Articles on: Returns Management

Configure Printerless Returns with QR code Return Labels

Plans: All plans Platforms: All platforms


AfterShip Returns’ Shipping settings allow you to control whether you want to offer customers a return shipping label, QR code, or both when the carrier supports the QR code when sending the items back or dropping them off at the designated location. Based on your Shipping settings, a return label, QR code, or both will be displayed on the returns page or sent via email notification.

This would be beneficial in the following ways.

Removes the hassle of printing out a return label physically before dropping off a package at the store
Minimizes return fraud by preventing shoppers from manipulating information on the shipping label.

What you’ll learn

In this article, we will show you:

Carriers supported
Configure return label display settings
Merchant experience
Customer experience

Carriers supported

Currently, six carriers integrated with AfterShip Returns offer a QR code option for an easy return drop-off. When a QR code is generated, a return label in a PDF file will also be generated simultaneously. You can decide if you want to provide your shoppers with either or both.

SlugSupported CountrySupported Service Type
USPS*USAAll Services
FedExUSAAll Services
Canada PostCADRegular Parcel, Expedited Parce,l Xpresspost, Priority
DHL - GermanyDEUDeutsche Post DHL Retoure
EvriGBRAll Services
Royal MailGBRRoyal Mail Tracked Returns 24, Royal Mail Tracked Returns 48
Australia Post**AUSAll Services

*QR code for USPS label is only supported in USPS or VESYL carrier option. USPS by Maersk currently doesn't support QR code option.

Australia Post doesn’t offer a standalone QR code, instead, it will be generated within the shipping label. Shopper can drop-off package at Australia Post by showing the QR code on the shipping label without printing the actual label. It’s recommended to merchants who are using Australia Post carrier services to outline this process in their return shipping instructions.

Configure return label display settings

Go to Shipping in the AfterShip Returns admin
Under My carrier accounts, below your configured carriers, you will see the Return label display options
Select the checkbox for Shipping label and/or QR code to limit what information customers get when their return requests are approved
Hit Save

There might be situations where carriers fail to generate a QR code when AfterShip Returns requests it through API. In those cases, if the merchant has enabled to show customers the QR code, but the QR code generation failed on the carrier side, AfterShip Returns will nonetheless send out a return shipping label by default to make sure the shopper can still be able to print out a shipping label to return a product.

Merchant experience

The Return label display options only control what shoppers can see from their end. Once the QR code display option is checked, merchants can see both the shipping label and QR code on the RMA detail page.

Customer experience

Based on your Shipping settings, customers will receive only a return label or QR code, or both in the RMA approved email notification and on the return page.

A. Return label only

B. QR code only

C. Return label and QR code both

D. USPS QR code can be enabled by USPS direct integration

Return label QR code display options can be enabled when merchants setup their own USPS carrier account. (USPS by Maersk currently doesn’t support QR code option.) USPS only allow user to generate either shipping label or QR code. In cases a shipping label is needed after generating return label with QR code, user can go to USPS Label Broker® to download the return label pdf file.


1. Does the return shipment QR code work for international returns?

Return shipment QR code is a service provided by the carrier. Currently, the 4 carriers integrated with AfterShip Returns that offer return shipment QR codes only support domestic shipments.

FedEx and USPS for U.S. domestic shipments
DHL-Gemerany for Germany domestic shipments
Evri and Royal Mail for U.K. domestic shipments

2. Why did my shopper still receive a shipping label when I only selected the QR code option in the shipping settings?

The return label display option setting will only be applied to shipments created after the launch of the new setting. In addition, when the carrier fails to generate a QR code after we request it, a shipping label will be sent by default to enable your customer to return the item(s) hassle-free.

3. Will a packing list be included when only a QR code is sent to my shopper?

A packing list will not be available when you only provide a QR code as a return shipping method.

For any further questions or help, please contact our chat support team

Updated on: 25/04/2024

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