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Shipping Label Printer: Options for Your Small Business

Shipping Label Printer: Options for Your Small Business

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As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to streamline your operations, cut costs, and improve efficiency. One area where you can achieve all three of these goals is by investing in a shipping label printer.

What is a Shipping Label Printer?

A shipping label printer is a specialized printer that is designed to print shipping labels and other related documents such as packing slips, invoices, and receipts. These printers are typically thermal printers, which means that they use heat to transfer ink onto the label or paper, resulting in a clear and durable print.

How To Choose A Shipping Label Printer:

Getting a label printer for shipping your items can help save time and costs, as well as make your labels more professional. There are plenty of shipping label printers available online, but which one is the right one for you? Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a printer for your shipping labels:

  • Print Quality – Look for printers with a high dpi resolution for the clearest printing.
  • Printing Speed – You’ll want a printer that can keep up with your demand, so look for ones that are “high speed.” If you print a lot of shipping labels at once, consider getting a model with a tray, which can prevent jamming.
  • Connectivity Options – Just about every printer has USB connectivity, but some also can connect wirelessly or via Bluetooth.
  • Compatibility with Shipping Software – Make sure you can use the printer with whichever shipping platform you use. Fortunately, almost all of these printers can be used with most major eCommerce and mailing sites.
  • Cost – As always, set a budget for yourself and stick to it. While a shipping label printer is a good investment, there’s no need to pay for unnecessary features or extras if you don’t need them.

Shipping Label Printer Options for Your Small Business

There are a lot of options to choose from for a thermal shipping label printer, so we scoured Amazon to bring you our ten favorites. These picks are based on product features, brand reputation, and customer reviews. Take a look at our picks below and get ready to find your next time-saver.

Feature/Aspect Top Pick: Brother Ultra-Fast Label Printer with Wireless Networking Runner Up: LabelRange 300DPI High-Resolution Thermal Label Printer Best Value: Nelko Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer
Resolution Up to 300 x 600 dpi 300 DPI Not specified
Wireless Networking Yes Not specified Bluetooth
Max Label Size Not specified 4×6” 4×6”
Print Speed Ultra-Fast Not specified 150 mm/s or up to 72 sheets of 4×6 labels/min
Compatibility Windows, Mac Major e-commerce platforms (eBay, Etsy, PayPal) and major shipping platforms (e.g., USPS) Smartphone (via USB and Bluetooth)
Special Features Shared over wireless network, high-resolution printing for crisp text & graphics Creates various label types, compatible with major e-commerce and shipping platforms Instructions, printer drivers, troubleshooting videos included

Brother Ultra-Fast Label Printer with Wireless Networking

Brother QL-810W Ultra-Fast Label Printer with Wireless Networking

Top Pick: The name Brother is synonymous with quality printers, so it shouldn’t be surprising they’re our #1 pick. This printer can be shared over a wireless network, making it convenient if multiple people need to use it. It offers ultra-fast, high-resolution (up to 300 x 600 dpi) printing, for crisp text, graphics and barcodes. You can use it with Windows or Mac and easily integrate and manage it over a wireless network with Brother’s free software.

Brother Ultra-Fast Label Printer with Wireless Networking

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LabelRange High-Resolution Thermal Label Printer

LabelRange 300DPI High Resolution Thermal Label Printer

Runner Up: Our second choice pick has its fair share of great features too. This printer is designed with 300DPI resolution and can create quality 4×6” shipping labels, as well as multiple sizes of nametags, address labels, barcode labels, and more. It is compatible with most major e-commerce platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and PayPal, as well as major shipping platforms including USPS, and others. The printer also comes with 100 sheets of 4×6” fan-fold labels.

LabelRange High-Resolution Thermal Label Printer

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Nelko Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer

Nelko Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer

Best Value: Nelko’s thermal label printer aims to make printing labels even easier – you can now print labels from your Smartphone! You can connect via a USB cable, or use Bluetooth to send print commands. It also features high-speed printing – 150 mm/s or up to 72 sheets of 4×6 labels/min. Instructions, printer drivers, and troubleshooting videos come with the unit to make setup a breeze. All this and a low price point, too!

Nelko Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer

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ZEBRA ZSB Series Thermal Label Printer

ZEBRA ZSB Series Thermal Label Printer - Wireless Labeling for Shipping

The Zebra ZSB thermal label printer allows the user to print a variety of label content from anywhere, on any device with wireless mobile PDF printing. It can print up to 73 labels per minute and works exclusively with eco-friendly compostable ZSB Series label cartridges.

The printer works for eCommerce and shipping sites, is compatible with Mac and PC, and also lets you create your own labels with their browser-based Label Designer.

ZEBRA ZSB Series Thermal Label Printer

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JADENS Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer

JADENS Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer – Wireless 4x6 Shipping Label Printer

This highly-rated printer features a high-tech thermal print head, 203 DPI high printing quality, a label holder and comes with extra labels. You can print wirelessly or via USB, depending on the device and/or browser. Its wide usage enables you to print from various platforms and sites, and it comes with easy-to-follow instructions, drivers, and a 1-year warranty.

JADENS Bluetooth Thermal Shipping Label Printer

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Rollo Commercial Grade Direct Thermal Shipping Label Printer

Rollo Shipping Label Printer - Commercial Grade Direct Thermal High Speed Shipping Printer

This high-speed printer works with any Thermal Direct Label including free UPS labels. It can print labels from 1.57″ to 4.1″ wide with no height restriction, and is ideal for 4″ x 6″ shipping labels, warehouse labels, barcode and ID labels, bulk mailing labels, and more. It connects via USB and is compatible with Windows and Mac.

Rollo Commercial Grade Direct Thermal Shipping Label Printer

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POLONO Thermal Label Printer

POLONO Thermal Label Printer

This shipping label printer is easy to use on computers or laptops by installing the printer driver from the included USB or from their official website. It features high-speed printing at 150mm/s, an intelligent paper return function, and 203 DPI resolution. It can print 72 labels per minute.

POLONO Thermal Label Printer

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iDPRT Thermal Label Printer

iDPRT Thermal Label Printer SP410 Thermal Shipping Label Printer

This printer supports print widths of 2” to 4.25” and can print various types of labels. It can print 72 sheets of 4×6 labels per minute and has a high 203 DPI resolution to prevent blurry or pixelated printing. Compatible with Mac and Windows, this printer is also compact for easy transport.

iDPRT Thermal Label Printer

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DYMO LabelWriter 5XL Label Printer

DYMO LabelWriter 5XL Label Printer, Automatic Label Recognition

Featuring its own software, this DYMO printer lets you create and customize over 60 label types through a USB or LAN network connection. Automatic label recognition, 300 dpi resolution, and wide compatibility round out the features of this popular label printer for shipping.

DYMO LabelWriter 5XL Label Printer

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MUNBYN USB Thermal Printer for Shipping Labels

MUNBYN Shipping Label Printer, 4x6 Label Printer for Shipping Packages

Unlike many other shipping label printers, this one is compatible with Chrome OS, as well as Windows and Mac. This 230 DPI printer features a one-click setup, multiplatform use and multi-size printing.

MUNBYN USB Thermal Printer for Shipping Labels

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FAQs

Are there different types of shipping label printers?

Yes, there are mainly two types of shipping label printers:

    • Direct Thermal Printers: These printers use heat-sensitive paper and don’t require ink or toner. When heated, the paper changes color to produce the printed image. While they are cost-effective in the short term, the labels can fade over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight or heat.
    • Thermal Transfer Printers: These printers melt a ribbon onto the label for a more durable print. The labels are longer-lasting and don’t fade as easily as those from direct thermal printers. However, they require the purchase of both labels and ribbons, making them slightly more expensive to operate.

What should I consider when choosing a shipping label printer for my small business?

  • Volume of Shipments: How many packages are you shipping daily or weekly? Some printers are designed for low-volume printing, while others can handle a higher volume.
  • Label Size: Ensure the printer supports the label sizes you need. Some printers can accommodate various sizes, while others might be restricted to a specific dimension.
  • Durability of Labels: If your shipments are exposed to harsh conditions, consider a printer that produces more durable labels, like a thermal transfer printer.
  • Connectivity: Ensure the printer can connect easily to your computer or network, whether via USB, wireless, or Ethernet.
  • Budget: Like all equipment, shipping label printers come in various price ranges, with features that might be more suited to certain budgets.

Do I need special software to print shipping labels from a shipping label printer?

Many shipping label printers come with their own proprietary software or offer compatibility with popular shipping and e-commerce platforms. This software helps design, format, and print the labels. However, many small businesses also use third-party shipping solutions that integrate directly with e-commerce platforms and provide seamless label printing functionality. Before purchasing a printer, check its compatibility with any software or platform you’re already using.

What should I consider when choosing a shipping label printer for my small business?

When selecting a shipping label printer, consider the following:

  • Volume of Shipments: How many packages are you shipping daily or weekly? Some printers are designed for low-volume printing, while others can handle a higher volume.
  • Label Size: Ensure the printer supports the label sizes you need. Some printers can accommodate various sizes, while others might be restricted to a specific dimension.
  • Durability of Labels: If your shipments are exposed to harsh conditions, consider a printer that produces more durable labels, like a thermal transfer printer.
  • Connectivity: Ensure the printer can connect easily to your computer or network, whether via USB, wireless, or Ethernet.
  • Budget: Like all equipment, shipping label printers come in various price ranges, with features that might be more suited to certain budgets.

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