6 More Ways to Minimize Shipping Costs

I wrote earlier how to minimize shipping costs of by purchasing a digital scale, skipping the post office, avoiding Stamps.com’s printable stamps, buying old stamps from eBay, and using free online tools. Here are six more ways to keep your shipping costs down.

Take advantage of free USPS supplies: If you’re sending items via USPS Priority or Express mail, you should know that the USPS will bring free priority and express mail boxes and envelopes to your door. Just select what you want online. You can also pick these up at the post office, but you’ll be able to get a larger quantity of boxes in a better range of sizes if you order online. Don’t forget about flat-rate


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6 Responses to 6 More Ways to Minimize Shipping Costs

  1. I’m a big fan of hitting up stores for their empty boxes. Liquor stores are the best if you need to pack something heavy – bottles of booze weigh a lot, so they’re sturdier (I tend to use them for moving rather than mailing).

    As for mailing, I’m all about the flat-rate priority boxes. Whenever my mom has to mail something to my sisters (who live in a very expensive town with no affordable “normal” stores within an hour’s snowy drive), she gets one of these boxes and maxes out the space by filling in all the little nooks and crannies with their favorite brands of deodorant, cat food, toothpaste and sponges that she gets on super-sale. She also gets a kick out of asking the post office guy how much it would have cost to mail in the next cheapest way…usually twice as much.

  2. disneysteve says:

    All good advice and stuff I’ve done for years. I have never paid a penny for packing peanuts even though I’ve used tons of them over the years.

    You should not turn UPS and USPS boxes inside out. It is illegal and they will deny packages shipped this way and you could face prosecution, so I’d remove that advice.

  3. Pev says:

    These are good advice to help your savings account from being untouched, but it seems like it would be a problem to save all the shipping materials though. Any suggestions on storage???

  4. Illegal to recycle a box? Independent confirmation, please.

  5. Gail says:

    Illegal to recycle a box–yes. Check the USPS website and you will see that the Priority and Express packaging is ONLY to be used for the purpose intended, and that is to mail packages via Priority or Express mail with the proper postage affixed to the package.

    You can thank all the folks that didn’t want to fork over to buy a box or search for an appropriate sized box, that started using the NEW official boxes and wrapped them in brown paper or turned them inside out and then mailing by a cheaper way. The Post Office recognizes the shape of their packaging and if caught using a box/envelope that is new you and/or the person receiving could face a fine and or increased postage costs.

    Using those boxes for anything other than what they were intended for is theft! I have received packages wrapped up in several new packaging envelopes and was upset to see it as that seller was using stolen packaging supplies.

    This is not my opinion, but something that has been researched and discussed among on line sellers. To even get the Priority boxes on-line to have to certify to the USPS that you will only use them in the proper manner before they are sent to you.

    If you want to recycle a used box, use it in your office as storage. If you are reading these threads about saving on postage as a an online seller, remember that if you can’t afford to pay for your shipping materials then you aren’t charging enough for your shipping and handling. A seller who is so proud to announce that they ONLY charge actual postage isn’t impressing me or anyone else. The cost of packaging comes from somewhere.

  6. I don’t question the illegality of reusing Priority or Express Mail boxes, but the comment made it sound as if re-using all UPS and USPS boxes was illegal. If I receive a package in a USPS box that isn’t intended solely for Priority or Express Mail, then decide to do my part for the planet by turning the box inside out and sending my package in that box, that would be illegal?

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