Small Business Brief

Retail, Shipping & Transportation

What Is a Return Receipt?

The United States Postal Service processes and delivers over 420 million pieces of mail each and every day. Your mail can go through dozens of employees and post offices across the country before arriving at its destination.

Not all mail is alike. You can send first-class mail, priority mail, certified mail–the options can seem both limitless and overwhelming. How can you decide what classification is best for your mail?

To make matters easier, we’re going to talk about a mailing option that tends to confuse people: the return receipt.

What is a return receipt, when can you buy one, and how do they work? Read on to find out everything you need to know before heading to your local post office.

What Is a Return Receipt?

When you’re sending a package or piece of mail, you may want proof that your mail arrived in the hands of your designated recipient. This is where a return receipt comes in.

A return receipt (aka a green card) is a slip attached to your envelope or parcel that the recipient signs when they receive their package. This slip is then sent back to you to verify that your package was received. 

How Can You Get a Return Receipt for Your Mail?

Can you attach a return receipt to any piece of mail? The short answer is no. Return receipts are used specifically for certified mail and do come with an additional charge that will vary based on USPS fees.

What is certified mail? Certified mail is any piece of mail sent through the USPS that receives a unique tracking number. This allows you to check online for the status and location of your package from the time that it is processed to the time that it arrives with your sender.

Can you order a return receipt for your certified mail after you’ve already sent it? Unfortunately, you can only get a return receipt at the time that you take your certified mail to the post office. 

Can You Get a Refund for Your Return Receipt?

Because return receipts cost money, many people wonder if they can get a refund. You can, but only under certain circumstances.

If you do not get the return receipt requested within 30 days of mailing out your certified mail or any time after you know that your certified mail was delivered, you can request a refund. The best way to do this is to visit your local post office or go to the postal service website.

Know Your Options With USPS Mail

There are tons of different ways to customize your experience when sending mail through the USPS. A return receipt is a great way to verify that your package arrived at its intended destination.

Looking for more days to improve the way that you do business? From order fulfillment tips to marketing how-tos, we’ve got you covered. Take a look around to get in the know.