Shipping with tracking # on the cheap . . . . . . Zoid's PSA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ZoidMeister, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014

    I really hate how the shipping rates with the USPS have skyrocketed this year. I remember hating to pay Priority Mail small box flat rate, but liking the accountability of having a tracking number when shipping. When the small box Priority Mail flat rate rose to over $4.75, I knew I had to find a way to buy First Class with tracking numbers somehow. I talked to a lot of folks at the Post Office. They said it was "possible" but none of them would give me straight answers on how to get that done. To my knowledge, it is still NOT possible to purchase First Class with tracking directly from the USPS website.

    However . . . . . . . for those of you who use and hate PayPal, there is a little-known, hidden corner of the PayPal site that lets you do exactly what I had been searching for - ship First Class mail with tracking for less.

    I've been wanting to do a thread like this ever since I discovered the process, so welcome to Zoid's First Class Shipping Public Service Announcement. They don't make shipping this way very intuitive or easy, but the savings make it worth the effort (typically half of Priority Mail or less).

    Here is how you go about it . . . . . .

    When you log into PayPal, navigate to your account Summary page.


    Look for the little blue text that says, "Seller Tools." Below that you will see "Manage MultiOrder Shipping." Click on that link . . . . .


    This will take you to the main PayPal shipping page. Click "Create Shipment" to begin.


    This will bring you to a form that you need to fill out. Make sure the "Seller Address" listed in the form matches your PayPal billing address or you will run into errors with no additional information on what to correct.


    Once you have filled out all the information on where you want to send your package, click the "Continue" button at the bottom of that page . . . . . .


    You will then be taken to another form to fill out. Here you will enter information about your package contents, size, weight, and most importantly . . . . what USPS service you want to use. Make sure you select "First Class Mail Parcel Service."

    Now this is only good for small packages that weigh 12 ounces or less. If you need to ship something that weighs a pound or more, make sure you search for and select "Parcel Post Service." You still get the cheaper rates, and you still get a tracking number. In my experience, First Class Parcel and Parcel Post Service take the same amount of time for delivery. Parcel Post might be one day longer coast to coast.


    After you have entered all the package information, click "Create Shipment."

    If you are finished, click "Done." If you have another package, click "Create New Shipment."

    After you have clicked "Done" you will be taken to the review and payment screen. Simply click "Review and Pay."



    Addicts will only let me post 10 screen shot photos in this post, so I will continue below.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
    john_anch_ak, BBP, xerts1191 and 8 others like this.
  2. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    At this point, you are almost finished. All that is left to do is print your shipping labels.



    That's it.

    Sending an envelope of Polishing Cloths used to cost me nearly $8.00 to the west coast. Using the method above, I can get the same package shipped for between $2.60 and $3.60, and it will arrive in 3 to 4 days instead of 2 to 3.

    Hope this helps you guys.


  3. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    Hate PayPal ?? PayPal is an amazing invention, not without flaws, but amazing, easy to use and convenient none-the-less :):)
  4. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    I was just pandering to the haters, don'chaknow . . . . .
    TheCollector likes this.
  5. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    Thanks for the heads up Z.
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  6. Mike Meints

    Mike Meints Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2017
    Great tutorial ! Thanks !
    Capthobo and ZoidMeister like this.
  7. seawolfxix

    seawolfxix Asker of the Obvious

    Dec 10, 2017
  8. BenchMonkey

    BenchMonkey Angry Infidel

    Nov 28, 2018
    Pay Pal user for over 11 years and learning new stuff is awesome! Thanks Zoid!
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  9. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    One more tip:

    If you don't want to list the package contents, just put "Sample" in the item description field and "S01" in the item number field. PayPal won't create a label without SOMETHING in those data fields.

    I have used SAMPLE, DOCUMENTS, PARTS, whatever . . . . Make up whatever part number you want to use. It doesn't matter, these field just need something in them.

    Hope that helps.

    TheCollector and Mike Meints like this.
  10. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    That is truly a public service announcement. I too have been searching for a cheaper alternative to flat rate shipping. Thanks Zoid!
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  11. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Yup, they really don't make that part of the site easy to find. Their search tool and site maps don't reveal much either. I stumbled upon it by poking around.

    If you are a solid eBay seller, this page automatically comes up with your latest sales. It was deveoped to make shipping easier for eBay sellers that use PayPal for payments.

    I've been using it manually for a few years now. It really saves me some serious coin. I couldn't sell those Polishing Cloths for what I do if I couldn't ship this way. eBay fees, normal postal rates, and PayPal fees would double the cost.

    The postage cost through PayPal is about 20% less than the USPS counter rate.

    BenchMonkey likes this.
  12. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    @Kip and I say BS .
    Everyone knows Zoid ships with TTT express delivery !!

    Colorado Sonny, FWoo45, Kip and 3 others like this.
  13. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Another Tip, and a WARNING:

    First the tip.

    PayPal shipping will sometimes change the shipping method on you when you aren't looking. It happens most often if you have multiple shipments to send out. The first box, it will save the service you selected correctly. The SECOND box, watch out! I have seen the site default back to Priority Mail or worse, Priority Mail Express . . . . .

    Here is a classic example. I was getting ready to send out some cloths and a gun stand this morning. I entered all the Ship To and product data information, and when I clicked DONE - right before I hit "Review and Pay" - I got the ole "bait & switch." Look very carefully at the final values below.


    The PayPal site defaulted to a stored box size and the most expensive shipping option available for my second package. Fortunately, there is a little EDIT button on the right hand side of the screen. Clicking that takes you to an expanded review screen where you can re-select the shipping method that you prefer. For this box, I chose "Parcel Select" and fixed the size and weight errors that PayPal had "stored" from a previous shipment.

    Here is the pricing difference.


    Watch your six gentlemen, watch your six . . . . . . . .

    And Now for the WARNING:

    If you are sending your packages First Class Parcel or Parcel Select DO NOT use any of the USPS Priority Mail branded boxes. Even if you try to turn them inside out, there is printing in there. Don't use Priority Mail boxes unless you don't want to see that nice little thingy you just shipped for about three to six months . . . . . if ever again.

    The Postal Service does not take lightly to using the Priority Mail containers they provide for "free" when using a less expensive method of shipping. They will turn the package around and bring it back to you . . . . and they will take their sweet time in getting it back to you, with no tracking updates, at their convenience.

    Those boxes aren't "free." You are paying for them in the increased shipping charges. Save up all your old Amazon boxes for shipping, they make for perfect shipping boxes.

    Don't ask me how I know this . . . . . .


    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
    FWoo45 and seawolfxix like this.
  14. BenchMonkey

    BenchMonkey Angry Infidel

    Nov 28, 2018
    Flea bay about the same length of time, got a blue star whatever that means. Wouldn't have been able to feed that Bushmaster the way I do without the followers I got off there. I'll search flea bay first then elsewhere for most things. ;-)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  15. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I just completed my first shipment and instead of the new rate for a small flat rate box of $7.90 your method cost $3.22. That's going to open up a lot of things for me to sell online. I really appreciate the info it's something I've been trying to figure out for a while.
    ZoidMeister and BenchMonkey like this.
  16. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Does Zoid get to preview any forthcoming sale items for the wealth of knowledge transferred? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    It makes selling things like grips and small parts worth the effort for sure. Polishing cloth orders cost now me $2.66 to $3.82 to ship. Taking the envelope to the window at the post office is now $4.95 for First Class mail, not to mention the gasoline and hassle of standing in line with 80 other folks . . . .
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  17. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Gents, I thought I would bump this thread. Everyone needs less expensive shipping options.

    Read from the top!

    TheCollector likes this.
  18. Cop_Out

    Cop_Out Pearl Pimp Supporting Addict

    Feb 3, 2017
    Thank you for the info and tutorial, sir!
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  19. TheCollector

    TheCollector Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    Thanks for the bump!!!! I missed the first time..... Book marked for future use.
    ZoidMeister likes this.

    CENTURIATOR Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2018
    This was supposed to be a secret!!
    ZoidMeister likes this.

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