USPS Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes and Large Flat Rate Boxes are specific types of packaging that you can get from a Post Office or from USPS.com/supplies.

To ship these boxes, you have to buy the corresponding kind of Flat Rate postage by specifying the exact type of packaging you're shipping when you're creating a label.

Flat Rate is convenient, since you don't need to worry about the size or weight of the box... but that convenience comes at a price. If your items weigh less than 20 lbs, Medium and Large Flat Rate Boxes can be much more expensive than using your own packaging and shipping with Priority Mail Cubic instead.

Here's why:

The Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box comes in two sizes:

  • Medium Flat Rate Box 1: 11 x 8.5 x 5.5 inches

  • Medium Flat Rate Box 2: 14 x 12 x 3.5 inches

If you used your own box that was the same size or even a little bigger, like 14 x 12 x 4 inches, it would be in the 0.4 cubic feet pricing tier of Priority Mail Cubic and can save you up to $5.88, depending on how far you're shipping it. Note that for the furthest distances the Medium Flat Rate Box can still be a good deal, but that only remains true if your items weigh more than 2 pounds (where Weight-Based Priority Mail becomes cheaper than Cubic 0.4):

A screenshot of a chart showing a rate comparison between Medium Flat Rate Boxes and Priority Mail Cubic 0.5

Use your own box for a custom size that fits your products, or USPS offers two free "mailing boxes" that are the cubic 0.4 size:

You could save even more if your box was small enough to fit into the 0.3 cubic feet pricing tier of Priority Mail Cubic. You can see a rate comparison here.


The Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box comes in one size:

  • Large Flat Rate Box: 12 x 12 x 5.75 inches

If you used your own box that was the same size or even slightly larger, like 12 x 12 x 6 inches, it would be in the 0.5 cubic feet pricing tier of Priority Mail Cubic and can save you up to $10.22, depending on how far you're shipping it. Note that for the very furthest distances the Large Flat Rate Box does offer some savings, but that only remains true if your items weigh more than 3 pounds (where Weight-Based Priority Mail becomes cheaper than Cubic 0.5):

A screenshot of a chart showing a rate comparison between Medium Flat Rate Boxes and Priority Mail Cubic 0.5

You could save even more if your box was small enough to fit into the 0.4 cubic feet pricing tier of Priority Mail Cubic. You can see a rate comparison here.


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