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  1. #1
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    USPS Shipping API
    Anyone have any luck with getting the USPS shipping API to work or know of a good tutorial? Following their documentation, even submitting their sample code, doesn't seem to work and their tech support is abysmal.

    Many thanks!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  2. #2
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    I gave up on USPS API... and the USPS sure will not go out of their way to help you. Anything in particular you are trying to do?

  3. #3
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Did you take it out of test mode? (defaults to that on new setups)

    Using a cart software?

    Good tutorials in the OSCommerce and Zencart forums. Mine are custom so I don't think I can be of much help. But way back when I set it up, I had the test mode issue.

  4. #4
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chet_B
    I gave up on USPS API... and the USPS sure will not go out of their way to help you. Anything in particular you are trying to do?
    They really don't... The local postmaster would flog them if she knew. She's all about getting the business she can so she can get a budget increase (small town branch).

    All we're trying to do is print labels direct from our backend rather than through their downloaded app.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mack
    Did you take it out of test mode? (defaults to that on new setups)
    Yeah, took it out of test mode and pointed it to the production server. Seems like there's something wrong in the documentation somewhere.

    Our cart is semi-custom, but maybe those forums will have some ideas for what could be going wrong.

    Thanks, guys.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  5. #5
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    I use Endicia for printing my labels. I love the program...

    http://www.endicia.com

  6. #6
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll check it out.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Endicia does rock!!!

    Do yourself a favor and get the 4X6 zebra printer.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  8. #8
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    Do yourself a favor and get the 4X6 zebra printer.
    I been looking at that pretty hard lately... If you ship out 10 + packages a day on average it does seem worth it.

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Okay, my curiosity is up. What's better about that than using USPS Click-n-Ship, and just printing out the labels on the regular printer?!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
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    You can use Endicia with your regular printer too. What I like so much about it is that I can create my labels in seconds. Unless I am missing something on the USPS.com site, you have to fill out each field individually for the customers address and if you have alot of orders everyday that can be pretty tedious.

    With Endicia I can just copy and paste the address and then click the print button. Plus I have a nice script that does the copy and pasting automagically so all I have to do is highly the customer address and then click the print button.

    You can get really fancy with company logos, hidden postage fees, return postage free envelopes, etc...

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    if you have alot of orders everyday that can be pretty tedious.
    It did get tedious in the fall, when I had to get all the pre-orders out at once, but I managed.
    I'll have to put "this happens often enough to bother paying for a program" on my list of 'problems' I look forward to. Until then, I'll either type or copy/paste line-by-line like I ended up doing last year.

    hidden postage fees,
    Aha--so THAT'S how that's done! I've noticed that every time I order something, I can never see the fee that was paid. But whenever I ship, it's plastered right out there...great for orders from Calif, not so great when the package goes to Indiana.

    Thanks for the info.

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I think I'm still leaning towards the USPS API. Right now, we have an interface set up to review orders, change order status, print packing slips, enter tracking numbers on shipped orders, etc. Printing the actual mailing label used to happen there as well, but we had to pay extra for delivery confirmation. Delivery conf is free when you use the USPS labels with the bar code, so we now use their offline software (copy, paste, print).

    I like saving $.50 per shipment, but having a stand-alone app is a little disjointed. If we can get the API to work, we can do custom labels and all of the nifty bits, but it'll also be free, give us free delivery confirmation AND it'll all be part of the same interface. We're going on holiday soon, and I want to make the whole process, from order to packing to shipping as easy and seemless as possible for those handling that for us while we're away.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    A new BETA anything is never seamless

    Hopefully you've got enough time to test, test, and retest!

  14. #14
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Yeah, we have about six weeks or so, and the only piece we need to develop is the label printing portion. Should be doable if we can just get the damn API to work like it's supposed to.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  15. #15
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    To get the USPS API to work on osCommerce 2.2, set your shipping/package to your tear weight you want in the admin/config section panel. I use zero for mine. Next make sure you sign-up at http://www.uspsprioritymail.com/et_regcert.html this is different than your regular USPS account name and info. If you already have a USPS account, you still NEED to sign up here. You will get an e-mail from USPS with your Web Tools User ID. Go to Admin/Mod/Shipping. Install the USPS mod, copy and past the username that you were given into the username AND password sections. Select production server, if you want to charge a handling fee..enter it and what ever else you need to set. Call the 1-800 number they gave you in your e-mail and let them know that you want to be put onto the production server. This whole process should take about 5-8 min. of your time, or less. The test function does NOT work at all. You can not test with the production part of this either. The only problem that I am now having is that parcel post is coming up MORE than priority cost, by about $3.00. This should be the other way around I think. I do know that sometimes priority mail is cheeper than parcel sometimes, please check with your local USPS office to make sure, or call the 1-800 number.

  16. #16
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Thanks, sparkys. We're not using osCommerce, but did manage to figure out the API in the end by experimenting with what seemed like it should work rather than what the USPS documentation said would work. Now we get to start all over again with the UPS APIs. Fun fun...

    Still, it means we're doing enough orders that automating everything and giving customers options is important, and that's a very good thing!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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