How to Get Free Shipping Supplies from USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL

By:

Barrett Shepherd

Cutting costs is one of the easiest ways to increase profit. Sure, packaging supplies don’t seem that expensive at first glance, but these costs can add up. Online sellers spend a ton of boxes, mailers, and packaging materials each year. Every dollar saved makes a difference. Even saving a few cents makes an impact on profit margins over time, especially for high-volume sellers.


E-commerce companies can reduce expenses by looking for small ways to save money. Ordering free shipping supplies can save a bundle. The savings go a long way toward reducing shipping costs, so it’s worth scouring the web for free boxes and free mailers when possible. 


The four major shipping carriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL) offer free supplies for shipping. Most can be ordered online or picked up at retail locations nationwide. All it takes is signing up for an account, which you probably already have since you sell online.


  1. UPS Free Shipping Supplies: UPS may charge a premium for shipping, but they do offer free Express Envelopes, shipping forms, stickers, pouches, and even some HAZMAT supplies. Check your nearest UPS store to pick them up, or order online for free by logging into www.UPS.com.
  2. USPS Free Shipping Supplies: The post office has free shipping supplies of all kinds. If you ship with USPS, you have access to a wide variety of boxes of all sizes and shipping speeds. You can also order free USPS shipping supplies online. Free bulk shipping supplies are available in packs of 10 or 25 for many items. They offer free mailers for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Registered Mail envelopes, USPS tracking labels, Global Express Guaranteed Envelopes, and more. Customs and shipping forms are also available.
  3. DHL Free Shipping Supplies: DHL is arguably the world’s most popular international shipping provider. Free DHL shipping supplies include shipping labels, envelopes, mailers, waybills, padded pouches, tube mailers, free DHL boxes, and more. Order online at www.DHL.com.
  4. FedEx Free Shipping Supplies: Whether you need free FedEx boxes, Airbills, mailers, pouches, shipping forms, or labels, FedEx has you covered. They have a variety of free shipping materials in-store and online at www.FedEx.com.


Important factors to keep in mind

There is a catch when using free shipping supplies. Generally, free materials are meant to be used to ship items with that specific carrier that supplied them to you. For example, if you pick up a bunch of free UPS boxes, you should only use them to ship items via UPS. The same goes for the other carriers. While it can be tempting to snag-free boxes and use them as you please, it’s not a good idea. If everyone were doing that, they wouldn’t be able to offer free materials for very long. 


You should only take the number of boxes you need for the same reason. There is no need to go overboard or stock up on a lifetime supply. More free shipping supplies will always be there when you need them.


Moreover, certain boxes and materials may only be used for the specific mailing service noted on the box or envelope. USPS Priority Mail boxes, for example, may only be used to ship packages with Priority Mail delivery. You cannot use a Priority Mail box to mail items with any other shipping designation, such as First-Class Mail.


Free shipping supplies are a great way to save money

With shipping costs increasing every year, it is more important than ever to take advantage of free supplies that shipping providers offer. Feeling generous? Pass the savings along to your customers by offering expedited shipping options, such as 2-day shipping. Customers love fast delivery!

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