The United States Postal Service has made shipping and receiving mail an effortless, convenient facet of everyday life.
An extension of the federal government’s executive branch, USPS offers affordable prices on all kinds of shipping, from standard-size letters to 70-lb. parcels.
But does USPS print labels for their customers? Or do you need a printer at home? Here is the answer you seek.
Does USPS Print Labels?
The United States Postal Service provides a service in which customers can generate shipping labels at home and then get them printed in-store, free of charge. This label print service is mainly for those who do not have a printer and for small business/eCommerce store owners. While USPS can print labels for free, the shipping fee is not included.
To learn more about how much it costs to have USPS print your labels, an explanation of Label Broker, the types of labels USPS prints, and much more, find all the details below!
Does USPS Print Labels For Free?
USPS does print shipping labels for free, though it is worth noting that the printing service itself is free – not the actual shipping label.
Let’s back up.
Only recently, the U.S. Postal Service announced they had merged their Label Broker program with Click-N-Ship.
Click-N-Ship is the feature on their website that allows customers to print shipping labels from home.
USPS stated they were addressing a problem that many people face: Lack of access to a printer.
They remarked that with more people working from home, the glaring lack of printing access needed to be addressed.
Enter the Label Broker/Click-N-Ship integration, which makes it easy for both small business owners and their customers to access shipping labels when they need them.
While the shipping label must be purchased (and will vary in price based on the package), the printing service provided by USPS comes at no additional charge.
For eCommerce store owners, for example, who anticipate or want to provide free return shipping to their customers, the Label Broker makes it free and incredibly convenient for that customer.
What Is USPS Label Broker?
USPS Label Broker feature gives customers of the postal service easy and convenient access to shipping labels when they don’t have a printer at home.
Anyone who doesn’t have a printer can use this service to purchase shipping labels and then have them printed for free.
But it is especially useful for small business owners and eCommerce store owners who sell goods that might require returns or provisions for extra shipping by their customers.
Label Broker works in conjunction with USPS’s other service, Click-N-Ship.
According to the USPS website, Label Broker can be applied as the printing option after the label transaction has been completed.
The page will read “Print Your Labels,” and “Print labels later at the Post Office” is the last choice. Select that and enter your email address.
USPS will then send a QR code to your email, which, if you’re a small business owner, you can forward to your customer if/when needed (or email them directly).
They or you can take the code to the post office counter, where the postal worker will scan it and print the label for free.
It must then be affixed to the package and collected for mailing. You cannot take the label home.
What Types Of Labels Will USPS Print For You?
USPS will print whatever types of labels their Click-N-Ship service supports.
As of now, that includes Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail International, and Global Express Guaranteed.
Be aware that because you are (or your customer is) printing the USPS label in the post office, they must affix the label onto the package there.
The Label Broker feature is not for printing at the post office and then bringing the label home (for example, if you were to then try and schedule a package pick-up).
So be sure to bring (or remind your customer to bring) the package with them to the USPS post office.
Where Can You Print A Prepaid Shipping Label At USPS?
Not every post office location necessarily supports Label Broker, so you will have to check for which ones near you do.
You can do that here, on the USPS.com location finder tool.
Enter your location, and a list of post offices near you will appear. You can click to expand each location and show the available services.
If the store supports Label Broker, it will be listed among the “Services at this Location,” as seen below:
Label Broker appears to be a fairly common feature in post office locations.
But if you live in a smaller town with only one post office that doesn’t have it, you can expand your search up to 100 miles from your town.
Will USPS Print A Shipping Label From Your Phone?
You can bring your Label Broker-generated QR code to a post office for printing in two ways.
The first and easiest is to simply show the USPS teller the QR code on your phone. That is all they need to scan it and print it.
However, you can also bring in a printed copy of the QR code.
This might sound a little strange – after all, aren’t you getting it printed because you don’t have a printer?
As paradoxical as it sounds, perhaps you ran out of packing tape to affix the label at home, or you have bad handwriting that makes the USPS puzzle over your intended destination.
Whatever the case, USPS likely counts on most people bringing in their QR code for Label Broker on their cell phones.