Third-party billing is a ShipStation feature that allows you to charge a shipment's label to a third-party account (that is, a postage account not connected to ShipStation). You may want to use this feature if you have an agreement with the shipment's recipient, or another third-party, that they will pay for the shipping fees.
To set up third-party billing in ShipStation, you must first meet the following requirements:
Carrier account already connected to ShipStation: ShipStation requires you to first select the correct service, so this means you already have connected your own account with that carrier to ShipStation.
For example, to bill a recipient's UPS account, you must have your own UPS account connected to ShipStation. You then select a UPS service for that order and enter the third-party's account details. ShipStation will send the billing details to the selected carrier (UPS, in this example), and the carrier will then bill the correct account.
Third Party's postage account number and postal code: You will need the third party's postage account number and postal code to configure third-party billing in ShipStation.
Carrier Approval: The third-party account must be approved by the carrier for third-party billing. If you receive an error when attempting to create a label with third-party billing, check with the account owner to ensure the carrier has approved the account for third-party billing.
ShipStation will send the billing details to the selected carrier and the carrier will then bill the correct account.
Best Practices for Third-Party Billing
If you will regularly use third-party billing, consider using Automation Rules to automatically apply third-party billing to your orders. Be sure the rule first sets the shipping service and package type correctly, then adds the third-party account details!
The Recipient and Third-Party designations are for information and reporting purposes only. Either option will tell the carrier to charge the entered account.
Please see our Workflow Guide articles for more specific details about third-party billing. You can also learn how to apply third-party billing to orders, as well as how to assign third-party billing with automation rules.