DoorDash confirmed it’s testing a new feature called “Return a Package” that allows customers to use the service to return packages to the nearest post office, UPS or FedEx location. The feature is part of a small beta test and is not yet widely available, DoorDash said, and declined to share which markets are offering the option.
To use the feature, a customer will first select the option to return a package in the app. They’ll need to have their package already fully sealed with the prepaid shipping label attached. A DoorDash delivery person will then arrive to pick up the package and deliver it to the nearest physical store or post office. They won’t drop off the packages at standalone drop boxes.
“DoorDash is always thinking about new ways to provide the communities we serve with access to unparalleled convenience and opportunity through our platform,” a DoorDash spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We continually explore and test new innovations to provide more value to our customers, Dashers and merchant partners.”
A screenshot provided by DoorDash explains that courier tracking may be different for this delivery option, which isn’t a surprise because, unlike most DoorDash orders, you’ll be sending a package as opposed to receiving an order.
“This store decides if its courier or a Dasher delivers your order,” the screenshot also says. “The store and its courier may receive your name, address, delivery instructions, and phone number to help deliver to you.”
In terms of compensation, Dashers handling package returns are paid in the same way they would be paid for any other marketplace order, the company said.
With this new feature, DoorDash says it wants to help customers avoid the tedious task of taking a package to a post office in order to fulfill a return. The company notes that although returns are common, they can be time-consuming, which is why it wanted to create a way to simplify the return process by leveraging its current local logistics infrastructure. DoorDash also said delivery people on its app are always looking for new ways to earn through the platform and that this new feature will give them an additional option to do so.
DoorDash isn’t the only delivery company that has worked to offer such a service. Back in 2015, Uber offered a “limited-time” option for customers to send return packages to post offices. The feature was called “Returns” and was powered by UberRush, which shut down in 2018. Similarly, a former on-demand shipping startup called Shyp offered a service that picked up packages and delivered them to their destination. The company ended operations in 2018 after struggling to find a scalable model beyond its launching point in San Francisco.