What is underpaid postage or Short Pay?

Underpaid postage or Short Pay refers to when you have not paid enough to cover the postage on your package. There are common shipping mistakes that can cause a merchant to owe Short Pay fees. Entering incorrect package weight, package size or destination address. Upon finding these common anomalies with the package, USPS charges the merchant the differential amount of label that was underpaid. This is called underpaid postage also known as Short Pay.

How can I avoid underpaid postage?

Follow these tips to avoid underpaid postage.

  1. Weight - Make sure that you report correct weights while purchasing labels. Always round off your weights to next number.  For example, a weight of 7.2 oz is 8 oz and not 7 oz.
  2. Dimensions - Report accurate dimensions when purchasing labels. Dimensional weight (Volumetric weight) may apply to your packages and providing correct dimensions will help you avoid underpaid postage.  
  3. Correct Address - Make sure that you enter the correct address and correct zipcode. Any discrepancies in this would result in extra charges.
  4. Match the label to the packaging - USPS provides a wide range of shipping options to help you meet your mailing needs. Make sure that the label you are using matches the packaging. For example, if you’re using a flat rate box, you should also use a flat rate label. The same goes for priority packaging, anything in a priority mail box requires a priority mail label.
  5. Double check the zip code - Verify that the origin address is up to date and you have marked correct zip codes for the destination.

What do I do if there are underpaid labels associated with my account?

If you’ve underpaid for your shipping labels, USPS will notify PayPal. You’ll see a notification on your Shipping screen and you can proceed to pay all the Short Paid transactions one by one.

What if I don’t agree to the underpaid label charges mentioned on the PayPal Shipping page?

If you think you were charged underpaid postage incorrectly, you can contact USPS to dispute the charges. However, you won’t be able to ship via PayPal until this is resolved. Upon resolution, USPS will notify PayPal and PayPal will clear the underpaid postage from your account. You can proceed with PayPal Shipping.

USPS Short Pay contact information: