In order to help ensure that you’re paying the correct shipping costs for your USPS packages, the USPS is implementing a new automated processing system called Automated Package Verification, or USPS APV.
Starting August 15, 2017, as packages go through processing, they will be scanned and weighed to check for correct postage paid based on size, weight, destination, etc. If the amount is underpaid, a debit will be made to cover the difference. If the amount is overpaid, a credit should be issued. This change affects all PC Postage providers.
What changes now with USPS APV?
ShippingEasy already makes it easy to send and track your packages. This process should complement the ease of use of our app by automating error correction. Previously, if a package was found to be underpaid for postage, it would be rejected or delivered with a “postage due” notice. Neither of these is ideal for you or your customers. The new APV will ensure your packages are delivered on time and the correct amount of postage is paid.
What could cause improper postage payment?
Below are some of the most common reasons improper postage amounts are paid:
- Package weight and/or dimensions entered during label printing do not match the actual shipment
- No package dimensions entered
- Flat Rate label is used with a non-Flat Rate box
- Improper service is used (for example, First Class label on 1lb+ package)
- Packaging isn’t included when entering information (i.e. only the item weight and dimensions are entered)
How can you view APV adjustment details?
According to Stamps, once APV goes into effect on August 15, you will be able to view adjustment details by logging into your Stamps account and viewing the Adj. Amount column. All of these transactions will be handled and visible through Stamps, not in the ShippingEasy app.
These adjustments should come within a few days of your shipment, but could take up to 30 days, which is the maximum amount of time possible. Adjustments will reflect the special rates you get through using ShippingEasy: Commercial Plus Pricing and Flat Rate Green (cubic rates exclusive to ShippingEasy customers).
What if I don’t have any money in my Stamps account?
If you are charged for underpaid postage but don’t have money in your Stamps account, the payment source attached to your Stamps account will be debited The amount charged will depend on the postage available in your account. If there is enough postage in your account to cover the short-pay, the account will be debited for the exact difference. If there is not enough postage available in the account, your account will be topped up by $10 to cover the postage due – any leftover funds will remain in the account. For example, if you have a $4 postage balance and get a $5 short-pay adjustment, your account will adjust to -$1, then a postage purchase of $10 will occur leaving a $9 balance that can be used to purchase shipping labels or cover any additional adjustments.
Add money to your Stamps account to make sure you’re covered and able to print your next label(s) when you need to.
What are some best practices moving forward?
- Always be sure to use the proper packaging and shipping methods, and don’t weigh until you have all items and packing material in the package
- Take a look at this article to make sure you’re using the most cost-effective means of shipping via USPS
- It may be a good idea to set up auto-refill for your Stamps account to prevent going below a set dollar amount
- Measure twice, ship once: rather than guessing your package weight, use a scale—you can find a list of scales the ShippingEasy app supports in this article
- Remember that USPS always rounds up to the next ounce or pound, so 3.2oz is considered 4oz (this isn’t a worry for ShippingEasy customers, as our app automatically rounds up for you to make sure your postage is accurate!)
If you feel you were debited in error, you can dispute the charge with the USPS. You’ll need to email [email protected], and provide as much of the below information as possible:
- Adjustment ID
- The last four digits of the Tracking #
- The reason or explanation for the dispute (with as much detail as possible)
As a reminder, our customer service team is here for every paying customer who uses the ShippingEasy app. Please feel free to call, email, or chat with us if you have any questions, concerns, or need help navigating any of the above! Our Support Forum is available 24/7 as well!