While you can always require that your customers handle all of the shipping logistics of their returns, consumers prefer buying from companies that provide prepaid shipping labels. ShippingEasy provides two versatile options to accommodate any return policy: pre-paid returns and scan-based returns.
Provide a prepaid return label upon request:
A prepaid return label is purchased by a merchant, paid for when printed, and provided to a customer in order to return product back to a warehouse. Keep in mind, that you can still seek compensation from your customer for this label, but the actual purchase will be made through your own carrier account.
This will be the default option for most businesses as it doesn't require any advanced planning. Simply wait for notification from your customer that they need to return a purchase. Then generate the label and send it to them. When purchased from ShippingEasy, you can even automatically email the return label to your customers.
Advantages of prepaid return labels:
- Screen returns: since customers will need to contact your company before sending back a product, you'll have a chance to better understand their reasons and take measures to overcome their objections and/or fix any problems.
- Save labels: when you email a label to your customer, you save on label and/or ink costs.
Disadvantages of prepaid return labels:
- More customer inquiries: the flip side of having your customers contact you is that your customer service team will field more inquiries. This could drain your resources if you do not have a clear plan in place.
- Refund unused labels: when you generate a prepaid label, you pay for it up front. If your customer changes their mind and doesn't use it, you're still out the postage. Fortunately, Stamps provides simple tools to locate and refund unused labels. Learn more.
Before you begin processing prepaid return labels, make sure that you've configured your ShippingEasy account. First, decide how to send the label to your customer. There are several options available within ShippingEasy:
- Automatically email it upon purchase. Learn how to set it up.
- Download PDF. Then print it and snail mail or email it from a personal account.
- For Amazon merchants, download it and upload it to Amazon. Learn more.
With your settings configured, you're ready to generate a prepaid return label. Just follow our step-by-step guide for simple to follow instructions.
For more information about prepaid return labels, take a look at our FAQs.
Mail a scan-based return label to your customer with their purchase:
Unlike prepaid returns, scan-based returns are not paid for when the label is created. Postage is only deducted from your postage account if and when the return label is scanned by USPS into the mail stream. While normally offered to customers as part of a free-returns policy, with careful logistics you could also reasonably pass these costs onto your customers.
Scan-based returns are often preferred for rental returns, buying clubs, as well as fashion and apparel retailers. However, to use this option via ShippingEasy requires some advanced planning as it will need to be set up through Endicia's Pay-on-Use Returns service. Once configured, the scan-based return label will be printed in tandem with the outbound shipment and mailed to your customer in the original package.
Advantages of scan-based return labels:
- Only pay for labels you use: there's no need to watch for unused labels as you will only be charged for those that enter the mail stream.
- Less customer inquiries: reduce the time you customer service team spends on customer inquiries by eliminating the need for customers to contact you for a return label.
- Automate returns: ShippingEasy's Shipping Rules provide the option to automate a variety of actions, such as assigning specific carrier services, to orders that qualify for scan-based returns. Learn more.
Disadvantages of scan-based return labels:
- Lost opportunity to screen returns: since your customer will not need to contact your business before returning an item, you may not even know that there was an issue until the package arrives back at your warehouse.
- Use more labels: since the scan-based return label will be mailed with the package, it will be printed in tandem with the outbound label, using 2x the labels.
- Surcharge: Endicia's Pay-on-Use Returns service includes a surcharge on any redeemed scan-based return label.
Before you begin processing scan-based return labels, make sure that you've configured your ShippingEasy account. Learn more about setting up your account for scan-based returns.
With your settings configured, you're ready to generate a scan-based return label. Just follow our step-by-step guide for simple to follow instructions.
For more information about scan-based returns, take a look at our FAQs.