Key Points:

  • A return shipping label is a shipping label that's prepaid and pre-addressed, so a customer can have a seamless returns process (if needed)
  • USPS can easily create prepaid shipping labels through USPS Click-N-Ship, which offers an easy way to create labels for customers
  • FedEx and UPS offer similar ways to create a prepaid shipping label via their website

All eCommerce businesses have to face one unavoidable situation: returned items. When your customers are contemplating how to return a package, they will inevitably have questions about return labels. So, it's important you have an understanding how these work with the major couriers.

A staggering 30 percent of all eCommerce purchases end up being returned. You may run a seamless business with quality, efficiency, and diligence, but will still face returns. However, this can actually be used to your company’s benefit.

This is where a return shipping label comes in. They make customer returns simple and hassle-free, saving a lot of time and money for your company in the long run.

Here’s a closer look at how return labels work and how to make and send them with various couriers, plus how Easyship can help!

Table of Contents

What is a Prepaid Return Label?

A return shipping label is a shipping label that’s prepaid and pre-addressed so that the customer can easily return items in their delivery if needed.

Affixing a prepaid shipping label to a package

Prepaid shipping labels are a great way to process returns quickly and without any address mistakes. The seller can control the return costs, as they can choose the cheapest shipping option offered. This way, the whole return process is optimized by controlling how the product is returned to you. Besides, a return shipping label costs nothing if used!

How Does a Prepaid Shipping Label Work?

To create prepaid return labels, online merchants typically have to:

  • Choose a courier service and shipping option according to their budget
  • Enter the business address where you want the returns to be delivered as well as some information regarding item identification for your inventory management
  • Make payments to cover the charges of the return shipment

A return shipping label can be created easily with the courier service you’ve chosen for your shipping. Choose the cheapest shipping option for your return shipping, in order to be conscious of your budget.

There are two ways to go about ensuring your customers get a prepaid shipping label:

  • Send it with the shipment: This is easiest for your customers. Just a printed return shipping label with their package - all the customer has to do is to take the item to the courier.
  • Let the customer print it: You can also send a return shipping label by email or have your customers download one from your website and print the label from their printer at home. Then, they’ll just have to take the item to the courier.

How Do I Create a Prepaid USPS Shipping Label?

The quickest and easiest way to create prepaid USPS shipping labels is generally through USPS Click-N-Ship, which offers a convenient way to create USPS prepaid labels for your customers.

USPS offers many mailing classes for return shipping. You can get USPS return labels printed, sent, and used quickly and easily, including for Priority Mail and First Class.

Per USPS, the ways to provide return shipping labels to customers include:

  • Including them in shipments to your customers
  • Integrating the return tools into your website
  • Letting customers print their own
  • Request one through Print and Deliver Label Service

How Do I Create a Prepaid FedEx Shipping Label?

To create a shipping label online with FedEx, follows these steps:

1. Sign in to your FedEx account, or, if you don’t have one, register online

2. In the Ship tab, select Create Shipment

3. In the FedEx Ship Manager, select Prepare Shipment and then select Create Return Shipment

4. Enter your business information in Return Package to and enter the customer’s information

5. Select the return label type from the given options, according to what you need

6. In Select Package Type, choose your preferred return shipping method

7. Next, you have to specify the package type, whether it’s a box, tube or envelope

8. Review and confirm your billing information

9. Review and confirm the shipping information for the prepaid FedEx label and then click the Ship button to complete the process

FedEx return labels are available in a number of options:

FedEx Print Return Label

This FedEx prepaid label solution is ideal for medical, legal documents and warranty services, and the like.

It costs you nothing until it’s used, and you can easily track it by linking it to the outbound shipping label. The return shipper’s can also be offered the option of package pickup through FedEx hold.

FedEx Email Return Label

This FedEx return label is the electronic version of a return label.

You can send your customers an email with a password-protected barcode. They can then either print the label or present the barcode at the FedEx office. You can decide how much time the customer has until he can print the label. This way also has links that will let the customer schedule the pickup and drop off.

FedEx Express Billable Stamps

The billable stamps are preprinted labels that have your address and advance shipping options specified and chosen by you. They’re cost-effective and make the management of shipments easier.

FedEx Ground Package Returns Program

This is a service option available in the U.S. and Canada.

You can send the printed label to your customer with their shipment or send it on request. The customer then pastes the label on the package and takes it to the FedEx office for return.

How Do I Create a Prepaid UPS Shipping Label?

UPS offers return shipping options, but only in the selected number of countries.

You can create and manage UPS return labels through the return shipping service called UPS CampusShip. For UPS prepaid label generation, first select the Return To and Return From addresses, then the weight and dimensions of the package. UPS offers many return shipping options.

You can pick one that suits you the most in terms of affordability, shipping time or any other aspect that you find important.

UPS Returns - Print Return Label

You can send your UPS return label with the shipment or separately on demand using this service. The declared value on this service is limited to $1,000 or the equivalent in any other currency. You can choose this service in the Select Service option and then enter the required product information. You can then review the information before printing the label.

UPS Returns Plus

In this service, the UPS return label is carried by the UPS driver when they pick up the return package from the designated address. You can pick one of the two options in this service:

1. UPS one pickup attempt, where pickup is attempted only once and, if not possible, the UPS prepaid label is left with the recipient. The declared value for this service is $99.00.

2. UPS three pickup attempts, where the pickup is attempted three times by UPS. If unsuccessful, the label is returned to UPS. The declared value for this service is limited to $50.00

UPS Electronic Return Label

If you want to email the UPS return label to your customer quick, this service is a solid option.

Your customer can print the label along with a receipt and view information about how to arrange for pickup. You can select this option in the Return Service section, enter the product information, review and confirm the email to your customer. Don’t forget to select the Receipt option before confirmation.

UPS Print and Mail Return Label

This service is suitable for many scenarios, especially product recalls.

You can print the UPS prepaid label, and then UPS will mail it to your customers. To use this option select it in the Return Service section. Enter the required item description and information, review and confirm the information. Then, select the Ship Now button. If you want to print the receipt for your return shipment, then select Receipt while reviewing. Finally, select Review and print the label.

How Do I Create a Return Shipping Label?

You can also use Easyship shipping software for all domestic shipping returns in the United States!

Prepaid Return Label with Easyship

Follow these steps to create a return shipping label with Easyship:

1. First, select the shipment for which you want to create the label by clicking the checkbox

2.  Go to More and then select the Create Return Label option

3. Next, enter the customer information like a return address and the customer address

4. Then, enter the shipment information like weight and dimensions

5. Select from the suggested couriers

6. Make the payment

7. We will send an email with the prepaid shipping label once your payment is made

8. If you want to resend the email or download the label yourself, you can do so by clicking the Options symbol in the Manage Shipment page. You can even add yourself in the BCC section of the email

Boost Customer Satisfaction with Prepaid Return Shipping Labels:

Return items are an issue that every eCommerce business has to face. However, return shipping labels can help make the process much simpler and quicker, boosting customer satisfaction and decreasing headaches for your company!

In addition to going through the major shipping carriers, keep in mind that creating return shipping labels is a quick and hassle-free process with Easyship.

Sign up today for simpler shipping and greater customer satisfaction!

Prepaid Return Shipping Label FAQ

How much is a prepaid return label?

A prepaid return label is free for the customer. The merchant must purchase the labels through their chosen courier at the rates they have set and agreed upon.

How do I print a return shipping label at home?

You can use a regular printer to print the return shipping label on standard 8.5X11 paper and affix it to the box. Or you can use a thermal label printer which will have the adhesive that can be used to attach it to the package.

Do return labels expire?

This depends on the courier. With FedEx and UPS, the labels do not expire. In most cases with the USPS they will not expire either, but if in doubt, check with the courier.

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