Internet-based postage services provider, Stamps.com, offers its services to customers and businesses of all sizes. The Stamps.com software makes it easy to print postage for sending letter mail or parcels from the convenience of your own Internet-connected PC.
To use the postage print service, you'll need to download the Stamps.com software and install it on your computer, but you'll find the download and installation a quick and easy process. The software will connect you via the Internet to your Stamps.com account. Currently, the software is only for use on Windows-based systems; however the company's Director of Online Marketing, Eric Nash, said that a hosted Web-based version, which will let people with other operating systems use the service, is in development.
Fees, Perks and the Free eBay Program Explained
For individuals or any size business, you'll need to register for an account. The monthly fee is $15.99. When you register you'll get a free USB digital scale capable of weighing up to 5 pounds -- you just pay the shipping. You can also trade up to a 10 or 25 pound scale on credit. Accounts start with a $5 postage credit (this is also available in the free trial), a supplies kit that includes a sheet of 'NetStamps' for printing regular postage stamps, and you also get two $10 postage vouchers with a paid subscription. From there you simply top-up your account with funds to pay for postage as you need it.
For eBay sellers, the subscription and registered account perks are a bit different. Since the Stamps.com eBay Program is free to sellers there is no monthly subscription fee, but you won't get the $20 total in postage vouchers. You will still get the $5 postage credit, the USB scales and shipping starter kit, and the most important feature: complete integration with your eBay account.
When you connect your eBay account inside the Stamps.com software, it will retrieve order data directly from eBay -- and other popular selling platforms like Amazon.com (Pro Merchant account) PayPal, and some of the more popular shopping carts like Zen Cart and Magento.
A single click in the Stamps.com software will let you download orders and then print your shipping labels and postage one-at-a-time or in batch mode. Stamps.com also posts back to eBay with tracking numbers and shipping costs so you can provide immediate shipping details to your buyers.
Features, Options and Ease of Use
Other than the account subscription details and the integration features for eBay sellers, all Stamps.com accounts have access to the same features and functionality in the software. Here is an overview of some of the service options you'll have access to in the software, with an in-depth look at the options eBay sellers are more apt to use frequently: parcel postage and International shipping options.
The software offers standard postage print options and includes a "Postage Wizard" that takes you step-by-step through the process of selecting a shipping service based on the size envelope or box you're sending. There are also options for printing stamps -- you will need the special NetStamps paper which you can order from Stamps.com.
The company also offers printing direct to envelopes, a service that some eBay sellers or marketers may want to investigate. The software allows you to print postage directly to an envelope and also print the return and delivery address in the same print job. Since you can import contact lists from a large number of contact management software providers and other programs like Lotus, QuickBooks, Outlook and Microsoft Office, this makes bulk marketing mail-outs easy to prepare.