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Community Member
Is it illegal to reuse Priority Mail boxes?
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-30-2013

I have just been told that the USPS forbids the reuse/recycling of their Priority Mail boxes even if wrapped in brown paper. That you can even be fined to reusing them. Is this correct?

Other Answers: 8
Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-20-2009
in reply to mac1944none

Here is food for thought on this topic.  When we ship via Priority Mail, we are paying for the box as part of the service.  When we receive something in a priorty mail box, someone else has paid for the box.  The fact that USPS will always give you a free box does not negate the fact that we are paying for the box when we ship the first time in it.


USPS is encouraging waste and "not being green" when they require that the only reuse of a Priority box is for Priority.


It is simple to PROVE that the box has already been used for Priority mail - leave the orginal postage label on the box and line thru info with Sharpie.  USPS workers can easily verify that it is a recycled box with such a previously paid Priority postage on the box.


The sender would also need to blacken out the Priority Mail markings - and that is easy.


It would be great if someone would figure out HOW to "encourage" USPS to become more green and allow 2nd use of boxes for other than Priority.  Many eBayers would be happy to send emails or whatever to change the current USPS rules on recycling Priority boxes.

Community Member
Posts: 5,841
Registered: ‎10-21-2010
in reply to mac1944none

You can't reuse them for anything other than shipping Priority. But why would someone do that when you can get new boxes for free. Wrapping the boxes in paper is a big no-no and the postal employees can spot their boxes just by the size of the package. 


Community Member
Posts: 9,289
Registered: ‎11-24-2002
in reply to mac1944none

I've never heard of a fine. But if you're caught using a Priority box for any service other than Priority Mail, the package will be delivered with Postage Due, or returned to you for more postage.

Community Member
Posts: 9,966
Registered: ‎05-23-2007
in reply to mac1944none

They can be reused as long as they are shipped via Priority Mail.   You just can't use those boxes for any other type of mail.

Community Member
Posts: 3,754
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
in reply to mac1944none

YES. get your own boxes go to your local store there free just ask

Life Is A One Time Offer,
Use It Well.
Community Member
Posts: 5,941
Registered: ‎01-15-2011
in reply to mac1944none

Of course you can reuse them, they are even printed with please recycle.


Place a new label over the old one. Use your sharpie for any old barcodes, addresses, etc.


However, priority boxes can only be used for priority shipping no matter how many times you use them.


No paper wrapping please.

************ ************** ******************
The opinion given here is my understanding of the policies I have read, and personal experiences on eBay. You paid nothing, feel free to value it based on that price if you wish.
Community Member
Posts: 58,976
Registered: ‎05-11-2005
in reply to mac1944none

To clarify: No, it's not illegal if you reuse them for Priority shipping. You don't always have to use new Priority box each time for Priority shipping.

Wrapping in brown paper to ship another method is, and always has been, illegal. As is marking out Priority markings or turning box inside out to ship non-Priority.

Community Member
Posts: 2,579
Registered: ‎06-13-2012
in reply to mac1944none

I believe it is stated some where on the box what can happen if you mis-use their boxes other then what they intended them to be used for.  I knew someone who though they also could wrap in brown paper and we told at the counter there is a fine for doing so, the postal worker reconized the size of their box even though wrapped in brown paper and then pointed out the legal notice they have on their box.