When you think of the word “package,” what comes to mind? Properly something you ordered online that shows up on your doorstep, or a goodie box from a friend that your letter carrier drops off, right? If this is the case, you might be surprised to hear you’ve been thinking about it wrong. People often confuse the words “package” and “shipment,” and technically speaking, a package is technically the packaging and item that makes up a shipment. The most surprising factoid of all is that, in most cases, you don’t even need a package to ship something!
You Don’t Necessarily Need Packaging to Ship with the Major Carriers
If we’re confusing you right now, we’ll break it down in an easier way: there’s nothing that requires you to use a package if you want to ship something with the major carriers. Most people use boxes and envelopes to protect their shipments from getting damaged, but that doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, tons of people just slap a shipping label on a guitar case, or even on the item itself without any packaging whatsoever. You can also throw items in a suitcase and ship them that way. It all depends on what you need, and what you’re comfortable with!
Over the years, people have shipped some weird stuff with USPS…and most of it wasn’t packaged at all. Learn about some of the weirdest things people have shipped with USPS.
We Still Suggest You Use Packaging
For the record, we’re not saying that you should ditch all your boxes and start sending out your items without them. At the end of the day, packaging is there to protect your shipments and make sure they arrive to your customers without any damage. It also conceals what’s inside, and keeps people from snatching up your shipments if they see something they like!
Consider Whether or Not You’re Using a Specific USPS Flat Rate Service
If you’re planning on using a shipping service that requires specific boxes or envelopes, that’s another story. One example of this type of service is USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate. For example, if you want to buy a shipping label for Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box, you’ve got to use that specific box. You can’t get away with forgoing any packaging for those kinds of shipments, unfortunately.
Learn more about paying for the correct postage with USPS boxes.