Why Does My Package Say Available For Pickup

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

When you ship with USPS, you get a tracking number and a variety of notifications so you always know where your shipment is at all times. How do you know when an item is “ready for pickup”? See what I found out below.

As of 2022, what does “available for pickup” mean to the USPS?

You will need to come to pick up your box if you receive a USPS ready for pickup notification. This implies that your parcel has been sent to your local post office, but will not be delivered to your door.

Delivery attempts fail, packages are extremely valuable, or couriers just forget to pick them up.

Please continue reading if you’d like to save yourself time and trouble when dealing with a box that’s ready to be picked up.

How long do I have to retrieve my shipment?

An advantage of having a package made available for pickup is that you are in total control of when and where you pick up your shipment.

As a reminder, the post office will not keep your parcel forever! The post office often keeps parcels available for collection for 15 days before returning them to their sender.

Why Does My USPS Tracking Tool Say My Package Is Available For Pickup?

In order of frequency, below are the three most prevalent reasons why a product is made available for pickup rather than delivered to your door.

The most prevalent and most common reason for an item being marked as available for pickup is that a delivery effort has been unsuccessful.

In the event that the courier is unable to leave the package on the doorstep, they must return the parcel to the post office with them instead of leaving the package on the doorstep, which is prohibited by law.

Due to the high volume of shipments at peak times like Christmas and other holidays, the post office may make many delivery efforts before your box becomes available for pick up.

The second reason a shipment may be posted as being available for pickup is that the item is too valuable to leave on the doorstep.

Merchants may choose this method when delivering items including valuable metals or stones, or if you have a money-back guarantee if you don’t receive your order.

Regardless, this is an option that may be selected at the time of delivery to ensure that the item is not lost or stolen.

Because of a human error, your shipment may be shown as available for pickup even when it’s not.

With so much mail being handled by the United States Postal Service each day, there is a lot of space for some letters to be overlooked.

Your parcel might be marked as available for pick-up if a courier left your package at the post office while on their way to conduct their route and the post office listed it so that the courier wouldn’t get bogged down and/or delay your delivery any longer.

A typical problem for couriers during the hectic holiday season is putting off deliveries until the next day, which can have a negative impact on the courier’s productivity.

What’s more, you have the freedom to decide when and where to pick up your item, which protects it from being stolen or misplaced. So there’s a silver lining to this whole situation!

How can I retrieve a package from the USPS?

After your box is marked as available for pick up, the next natural question is how to get it and what you need to bring. In general, the process of picking up your shipment is quite straightforward!

Do not leave your tracking number or any other form of identification at home when you give over a delivery, simply in case they need to verify your identity.

Next, go to your local post office and tell the clerk or postal worker that you have a parcel that may be picked up.

Before delivering you the item, they’ll probably ask for your name and photo ID to assist verify your identification. They may also ask for other information, such as the parcel’s tracking number.

To learn more about USPS delivery services, check out our entries on whether or not you can pick up a package from USPS, whether or not USPS delivers at night, and if USPS charges by weight or size.

Bottom Line

The availability for pickup notification from USPS signifies that the package will not be delivered to your door by USPS and that you are now responsible for going to your local post office to collect the parcel.

This happens when a delivery effort fails, a box is too valuable to leave on a doorstep, or a courier forgets about your item and does not return it.

After receiving this notification, it’s vital to know that the post office will return your parcel to the sender within 15 days after receiving this notification.

When you go to the post office to pick up your parcel, make sure you have your ID and tracking number available in case they want to verify your identification.

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