Last Updated on June 25, 2020 by Lee Meier
Here is an affordable alternative to an eBay shipping label printer. Learn how you can print your own labels cheaply if you don’t have a label printer.
Affiliate Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links that I may make a small percentage from when you purchase through my link. This is at no additional cost to you and helps keep this blog running.
How To Cut Your Printing Costs In Half
There is a very simple trick to cutting your printing costs in half when it comes to printing your own shipping labels.
Rather than the standard 2 labels to one sheet, by printing two sheets to a page, you can fit 4 labels on one sheet.
Doing this reduces the ink you use by half.
And it doubles how many labels you can get per sheet!
(Skip to below for directions on how to do this!)
These are the labels I use:
Here is a cost comparison of using a shipping label printer versus printing your own labels.
For both scenarios, the cost excludes the cost of the printer/label printer. Just the printing cost is compared.
Depending on the quantity you purchase, they run anywhere from 2-2.5 cents per label.
Cost Of Printing Your Own Labels
Now let’s compare the cost to printing your own labels using the 4-to-a-sheet method.
When using your own printer you will need to purchase both label paper and ink.
Cost of Labels
Assuming you purchase the 1,000 pack and use the 4-to-a-sheet method (directions below), you will actually be able to get 2,000 labels.
The cost works out to about 2.2 cents per label for the label portion.
Cost of Ink
In addition to purchasing the labels, you will also need to purchase ink. The price of ink can really vary according to the printer you have and where you purchase your ink.
My method is to purchase refills. I know others may tell you differently. But I’ve been using refills for decades now with ZERO problems.
I pay about $35 annually to print 2,500 labels (at the small 4-to-a-sheet size).
This works out to 1.4 cents per label for ink.
Total Cost Of Printing Your Own Labels
Adding the cost of label paper and ink, it works out to a total of 3.6 cents per label.
Cost Comparison: Thermal Label Printer Vs. Label Paper & Your Own Printer
Here is the breakdown:
Using a label printer: 2-2.5 cents per label
Using label paper with your own printer: 3.6 cents per label
So yes, it is cheaper to use a label printer.
But this excludes the cost of purchasing a label printer.
So if you already have a printer you can use, at about 1 cent difference, it may take printing a lot of labels to justify purchasing a label printer.
For example, the cost savings with a thermal label printer when printing 2,500 labels is only $25.
That’s not nearly enough savings in my book to justify spending $200+ on a label printer if you already own a regular printer.
Directions For Printing Labels 4 To A Sheet:
The way shipping labels are set up, is they print two labels to a sheet, similar to what is shown below. With this tutorial, you’ll learn how to print 4 labels to a sheet, effectively cutting your paper and ink cost in half!
The labels will end up printing at half their normal size. But don’t let this worry you! I’ve been printing labels this way for two years with no issues.
Before We Get Started
Please note these instructions are based on printing from a desktop. I’ve included directions for a few different browsers: Edge, Firefox, and Chrome. If you’re using something else, it should be similar steps.
Also, I’m going to assume you already know how to print labels! Directions will start from the point where you’ve purchased your labels just like normal.
Once you’ve purchased your labels, click the blue “Print Labels” button.
The labels will open in a new window. This should look the same as normal, right?
This is the step where things change! Go ahead and hit print or Ctrl+P to open the print dialogue box.
Step 2 (Edge):
In the Edge browser, click where it says “More Settings.”
A new box will come up where you can use the drop down for “Pages per sheet” to select 2. Hit “Ok,” then “Print.”
Step 2 (Firefox):
If you’re using Firefox you’re print dialogue box should look like this:
Just click where it says “Preferences” to be taken here where you can select 2 pages per sheet from the drop down.
Press “OK,” then “Print.”
Step 2 (Chrome):
In Chrome, you’re print box looks like this:
Just click where it says “More settings” and select 2 pages per sheet like this:
Run and check your printer and you will have 4 labels on one sheet!
You did it! You’ve just cut your printing cost in half! You used half the ink of a normal sized label. And doubled the mileage of your paper!
If you had only 2 labels to print, only half of your page should have been printed on. If you’re using label paper, you can go ahead and peel off the side that was printed on. Save the paper for the next time you print.
You will just need to figure out which direction to put the paper in depending on your printer and which browser you use. (Yes, it can vary by browser…I found out the hard way!).
If you’re not sure, just run a test first on regular paper so you don’t waste your label paper. Once you’ve figured it out, you’ll be good forever!
Wondering what types of items you can sell? Check out my Top Sales Here.
Wondering how much you can make reselling? I share my actual profits with you here!
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