Did you recently drop off a USPS package at UPS, or you’re wondering if you’re able to?

This is an excellent question, and in these busy times it’s all too easy to mix packages up by mistake.

So, does UPS allow USPS packages to be dropped off, and what happens if you end up giving a USPS package to them by mistake?

In this article, I’ll be covering everything that you need to know!

What Happens If You Drop Off A USPS Package At UPS?

UPS Delivery Vehicle

Generally speaking, dropping of a USPS package at UPS is not a problem.

Most likely, the package will be set aside by the UPS employee, and delivered to USPS later themselves. Most UPS stores have a private mailbox and are able to handle USPS packages that are dropped off to them – after all, this is more common than you might think!

That being said, it’s generally a better idea to drop packages off at USPS yourself if you are able to. This is because at the very least, dropping USPS packages off at UPS may cause additional delays, while also introducing the possibility that the package is lost before it ever gets to USPS.

We’ll talk more about this, and the potential implications a little later on.

For now, let’s discuss more of what will happen if you drop a USPS package off at UPS, as there are other potential issues as well!

1. The UPS Store May Choose To Refuse The Package

First things first, it’s possible that the UPS store may refuse to accept the package if it does not actually have a UPS shipping label on it.

That being said, this rarely happens. And when it does, it tends to be during peak shipping seasons with UPS is already struggling to keep up with orders, according to employees I’ve spoken to at UPS.

If your package is refused, this will happen straight when you drop it off.

If the person at the counter accepts it, you can generally be sure that they intend to pass the package off to USPS – they won’t call you back to the UPS store and ask you to retrieve it, or anything like that.

Of course, just because the package was accepted doesn’t mean there won’t be other issues later on!

2. You Will Not Receive A Receipt

Unfortunately, you can only receive a receipt for your shipment if you dropped off a UPS package.

Even if packages from other couriers are accepted by UPS, they are unable to offer any sort of receipt or confirmation that they’ve received your package, unless those packages are being shipped by UPS themselves.

This is because they can’t scan USPS packages into their tracking system, nor can they really accept liability from them either.

This means that there will be no proof that you ever dropped off your package at UPS in the event that something goes wrong.

Until your package actually reaches USPS and is scanned by them, you will be completely in the dark – not knowing the status of your shipment, or anything that may have happened to it.

For high-value shipments, this can be a real issue!

3. Your Package Will Be Set Aside From Other UPS Packages

Once your USPS package has been accepted by UPS, it will be set aside from other UPS packages for safekeeping.

UPS delivers all USPS packages they receive at the same time, so your package will be bundled with all other USPS shipments that have been left at their store.

As mentioned earlier, UPS stores usually have their own mailbox, so it’s also possible that USPS will pick your package up from UPS themselves.

Regardless, non-UPS orders are separated to ensure they aren’t mixed up, causing delays and additional frustrations for UPS.

4. Your Package Will Be Vulnerable Until It Arrives At USPS

USPS Vehicles

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the biggest issues with giving USPS packages to UPS.

Because there is no scan being done when the package is first dropped off, and there is no receipt given to you for your shipment, you are completely in the dark until USPS receives your package.

Even if you go to track your package via USPS’ website, no information pertaining to the shipment will be shown until USPS actually receives it, and scans the package in for the first time.

Depending on when you drop the package off, it could be several days before you receive any sort of update.

During this time, it’s possible that something bad may happen to the package. It could get lost, break, be mishandled, or simply never make it to USPS for whatever reason.

And if this happens, you unfortunately have no recourse. Because USPS never has a history of receiving the package, there is nothing that can be done – even if you’ve purchased insurance for your shipment.

Therefore, this reason alone is enough to consider dropping your packages off at USPS directly, to eliminate these possibilities.

5. Ultimately, It Will Be A Few Days Late To Arrive To The Recipient

Finally, let’s say that everything goes right, and nothing out of the ordinary happens.

Even in the best case scenario, there will still be additional delays with your package arriving to the recipient.

This is because UPS has to first hand off the package to USPS themselves, before it can even begin the process of shipping out to the person that will receive it.

So, there is an additional step that can add a considerable delay to the transit time.

Remember that USPS’ delivery window begins once they actually receive possession of the package, and scan it in for the first time.

For reference, here is a list of expected delivery times based on which USPS service you purchase:

Name:Speed (Business Days):
USPS Marketing Mail3-10 Days
Periodicals3-9 Days
Media Mail2-8 Days
USPS Retail Ground2-8 Days
Parcel Select Lightweight2-8 Days
Parcel Select Ground2-5 Days
First-Class Package Service1-3 Days
Priority Mail1-3 Days
Priority Mail ExpressNext Day - 2 Days, Guaranteed


If you end up dropping your USPS package off at UPS, it will likely be set aside by UPS and delivered to USPS themselves.

However, because there is no way to track the package’s status until it actually reaches USPS, you may have no recourse if the package is lost, damaged or misplaced. Even in the event that nothing like that goes wrong, the package will still arrive later than if you had just delivered it directly to USPS yourself.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered your questions. If you have any other questions about UPS, USPS, or any other shipping company, please ask them using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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