Endicia Review: Online Stamps
|Sign up for Endicia|
|Cheapest solution for PC users, great customer service and intuitive printing; requires software download|
Unlike its competitors, Endicia requires users to download their software in order to print postage. Though this is an extra step that other services do not require, we found the software to be intuitive and user friendly for both PCs and Macs. The PC version is cheaper than other services with $9.95 per month being the minimum plan, while the Mac version is more consistent with others at $15.95 per month. If you want and need the ability to print postage on any computer with an Internet connection, this service may not be for you because it does require the software download specific to the platform. But overall, we had an easy time printing postage and had a great customer service experience, not to mention the discounts you can get on delivery and signature confirmation, lower international shipping rates and parcel insurance discounts.
First, note that there is only one Endicia plan available to Mac users, and it is the same price as the "premium" plan for PC users. Reference the pricing section of this review below to get more details on all of Endicia's plans. After choosing your plan and completing the quick registration process with your personal information, you will receive an email with step-by-step instructions to start using the service. To start printing labels onto regular printer paper right away, you must download their program, "Dazzle", onto your PC. Mac users will also get a link to download their version of the software. The front page of your Endicia account is a summary of your activity, including billing, postage usage and insurance.
At first it was a little confusing to figure out which software download to use to print postage on the PC, since Endicia provides you with two options. If you want to print stamps, you must use the "Dymo Stamps" software, where you can print full pages of stamps. To print and design labels on regular printer paper, you must use "Dazzle". Though we had to talk to customer service to figure out which software to use for what, we were pleased with both when we used them. Both were very intuitive, with exact steps to print your postage. They both showed a preview of what you would be printing and let you add postage to your account balance right from the software. Note that you must be connected to the Internet to use both programs.
One thing we liked about Dymo is that it lets you select how many stamps to print, so you don't have to pay for a full page. We also appreciated the size guide that is next to the drop down menu where you choose the mail piece. This is useful for people that are new to shipping and don't know names and dimensions. Dazzle is also easy to use. Just type in the delivery address, type of package, mail class, weight and dimensions and it will calculate the shipping cost for you. Both programs allow you to do test prints, just in case. Make sure that after you print out the shipping label, you write down the tracking number so you can follow it online.
The Mac software, simply called "Endicia", is nearly identical to Dazzle in functionality. Just enter the delivery address, type of mail piece, class, weight and dimensions. It will then calculate the cost for you. You can even add your options to your "favorites", so if you send a particular type of package often, there is no need to retype everything.
How Much Postage Do I Need?
Endicia makes it easy to figure out exactly how much postage to print. In fact, when printing labels you hardly need any postage knowledge at all, because it will automatically calculate the values for you. When using Dazzle or the Mac version of the software to print labels, you must enter in the delivery address, the weight of the package and dimensions, as well as the type of mail class (i.e., priority mail, parcel post, etc). Once you enter all of those metrics, the software will automatically calculate the cost of postage for you.
For printable stamps, simply select the mail piece (i.e., small flat rate box, postcard, letter envelope, etc) and the program will automatically show you the postage value. If you are sending a postcard abroad, for example, you can just select the country you are sending it to from the postage value drop down menu and it will show you the cost.
In terms of printing postage, some useful features include receiving a delivery confirmation, some certified mail options and the option to require an adult signature when the package is delivered. Your Endicia online account has extra features as well. In the "tools" tab you can request a postage refund, file insurance claims with mail you sent with Endicia coverage, lookup sent packages and create SCAN forms. The "reports" tab has all types of account history. There you can find history of service fees, insurance fees, refunds and more. Another nifty feature is the ability to upload your own photos and use them on stamps from the "photo postage" tab under "products". This service is called "Picture It Postage" by Endicia, and it's a fun way to send stamps. The only downside is you must print a sheet of 20 as a minimum.
Like the other online stamps services, Endicia's web store is pretty extensive. You can find label printers, scales, packing materials, stamp sheets and more. There is also a selection of free USPS items such as large envelopes and boxes.
Ednicia's chat support was quick, friendly and knowledgeable. Their chat and phone support is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST Monday through Friday. Other than them not having weekend hours, we have no complaints. Even closing the account was easy; just go to "my account", then click "update profile" and hit "close account". Any postage balance that you have remaining on your account will be refunded. The support section of the site is also helpful, with FAQs, user guides and even video tutorials on printing postage.
One downfall of the service is that they don't provide you with a scale like the others. The cheapest scale in their web store is $49.95, but of course you can just buy one separately elsewhere. The standard plan, which is only available to PC users, is just $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year. The Premium plan is $15.95 per month or $174.95 per year; this is the same cost for the Mac version of the service. The professional plan is $34.95 per month. These advanced plans offer some technical extras that some may find useful such as business reply mail, bulk acceptance forms, XML integration and more. If you click on their compare plans page, they have an extensive chart of the perks for each plan; however, most users will be happy with the standard plan.
This is an easy and affordable service; in fact, it is the cheapest of them all. Endicia's only downfall is that you must download their software to print postage, and that the Mac plan is pricier than the PC version. You don't get a scale with the service, but there are a plethora of cheap scales available all over the web. The customer service was helpful and printing the postage was easy. If you don't mind downloading an extra bit of software onto your computer, definitely consider Endicia for your online postage needs.
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- Endicia Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Endicia: http://www.nextadvisor.com/online_stamps/endicia_review.php