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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 90 - March 09, 2003 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 7

'Window Book' Postage-Automation Software for Online Auction Sellers

By Ina Steiner

March 09, 2003

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If you sell on eBay, you know that shipping is a big component of your business. And the bigger your business, the more complex shipping becomes.

Elizabeth Badavas at Window Book Corporation sent me information on her company's "postal productivity software" that can help shippers save time and money. Window Book boasts some large eBay and online-auction sellers as customers, including eGameUniverse.com and PADepot.com, an eBay fulfillment service.

After talking to Elizabeth and reviewing the material she sent me, it's clear Window Book understands the U.S. Postal Service. They offer a range of products and services for all kinds of shippers. One of the products AuctionBytes readers would be most interested in, Elizabeth said, is the Postal Package Partner.

Window Book's Postal Package Partner (PPP) is a delivery-confirmation and manifest software for domestic Priority mail, Parcel Post and First Class mail using the USPS Manifest program and the USPS Electronic Delivery and Signature Confirmation programs. It will print shipping labels, weigh parcels and calculate postage and Delivery or Signature Confirmation fees (if applicable). The Advanced and Gold versions work with Permit accounts, eliminating the hassle of dealing with meter strips or stamps.

PPP Standard Version
PPP Standard Version is for customers that use stamps or meter their packages. It offers delivery confirmation for Priority Mail at no charge and delivery confirmation for Package Services (including First Class, Printed Matter and Media Mail) for 13 cents.

PPP provides a postage rate and fee calculator; professional bar-coded labels; and automatic email notification to your customers when parcels have been shipped and when they have been delivered. With free Priority Mail Delivery Confirmation, you save 45 cents per package. A single user, one computer software license costs $299 per year for Standard PPP.

Gold & Advanced PPP
Gold and Advanced Postal Package Partner options are ideal for customers who use USPS Permit accounts for their mailings. Elizabeth said that because the Permit indicia doesn't say how much the package cost the seller to ship, sellers can charge a reasonable Shipping & Handling fee, and customers don't know the actual cost of shipping. Their brochure says, "Turn Shipping into a Profit Center by hiding postage amount with Postal Manifesting." Note that the USPS has minimum requirements for shippers who want to use permit accounts for their mailings.

With Advanced Version PPP, you also get email notification and free delivery confirmation for Priority Mail. And there is no waiting in line at the post office: you bring your permit statements and manifest with you, and you can simply drop off your packages.

A Gold PPP annual subscription costs $499 for a single user, one computer; an Advanced PPP annual subscription costs $699 for a single user, one computer. (See Web site for multi-user options.) Users must have a certain type of printer, scale and hand-held scanner to use the Gold version, talk to Window Book for details.

Window Book PPP software promises to streamline the shipping process; save money; cut down on customer emails (due to automatic email notifications); and save time at the post office. If you do a lot of shipping, it may be worth checking out their services: http://www.windowbook.com.

There is a prerecorded PPP demo on the Window Book site, so "anyone with a PC and speakers can see in 10 minutes how PPP and USPS can save time and money": http://tinyurl.com/72yf

Elizabeth is also offering AuctionBytes readers a copy of Postal Business Companion with free access through 3/1/04. "Postal Business Companion provides many mailing and shipping tools including all domestic postal rates, a mail profits calculator, a PC-Scale link and much more." Normally $49. As soon as you click on the following link, it will start to download: http://www.windowbook.com/downloads/promos/pbcpromo_install.exe

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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