Successful resellers are ALWAYS looking to cut costs – and one of the easiest ways to do so is by sourcing cheap or free shipping supplies!
If you’re excited about your blossoming online business, it can be tempting to run to the craft or office supply store and buy cute decorative boxes, custom tissue paper, and colorful tape and bubble wrap.
While a little creativity in your business is fun, it’s important to remember that for every purchase you make, you’re cutting into the profit of your sales!
You can still get cute and creative with these free or cheap shipping supply options:1) Upcycle Packaging You Receive
Don’t shy away from this idea! Some sellers are worried it will look unprofessional, but in reality as long as the packaging is in good condition, buyers don’t mind getting their order in a reused box or envelope.
If you get a box that is in good condition, plan ahead and do yourself a favor! Break down cardboard boxes by cutting through tape (rather than peeling) to minimize unsightly tears and rips. Remove ALL old shipping labels and barcodes by peeling them off and placing new stickers/labels on top.
Keep a stash of bubble wrap or filler paper too! Those can get expensive, and are worth sticking in a drawer or closet for when you need them.2) Source from your neighbors and friends
Maybe you’re just TOO successful and you’re selling more than you’re ordering, and you’ve run out of recycled shipping supplies.
First of all, THAT’S AWESOME! And a great problem to have! If you’re out of your own reused shipping supplies, why not hit up your neighbors or the family groupchat to see if anyone is looking to get rid of some boxes? Chances are you have someone in your life who’s a bit of a hoarder, or gets lots of deliveries!3) “Free” on Craigslist/Buy Nothing groups
You don’t have to only source shipping materials from people you know – others in your area might be looking to give away shipping supplies too!
Scope out the “free” section on Craigslist, or even make your own post saying that you’re looking for shipping supplies. Make sure you’re being safe if you agree to meet up with someone for a pickup!
The Buy Nothing Project is an AWESOME community! Find your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook and you’ll be able to post a request for free shipping materials, or see when people are offering up boxes on their own!4) USPS Free Supplies
Did you know that you can pick up OR get delivered free shipping boxes and envelopes??
USPS offers tons of options for free materials that you can grab from your nearest post office or even order online at https://store.usps.com/
Here are some great options for USPS shipping supplies for clothing resellers
- Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope (unpadded) EP14F (good for clothes)
- Priority Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelope (unpadded) EP14L (longer)
- Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope EP14PE (nice if you need to give the item a little protection)
- Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A2 (side loading) (good for large items and jackets/coats)
- Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box (side loading) (good for large items and jackets/coats)
- Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B2 (side loading) (for big items)
- Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box (for big items)
If you’ve got a great corner store you love to pop by every week, or a cute boutique where they know you by name – why not see if they’re trying to get rid of extra boxes or envelopes?
Even places like Home Depot often will let you look through their discarded boxes and recyclables if you ask nicely!
Other great places to look: grocery and pet stores, craft stores, Best Buy, etc. Chances are they were just going to get thrown away, and if you ask politely to speak with a manager they would be happy to let you take a few boxes!
With all these options, it’s totally possible to run your online clothing reselling business without ever needing to buy more than packing tape and the occasional envelope!