Do Shipping Labels Need Stamps?

A postage stamp indicates that the postal services have already been paid for. It is part of the standard policy to attach shipping labels when shipping a package, but is it necessary for shipping labels to have stamps?

Some shipping labels do not need stamps if the postage fees have already been paid. When generating and printing a shipping label, there is always an indication of whether the postage fees have been paid or not.

What to Know About Shipping Labels and Stamps:

Not all shipping labels are identical. You can opt to pay postage fees in advance. Once you print out the label, the top part should say that the postage has been paid. Otherwise, you can pay for postage at your local post office or the carrier’s office and have a stamp sticker on the package.

Does a Shipping Label Pay for Shipping?

You no longer have to go to the post office when sending a package. You can create your shipping label, pay the fees, and schedule a package pickup.

In general, the shipping label does not automatically pay for shipping. You pay for shipping and then a shipping label is printed as proof.

Creating your own shipping labels is easy, and you can do it for free. The UP Postal Service website will usually allow you to create ready-made shipping labels without paying anything.

This is great if you have a small business frequently shipping out orders. You can print shipping labels in bulk, so you do not have to print one whenever you have to prepare an order. Then you can pay for postage once you are ready to ship the items.

However, a shipping label can still pay for shipping if you opt to pay the fees online at the USPS website. When generating a shipping label on the website, you are always given an option to pay for the fees in advance. These fees include shipping and postage.

And when you opt to pay for these fees, the shipping label you create will indicate that all fees have already been prepaid. So all that is left for you to do is schedule a package pickup.

Does a Shipping Label Count as a Stamp?

A shipping label is essential when sending out packages. It is necessary to ensure that the package is delivered to the correct destination.

While a shipping label is important, it does not count as a stamp.

A shipping label contains important information such as sender name and address, recipient name and address, unidirectional code, postal barcode, routing number, and tracking number. It can also include the weight of the package and details about the items.

Meanwhile, a stamp indicates that the postage fees have been paid.

However, a shipping label can be a stamp if the postage fees have already been paid for when creating and generating the shipping label.

When you create a shipping label on the carrier’s website, you will see an option that lets you pay for the postage and shipping fees in advance. So if you opt to do this, the shipping label you print will indicate that the fees have already been paid.

Therefore, the shipping label will count as a stamp.

If you print a shipping label without paying for anything, then it cannot be counted as a stamp. It means that the shipping label is used for informational purposes only.

If you need to use the printed label to ship a package, you would still need to pay applicable fees at the post office. Then they will attach a stamp sticker to your package to indicate that the fees have been paid.

Do All Shipping Labels Need Stamps?

All packages need shipping labels, so they are delivered correctly. Shipping labels have all the essential information to ship a package properly and allow the customer to track it in transit.

However, not all shipping labels need stamps.

Here are a couple of situations where a shipping label does not need stamps:

  • A shipping label does not need stamps if shipped through privately-owned carriers like FedEx and UPS within the country. Only USPS shipping labels need stamps for domestic shipping.
  • A USPS shipping label does not need stamps if the customer has already paid for the postage. The top of the shipping label should indicate this: “US Postage and Fees Paid.”

Even if your shipping label does not need stamps, you can add them for extra postage. The US Postal Service would allow this.

When Do Shipping Labels Need Stamps?

In general, a package would require stamps if they are being shipped through the US Postal Service. This also applies to letters and smaller mail.

If the postage and fees have been paid in advance, the shipping label should indicate that it would no longer require a stamp.

Here are two situations when shipping labels need stamps:

  • A shipping label needs stamps if it is shipped internationally, whether through the US Postal Service international shipping or privately-owned carriers like FedEx and UPS.
  • A shipping label needs stamps if it is shipped locally through USPS, and the postage and fees have not yet been paid online.

If your shipping label does need a stamp, you can usually get them in a book of 20 or coils of 100, 300, or 10,000 – and they do not expire, so you can get as many as you want. If you need just one, you can get it by visiting your local post office.

Here are several ways to buy stamps:

In-Person At a USPS Location:

This is the most obvious way to get a stamp.

Simply visit any USPS location and buy a stamp there.

You can utilize the Post Office Locator at the USPS website to check the nearest USPS location.

Online at The Postal Store:

The USPS has an online postal store where you can buy postage stamps.

They come in different designs and quantities, so you can get several stamps to suit your needs.

Via Phone:

The US Postal Service also offers the option to place an order for stamps by phone.

You need to call their phone number.

Via Mail:

The USPS offers Stamps By Mail, a service that allows customers to order stamps through the mail.

All you need to do is fill out the PS Form 3227-A, available at your local post office. Your local post office fulfills the stamp orders, and your USPS carrier will deliver them.

You can pay using a check or money order payable to USPS when ordering stamps by mail. The payment must be sent to the address indicated on the envelope.

Once your local post office has received the order and payment, the stamps will be delivered within 2 to 3 days.

Via Fax:

This is another option that USPS offers to customers who want to buy stamps.

However, this is only available at selected USPS locations. You need to call your local post office to check if this option is available in your area.

Once the order has been received, the stamps will be delivered after a few days, but the processing time may be longer if it is a busy month like December.

Payment methods are the same as paying at the local post office. For this option, credit cards are also accepted.

What Happens If A Shipping Label Does Not Have A Stamp?

If a shipping label does not have a stamp because the postage fees have not been paid for, it is not valid and would not be accepted for shipping.

Before your local post office accepts your package for shipping, you must either pay the postage and shipping fees in advance at the USPS website or pay for the said fees at your local post office.

If you opt for the first option, which is paying online in advance, then your shipping label would indicate that the fees have been paid, and you would no longer need to have a stamp on it.

Otherwise, you would still need to pay the applicable fees. Then the local post office would place a stamp sticker on your package and process it for shipping.

Sources:

11 Common Questions About Shipping Labels

What Is A Shipping Label, And How Does It Work?

Postage Stamp – The Basics

Is The Shipping Label The Same As A Stamp?