How to guarantee return postage into the future.
September 4, 2009 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Return Postage - Forever?

I have an item that will be traveling from volunteer to volunteer throughout the USA. This item has been abandoned twice (not forwarded on). I would like to provide with this item an "emergency return shipping" label inside the box with the item such that a future volunteer who does not have the means or desire to ship the item on will be able to simply toss the label on the box and send it back to me, and I will coordinate its continued travels.

I have sent back numerous APC batteries with undated/unaddressed labels -- however when I try to create a "return" label on they want a 'from' address.

How can I achieve something similar to what APC does to allow me to return batteries to them (also; 3rd party toner frequently has these return labels).

I would like this label to be usable for 3+ years.
posted by SirStan to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can sign up with UPS or FEDEX and get an account with them. Just leave a waybill inside with your return address and the account number in the payment section.

Then leave a note for the volunteer that they just need to fill out the from address and drop it off at the nearest fedex/ups drop box or just call for a free pickup.
posted by special-k at 10:40 AM on September 4, 2009

special-k is right. you might also approach someone who is currently has an account--like a ups store--to do this for you. might be easier then opening an account for only 1 package.
posted by lester at 10:44 AM on September 4, 2009

Response by poster: I have UPS and FEDEX accounts -- the specific language is "I want a waybill for returns" if I cant find it on the website -- or is it a physical form I need to obtain somewhere?
posted by SirStan at 11:07 AM on September 4, 2009

My local UPS Store always has a supply of the different UPS Waybills, from ground to next day air; The UPS drivers usually carried some with them on the truck as well. YMMV, I know some stores do NOT supply waybills, so you might have to call and see. (waybill example)
posted by Real.Wolf at 12:06 PM on September 4, 2009

Dont fully understand why you need a waybill just for returns. Fill out a regular old one with your address as the recipient and bill to your account #.

Anyone can use that waybill to mail you stuff back no matter how much time has passed as long your account is still valid. Are you looking to have this prepaid?

Also, just called Fedex support and ask. They are pretty helpful.
posted by special-k at 12:37 PM on September 4, 2009

Why not just fill in your address in the From field? We do it all the time at work when we're returning stuff from trade shows.


Sir Stan

It's my understanding that those undated labels are business account holders, and high volume ones at that. That type of service isn't available to just anyone.
posted by caveat at 12:43 PM on September 4, 2009

If you fill in a prepay label with your address in both the send from and send to fields, then the fee is based on a local delivery. FedEx might be different, but if UPS picked up the package and delivered three zones farther than you paid for, they would want to nail you with a fine for misreporting the info, as well as charging the difference.
posted by Real.Wolf at 4:01 PM on September 4, 2009

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