Order free Priority mail supplies from USPS.com and they will be delivered to your home free of charge. They offer several sizes of boxes and envelopes for both domestic and international shipping. You can also pick up these supplies at your local post office, but there is a much larger selection online. The supplies may ONLY be used for Priority Mail – you may not turn them inside out to use for other mail classes.
Look on FreeCycle.org for ads about free packing materials. FreeCycle is a national recycling group – environmentally conscious people keeping things out of the landfills, and helping each other out locally by advertising things they are giving away or no longer need. You can find packing materials and boxes offered by people who have just moved and want to get rid of the materials.
Check 24-hour retailers such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Visit late in the evening or in the early morning hours when the employees are stocking the shelves. You can have your pick of an array of free boxes. The employees are usually glad they don’t have to drag them back to the baler or stock room.
Log on to Craigslist.org and look for ads for free boxes and mang nhua pvc packing materials. Many companies advertise on Craigslist when and where they have packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or boxes available for pickup.
Get to know the managers of your local deli and liquor stores. Deli and liquor boxes are small, study, and perfect for media mail items like books and CDs. You can also use these small, durable boxes for international mailing or parcel post.
Check with local furniture stores and ask how they dispose of the heavyweight paper wrapping or bubble wrap that new furniture is wrapped in. Usually, the materials are just put outside in the dumpster. Be sure to ask for permission before dumpster diving on private property.
Suzanne Wells is an eBay Power Seller, author of “The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Successful eBay Selling” (Amazon), eBay Consultant, and mom of 2 in Atlanta, GA.