4 Ways to Change an Address on a Parcel AFTER It Has Shipped

4 Ways to Change an Address on a Parcel AFTER It Has Shipped

Posted by Big Brand on 17th Feb 2020

Did you forget an Apartment Number or even type the completely wrong address? This is usually a simple fix if it has not shipped yet, but once the parcel is in transit you have to act FAST. Follow these steps to change the address on a shipped package:

There are four main options you can try for that vary in cost:


Have the packaged stopped in transit and returned to the sender. This is called “Package Intercept”. Package intercept costs approximately $15, but it is very worth it, especially for valuable merchandise. If you sign up for Package Intercept you will delay transit because it will be returned to the seller then you will have to pay for the reshipment, but it is much easier to pay for reshipping than to attempt to recover a parcel that was delivered to the wrong address.


Get your tracking number and go to Fill out the forms, pay the money and keep an eye on tracking. NOTE: You MUST ACT FAST. If the parcels current status is “Our for Delivery” you will NOT be able to intercept because it is too late.


Instead of having the parcel returned to sender you can use Parcel Intercept to have the parcel held for you to pickup at your local post office. If you are not sure where your local post office is, Google search “USPS (Your Zip Code”). For example, if I live in zip code 48111, I would Google search “USPS 48111” and I would see this information:

Hold at Post Office can vary in cost depending on method used. Sometimes it is totally free. Other times you will have to pay the intercept fee.

In order to pick up your parcel you will need the Tracking Number and your Drivers License or State I.D.(a passport might also work). If you do not have government issued identification available you are better off following the direction in option #1 above.

3. Add USPS “Delivery Instructions”:

Again, you have to act FAST because if the parcel is “Out for Delivery” there is nothing you can do. If you caught the address error ahead of time you can set up Delivery Instructions by logging into you USPS account and looking up the Tracking Number. If you do not have a USPS account, it is 100% free. NOTE: Delivery Instruction is NOT compatible with Hold at Post Office or Parcel Intercept. You also can not add Delivery Instructions on parcels that require signature confirmation. So, IF you parcel requires signature or if you have already performed a Hold or Intercept you cannot Add Delivery Instructions.

Delivery Instructions also vary in price depending on the difference in address. If you forgot to add an Apartment Number, it will most likely cost nothing. If you need to completely change the address it might cost additional postage. 

4. ASK KINDLY. If you drive to your local post office, wait in line and cheerfully explain the issue, the employee will most likely help you out, often times free of charge. On the other hand, if you go there to yell, berate them and act like an idiot they will likely tell you there is nothing they can do.


IF THE PARCEL IS “Out for Delivery” you are VERY limited regarding your options. This is pretty much all you have left:

If the address you typed is something that doesn’t exist (for example, maybe you typed Detroit as the city and California as the state), it will most likely be automatically returned to sender. We have people type two completely different cities all the time, such as “Syracuse Buffalo”. These parcels are never delivered and are always returned.

Wait at the incorrect address for it to arrive. For example, if you just moved, you could wait at the old address. Your mail delivery time is probably the same as it was when you used to live there. Make sure you bring your ID to show the carrier when she arrives.

Try to call your local post office and beg them to call the carrier and ask to not deliver it (return to sender).

Lastly, hope the person who gets your mail is honest and refuses it or turns it into the post office. It is a federal crime to keep mail that does not belong to you, even if the address says your address but has someone elses name. 

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