Label Printers & Wine Club Shipments

two label printers

The trouble with having two label printers

I love wine. There, i said it 🙂 But when you visit a winery at 6:30am (yes…in the morning) your not there for the wine. This morning I was out on Peachy Canyon Road to resolve a printing issue that almost caused a delay in the wine club shipment for one of the local wineries! Fortunately the problem was resolved quickly and the shipment will go out as planned (good news for us wine lovers).

The Problem: UPS and GSO both use the same label printer, but with different drivers

If you’ve ever worked in a winery, or even if you know someone who does, you likely understand how important the wine club shipment is and how much of a nightmare is can be when things go wrong. GSO (Golden State Overnight) and UPS (United Parcel Service) are two of predominate shippers for the Paso Robles wineries. Unfortunately they both use the same model printer but with different drivers. This means you can’t use the same printer installation for both shipping providers.

If a printer driver become corrupt (the cause of today’s problems) it can stop the printer from functioning, or cause strange print behavior like blank labels or strange characters on the label.

If you have problems with your label printer in UPS or GSO, try the following quick troubleshooting tips:
  • cancel all print jobs in the print queue
  • restart the computer
  • disconnect/reconnect the printer USB cord (wait 15 seconds between connections)
  • verify the correct printer is selected in each shipping program

If you’re not able to get things working with these steps, it might be time to give us a call.

Money Savings Tip: You don’t need two printers

Both UPS and GSO provide the same printers, but you don’t have to use both of them. One printer can be installed twice in windows (using different drivers each time) to that UPS and GSO can print to the same printer, and you only have to change your label roll.

This might not work for everyone, but if you only print in batches for your wine club shipments, this could save you the monthly UPS fee. What fee? UPS charges a monthly fee for their printer. Check your statement, you’ll find it there. It might not be a large fee, but it’s still money you don’t have to spend if you use the printer provided by GSO.

What if you don’t qualify for a free printer from GSO?

The Zebra LP 2844 is a workhorse of a printer, but it’s $450 new. Fortunately there are plenty of good quality used and refurbished units available (search online or check amazon.com) for $90 to $250 dollars and these printers generally provide years of trouble free operation. Just make sure you get one with a USB connection 🙂

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