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Old 03-07-2014, 09:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Reusing USPS boxes

In buying and selling PB equipment, I end up with a crap ton of small Flat Rate boxes from sellers. When I reship, depending on the amount I sold it for and weight, I may end up using a FR box, but most times its cheaper to use a padded envelope or what that I have laying around. I was considering covering the FR box with brown packing paper and reusing the boxes. Does anyone know what the PO's stance is on this? It's not like I'm going in, getting free packing supplies in the form of new boxes, just wanting to reuse the old boxes and not have to pay the higher Flat Rate fee. As an example, the small FR is $5.85. If I repurpose the box and ship it First Class Mail, its about $3. And $2-3+/box over the course of a year adds up. I don't think it should be considered unethical, as in an old job I had, we always recycled old boxes for use in reshipping packages. Its kind of the way its done and seems more environmentally friendly than throwing them all away.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Probably would be best to ask your post office that question.

"technically" they shouldn't care since the box is paid for once it's shipped once, though It may be hard to prove the box is already used if you put a new label over the old one.

The boxes though are atleast "free" I normally go to my post office and grab a dozen or two at a time and use them over a few months (I atleast hope they're free, if not then I've been stealing from the government for years)
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Probably would be best to ask your post office that question.

"technically" they shouldn't care since the box is paid for once it's shipped once, though It may be hard to prove the box is already used if you put a new label over the old one.

The boxes though are atleast "free" I normally go to my post office and grab a dozen or two at a time and use them over a few months (I atleast hope they're free, if not then I've been stealing from the government for years)
They are free. Don't think they want people going in, grabbing them and using them as moving boxes or anything, but guess that was my point that they were already used. I'm not trying to reuse the postage or anything, just seems like a waste when I could reuse them. Which I often do when I am able to afford the higher Flat Rate fee.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've done it once with no issue, though I asked the post office guy and he said it "should" be alright. I also left the old label on and colored over it in permnant marker to show it was used before but couldn't get the old info off it.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I reuse them all the time. I grab them sometimes when I don't have ones that were sent to me. They don't mind a re use.

As far as trying to use them internationally, your screwed... Flat rate for an international package that was smaller than the actual flat rate package was $40.00, after I wrapped it up in brown paper it was $25.00.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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But packing paper costs money too.....

In short, there is no issue using brown packing paper to cover up a FR box. You're not the first and won't be the last.

I just see it as a hassle to wrap the FR in the packing paper, but YMMV.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can indeed re use the flat rate boxes. If you don't want to ship flat rate, covering the box with paper works. I was trying to ship something via USPS in a re used brake pad box and they wouldn't accept it without the box being wrapped, even though I explained there were no brake pads in the box. Evedently they have something against brake pads.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senghing27 View Post
But packing paper costs money too.....

In short, there is no issue using brown packing paper to cover up a FR box. You're not the first and won't be the last.

I just see it as a hassle to wrap the FR in the packing paper, but YMMV.
I do it but duct tape it full around. I'm anal that way when it comes to packing and worrying about ripped open boxes lol.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Evedently they have something against brake pads.
Asbestos?

The boxes from the post office are not "free". They are government property, and it is only legal to use them for shipping. After one shipping, I don't know their stance, but if you did use brand new boxes for other reasons, if could be a felony.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I do it but duct tape it full around. I'm anal that way when it comes to packing and worrying about ripped open boxes lol.
See, if I'm shipping something nice and I want it to get there in 100% condition, I either go with a new box or a flat rate. Pack it super well and tapped correctly.

I reuse some other boxes, but generally not the medium flatrate boxes that have the glue. Those tend to be destroyed when I open them.
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