Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes

sue_vaApril 12, 2010

Has anyone ordered any of these boxes?

They are free, which seems hard to believe.

I need a couple, but hesitate to order.

You know, maybe there is a "catch" to it?

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Boxes

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stoneybaloney

I've gotten them several times. They really are free, sometimes I can get a couple at the post office. Otherwise I order online and they come in bundles of 10 I believe. The mailman delivers them right to my door, it usually takes about a week.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:16PM
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alisande

As far as I know, all Priority Mail materials are free--the various size boxes, several kinds of large envelopes, address labels, and tape. No catch.

The Flat Rate mailers only make sense if it would cost more to use the usual Priority Mail calculation. So it's good to check. I use the USPS postage rate calculator a lot.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:19PM
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maryanntx

I've ordered them with no problems.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:30PM
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FlamingO in AR

No catch. I usually ask for some when I'm at the PO, it's easier and I don't need a pack of 10. I like to keep a few of all their priority boxes and envelopes on hand as I ship quite a bit of stuff.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:31PM
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western_pa_luann

No catch... you can also get them at the Post Office.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:02PM
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redcurls

I keep a couple different sizes on hand. Like others have said, you can order them online, they are free, and they are delivered right to your door...can't beat that!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:27PM
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minnie_tx

No catch they are great

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:23PM
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cynic

The boxes are free but of course the postage isn't. I don't know if they still sell postcards for the price of postage but they used to.

Did have a little run-in with a postal worker when I used one of "their" boxes, covered up the priority mail mark and was going to send it media. I thought he was going to pull a gun on me...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:42PM
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JoAnn_Fla

Go ahead and order them, they are free for you to use. They make their money when you send them.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:22PM
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dilly_dally

They are free but I've heard from people who tried it, that they won't mail them out unless you use priority mail postage.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:33PM
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mary_c_gw

Well, of course, Dilly dally. That's the point. You use a "priority mail" box, you pay priority mail fees. It's a given.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:59PM
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kathi_mdgd

I use them all the time,just pick them up at the PO.They're great and for me they work out well.I've been selling a lot of my quilting and sewing books etc to gals on another board i frequent,and it's well worth the 10.70 to mail off a box of books,which would probably cost more than 30.00 to send regular mail.

As long as you can close it up properly without it bulging out all over the place,then you can stuff it full.
Kathi

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 11:15PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

Sometimes the priority mail postage is only 5 cents more than regular postage. It varies.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:50AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

The link below is to a list of all of their boxes. On some, if you order 1, it means you get a pack of 10 or 25, whichever you choose. On others you just order 1 and I have found they send a pack of 10, even though the site doesn't say that. It seems the USPS just isn't capable of getting everything right, even their ordering site.

If you are doing much mailing, the Flat Rate isn't always the cheapest. It really depends on the weight and how far it is being mailed.

When trading/shipping plants, I use a cheap digital scale I bought on ebay, and then the USPS zone Chart. Once I know the weight and mail zone, I can then determine which is the most economical way to go...Flat Rate, or by the pound, referencing the Priority mail price chart

$20 or less including shipping is a great price on Ebay for a digital postal scale from this ebayer. They run on either batteries, or AC.

(the other) Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: USPS supplies

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 6:06AM
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FlamingO in AR

For a long time, people were abusing the free box policy by taking them and turning them inside out, to avoid having to pay the priority rate for shipping. That abuse led to them printing "priority mail" on the inside of every box so it would show if someone turned it inside out.

If you put (or leave) anything on the box that says Priority Mail, even just the free tape, you'll be paying PM prices to ship.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 7:14AM
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joann23456

And now that you've discovered Priority Mail flat rate, you need to discover Click-N-Ship from the U.S. Postal Service. You buy postage online and print it on your computer, and then you schedule a free pickup from your regular mailman. It's so wonderful - I haven't taken boxes to the post office for a couple years now. The only catch is that they only take Priority Mail or Express Mail, but as another poster said, the difference between priority and regular mail isn't very much, in many (most?) cases.

Last thing to beware of - if your items are light, it's usually cheaper to put them in a regular Priority Mail box and pay the postage than to use a flat-rate box.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click-N-Ship

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 7:57AM
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dilly_dally

Posted by mary_c: "Well, of course, Dilly dally. That's the point. You use a "priority mail" box, you pay priority mail fees. It's a given."

Well of course one would think so, but there are confused people out there and also people who try to scam the system. As Cynic said he tried to use them to mail out stuff by crossing off the words 'priority' and mailing media rate. And as Flamingo pointed out people would turn the boxes inside out to use them for their own purposes. There were even "Selling on eBay" websites that recommended doing this. The post office got wise to the abuse and would refuse to mail them when they recognized one of their boxes turned inside out. Flamingo said they now print both sides of the boxes to prevent this abuse. That must be fairly new.

So yes, one would think it is a "given" but the public at large did not "get it".

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:08AM
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carla35

I agree with dilly... a lot of people think they are just free mailing boxes.

The catch is you're paying priority shipping prices (paying to get it there quicker than you maybe need to). Ask yourself...What business are you in, or what are you mailing that you "need" to pay extra for this quicker service?

Generally, regular mailing may be cheaper if you're not in a rush. And, as someone mentioned regular priority may be cheaper in some cases than flat rate prices. You can also get regular (not flat rate) priority boxes free of charge. Again, they all come in bulk quantity so you have to find a place to store these boxes. If you're doing a high volumn of selling on ebay, etc they may be a good idea. You can even schedule and online postal pick up from your house. But, if you don't need those perks... and are only mailing a sweater to grandma a couple times a year, regular mailing may be better for you.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:31AM
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jannie

thyey are free, but I've never ordered online. My post office has a big display in the lobby. Customers help themsewlves, bring them home for use, then bring them bacxk to the P.O. window to send them out. The small ones cost $4.95, medium $10.70 and large $14.50.They even tape them up for you. I find them handy-I sell a few things on Ebay and also mail family gifts around the country.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:40AM
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jayokie

I've used them several times - pick them up at the PO. I especially like the idea of "if it fits, it ships". Really helps when sending boxes to my Marine G'son. Surprising what you can get in one by being careful & watching how you position things (not just throwing helter-skelter).

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:46AM
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sue_va

This has turned out to be a very interesting thread.

Who ever would have thought that someone would think about turning the boxes inside out? That kind of thinking boggles my mind!

I need ONE Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box-O-FRB2 Format 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" x 13-5/8". Don't know what I'd do with 9 extra.

I called the PO to see if they have them so I could get it right away. The very pleasant clerk said after I put the items in the box, I would have to bring it there, and it would have to be inspected before they send it out.

Have you heard of that, or was he joking? Surely if you give it to your mailman, he doesn't inspect it, does he?

Sue

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:22PM
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donna_loomis

As jayokie said, "if it fits, it ships". Nobody's ever looked at mine, other than to see if it had correct postage.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:33PM
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liz

no catch...I've ordered them several times especially when I was selling on ebay like gangbusters...It's a great deal!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:53PM
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trishaw

I order all the time. They really are free. You can use the flat rate or the plain old priority mail boxes. It is a wonderful service. I got rid of a bunch of junk around the house on ebay and they worked like a charm!

Trish

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 2:07PM
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minnie_tx

I think a good feature is that you can stuff it with as much as you can as long as you don't go over the posted weight allowed for each box.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 3:30PM
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sue_va

I did it!

I placed an order.

This ole granny is astayin' with the times.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:04AM
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joyfulguy

Next thing ...

... to figure a way to get free stuff from the IRS (apart from instruction books and forms).

o j

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 3:55PM
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RuthieG__TX

I sell doll dresses on ebay and I use priority boxes all the time. I just got a new order which included some flat rate boxes...I wish there was a flat rate box between the 4.90 and the 10.70...man you wouldn't belive how much I can get into one of those boxes.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 4:58PM
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