In ShipStation, you have the ability to create USPS, Canada Post, FedEx, and UPS return labels at the same time as your shipping labels. This is helpful if you'd like to include a return label with the shipment, and make the return process seamless for your customers.
You can create these return labels on a per-order basis, or you can create an automation rule to select this option for all (or a specific selection) of orders.
There are a few things to keep in mind when including return labels with your outgoing shipments...
1) For USPS return labels (unless you are using Pay-on-use Endicia labels), you will be charged when you create the label, regardless of whether it is used by your customer or not. These charges will not be reflected in the rate quoted for the outgoing shipping label. Please reach out to your postage provider for specific details.
2) Return labels created using invoiced carriers, like UPS or FedEx, will only be charged to your account if your customer actually uses the return label. This is also true when using Endicia's Pay-on-use return labels.
3) Return labels do count toward your ShipStation monthly shipment limit, even if the labels aren't used to return anything.
4) Not all carriers or services can be used for return labels. Check out this article for a list of carriers that support return labels in ShipStation.
5) Currently, generating a return label with the outgoing label is not supported when using the multipackage shipment option (available for UPS, FedEx, and DHL services). If the option to include a return label with the outgoing shipment is selected and the shipment is set to ship using multiple packages, the outgoing labels will generate normally, but no return label will generate. If you need return labels in this scenario, the best option is to split the order into multiple orders, and then follow the steps below for each order.
Click an order's number to open up the Order Details pop-up. Under the Other Shipping Options section, check the option to Include a return label with the outgoing shipping label.*
*The box that controls this feature can be checked in bulk by applying Bulk Actions to orders that you select on the Orders page.
Once the box is checked, you'll be prompted to specify a carrier, service, and package type. If you leave those fields in the Select mode, the outgoing carrier, service, and package type will be used for the return label.
When you click Create Label, a return label will print with the outgoing shipping label. In contrast to our standard method of creating a return label, this process cannot email a PDF copy of the return label to the recipient.
Generally speaking, it's okay to use different carriers/services/packages for your outgoing labels and automatic return labels. However, if you want to use Endicia for your automatic return labels, then you must use the same services for your outgoing labels and leave the automatic return label fields in the Select mode as shown in the screenshot above.
Creating an Automation Rule
By creating an automation rule, you can have ShipStation automatically apply this setting to orders when they import (making you a more efficient shipper!). You can apply the rule to all of your orders, or a specific subset of orders, based on the criteria of the rule.
For example, if you do a lot of International shipping, you may want to restrict this to domestic shipments only, as ShipStation only supports domestic return labels. Simply visit Account Settings (the gear icon in the top right) > Automation > Automation Rules, and then Create a Rule to get started. Your rule might look something like this:
Once this automation rule is in place, any orders that import from that point on, and match the rule's criteria, will generate a return label in addition to the outgoing label!