After the COVID-19 pandemic started two years ago, I had to get creative with ways to continue getting things done without leaving the house as often. That included finding out how to ship packages without going to the post office.
The post office, FedEx and UPS all offer scheduled pickup options for shipping packages. In most cases, you'll need to have the item boxed up and purchase a shipping label before scheduling the pickup. While scheduling a pickup is free when you use USPS and UPS, it'll cost you if you use FedEx. You can also schedule pickups for your, too, but the process is a bit trickier.
Here's how to ship your packages without going to the post office. Once your item has been picked up, you should receive an email confirmation from the carrier you chose.
To schedule a package pickup with USPS, you'll first need to purchase a shipping label through the USPS Click N Ship. Afterward, visit the Schedule a Pickup page and enter your address information to check availability. The mail service will then let you know if it can pick up in your area and will ask you a series of questions -- if you have a dog, where you'll leave your package and when you'd like the pickup to be scheduled.
Note that pickup during regular mail delivery is free, but if you want to schedule a specific time, it'll cost $24. After you've selected a date, you'll need to fill in how many packages they'll be picking up and the estimated weight -- USPS suggests rounding up to the nearest pound.
If your package weighs more than 70 pounds or is taller than 130 inches, USPS can't accept it. You can also choose to have one of its free flat-rate boxes shipped to you if you don't have a scale to weigh the package.
Alternatively, you can alsoto avoid the crowds at the post office.
To schedule a pickup with FedEx, you'll need to open a FedEx account with a username, a password and your credit card information. This lets you charge your shipments with FedEx Express and FedEx Ground. Here's a list of the shipping fees, which vary.
Next, you'll need to create a shipping label for your package and then schedule a date for your package to be picked up. Let FedEx know where the package will be located -- for example, on your porch by the door.
If you don't have access to a printer to print a shipping label, UPS is your best option. The carrier lets you schedule a pickup without labels and the driver will bring you shipping documents. At this time, you can't pay with a check or money order, so you can either call UPS and give your payment information over the phone or write down your payment information on the slip the driver brings you to cover any shipping or pickup costs. Once you verify the pickup details, you'll see the total cost of your order online.
Once you decide if you're going to print a label or not, enter your pickup information and address. You can then select the type of UPS service you'd like to use and how many items you'll be shipping -- for example, UPS Ground or UPS Next Day Air. You'll also need to indicate whether your package weighs more or less than 70 pounds.
Select a pickup time and let UPS know where to pick the package up -- for example, the garage or front door. Here's a list of shipping prices depending on which service you choose -- next-day shipping is more expensive than ground shipping.
What about Amazon returns?
If you need to, but can't make it to a nearby Kohl's store for an in-store drop-off, you can still send back a package -- but it's a bit tricky. When selecting a return, you'll need to change the default shipping method from Kohl's Dropoff to UPS Pickup and then select Confirm Your Return.
Amazon will provide you with a return shipping label, so you'll just need to repackage the item and set it out on your front porch or next business day pickup.
Need a reason to ship your packages from home? It can help youby not having to drive across town.