What is a Packing Slip?
A document that is included inside of parcels that outlines the complete list of items included in that parcel. It can include information such as the weight of each item, its SKU, the number of units included, the price, as well as other information. The packing slip is used by all those involved in packaging and shipping the item as well as the customer to ensure that all the items that were ordered were sent out and received.
Information Included on a Packing Slip
When it comes to what information is included on this slip, the exact details may be different depending on the business. Some of the basic information that is included in the packing slip includes:
- Shipping address of the customer
- Order date
- Contact information of both the buyer and seller
- List of shipped items
- Quantity of each item
- SKU or UPC of each item
- List of any items that were out-of-stock
Packing Slip vs. Invoice
While both documents can appear similar and contain the same information, there are a couple of key differences between packing slips and invoices, mostly in the monetary sense.
When it comes to an invoice, information like the amount each item costs, the payment method used to acquire each item, and the person responsible for payment are all included which is not always the case in the packing slip.
Invoices are meant to be given to the buyer of the goods, whereas the packing slip is meant to be given to the receiver of the goods which is not always the same person. This is especially the case when people buy from your e-commerce store with the intention of gifting that item to someone else.
Why Are Packing Slips Important
They serve multiple purposes as they are intended for different people in the shipping process. For starters, they let those in charge of fulfillment know what exactly should go into the package. It also helps customers in case anything arrives damaged. The packing slip lets the carrier and the business know exactly what was included in the shipment so returns are more easily handled. And for international shipments, they allow the customs organization of that country to estimate the value of the shipment more quickly.
How to Print a Packing Slip
While there are multiple ways to print a packing slip, one of the easiest ways to do so is by printing one at the same time you purchase a shipping label from Shippo. Packing can be printed as a PDF, PNG, or ZPL Format so that it can accommodate whatever printer your business is using.