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All Things Shipping | July 25, 2019

Do USPS Scan-based Return Shipping Labels Expire?

By Shippo

Picture this: you use a shipping software to easily create a USPS outbound shipping label and a USPS scan-based return shipping label to include in the box you’re sending to a customer. After the package arrives, your customer waits 90 days to request a refund. Will that return label be accepted by the USPS or do USPS scan-based return shipping labels expire? (Spoiler alert: yes, the label will still be accepted.)

It’s a great question to consider, especially for businesses with lengthy return policies. The U.S. Postal Service makes it incredibly convenient to print scan-based return shipping labels that are only charged the postage fee if and when they’re used, helping small and medium-sized businesses balance their cash flow and keep up with exceedingly-high consumer demands. It’s also important to know if and when these labels expire, so you can set customer expectations appropriately. 

When Do USPS Scan-based Return Shipping Labels Expire? 

USPS scan-based return shipping labels are often created the day the shipment is sent out. They can also be created later and then sent as a PDF to the customer if a label wasn’t included in the box. Either way, it’s important for there to be some leeway between the creation date and the expiration date to accommodate for the time it takes to mail the package, try out the items, etc. 

Here’s the good news: USPS scan-based return shipping labels expire after one year (or 365 days).

So, you can rest easy knowing that your customers have plenty of time to use their return label before it’s too late. And, if the label expires before they can use it, you can simply create a new return label and send it to your customer via email for them to print and affix to the package. 

Ready to Print Your Own USPS Scan-based Return Shipping Labels? 

Sign up for a free Shippo account to access discounts up to 90 percent on USPS postage. Plus, Shippo simplifies the fulfillment process, integrating with your e-commerce platform of choice, like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Weebly to name a few, so you can automatically import orders, create shipping labels in bulk, and share tracking information with customers.  Our USPS shipping software makes it easy to access the lowest-possible USPS rates and schedule USPS pickups. 

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