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USPS for Dummies?

I want to be one of the cool people, shipping directly from home (do the cool people use the word cool these days?). My post office is always busy & when I ask questions about this, they are unable to help. I've been searching usps website & coming up empty handed. I really need a shipping for dummies book of some kind.

Hoping fellow etsians can help me:
Do I have to ship priority to have home pick up or can I ship first class, too?

Will they pick up at an apartment complex--anyone know if they pick it up at my apartment door or if I take it to the main office?

Can I ship internationally from home?

Any other tips/lessons learned would be greatly appreciated!

15 Responses

I think you may be referring to PayPal shipping, which is very popular with sellers here. I couldn't run a shop (and have a full-time job) without it!

Here's a thread that discusses the basics.
yep paypal shipping that is what you need! :D
If you want to schedule a pick-up, at least 1 of the parcels being sent has to be priority or express, the rest can be first class and parcel post or whatever.

If you wish to ship international first class from home, you may use postage printing services such as or, which charge a monthly fee or use the shipping assistant on the site, which is free but you'll have to keep various stamps at home to affix to the parcel.

There are loads of threads on the forums that can help you regarding shipping, a wonderful Etsian named GoTo has the best and most concise info to share on the subject.
I love paypal shipping - it keeps a permanent online record of when I mailed, when it arrived, delivery conf. number, etc.

Technically, pickup is supposed to be for Priority/Express Mail (see here:, but my mailman is great and picks up anything - I send first class, parcel post, and media mail as well as priority.

I don't know about the apartment situation though.

Thanks! I feel even less cool not realizing it's paypal shipping--no wonder I was lost on the usps website!

Only remaining question is how to ship from an apt complex but I'll go search & etsy some more & see if I can find the answer. :) Thanks!
You may want to call your PO, and ask them if you order a carrier pickup via the USPS website, where will you need to leave the pkgs?

(We print our shipping labels on PayPal, then order the pickup on the USPS site.)
I like that idea SunnyDay. Our PO's workers are so overworked and stressed out, yelling at customers sometimes, etc. I hate taking up too much of their time in person (think "No Soup for You!" from Seinfeld) but I think I could handle a phone call. :)
I love paypal shipping - the added plus is the tracking of shipments all in one place, and the notice to the customer that paypal sends them with the tracking info - perfect!

I do take all my items to the PO, but I can drop off since I'm sending only small packets. I like to do that as my PO is one of those big hub ones so it really speeds things up.
If you have a big blue mailing box in your neighborhood, you can put your parcels in those too or if your post office has a drop box in the lobby, you can go there after hours. That's what I tend to do, I refuse to go there when they are open.

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