I work at the post office in San Diego and, of course, cringe ever time the Post Office is blamed for not delivering your mail in a timely manner or for losing your mail. And, the all time favorite, the guy claims he never received the cards.
For the last two years, I have been using Paypal's Merchant Tools to send out my cards. With a little practice, you can, with the help of an electric scale, create, print, label and mail the cards quickly and safely.
First, you must have a Paypal account. This is quick and easy. Just sign up at www.paypal.com. You enter a checking or savings account, paypal sends you two deposits that are less than a $1.00. When you receive the payments, you enter the two amounts at paypal and you're good to go.
If you receive paypal payments for cards or merchandise, just click on the "print shipping label" tab and it pretty much self explanitory.
HOWEVER, when trading or you receive monies other than through Paypal...
When you are ready to mail packages, you click on the Merchant Services tab. Under Shipping and Tax, clip on the Multi-Order shipping tab. This will either open the Multi-Order shipping page if your pop-up blocker is off or PayPal MultiOrder Shipping page and you just click on click here to launch PayPal MultiOrder Shipping link.
This opens the create new label page.
First thing to check is the Ship From this Address page. Make sure that your return address is there and that it is correct. After that, you shouldn't have to go to that page again until you move.
Second, click on the shipping details arrow. First time in you'll have to select all the choices on type of mail and weight. But, once you finish the first time through, you'll want to save the setting in the save as preset box. I have presets for what I mainly send, which is...
1 ounce = under first class mail select the package/thick envelope, This is usually 1 card a ridged sleeve in a small padded envelope. $1.41
2 ounce = under first class mail select the package/thick envelope, This is usually 2 - 4 cards a ridged sleeve in a small padded envelope. $1.58
3 ounce = under first class mail select the package/thick envelope, This is usually 5 - 6 cards a ridged sleeve in a small padded envelope. $1.75
But be sure to weigh until you feel confident in the weights. All the prices include delivery confirmation for only $0.19 instead of $0.75 when mailing at the Post Office. And, the postage payment comes directly out of your paypal account.
However, the big secret is...if you are mailing an item (say a box of cards) that weighs over 12 ounces, if you select and mail in a flat rate box, it costs only $4.60 including FREE delivery confirmation and the rate is the same all the way up to seventy pounds, as long as it fits in a flat rate box! This is a HUGE saving for all you have been paying like $10.60 for mailing your complete set of 1989 Upper Deck.
Remember, lots of problems are solved by using delivery confirmation and the Post Office is 100% commited to the scanning and tracking of delivery confirmation items. Joe Blow won't be able to say he didn't get it very convincently when you say, I have online confirmation that the product was delivered. (Well, crooks will be crooks, but listing them will be a great help)
Next, after selecting shipping, click on the "Ship to this Address" arrow.
This is simply entering the addressee's address information. I usually just cut and paste from the addressee's post in to each field box. Again, there being any problem, all you have to say is I copied from your post to ...address...you gave me.
Once, the address is entered, you have two choices. You can either Save and Close, if all the addresses are entered or if you have more than one transaction click on Create Another.
Create Another is really nice if your sending out multiple packages, especially if they're all the same weight. After clicking on Create Another, this opens another address box. But, first click on Shipping Details and select your preset weight and then enter the address. Continue until all your transactions are entered. Then click on the Save and Close.
After saving, the multi order shipping page is opened. All of the a recipients should be listed and the weights should be present. Click on the green little printer icon next to print. All the transactions that are ready to go, should have a green box next to it. Then click on the "pay and print" button.
This will open a new box that shows what the label will look like. Then click on the print label button. A box will come up, (well in my case since I screw around with stuff in different rooms) on what printer to use. Select and print. This will print the label and address label on an 8 x 11 page. Use white paper please. The label will then be printed. Half the page will be the label and then you'll have a part to enclose in the envelope.
Now, I recommend not putting the cards in an envelope until all the labels are printed, because I'm a government employee and forget which cards are in which envelope even after writing the name on the envelope. So, ready...take one label, cut off the enclosed address, add to the cards and place in envelope. Then, using clear strapping tape, seal the envelope (even if using a new envelope with sticky seal.
Next, cut around the address label and carefully and neatly seal all four sides with clear strapping tape. I try and make sure the postage part of the label is on the other side of envelope that coresponds with the clasp of the envelope, so that when I am taping the top of the label I go all the way around the envelope putting an extra tape over the clasp. However, try not to cover the delivery confirmation bar code. You can purchase 8 x 11 sheets that have a peel and stick backing, but I feel it is a needless expense. After labels have been applied, just drive the PO and drop in the outdoor boxes.
When I mail priority boxes, (Flate Rate and free from the Post Office) I use the clear tape to attach the label to the front of the box. Then I ask the cutest postal clerk to borrow their priority tape and go over every corner that some piece of machinery might snag. Seen enough torn open packages, thank-you, but I have never had any open after sealing all the edges. Then hand the packages to the darling clerk and be on your way.
Additionally, I usally add insurance for packages that book over $100, but be sure to have scans of the cards in photobucket or whatever you use. Insurance can be added on the create shipping details section.
Hope this helps and reduces the problems that occur from the unscrupolous out there, since you'll havea DC.
Any further questions, please don't hesitate to send me you current Twins car...er...pm me.