USPS Endicia Integration

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2018 04:18PM EST

Overview and Cost


Enhanced in ProductCart 5.x is the integration with Endicia, which allows you to print USPS shipping labels that include postage. There is a cost associated with this service. Please note the following:
  • The price of the monthly service is $15.95/month (check with Endicia for current pricing)
  • This cost represents the cost of using the Endicia system through ProductCart. It does not include any postage, but rather only the Endicia service itself. You will purchase postage separately (more on this below).
  • There is no time commitment. You may cancel your subscription to the Endicia service at any time.
  • There is no monthly fee for the first 30 days. The first charge will be at the end of the 2nd month after you sign up. So if you activate Endicia in ProductCart and then cancel your Endicia account within the first 30 days, there is no charge.

For technical reasons, you cannot use an existing Endicia account with the ProductCart integration with Endicia. If you are a current Endicia user, you will still need to sign up for a new account through the ProductCart Control Panel. Please contact Endicia if you have more questions on this requirement. We're sorry for this inconvenience, but it is something that is outside of our control.
 

What it does


The integration between Endicia and ProductCart allows you to handle USPS shipments in a more efficient way as you are able to print shipping labels that include postage, unlike when using the USPS Shipping Wizard, which prints labels that do not include postage.
 

Signing up


The first step is to sign-up for an Endicia account. You can do this right through the ProductCart Control Panel, by enabling USPS and then Endicia (Shipping > Add or View Shipping Services).

When activating Endicia, you will receive a new Pass Phrase. Make sure to write it down because you will need it later. IMPORTANT NOTES Re: the PASS PHRASE: Choose a Pass Phrase NO LONGER than 20 characters. Do NOT use and “special” characters in your Pass Phrase (e.g. #, $, %) or you will not be able to request a postage refund through the API!
  • SSL: The sign-up form must be loaded on a secure connection. That is: you must have an SSL certificate installed on your Web site and must load the ProductCart Control Panel using the HTTPS protocol. This is required because you will be entering credit card information on the form. If you are currently connected to the ProductCart Control Panel using HTTP, change the URL so that it uses HTTPS.
  • Credit Card information: The sign-up form asks for credit card information:
    - To purchase the Endicia service. Note that you will not be charged until the second month (as mentioned above)
    - To purchase postage.

    Your credit card information will be held securely by Endicia, which will allow you to quickly add postage to your account with just one click, right from your ProductCart Control Panel

Activating your account

When you submit the form, Endicia will receive your information and automatically create an account for your. When your Endicia account is ready (this normally happens immediately), you will receive a confirmation e-mail at the e-mail address you provided. The e-mail will include your Endicia account number.

When you receive that message, copy the account number to your clipboard and go back to the ProductCart page where you manage the Endicia integration (Shipping > Add/View Shipping Services > USPS and Endicia > Manage Endicia Account). Enter the following information:
  • Your Endicia account number
  • Your Pass Phrase
  • A new Pass Phrase
  • Confirm the new Pass Phrase

Submit the form. This will confirm with Endicia that the account number that was created for you is associated with your ProductCart-powered store. You will receive a success message when the account has been activated.

 

Add postage


You can now add postage to your Endicia account. The minimum amount is $10. As you can see, this can be done in just one click, right from your ProductCart Control Panel.

When you purchase postage, you will receive a confirmation message from Endicia (Support@Endicia.com) indicating the amount purchased, date and time of purchase, a confirmation number, and your current postage balance.

You can also view your current postage balance in the ProductCart Control Panel in the Endicia account management area.
 

Additional settings


Once you have enabled Endicia, you will manage your account from the ProductCart Control Panel under: Shipping > Add/View Shipping Services > USPS and Endicia > Manage Endicia Account.
  • Using "Live Mode": use this setting when you are ready to begin printing USPS labels and postage.
  • Using "Test Mode": use this setting to test the labels. You will NOT be able to ship items when the label has been created in Test Mode.
  • Log Transactions between your store and the Endicia Postage Label Server. If you check this box, ProductCart will keep an XML log of each exchange with Endicia. This can be useful for troubleshooting an issue related to the printing of a particular postage label. However, if you check this box, you should make sure to enter a low number in the box to "Automatically clear logs older than __ days" (such as 3-5 days), so that your log files do not grow too big.
  • Auto refill your account. You can choose to have your Endicia account replenished when the original credit card balance is used up and drops below a certain threshold. To do so, check the box and enter the dollar amounts in each box for the threshold and the replenishment amount.
  • Transaction Logs. Click the link to open a page that details all of your Transaction Logs that haven't been cleared based on the above variable.
 

Mail Class - Package Type Matrix


The following table shows valid combinations of package types and mail classes, grouped by label type.


 

Endicia Shipping Wizard


When you are ready to Ship an Order and print the USPS Postage Label, go to the Order Details page and then click on the “Shipping Center” tab where you will see a section labeled “U.S.P.S. Shipping Labels”. click on the 'Start Shipping Wizard' button to see the products that are available to be shipped, Check the box(es) next to the product(s) that you will be including in this shipment only, and click 'Continue'.

You will now be on the “USPS Shipping - Endicia Postage Services Wizard” page, which has been consolidated into 5 tabs for your convenience.

  1. Account Balance
    Here you will see your current Account Balance and also have the opportunity to refill (replenish) your account balance if desired. At the bottom of the page, you will see a button to 'Calculate Postage Price', however before you do that, we recommend that you review the selections and data on the other tabs to make sure it is correct!
     
  2. Label Settings
    This tab contains the 'Mail Class' selected by the customer during checkout (e.g. Parcel Post, Priority Mail, etc.), however you can change it to another service type as long as it's supported for this shipment. If USPS services weren't selected during checkout, the Mail Class defaults to the first radio button, which is Express Mail.
    • Label Attributes: This determines the file format for the postage label. The GIF format is pre selected however JPEG, PNG and PDF are also supported.
       
  3. Ship Settings
    On this tab you can specify whether to 'Flag this package as shipped' once the postage label has been printed, as well as enter comments that are in addition to the verbiage that is already included in the 'Order Shipped' e-mail that gets sent to the customer.
    • Ship Date dropdown allows you to specify the actual Ship Date, up to 5 days in advance.
       
  4. Ship From/Recipient
    This tab is where you will review the 'Ship From' and 'Ship To' address details prior to printing the postage label. This information is dynamically populated based on the merchant's 'Shipping Address' and the one specified by the customer during checkout, so you should not have to edit this page! An exception might be if the customer's address doesn't “pass” Endicia's address validator, in which case you will need to make the necessary correction, or contact the customer for an alternate address. DO NOT contact ProductCart if you receieve a message from Endicia that the address is not acceptable, as there is nothing we can do on our end to resolve this. The message is coming directly from Endicia.
  5. Package Information
    ​This tab is an important one! Here, you can review the Package Value, which is based on the Order Total, but can be edited if necessary. NOTE: this value is required for international shipments. The Package Description field is populated with the Order ID, but can also be edited.
    • Package Weight is based on the aggregate weight of the contents of this shipment, but can be adjusted by the merchant if necessary.
    • Package Type will default to the most common one for the Mail Class, but can be changed by the merchant to any other one that is compatible. The Package Dimensions are based on the default package size under your Shipping Settings, but can also be edited.
    • Package Reference Number. By default, the Customer ID will be used as a 'cross-reference' number, but you can change this prior to Calculating Postage.
    • Additional Services - Insured Mail. Insuring the package is not required, however if you choose to insure the package, your only option is to use Endicia's Insurance (i.e. the USPS Insurance is not avaialable, but Endicia's is actually less expensive and more comprehensive anyway). it is important to understand that the Insurance Amount is NOT included with the postage, but billed to your account at the end of each month. For more information on Endicia's insurance rates, please go to: http://www.endicia.com/Features/EndiciaInsurance/
 

Refunds


If you make a mistake and therefore decide not to use a label that you have created with the USPS Endicia Shipping Wizard, you can request a refund directly from the ProductCart Control Panel:
  • ​Load the order details page for the order for which the shipment label is incorrect (or no longer needed)
  • Go to the Product Details tab
  • Locate the shipment details section lower on the page
  • Click on the Refund link next to the shipment for which you would like to receive a refund

The refund request will be processed and you will receive an e-mail confirmation directly from Endicia in a few days. If the refund is approved, the postage associated with that shipment will be automatically credited back to your Endicia postage account.
 

Stealth Mode


If you want to 'hide' the actual postage amount on the shipping/postage label, you can do this be making a small change in the file:
pcadmin/EDCUSPS_ManageShipmentsRequest.asp
Open it in Notepad or another editor and look for the following line:
tmpXMLOrg=tmpXMLOrg & "<Stealth>FALSE</Stealth>"
Change it to:
tmpXMLOrg=tmpXMLOrg & "<Stealth>TRUE</Stealth>"

Please note that their API states the following about this mode:

"Stealth cannot be used with COD, USPS Insurance, Registered Mail, Automation rate, LabelSize of EnvelopeSize10 and Card shape mailpieces. For Standard Mail, Stealth is turned on."

Troubleshooting


Question: I have enabled USPS and selected to show First Class rates to my customers, but it is not showing anything for First Class. How come?
  • Answer: The USPS recently changed the criteria for First Class, and this service is no longer available for packages that weigh more than 13 Ozs. 

Question: We are no longer getting shipping rates from the USPS. We have checked with their tech support and they said that the server address that we are using are correct, and that our account is working just fine. What could be wrong?
  • Answer: Make sure that packaging information is specified in your USPS shipping settings (pcadmin/viewShippingOptions.asp). Try resetting those settings and see if the rates are correctly being returned.

 

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