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  • TrueShip? Endicia? Stamps.com?

    I know this has been covered in the past. But I would like to get opinions of the three services. I am undecided and want to go with the one that offers the most and easiest to use. Our manufacturer will be the main user of this account. I really don't want them to have to do more than what they should and without downloading the free trials I have no idea! So I want to start here and get your opinions.

  • #2
    Good question and I'd be interested in hearing others experiences along with the volume they process through the one they use.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been using Endicia for the past two years and before that I used Stamps.com.

      We started using Endicia because it integrated well with 3dCart. Endicia Professional (formerly Galaxy) has a great GUI and is very simple to use. Set up was a real struggle, but I learned a lot in the process and once it was going it was working really sweet. Up until a month ago.

      Endicia changed the way they print International postage and customs forms. Up until the change you designated specific labels for specific catagories of postage. We used small Zebra labels for First Class International and Large paper forms for Priority and Express International. Now you are limited to choosing one label for 5 or less customs lines and a different label for 5 or more customs. This was forcing all our International labels to print on the Zebra printer, which is not acceptable to me. They pretty much mucked up my entire workflow for shipping and this has resulted in hundreds of dollars in shipping errors.

      For the last month, I've been testing other postage programs. We've tried Trueship (Ready Shipper) and Shipworks, which both work with 3DCart, and Stamps.com. Both Trueship and Shipworks require considerable configuring to integrate well with your cart, and we found that Shipworks seemed to be the most flexible and better designed of the two. Trueship was not quite as well configured, and the documentation was not great. You also had to pay for support at every level. What I didn't like about Shipworks is the GUI. It just was not as user friendly as Endica Professional. You had to click through several steps, such as weighing the shipment, retrieving the postage rates and printing the label. Endicia does all that with one click.

      Stamps.com has a lot going for it, but it does not directly integrate with 3DCart. It has a bulk upload process which should be configurable with an export from 3Dcart, but uploading tracking information and changing the status of your orders after you ship was not easy or practical.

      As of today, we're still using Endicia Professional. The user interface is so easy to use and saves so much time. But I'm so disappointed and frustrated with the International label situation that I am still looking for new options or alternatives. Endicia was no help. It took them three weeks to respond to my multiple complaints, and they flat out said they would not change the software. In the meantime we've come up with a less than desirable work around to use Endicia. It has slowed down our shipping processes, but it is still more efficient than the alternatives. I'll revisit Shipworks and Stamps.com again in the future, to see if they have improved the GUI and workflow. We'll continue to look at other alternatives as we find them, especially if they integrate with 3DCart.

      Endicia really screwed up a great product.

      Steve Iverson
      CultTVmanShop.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I have done a lot of research on this since posting.

        I can't even guess on how many packages we will be sending as we have not launched the site yet. The commercial won't run until the end of the month.

        We are shipping priority only.

        Stamps.com--From what I found out is that stamps.com doesn't intergrate with 3d but you can use it to pay for postage. Then you would have to have another program to print the postage in batches. As of right now I eliminated this option.

        Endicia--Great program BUT, from what I understand you have to import the .csv file and then process them 1 at a time. I talked to a guy about this and there is no other way.

        TrueShip--Best option for us! TrueShip Express is FREE! If your shipping priority only. If not then you would have to pay the monthly fee which isn't bad. Plus, they don't charge by package amount it's a flat rate fee per month no matter how many packages you ship. I love the program and set-up! You can't pay for postage through this program but Express1 is partnered with USPS (you get commercial rates) and is free. They both integrate nicely with each other. They have a ton of modules that you can add on, 3d cart being one of them. To add this module it's $9.95 a month. It's well worth it. From the program you import your 'new' sales with a few clicks and choose your shipping options and your done. You can choose options in a batch or individually. I downloaded it and played around with it and it's great. You don't have to have a credit card for the program but you do for Express1 (which is set up during installation). Your card is not charged! You pick an amount you want to credit to your account.

        I hope this helps!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by culttvman View Post
          Both Trueship and Shipworks require considerable configuring to integrate well with your cart,
          I didn't have a problem with integrating TrueShip. It was a breeze compared to other plug-ins I have.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jkhs3 View Post
            TrueShip--Best option for us! TrueShip Express is FREE! If your shipping priority only. If not then you would have to pay the monthly fee which isn't bad. Plus, they don't charge by package amount it's a flat rate fee per month no matter how many packages you ship. I love the program and set-up! You can't pay for postage through this program but Express1 is partnered with USPS (you get commercial rates) and is free. They both integrate nicely with each other. They have a ton of modules that you can add on, 3d cart being one of them. To add this module it's $9.95 a month. It's well worth it. From the program you import your 'new' sales with a few clicks and choose your shipping options and your done. You can choose options in a batch or individually. I downloaded it and played around with it and it's great. You don't have to have a credit card for the program but you do for Express1 (which is set up during installation). Your card is not charged! You pick an amount you want to credit to your account.

            I hope this helps!
            I just watched the demo and it looks fairly straightforward. Have you tried with International yet?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Evolution View Post
              I just watched the demo and it looks fairly straightforward. Have you tried with International yet?
              No we just ship USPS Priority for now.

              TrueShip Express is only for Priority and Express. You would have to go with one of the others that cost a monthly fee. But, I do think it's well worth it.

              The video is exaclty how it is. Real easy and straightforward like you said.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jkhs3 View Post
                No we just ship USPS Priority for now.

                TrueShip Express is only for Priority and Express. You would have to go with one of the others that cost a monthly fee. But, I do think it's well worth it.

                The video is exaclty how it is. Real easy and straightforward like you said.
                Sorry, I should have been clearer in my question as I was inquiring about Priority International.

                Might have to look closer at this product. Thanks for your input.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Printing batches in Endicia

                  jkhs3:

                  We use Endicia and really like it. Your point about not being able to print batches is not accurate, though, as we do them quite often. We more rely on the order fill feature, as most of our box weights are unpredictable, but the feature is there if you know weights.

                  Check this out for more: Endicia Video - Batch Printing

                  Hope that helps!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MainEvent View Post
                    jkhs3:

                    We use Endicia and really like it. Your point about not being able to print batches is not accurate, though, as we do them quite often. We more rely on the order fill feature, as most of our box weights are unpredictable, but the feature is there if you know weights.

                    Check this out for more: Endicia Video - Batch Printing

                    Hope that helps!
                    The guy I talked to said .csv files you couldn't batch but .xml you could. And 3d cart only does .csv right?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      3DCart exports a MS Access database file for use in Endica professional.

                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We use .csv to batch in Endicia. Part of the confusion is that there are too many versions, and each one has a little different skill set (Premium, Professional, etc.).

                        I think we had to basically install the whole package, but it definitely works. If you go that route and need help, I'd be happy to check on the setup further.

                        Thanks,
                        Ryan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am currently testing both 3d Cart and Stamps.com. My requirements are:

                          (1) Two-way integration with 3D Cart. Accept orders and return shipping information,
                          (2) Support USPS
                          (3) Hide postage
                          (4) Be "idiot-proof"

                          Endicia
                          -----------

                          The integration is accomplished using the Endicia plug-in. It's free from 3d Cart but you have to order it to get it turned on for your store. When you get the order you download a setup file that contains software and some documentation.

                          You download the software and you get I believe 3 programs. Dymo postage (a basic postage printer), dazzle (label formatter) and galaxy (the actual workflow engine for order batches)

                          When you launch Galaxy for the first time, you get a message stating that there is a newer version available. You load it and galaxy is replace by Endicia professional.

                          To configure the plug-in there is virtually no work on the 3d Cart side and in Endicia Professional you just have to establish an ODBC connection to the plug-in's Access DB and do the appropriate field mapping for both the order and the tracking information. This is pretty straight forward if you've ever worked with ODBC before and the instructions provided are pretty clear.

                          With the plug-in you export the 3d cart orders to the MS Access DB using the Endicia tab Pretty simple, either extract all of the orders within a date range or all of the orders that have a specific status. Hit the export button and you are taken to a screen to download the generated Access DB.

                          Unfortunately, how you process here depends on how your browser / system is set up but you eventually get the DB saved to the folder where the Endicia ODBC driver expects it.

                          Switch over to Endicia Pro and then you import the data base. You can process the entire batch of orders on a single screen. There are some really nice features with Endicia Pro, the one I liked was being able to send the orders to the system at an inexpensive mailing class an based on my parameters would automatically upgrade it to another class that I had configured.

                          At this point you use the UI to adjust the 3d Cart generated weights, tweak the packaging and print the labels with postage. Once you print then you can select to post back the tracking data. This writes tracking information back into the same access DB (but uses a separate table).

                          You use the endicia Plug-in screen in 3D cart to import the tracking data.

                          Pros -
                          (1) Great feature - you can start out in test mode and basically run thru the entire cycle without worrying about spending $$ accidentally on postage

                          (2) Integration seemed to work pretty hassle free once configured except for one problem identified below.

                          (3) The Endicia Software was very easy to use to prepare the batch for mailing

                          (4) You could get pretty creative with the labels

                          Cons
                          (1) In order to do two way integration via ODBC, work in batches and prpare SCAN forms, you have to be at the professional level which is around $35 per month. Their Premier package is $17 per month but the integration is just addresses unless you want to write web services.

                          (2) When I used Chrome as my browser I had a caching issue that kept causing me to receive / download the same order export database for a period of a couple of hours at a time. Didn't have this problem with IE. I'm sure I could have fixed this / worked around it with some work.

                          Stamps.com
                          -------------------
                          Even though there is no marketed integration with Stamps.com, integrating with them is almost identical to integrating with Endicia except you use the Order Export screen to Export orders and import tracking and instead of a MS Access DB that gets passed around, there is an Order and a Tracking csv file.

                          In the Stamps.com software you map the csv file as an ODBC data source just like in Endicia.

                          Almost identical export selections in 3d Cart and the import process is pretty straight forward. There is a nice batch UI where you can manipulate you weights, assign packaging etc. Very easy to use though it didn't autocorrect for you like Endicia would, but it does flag the errors.

                          tracking information is automatically written back to the tracking csv file when you print you labels. The problem here is that only real prints cause the tracking info to be posted. There is no test mode. You can test print a label but that doesn't cause the printed workflow to be executed.

                          Pros
                          ------
                          (1) Integration worked fine though I had limited testing on bring back the tracking info due to there being no test mode.
                          (2) Nice UI - easy to work with a batch of orders
                          (3) Integrated SCAN form Generation
                          (4) All in the $16 package

                          Cons
                          -------
                          (1) No test mode
                          (2) Reprocessing of batches might be problematic or clumsy but I might be exagerating the issue as for testing I kept reprocessing the same orders.
                          (3) No much opportunity to do much with the labels (I'm using a Zebra printer which limits things even further)

                          Summary
                          --------------
                          Both packages are nice and should do the job. Integration on both packages is probably only a C+ at best. they are almost identical and pretty labor intensive to use. I can see errors with misplaced files in my future.

                          Overall the capabilities are almost identical but you will need to spend about $15 more a month to get them on Endicia.

                          The 3D Cart folks should really step up to the plate and tighten this up. Both of these companies support XML and web services. Also a lot more information can be passed back besides the tracking number and ship date. Actual weights, dollars, ship method, etc. would be great.
                          Last edited by TomCrable; 02-23-2012, 07:15 PM.

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                          • #14
                            anyone having issues with Readyshipper and 3dcart

                            Loaded Readyshipper and testing the 10 day trial - no issue except it's not writing back the tracking info back into 3dcart which is the main reason for using it. Copying and pasting tracking info should be a thing of the past -

                            Readyshipper tech folks are stumped so far - when I click to "update orders" so it writes back tracking info into 3dcart I get the error message I've attached. No issue getting orders into Readyshipper and sending via Stamps.com and Worldship - issue is sending tracking info back into 3dcart.

                            Anyone else have this issue?

                            Thanks!
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Probably a silly question but are you on the latest which is 6.5.2 (i think).

                              Originally posted by best-honey View Post
                              Readyshipper tech folks are stumped so far - when I click to "update orders" so it writes back tracking info into 3dcart I get the error message I've attached. No issue getting orders into Readyshipper and sending via Stamps.com and Worldship - issue is sending tracking info back into 3dcart.

                              Anyone else have this issue?

                              Thanks!

                              Comment

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