How to Return a Package to Sender | USPS Return to Sender

In our daily life, we receive lots of mail and packages to our mail address. It usually happens when the mail or package doesn’t belong to us. It may be a piece of junk mail, or the package actually sent for the previous resident. In both the cases, you should take a serious step because if you ignore this problem, it could keep piling up for years. So, what can you do in this situation?

If it is the case, then you can return mail to the sender by using the USPS parcel return service. As we said, the mail item can be a piece of junk mail or the item sent for the previous resident. You need to identify that what type of mail piece it is. After that, you can start the process of returning the mail item. Let’s find out how you can do so:

How to Return a Package to Sender:

There is a way through which you can easily return any package to the sender. United States Postal Service (USPS) gives you a facility, or we can say a way through which the mail item will be returned to the sender. Let’s start the process:

USPS Return to Sender:

Return to Sender USPSThrough this service, you can return letters and packages to their sender. For this, follow the steps given below:

  1. Collect the Mail Items: Firstly, you should collect all the mail items that you want to return because there can be multiple mail pieces.
  2. Don’t Open the Envelope: You should not open the envelope of any mail item because it can make the process tedious.
  3. Write “Return to Sender” on Mail Item or Envelope: Write this in bold and clear letters without obscuring the real return address. If you know that it’s an unsolicited mail, then you can do this process with that mail too. You can also throw that mail or keep it, it’s your choice, but it’s illegal to throw mail addressed to someone else in many countries. If you know that the mail item is addressed to someone else, then you can also write “No Longer at this Address, Return to Sender.”
    • If you do this within the time limit, then it’s free to do so, but if you have exceeded the time limit, or signed while receiving the package, then you will need to buy another envelope and pay for the postage.
  4.  Write “Addressee Moved” or “Wrong Address” (optional): You can also add a note with the item or write the reason to the person who sent the mail.
  5. Cross out your address: You should cross out your address so that the postal worker could understand that it doesn’t belong to you and should not to be delivered to you again.
  6. Drop the mail item in the mailbox: It’s time to drop the mail item in the mailbox. The mail carrier will take the mail item back to the post office. He/She will process it again and send that back to the sender. If the mail carrier doesn’t pick up or collect the mail item, then you will need to take that to the post office.

How Much Does It Cost to Return a Package?

Most of the postal services pick up and send the package back to the sender if “Return to Sender” is written on it, but if you signed to receive the mail item or opened it, then you will need to put the mail item in a new package/envelope and pay for the postage. The cost of the postage will be the cost of returning the package.

Report the Changed Address for Someone Else:

  • If you are getting lots of mail and packages for the previous resident, then you should tell your mail carrier about this. You can also write a note to post office. If the problem persists, then write “Leave Mail Only for (your name)” on the mailbox.
  • If the above method doesn’t work for you, then you should visit the nearest post office and fill a change of address form for each name. You can also do this online if you know the new forwarding address.

USPS Return Service will help you out of this problem. If “Post Office Return to Sender” method doesn’t work, then you can also write a serious note to the sender and post office as well. Ask them to stop sending you these types of mail and packages.

If there is no return address on the envelope or mail item, then USPS will hold these returned mail items for 15 days. After that, these will be sent to the Dead Mail Office. Post offices handle these type of returned mail or packages by selling them in auctions or destroying them. If they find out the return address, then USPS returns the package to sender.


Conclusion: That’s how you can deal with the unsolicited mail or mail addressed to someone else. Now, you know how to return a package or mail that is not yours. You also don’t need to ask “How do I mark a mail/package as Return to Sender.” For this, you just need to write your message in clear and bold letters on the mail item or envelope.

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