Can you "modify' USPS Priority Mail boxes?

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This is a random question, but I am going to be selling some random shaped items on eBay as I clean out my closet and am planning on shipping them via Priority Mail.

If I am using the non-flat rate USPS Priority Mail boxes, am I allowed to modify them, i.e. cut them to different size, reshape, as long as I am shipping via Priority mail in the end? Or will they be rejected?

Strange question, but I am wondering if anyone was any experience with this topic.

Thanks.

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At that time, we didn't ship much of anything through USPS, so there was no online shipping account to revoke. That was... (more)

marteen5640 (Mar. 22, 2008 @ 2:27p) |

I would say its illegal since you get the boxes for free for shipping via USPS. I am sure nothing will happen unless so... (more)

khilonna (Mar. 24, 2008 @ 11:56a) |

Well from someone i talked to before that got flagged for media mail abuse got his online postage revoked.

davef139 (Mar. 24, 2008 @ 10:21p) |

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I do this all the time dont know if I should be doing it though

none of my boxed have been rejected

I think the only issue you will have is if you are using Flat Rate boxes, reshaping them to add volume or something of that nature and still trying to qualify for the Flat Rate. You would have to pay Priority rates by weight and dimension and not by Flat Rate. Otherwise, go to town.

Same as other, have done it lots and lots of times, no problems.

I don't see a difference between reshaping a USPS provided box and your own box, as long as it's not flat rate and you do indeed ship them Priority.

Dont forget when u do dimensions to see if you pay dim weight you need to imagine the box as a complete square

davef139 said: Dont forget when u do dimensions to see if you pay dim weight you need to imagine the box as a complete square

With dimension weight in play, I don't really see much value in reshaping the priority box. Before dimension weight, I use to put together two #7 boxes to make a bigger box. But now the most you gain is 4 extra inches if you put 2 together. They should just change the #7 box to 12x12x12.

You can also gang the boxes together to fit a larger or longer item.
I telescope 2 and 3 #7's to hold cell phone shipments.

Unspeaked said: I don't see a difference between reshaping a USPS provided box and your own box, as long as it's not flat rate and you do indeed ship them Priority.

The Priority Mail box belongs to the USPS; your box belongs... to you.

I would guess that mutilating a Priority Mail box is technically not allowed, but, as others have said, as long as you're using it to send Priority Mail, it's not worth the effort to go after you. If your local postal inspector runs out of folks actually dodging paying appropriate postage, you might worry....

Thanks everyone for the comments - it looks like I'll give it a try anticipating no issues.

sechs said: Unspeaked said: I don't see a difference between reshaping a USPS provided box and your own box, as long as it's not flat rate and you do indeed ship them Priority.

The Priority Mail box belongs to the USPS; your box belongs... to you.

I would guess that mutilating a Priority Mail box is technically not allowed, but, as others have said, as long as you're using it to send Priority Mail, it's not worth the effort to go after you. If your local postal inspector runs out of folks actually dodging paying appropriate postage, you might worry....


The other day, I run out of boxes and used a Priority Flat rate one to ship an item via UPS. If I get caught, what am I facing here? A fine? jail time?

if anything, turn the boxes inside out, and use it as a regular brown box, and ship it according to its weight/size.

LAwoodtiger said: if anything, turn the boxes inside out, and use it as a regular brown box, and ship it according to its weight/size.


That cannot be done, and all new boxes say
USPS Priority Mail
on the inside,

I see people use PM boxes all the time when I drop off packages at Fedex Kinkos. No one there really seems to care.

I also cut up and shape the priority non flat rate boxes all the time, no problems at all, also when I have gift boxes, I take the Tyvek envelopes and just wrap the box with a couple of those, with no problems.

st0ney71 said: I see people use PM boxes all the time when I drop off packages at Fedex Kinkos. No one there really seems to care.

Only the USPS cares.

yesidonoitall said: st0ney71 said: I see people use PM boxes all the time when I drop off packages at Fedex Kinkos. No one there really seems to care.

Only the USPS cares.


I called my local PO and told them I saw a bunch of USPS boxes at FedEx. They didn't care. They said they get FedEx boxes that go through them.

sfvera said: The other day, I run out of boxes and used a Priority Flat rate one to ship an item via UPS. If I get caught, what am I facing here? A fine? jail time?

A fine, jail time, and, my favourite, a loss of the privilege to receive mail. If you run a business, that last one is pretty killer.

In theory, the USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL have gotten together and agreed to enforce appropriate use of one another's boxes. In reality, although misuse of USPS boxes is a crime, mutual enforcement is pretty lax. It's not nonexistent, however.

I saw an fleabay seller get a fine for a single offense of using a priority mail box via UPS. Unlike a little mutilation, this is a slam-dunk for a postal inspector who has the box in question with labels for the other shipper.

biglittle said: yesidonoitall said: st0ney71 said: I see people use PM boxes all the time when I drop off packages at Fedex Kinkos. No one there really seems to care.

Only the USPS cares.


I called my local PO and told them I saw a bunch of USPS boxes at FedEx. They didn't care. They said they get FedEx boxes that go through them.


I thought this happened because you can drop FedEx boxes at USPS for shipping and wise versa.

I worked in a pawn shop for a while, maintaining their eBay sales and we shipped tons of our packages via UPS w/Priority Mail boxes....we did this until a cease and desist order arrived at the store from the USPS telling us to cut it out. They didn't pursue any charges and we never used their boxes inappropriately again.
And, BTW, other than the small, VHS/DVD mailers, I haven't seen a Priority Box w/anything stamped on the plain brown side in a very long time.

^

Wow.. did they revoke your online postage capabilities too? I've never heard of that before.

At that time, we didn't ship much of anything through USPS, so there was no online shipping account to revoke. That was a few years ago though, and I don't know if anything more than the initial order to stop ever came out of the situation. Is that something The USPS does now?

marteen5640 said: At that time, we didn't ship much of anything through USPS, so there was no online shipping account to revoke. That was a few years ago though, and I don't know if anything more than the initial order to stop ever came out of the situation. Is that something The USPS does now?

I would say its illegal since you get the boxes for free for shipping via USPS. I am sure nothing will happen unless someone reports to USPS. Its like using those governments "official business" envelopes.

marteen5640 said: At that time, we didn't ship much of anything through USPS, so there was no online shipping account to revoke. That was a few years ago though, and I don't know if anything more than the initial order to stop ever came out of the situation. Is that something The USPS does now?


Well from someone i talked to before that got flagged for media mail abuse got his online postage revoked.



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