If you’re anything like the average American, chances are good you go a little crazy on Amazon. So you probably have some boxes sitting around right now. Having boxes handy is super convenient when it comes time to send something to someone else (for once).
But what about your Amazon boxes? Can you use an Amazon box to ship USPS, or do you need something plain or from the post office? Here is the answer you need before you print that shipping label!
Can You Use An Amazon Box To Ship USPS In 2024?
Customers of the United States Postal Service can reuse Amazon boxes for shipping purposes as of 2024. However, USPS ultimately doesn’t encourage it, as the boxes’ quality can begin to break down, even after just one shipment. Still, there is no rule against it, and customers should simply use their best judgment when packaging their items.
To learn more about reusing boxes to ship with USPS, including some best practices, if you can reuse one of those Amazon bags, and even if you can reuse USPS Priority Mail boxes, you have to keep reading for all you need to know!
Can You Reuse Any Box To Ship USPS?
You can use many different boxes to ship with USPS, but not every type.
For example, because the Postal Service prohibits the shipment of alcohol, except by licensed and approved vendors, you cannot use a box with any visible references to alcohol.
So, if you do a wine of the month club or buy your alcohol by the case at the liquor store, those boxes cannot be reused to ship via USPS unless you do some serious censoring.
Further, that could include getting a huge sharpie and blacking out the words or images referencing alcohol.
Also, another example is a box used to ship hazardous materials, like lithium-ion batteries.
To ship those, you need a special label affixed to the box so that the Postal workers know to handle it with care. However, that label means you cannot reuse the box.
Finally, you cannot reuse a Priority Mail or Priority Mail Flat Rate box for any other shipping class, meaning no reusing the Flat Rate box for a First-Class package shipment.
Other than that, though, all those Amazon boxes or other online shopping boxes lying around your house (it’s not just you) are fair game.
You will want to make sure, though, that they are still in the best shape possible – no visible signs of them being crushed already, etc.
Moreover, the quality of these boxes can start to degrade, even after just one shipment, which poses a hazard to whatever you’re shipping.
How Do You Reuse A Box To Ship USPS?
To properly reuse a box to ship via USPS, you must eradicate all former shipping labels, whether you peel them off or mark them over.
Essentially, you don’t want the Postal Service scanners being able to pick up the old barcode and causing a whole lot of confusion.
Therefore, make sure your box or envelope is sturdy enough to withstand another journey; sometimes, adding a bit of packing tape to corners can extend a box’s life.
Also, you may want to purchase some padding materials, like packing peanuts or bubble wrap, especially if what you’re shipping has any fragility to it.
Then, once you have everything wrapped up, closed up, and taped up, you’ll need a new shipping label.
If you have a scale to weigh your package on, you can use Ship-N-Click at USPS.com to create and print your own.
After that, you can arrange a parcel pickup or take it to the post office or use any mailbox (like a Big Blue Box) to send it out.
Lastly, if you can’t weigh your package at home, you can bring your parcel down to the post office, and an employee will weigh it and give you your shipping options.
Can You Use An Amazon Bag To Ship USPS?
These days, Amazon ships many items in those gray bags, which cuts down on shipping material. But can you reuse those bags to ship with the Postal Service?
As I cannot find any solid evidence to suggest that the Postal Service prohibits it, it appears you can.
Further, as long as you remove or mark out all the labels and ship something that can withstand the minimal protection of a bag (a book, for example), you should be set.
In fact, those greyish-white Amazon bags tend to have an adhesive strip on the interior, so they were made for returns in some cases.
Additionally, you can reuse those Amazon bubble mailers, provided you follow those same best practices.
If you’re unsure, you can always ask your local post office for guidance on reusing packaging.
You can reuse an Amazon box to ship with USPS; however, the agency doesn’t fully recommend you do so because of quality breakdown,
Still, suppose you have no other options.
In that case, it’s best to follow best practices and remove or mark over any existing labels and references to alcohol, make-up, or cleaning materials.