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alternative to stamps.com
April 18, 2005 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Is there any online postage-printing site that doesn't require a monthly fee? I mail books periodically and I'm at least 15 miles from the post office.

Thanks to the Unabomber I can't just slap stamps on a package and leave it for my carrier or it gets returned. Instead I have to go deal with our understaffed local postoffice. I've seen automatic postal kiosks, but not in our neighborhood. Stamps.com will work, as will any service that attaches an identifying number to the postage, the assumption being that people who mail deadly stuff would never think to hide their identity.
posted by craniac to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you use endicia.com and get an annual subscription, it comes out to $8.33 a month, which isn't too bad. I used endicia when I had a need for it and it was awesome, way better than stamps.com.

If your carrier really just wants an "identifying number" and something professional-looking, you might want to try USPS Shipping Assistant, which will print out a fancy label with an electronic delivery confirmation barcode, though you still have to stick stamps on it.

If you're mailing in response to an eBay or Paypal transaction, there's something called "PayPal Shipping" that seems to do what you want.

That's all I can think of; there aren't that many companies in cahoots with the USPS to do the electronic postage thing.
posted by trevyn at 7:41 PM on April 18, 2005


Yeah, here's the entire list of authorized providers. Unless you're doing Priority or Express Mail, nothing new here.
posted by trevyn at 7:44 PM on April 18, 2005


Yeah, nobody seems to let you do media mail, i.e. book rate. Maybe I'll just forge something to keep the carrier calm and happy.
posted by craniac at 7:52 PM on April 18, 2005


I've been using Stamps.com for years, but because they recently upped the price for all members, I decided to cancel. I called, and they (surprise!) offered me a lower price. I think it was $4.95 before they upped it, then it was around $15, and I got them back down to $7.95-ish. It does cost a little money, but you can get it lower than what they say it will cost.
posted by abbyladybug at 8:23 PM on April 18, 2005


What about the US Postal Service? They'll let you print indicia from your PC (not Mac, grr). The process is kind of Byzantine, but I don't think there's a surcharge. Check out "click-n-ship."
posted by adamrice at 8:47 PM on April 18, 2005


please note that click-n-ship also advertises free pickup.
posted by mwhybark at 9:30 PM on April 18, 2005


adamrice: the USPS won't let you print out Media Mail rates on your home pc, as far as I could tell, and I am shipping primarily used books.
posted by craniac at 2:24 PM on April 19, 2005


I could always print out the priority mail amount, then cross out "priority" and put media mail. Assuming the amount was correct, do any of you postal employees think this would work?
posted by craniac at 3:28 PM on April 19, 2005


Someone on ebay suggested that the paypal mailing service only charges 20 cents per label.

I went to the regular post office today, and I literally can't believe how obviously sluggish they are. I know it's a cliche, but it felt like there was a work slowdown in effect or something. Fortunately I had three kids with me who used the p.o. for a playhouse.
posted by mecran01 at 2:43 PM on April 28, 2005


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