See What Tendered To Returns Agent Means And What Happens Next

Are you expecting a package from the USPS but came across the “tendered to returns agent” update? This update can be confusing, especially if you never initiated the return.

Basically, this update indicates that the USPS is working with the other courier to return the package. So, in short, it implies that the return is in process.

In this article, I will explain what the “tendered to returns agent” update implies and answer other related questions about this update.

What does tendered to returns agent mean?

Many logistics companies like FedEx, DHL, and UPS use USPS to complete most deliveries. Although USPS may have completed the delivery, the other courier did most of the delivery in transit.

When the update “tendered to returns agent” appears, your package is returned to the sender. This means that the package is being handed off to the courier (returns agent), who handed it over to the USPS initially.

Why did you come across this update?

1. A return was initiated

The first and obvious reason you are coming across this update is that a return was initiated. This could have been from one of two parties: the sender or the recipient of the package.

2. USPS was unable to locate the recipient’s address

Other times, a return is initiated because the USPS could not locate or had no access to the destination address. This could be either because the address was misspelled, is yet to be registered in their database, or the driver cannot access the address physically.

3. The item was damaged

There are cases where packages are damaged accidentally before or after arriving at the USPS. When the package appears damaged, the return may be processed even when it was not initiated by either party.

4. There was a mistake

There could also be a mistake with the package in particular. Perhaps the wrong label was used, or it could be that the package was misscanned. In such situations, the return is processed even though it was not initiated.

What happens after it is tendered to a returns agent?

If the process goes as it ought to, the package will be returned to the sender. Either the item being delivered is sent back to the sender, or it is held at the local post office until the sender goes to pick it up.

A follow-up update will be sent to both parties to indicate the successful return. This could come as “delivered to sender” or any other update to the same effect.

What if the tracking status is stuck on “tendered to returns agent”?

Usually, this update may stay for as long as 5 working days. This is usually because the package is still in transit back to the sender.

If this update remains stuck for more than a week, then probably some issues were encountered. These issues could be technical, operational, or even logistical.

As the recipient, contacting the sender would be the best choice. This is because the USPS is no longer in possession of the package and is no longer responsible.

As the sender, contacting the courier service would be the best move. Speak with a representative of the courier service used for more information on the status of your package.


What does USPS “available for returns agent” mean?

This update implies that your package has been ready for the returns agent to pick up and return to the sender.

What does tendered to military agent mean?

Tendered to a military agent means that the package has been handed over to the military, as the package was sent to a military address or the recipient is affiliated with the military.


Generally, the “tendered to returns agent” message denotes that the package is being processed for return. The package has been handed over to the courier who initially delivered it to the USPS.

This return may have been initiated by either the sender or the recipient. It could also be because other issues were encountered during delivery; perhaps the address couldn’t be located, or the item was damaged.

You could contact the original courier if you did not initiate the return. As the recipient, you can contact the sender for more inquiries.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you did, you should also see if UPS and USPS are the same.

Thanks for reading.