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View Full Version : Automatically Print Postage-Paid Labels



deserthighway
09-06-2008, 04:44 PM
Hi all,

I've just started using a new shipping solution that is working so well for my osCMax store that I thought I would share it here.

I'm using a system called ShipWorks that automatically downloads all order details from the online store database into the locally run (Windows-only) ShipWorks application. ShipWorks, in turn, is tightly integrated with the Endicia online postage system. Via the ShipWorks application, with just a few clicks you can automatically print a postage paid label for the order. This is saving me an incredible amount of time in fulfilling my orders. International orders are now a breeze instead of a headache because the customs forms are now integrated into the shipping label itself.

ShipWorks killer feature is that once it successfully prints the label, it automatically syncs with the osCMax store online database and updates the order status, and comments the order with the shipping method and tracking number. You can also manually change the osCMax online order status at any time from within Endicia and add comments.

I've used the program now for several dozen orders and it is simply awesome. It also integrates with UPS, FedEx and DHL.

ShipWorks and Endicia are two separate services. Each costs about $15 / month, but they also both have a one-month free trial. I'm about a week into my trial for both.

I've been printing my labels using my regular inkjet printer and then having to cut the printed label from the remaining white space of the paper, and tape it to my packages. But since the system is working so well for me, I've gone ahead and ordered the recommended Zebra 2844 thermal label printer. These cost around $500 new, but there are a whole bunch on eBay in the $100-200 price range if you don't mind buying used. I ordered a used one from a company called HippoDeals that repairs and tests these units professionally -- total cost to me around $150. So that will save me another 30 seconds or minute per order, plus paper and ink.

Anyway I don't have any connection to any of these companies. I just run a small online store with osCMax, hosted with AABox.com. The solution is already working so well for me, though, that I thought I'd share the information here so others can benefit.

Other related notes I've picked up so far:

ShipWorks also integrates with USPS directly to print shipping labels, but these will not be postage-paid. To do the postage-paid envelopes you have to have a subscription to either Endicia or Stamps.com. I went with Endicia because it seems to be better supported and works for international orders, which apparently Stamps.com does not.

Also, if you update an order status from the osCMax admin panel, ShipWorks will download the updated order status the next time it syncs (I have this set to every 5 minutes). However, it will NOT pick up any other changes made to an order via the admin panel, such as additional comments, or changes to customer details or products ordered. So if you're using this system and want to change an order after it's been placed, you need to keep this in mind. That's not really a problem for me but it's important to be aware of.

Anyway I hope these comments are helpful to someone.