What does USPS give for free?

The United States Postal Service, commonly known as USPS, offers various free services and products to its customers. As a government agency, USPS aims to provide universal service by delivering mail and packages to every address in the United States. Part of its mission is to offer affordable options that benefit society. USPS provides many free offerings, from packaging supplies to address changes. This article will explore the most useful freebies available from the post office.

Free Packaging Supplies

One of the best perks of using USPS is the availability of free packaging supplies for shipping needs. Customers can pick up a variety of boxes, envelopes, and mailing labels at their local post office branch.

Priority Mail & Express Mail Supplies

Priority Mail and Express Mail branded packaging can be used to ship packages through USPS. Priority Mail supplies include free boxes, bubble mailers, and tape in a variety of sizes. Express Mail supplies include envelopes, boxes, and tubes. Using USPS-provided packaging allows customers to take advantage of the flat-rate pricing for Priority Mail.

Regional Rate Boxes

For shipping heavier items across shorter distances, USPS Regional Rate boxes are a cost-effective option. These boxes are free and provide discounted shipping rates. The A-boxes are suitable for lighter items, while the B-boxes accommodate heavier contents.

Miscellaneous Packaging

USPS also provides other miscellaneous packaging for free, including white mailers, cardstock envelopes, and padded envelopes in an assortment of sizes. These come in handy for shipping small to medium-sized goods.

Customers Can Also Bring Their Own Boxes

If the free USPS boxes don’t fit a customer’s needs, they can pack their items in any box and utilize USPS services. Customers can bring boxes purchased elsewhere or reuse boxes they have on hand. The USPS website provides guidelines on proper packaging techniques to ensure safe transport.

Free Address Change Services

USPS offers address change services at no charge, making it simple for those who are moving.

Online Change of Address

The easiest way to change one’s address is through the online request form on the USPS website. This submits the updates directly to the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. The service includes forwarding of mail to the new address for 12 months.

In-Person Change of Address

For those without internet access, change of address can be completed in-person at any post office location by filling out a paper form. This achieves the same updates to the NCOA database and mail forwarding services.

Temporary Change of Address

If a move is temporary, USPS offers a temporary forwarding order option for 15 days to 1 year. This avoids changing the permanent address while mail gets routed to the short-term address.

Free Package Pickup

Scheduling free package pickup is simple through USPS for increased convenience when shipping multiple items.

How It Works

After preparing packages, customers can request package pickup online or by phone. The mail carrier will then gather the parcels during regular mail delivery on the scheduled date. Pickup is available Monday-Saturday for most ZIP codes.


Free package pickup saves customers time and gas money compared to carrying packages to the post office. It also allows shipping direct from home or business. If customers already receive mail delivery, it’s an easy add-on service.

Pickup for Larger Quantities

For high-volume shippers with over 50 packages, USPS offers commercial pickup services five to seven days a week. There are various pickup options tailored for large or bulk quantities of mail and packages.

Media Mail Shipping

Media Mail is an affordable shipping option for books, CDs, DVDs, and other media items. This ground transport service starts at just $2.80.

Weight & Size Limits

Items can weigh up to 70 lbs. Boxes may measure up to 108 inches combined length and girth. The shipment contents must meet Media Mail standards.

Discounted Rates

As one of the lowest priced mailing services, Media Mail helps students, businesses, and individuals save costs on bulk media materials. It is not as fast as Priority Mail but offers bargains for heavier shipments.

How to Use

Customers can send qualifying media items by bringing open packages or using free Priority Mail boxes from USPS. Postage can be purchased at the post office or online through services like PayPal or Stamps.com.

Free Flat Rate Envelopes

USPS provides free flat rate envelopes that allow customers to ship documents affordably to anywhere in the U.S.

Regular Flat Rate Envelopes

The standard flat rate envelope measures 12.5 inches x 9.5 inches and can hold up to 70 pounds. When sealed and shipped using Flat Rate postage, this envelope offers a flat $7.65 shipping fee regardless of destination.

Legal Flat Rate Envelope

For larger documents, the legal size flat rate envelope provides 15 inches x 9.5 inches of space. It also carries the same $7.65 Flat Rate price when mailed.

Padded Flat Rate Envelope

For extra protection, the padded version features bubble cushioning inside. It fits documents up to 70 pounds and costs $8.10 with Flat Rate postage.

Free Tracking Services

USPS offers tracking services free of charge to provide delivery updates on shipments. Tracking gives peace of mind and visibility into the route.

Tracking Number

When mailing an item, customers receive a tracking number that works across major services like First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, international packages, and more. Entering this code on the USPS website provides step-by-step tracking details.

Informed Delivery

For incoming mail tracking, Informed Delivery allows users to digitally preview images of mail and manage packages scheduled to arrive soon. Enrollment includes email and text alerts about mail status.

Missing Mail

If an expected package does not arrive in the expected window, USPS allows customers to submit missing mail requests online to initiate a search. This helpful tool increases the chances of locating wayward items.

Free Boxes from USPS Mail Carrier

Many postal mail carriers keep extra boxes on hand for customers to take as needed. Asking a USPS delivery person for a box is an easy way to grab free packaging.

Good Communication is Key

Experiences may vary when obtaining free boxes directly from the mail carrier. Building rapport with the regular mail carrier and politely asking about available boxes improves the chances of success.

Less Selection

The selection of free boxes from a carrier is more limited than what’s available at the post office. But carriers often have Priority Mail boxes and bubbles mailers to hand out if requested.

Immediate Boxes

Getting free boxes directly from the mail carrier allows quick access when an immediate need arises. If a customer needs to ship an item soon, a carrier may be able to provide packaging on the spot.

Hold for Pickup

When customers are not available to receive a package, they can request USPS to hold it at a post office location for convenient pickup.

How It Works

Once a delivery attempt is made, customers receive a notice that the package is available for hold pickup. The item will remain securely at the post office for 10 days.

No Extra Fees

Hold for pickup is a complimentary service. Customers simply need to either reattempt delivery or retrieve from the post office during business hours. A valid ID must be presented.

Package Intercept

If an item is already en route, USPS Package Intercept allows recipients to halt delivery to a different address. Fees start at $14.65 based on package characteristics.

USPS Offers Many Free Services to Benefit Customers

From packaging to mail forwarding, USPS provides a variety of helpful free offerings:

Service Description
Packaging Supplies Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes, envelopes, and labels
Address Change Online and in-person change of address requests
Package Pickup Carrier pickup scheduling for home and businesses
Media Mail Low cost ground shipping for media materials
Flat Rate Envelopes Free envelopes offer flat rate shipping
Tracking Services Shipment tracking and mail previews via Informed Delivery
Carrier Boxes Asking mail carrier directly for available boxes
Hold for Pickup Post office holds packages for easy retrieval

Availability Varies By Location

Offerings can differ across post office branches. Rural and smaller locations may have fewer options than metropolitan areas. Customers can call or visit USPS sites to check on specific products and services available in their region.

Budget-Friendly and Convenient

Overall, USPS provides a helpful selection of convenient free offerings. Taking advantage of these services allows customers to ship, track, and organize their mail while saving money. USPS aims to help citizens and businesses at every turn through valuable free features.


USPS offers many useful services and products at no cost to customers as part of their public infrastructure mission. Free packaging like Priority Mail boxes and envelopes helps lower shipping costs. Value-added services like package pickup, address changes, and mail tracking provide practical solutions for managing deliveries. Although not every item is available at every post office, USPS does its best to supply the free materials most needed by customers. Patrons can check with their local branch to find out exactly which complimentary offerings are accessible in their neighborhood. With budget-friendly shipping and mail management solutions, USPS strives to make life a little easier for its diverse customers across America.

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