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A few Q's about USPS...

Since I already have two discussions at the top, I figure, why not go for a third. Hopefully these are helpful to others also besides me.

My first question has to do with printing the USPS shipping labels. I'm using plain computer paper at the moment. The website says "do NOT tape over the bar code". I made sure to have tape covering every inch of the label, minus the barcode at the bottom and what looks like a 'barcode' of some sort up top.

This worries me however because it could be damaged easily on its way to the buyer. I noticed some old packages from items I bought a while back that have these same labels but are completely covered with tape. Does it have to do with the scanner not picking up on it if it's shiny?

Also, this is kind of a stupid question, maybe a common sense deal but when you schedule a carrier pick up do you leave your package/s right outside your door? My mailbox is across the street so leaving it there isn't an option. I have been leaving them next to my front door under a chair. I'm worried about two things. Them getting wet or stolen (if I'm not home). My front door isn't right at the street but only about a little over a cars length away. And I do have a large overhang in the front but whenever it rains hard the front area still gets wet.

One more thing. Is carrier pick up scheduled automatically when you print a shipping label for the next day? Or does it need to be scheduled separately? I printed a label to go out today, but I forgot to schedule a pickup. Now I think I'm going to have to wait around for the mailman or drop off at the post office (pre-paid so don't have to wait in line; thank god!).
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