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Julia Wilkinson AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

Julia Wilkinson is Editor of the AuctionBytes Blog and is author of the "eBay Price Guide," "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips and Tricks," "My Life at AOL" and numerous ebooks about selling online. You can also find her writing on Yard Salers.
Sat Dec 1 2012 17:07:05

Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?

By: Julia Wilkinson
Sponsored Link
In Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update newsletter, we are publishing the results of our Shipping Survey. You told us about all the various carriers you used, and also quite a few of you extolled the virtues of the good ol' USPS. But we also wanted to take a look at some of the shipping services out there, see what they had to offer online sellers, and what might make a seller decide to use one vs. another for their specific needs.

We asked which shipping services you currently use, and found many respondents use more than  one service.



We also asked why you use the shipping service that you use most regularly - and found that "conveninece" beat out "cost"!



If you use one of these services, we'd love to hear what you think about them...post a comment here on the blog, or leave a  rating in the ECB Ratings & Reviews under "Shipping Services."

Here are some of the key features of the major shipping services that responded:

DYMO Endicia
- Endicia customers have printed over $8 billion in postage using its shipping and mailing software.
- Integrates into most ecommerce software systems in use today, with a broad network of over 200 partners.
- Has a custom solution for military addresses such as APO; you can read more about that here.
- Says it supports the widest array of USPS products and  services at the best rates.

"We focus on offering the most reliable and best performing solutions: shipping software has to work, and it has to work 24x7, especially at this critical time of year," said Amine Khechfe, General Manager and co-founder of Endicia.

ShipStation (one of the apps by Auctane)
- Combines order processing, production of shipping labels, and customer communication in an easy to use, web-based interface that integrates directly with major carriers and online marketplaces.
- 30 day free trial.
- Connects with over 30 marketplaces and shopping cart solutions.
- Works with USPS, FedEx, UPS, and more.

"Our goal is to remove headaches for online retailers by simplifying their shipping process," said Jason Hodges, founder of Auctane.

ShipWorks
- Cloud connectivity to over 40 marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and Yahoo! Stores.
- Certified provider of FedEx, FedEx SmartPost, UPS, UPS Mail Innovations, USPS (including Endicia, Express1, Stamps.com) and DHL Global Mail.
- Batch process thousands of shipping labels (domestic and international) with a single click. Automatically print packing slips, email customers, and post back tracking information and shipment details to each sales channel.
- Monthly fee, starting at $14.95 per month, first 30 days free.

"ShipWorks is a multi-carrier shipping solution that helps online sellers ship more in less time by eliminating manual processes and automating post-sale tasks," said Richard Perry, VP of Business Development at ShipWorks.

Stamps.com
- $15.99 per month, currently offering a 4-Week trial, $25 in postage coupons, a free digital scale, $5 supplies kit.
- Print stamps, shipping labels, envelopes and more; calculates and prints official, USPS postage for anything from postcards to packages, domestic or international. Print postage right on envelopes.
- Save up to 62% on all Express Mail shipments, up to 15% on Priority Mail shipments, and up to 15% on First Class Package Service.
- Shipping internationally, Stamps.com saves you up to 5% on Priority Mail International shipments and up to 8% for Express Mail International.
-  Save on shipping insurance - up to 40% over USPS package insurance rates with Stamps.com insurance.

"Our software eliminates the need for manual data entry by automatically retrieving your order data from eBay, Amazon.com, Paypal, Etsy, Yahoo!, Google Checkout and even your own shopping cart. Stamps.com will also post-back shipping details and order data to your eBay or Amazon store. Stamps.com also lets you hide the postage value on your labels (to avoid customer questions) and even generates return shipping labels at your customer's request," said Eric Nash, Director of Online Marketing for Stamps.com.



What do you think of the various shipping services? What features stand out for you in choosing one? Do you use one of the ones listed here, a different one, or no extra shipping service? Post a comment here!
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
Comments (8) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Sun Dec 2 13:51:42 2012
I use Endicia these days for all my shipping. I used to use Paypal shipping for domestic packages, but I don't like the new eBay shipping. I now use Endicia for all of my shipping, not just international, like I was doing before.

I haven't evaluated shipping services in a long time and may do that in the new year, to see if the costs/benefit scenario has changed or can be improved with some of these other services. Endicia has been great, but it might be useful to be able to handle other shipping services in addition to USPS. Definitely something to look at *after* the busy holidays, though.
Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: racecarguy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 3 09:55:22 2012
Same here. I am very satisfied with Endicia, but it probably wouldn't hurt to do a little comparison shopping after  the first of the year.
Extra discounts are always a god thing.
Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 3 17:33:18 2012
I LOVE USPS and will NEVER use eBay or PayPal to print labels. Never have and never will.
Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 3 22:00:47 2012
I MUCH prefer USPS - really great all around. Since mid-1970s I have had THREE packages damaged, all happily insurance refunded. No losses.  Even an international package insurance claim, took a year (due to 3 countries involved) but we got the full $300+ claim paid.

I use ClickNShip for Priority /Express and also CNS for Business for other services. Have had nothing but terrific service, even the online chat/toll free tech support.

The online labels are so much more professional looking, bar codes are all done and I instantly have an exact copy of my label. It just gives me the professional ''look'' I want for my customers' packages, and is perfect for my filing system.

My only problem with USPS has been Express Mail, I was burned 3 times with missed deadlines and NEVER, EVER again will I use this service when a deadline must be met.

Nothing but trouble from UPS. They seem to try to damage everything.
Plus amazingly they are much more expensive than parcel post, at least with my friend's business shipper account.

I had a FedExGround account but they changed the dropoff office to 30 miles away, plus if you read the fine print, it may be a fight to insure ''collectibles/antiques.''

FedExExpress - I love !!  For high end, fragile pieces I will not use anything else, nor anything else for overnight delivery.




 
Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Dec 4 02:04:10 2012
Got poly-mailer?

Got Sharpie?

Got Post Office?





Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: Unishippers This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Dec 5 11:28:18 2012
I am very surprised not to see Unishippers on this list.  Many of my clients are auction shippers and enjoy our services thanks to the pricing we receive from UPS and our ability to ship larger freight items domestically and internationally.  Is there something else I could be doing to promote our services?  
Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: JackieBlue This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Dec 7 12:47:52 2012
I'm really surprised at the people who use Click N Ship or go to the post office! The pro services avaiable(Stamps, Shipworks, Endicia) are very good, provide support, and relatively cheap.  We used Shipworks for a long time and then ended up writing our own fulfillment system using Endicia's API.
Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?   Which Shipping Service Is Right for You?
by: Mattcom This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Dec 10 16:20:46 2012
I don't see TrueShip on the list, but I've used them for years and know thousands of businesses use them for all their shipping too.  I personally sent at least 10 people their way over the years.  I tried all these competitors and like their's the best.  It's simple, affordable and they actually pick up the phone when I call (unlike a few on this list).  Most of them have a good free trial so you can check them all out yourself. It was a tough holiday season a few years back that got me to start looking for a better way to manage my shipping.  I encourage everyone here to test out the shipping software options out there.  It is definitely worth the cost to do your shipping in one system.  Having all the carriers in one is so much better and faster than Stamps or Endicia!!

Out of curiousity, was this only a list of companies that advertise with AuctionBytes?  You should include TrueShip and a few other companies in the next survey.


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