Shipping Unboxed: FAQs about Returns

By Baillee Perkins
Jun 24, 2022

Think about the last time you had to return something online. Were there things in the process you wish you could incorporate into your small business? Picture the busy holiday shipping season. Are there things you wish you could start preparing now? You’ve come to the right place! In the latest entry of our Shipping Unboxed series, we’re covering all things returns – from creating your label to tips for your holiday return policy. 

See how your knowledge of shipment dimensions measures up in our blog Shipping Unboxed: FAQs about Shipment Dimensions!

Question Quick Jump

  1. What are Prepaid Return Labels?
  2. Are there exceptions to generating Prepaid Return Labels in ShippingEasy? 
  3. Will my customer receive an email when I create their return label?
  4. How do I create a return label for a shipment not in ShippingEasy?
  5. Should I offer free returns?
  6. Can I cancel a return label?
  7. How do I cancel a return label?
  8. What is the time limit for canceling a label?
  9. When do I get refunded for a canceled label?
  10. How often should I update my returns policy?
  11. Can I make my returns process more sustainable?
  12. How do the holidays affect my returns policy?   

What are Prepaid Return Labels?

A prepaid return label is a label you pay for from the funds in your ShippingEasy USPS or UPS  One Balance account (you can find it underneath your Carrier Funds), like a regular label. This label, however, has your address as the recipient, and your customer’s address as the sender, so your customer can return their shipment. 

In ShippingEasy, these labels can be created from your Shipment History or by searching for the order in your Global Search Bar

Pictured: Global Search Bar

Are there exceptions to generating Prepaid Return Labels in ShippingEasy?

Great question! You can’t generate a return label in ShippingEasy for: 

  • International shipments 
  • UPS shipments with a declared value of more than $1000 
  • Amazon shipments because Amazon requires return labels to be uploaded to your Seller Account
Learn more about UPS Declared Value in our How to Ship Jewelry blog.

Will my customer receive an email when I create their return label?

Yes! If you have this option selected in your store settings, we’ll send an email notification to your customer with steps on completing the return process. 

You can check to see if these emails are enabled by going to Settings > Integration > Stores & Orders > Edit store settings > Return email settings > Check box. You can even customize your email template. How cool is that?

How do I create a return label for a shipment not in ShippingEasy?

This process is super similar to creating a manual label. Fill out all of the address fields and information on your label. Once you’re done, you can click either Buy Label to bypass your Ready to Ship page or click Create & Get Rate to send your label to your Ready to Ship page. As long as you have your return emails enabled and your customer’s email address entered, your customer will receive an email like when you generate a label from an order you had in ShippingEasy! 

This is an example of the default return label email we send to your customers.

Should I offer free returns?

This totally depends on what works best for your business. A recent study from Invesp shows that 49% of eCommerce stores offer free returns. If you are able to offer free returns, but you don’t know where to start, we have two words: rate calculator! Even though ShippingEasy doesn’t affect the live rates on your stores, you can use your rate calculator to give yourself a better idea of what your shipping would cost. This way, you can adjust the shipping costs on your marketplace of choice to better help cover shipping and return costs. 

On the other hand, we understand how hard things are right now, so free returns might not be an option. Also, some larger brands like Zara subtract return costs from the refund amount their customers receive and promote free in-store returns for a greener return process. 

Can I cancel a return label?

Yes! You are able to cancel USPS or UPS One Balance return labels in ShippingEasy, as long as they are canceled within the timeframes given by USPS and UPS. More on this below. 😉

How do I cancel a return label?

You can cancel those USPS or UPS One Balance return labels if: 

  • They haven’t been used on a USPS SCAN form
  • Your USPS label is canceled within 28 days of purchase
  • Your UPS One Balance label is canceled within 30 days of purchase. 
For more information on One Balance, check out our blog – Commercial Shipping Simplified with ShippingEasy.

What is the time limit for canceling a label?

The timeline is going to vary, depending on the carrier. We’ve created a list of all of the label cancelation timeframes below, so you have everything all in one place! 

  • USPS labels and return labels: within 28 days of purchase 
  • UPS One Balance labels and return labels: within 30 days of purchase 

We put FedEx in this separate section because they have some specific requirements for canceling Ground and Home Delivery labels in your ShippingEasy account. These include: 

  • Canceling shipments either before the Ship Date or after the Ship Date on your label for the cancelation to be considered successful by FedEx 
  • Canceling all shipments in a multi-box shipment, even if only one shipment needs to be canceled to get your refund 
    • Note: FedEx will only charge you for labels that are scanned and shipped. 

When do I get refunded for a canceled label?

USPS labels are usually refunded within 21 days because USPS needs to review them first, and UPS One Balance labels are usually refunded immediately. 

How often should I update my returns policy?

We recommend updating your returns policy at least once a year, around the holiday season. That doesn’t mean you can’t revisit it more often, though! Confirming your return policy is up-to-date keeps your customers happy. 💗

Can I make my returns process more sustainable?

Of course! One example is offering promo codes and/or discounts to your customers for reusing packaging when they send in their returns. ♼

You can find more sustainable practices for your business in our blog Sustainability for Small Businesses.

How do the holidays affect my returns policy?

You absolutely don’t need us to tell you the holiday season is crazy busy, but we can give you a few tips to help with the chaos. For example, many businesses extend their returns policy by a couple of extra weeks to give their customers a little wiggle room.

Also, walk through your return policy. Is it easy to follow? Is all of the contact information correct? Is there anything you would like to see if you were a customer? ‘Tis the season to really make your return policy shine 🎄

It’s never too early to start preparing for the holiday season. Find out how to trim your return policy in our blog – Sustainability for Small Businesses!
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Baillee Perkins

Baillee Perkins is a writer of shipping by day and pop culture by night, so her Google search history is an actual nightmare.

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