Stamps.com Review: Online Stamps
|Sign up for Stamps.com|
|Easiest navigation and printing process; intuitive site, good value and shipping discounts make it our first choice|
Just like its straightforward name, Stamps.com is an intuitive online stamps service that allows users to simply print postage on their home printers with no extra hardware necessary, except a scale to weigh your mail. Stamps.com gives users $5 worth of postage to test out during their 4-week free trial. After the trial, the monthly fee is $15.99/month, not including the cost of postage.
Note that you can get special discounts not available at the post office when using Stamps.com for your postage needs. According to their site, customers save up to 62% on all Express Mail shipments, up to 15% on Priority Mail shipments, and up to 15% on First Class Package Service. If you are shipping internationally, Stamps.com saves you up to 5% on Priority Mail International shipments and up to 8% for Express Mail International. Also, save up to 40% over USPS rates when you insure your shipments with Stamps.com.
After registering your email and entering your credit card information, you will be given a couple of postage scale options, which you will see in the pricing section of this review. After completing the simple registration process, Stamps.com will start you off with $5 worth of free postage so you can test out the service.
About a week after signing up, Stamps.com sent us a quick-start package complete with setup instructions for the account and the scale, $40 worth of postage coupons that are only applicable to people who continue their service past the free trial, a 20% off coupon for the store, two free pages worth of NetStamps (the material you print stamps on) and two free shipping labels.
The process for printing postage with Stamps.com was the most user-friendly of the 3 services we reviewed. To print, go to the top menu bar and click "print postage." When printing labels, you must select the type of mail piece or package you are sending. With letters and postcards, you are required to use NetStamps paper, which you can buy in the Stamps.com store. For everything else you can just use a plain sheet of paper, or use a Stamps.com SDC-1200 shipping label, Avery shipping label or a generic shipping label, all available for purchase from the Stamps.com store.
Before you print your postage, make sure that you have enough money on your account. We liked that Stamps.com doesn't make you exit the form to add credit. Instead, a notification will pop up allowing you to add $10 increments to your balance. Another notification will pop up warning you that you are deducting money from your account. It will also warn you if your credit balance drops below $25, reminding you to add more soon. Thankfully, if you made a mistake during the printing process, you can reprint the label one time. If there is a mistake both times, you must contact customer service and get a refund on the postage.
How Much Postage Do I Get?
Stamps.com is able to figure out the cost of postage for you. After choosing the type of package you are sending (i.e., letters, postcards, thick envelopes, USPS flat rate envelopes, etc), you must enter the weight and dimensions of the item. If you purchased one of their USB digital scales, or have your own USB scale, the form will automatically fill in the weight when you click "read digital scale." You must then choose what you will be printing your stamps on. As you are selecting the country you are shipping to, Stamps.com will adjust the postage rate for you. From there you can choose what type of mail service you'd like (i.e., first class, priority or express), and Stamps.com will adjust the price according to your selection.
There are a couple of helpful resources on the Stamps.com homepage. In the "history" tab, users can search past prints, refunds and schedule USPS pickups. Items that are eligible for USPS pickup, such as Priority Mail or Express Mai, will be listed under the USPS pickups tab. This "carrier pickup" service allows you to request a free package pickup from the USPS. When you click directly into the history tab, all of your recent postage will show up and you can click on the tracking number to track your package. SCAN forms, short for Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notices, can be found here as well. This will allow you to associate multiple package tracking numbers to one master barcode. Those who opted for Stamps.com insurance can file claims through the history tab as well. The "reports" tab will help you keep track of balances, expenses and past prints. You can update your personal and billing information, as well as toggle your default payment method, through the "manage account" tab.
For postage supplies, look no further than the Stamps.com store in the "buy supplies" tab. Here you will find everything from priority mail envelopes and boxes to tape guns and NetStamps paper. In addition to that, you can snag a limited supply of free envelopes, postage labels and more in the "free USPS supplies" section. For example, you can get 12 free 1/2" x 9 1/2" Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes.
Stamps.com has a very extensive help center, which offers detailed instructions on everything from printing postage to ordering extra supplies. There are even "webinars" where they will take you through the steps of using the service. They have an email contact form, which gave us a detailed, helpful response within 2 hours. Their phone support is available Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM Pacific Standard Time. When we called in, the customer service rep was knowledgeable, friendly and answered our call relatively fast.
At $15.99 per month after the 4-week trial, Stamps.com is about the same price as the other online stamps services we review, though Endicia for PC is cheaper. You can order a free 5 pound USB scale and pay just $9.85 in shipping, get a $49.99 25 pound USB scale plus $9.15 shipping or opt for no scale purchase and just use one you already have. Remember that you must pay for your own postage; the monthly subscription fee does not include the cost of postage.
Other than saving you a trip to the post office, Stamps.com's postage coupons, discounts and free materials are even more perks to signing up for the service. Individuals and business owners who do a lot of mailing will enjoy the plethora of organizational resources as well. Overall, Stamps.com is easy and intuitive for even the postal novice.
NextAdvisor Blog Headlines
Don't Share That! Tips to Avoid Exposing Your Identity Online
We live in a culture that shares everything, even the things that shouldn't be shared. While it's certainly important to think twice before sharing potentially embarrassing moments or inflammatory thoughts on social media, it's imperative that you steer clear of sharing anything that could expose your identity. Unfortunately, because we are becoming conditioned to tweeting, [...]
What is Instagram? Everything Parents Need to Know
Facebook is still one of the most popular social media platforms around, but as more and more adults are joining it, teens are opting for newer channels to share selfies and photos with friends. One of those channels is the Facebook-owned Instagram, which is a popular photo and video-sharing app available on most smartphones and [...]
Online College: Continuing Education for Adult Students
Adult students are considered nontraditional when it comes to the standards for earning a college degree. Oftentimes, there are personal situations that keep someone from obtaining a degree at the "normal" ages ranging from 18 to 23. As such, a student above the age of 25 is usually considered to be an adult student. There [...]
Filed a Tax Extension? 4 Tips for Meeting the October Deadline
We?re already almost midway into October, which means that the season for extended tax filing is ending soon. If you requested an extension on your 2014 taxes, the six-month period will end on Oct. 15. Although the tax extension deadline is nearly here, you still have time to file, and to help you meet your [...]
Stamps.com Forum Posts
- How do I get stamps from Stamps.com?
Stamps.com gives users $5 worth of postage to test out during their 4-week free trial. You can print the postage right from your home printer....
- How do I get stamps from Stamps.com?
How do I get stamps from Stamps.com?
- Can I pay month-to-month?
You can pay month to month and cancel at any time. A monthly billing cycle ends one month after you sign up. For example, if you sign up on March 8,...
- Can I pay month-to-month?
Do I have to pay up front for a particular amount of time, or is there a month-to-month plan?
- certified mail option?
Yes, Stamps.com has multiple certified mail options available, some of which include signature verification as well. You can print postage from your...