It used to be that the only way you could mail a letter or send a package was to go to the Post Office, have them weigh or measure the item to be shipped, calculate the cost, have you purchase it, and THEN you could send it. Whew! Well this is no longer the way it has to be. You can print your postage and then merely drop the item in a mailbox or at a postal pick up location. Let’s discuss this further.

It is now no longer necessary that you do it directly from the Post Office. It is now possible to avoid having to travel there, wait in line and buy postage. You can use websites which allow you to calculate and print your own.

Basically what this entails is going to a website like the one sponsored by the USPS or a private service like You can enter ship from and ship to information as well as information on the package or letter you want to send. It may require weighing the item and measuring the size of the package.

Once you enter this information, the service can calculate exactly how much will be required for the particular type of service desired. For example in the case of the USPS site, you can send letters or parcels via First Class mail, Priority Mail or Express Mail.

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The system will tell you exactly how much it will cost. You can then pay by using a credit/debit card. Once paid for, you can then print it out directly on the envelope or on a self stick label for attachment to the letter or package.

It prints out a special type which can be scanned by mail readers and sorters. The great thing about this option is that it is no longer necessary to have to travel to the Post Office to purchase stamps or have them calculate the amount. It can easily be done in the comfort of your home or office.

If you were unable to use this type of service but you didn’t want to travel to the Post Office, you would have to estimate it yourself. Chances are you would have either too much or too little on the package or letter.

In this way you can determine exactly how much is required. In most cases the amount charged includes a discount. For example you can often send items via Priority Mail or Express Mail based on a 10% discount.

This is because it saves the Post Office money since they don’t have to employ as many sales clerks to handle the transactions. You can also save additional money by not having to drive to the Post Office for many of these transactions.

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