Sunday, April 19, 2009

USPS Shipping Supplies - What NOT to Do!

Be careful misusing USPS Priority Shipping supplies. I received the following comment from a reader, however, you should ABSOLUTELY NOT do this!

"An illegal but good to know trick, is if you can't find the right size box to ship something and can ship it cheaper than a flat rate box, use a flat rate box, turn the box inside out, re-tape it together so it looks like a plain cardboard box and voila, free unlimited supply of boxes, be careful though, if they see that you have used a flat rate box like this they will return the package but for a here and there quick fix for the right size box this is a good trick."

No,this is not a good trick, it is foolish and tacky. First of all, this statement is printed on the Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies:

"This packaging is the property of the U.S. Postal Service and is provided solely for use in sending Priority/Express Mail. Misuse may be a violation of federal law."

Since you are dealing with the United States Post Office - a branch of the Federal Government - misusing the supplies is a federal crime.This statement pops up when ordering Priority Supplies on

Second, if the post office discovers you have turned a box or envelope inside out, they will charge for an upgrade to Priority. And guess who gets to pay the difference between First Class or Parcel Select to the Priority upgrade? Your customer. The customer will receive a slip in his mailbox that he has a package to pick up, and when he goes to the post office to get it, he will be charged for the postage upgrade. Now, won't that make you look great? No, you will look cheap, tacky, and unprofessional. Is it really worth all this just to get a free box? If you need boxes for First Class, Parcel Select, or international, check the free section of Craigslist, FreeCycle, or Facebook yard sale groups where people give away all sorts of free items.

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