Vintage Air Jordan Free USPS

USPS Boxes for Free!

Dollar Flipper eBay Tips 31 Comments

The bottom line in this hobby is very important. You try to squeeze out every dollar you can. The hard part is that when you start out, you don’t have the ability to scale. As your eBay hobby (business?) grows, you can start to buy larger quantities of routine shipping materials – think mailers, bags, and tape. When you buy more, the price gets closer to $0. But this requires a larger initial investment which most new sellers don’t have! It’s definitely a catch 22.

To help you get out of this space, I recommend two things.

First, get free boxes anyway you can. Amazon shipment came? FREE BOX! Talk to the secretary at work, and let them know that you’re on the lookout. FREE BOXES. Set up an RSS feed on Craigslist for boxes in the free section. Tell your friends and family that you want any bubble wrap they get their hands on! I’m telling you, sometimes you get that Christmas morning feeling when you get a free box!

The second thing you can do to minimize your costs is to check in with the USPS!

USPS – You are AWESOME

I’m not going to talk about how great the USPS is here. It really blows my mind how they can re-locate items from my blue box to wherever I tell them to. They do this within a week in most cases. It’s just ridiculous.

On top of the USPS quickly shipping huge amounts of items all over the US, they also offer a service which I use all the time.

The USPS literally gives boxes away. Delivered right to your door FOR FREE.

There’s a caveat here: all the boxes are either Priority or Priority Express. If you’re shipping light things like t-shirts or video games, you’ll be overpaying for shipping by using these boxes. But, if you were like me when I started out and just needed ANYTHING to put an item in, these can be a life saver!

Here’s the link to the USPS store with all of the free office supplies.

My go to is the Padded Flat Rate Mailer. This thing lets me stuff in almost any piece of clothing and ship it coast to coast for $5.35 ($5.70 if you don’t have TRS).

The other ones that I like are the Regional A and B boxes. There’s two sizes of each, but they give you a cheaper rate than just straight Priority.

Finally, there’s the Priority Shoebox. This is NOT A FLAT RATE BOX! You pay regular Priority prices, but a free box is still really nice!

Pro-Tip: I ship most shoes without a box, even if they’re NWT. I make this clear in the listing, and it cuts down on the weight. The only exception or this would be a collector’s pair (think vintage Air Jordans).

Vintage Air Jordan Free USPS

Two Words – SPACE JAM.

So, for any of you readers who are getting started and trying to pinch pennies, try out the USPS website, and order some free boxes to help alleviate any start up costs! They usually come in about 1-2 weeks.

And remember, if it doesn’t fit in that flat rate mailer, you’re just not trying hard enough! Seriously though, sometimes all it takes is an extra set of hands from an annoyed spouse to get a bulky sweater squished into one of these babies.

Comments 31

    1. Post
      Author

      Lol I can never throw out a good box. “But what if I sell something that will fit perfectly in this box?!?!” Totally a rationalization…

    1. Post
      Author
  1. I like this post. I heard about this before but wasn’t too sure about it. I plan on selling after I get a good enough feedback. Thanx !

    1. Post
      Author

      A great way to get feedback at the beginning is to make a few small purchases from eBay. When you pay quickly, the sellers will give you the positive feedback!

  2. I found your blog a few weeks ago and I love it! Super helpful, well written, funny, and real! Thanks!

    1. Post
      Author
  3. Agree. I’ve got at least 5 different sizes of USPS boxes. I use the shoe box a lot. The 7 x 7 x 6 box is perfect for mugs. There are also a couple of boxes that are almost the size of the medium flat rate that I get. They are nice for shipping larger light items without paying the medium flat rate price which is kind of high. I also get their tyvek mailer. It’s really strong stuff and nice to have around when I think a poly mailer just isn’t strong enough for something.

    1. Post
      Author

      Their padded mailer is one of my favorites. I actually used a Regional A box to ship a suit right after this post went up!

  4. Great post. I need to be on the lookout for the flat rate mailer.

    1. Post
      Author

      Yep! I don’t see them in the post office much. I just order them right through the USPS website!

  5. When I lived in town, I took my dog for a walk early every morning and checked out all the back alleys behind gift shops. That’s where I found bubble wrap, bags of styrofoam peanuts and lots of boxes. I’d go back with my van and load it all up before the sun came up. And once I replied to an ad on CL for free packing peanuts. It was so worth the trip. I got 3 big garbage bags full.

    1. Post
      Author

      I love that because you’re saving stuff from the waste system and getting it for free! Win win!

  6. I do a lot of shipping at my work and I love the Priority Regional A boxes, depending on where they go shipping runs from just over $5 to just under $10 and it takes only 2-3 days to get where they need to go.

    1. Post
      Author
  7. I can only dream of such things! Canada Post does NOT give away anything for free. I wish they had flat rate boxes, it would make a world of difference for selling things online! I keep most of my amazon and eBay purchase boxes and repurpose them for the odds and ends that I sell on eBay. Free bubble mailers are amazing!

    1. Post
      Author

      Oh man! That stinks. They especially help for clothing. Knowing that my shipping will almost always be $5.35 or under helps me set my purchase limits and know what profit’s I can expect. Canada is a whole different animal!

  8. I’ve always thought that if I were short a box, I’d just cut the USPS box on one side, then turn it inside out and tape it up. That way, you get the right dimensions but don’t have to pay for priority.

    1. Post
      Author

      Definitely be careful about that. It’s against federal regulations to re-purpose free Priority boxes and use them for non-priority mail. That’s part of the reason that they have “priority “mail” plastered all over the inside. They’ve even gone after people for recycling the boxes since it’s hard to tell if a box is recycled or just made to look like it’s been recycled…

      1. Ah, okay. Good to know. You may have just saved me a lot of hassle!

        1. Post
          Author
  9. Great stuff Chris – the trunk of my car is packed with just about every type of flat-rate box available! Seriously though, these boxes have been such a time saver for me. They save me the trouble of having to weigh anything plus I never have to scavenge around for any shipping boxes. Like you said, you can always order more for free and if the 1-2 week wait is too long you could make a quick visit to the post office and they’re always stocked.

    1. Post
      Author

      I love having them in the trunk! One of my biggest pet peeves is having to dig for boxes. I feel like you’re focusing on the wrong thing if you’re spending your time doing that instead of listing. If I list 10 items in the time that I didn’t go out for boxes, that’s $200+ in profit vs the extra shipping money. And most of my stuff fits in the flat rate padded mailer anyways!

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