Tutorial – Shipping Labels – International

As promised, here is how I make shipping labels for international packages.   I use the USPS Shipping Assistant®, provided by the United States Postal Service.  It can be downloaded from the link and installed onto a Windows system.  Unfortunately, it is apparently not available for a Mac.

Since I use this package only for international shipping, I have set the defaults for international first class packages.  To set these defaults (on the version that I  have), first click “preferences” in the upper right corner of the Shipping Assistant screen.

There will be a series of selections on the left side of the screen.  I modified two of the selections:  General and International Label.

In the General Preferences window, I set the “open shipping assistant” to “International Shipping Label”.  This was the only item that I modified in this window.

Shipping Assistant - General Preferences

Shipping Assistant - General Preferences

I modified quite a number of items in the International window.  Most of my packages are under 2 ounces,  so I set the default weights accordingly.

  • weight – 2 ounces
  • service – first class mail international
  • container – parcel
  • description – craft supplies (that is what the beads are – you decide what your package would be)
  • quantity – 1
  • item weight – 1 ounce
  • contents – commercial sample (changed to merchandise, depending on the package)
Shipping Assistant - International Preferences

Shipping Assistant - International Preferences

After I have set the preferences, every time that I run the Shipping Assistant, the screen will initially look like this:

Shipping Assistant Overview

Shipping Assistant Overview

I then add each item.  In the upper right area, there is a section called “Items: Content Detail”.  I already showed how I set the default to 1 ounce and “Craft Items”.  I enter the value of the item.  I ship with the receipt, so this number is the same as the sale value of the items.  Click “Add Item” and that is added to the Description.  If I ship multiple beads or multiple sets, I add each item separately.

Shipping Assistant - Content Details

Shipping Assistant - Content Details

After all of the information has been entered, click on the calculate button.  This will show the amount of postage due.  It is not necessary to do this right now, you can just click the Print button.  I believe that you can save the labels and print a batch of them at a time, but I only do one at a time.

After the label is printed, I cut it, then glue and tape it to the bubble mailer.  These labels fit quite nicely on a 000 bubble envelope.

Again, I hope that this helps someone with their shipping!

Related tutorials:

Rosemarie Hanus makes beads (that she prints shipping labels for) in her home studio. Look at some of these beads at EtsyArt Fire, or my Spawn of Flame website.


About rosemarie h.

engineer by day - artist by night View all posts by rosemarie h.

6 responses to “Tutorial – Shipping Labels – International

  • Lori G.

    So, you can print regular postage for international packages? It doesn’t have to be priority?

    I have a Mac and have been using the usps.com site to print my international labels directly but they only offer priority. It just went up to $12.50 for the lowest amount. Kills me to have to charge people that.

    I have the capability to run Windows on my Mac so maybe I’ll have to have hubby load it onto our server. That’s where my Stamps.com is anyway..

    Thanks Rose!

  • rosemarie h.

    No Lori, unfortunately I cannot print the actual postage. It does print the label and the customs information. It also calculates the postage amount and prints that amount on the label. I keep a supply of stamps and just add them to the label. I then place it into the mailbox for pickup.

    The postage amount is currently in to $2 to $3 range for most countries.

    The advantages are: I save having to look up the postage amount, and I save a trip to the post office.

  • rosemarie h.

    Lori, I am running Windows using Parallels right now. This program runs just fine that way.

    I’m looking into Darwine instead of Parallels, but the current precompiled versions are mostly for Leopard and I’m still running Tiger.

  • lori g.

    Excellent. That is definitely worth doing then. We have parallels, I just have to have hubby set it up so I can get to the server…I think. :o) Keep ups posted on Darwine (if it fits with the blog scope). I have to go to a Mailboxes Etc place anyway as that’s where we get and send all of our mail…even their 20% markup on postage is less than priority!

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