Understanding the US Postal Service’s Automated Package Verification (APV) System

What is APV? ↑ Back to top

The Automated Package Verification system is a highly automated means by which the US Postal Service verifies that packages have the correct amount of postage on them as they travel from merchant to customer. Package verification began in August of 2018.

Packages with merchant-printed shipping labels are weighed and scanned after they’ve been dropped off at the post office. Label providers may charge merchants for any postage shortfall APV finds or, in the event the package had excess postage, may refund the merchant for the excess.

APV is good news for merchants and customers alike. This replaces the older system where the US Postal Service would either return packages to merchants or require customers pay postage due in order to receive their package.

What can I do to avoid postage discrepancies? ↑ Back to top

  • Measure and weigh your packages carefully. Use a postage scale and round up fractional ounces to the next ounce.
  • Make sure you select the correct service for the box when using boxes provided by the US Postal Service. If you are using one of the flat rate Priority Mail boxes, make sure you select the appropriate flat rate service when purchasing postage for it.

FAQ ↑ Back to top

I use WooCommerce Services for Shipping Labels. Does this apply to me?

Yes.

What can I do if I think I was charged incorrectly? ↑ Back to top

If you think an APV adjustment has been charged to you incorrectly for a WooCommerce Services provided label, please contact us with the tracking number of the package and we’ll look into it.

For all other label providers, please contact that label provider directly for assistance.

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