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Topic: PRIORITY MAIL FLAT RATE BOX ?

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Subject: PRIORITY MAIL FLAT RATE BOX ?
Date Posted: 10/31/2009 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
Posts: 1,712
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I received some merchandise in a priority flat rate box and I was wondering if I can take tthat box and fill it with paperbacks and ship it as media mail.  The box is the perfect size holds what I need to ship.  Help anyone!  Jack

JACK C. (jconn92534)

Subject: No, that's against the Post Office's rules
Date Posted: 10/31/2009 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2007
Posts: 36
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If they catch it, they'll charge the recipient priority rate for the (heavy) books.

I'm surprised you got a priority flat rate box that  could be turned inside out.  The last two I used were printed all over the inside with "priority mail only" or something to that effect, in large bold black letters.

Date Posted: 10/31/2009 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
Posts: 1,712
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Thank you for the info.  Jack

Subject: Can only reuse priority boxes for priority mail
Date Posted: 11/1/2009 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,659
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I asked the PO about this as I receive a lot of merchandise in them-- you must pay priority class rate if you use this box as customers are NOT charged separately for the box--it's free so you can only mail priority class mail in it.

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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I once got an item postage due because the sender had crossed out the Flat Rate wording on the box, and her PO let her send it at the regular Priority Mail rate (less than the flat rate), but somewhere along the way the mistake was caught. 

Normally your post office just won't let you send something unless you have the right amount of postage on it, but sometimes they make mistakes, or people use the APC wrong, and then it arrives postage due. 

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I wouldn't attempt to re-use any pre-labeled mailing box or envelope for a different postage rate.  That said, I've used quite a few flat rate boxes and don't recall any of them being printed on the inside.

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think the inside printing is new to stop people from turning them inside out.

Date Posted: 11/4/2009 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yuppers, my most recent box is stamped inside!!

Briana -
Date Posted: 11/4/2009 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 2,766
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Last Edited on: 2/28/12 2:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/5/2009 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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When I ship books that are floppy and need reinforcement, I often cut up used Priority Mail boxes and use the pieces to make things sturdier (I am covering it with a paper wrapper). 

I would not recommend taking a regular Priority Mail box (even a used one) and covering it with a wrapper, because the postal workers know what size their boxes are, and since media mail is subject to inspection, they could open it up to check. 

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
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If they check your Media Mail package and find cut up Priority boxes inside used for reinforcement, they will charge Postage Due.

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Yuppers, my most recent box is stamped inside!!

I think they started doing that because E-bay sellers were using the free priority mail supplies, turned inside out, to send their auctions.  Next they will just wrap the box in brown paper to disguise it. 

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 10
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People already try the wrapping over Priority boxes... but clerks know how to distinguish the boxes. If you read the DMM (Domestic Mail Manual):

 

6.1Express Mail and Priority Mail Packaging

Express Mail and Priority Mail packaging provided by the USPS must be used only for Express Mail or Priority Mail, as applicable. Regardless of how the packaging is reconfigured or how markings may be obliterated, any matter mailed in USPS-provided Express Mail or Priority Mail packaging is charged the appropriate Express Mail or Priority Mail price.


Also, the Postal Inspection Service is offering rewards for reporting those that are knowingly circumventing payment of appropriate postage.