Our daily lives involve receiving lots of mail and packages to our postal addresses. This usually happens when we receive mail or packages that do not belong to us. The junk mail may be from the previous resident, or the package could have been sent to the current resident. Both problems require serious action because if you don’t deal with them, they will build up for years. Then the question arises How to Return a Package to Sender?
Millions of packages and letters are handled by the postal service every day, so mistakes are bound to occur. Although the process may differ depending on the particular situation, it is generally quite easy.
If that is the case, then you can return mail to the sender by using the USPS parcel return service. As we said, the mail item can be a piece of junk mail or the item sent to the previous resident. You need to identify what type of mail piece it is. After that, you can start the process of returning the mail item.
How to return a package to USPS?
USPS generally requires you to put both the sender’s and receiver’s addresses when sending anything by USPS. However, since the USPS carrier receives thousands of packages every day, there can be some mistakes on the part of the sender or the carrier or the address of the actual recipient may have changed, so the package may get delivered to the wrong location. Junk mail or junk packages are examples of this type of delivery.
In this kind of situation, the receiver must decide what to do. Mail or items might end up being delivered to the previous resident if they are sent to the previous address. It is critical that the receiver identifies the mail and returns it to USPS so that it may be sent back to the sender in such conditions.
Do return to sender packages receive a refund?
No, packages that have been accepted by USPS post stream cannot be refunded if they have been accepted already. If an incorrectly delivered package requires USPS to refund its contents, the request should be submitted during the pre-transit stage.
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USPS Return To Sender steps
It is imperative that you know how the USPS actually processes the paper mail or package you return to them for sending it back to the correct recipient before you send it back. Therefore, we have included this section with all the steps that you should take in such a scenario:
- Collect the package
- Avoid opening junk mail
- Return the package to the sender
- Your address should be crossed out
- Put the mail in the mailbox
1. Collect the package
If you receive this junk mail, you must understand that it is not addressed to you, and it may have come to your address. First of all, determine if the package or mail is junk mail. It’s possible that you’ve received more than one junk mail copy. Your goal is to collect all the junk mail or packages you receive at your residential address or at your workplace.
2. Avoid opening junk mail
Never open junk mail that has been sent to you. It is easy to discern if the mail is intended for you or not by looking at the envelope because it will have the recipient’s as well as the sender’s address. You should never open an envelope before returning it because it makes the return process more difficult.
3. Return the package to the sender
If you want to return an item, you must write “Return to Sender” in bold and clear font on the item or envelope. Ensure that the actual return address is not blocked by your writing.
Even if you know the recipient no longer belongs to that address, you can use the following phrase: “No longer at that address, Return to Sender”. Additionally, you can include “Moved Address” or “Wrong Address”.
4. Your address should be crossed out
Ensure that your address is crossed out, otherwise, a postal worker may deliver it again to your home. It is easier for postal workers to understand that your address belongs to another person by crossing out your address.
5. Put the mail in the mailbox
Dropping the package or letter in the mailbox is very important. In the same way that junk mail is usually delivered by the post office, junk mail will be carried back to the post office and after processing, it will be returned to the sender.
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Why did USPS return my package to the sender?
Undeliverable packages can be returned to the USPS for the following reasons:
- An incorrect or incomplete address was provided
- On the label, there was a mismatch between what was written and what was printed on the package. APV did not charge the postage owed.
- A package that was sent to the recipient was declined
- The recipient failed to pick up the package at the post office where it was awaiting pickup
- It is possible that the shipper was unable to access the recipient’s address on the label, or the address on the label did not belong to the recipient.
Can you track a package that has been returned to the sender?
When USPS considers an item undeliverable, it may be because the address on the label is insufficient or not present, if the recipient is unavailable for signature when the recipient is present, or if the letter carrier cannot reach the delivery address for some reason.
The shipping companies often are responsible for tracking down packages once this happens, which can frustrate them. Unfortunately, you cannot track a returned package once USPS has delivered it back to you.
Return mail to sender: Step by step
If you want to return a letter to a sender, it is simple and straightforward, but you need to make sure that your handling of the situation is done correctly so that the letter reaches the sender as soon as possible. The USPS may need some information from you on the label to understand why your package was returned. The following steps will guide you through this process.
- Clearly write “Return to Sender” on envelopes and packages
- USPS Collection Boxes for Dropping Off
- Return the envelope/package to the mailbox
- Replace the packaging of the item
➔ Clearly write “Return to Sender” on envelopes and packages
When you receive mail at your address that is not your own, you will use this method to take action. Alternatively, we will cover the issue in another manner if the mail carries your name but you want to refuse it.
Before returning a letter or package, be sure that you do not open it. Look at the addressee on the package to determine to who it is addressed. In that case, go to the section Refused mail if your name appears there. In this section, you will find another name.
➔ USPS Collection Boxes for Dropping Off
Mail can always be dropped off at any collection box if you are unable to give it back to the delivery person. USPS is the best method for returning packages by this method.
Having many dropboxes across town allows people to conveniently drop mail in them, and they are usually placed at busy intersections across town so people can easily find them. There are a few things you need to do before placing the item in the box.
➔ Return the envelope/package to the mailbox
The easiest way to handle return to sender mail is by using this method. By placing the envelope or package back inside the mailbox and raising the flag, you can prevent it from getting lost. You are alerting your postperson that there is something in your mailbox they need to pick up.
It may or may not be necessary to write anything on the package, depending on what type of mail you are sending. There is no need to do anything other than place the unwanted mail back in the mailbox if it was delivered to the wrong address.
➔ Label Envelopes/Packed Items With “Refused”
Using this method, you would simply refuse the mail even if everything on the package appears to be correct. You may receive junk mail or an item you did not order. Perhaps it’s a certified letter or a first-class letter that you want to return without reading.
The address label should feature the word “Refused” in this case. Once it has been opened, it will not be possible to refuse delivery regardless of whether it has been resealed. You should immediately return the package to your mail carrier after writing “Refused” on it.
➔ Replace the packaging of the item
Is it possible that you had been waiting on that Amazon package for a while, and when it finally arrived, you opened it right away? You expected something else, but unfortunately, that’s not what you got. When your package has already been opened, how do you return it?
In most cases, you cannot simply write “return to sender” and shove the envelope back in the mailbox once it has been opened. The return of that package will now require more work on your part.
Can you return a package to the sender before delivery?
You can request a Return to Sender after the first delivery attempt, but you must wait until after the first delivery attempt. When your package was not delivered the first time, the driver probably left a UPS InfoNotice to indicate that an attempt was made to deliver it.
You have five business days from delivery day to request a Return to Sender if your package was delivered to a neighbor or released without signature. The shipper must be contacted after five business days.
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Return Mail To Sender: Mail Delivered to the Wrong Address
If you receive an envelope with a different address, your mail carrier may have mistakenly dropped it in your mailbox. The steps below will guide you through the process in no time.
- Put the email back in your mailbox
- Send it to your Mail Carrier
- Write nothing on envelopes
➔ Put the email back in your mailbox
When you notice an incorrect address on a mail piece, put it back in your mailbox immediately. The red flag should also be displayed. If you do this, it alerts your carrier that there is outgoing mail at the door waiting for them to pick it up next time.
Here, we should mention that this differs if the item has been misdelivered through Priority Mail Express. Next, request a report from the Priority Mail Express Reporting Unit.
➔ Send it to your Mail Carrier
When the mail carrier comes the next day, make sure that you are home if you do not want the item left in your mailbox. Once that is done, you can hand over the misdelivered item in person.
Tell them that they have been deposited at the wrong address. This can then be handled by USPS employees. It is also possible to take the package, envelope, or parcel to your local post office. The most convenient method depends on your own preferences.
➔ Write nothing on envelopes
If the packaging is blank, there is no need to write anything on it. Your mail carrier will be unable to deliver it to the right recipient if you do this, so do not obstruct the delivery. You will be able to return a returned item to its sender at the nearest Post Office if it needs to be returned.
It is not necessary to write “Return to sender” on the packaging. Make sure you don’t cover the address or cross it out. You might consider attaching a sticky note to your mailbox with information about the items you left in there and the person’s name and the fact that they do not live at your address so that your mail carrier knows what to look for.
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Return Mail To Sender: Mail That You Do Not Want
In addition, you can return a mail item that was addressed to you, sent to the correct place, but that you no longer wish to receive. Make sure to follow our guide so you don’t make a mistake.
- Label The Packaging With “Refused”
- Mark that mail as “refused” if it is Accountable Mail
- Opened items should be repackaged
➔ Label The Packaging With “Refused”
In most cases, you can refuse to receive mail and ask it to be returned to the sender. If you refuse an envelope or parcel, all you have to do is write “Refused” on it and give it back to your carrier as soon as possible.
The process cannot be reversed if the document has been opened. No matter how carefully you seal it. Before you start tearing into it, think carefully about whether you want it.
➔ Mark that mail as “refused” if it is Accountable Mail
Signing for mail items is required. It will depend on the contents of the accountable mail whether you can refuse it. In this case, simply put a checkmark in the “Refused” box on the notice you received from your mail carrier.
The important thing to remember is that you can rarely refuse mail that you have already received and signed for. It must be returned with new packaging and you must pay the shipping costs if you want to reject it after this point.
Types of accountable mail
You are likely to receive the following types of accountable mail:
- A certified mail delivery service
- Registrar’s Mail
- On-delivery collection
- Sending priority mail express
➔ Opened items should be repackaged
It is necessary to put the package or mail it back into a fresh envelope or mailer if you have already opened it. Postage will have to be paid again. However, you might be able to get a refund if an item is damaged or not as expected. In these instances, sellers often provide prepaid shipping labels or refund you for postage.
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What happens when a parcel is returned to the sender?
The sender of the item may request to have it held by the destination Post Office or returned to the sender. Actual postage may differ from that estimated, so any additional postage charges will be applied.
Depending on the situation, the shipment will be returned to the original sender or held at the local post office to be picked up. It may have been due to the following reasons if your tracking information indicates that your order is currently being returned to us:
- Attempts were made to deliver a parcel to your address, but nobody was home at the time.
- There might be a problem with the address you entered when placing your order.
- An attempt was made to deliver the package, but it was refused.
- A delivery courier may be accountable for the issue in rare instances.
How to return a package to the sender FedEx?
Sometimes you may receive a defective product when you order a FedEx package. If this is the case, you must send it back to the sender. If you want to return a package to FedEx, there is a set procedure. However, the policy of your retailer may also affect returns.
The following steps should be followed when returning a FedEx package to the sender:
- Prepare a FedEx Return Label
- Purchase a FedEx return label
- Organize your documentation
- Pack your item
- Bring your package to a FedEx retail store
1. Prepare a FedEx Return Label
A return label may already be attached to your package. The invoice may either include this information or it may be kept separately. First, check inside the box to see if it’s there. In that case, you simply have to stick it on the shipping box rather than printing anything.
Return labels are not always included with the boxes, so you will have to print them. Usually, you can find the option on the seller’s website under the “order” or “return” section. It may be necessary to request a return label from the seller.
2. Purchase a FedEx return label
Return labels are not necessarily provided by the company, so you can purchase your own through FedEx if they do not. The process can be completed online and offline.
3. Organize your documentation
Customs documentation may already be included with your package or instructions may have been sent electronically. It is your responsibility to submit the required documents if they are not already completed. You can find out more about international shipping at their International Shipping section.
4. Pack your item
If you pack your shipment properly, you’ll ensure it gets to its destination safely and in good shape. For returns, you can use the original packaging as long as it is intact. In addition to boxes and packaging materials, you can also find FedEx Ship Centers nearby if you need new packaging.
5. Bring your package to a FedEx retail store
FedEx retail locations and FedEx Drop Boxes near you are convenient locations to drop off pre-packaged and pre-labeled shipments. You can pick up your pre-packaged shipment at a FedEx Ship Centre or FedEx Authorized ShipCentre if you need help with your return label. Make sure the package you are sending meets the weight and size restrictions.
How It Works
The sender of the item may request to have it held by the destination Post Office or returned to the sender.
- Package Intercept is only available if your shipment qualifies.
- When you log in to your account on USPS.com, you will be able to submit your request online.
- If applicable, you will receive an estimated total postage and intercept fee (if applicable), after submitting your request. The shipment will then be intercepted and redirected.
- Upon intercepting a shipment, you will be charged a package intercept fee of $15.25 plus your chosen method of shipping. Actual postage may differ from that estimated, so any additional postage charges will be applied.
- You’ll receive a redirected delivery or you’ll be to pick up the shipment at your local post office.
Sending an envelope or package back to the sender can be accomplished in a variety of ways. According to your specific situation, you will have to choose a particular method. There may be circumstances in which an address label needs to include some clarification so that the mail carrier knows how to handle the package. There is usually no need to purchase additional postage to send your mail back.
However, if you have already opened the package, then the situation becomes a bit more difficult. You will have to repackage the item and get new postage attached in order to send it back. Following the guidelines listed in this article is important when returning mail to its sender. In any other case, the mail might remain stuck in a loop and can simply appear in your mailbox every few days.