Tuesday, February 26, 2008

eBay tip-BOXES-recycle!!

I decided to stop numbering my eBay tips since eventually I'll forget what number I am on. Also, if I put a small description in it, it will help you if you want to go back to it later!

So, lets talk about boxes! This will probably be long but it will be very useful!

First of all. Boxes are a HUGE expense when shipping. It doesn't matter if you are shipping with eBay or just sending a birthday present. Boxes are expensive. If you need to buy a box you can go to an office supply store, a moving company (like U-Haul), a mailbox/shipping place, or a few other places. No matter what, it will not be cheap.

so, rule # 1. Get your boxes for free!!! Really. I have been selling on eBay for about 7 years and have spent money and bought a box about 3 times. It is not worth it!

So, here are a few places to find them free. Please comment if you can think of more to add to the list.

  • Grocery stores.
  • Appliance stores.
  • From people that just moved and are unpacking.
  • From Freecycle (I'll explain what this is seperetely).
  • From garage sales (when you buy things ask for an empty box to put your items in).
  • From packages that arrived in the mail to you or your work (I have two friends that collect boxes for me from their work too).
  • Empty food or household boxes. Some people think I am crazy but I have no problem shipping something in an empty box that had something in it I purchased at the store. Some boxes I have recycled; cereal, variety chip box, tampons (my sister flipped out at this one), oatmeal, etc. These boxes are not sturdy. Do not ship breakables or heavy objects in them. But, they work great for small items or something pliable like a t-shirt.
When you do your grocery shopping keep all your plastic and paper bags (be sure to get paper bags sometimes since most stores push using plastic since it is easier for them).

Paper bags can be used to wrap books and other small items and then you don't need a box. This saves on postage too!
Plastic bags can be used when you are shipping something that isn't too breakable and requiring bubble wrap but still needs some padding. You can also use plastic bags if there is a small amount of space in the box and you want to put something in there to keep your object from moving around.

If you are shipping something and have a box that is kinda the right size but a little too big- cut it down! Make a smaller box. It takes some practice but isn't too hard to do.

The same way that I get boxes is how I get 98% of all of my bubble wrap or air-envelopes too!

HOWEVER, there are some things you need to do when using recycled boxes.

  • You can not use a box that states anything liquid is in it. You have to 100% block it out with a big permanent marker or put paper or a sticker to cover it up. Liquid applies to perfumes, car oil, a box that says something about ounces.
  • Do not use a box that says something is perishable or says that it has food in it.
  • Some people recycle Priority Mail boxes that the US Post Office provides. Do this only if you are going to ship Priority Mail. I have seen and received boxes that had a Priority Mail box cut up and turned inside out. This is a big no-no with the Post Office. I do not know what the offense it but I do not want to deal with a federal government agency filing legal action against me, do you? Better not use their boxes in this way.
  • If you are using a box that has a shipping label, destination sticker, etc. remove them or cover them up.
  • If you are using a normal box but it is stamped Priority Mail the post office will ONLY ship it Priority Mai. You need to black out COMPLETELY or cover up the stamp.

Think of all the paper and plastic you can recycle and save money while doing it!!!

Okay. Look at these photos. The two boxes WERE the same size. I cut one down to make it smaller to fit two shirts into it (so I didn't need to worry about anything breaking). Unfortunately it didn't matter much. The new box weighted 1 lb 3 ozs. If it was 1 lb or under it would have made a huge difference in postage price.

Here is a photo of my STACK going out for the week. I still have 16 eBay auctions that have not paid too. Not the colorful box! LOL! This was a snack box! The post office does not 'like' these. They say all the print and words are distracting to read where it is going. But they have never refused them either. The photo with the onions might not be okay like this. Any tag words like fresh, produce, refrigerated, onions, vegetables, etc. might stop it on the way since state- to-state there are laws about shipping fresh vegetables, fruits, plants or seeds.

Last photo is all the 'extra' paper around the Click'N'Ship page. First the page is cut into 1/2. Bottom 1/2 I save for my records (taxes and tracking # in case item is lost) top 1/2 is what I tape to the box. BUT there is lots of extra around it. It just takes a few extra seconds to cut this off and will save on how much tape I need to put on the box.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for those great suggestions. I'd add that sometimes you can get away with an envelope instead of a box, which saves a lot on postage, as you said. I reuse any big manila envelopes that are sent to me, and almost never use a box for one item of clothing, for example. Also, if you do want to send stuff by USPS Priority Mail, those boxes and envelopes are free.

    Love your reuse of household product boxes! I'll have to do that!