There are so many folks selling just about every imaginable product on eBay and Amazon that the range of small shipping boxes is astronomical. You would not believe some of the small shipping boxes (so called) that have shown up on my doorstep. Everthing from cereal boxes wrapped in masking tape to very sturdy custom boxes from companies like U-Line.com and The Box Company. A lot of books that I used to buy simply arrived in bubble envelopes. i guess they couldn’t spring for a box.
When I used to run my own used bookshop we used custom made small shipping boxes made from corrugated cardboard. I still think this is the best way to send a book but not everything being sold online is a nice square shape and not everyone has the patience or need to make their own boxes. One piece of advice I’ll pass along though, if you’re selling at least one item per week or more on eBay then you should stay clear of purchasing your shipping boxes at the Post Office. You are simply throwing your money away. Their markup is on the heavy side.
Another little suggestion is to make sure that the object in the box does not move. If it’s a baseball then there aren’t really any damage concerns but if you are shipping something fragile then you need to make sure there is no movement. This is what does the damage and it really only takes a second or two to stuff boxes with some old newsprint.
In general, if you need a constant supply of small shipping boxes it would probably be best to stick with one of the Internet Kings of cardboard boxes U-Line or Usbox.com. The umatched pricing and constant supply make them go-to guys in the box world. But if you do need sturdy, cheap book mailers then you do want to check out our page on that.
EHow.com has a nice article on how to find well priced small shipping boxes, worth a look.
A final tip, talk to your grocer or pharmacist. They always keep their larger boxes by the cashes because some clients need to use for their purchases. These stores often receive smaller items for in-store use or in the case of pharmacies a small shipment of more exotic medications. They don’t have much of a use for these and usually just recycle them. If you explain your need of small shipping boxes I’m confident they will help you out. Just ask.