As I’m packing boxes today and making my normal trip to the post office, I see people getting the USPS Flat Rate boxes at the display. I just want to go tell them all to stop! It drives me crazy because the only boxes that the post office has on display that you can take free are the priority flat rate ones.
I know the boxes are right there and convenient, they are free, and they are flat rate, so cheaper, right? NO!
Flat rate is a good deal if you are mailing something heavy. However, for example. a package weighing 3 pounds sent to a random zip code that I chose, cost $7.60 in a normal priority or plain box. The flat rate is $12.35 and that is for a very short box. It isn’t until I was at 8 pounds that the flat rate was a better deal. Of course, they want you to believe that flat rate is a cheaper!
Use your own box if you can. Grocery stores are usually a good place to get them. When they are stocking, they usually have carts full of broken down boxes that are free to take. You can order REGULAR and flat rate priority boxes at USPS.com (United States Post Office) for free and they will deliver them to your door!
Decide what is best for you. Convenience might be better if you have one thing you need to mail quickly. I have both boxes and I look up both ways to see which is cheaper and how to mail. Just don’t be duped by the flat rate is better, just like bigger is not always better in the store.