I need to ship something, I have never used a USPS Flat Rate box. It is taller than the medium box, but shorter and narrower. Can I deform the box to fit the item? No cutting is required.
Oops, should have been OT, not sure how to edit.
Short answer, no.
The post office only accepts those priority boxes intact, and you shouldn't bulge the box excessive either with the contents.
If u can find the shoe box type med. box, its 11" x 8" x 6" thick . The other med. box for $13.65 is 14" x 12" x 3 1/2" thick.
Last time I looked; According to USPS tariffs, it only needs to close properly. It can bulge all over the place, but can’t be “modified”.
Get a set at the post office or order a set online for home delivery
If it fits it ships.
The flat rate box's are made of really thin cardboard. I cut out thick cardboard panels from scrap cardboard and build a box inside the flat rate box to send heavy items that would otherwise destroy the flimsy flat rate box's in shipping. Make sure to use plenty of packing material to make the package as solid as possible especially when shipping heavy items.
And totally encase it in clear packing tape.
You can't 'encase' the flat rate box, FLB, in tape!
Here are the rules, I was off on the not excessive pack, but 70 lbs. is the weight limit on any size FLB, but the box fastening edges have to meet.
Below are a few typical questions and answers:
Q. Is tape allowed?
A. Yes, tape is allowed on the seams and flaps of an FRE or FRB. Tape is allowed to reinforce the flaps of an FRE within its normal folds and of course to properly close a FRB.
Q. How much tape is acceptable?
A. Tape is permissible as reinforcement on the seams and flaps of a FRE or FRB to make sure the container does not break open during processing and transit. However, tape should not “encase” the FRE or FRB. Note that if a customer is using a printed Click-N-Ship® label or PC Postage Vendor label, extra tape is allowed to properly attach it to the envelope or box.
Q. What about bulges?
A. As long as the FRE or FRB can close “within the normal folds,” bulges are not a problem. “Flat” refers to the price, not to the shape.
Q. What if the FRE is too thick?
A. There is currently no maximum thickness for a FRE. “Flat” refers to the price, not to the shape.
Q. What if the FRE is stuffed so full that it’s shaped like a cylinder?
A. As long as the FRE can close within its normal folds, and as long as the sides of the FRE haven’t been reconstructed, for example by being slit and having a gusset inserted, it is fine. “Flat” refers to the price, not to the shape.
Q. What if a skillet is packed in an FRB and the handle sticks out?
A. A small bump-out of the box is okay, but if the handle actually sticks out of the box or the box is reconfigured to accommodate the skillet, it cannot be considered as a FRB.
Several years ago after one trip moving, I shipped a new set of 10.00x20 tire chains flat rate. I cut down one box and taped it very good and then put it in another flat rate box and marked it heavy. I shipped each chain individually.They went thru fine and are still packed in the boxes in my garage. Any one looking for chains?
I have used a few used flat rate boxes to send out parts. I always marked out everything that had to do with the USPS with a magic marker. I've done this for a couple of years now. The other day I took one of those boxes to the post office which would have been much cheaper to send than the USPS flat rate box. The HPIC (head person in charge) told me I couldn't do that, the USPS would still charge the same as a new flat rate box, so I brought it home and repacked it in another box that was the same size which was much cheaper. I told him that I had done this several times in the last couple of years with no problems. He said the USPS would charge the recipient the difference. I've never had anyone mention that they had to pay any more than the shipping that was quoted to me when doing that. I don't see the logic behind this, all I was trying to do was save some cardboard, and the buyer some money, not trying to cheat the USPS out of some money. Aren't the powers that be always telling us to save/conserve? It just made sense to me. I can almost always save the buyer a few bucks by reusing/making my own boxes to ship with instead of the flat rate boxes unless it is something very heavy. Has anyone else heard of this? Confused, Dave
Maybe I am nuts, but if I need an unmarked box for shipping, I simply take a printed box, split the seam at the glue joint, turn it inside out, and reglue the tab with hot glue. Takes only a minute, and presto, you have a plain box. Harbor Freight product cardboard boxes are really handy. Works for me. Cheers, Bill
Don't try the inside out thing with a USPS flat rate box. they'll charge you for the box rate.
I used old paneling off walls and duct tape 1 time to reinforce the inside of a flat rate box to ship some garden tractor wheel weights all the way to Oregon and they made it.weighed 30 pounds each.