Key points:

  • 59% of customers rank free returns the most important factor in a good returns experience, while fast returns are the most important for only 29%
  • Free returns labels can help increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, boosting conversions of first time buyers and increasing customer retention
  • Over half of all eCommerce businesses offered a free returns process in 2021
  • Easyship can help you create a return's policy that drives sales and boosts customer satisfaction

Looking to offer a free returns label with order? This article breaks down returns labels, why a customer might want to return a product, plus the pros and cons of free returns. Find out how to effortlessly create a return's policy that helps convert and customers love.

What Is a Return Label?

Shipping returns labels are pre-paid and pre-addressed shipping labels that allow a customer to return a package. You can either include a return label with the order to return a product, or the customer can print return labels at home to create a return shipment.

When looking at how to make a return label, remember as they are a type of shipping label, they need to include all the information needed to return the package to its intended destination. This information is typically:

  • Name and address
  • Package weight
  • Internal shipping information
  • Tracking bar code
  • Shipping priority

Why Would a Customer Want to Return an Item?

There are a range of reasons why a customer may want to return items. These can include mistakes made by the online store, or something they have no control over. Common order issues include:

  • Customer ordered the wrong product or size
  • Store shipped the wrong size or product
  • Product was broken or damaged
  • Product arrived too late
  • Customer no longer needed the product
  • Customer experienced buyers remorse
  • Product didn't meet customers expectations
  • Product was a gift
  • Customer found a better price
  • Customer returned it after using it
  • Product didn't match the description
  • Fraudulent purchase


With over half of all eCommerce companies offering a free returns process in 2021, check out how free return shipping labels can help your store grow through these key benefits:

Drive Conversions and Sales

Offering free returns can reassure customers that you are confident in the quality of your offering. Knowing that there is a reliable fullback, and it is at no extra cost, they may be more likely to convert and purchase your products.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

With 59% of customers ranking free returns the most important determinant in creating a positive return experience, charging for returns can then quickly create a negative experience for the customer. This is significantly higher than the 15% that ranked speed as the most important factor, indicating that offering free returns can have a large impact on overall customer satisfaction.

Boost Brand Loyalty

Promoting your return policy can both help remove customer uncertainty and help increase trust in your store's brand. As most online shoppers will want to check a return policy before buying from a new store, especially one they are unfamiliar with, having a prominent and straight forward returns policy can help drive sales.

Increase Customer Retention

A positive returns experience can help encourage customers to make future purchases from the online store. How a customer is treated through the returns process can be seen as an online store's view of shoppers. If a customer has a negative experience, then they could abandon the seller altogether.

Easy for Shoppers

Simply printing out a return address label and sending a return can be a lot more appealing than reaching out to a customer service team. A branded and automated online flow can help you create a return service that doesn't frustrate customers, while helping you save customer service costs.

Related Post: How to Create Prepaid Return Labels



While offering free returns can have help grow your store, there are potential downsides to be aware of. Check out the quick summary below before you start creating a return label:

Potential Loss of Profit

Offering free returns can potentially start eating into your profit. The combined cost of losing a sale, plus the shipping cost, can impact the overall margin you are making. One way to reduce this could be to implement a return system from a carrier, allowing you to select the best value solution available.

If you are looking into FedEx shipping, whether or not you have a FedEx account, you can consider the specialized FedEx eCommerce Return System. This can be straight forward to implement if you are already using FedEx Ground or FedEx Express shipping services. While USPS returns are another example, with returns proceed either by printing the label or at a post office.

State Laws May Vary

With each state of the US having their own requirements, creating a return policy that covers every single one can potentially take a long time. Make sure to research your return policy and that it is accessible to both potential customers before purchase and after.


Unfortunately, not all customers may have honest intentions. Free returns policies can be used for a range of dishonest or outright illegal purposes. One key example can be fraud used to launder money from a stolen credit card. If you see any unusual or suspicious activity, then it could be shipping fraud.

Missed Re-engagement

Allowing customers to simply print off mailing labels and attach them to a product they wish to return can remove the opportunity to upsell different products. Creating a returns flow that directs customers back to your online store can potentially help increase sales and traffic, however if not done correctly it can remove any good will generated by a free returns policy.

Create a Returns Policy That Boosts Sales

While both offering free returns shipping or a charging a fee, both have their own advantages or drawbacks, one strategy to optimize your returns flow can be to offer free returns for specific scenarios. One example can be to offer free returns shipping for orders over a certain value, or for select products that you make a high profit margin on.

Free Shipping Policy Generator: Effortlessly create a shipping policy that customers love. Returns policies can be one of the most important criteria for new customers, create a new sales tool that drives conversions.

Looking to start offering free returns labels with your packages? Sign up for an Easyship account and let Easyship do the hard work for you. Start automatically generating return labels for all your shipments.