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Fri Mar 6 2015 09:22:16

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We use PayPal shipping / eBay shipping for both eBay and other transactions. PayPal shipping, though, changes the format of the information you enter for the delivery address to Non Postal Standards.

According to the USPS website, labels are machine read from the bottom up and should be UPPERCASE. Apartment or Suite numbers should be on the same line as the Street.

PayPal re-formats the information to incorrect standards hien printing to a non USPS Approved Format.

I tried contacting PayPal with their answer being "We do It Right".

As alarmist as this may be, in theory it could cause mailing delays. 

Thank you and appreciate EC Bytes
L.




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 6 09:49:03 2015

Paypal shipping labels. What are those????

Goes along with Ebay shipping labels. What are those.

Never used either one in 16 years.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Mar 6 10:07:56 2015

@L. (letter writer) - I think you are looking at their diagram and thinking that is the way it must be done. If you look under section  6.2, it states:

"However, if all of the delivery address cannot fit on one line, then secondary address information CAN BE placed immediately above the delivery address Line." (Emphasis added.)

Also, under Font Considerations, although all the examples show upper case letters, I could find no statement that upper case was required for all labels. Personally, I find it hard to read something that is in all upper case letters.

I use MultiOrder Shipping and I've never had a package delayed because of how the label was printed out.  

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 6 14:49:49 2015

I can appreciate shipping labels for all those "small sellers" for whom small means around 100,000 items a month :)

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Mar 6 14:58:52 2015

@L

PP and it's labels have been around for quite awhile.  I've personally used them for over 15 years.  This has never been a problem on anything I've ever shipped.

@RCL

Your definition of a small seller is based on how many packages they send per month?  And small means 100K or less.  

While I ship a lot of packages per month, I don't ship anywhere near 100,000 packages, so by that definition I'd be a micro seller.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Mar 6 18:02:33 2015

Several years ago I'd heard that the Postal Service used OCR to read shipping labels and that using ALL CAPS was the best way to minimize errors and make it easier for the machines to understand the address details.

After hearing this, I configured my Stamps.com software to use an UPPERCASE ONLY Truetype font for printing labels. This allowed me to cut-and-paste a customer's shipping address without worrying if they had entered it in all lowercase letters.

Later, my husband made some modifications to my shopping cart software that automatically converts shipping addresses to ALL uppercase (regardless of how the customer enters the data.)

Since I started using UPPERCASE only in my shipping addresses, I have had a grand total of ZERO shipments that have been lost or delayed.

I suppose that could just be plain old good-luck at work. It's difficult to scientifically test it to be certain.

Even so, if it helps the USPS (and other carriers too, probably) then why not go ahead and use all caps on shipping labels?

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 6 18:47:30 2015

Isn't the ENTIRE ADDRESS embedded in the QR and/or Zebra Stripe linked to USPS records of what THAT exact, UNIQUE tracking number is DESTINED for ?  I think OP is conflating how the post office handles MAIL that is hand lettered or even Typewritten with the way ANY of the PayPal / EBAY labels are instantaneously accessible to ALL the USPS system just as soon as it is PAID for.  I'm baffled that there are EBAY sellers who even HESITATE to use the eBay/PayPal labels. THey have worded perfectly for me on over 7,000 shipments.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Mar 6 20:02:00 2015

@angryllama - I thought the same thing regarding the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode, but all I could find was that it contains "critical" information for tracking, but nothing about an address.  

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 6 20:12:54 2015

I tried to print 16 labels the other day on eBay, and one didn't print.  Of course, in bulk label printing, they don't even tell you WHICH one didn't print, let alone why.

Later, re-tried that one that refused to print, and come to find out that it got rejected because the Buyer had put into the Name field in his eBay account a name that was over 40 characters.  Since he was overseas and using a US address, he had put both the receiving shipping company name, plus his OWN company name in that one field.  Had he used just his name, rather than his company name, it might have fit, but all this didn't.

Seems to me, and probably anyone else who thinks logically, that the solution to this problem would be for eBay to limit the number of characters in the Name field when registering an account, to the same number of characters that another part of their system defines as an upper limit (i.e. printing labels).

But, wait a minute, this is eBay...when do they do things logically?  Oh, that's right, ONLY if it makes them money...or screws the Sellers.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: charcorvet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 8 01:21:14 2015

I'm under the impression (from my Post Office reps) that the barcode supercedes the "typed" address and in fact, we've had incoming mail go astray just because the barcode was illegible (crinkled in 2 cases). THAT delayed the delivery. Even my chicken-scratched hand-written labels never held up packages that bad.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Sun Mar 8 09:27:31 2015

@dans parts

I too have run into the 40 character limit. Unfortunately, since I don't have a better solution, is to just change the field to fit properly, get the "not an approved address" message, roll the dice & ship it out anyway. Never had a problem though.

And yes, the stupidity of the IT staff (maybe they are just swizzle sticks, not staffs) for a simple solution of limiting the field size to what the API for the delivery service requires is nothing less than amazing!

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Mar 9 01:28:39 2015

Down load USPS Click-N-Ship for Business. In addition to printing correctly formatted labels, it can import address from eBay and can update eBay tracking numbers, but watch out for multi-item orders. The eBay database is not set up correctly and some additional effort to propagate tracking to all of the items in the order will be required.

Why would anyone pay eBay or payPal to print labels when it can be done directly through the US Postal Service at the same price. For those who buy discount postage, stamps can be used at the retail rate.

USPS Click-N-Ship provides at least one way to avoid having to use the company store at the plantation.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Mar 9 01:40:35 2015

May I rant about a *related* topic? It annoys me to no end when eBayers (and there are LEGIONS of them) can't be bothered to properly capitalize their address. I routinely get the following shipping label format:

jane Doe
123 main St
imbecileville, uSa

This drives me nUts!!!

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 9 01:41:01 2015

I will NEVER use eBay or PP shipping labels, I use USPS.  

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: brentandbecca This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 9 05:48:04 2015

@cfrphoto
I ship over 1,000 packages a week and use paypal/ebay. One reason is, it is actually cheaper if you use it and are top rated. You not only get commercial rate discounts, but commercial plus discounts which make all priority mailings cheaper.  I have never had issues shipping this way, and while i don't knock the USPS shipping, why take the extra step of uploading address and info onto a 3rd party site such as USPS, seems like it would take longer and could cause errors, not to mention, with multi-label ship, I can load 100 labels at one time and print 50 at once. It takes me less than 60 seconds to log in and prepare, then it takes approx. 3 minutes to print each batch of 50 (plus it gives you a detailed list (or printout) of each order, and a scan sheet you can hand to the postal worker to do once scan acceptance for all labels at once.

Again, if you find something that works, go with it, but for heavy volume, ebay/paypal is faster and cheaper from all my shipping experiences.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 9 05:59:54 2015

PayPal/Ebay shipping labels are furnished by Pitney Bowes. I use Pitney Bowes for most of our shipping unless the purchase was made through PayPal, then we normally stick with PayPal. Overseas orders we use USPS directly and only ship International Priority. I've experienced that all of the lost or damaged mail we had is when we print directly with USPS. Guess it doesn't matter where you print labels.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 9 08:53:09 2015

If this is the worst problem you have with PayPal, count yourself blessed. There is nothing in their guidelines about using all uppercase letters as others have said. It seems you may be stressing over an issue that's non-existent . . .

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 9 10:42:55 2015

@LasVagueness:
> It annoys me to no end when eBayers
> (and there are LEGIONS of them)
> can't be bothered to properly
> capitalize their address. I routinely
> get the following shipping label format:
[...]
> This drives me nUts!!!

I agree that it's surprising how lazy people can be sometimes; you'd think they'd care about getting their own address right, but no.

OTOH, you should find that in fact, when you print out the eBay/PayPal shipping label for a malformed address like that, its capitalization has been corrected as part of the validation process (which mainly adds the correct ZIP+4 code, superseding whatever the buyer had typed in).

There's a slight difference between eBay and PayPal shipping labels (the latter being what you get when you print a direct-to-PayPal shipping label via the handy http://www.paypal.com/shipnow link): the PayPal version prints the address in upper-and-lower case, whereas the slightly newer eBay version prints it as ALL-CAPS. (I think the eBay version is also in a slightly larger point size, although I'd have to measure to be sure; the all-caps shouting style certainly makes it look bigger, at least.)

In any case, I wouldn't worry about whether the address gets re-rendered in the course of printing labels. It isn't until the package reaches street level that the wording of the street address might matter; prior to that point, it's really only the ZIP code that's guiding it, and the ZIP was validated against the USPS database at printing time. As long as the label is legible, it'll get there.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Mar 9 11:42:58 2015

@cfrphoto - I would love to drop PayPal for my labels, but until USPS' Click-n-Ship offers First Class Package labels (which 99% of my items ship as), I am stuck using PayPal. It amazes me that the USPS offers a particular service, but makes it impossible to print out a label for that service from their own site.

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 9 12:18:05 2015

@iheartjacksparrow - USPS does offer First Class label creation. cfrphoto is correct.

Click-N-Ship-For-Business is a separate service from Click-N-Ship. CNSFB offers label printing for every available USPS mail service.

Click-N-Ship is a website service you access via username and password. C-N-S-For-Business is a download, quite different format.  

CNSFB does not take CC payment like CNS does. You can link it up with a postage meter, a permit or pay at the counter. You won't get the discounts that PayPal offers but you will get some $ off and of course the tracking/barcodes will print out.

To find it, log into Click-N-Ship and go to the ''Print labels'' page. Find the blue banner across the top. Click on BUSINESS then choose SHIPPING FOR BUSINESS from the drop down.  On the page that appears scroll down about half way - find the subheading COMPARE SHIPPING TOOLS and below that to the right you will see CLICK & SHIP FOR BUSINESS and a place to click to DOWNLOAD .

Here is USPS definition of CNSFB:

Click-N-Ship for Business is free desktop software for businesses that regularly ship 50-100 packages a month. It combines labels and package management operations all in one convenient tool.

Pay for postage via permit or meter and e-VSĀ®/ePostage

Print labels and forms for domestic and international shipments

--------------------
I have used both programs and found them extremely helpful and useful.

BTW I also use PP label creation for non-eBay purchases and they have worked just fine.

One more comment -- did you know that the USPS will accept PayPal payment for Click-N-Ship purchases ??

 

Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?   Could Using PayPal Shipping Labels Be Harmful?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Mar 9 13:13:03 2015

@timeaftertime - Thank you so much for that information. I did not know there were two different forms of the same service. However, once I read that there was no discounts such as PayPal affords, I guess I will have to stick with PayPal labels. Getting the Commercial Base Pricing through PayPal is a big help.

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