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Free Mailing and Shipping Materials

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In my previous post, I talked about giving the perfect Christmas gift by obtaining “Dear Santa” letters at the post office. Well, whenever you do that, be sure to pick up some Priority Mail boxes from USPS.



You’ve seen those boxes, no doubt, at the post office. They are designed with the United States Post Office trademarks and either “Priority Mail,” “Express Mail,” “Global Express,” or “Global Priority.” What many people do not know is that these boxes are free! You can just walk in and take a couple out. Not only does USPS provide boxes, they also serve labels, packaging tape, forms, tubes, etc. Pretty much anything required for shipping is free at USPS. A complete listing can be found at The Postal Store. In fact, you don’t even have to set foot in the post office; you can also order all the supplies at The Postal Store free off charge and shipping and handling!

Though, there is one caveat. They can only be used for shipping purposes through USPS with the designated method on the shipping supply (Ex. Priority Mail). What’s more, “misuse may be a violation of federal law.”

Not many people take advantage of special types of boxes and envelopes. These are the flat-rate boxes and envelopes. Not many people use them because these shipping materials are not widely proclaimed and advertised. Sometimes, they aren’t even mentioned on the USPS Postage Calculator (Ex. Priority Mail Flat-rate). Basically, these helpful boxes and envelopes are charged one universal cost for postage. Practically any amount of weight (I think it is a max of 70 lbs.) can be mailed in these boxes and envelopes for a small fee. If it fits, it will ship. Whether it’s a 2 lbs. pair of pants or a 10 lbs. small antique skillet, it will cost the same thing. I like to use Priority Mail flat-rate. For envelopes, it is $3.85. And for boxes (there are two different dimensions), it is $7.70.

As you can imagine, this is really handy for starting businesses that do not have a lot of starting capital or that do not want to buy shipping supplies. I use it for eBay and it has been really helpful in lowering shipping fees and saving on packaging costs.

So, if you’re shipping packages for the holidays, use the free post office boxes. Your parcel will arrive faster, it looks more professional, and you’ll pay less. What more you pay for premium shipping (like Priority Mail), you save on packaging costs.

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Posted on Sunday, December 18th, 2005

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