Can I use USED USPS priority boxes for shipping by UPS or Fedex?


I have not done this, but was wondering whether I could recycle used UPS priority boxes for UPS or fedex shipping. I have a couple of packages coming in USPS priority boxes. They are in decent shape and fit one item of mine perfectly. I know new USPS boxes cannot be used for anything but USPS. Is it the same rule for used USPS boxes?


Can you? You could likely get away with it as I have received many UPS deliveries in USPS Priority boxes.

Should you? NO. Still not legal as per USPS rules not to mention most used boxes are not in the proper condition for mailing Amazon orders.


As to working in a company that uses UPS everyday, we are allowed to reuse UPS and Fedex boxes. We are actually allowed to use both UPS and Fedex boxes regardless of carrier including USPS. The only thing you can’t do is use the USPS Priority and express boxes and envelopes. You have to ship USPS in those boxes and only USPS.

UPS and Fedex does accept the boxes regardless but will not be held harmless if the postal inspector finds out you are re-using their boxes to ship through UPS or outside of USPS.

It is illegal to use USPS boxes for UPS and Fedex shipping services overall even though UPS and Fedex will accept those boxes you throw at them to ship.

Edited by: nike18mn on Jul 20, 2014 5:54 PM


Just go behind a store and you should find all of the free boxes that you need.


If you can’t use the box as is, can you wrap it in brown paper to hide the box?


It’s not about them cracking down. It’s about whether it’s right or not. Someone gives you something for free on condition you use it for a specific purpose. Should you use it for something else?


No, you shouldn’t use USPS boxes for anything other than USPS.


Here’s a question:

What would happen if you used a USPS box to ship an item via SurePost (or SmartPost)??? Technically, the USPS is also delivering the package…


I was told at the Post Office that you cannot reuse USPS Priority boxes. “Please recycle” means to put it with the cardboard recycling for trash collection.

I have sometimes used FedEx boxes but cut them down and turned them inside out to ship something that will fit in them via USPS. I sometimes also cut up used boxes to use as a stiffener inside an envelope.


I think officially no.
I will say though, that many times when buyers return items bought from me, they re-use the USPS priority boxes that I shipped in and they ship it back UPS.


technically yes. Legally no. And it would look highly un-professional.


UPS and FedEx don’t care at all. They see these boxes coming through by the tens of thousands everyday. What do you think would happen if they returned them to the shipper? Exactly.
Nobody cares.


Besides the Federal Government. They give at these boxes for free.

This is what it says on every box:

+“This packaging is the property of the U.S. Postal Service and is provided solely for use in sending Priority mail shipments. Misuse may be a violation of federal law. This packaging is not for resale.”+

And again, it would look highly unprofessional to the buyer.


I see a crackdown coming… FBI agents storming UPS shipping centers and confiscating recycled boxes…
There really is only one reason not to re-use them, it doesn’t look professional. Most customers won’t care though, if the product arrives safely. On ebay etc I would definitely re-use them. It’s a good concept, you know… recycling.


If my purchased arrived via UPS or Fed Ex in a USPS box, I would leave a negative feedback.
I appears as if you are using free boxes at the cost of those who ship via USPS, even if you are re-using the box.

It comes across as being unprofessional. If you appear to steal from the post office, what would lead the buyer to think you wouldn’t steal from them?

The cost of the boxes are designed for the sole purpose if generating business for the USPS. Someone pays for those boxes, the post office customer. As one of those post office customer, I would leave a negative for someone who abused the boxes.

UPS and FedEx have boxes. If you wish to use those carries, you should contact them for their boxes.
Good Luck


Of course you can’t use a usps box for ups or fedex. Yes, you can reuse it to ship through USPS. It says right on it ‘made of recycled materials’ and ‘please recycle.’


How about just having the ethics to do the right thing?

Not to mention Amazon shipping requirements say to use NEW boxes for shipping, if one bothers to read the rules. This ain’t eBay. Amazon frowns on buyers getting order in twice used packaging, not to mention the structural integrity of the box isn’t as string in a second hand box.


I have received returns via both FedEx and UPS from buyers that have re-used the priority boxes I sent the item in with no issues. I don’t think they give a hoot what container you’re using. I received a pretty expensive item purchased on eBay in a Gainesburger (dog food) box!!


Even if you could, which you can’t, it would be extremely TACKY to say the least.


YES and NO.

UPS (I know that for sure) would allow it as long as they decide that the packaging is safe and secure.

But if something goes wrong and you submit an insurance claim, you are on your own …

because it was not UPS who packaged for you.

I would assume that FEDEX would have similar attitude.

Buyers might be confused …

and not impressed.

That said, I would gladly use those strong boxes for FBA InBound … but they are not big enough and I have better choices.