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Can I create Return Labels with Pirate Ship?
Can I create Return Labels with Pirate Ship?

How to use Pay on Use Return Labels

Updated over a week ago

For approved accounts, we can offer Pay-on-Use Return Labels, which are a great way to include a return label in your outbound shipments that you won't pay for unless it's used.

The return label feature is only approved upon request. If you’re interested just let us know by chatting with us using the button on the bottom right of the screen.

Note: Return Labels are currently only supported for USPS labels, not UPS... but this is something we hope to offer in the future!

How do Return Labels work?

To create a Return Label, open the "Extra Services" area when creating a label and check the Return Label box:

When you create a Return Label, the Ship From and Ship To addresses are swapped, so that your address will be where the package is sent to.

Note: You will only be charged for the postage cost if your customer uses the return label you created and USPS scans it in 😉

What options do you have for Pay-on-Use Return Labels?

Return Labels Only:
Select this option if you only want to create a return label. You can print or email this label. All you need to do is input the address of the returnee in the Ship To field as if you were shipping to them like normal. When you select the Return Label option, Pirate Ship automatically swaps the Ship To address with the Ship From, so that the Ship From address will be where the package is returned to.

Return Labels Included:
This option gives you both an outbound label to ship the package to the recipient, and a pay-on-use return label which the recipient could use to ship it back if they need to. Simply enter the recipient's details in the Ship To field, open the Extra Services area, check the Return Label checkbox, and select Return Labels Included. You will then print a regular label and a return label, which will have the Ship To and Ship From addresses swapped. 

What services can I use for Return Labels?

You can create return labels for every domestic USPS service except for Media Mail and Priority Mail Express 🙈

You can create return labels for all 50 states and U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands!

Return labels aren't available for international labels

It's not possible to create a Return Label for any international label, because USPS only offers postage for shipments originating in the United States. If your recipient needs to return a package from overseas, one option is for them to bring it to their country's postal service and pay for the label themselves.

Signature Confirmation is not supported for USPS return labels

Another thing to note is that USPS doesn't support Signature Confirmation as an option when creating Return Labels. Even if you select "Signature Confirmation" when making your Return Label, USPS won't include it in the service 😅

If you need Signature Confirmation on a package coming back to you, the best option is to create a regular label with Signature Confirmation and send it to your recipient.

Return labels cannot be used for military addresses

Unfortunately, you can't make return labels for military addresses. If you try, you'll get an error message reading: "Invalid Origin Postal Code."

If you need a workaround, you can manually create a label on the USPS website.

Can I create Prepaid Return Labels?

Another way to create a "return label" is to add a Ship From address which is the address your customer or recipient will ship the package from, and then create a normal shipping label with yourself as the recipient. Read more about that here

How do I know that I've created a Return Label?

When you're looking at a Return Label, you'll see a blue arrow:

A screenshot showing the shipment details that appear right before the label is purchased. At the top left corner where the recipient's name is shown, there is a blue circular arrow to the right which indicates that a return label has been created.

This is an indication that a Return Label has been created, and also that those addresses will be swapped. Meaning, the address shown here at the top as Jolly Rogers will be the sender, with your address as the recipient.

Sending out your Return Label

When you're ready to send the return label you've created, you've got a couple of options! You can:

  1. Download the label as a PDF and email it to your recipient 📩

  2. Create and send a 'Share Link' that allows your recipient to print the label from the Internet 💻

Once you click the 'Print Label' button, these two screenshots point you where to find both options listed above:

Download Label

Create Share Link

Do Return Labels expire?

USPS pay-on-use return labels that you purchase on Pirate Ship expire after 90 days.

Return Labels aren't supported for 2x7" labels

Pirate Ship only generates return labels in the 4x6" format 👍 If you have your settings set as 2x7" in your General Settings, return labels will be greyed out and not available.

If you purchase a regular 2x7" label but need to include a return label with it, you can toggle on the 4x6" format in your General Settings to create a return label.

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