When does a shipping label expire?

Best practices on when to use your label

Updated over a week ago

USPS wants you to use that label as close to the Ship Date as possible

When purchasing a label in Pirate Ship, you can select a Ship Date for up to 7 days in the future 🎉 It's a great option when you know you won't make it to the Post Office for a while, or just want to allow yourself that extra wiggle room!

Generally, you can still use a label a few days after the Ship Date - but, it is up to your local postal worker's discretion, so make sure you're super nice to them about it 😊 That said, USPS doesn't mind if you try to use the label earlier than the chosen Ship Date.

If you plan to use your label more than 2-4 days after the Ship Date, your Post Office might still accept it, but it's not always likely. We always recommend playing it safe by requesting a refund for that label, and creating a new one with the updated Ship Date.

UPS prefers that labels are used soon after you purchase them

UPS® prefers that you use your labels as soon as possible after purchasing them. If UPS considers a label too old to use, there's a chance that the package will be routed to a UPS Overgoods location, which is a facility where UPS holds packages that are unable to be recovered 🙈

If a UPS label has been sitting without being used, the best practice is to simply recreate it and pay for a new one! Keep in mind that our software automatically refunds labels after 28 days. If your UPS label is auto-refunded, you'll need to recreate that label and not use the original refunded label when shipping out your package.

If you use a refunded label or if you use a label more than once, that package will get sent to a UPS Overgoods location and will be unable to be recovered.

Unused labels are automatically refunded after 28 days

It's important to remember that Pirate Ship will automatically refund you for any USPS or UPS label purchases that don't have tracking updates after 28 days 💰 By that point, you will want to recreate and repurchase it.

Note that this only applies to any prepaid shipping labels! Our Pay-on-Use USPS Return Labels are valid for up to 90 days 😃

Any questions? Our Support Team is happy to lend a hook!

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