If you operate an ecommerce business at home, you can print your shipping labels to cut down your operating costs, save time, and enjoy more flexibility.
Carriers usually charge a minimal fee for printing labels. However, choosing the DIY route could mean large savings if your business regularly ships a large volume of orders.
In this article, I’ll discuss how to print shipping labels at home for free.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What Is a Shipping Label?
Every parcel contains a small piece of paper with a scannable barcode. This allows carriers to provide customers with delivery updates. It also contains the destination’s details.
A shipping label is unique to every package. For certain shipments like perishable and unboxed items, you need specialty labels with package details about their shipping conditions.
Shipping labels generally display this information:
Origin and return address (business address)
Shipping class (e.g., Overnight Delivery, Priority Mail, or Standard Delivery)
Package weight and dimensions
Electronic tracking number
How To Print a Shipping Label for Free
If you print at home, you only pay for the postage after your carrier scans your delivery for shipment.
I’ll teach you how to print shipping labels for free in three ways.
Via a Shipping Carrier
Major shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, and USPS have an online shipping service that allows ecommerce businesses to generate and print labels for free. You can print shipping labels online through their website using a computer or mobile device.
Third-Party Shipping Solutions
Most shipping software can create a new label every time you ship packages. Examples are Shippo, ShipHero, and Stamps.com, which can integrate your shipping process with multiple carriers. They can make shipping packages more efficient with features like:
Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and other popular ecommerce platforms allow business account holders to print shipping labels for free.
Every time a customer places an order, the platform notifies you to generate a shipping label you can download, print, and attach to your shipment.
While you can print shipping labels individually, you can save more time if you batch orders together and print all their labels at once.
How To Create a Shipping Label on Popular Carriers and Platforms
I made these step-by-step guides on how to print out a shipping label using various services, such as:
How To Print FedEx Shipping Label
Before you print shipping labels for FedEx packages, make sure you have the following details: the package weight and dimensions, the recipient’s name and address, and the shipping service.
Visit the FedEx website. You don’t need to create a FedEx account if you only manage a few orders annually. You can fill out the FedEx Ship Manager Lite form instead.
However, you must create a FedEx account if your business uses a shipping service frequently. You can do this by clicking Create an Account and adding your information, such as your name, address, and contact details.
Creating an account with FedEx comes with special discounts and advanced features. For instance, you can generate multiple labels at once.
Log into your account or use the form to create your online shipping label.
Use a valid credit card for the transaction.
Send the shipping labels to your email so you can print them. You can also share them with the recipients.
You can also use FedEx’s printing services in one of their locations. Here’s how to print postage labels in your local FedEx.
Visit the FedEx website and use the search box to find a location near you. Enter your ZIP code.
Click your city from the options.
Tap Copy and Print to show nearby locations that print shipping labels.
Head to the nearest FedEx location that offers a printing service.
The staff will ask you to send the labels to their email so they can print them at a minimal fee. Another option is to show a QR code from the mobile app so they can print it for you.
How To Print a USPS Shipping Label
Pay for your packages’ postage (Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express).
Create and print your shipping labels. You can also use the Label Broker service at your local post office.
Schedule a pickup online or drop them off at the nearest post office.
How To Print a UPS Shipping Label
Navigate to UPS.com and select Create a Shipment from the Shipping tab.
In the Ship From section, enter your name and address. Next, enter the recipient’s name and address in the Ship To section.
Fill out the correct shipping information.
Select your preferred delivery service.
Choose your preferred payment method.
Start printing your shipping labels.
How To Print Shipping Labels on Etsy
Visit Etsy.com and sign into the website.
Click the Shop Manager button in the upper right corner next to your profile picture.
Click the Order and Shipping option.
Select the order that requires a shipping label.
Click Download Shipping Labels or Get Shipping Labels.
After downloading the labels, click Review your purchase or Confirm and buy.
The PDF file is ready to print. Click File and then select Print.
After tapping the Print option, choose the correct setting for a paper label, which is 4 x 6 inches.
Check the format before you start printing the shipping labels. Once you’re sure there’s no distortion, click the Choose print and complete your item button.
How To Print Shipping Labels on eBay
From the eBay Seller Hub, click the Orders tab. If you’re using My eBay account, select Sold instead.
Click the Purchase shipping label option beside the item you want to ship.
Fill out the correct shipping labels information, such as the package dimensions and weight and the addresses.
Click the Ship on option on the drop-down menu and choose your shipping date.
Click your preferred shipping services and additional options. (Examples: Add custom text, display postage value on label, additional liability coverage, etc.)
Click your preferred file: QR code and printable label or printable label only).
Select your preferred payment option.
After printing the labels, click Open package slip to generate a packing slip. You can also do this by tapping the Order drop-down option and selecting Print packing slip and more.
If you want to print by batch, follow these steps instead:
From the Seller Hub Orders tab, click the boxes next to the orders you want to ship.
Select Print Shipping Labels or Invoices from the Shipping drop-down menu.
This will direct you to the bulk shipping tool that enables sellers to edit the details of individual orders (e.g., ShipCover insurance, dispatch options, shipping providers, delivery addresses, etc.).
Click Review Purchase to view the total cost of the shipping labels.
Tap Confirm and Pay.
Click Print Labels.
How To Print a Shipping Label on Paypal
Go to Paypal.com.
Log into your PayPal account.
Select the Activity tab near the top of the webpage.
Select the Ship button next to the transaction you want to print a shipping label.
Choose your preferred shipping carrier (USPS, UPS, etc.).
Select the Calculate shipping button to see the shipping rates.
Select the Confirm and Pay button.
Tap Print label and select the appropriate printer for your label.
What Can I Use for Label Printing?
Are you wondering, ”Where can I print a shipping label?” or whether you need special paper combinations?
You can just use regular paper. Another option is to use self-adhesive labels, which is easier because you can find some that adhere to the labels’ size requirements.
If you’re wondering where to print shipping labels, you can use regular printers, such as inkjet or laser printers, to print cheap shipping labels at home.
However, using an inkjet printer makes the label prone to smudging. On the other hand, a laser printer is not always compatible with an adhesive label.
Is using regular prints and paper the cheapest way to print shipping labels?
It may look like that’s the case, but it’s more labor-intensive and more expensive in the long run.
A bundle of regular paper is usually 500-1,000 sheets. If your business is doing well and shipping hundreds of orders a week, the costs can quickly add up.
You can also use photo paper to print your shipping labels. However, this is a costlier alternative to regular paper.
One way to save money and make the printing process more cost-efficient is to use pre-made label rolls with built-in adhesive backing. You won’t have to use tape to attach the label.
Consider investing in a thermal label printer to minimize your overhead costs. This type of printer generates smaller, more cost-effective labels.
How To Print Shipping Labels for Small Business
If you’re serious about minimizing the costs of the shipping process, follow these label printing tips for home-based and small businesses.
Invest in Thermal Printers.
Investing in a thermal label printer can help you save money in the long run versus using a laser or inkjet printer.
Using thermal label printers is also the best way to print shipping labels because they create smaller and smudge-free prints, unlike a regular printer.
Look for Discounted Rates.
Choose shipping carriers that offer special packages and discounts for small businesses.
Remember These Tips.
Stick to these best practices when printing shipping labels:
Always double-check the accuracy of these details: package weight and dimension, payment data, address of return, and recipient’s address.
Follow your carrier’s instructions and policies.
Always save the file before sending it out for printing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Get a Cheap Label?
Aside from printing labels at home to save money, you can also partner with carriers (such as FedEx and USPS) that offer special packages and discounts to ecommerce businesses.
What’s the Cheapest Way To Print Shipping Labels at Home?
Use a thermal printer instead of inkjet or laser printers. Using adhesive shipment labels can also save you more money in the long run.
Can I Print Labels from a Mobile Device?
Yes, but you have to connect your phone to the WiFi and printer first. Next, open your file and print it.
How To Print Out Shipping Adhesive Labels?
Wondering how to print self-adhesive shipping labels? Treat them like regular blank sheets of paper. You can just insert them into your printer’s paper tray.
All printers are different, so always check which way to place the adhesive labels into the feed tray. Print sample files to ensure the label’s orientation.
Can I Print Labels on Regular Paper?
Yes. You can print one or two labels per standard letter-sized paper (8.5 x 11 inches) using a regular printer.
What’s the Next Step After Printing the Labels?
After you print your own mailing labels, you need to attach them to all sides of the shipment so the carrier can see them easily. Use clear tape to secure them and avoid blocking information such as addresses, codes, and descriptions.
Can You Print a Label for Free?
Yes. Major carriers like FedEx, UPS, and USPS allow a home-based or small business to generate labels for free. You can do it on their website or use an app on your mobile device.
Can I Print a FedEx Label on Regular Paper?
Yes. When you print FedEx labels at home, you can use regular paper or any paper combinations you like that are within your budget.
How Much Does It Cost To Print a Shipping Label?
It’s free to print, but you’ll have to pay postage before you can ship your parcel. The rate depends on your chosen carrier.
What If I Don’t Have a Shipping Label Printer?
You can use your printer at home to print shipping label stickers. While you don’t have to invest in new equipment, consider buying thermal printers once your business starts sending more packages.
What If I Don’t Have a Printer To Print Shipping Labels?
You can go to your local library or a print shop for your printing needs. Make sure to bring your digital file for printing shipping labels.
The Bottom Line
Printing shipping labels is now easier thanks to various online services.
Now that you know how to print your own shipping labels at home, you can reduce your shipping costs and enjoy more flexibility.
Other ways to reduce your logistics costs include partnering with fulfillment centers and looking for discounted supplies.
Another way to minimize your shipping cost is to choose a standard shipping service, which generally takes three to seven business days.