Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations


Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Date Posted: 1/18/2011 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2010
Posts: 173
Back To Top

If you are wrapping Priority Boxes to cover the fact it is a Priority/Flat Rate Box, be warned, you maybe getting the box/s back, on top of having to PAY for it.

Postage Due/s are not what the PBS Reciever/s want to get from thier packages. PBS Members have already paid for the book/s by earning credits and DON'T want to PAY to get thier package/s.

Several times now boxes have been declined, not only by me!, due to Posatge Due/s that is anywheres up to $11. In most cases these packages are Priority/Flat Rate boxes that have been covered over yet gets torn durning shipping. Also, the size is too uniform, telling the P.O. what it is.

Please reconsider covering up these HIGHER PRICED boxes unless you want to pay the FULL price for them, and use a different box. People may  consider putting something in thier Requester Conditions against the use of covered Priority/Flat Rate Boxes for larger orders, I know I will.

Date Posted: 1/18/2011 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
Back To Top

Total abuse of the USPS free packaging materials, I can't believe people think it's OK to do this. 

Date Posted: 1/18/2011 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

It's only abuse if it's the first use of the box.  For members who like to recycle packaging, it's a good thought but doesn't work as hoped.

For those who do not already know the drill . . . do not use (or reuse) Priority or Flat Rate boxes/envelopes.  If detected by USPS, they will finish their journey at the postal rate stamped on the packaging and arrive Postage Due (unpleasant surprise for receiver).

ETA - I have a Flat Rate box downstairs right now.  We received it full of Christmas presents, and I'm planning to re-use it next time I mail a package to DS.  We send his packages Flat Rate anyway, so it will work great.

Last Edited on: 1/18/11 11:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
Back To Top

Well you can debate if it's abuse or not if the box has been used before, but it clearly violates USPS rules to try and ship them not Priority Mail. 

Interestingly enough, I heard a story about someone (on another site) who received a book from someone overseas who reused a PM Flat Rate envelope... it arrived $13 postage due!! They didn't even give any credit for the postage already paid.

Last Edited on: 1/19/11 12:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,630
Back To Top

What about a used Fed Ex envelope? I don't want to violate USPS rules, but I just got a Fed Ex delivery [that I hadn't asked for BTW] and I'd like to reuse the envelope if possible.

Date Posted: 1/21/2011 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
Back To Top

Please reconsider covering up these HIGHER PRICED boxes unless you want to pay the FULL price for them, and use a different box.


Please don't even cover them and try to use them for anything other than priority mail.  As you stated in your original post, the boxes are standard sizes, and the PO can/will open media mail, so if they find a box has been reused, they WILL charge for it.  PLEASE don't do this!

Date Posted: 1/21/2011 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
Back To Top


Sorry I misread the last post. I wish these forums had a quote feature...

Last Edited on: 1/21/11 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/21/2011 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Nora, according to my local postal branch they have no restrictions on packaging originating with another carrier.  Just deface any barcodes that could be confusing and you should be good to go.  If possible tho, it might be helpful (and less confusing) to turn it inside out.

Last Edited on: 1/21/11 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/28/2011 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2007
Posts: 142
Back To Top

I have a ton of DHL bags left over at my office from when they stopped shipping US they only ship international now?  So I use them all the time inside out it works great! 

Subject: This Started with Ebay Sellers
Date Posted: 2/10/2011 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2007
Posts: 8
Back To Top

The covering of the Priority boxes started with ebay sellers. I have received 3 packages from ebay sellers that did this just to pay less for shipping. Now when I sell something on the net I use FR boxes when I can or the regular Priority boxes. Its just not right that some people are screwing it up for every one

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2007
Posts: 225
Back To Top

I have a great P.O. they are very helpful and actually love it when I come in to mail books. And they also know the drill without me having to tell them.

They did warn me that - If ANY part of the "Priorty mail" label is showing you have to pay the price.

I did not know this until they told me. I was very glad to know this.

They also will give me both prices - media and first class, because sometimes first class is cheaper!

It certainly helps to have a helpful Post office!


Last Edited on: 2/11/11 8:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2011 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 42
Back To Top

I ship stuff items and receive items from USPS all the time.  But my pet peeve is that I cannot reuse any of their used Priority Mail (or Express Mail) shipping materials.  This is particularly irritating for the used Tyvek envelopes, which are now imprinted with Priority Mail on the inside. 

I have not and would not attempt to use their virgin free shipping items for anything other than its intended use.  But, once I've opened the package for which shipping has been paid, I should be able to re-use it.  I recycle or repurpose >80% of what I no longer need in my household. 

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 6:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
Back To Top

You can reuse the Priority and Express supplies.  You just have to use them at the appropriate (Priority or Express) rate.  Otherwise, why would anybody use anything else to mail with?  They would just say, oh, this was already used once. 

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
Back To Top

You can reuse them to your hearts content...as long as you pay the intended shipping price for them. If the markings show, it gets priority handling, therefore has to be charged priority postage. If the markings DON"T show, USPS would have to inspect every one to see it it was reused or "virgin" it's easier to make a rule saying you cant do it ever.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

If they allowed recycling them at a lower rate then people would just take them and pretend they were reusing them.  Those boxes cost the already financially troubled post office money.  All allowing people to reuse htem for lower rates would do is to drive the postage rates up more-to cover the cost of all the boxes that people pretend to just be reusing.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
Back To Top

I ship stuff items and receive items from USPS all the time.  But my pet peeve is that I cannot reuse any of their used Priority Mail (or Express Mail) shipping materials.


If the post office did not enforce this rule, people would be walking out of the P.O. with all the free priority boxes and envelopes they could stuff in their cars, to be later disguised and used to ship their eBay tchothkes at a cheaper rate. These supplies are FREE and if you want to see them remain free, don't mis-use the priveledge. Really, why is this so hard for people to understand?

Last Edited on: 4/14/11 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/15/2011 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
Back To Top

It's worse than people are suggesting.  The clerk at my PO said that a few years back they took someone to court because the person was taking lots of Priority boxes but never seemed to ship anything Priority.  It turned out he was taking them to the local recycling center!

Personally, I wish that the USPS would charge people 25 cents for the box (or whatever it costs) and reduce the postage charge by the same amount.  Then it would be like re-using bags at the grocery: if you re-use, you save a bit.

However, I realize that a part of the psychology of the current method is that people will have a supply of the free materials at home or work, which makes it easier to decide to ship something Priority rather than some other method which involves finding and paying for packing materials.  So the current method encourages people to use Priority Mail more often.

Date Posted: 4/22/2011 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
Back To Top

I can and do reuse my priority boxes all the time. . . Just not for mailing.

I use them to anywhere I need a box of that size.  Some are used for storage, some for gift boxes (not mailed), and I have some covered ones I use as part of a Christmas display.

You CAN reuse and recycle them, just not remail them unless you pay the priority price.