.com is probably the best. I want to make my first order since it takes up to 10 to 14 days to receive the supplies. What should I order? How much? Any extras (lables, ect?). This might be a silly question but how does this process work? I order the supplies at no charge, customer purchases the shirt with shipping, I then schedule pick-up through the PO. When do I/how do I pay the post office for the shipping? Also, apparently I need to purchase a postal scale. I know they sell a digital scale up to 10lbs on the post office website. Does anyone know where I can get one of these cheaper? Should I order any additional materials when I order my TYVEK envelopes? I assume I will just be shipping one to two shirts at first since I am just starting. Please email me or just send me a PM as to your opinion. I need to order my supplies this coming week. Oh lastly, I have a crappy printer right now. Do I need to buy a new printer right away before shipping shirts? I saw lables on the USPS.com website so that is why I am asking.
Thanks,
Silverbolt
 

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This might be a silly question but how does this process work? I order the supplies at no charge, customer purchases the shirt with shipping, I then schedule pick-up through the PO. When do I/how do I pay the post office for the shipping?
You can schedule a carrier pickup from the post office (it's free and your regular mail carrier will pickup the packages).

The Post Office website allows you to purchase the postage you need for each label at the time you print it out. So if you need one priority mail shipment, you pay $4.05 online and print out the label and stick it on the package.

I use stamps.com and they gave me a free 5lb scale which works great for 99.9% of my retail t-shirt shipments.

You don't need any special "labels" for printing out the postage. You can use your regular home inkjet/laser printer. I use 2 up labels from worldlabel.com:
http://www.worldlabel.com/Pages/wl-ol400.htm
 

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silverbolt said:
I want to make my first order since it takes up to 10 to 14 days to receive the supplies.
Good luck with that! I ordered supplies from them 2.5 months ago and still haven't received them. I ended up going to the post office and picking up some priority mail envelopes and a few boxes.

Like Rodney said you can set up an on-line account with them at www.usps.com/clicknship . It's very convenient and you get free delivery confirmation. You also have the option of sending an automated email to the customer to let them know their package has shipped. I never call for a pick-up ... I just put my packages in the out-going mail and my mailman takes them for me ... even the international priority ones.

I use the USPS tyvek envelopes for 99% of my shipping, but I did use a flat-rate box today because I am shipping four XXXL shirts which amounts to 3 lbs.

As for the labels I just print from my HP 3210 on regular paper and tape all the sides down (just be sure not to tape over the barcode).

My 10-lb digital scale came from Office Depot for $40. I'm sure you can find them cheaper but I needed mine right away.
 

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Do I really need a scale if I am using USPS priority mail and will be sending well under the 1 lb limit? Do they still have to know the exact weight for some reason? Thanks
You don't *have* to have one, but it helps when you start shipping multiple shirt orders (even just 2 or more in the same order). Sometimes 2 shirts can go over the 1 pound limit (like 2 XL heavyweight tees) and sometimes 2 shirts can be under (like 2 small babydoll tees). It can help to know how much is a pound.

I don't know if they still over them, but the USPS used to have a free non-digital scale thing (Stack & Weigh Scales they called them) that they offered. It was basically just a bent piece of metal, that if you put your package on and it bent "too much" it was over a pound. They had 1 pound, 2 pound, 3 pound gadgets.
 

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Hey guys.....question on this subject. What do you use when they dont fit in the USPS tyvek envelopes and you dont want to use the priority mail price of 8.05 for the free boxes?

In that case, you're probably looking at either 2 tyvex envelopes (no price savings there) or dropping down to first class which would probably cost half as much (but take longer to arrive).
 

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Hey guys.....question on this subject. What do you use when they dont fit in the USPS tyvek envelopes and you dont want to use the priority mail price of 8.05 for the free boxes?
It depends on the weight of the object being sent.

It's possible that $8.05 is the cheapest it can be sent.

It's also possible to get a free box from USPS and NOT pay $8.05 for flat rate shipping. You would just use a regular priority box and it will be done by weight.

For example, if I was shipping something that was 3 pounds (like a heavyweight hoody and t-shirt) within California, I would get a USPS Priority box (NOT the flat rate) and then just pay by weight, which would bring the price of the shipment to $5 instead of $8.05

If it was something that weighed 10 pounds, then I would look to UPS or FedEX for cheaper shipping options. I like to use the comparison chart at iship.com
 

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Too bad stamps.com still isn't giving away the free scale. -at least not that I saw. It may take some time, but I just made it a habit to remember what the weights were for the shirts and the envelope. An XL shirt with 2 small stickers, a clear poly ULine bag and the Priority Mail envelope is roughly 13 oz. You'll want/need to know for the multiple shirt shipments. I've found the the people at the Post Office are more than helpful. The only time I've felt like I was a problem was when it was busy and I was trying to figure out the best way to ship to New Zealand. It's a good idea to come a little prepared.

I've found that the Priority Mail Tyvek envelopes do very well for two T's. I think it's still under $5 or $6 to ship them that way. It's the regular envelope, not the one with the packing air-bubble lining. If you're printing labels from home, be careful not to make it the flat rate label, even though they're the same price if they're under a pound. I caught a little grief for that once.
 

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I absoltely hate the USPS!! :D I used to use them for sending out small orders and for sampling. The tracking is terrible. It doesn't update until the item is delivered. I have paid priority so many times and items have been either lost or have taken weeks.

I like using DHL. Even UPS would be better. Fedex seems to expensive. But at least these other options are more reliable and have a better online system. Everything is online now and customers feel better when they can track their items.
 

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I absoltely hate the USPS!! I used to use them for sending out small orders and for sampling. The tracking is terrible. It doesn't update until the item is delivered. I have paid priority so many times and items have been either lost or have taken weeks.
That's weird...I've used USPS to ship t-shirts for 10+ years and haven't had that type of problems. The tracking isn't UPS where it updates on every destination (don't know how necessary that is really...although it's interesting to watch). But the tracking does tell you when it left and when it arrived. Priority mail usually takes 3 days max anywhere across the US whereas UPS or Fedex will take 5 days to get across the US (not counting saturdays).
 
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