Print your postage from home! No driving to the PO and waiting in long lines!
It sounds great, but there is a catch… A costly catch!
I love eBay, and we sell a decent number of items, so over the years we have gotten used to trips to the post office. Most of the time we avoid the PO by purchasing postage through PayPal and shipping it from the house, but the PayPal system is flawed – you can’t do first-class mail plus you really need a postage scale (which we have yet to get).
So, when I got a CD in the mail with a tempting offer from Stamps.com (for about the one-hundredth time), I decided it was time to check it out. While it is a slick program that is very user friendly, its customer support left me frustrated and missing one of the key offers I wanted to check out!
The offer – $5 in free postage, 1 sheet of “net stamps” with your image/photo, a welcome packet with other “net stamps” and a $25 Amazon gift card.
I quickly learned that you cannot print stamps unless you purchase “net stamps” from the post office (or print directly on an envelope). Lovely, now I have the cost of postage plus the cost of the sticker sheets! At least I was going to get some free sheets to try first.
Next, I attempted to order my photo net stamps. I wanted to support my Florida Gators, so I chose an image of my mascot. A couple of days after ordering, I received an email the my order had been canceled due to the image having a copyright. Umm, didn’t even think about that. So, I contacted customer service, explained the problem and requested a credit to try again with a non-copyrighted image. Still no reply to my request. (Ahhh… No wondering the PO is having problems!)
During the 30-day trial period I didn’t return to the software (I was waiting for my pretty photo net stamps to print postage), but the day before the end of my trial I decided I needed to check it out and at least use my free postage. So, I used the (ugly) net stamps I received in my welcome pack and printed 11 $0.44 stamps and 6 $0.02 stamps (to go with my 6 leftover $0.42 stamps).
I have read other reviews that complained of trouble printing, but the printing process was surprisingly simple. In a few minutes I spent $4.94 (of free postage). I intended to purchase more postage, to have postage on hand, but it appeared that I had to buy in $10 increments, more than I wanted.
I also learned through my Internet research that if you stay on, your first 30 days isn’t really free. If you continue the service you must pay the monthly rate back to the day you signed up. Since the cheapest plan is $15.95 per month, that would mean a sudden $31.90 bill canceling out all of the “free” bonuses I received for signing up. So, after printing my stamps, I called customer service to cancell. Of course, they tried to get me to stay, but I wouldn’t budge.
So, what did I learn about Stamps.com:
- Printing postage from home (including first class)
- Monthly cost – so you better do a lot of postage printing to make the extra cost worth it
- Fees for supplies – on top of postage, you now have to pay the PO for sticker sheets (plus the cost of ink)
- You need a postage scale for anything more that letters
- Customer support – don’t expect help if you run into a problem
I am glad I tried Stamps.com to see what it is all about, and I did get $4.94 in free postage!!!! But I am happily going back to using PayPal to pay for postage for eBay items and, from time to time, actually going to the PO when need be.
(Note -I never got my photo net stamps or my $25 GC to Amazon. In order to qualify for the GC, I would have had to complete my trial and pay the first bill for service (which would have been $31.90 — totally not worth it! )0