I'm hoping I can use my regular printer to print shipping labels. I'm not clear about using Shopify Shipping (without an app or my own independently acquired shipping carrier account). Questions:
Tira here, from Shopify.
I see that you're a new member, welcome to the Shopify Community! I am happy to answer your questions:
1) I'm curious to know, what products are you hoping to ship and what methods are you looking into? As you've mentioned, we do have Shopify Shipping available. Shopify Shipping helps you receive discounted shipping rates with USPS, UPS, DHL, Canada Post and Sendle shipments and is available for fulfillments shipped from the United States, Canada and Australia. If you're shipping to these areas, Shopify Shipping can help. Check out our example shipping rates here: Carriers & Shipping Rates.
If you're looking to ship elsewhere, you can take a look at third-party apps from the Shopify App Store that help you add discounted rates for other couriers and locations, here: Shipping apps.
2) We've got discounted rates for USPS, UPS, DHL and Canada Post. By default, USPS rates are added to stores located in the United States. You can always add or adjust your carriers at anytime. Check out the instructions in our help doc here: Create Calculated Shipping Rates.
3) Shopify doesn't have shipping label paper for purchase, you can use your own paper or use a label maker to print your own labels. Printing labels before going to the post office or sending your item out with your courier can save some time. Check out our help doc for the steps to print a test label, shipping label and customs declaration forms: Printing Shipping Labels.
4) Each label printed is created specifically for the shipment and carrier. These labels will typically have the carrier's name, the weight of the product, the date, what's included in the shipment and the order number. You can take a look at examples of the shipping label format and changing the label size here: Changing shipping labels. If you decide not to move forward with a label you can always void the label.
5) I recommend setting up a weight-based rate for your products so that you can add the range of weight plus the rate you would like to charge for free shipping. For example, you can charge $0 if the weight is 0lbs - 2lbs, and $5 if the weight is between 2.1lbs - 100lbs. It's important to make sure you cover the full range of weights of your products so that the system knows which rate to use when showing shipping rates at checkout. I recommend adding the weight to your products if you haven't already by using the bulk editor. The bulk editor allows you to add and adjust changes to your products and variants. You can find the steps to add weight-based rates to your store from our help docs for free shipping rates, flat-based rates and calculated shipping rates.
Let me know if this helps you accomplish this!