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What is a UK Return Address Service?

person carrying packages


You’ll often see ecommerce sellers asking, should I use my home address for returns?

While it is not legal to put a returns address on your parcel, it is a good idea for several reasons including, if an item is lost or it’s sent to the wrong address it can be sent back to you. To return unwanted items so you can resell them.


Why you need to include a returns address on your parcels

As an online seller, it is inevitable that you will receive returns.

You can do everything you possibly can to ensure your customers are happy with their purchases, but you will still get returns.

It could be because the item was damaged during transit, it was the wrong size, or for various other legitimate reasons.

How you deal with returns can impact on your sales.

Customers will expect you to accept returns and deal with them efficiently otherwise it could lead to bad reviews.

But many online sellers work from home, so how can you manage returns?


Challenges with using your home address for online returns

When you use your home address for your customers to send back returns, it can create several problems.

1. Privacy

Many online sellers worry about their privacy. Customers will be able to see your address and what if you have a disgruntled customer?

While it is highly unlikely this will be a problem, it is still a concern of many online sellers who are giving out their personal address to many people.


2. Inconvenience

If you are using your home address, you may be away from home quite a lot and packages won’t be left. This causes a delay in dealing with the return for your customer which could cost you repeat business or bad reviews.


3. Theft

If any return packages are left on your property, they may be stolen which will be an expense to you.


packages on the front step of a doorway

Where to write return address on parcels

Return addresses should be placed on the top left corner of your item. This is the standard place for this, so customers will expect to see it there.


What information goes on a return address of a package?

It is best to provide all of your contact information on a return address including:

  • Name or business name
  • Full address including postal code or zip code.


What alternative way can you manage your returns?

There are several solutions for managing returns if you don’t want to use your home address. This includes using a PO Box or a returns address service.


What is a PO Box?

A PO Box is a type of mailbox offered by a third party.

You will be provided with a physical lockable box at another location for mail to be sent to.


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What is a UK return address service?

A returns address service permits you to use their address to send mail to.


What’s the difference between a PO Box and a return address service?

A PO Box is not allowed to be used as a registered business address under new regulations.

It provides a small lockable box that you manage.

A returns address service can be used as your registered business address and can accept all types of parcels, whatever their size or quantity.

The parcel returns service handles your returns such as storing them and shipping them back to you.


Person taking up parcel

Benefits of using a return address

  • Helping you to sell more
  • Improving customer loyalty
  • A higher purchase frequency
  • Reducing costs through bulk shipping and other factors.


How do return addresses work?

Once you have chosen and registered with a return address service, you will use that address for your returns.

If the customer wants to return the item, they send it to this third party.

When the third party receives the item, you will be notified and can decide what to do with it.

This service will help you keep track of returns and help to possibly reduce them by quickly recognising any issues.


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What to do with your returns?

It is up to you what to do with your returns.

When you use a returns address service they will ship the parcel to you or they will keep them until they can bulk ship them.

Once you have the items you should check that they warranted a return. For instance, if the customer said the item was damaged, make sure to check if it is damaged.

If the item hasn’t been opened, you can sell it again.

If the item has been used or taken out of its packaging, you can resell it. To resell it, you must ensure the costs don’t outweigh the reselling of the item.

How much time and money will it cost to relist it, ship it again, and can you sell it for its original value or will you have to discount it.

If these options don’t work, you could always see if you can send it back to the manufacturer to recycle.

If there is no way you can see to make a profit or even break-even from the item, then you could always donate it.


How My Mailbox can save you time on returns

MyMailbox provides online sellers with a returns address service to help save you time and money.

MyMailbox provides:

  • A free return address
  • No minimum volume, set up fees, or fixed contract
  • A convenient app to track returns
  • Storage for returned items and shipment.

Sign up for our returns address service today and start seeing the benefits to your budget.