If you’ve ever walked into a Post Office, you’ve likely noticed a “supplies” station that contains a ton of brown boxes and envelopes, along with a bunch of white and red Priority Mail packaging options. Those brown boxes and envelopes are what’s known as USPS ReadyPost packaging. When inquiring about it, new shippers often ask us if ReadyPost is a type of service that USPS provides, like Priority Mail. Spoiler alert: it is not.
ReadyPost is Simply Packaging that USPS Offers; It Doesn’t Cover the Cost of Postage
Once again, “ReadyPost” is merely the name for the brown USPS-branded boxes and envelopes. It isn’t a service you can purchase at the Post Office. You won’t find it when you use online shipping software to buy discounted USPS labels, either.
USPS provides several different types of ReadyPost packaging for shippers. ReadyPost packaging includes boxes of all sizes, mailers, and envelopes dedicated to sending specific items like photos. For the boxes and mailers, you’ll need to assemble them yourself. If you’d like to pick up some ReadyPost boxes or envelopes, you can find them at your local Post Office. You can also order them on the USPS website.
Note: if you want to use one of those boxes or envelopes, USPS will charge you for it! On top of paying for a ReadyPost box or envelope itself, you’ll also need to pay for the cost of postage to ship it.
Use Priority Mail Boxes and Envelopes for Free Packaging
A lot of people assume—mistakenly—that ReadyPost packaging is free. The only free packaging that USPS provides are the Priority Mail-branded boxes and envelopes. You can order these on the USPS website, and your letter carrier will deliver them to your front door at no cost to you. You can also walk into your local Post Office any time and snag as many as you’d like. So, if you’re looking to cut down on shipping expenses, skipping ReadyPost altogether and opting for Priority Mail packaging might be your best bet.