Ever since the invention of the self-adhesive return address label by the Avery Dennison Company in the 1930s, the trend of labels has rapidly replaced hand-written addresses on most mail in the US. The labels are convenient because they contain all of your contact information in a compact form, which is suited for outgoing mail, but can also be used in address books, or as ownership reminders in books that you loan out to friends. You don’t even need to spend much to build up a stock of these self-adhesive labels. With a little ingenuity, you will never have to scrawl your address onto an envelope ever again! Here are three ways to get your hands on some free labels:
Print Your Own
If you’re looking for free return address labels, the obvious choice is to design and print your own on your home computer. If you use Microsoft Word, you can use an address-label template, or find the “Labels” tab – Tools > Letters and Mailings > Envelopes and Labels – to make your own. Start by setting the label size to match the size of the self-adhesive labels you have loaded into your printer and go from there. Word has a box you can check to print a full page of the same label so that you can get 30-50 labels on one page. This will also cut down on address errors or illegible writing on your envelopes, which can be particularly useful in a business setting.
If you’ve never printed labels before, we recommend the 8-1/2” x 11” adhesive label paper, but as you get more comfortable with your printer settings you can try using labels on rolls. White labels are standard, but you can find blank labels in fun colors and clear or metallic finish for special occasions. The bright colors are fun for party invitations and thank you letters.
There are a number of online office and label suppliers who will give you a small (200) order of return address labels for free when you sign up for a free trial with their service. They will probably try to sell you customized stamps, stationary, or checks, but with some careful clicking, you can get your order of labels for just the cost of shipping and handling. Vista Print is one such online source of free labels. They have a few templates you can choose from, and you can change the font, text color, and size to get an overall label look that you are happy with.
Charity Donation Incentives
The last way to get free return address labels requires essentially no effort on your part. In fact, depending on where you live, you might already be getting these free incentives in your mail. Often times, charity organizations will send you 2 or 3 sheets of self-adhesive labels and ask for a small donation in return. The labels are yours to use regardless of whether or not you decide to make a donation, but you probably won’t receive mailings from the same organization in the future if you don’t make a contribution. The charity also gets a little free advertising out of you because the labels usually include some symbol or graphic that is associated with their organization.
So there you have it – three surefire ways to find free return address labels. As long as you don’t move very often, you can probably stockpile enough labels to use on the envelopes for your bills, social, and business paperwork. Keep in mind that if you want to customize the labels, you will need to print them yourself or pay a little more to place a personalized order.