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Sales Tax Questions

During the course of business many sales tax issues can come up. Below I’ve compiled a list of questions that will get you the general information you need to know about your state’s sales tax laws.

Look for answers to the questions below on your state’s website, the paperwork they sent you when you registered or give them a call and ask one of your state’s employees. That’s how to best get facts about your state’s laws, not someone else’s interpretation or opinion.

There are links to official state websites in this post that should help you find the answers to the questions below:

US Sales Tax & Business Registration:
Links to Official Government Websites

Sales tax laws are different from state to state and the answers to the questions below vary widely.

There is only one law that applies to all states when it comes to collecting sales tax:

You don’t charge sales tax to buyers outside your business nexus. That is:
1. outside of the state you sell from,
2. outside of states you are registered in (if you are registered in more than just your home state) or
3. from states you don’t have a business representative in.
What does that mean?
1. Most sellers need to collect sales tax from buyers in their own state. Most states require you to register before you can collect sales tax, then collect only from in-state buyers unless 2 or 3 below applies to you.
2. If you are registered in a state other than the one you live in, you need to collect sales tax for that state too (like for doing an out of state craft show).
3. If you have a business nexus (see below) in another state you may need to register and/or collect sales tax there too, depending on that state’s sales tax laws.

What’s a nexus? The description varies a bit, but generally if you don’t have a physical presence in a state (be it a place you ship from, a public storefront of your own, a representative who presents your items for sale in a state, do a craft show in a state), you generally don’t have a business nexus there.

The questions…:


&#149 Must I register to collect sales tax in my state?


You may think your business is too small or that you are just a hobby seller therefore you don’t need to register to collect sales tax for your state. From what I’ve seen, that’s probably not true. Many states require you register before you start selling, regardless as to whether or not you ever make a sale to someone in your state, make a sale at all or turn a profit, or whether or not you are a business or just an individual.


&#149 Is there an amount of sales I can make before I am required to register?


Most states with sales tax require you to register straight away–rarely there’s a “You can sell $XXX worth of goods before registering to collect sales tax” rule so you need to find out what your state’s rules are for when registration is required.

Usually it’s “Intend to make a sale? Register before you start selling whether you are a business or just an individual planning on selling to the public”.


&#149 Can I just include sales tax in my price?


Some states allow it, some don’t, and some allow it so long as you mention tax is included. There may be other stipulations, but none I have heard of off-hand.


&#149 Can I just pay the sales tax for my customers?


Some states allow it, some don’t. Some allow it so long as you don’t advertise it.


&#149 Can I advertise that I pay sales tax for my customers?


Some states have specific laws about publicizing that you will pay sales tax for your customers.


&#149 What rate do I charge?


There’s two main types of sales tax for those of us in the mail-order/internet-sales business, you need to find out which of these applies in your state:

1. Origin-based sales tax: You charge the rate of where you sell from *to buyers your state*, just like when you purchase something in-person. When the package is shipped outside areas where you are obligated to collect sales tax (usually just your home state), you don’t charge sales tax.
2. Destination-based sales tax: You charge the rate of tax at the address to which you mail the package. That’s a bit of a hassle, but if that’s what the state requires that’s what you need to do. Here in NY, I must find out what county a buyer is in before I know what rate to apply.

There’s also a hybrid–some states have both state & local taxes and they require sellers to only collect the local taxes when items are being shipped within their home region (which makes it a bit like destination based sales tax–but only for those in their own area). So if the buyer is in the seller’s city or county, they collect state+city or state+county tax from that buyer, and only state sales tax from buyers in all other parts of their state.


&#149 Are there different rates depending on the items or services I provide?


Some states have different rates for food, clothing, shoes, services… be sure to understand how they apply to your business.


&#149 Do I collect sales tax on shipping?


In some states all shipping is taxed, in some only shipping of taxable goods (and the shipping might be partially taxable if only part of the order is taxable), in states the cost shipping isn’t taxable but any amount over the actual cost of shipping is taxable (so if you have a handling fee it would be taxed, or if you just round up the amount that would be taxable (for example from $1.72 actual shipping rounded up to $2.00, 28 cents would be taxable).


&#149 Must my receipts to customers specify the amount of sales tax the customer paid and/or state that sales tax is included in the purchase price?


Some states require that you show how much tax the customer has paid/you paid for the customer. If the customer doesn’t know how much tax they paid, they won’t know if “use tax” is due on their purchase. (Use tax is due on purchases that should have had tax collected by the seller but didn’t. Many (most/all?) states with sales tax also have use tax which applies to internet and mail order purchases where the seller didn’t collect sales tax, though many people think that purchases from the internet are sales tax-free.)

Need help getting your business registered & finding answers to these questions for sellers in your state? Start here:

US: Sales Tax & Business Registration
–links to official state websites–

gotogreatpanes.com/blog/sales-tax-business-registration

bloke

NY State Sales Tax Exemption Forms

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2010-2014

NY State Sales Tax Exemption Forms

In New York your Certificate of Authority to Collect Sales Tax is needed before you can collect sales tax from in-state customers.

If you sell taxable items from New York State (NYS) should have one regardless of how little you sell, or whether or not you consider yourself just a hobby and not a business. You then remit the sales tax to NYS according to the schedule NYS gives you. It’s quarterly the first year, then the frequency is determined by the State based on how much you collected the first year.

Your Certificate of Authority to Collect Sales Tax is also what gives you the ability to purchase certain goods without paying sales tax. You can buy as a reseller, buy supplies and tools for use in producing tangible personal property that you will sell and buy some promotional materials without paying sales tax.

To purchase eligible items without paying sales tax, you need to fill out and present the proper form–see below. Most stores will keep a copy of your filled out form on hand if you will be buying from them regularly, others want a copy for each purchase.

You should never photocopy or otherwise reproduce your Certificate of Authority to Collect Sales Tax.


Resale Certificate: ST-120

If you are buying items that are for direct resale–you won’t be making anything from them, just selling them as-is.

ST-120 PDF Instructions & Form
http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/st/st120_fill_in.pdf

Exempt Use Certificate: ST-121

For purchasing “Machinery and equipment, parts, tools, and supplies used or consumed in the production of tangible personal property for sale”.

Details about using “Exempt Use Certificate (Form ST-121”:
http://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg_bulletins/st/exempt_use_certificate.htm

There’s a link to the form itself in the “Introduction” paragraph on the above page, or you can click here:

PDF Instructions & Form ST-121
http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/st/st121_fill_in.pdf

Certificate of Exemption for Purchases of Promotional Materials: ST-121.2

For promotional materials that are delivered by mail to customers or prospective customers, for which there is no charge to them.

Details about using “Promotional Materials – Exemption Form ST-121.2”:
http://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg_bulletins/st/promotional_materials.htm

There’s a link to the form itself in the “Introduction” paragraph on the above page, or you can click here:

PDF Instructions & Form ST-121.2:
http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/st/st121_2_fill_in.pdf

More on NYS Sales Tax exemption forms

There’s a great chart at the end of this page listing exemptions by the type of certificate:

Exemption Certificates for Sales Tax

and the chart here lists them by the type of goods is also useful:

Quick Reference Guide for Taxable and Exempt Property and Services

NYS Dept. of Revenue Forms and Publications Page:
(sales tax forms, income tax, property tax…)
http://www.tax.ny.gov/forms/default.htm

More on NYS sales tax & business law help here:

NY Sales Tax & Business Registration Information


Accepting Credit Cards

Many artists and crafters want to accept credit cards at craft shows but don’t know how to start, so I’m sharing what I learned when setting up our account.

I’m sure this isn’t the be-all end-all of important questions for merchant service providers, so if you think I’ve left out anything important I’d love to hear from you!

A merchant account is used by businesses to process credit card transactions. As I called individual providers I found out more and more about what the important questions to ask were, which got me off the phone in minutes with companies whose services didn’t meet our needs. To find merchant service companies you can search the web or check with other small businesses/crafters/artists to find out who they use.

Most merchant accounts will charge you a transaction fee plus percentage fee for each transaction your customer charges, all the other fees below change with each company.

By the time I had gotten through a half dozen or so calls, I created this list of important topics to ask about upfront:

  1. Sign Up/Start Up Fees–Fees to start up your account with their service.
  2. Annual/Monthly Fees–Fees for maintaining your account on an annual or monthly basis regardless of whether you process any transactions or not.
  3. Contract–Is there one? How long is it?
  4. Cancellation Fee–Fees to close your account, or for canceling a contract early.
  5. Monthly Statement Fees–Fees for receiving paper or electronic monthly statements of your transactions.
  6. Monthly Minimums–If you don’t have enough transactions to generate a certain amount in fees, they charge you that amount. (For example: some places will charge you $25 a month regardless of having no transactions that month, or if your fees to them from transactions with your customers only reach $10.00 or any other amount below their monthly minimum.)
  7. Credit Cards that You Will be Able To Accept–Discover, Master Card, Visa, Am Ex, debit cards with credit card logos, etc.
  8. Fees to Accept Other Cards–Often they quote MC/Visa rates, Am Ex, Discover or other cards are extra–like $50 to start accepting each other type of card.
  9. Per transaction Fee–Every transaction starts with a basic fee, like 35 cents per transaction.
  10. Percentage Fee–In addition to the transaction fee, they also charge you a percentage of the total the customer is charging to their credit card.
  11. Receiving Your Money Fee–Is there a fee?
  12. How You Get Your Money–Is it automatically sent to your bank account? If so, after how long? Do you need to ask to have your money sent to your bank account? Is there a limit as to how often you can request your funds be transferred?
  13. Chargeback/Disputed Charges Fee–If a customer disputes a charge, there are usually fees involved on the seller’s end.
  14. Charge to Call in Credit Cards for Approval–If you are at a show and call in the card for approval, will there be a charge?
  15. Credit Card Terminal Leases/Fees–Often the fees are more than $50.00 a month and there are fees for canceling the terminal lease in addition to canceling your merchant account.

I hope these topics will help you get on the right track to finding a merchant account provider that suits your business. Good luck!

Downloading Our Monthly Etsy Fees

We like to download our Etsy fees details for our business records–it lets us see our renewal fees, listing fees and transaction fees breakdown, and the items the fees are related to.

I’m hoping the admin will add a way to download a full year’s worth of data in one file, but until then you can download them in monthly groupings. Below is a description of how to do it using Microsoft Excel.

To add up your Etsy fees for each month:

  1. Go to “Your Etsy” and click on “Your Etsy Bill” in the left-hand column.
  2. Just above the itemized listings click “view full list“. This puts you on the “Your Etsy Bill > Monthly Statements” page:
    https://www.etsy.com/billing_all_statements.php
    At the bottom of the page click “Download this entire monthly statement as a CSV file“.
  3. When the pop up for “save as” opens, save it as a .txt file. If it says something other than .txt, manually change it to .txt so it reads something like:
    etsy_statement_2007-11.txt
  4. Below the file name is another box, change that to “all files“, and click save.
    • If you can’t do steps 3 & 4, download it as is, then go to the folder you downloaded it in and change the name to have .txt as the file extension:
      Right click on the name, click the rename option on the menu choices. Take out the text after the dot, and put in txt. Don’t worry about the pop up warning about changing the extension, it’s ok.
  5. Open Microsoft Excel
  6. Click “file” then “open“, and choose to view “text files“.
  7. Double click on the name of the file.
  8. When the text import wizard opens, make sure the “Delimitated” button is checked and click the “next” button.
  9. In the “delimiters” area, make sure the “comma” box is the one checked, click “next“, then “finish“.

When the file opens it has each amount you were billed in the same row as the item name, the date and type of activity, and all the fees in one column. To have the worksheet add the column for you:

  1. Highlight all the numbers to be added from top to bottom, and one box more.
  2. Go To the top of the window and click on the big funny shaped “E” (Sigma Sum Sign): ∑
  3. The column total should appear in the extra box you highlighted.

You can also sort to see how much you spent on listing fees, renewal fees, etc.

If you like to keep the number of files on your computer to a minimum, or want to keep it all together for the year’s end paperwork, you can copy each month into one main worksheet or each month into a separate page within the same file.

Shipping Through Paypal


Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009-2012

If you have a Paypal account and a scale, you can take advantage of Paypal’s shipping label service. This will help you set up your account to print labels with postage:

1. Log in to Paypal, you’ll be on the “My Account” tab viewing the “Overview” page.

2. Click the “Profile” link to go to the Profile Summary page (the main link, not one of the options on the pop up menu).

3. On the left click “My selling tools”, and page down to “Shipping my items”, and see the “Shipping preferences” entry–click link on the right side to “update”.

4.There you can select your default shipping carrier and opt to display the ship button next to transactions on the “My Account” page. Save each of your changes.

5. At the end of that page, see “Display Ship Button”. Check the boxes you’d like, then click the orange “save” button. This will enable the button on the main “overview” page next to applicable transactions.

6. Now go back to the “My Account Overview” page. You should see a column that is labeled “Order status/Actions”, in it a drop down menu for printing shipping labels should now appear for payments you’ve received (you also have the option of just adding tracking info or just marking a package as shipped).

If you click the link and ship the package through it, the ship button will change to say Shipped, Track. Clicking “Track” will take you to the tracking page for the service you sent the package through.

    Important Notes:

  • Every domestic label you print through Paypal will get Delivery Confirmation automatically–you can’t opt out of it.
  • Delivery Confirmation is free on First Class packages & Priority Mail packages.
  • First Class Mail Envelopes/Packages with Delivery Confirmation must be at least 3/4 inch thick or in a rigid mailer (see here for 10.2.2 Eligible Matter), or it will be bumped up to Priority Mail. (And it may arrive “postage due” for the amount between the price you paid and the rate for sending the package Priority Mail.)

You can even use Paypal shipping if your customer didn’t pay you using Paypal–see here:

Shipping Through Paypal
Regardless of How the Customer Paid

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

New York Sales Tax–continued

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2010-2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

This post is a continuation of our “New York Sales Tax” post.

5. Employer Identification Number:

Your business may not be required to get a:

Taxpayer Identification Number (also referred to as TIN),
Employer Identification Number, EIN, or
Federal Taxpayer Identification Number, FTIN.

These all refer to the same thing, I don’t know why it goes by so many names!

You’ll need to check the IRS website to see if you have to get one–there’s a link in our “The IRS Website–Links for Businesses” post. While we didn’t need to get one, we chose to, see the linked post for my reason.

If you have an EIN and you register with NY to collect sales tax, your NY Sales Tax ID Number will be the same as your EIN. Just having an EIN does **NOT** mean you are allowed to collect NY sales tax, you must apply for a “Certificate of Authority to Collect Sales Tax” before you are permitted by the state to collect sales tax. (Links to apply for your NYS Certificate of Authority, EIN and other business info will be posted shortly.)

6. Certificate of Authority:

Having a NY Tax ID means you have a NY State “Certificate of Authority” to collect NY sales tax. (Links to apply: NY Business Info)

Certain business tool, supply & promotional purchases can be made tax exempt when you have NY tax id–see here:

NY State Sales Tax Exemption Forms

7. Collect Sales Tax from Customers, then Remit it to the State

Once you have your NYCertificate of Authority, you collect sales tax from your customers who have packages shipped to New York addresses, and report and pay the sales tax you collect to NYS.

The New York State Department of Taxation & Finance sends you the paperwork once you have been approved to collect sales tax with instructions for collecting from your customers and remitting the money you collect to NYS.

For us, the first year we were required to file quarterly. After the first year, the state assessed our business to be small enough that now we only file once a year. Sales tax is completely separate from your annual state and federal income taxes.

8. You can’t over-charge or under-charge NY sales tax.

I asked the state employees, repeatedly, in hopes of learning it would be ok to so I could either charge a higher rate and refund any overage or I could charge a lower rate and make up the difference out of pocket. The response was always no.

Along that same line, the payment receipt, like the Paypal receipt, must show the accurate amount of sales tax collected:

“You must separately state the total amount of sales tax due on any receipt or invoice that you give to your customer.”

See it on this NYS web page–the last sentence in the paragraph under “Showing the sales tax on the invoice”:

Tax Bulletin ST-860 (TB-ST-860)

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2010-2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Getting a Handle on International Shipping

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011-2015
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Before we get to postage there are two important things about packaging your international shipments:

1. Always use a customs form, and if it is something you sold you should check the box for ‘merchandise’ or ‘other’, whichever your form has on it. The “gift” option on a customs form is only for when you are sending a gift free of charge from yourself to someone you know, both buyer & seller can get in trouble if they are caught using it inappropriately–see FabricOverspill‘s post here.

Customs forms are easy to fill out so don’t let them scare you away from international shipping–to & from names, addresses, package contents, monetary value & then you sign it. More help for customs forms here: Do I need a customs form?

When paying for your postage at the post office counter, the clerk will need to manually enter the info that you wrote on the customs form into their computer so allow a little more time for going to the post office.

When using electronic/online postage (like through USPS.com’s Click-N-Ship or Paypal & Etsy’s labels services) the customs form will be automatically generated & electronically submitted when you create the label, so you can just sign it (you can also set your accounts to automatically sign the customs form for you) & drop it in any mail receptacle or take it to the counter where the clerk should just scan it in & the customs form data will already be in their system.

For First Class International (which includes Priority International Flat Rate Envelopes and Priority International Small Flat Rate), the online postage’s customs form & label will all fit on the half-sheet label (or a half sheet of paper if you don’t use labels).

When shipping all other services you’ll need the more complex customs form–just as easy to fill out, it’s just that it is in triplicate (carbonless copies) when you fill it out at the PO so it prints out on several sheets of paper when you generate it at home on your printer.

You’ll need to secure the pages in a sleeve on the outside of the package that customs can open if they see fit. The PO supplies them free–you can get them at the counter (even before you need them) or order them online to be delivered free to your home (just like you can get Priority Mail boxes delivered to your home for free): Customs Form Envelope

2. Always include a receipt that reflects the contents & the price as seen on the customs form (having the recipient info there is good too–both for customs and in case the package/label gets damaged in transit).

I know a lot of folks don’t bother with receipt of any kind when mailing out their goods, but with international packages it is important to have it in the package–and required by law in some countries. If you are shipping to Germany–be sure to include 2 copies of the invoice on the outside of the package in an accessible sleeve/envelope. More on that here.

If customs decides to stop your package (they do random picks), they will try to confirm the package value, and if your package has supporting documents inside that match what the customs form declares, they will usually go with that. If you don’t have the price & description of the goods inside, or are missing a customs form and/or receipt all together, they can guess at the value, and it is usually a much higher guess than what was actually paid causing a hassle for your customer.

Pricing Your Shipping

We struggled with setting prices for international shipping, but after some research we came up with this breakdown of the rates–one for domestic packages & three for international destinations:

• United States (on Etsy you’ll also need “United States Minor Outlying Islands” and US Territories each as its own entry at the USA rate, shipping USPS the rates are the same as domestic zone 9 shipping)
• Canada
• Mexico
• Everywhere Else

(There are easy to read charts further down the page–after all the details of why this is how to easily set it up with reasonable accuracy…)

A lot of that decision was based on this info, looking at shipping via International First Class:

Size:
• Packages up to 4 pounds
• No more than 24 inches long
• No more than 36 inches in combined length, height, and depth
• At least large enough to accommodate the postage, address, customs form, and other required elements on the address side.

Source: USPS International Mail Manual
From the “240 First-Class Mail International” page, from the “241 Description and Physical Characteristics, 241.242 Dimensions” section: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc2_016.htm#ep2368227

(There’s more info there about other packaging too if you need it.)

I took a look at the country list here:

Country Listing:
http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immpg.htm

and saw that for First Class International, Canada and Mexico were the only countries in zones 1 & 2 (respectively). All other countries are in zones 3 through 9. Then I looked at this chart:

First-Class Mail International:
http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/notice123.htm#2949345

and saw that for packages up to 2 oz, the rate was the same anywhere in the world.

For packages over 2 oz, zones 1 & 2 are significantly less expensive than other zones–that’s Canada and Mexico respectively, our North American neighbors. We give them each their own rate in our listings.

Everywhere Else: For packages over 2 oz shipping out of N. America, there are only two price groups for First Class. All other countries fall in zones 3 to 5, and zones 6 to 9 but the rates for those two groups are pretty similar, with less than $1.00 difference between the two groups for all weights up to 4 lbs.

Since there are so many countries with rates that are nearly the same for zones 3-5 and 6-9, I just lump them together as Everywhere Else and charge based on zone 3-5 rates (the higher of the two groups). That way we’re never shorting ourselves on shipping charges, and the over-charge is never more than $1.00.

If you look at the chart below, you can see how the zones compare (rates effective May 31, 2015):

~~~ Click image for a larger view–opens in a new tab or window ~~~

International First Class Packages

(Click for a larger view)



You can confirm those rates–as you should all info you get from unofficial sources–in this official PDF download from USPS:
http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf or on their official website here: USPS Price List.

What if someone buys 2 items???? See these posts:

How Etsy’s “Secondary Shipping” works

Figuring Out Your Secondary Shipping

Now that you have a feel for the international shipping zones & package size restrictions, you don’t even need the USPS website’s shipping calculator to estimate your shipping costs, which often hides the First Class rates.

If you don’t have a scale to weigh your packages you can take them to the PO and get weights for items that you’ll typically ship, but a scale is really worth its weight in gold for the convenience of printing out shipping labels (through Paypal Shipping, USPS Shipping Assistant, or other services from home).

Need to insure your International First Class package?

USPS doesn’t offer insurance for this service but you can insure through third-party insurers for less than USPS charges for domestic packages. See the “Shipping Insurance” post on the main Shipping page of this blog–link on the right in gold under “Pages”, or click here:

Shipping Basics

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011-2015
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

International First-Class Mail:Print Labels From Your Computer

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011-2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Print Labels for First Class International Mail
(and all other services)

If you like printing your shipping labels from your computer & want the option to ship to buyers via First Class International Mail without a subscription to a postage service (since Paypal labels with postage doesn’t offer First Class International labels yet & neither does USPS’s online Click n Ship service), the free, download-able program Click-N-Ship® for Business can help (formerly known as the USPS Shipping Assistant).

Using a Mac? See below, as the Click-N-Ship for Business only works on Windows computers.

It is a small program that you download from the USPS website, and it allows you to print labels for both domestic and international shipments. You can ship First Class, Priority Mail or any other service the USPS offers with labels generated through this program. It’s free and easy to use. (If you are having trouble getting it to work, please see the info below for Mac users–even if you are using Windows.)

What’s the catch?

You can’t pay for postage with it (unless you have a subscription postage service). You just affix postage stamps to the package in addition to the label. When I am at the post office, I pick up some stamps of varying values to cover the bases–75¢, 45¢, 20¢, 10¢, 5¢, 2¢ and 1¢. I keep enough on-hand to make up postage for any combo I might need plus, I think it’s kind of fun to get a package with a fun mix of stamps on it.

Please note: All packages heavier than 13 ounces with only postage stamps to cover the price of shipping must be taken to the post office to be shipped, both for domestic and international mailing.

Then why use it?

  • You get a nicely printed label for your package to help speed it through the system & the discounted electronic rate for Delivery Confirmation for domestic mail (free).
  • You get the shipping history for your packages in the program that you can also export as an Excel file.
  • You can easily recreate labels for repeat customers so you don’t have to re-input their address (be sure to check they haven’t moved before you print!).
  • It prints the customs form right on the label for international & APO/FPO/DPO* labels.
  • It electronically submits your customs form data, which means under 13 oz packages with stamps for postage & these labels can be dropped in any mail box/left for pick up.

Shipping internationally?

When Click-N-Ship for Business prints the customs form right on the label for you–it has lines for the information as you fill out the label details–it submits the info to USPS online and prints the label out ready to ship, except for the postage, of course!

Click-N-Ship for Business–download it here:

https://www.usps.com/business/click-n-ship-for-business.htm

Helpful tip:
For packages going to the
UK use Great Britain & Northern Ireland

Got a Mac?
While you can’t use the downloaded version of this program you can print the same labels online here (thanks for the tip FGVminiATURES for the tip):

https://webapps.usps.com/customsforms

This tool also electronically submits your customs form data, which means under 13 oz packages with stamps for postage can be dropped in any mail box/left for pick up.

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

*APO/FPO/DPO destinations come at the end of the list of US States in the domestic label form.

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011-2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

bloke

Accepting Credit Cards Online: A Paypal Alternative

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2008

We’ve been accepting credit card payments for sales through Paypal for years, but last year we decided to try Google Checkout:

Google Checkout
(affiliate link)

We’ve been very happy with their service, and really like how our money is automatically transferred to our bank account.

We don’t have to log in and tell them to send us our money, and instead of taking three to four days for it to show up in our account, it takes only two days.

The fees are lower than Paypal: 2% + $0.20 per transaction.
Update as of May 2009–the fees are now the same as Paypal:
2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

Currently it’s only available to sellers in the US and UK, they are working on expanding, but it’s available to buyers in over 140 countries.

As of January 2008, these countries are able to pay using Google Checkout:

Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antigua & Barbuda
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bolivia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswana
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Estonia
Faroe Islands
Finland
France
Gabon
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto RicoQatar
Romania
Russia
Rwanda
San Marino
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia and Montenegro
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad & Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vatican City
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Islands, British
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Need to send an email invoice
through Google Checkout?

See this post: Send a Google Checkout invoice