Starting August 15th, 2017, USPS will handle under-paid and over-paid postage labels with their new Automated Package Verification (APV) system. The USPS APV program will verify correct postage has been paid on every domestic package, based on weight, dimensions, package type, mailing service, and origin and destination ZIP codes.
How does APV work?
As domestic shipments go through processing, USPS will scan and weigh them to check for correct postage paid based on size, weight, destination, mailing service, etc. Discounted rates such as Commercial Base Pricing, Commercial Plus Pricing and Cubic discounts are considered in the calculation.
If the amount is underpaid, a debit will be made to cover the difference. If the amount is overpaid, a credit should be issued. These debits and credits will be shown as "Adjustments" in your USPS postage account. This change affects USPS Click-N-Ship and all PC Postage providers (e.g., ShippingEasy, Stamps.com, Endicia).
Will my package be delayed if it has incorrect postage paid?
No. Now with the new APV system, the package stays on course while the shipper's account balance is debited or credited accordingly.
What package types are eligible for USPS APV?
APV is currently limited to verifying domestic packages. Envelopes, letters and international shipments will not be affected.
How can I avoid under/overpaying for postage?
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.
- Incorrect packaging is used. Ex: Flat Rate label is used with a non-Flat Rate box shipment.
- Improper service is used. Ex: First Class label on 1lb+ package.
Here are some tips to avoid incorrect postage:
- Calibrate your scales daily.
- Review your packaging with warehouse staff. Does your staff know the difference between a Small Flat Rate Box vs. a Medium Flat Rate Box? What about the different Flat Rate Envelopes?
- Verify that the return address matches your warehouse location.
Where can I view my APV adjustment details?
All of these transactions will be handled and visible through your USPS postage account, not in the ShippingEasy app.
Check out our step-by-step guide for logging into your USPS postage account. Once logged in, navigate to "Reports" from the "My Account" tab and select "Account Transactions" at the top of the list.
When will the APV adjustments be processed?
The USPS has up to 30 days after a package is shipped to issue an adjustment. However, the vast majority of adjustments will occur within just a few days of the package being shipped.
Will USPS APV calculate adjustments based on my shipping rates?
APV considers your specific rates when calculating the amount of postage that should have been paid for a package.
How will I pay for adjustments?
The adjustments will be debited or credited from the USPS postage account used to purchase the label.
What if I don't have any money in my USPS postage account to pay for an adjustment?
If you are charged for underpaid postage but don’t have money in your USPS postage account, the payment source attached to your USPS postage account will be charged to cover the adjustment amount.
NOTE: The minimum postage purchase is $10, so if the adjustment requires more funds than are available in your USPS postage account, at least $10 will be purchased to cover the cost. Any unused funds will remain in your USPS postage account for future label purchases.
How do I dispute an adjustment or reach USPS with questions?
If you feel you were debited in error, you can dispute the charge with the USPS. You’ll need to contact the USPS Automated Package Verification department directly. Email VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov or call 1-844-819-5187, and provide as much of the below information as possible:
- Adjustment ID from your USPS postage account.
- The last four digits of the Tracking #
- The reason or explanation for the dispute (with as much detail as possible)