Does USPS Give Away Free Boxes? Here’s What You Need to Know

Does USPS Give Away Free Boxes

When you are shipping something, it is important to use a box that will protect your item. This is especially true if you use the postal service to send your package. However, it can be expensive to buy boxes from a shipping store, so getting them for free would definitely be a bonus. For this very reason, many people wonder if USPS gives away free boxes. In this blog post, we will answer that question and give you some tips on getting those shipping supplies. 

Does USPS Give Away Free Boxes?

Yes, they do! The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers free boxes and envelopes for use with their flat-rate shipping services, such as Priority Mail and Priority Express. These are small, medium, and large boxes that are available in most post office locations, and they are perfect for shipping items of all sizes. In addition, the boxes are durable and are designed to protect your items during transit, so you don’t have to worry about them getting damaged. 

Are USPS Boxes Free?

Yes, USPS boxes are free for eligible shipping options. Most of the available boxes are free to take, and you can find them in the lobby area of most post offices. The shipping supplies you can get for free include:

  • Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes (Small, Medium, Large sizes)
  • Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express envelopes and tubes
  • Military Care Kits
  • Cremated Remains Kits
  • Global Express Guaranteed envelopes

You may not see some of these shipping supplies available in the lobby, but you can always ask a postal clerk for assistance. Sometimes, they are available in the back but are not out for public view. 

Are All USPS Boxes Free?

Although USPS provides lots of free shipping supplies, USPS can charge you for some specific boxes and shipping materials, even for flat-rate shipping services. These specific shipping supplies include:

  • Priority Mail Forever Prepaid Flat Rate Small Box
  • Priority Mail Forever Prepaid Flat Rate Padded and Legal envelopes
  • Priority Mail Forever Prepaid boxes (small, medium, and large sizes)
  • Priority Mail Express Cold Chain Packages
  • ReadyPost Carton Mailing boxes

If you’re worried about accidentally picking up a box that you may have to pay for, you can always ask a postal worker before taking the box. However, the free boxes are usually kept separate from the paid boxes. So, you should be good to go.

Are ReadyPost Boxes Also Free?

When walking into the USPS post office lobby, you will likely see various ReadyPost boxes on display. While these are generally more durable than the free USPS shipping supplies, they are not free. Since ReadyPost boxes are not USPS Priority Mail, they are not eligible for the free boxes policy.

What Is the USPS Free Boxes Policy?

USPS post offices offer free boxes to anyone who needs them. To make free flat-rate boxes available to all customers, USPS makes it possible to get them for free at any post office or to order them online for pickup at a local post office. Check out the USPS website to see all the available free options online.

To access the free USPS boxes, you must use flat-rate shipping services such as Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express. The free boxes are unavailable if you are not using these services.

These free boxes are designed to fit almost anything that can be mailed, which gives plenty of options to those mailing packages regularly. In addition, these boxes can potentially save you a lot of money on shipping costs. 

To get free boxes from USPS, you can either pick them up at your local post office or order them online and have them shipped directly to your address. 

However, it’s important to know that the boxes are not already three-dimensional. Instead, they come flattened, and you must put them together at home with some simple folding or taping. So, keep that in mind when searching for them at SUPS post offices.

What Sizes Are Free Boxes at USPS?

The USPS free boxes come in different sizes, but the most common ones are small, medium, and large for Priority Mail: 

  • Small: 8 & 11/16” (L) x 5 & 7/16” (H) x 1 & 3/4” (W)
  • Medium: 11 & ¼” (L) x 8 & ¾” (H) x 6 (W) or 14 & 1/8” (L) x 12 (W) x 3 & ½” (H)
  • Large: 12 & ¼’ (L) x 12” (W) x 6” (H)

USPS post offices and the USPS.com website both provide pictures of different shipping boxes to help you select which one works best for your needs. So we recommend you check the website or visit your post office to choose the right size for you. 

Can You Get Free USPS Boxes at USPS Post Offices?

Yes, you can flat out go to a USPS post office and get free boxes for shipping. The free boxes are usually available in the lobby, where you can pick them up without any assistance. While it might feel weird to just take boxes from the post office, don’t worry. The postal workers most likely won’t even notice you.

The USPS often places its boxes near the entrance so people can still access them during lobby hours, even if they arrive before or after retail. So, if you use Priority Mail shipping services, don’t be afraid to grab some boxes for free. 

Can You Get Free USPS Boxes Online?

Yes, you can also get free USPS boxes online. All you have to do is visit the USPS website and select the ‘Shipping Supplies’ section. Then, simply apply the ‘Free Shipping Supplies’ filter to narrow down the options. 

After that, you will see that every product is priced at $0. You can order a single box or various quantities of ten or twenty-five boxes. So, if you expect to ship out many packages, you can save a lot of money by ordering the boxes in bulk.

These boxes are both free to order and ship via USPS, making them perfect for those with mobility or transportation limitations. This service is also valuable for busy people who don’t have time to go to the post office and small business owners who can’t rely on their local post office to have enough supplies.

The only requirement for ordering is that you will need to sign in to or create a USPS account if you are a new customer. 

Can USPS Box Your Package?

Unfortunately, USPS does not offer boxing services. You are responsible for putting the items inside the box and taping them securely. The only advice that USPS post office employees can give you is which box will best suit your needs and budget.

Are There Any Restrictions?

Although all services have their limits, the restrictions on USPS boxes are very reasonable. 

The main rule of using free flat-rate boxes is that they are to be used strictly for flat-rate shipping. Using them for any other type of mailing service is considered a criminal offense. Additionally, you won’t be able to pay a different shipping rate if you decide to upgrade your service level. 

Therefore, the service level indicated on the packaging must also match the service level of that on the label. For example, say you want to use Priority Mail Express Shipping. In this case, you’re only allowed to use a Priority Mail Express box, so you can’t switch it up with other types of boxes like Media Mail or First-Class.

In addition to box sizes, package weight is also a factor to consider. You’re good to go if your package can fit in one of the available boxes and doesn’t weigh more than 70 pounds. However, if your order is heavier than this limit, you’ll have to pay above the standard rate to ship it off.  So, be careful when shipping heavy items, and make sure to pay attention to the weight limit.

Conclusion

To sum it up, USPS does offer free boxes for their customers. So, you can go to a post office lobby and pick them up at no cost or order them online with free shipping. However, it’s important to remember that the boxes are only to be used for flat-rate shipping. Furthermore, there are restrictions on package weight. So, make sure to consider these points when you are sending out your packages. 
Hopefully, this blog post has answered the question, “are USPS boxes free?”. Thank you for reading!

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