Postal Shop Boxes

I can't remember if it was in an email from the scheduler (most likely) or something listed in past instructions but they said we couldn't reuse Amazon type boxes with the logo or company labels on them. They needed to be plain boxes. When I reuse those boxes I wrap them in paper bags and cover it all in tape. My post offices don't have an issues with brown paper wrapping as others have mentioned in past discussions.

I imagine like many things using these boxes isn't a problem till it's a problem for most shoppers.

@Rho* wrote:

". I make sure all shipping labels are stripped or marked out, and I’ve never had a problem."

Did I read the instructions wrong? I thought the boxes are to have NOTHING printed on them except the 'to' and 'from' addresses. Turning a box in side out is a necessary evil in my mind.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2020 01:18AM by wwin.

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It takes less than 2 minutes for me to turn a box inside out and tape it back up. Same amount of time as wrapping a box, I would think, but I don't have to worry about the paper. I just turn it inside out and tape it up using tape I bought from my hazmat shops.
I have gone high-tech and re-glue the seam after I turn them inside out. I use some small spring clamps I bought at harbor freight (think chip bag clips) to hold the box together until the glue dries. If the box has markings inside and out (rare) then I wrap in a brown paper grocery bag and neatly tape up all seams. I even reinforce each corner with tape so the brown paper has very little chance of ripping.

If you don't have the clamps, you can lay the box on a flat surface and place a few heavy things on the seam until the glue dries.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
I haven't bought a box in years...

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
I'm about apply for some USPS shops. First time. I'm having a hard time understanding a few things. Where do you mail these"bogus" packages to?
How do you reuse the same boxes over and over? And finally...How can these shops be profitable at $11-12?
Seems very time consuming for very little pay.
The shops are very easy. I enjoy doing them, and they are definitely profitable for me. Many of "us" send the packages back and forth to each other. others use the shops as an opportunity to send gifs to friends or to mail items sold on eBay. I personally print labels on coper paper and cover the entire side of a box. the person who receives it can remove that sheet of paper and send the box back to me using another "label". There are multiple threads on this Forum of people seeking and finding shipping buddies based upon zip codes.
@janalou wrote:

I'm about apply for some USPS shops. First time. I'm having a hard time understanding a few things. Where do you mail these"bogus" packages to?
How do you reuse the same boxes over and over? And finally...How can these shops be profitable at $11-12?
Seems very time consuming for very little pay.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I don't mail bogus packages. I have plenty of friends and family to mail things to. I am a demo rep and I get lots of supplement samples, so I mail those to some people who are more health-oriented, and I do tons of convenience store shops so I mail snacks to my friends and family who have kids. Everyone's happy. The box only has to weigh a little over 1 pound, and the boxes usually weigh 5-8 ounces so it doesn't take much to get it to weight. Get a postal scale.

I don't often reuse the same box over and over, though I have on occasion mailed stuff to my house (addressed to my husband) from a post office that was not in my zone zero, so those boxes I can take off the label and reuse again to mail something to him again a few months later. Just make sure that the zipcode of the post office is zone 1 or more from your home address.

The way that these shops are profitable to me is that they take about 10 minutes to do, including report time on the app, and I build a small route around them. There are probably 15 post offices within 20 miles of my house. I can do 10 or more convenience store shops and 4-5 post offices in an afternoon and make over $100 in 3-4 hours. Just remember there has to be 30 minutes in between each post office.

@janalou wrote:

I'm about apply for some USPS shops. First time. I'm having a hard time understanding a few things. Where do you mail these"bogus" packages to?
How do you reuse the same boxes over and over? And finally...How can these shops be profitable at $11-12?
Seems very time consuming for very little pay.
I do not understand why you do not just go to Staples and buy a bundle of boxes, especially if you do 10+ per month. The box is reimbursed up to $1. I buy a bundle of boxes and use paint each time to write the shop number on the box receipt that I have saved on my computer.

I only do the shops when they are highly bonused, or need to sent something to my kids, or someone else. Thus, for my needs the postage reimbursement either covers completely the postage costs, or the overage out of pocket cost is minimal.

Again, people have different needs, or abilities and the base fee can be a good profitable opportunity. May be they have mobility issues, language limitations, lack of shop variety at the region, use it as a filler shop, short lunch time breaks or good to use after dropping kids to school in early morning, need to mail ebay or small business merchandise to clients, need to mail something to relatives.
Hi Kate, were you asking me why I don't buy boxes? Not sure if you were addressing me or not, but:

I am all about recycling, reducing, and reusing whenever possible. I could buy new boxes, but why would I need to do that when there are plenty of free boxes available for me to use and I would prefer to save a tree if possible? Anyway, as a retail merchandiser, I am in the backrooms of grocery stores and other retail stores pretty often. There are lots of free boxes for me to take with me when I leave. I can fill up my trunk and put them in the basement and have enough to use for months without having to drive to the store, pick out new boxes, wait in line to buy them, and then drive back home, spending money out of pocket and waiting for reimbursement (yeah I know that this MSC reimburses quickly but that's not the point). That's unnecessary time and money spent, IMO.

I never go out of pocket on the postage, I always come out under the max reimbursement. I also take a photo of the box and receipt using my phone and upload to the report in the app. I don't have paint on my phone and I never use my desktop to do PO reports since it's so simple to just do them on the app.


I do lots of these shops at the base rate because in my area, the locations I do (all close to home) never get bonused. If I don't take them at base, someone else will. And on a weekly basis, between other shops and merchandising, I am going to be within 1 mile of a post office and I have lots of friends and family that love to get things from me. I have a friend in Florida who has young children and a deadbeat ex-husband who is way behind on child support. She has money to put food on the table but there isn't much left for extras. Her kids love to get the snacks that I buy them and are so appreciative of the things their "auntie" in Ohio sends them. And I get to clean out the required purchase clutter from my pantry from doing 50 or more convenience stores per month!!!!

@KateH wrote:

I do not understand why you do not just go to Staples and buy a bundle of boxes, especially if you do 10+ per month. The box is reimbursed up to $1. I buy a bundle of boxes and use paint each time to write the shop number on the box receipt that I have saved on my computer.

I only do the shops when they are highly bonused, or need to sent something to my kids, or someone else. Thus, for my needs the postage reimbursement either covers completely the postage costs, or the overage out of pocket cost is minimal.

Again, people have different needs, or abilities and the base fee can be a good profitable opportunity. May be they have mobility issues, language limitations, lack of shop variety at the region, use it as a filler shop, short lunch time breaks or good to use after dropping kids to school in early morning, need to mail ebay or small business merchandise to clients, need to mail something to relatives.
@KateH wrote:

I do not understand why you do not just go to Staples and buy a bundle of boxes, especially if you do 10+ per month. The box is reimbursed up to $1.
Because they don't reimburse for the box if it puts you over. Found out the hard way that it's postage+box = reimbursement total. I send my boxes all over and am often over or near the reimbursement amount just for the postage.

“I am convinced that knowledge is power - to overcome the past, to change our own situations, to fight new obstacles, to make better decisions.” ~Ben Carson
If anyone is looking for a post office idea, you can donate towels and/or blankets to animal shelters. The shelters are always most appreciative, and there is no judgement of color or style. You could also donate extra shampoo, lotion, makeup, etc. from hotels (or unused items) to organizations that distribute it to people in need.
@iShop123 wrote:

@KateH wrote:

I do not understand why you do not just go to Staples and buy a bundle of boxes, especially if you do 10+ per month. The box is reimbursed up to $1.
Because they don't reimburse for the box if it puts you over. Found out the hard way that it's postage+box = reimbursement total. I send my boxes all over and am often over or near the reimbursement amount just for the postage.

OMG, I never noticed that postage + box is total reimbursement! I thought it was postage max postage reimbursement plus $1 for the box. May be because I usually never go over the total reimbursement.
My reason for not buying boxes is because you have to write the job # for each box used on the box receipt and take photos /upload it then (thanks to the new requirements) change the photo's name in the report. I'd prefer to save a tree and my time. I use clear tape around the entire box when I pack it then use a blowdryer to remove old stickers and labels when it comes back to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2020 06:24PM by wwin.
I use hot glue...dries in seconds.
@msimon-2000 wrote:

I have gone high-tech and re-glue the seam after I turn them inside out. I use some small spring clamps I bought at harbor freight (think chip bag clips) to hold the box together until the glue dries. If the box has markings inside and out (rare) then I wrap in a brown paper grocery bag and neatly tape up all seams. I even reinforce each corner with tape so the brown paper has very little chance of ripping.

If you don't have the clamps, you can lay the box on a flat surface and place a few heavy things on the seam until the glue dries.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
Great idea...had not thought of that. I guess I'm not as high-tech as I thought...lol!

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
Actually, I kind of assumed that was the type of glue you were using. Me, I am going the cheap route and just using tape I buy on the hazmat shops. If the PO sold glue sticks or superglue, it would be different.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2020 02:04AM by JASFLALMT.
I typically only take these assignments once a year - Girl Scout cookie season...my daughter has 5-6 out of town customers (one of which orders a ton of cookies) so I use these assignments to defray that cost. Fortunately, the schedulers have been very accommodating working with me. One shipment is quite a bit larger than the others but as long as the entire group (fee + postage + reimbursement) comes out the same or more than my total costs I'm good. I just turn the cookie cases inside out, retape them, and use those.

If you wander by any GS Cookie Booth, they should have plenty of empty boxes that they'd be happy to have you take off of their hands.
I use Elmer's Wood Glue or Glue All (which is close to the wood glue). I bought a gallon of it several years ago for around $12 with free shipping and I still have about a half gallon left (I ship a lot -- probably around 250-300 boxes a year). I even glue the top and bottom flaps down which really strengthens the box. I use a small brush to apply. Works well, is very strong, and cleans up easily with water.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
I want to thank everyone for the great responses and suggestions on these shops. I have a much better understsndibg now.
My eBay customer is going to think I'm crazy when he gets his paperback book! I'm moving soon and trying to clear out small boxes that aren't good for packing to move but are perfect for shipping online orders. I sold a book on eBay and packed it yesterday for a postal shop. I had the hardest time getting it up over a pound! I wrapped the book in a plastic bag, stuffed the box chock full of heavy packing paper, put foam padding along the sides of the book, weighed it and was close, so I taped the box up to within an inch of its life. I've been packing items to ship for 20 years and am usually pretty good at judging weights. I was off this time, and the package was still too light, even using index cards for return and shipping addresses. So I wrapped it in kraft paper, taped to seal any loose edges. Just made it to more than a pound. But the poor guy is going to have to go through hoops to open the box and is going to think I'm obsessive/compulsive about packing! (Which I am, but not to that extent.)

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
BirdyC,

I take an old box, cut it into pieces that fit inside the box, and place as many pieces as needed at the bottom to get my weight over a pound. I add one piece to the top and it just appears to the buyer that you wanted to reinforce the box to protect their item. They don't need to know that you have alterior motives. The extra cardboard really adds the weight without being too questionable.

Related to this, I have filled a HAZ box with cut up cardboard only to make up a box that weighs 1.5 lbs to use for HAZ shops. I may add crumpled newspaper also as needed.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
@BirdyC wrote:

My eBay customer is going to think I'm crazy when he gets his paperback book! I'm moving soon and trying to clear out small boxes that aren't good for packing to move but are perfect for shipping online orders. I sold a book on eBay and packed it yesterday for a postal shop. I had the hardest time getting it up over a pound! I wrapped the book in a plastic bag, stuffed the box chock full of heavy packing paper, put foam padding along the sides of the book, weighed it and was close, so I taped the box up to within an inch of its life. I've been packing items to ship for 20 years and am usually pretty good at judging weights. I was off this time, and the package was still too light, even using index cards for return and shipping addresses. So I wrapped it in kraft paper, taped to seal any loose edges. Just made it to more than a pound. But the poor guy is going to have to go through hoops to open the box and is going to think I'm obsessive/compulsive about packing! (Which I am, but not to that extent.)

You can also double-box things to add weight.
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