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Postage Label Tips That Reduce Missed Scans

When a barcode on the postage label cannot be scanned or if the label is improperly placed it can lead to a missed tracking update as well as possible delays to getting to your customer. To help reduce missed scans which can result in increased customer tracking inquiries we put together some useful tips. Stick to these tips to ensure your packages can get scanned along its journey to your customer. 

Postage Label Barcode Tips

TIP #1: Consistent label print

  • Check your printer ink levels and ensure labels are printing clear.  If you notice any uneven printing or faded areas your print head may need cleaning or replacement.
  • Clean the printhead of your thermal printer often to ensure optimal results. 
    • Thermal printers such as the Zebra printer, allow you to control the darkness of the print by adjusting the amount of heat applied to the printing head. Check your printer control panel settings to adjust. 
  • Verify your printer alignment to ensure information isn’t being cut off. 
  • Keep your stored label rolls in a cool, dark place to enhance their life.

Examples of labels where the ink is uneven or faded. 

TIP #2: Don’t apply anything over the barcode

The barcode is important for any tracking updates.

  • Do not cover the barcode with tape. 
  • Using a plastic pouch (labelope)? Choose the right size as oversized pouches can impede scanning and be sure to insert the postage label flat. 

Examples of oversized pouches and tape over barcodes. 

TIP #3: Lay the label flat 

  • Place the postage label as flat as possible (avoid wrinkles) paying particular attention to the barcode.
  • Do not fold the barcode label over the edge or corner of your package 
  • Avoid placing the label especially the barcode on the seam of packaging
  • Place the barcode on the flattest part for any odd-shaped packages. For example, if you ship in a circular poster tube place the barcode on the length of the tube versus wrapping it around.

Examples of bad placement and wrinkled labels.

TIP #4: Use the recommended postage label size (4×6)

  • Don’t use small labels as they can cut-off the barcode or other important information.
  • Small labels compromise the resolution of the image making it difficult to scan. 
Cut-off barcode

Stick to these tips and reduce missed scans for your packages. This will help minimize customer tracking inquiries and shipment delays.

Find more tips in our previous post or check out our partner carrier’s guidelines.