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Community Member
Accepted Solution
if you dont get free envelopes and boxes from usps, where do you get package supplies from to decrease cost of shipping? Cheapest is 4.90
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-07-2012

I know some items can be shipped parcel post for less than the cheapest usps free envelope of $4.90 but I dont know where to get shipping boxes or envelopes or purchase tracking numbers on line if I dont use usps priority mail.  I am fairly new to selling on ebay and I want to find cheaper shipping rates to help benefit the buyer and myself.  Thanks for any input!  

Accepted Solutions: 3
Community Member
Posts: 13,914
Registered: ‎01-20-2005
in reply to lbs-2012

Unless you are selling bulky (over a cubic foot) and/or very heavy items, don't even think about Parcel Post. It will cost you more when you factor in the shipping supplies and Delivery Confirmation and it's slow. The extra handling increases the chance of lose or damage. Priority Mail will almost always be about the same or less, and as stated above, you can use First Class for items weighing 13 oz or less. In over 8 years of selling, I have probably shipped Parcel Post no more than 5 or 6 times.

Community Member
Posts: 7,814
Registered: ‎08-10-2005
in reply to lbs-2012

Why Priority Mail is usually the best choice.


The cheapest retail parcel post for a 1 lb package is $5.20 to $5.70 depending upon the zone. The same package shipped Priority Mail is $5.20 to $6.30. Retail Parcel Post DC costs $0.10 more than Priority Mail DC. So at the MOST Priority Mail is going to cost $.50 more and take quite some time to deliver and more the chance to get your shipping stars dinged.


If you purchase a box I am sure it will cost a lot more than $0.50. Your gas and time hunting for a free box will probably cost more than $0.50.


Parcel Post is slow, sometimes taking several weeks. It is not worth it to send it Parcel Post unless he package weighs a lot and is going to zone 5 and above. Plus, the PO can stamp FRAGILE on a Priority Mail package if the contents have something breakable, however, if it's shipped Parcel Post the PO will tell you there's no special handling available for Parcel Post. Priority Mail is sent by air the majority of the way. It is handled by less hands, less chance of getting dropped. Parcel Post is ground all the way (long bumpy roads), and is handled by more hands and more of a chance of getting dropped.

Community Member
Posts: 7,814
Registered: ‎08-10-2005
in reply to lbs-2012

Sorry, I said, "So at the MOST Priority Mail is going to cost $.50 more and take quite some time to deliver and more the chance to get your shipping stars dinged.


I meant to say Parcel Post will save you $0.50 but will take quite some time to deliver, etc. 

Other Answers: 3
Community Member
Posts: 6,437
Registered: ‎04-16-2008
in reply to lbs-2012

If a pkg. is less than 13 oz. you can ship 1st class mail.  That's cheaper than the $4.90 PM envelope.  I also get boxes from local stores, like Walgreens.  Some of the boxes are perfect sizes (like candy boxes).  My Walgreen's stocks on Wednesdays, so there I am grabbing boxes out of the aisles.  Then I have them on hand.


I would re-think Parcel Post.  On normal items for a pound or two, Priority Mail is not much more than Parcel Post & is shipped in a few days, where PP can take up to 2 weeks.  Then you fall into the buyers asking where's my item & opening cases or leaving premature FB.  I have had some Priority packages ship locally for less than PP.


You can check out UPS for larger, heavy items.  They are much cheaper if you have a large or heavy item. 

=^^= Save a stray today.
Community Member
Posts: 8,591
Registered: ‎06-06-2011
in reply to lbs-2012

shipping supplies can be bougtht on ebay...just do a search, or at your local office supply store.


ebay has many useful help pages for you about selling/shipping.


here is just one of them...



Community Member
Posts: 5,903
Registered: ‎02-06-2010
in reply to lbs-2012

You can get some sizes of cheap boxes at Wal Mart. Sometimes you can get them from grocery stores but you have to catch them before the stock person tears the boxes down. You can probably buy boxes at office supply stores.