Skip to main content
IB Solutions

Cracking the Code on Returns: Your Ultimate Guide

By No Comments4 min read

Returns – a word that can elicit a sigh from both consumers and businesses alike. They’re like the uncharted territories of the shipping world, where packages embark on unexpected journeys, sometimes heading right back to where they started. In this blog post, we’re diving headfirst into the realm of returns, shedding light on the two main types and unveiling a game-changing return service that could revolutionize your approach. 

Let’s talk about a topic that’s both a head-scratcher and a wallet-pincher – returns. You know, those packages that take a detour, and suddenly we’re left wondering what to do with them. In this blog, we’re diving into the world of returns, breaking down the types, and giving you the lowdown on a cool service that could change your return game for good. 

Picture this: packages sent with enthusiasm, only to encounter a fork in the road. The first path is the realm of ‘Changed Addresses’ or ‘Undeliverable Addresses’. The recipient moved away, leaving behind nothing but silence. Or, they open the package only to decide it’s not quite what they were hoping for: a mismatched size, an unforeseen flaw – whatever the reason, the recipient decides it’s time for a reversal.

These tales of uncertainty are scripted by endorsements and shipping classes, scripting the destiny of the package itself. The package might journey forward if an address update exists, loop back to the sender, or meet its end in an unknown fate. Armed with a USPS (United States Postal Service) Return Service label, the once-desired package gets another shot at redemption. This time, though, the account holder takes on the postage cost, a small investment for the chance at a positive resolution.

Introducing blue™: Your Return Sidekick 

Now, let’s talk about something awesome – blue™ and its Scan-Based Return (SBR) labels. These labels are like magic – you create a USPS Scan-Based Return label using blue™ API, and guess what? You only pay when USPS scans it. It’s like having a return label up your sleeve, ready to go when you need it. By default, this service is turned off on ePostage accounts, but don’t fret – it can be activated at your request.  

What makes the scan-based return label so cool?  It’s the ultimate solution for an “on-demand” returns setup. Imagine your call center generating a personalized PDF return label on the fly, sending it to the customer while they’re still on the line. Extract their details from your order database, add a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number if needed – you’ve got it covered.

And guess what? If the label doesn’t get scanned, you’re off the hook – no charges for you. USPS keeps things upfront by letting you know about any costs and details. 

USPS monitors the mail stream for SBR labels, and they have three methods to compute the postage rate based on: 

  • the mail class 
  • the induction ZIP code 
  • the destination (warehouse) ZIP code.  

The primary method is a measurement of the weight in the USPS operational environment by automated equipment. This is referred to as “census pricing” and in this case, the rate will accurately reflect the appropriate postage value. If no operational weight is captured, the weight will be taken from the electronic manifest.

For any queries or extra support, we’re just an email away at We’re here to guide you through the twists and turns of the returns landscape, making sure your packages find their way, no matter which path they choose.  

In the world of shipping, returns are an inevitable adventure. With a clear understanding and the right tools, you can master this journey, ensuring your packages find their way home – even if it takes a second chance to get there.