Postage is a bit of a painful subject at the moment, what with the Royal Mail in turmoil. Â I recently had a chat with Eric Nash from Stamps.com, a package which allows small business (including eBay sellers) to print postage from their computer.
Tell us a bit about your company
Stamps.com is a software-based program that allows you to print USPS-approved postage right from your computer. Â You can print postage directly on to an envelope, shipping labels or even plain paper. Â Â Stamps.com was the first PC Postage vendor licensed by the US Postal Service back in 1998. Â We also are the largest with more than 400,000 customers.
How does your service compare with other postage options such as a franking machine?
We feel we that online postage is a much better option than a postage meter for a small business owner. Â If you are a shipper, Stamps.com offers discounted rates on Priority Mail (up to 10% off) and Express Mail (5% off) that you cannot get from a postage meter or even at the post office. Â Also, we are a monthly service with no hidden fees and no long term contracts. Â Postage meters often get you into long term agreements and then require you to purchase many other services (proprietary ink, maintenance agreements, etc.). Â With Stamps.com, you print postage directly out of your existing PC and printer â€“ no additional hardware is needed. Â A big advantage you have with Stamps.com is print flexibility (unlike Postage Meters). Â Stamps.com allows you to print on shipping labels, regular paper, thermal labels, or directly on to envelopes. Â You also can print the delivery address and postage at the same time.
Has there been a good take up of your service by eBay and Amazon sellers?
As weâ€™ve added a lot of new shipping features to the software over the last 18 months, weâ€™ve been able to increase our ecommerce customer base to about 30,000-40,000 subscribers. Â Â And now with our free eBay program launching, the response from eBay sellers has been great! Â This new program allows eBay sellers to use our software for free to print USPS shipping labels for goods sold through an eBay store. Â Stamps.com has great features that are not available on PayPalâ€™s shipping program such as:
- Ability to print First Class Mail International
- Send all sizes of Priority Mail Flat Rate
- Get 10% off package insurance
- Insure packages up to $2500
- Batch printing up to 1000 labels at a time
To get this special limited time offer, you must go to: Â http://www.stamps.com/ebayfree1
The program is limited to shipping goods sold through your eBay webstore however — customers wont be able to utilize the other software features such as printing postage on envelopes, importing data from Amazon, Yahoo! Stores, shopping carts, etc.
To get access to these other features, customers will need to upgrade to a paid subscription account. Â Our new Version 8.5 software includes the ability to import data directly from ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Yahoo! Stores, Google Checkout, PayPal or your own shopping cart. Â As an example, if a seller was selling their product on both eBay and their own site via a shopping cart, they could manage their shipments for both sources from one interface — Stamps.com. Â The seller could then batch print all of their labels at once using multiple mail classes to ship for more effective time management.
Plans for the future?
We have many more exciting programs in the works such as an option for Mac users and deeper online reporting. Â Version 8.5 also includes all of our great shipping features such as 10% discounts on package insurance, Â insurance limits up to $2500 (vs. only $500 from PayPal), the ability to hide the postage amount on shipping labels and free delivery confirmation on Priority Mail.