Packaging and Posting Boxes: Finding Bargains on eBay

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Packaging and Posting Boxes: Finding Bargains on eBay

Every day millions of people ship various items through the mail to destinations around the world. Making sure packages get to their intended location provides just one of the many challenges mail carriers have to deal with on a daily basis. And while mail carriers attempt to deliver packages with the minimal of damage, sometimes packages still get damaged. Luckily, many ways exist to protect items during shipped.

Shipping items successfully without damage through the mail depends in large part on the packaging used to ship them. This includes any packing materials used, such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, the boxes or packaging, and the tape used to secure the shipping container shut. At times, buying packaging and posting boxes, as well as other materials, can get costly, which can present a problem for those on a budget. To save money, shoppers can find a variety of options when shopping on eBay, including buying used and refurbished packaging and posting boxes.

Types of Packaging and Posting Boxes

When shipping items from point a to point b, most often customers use a packaging or posting box. The type of box used typically comes down to the size, number, and weight of the object shipped. Heavy, single items generally require higher strength box materials, and customers should keep this in mind when shipping items. The following sections detail the different box thicknesses that shoppers can use to send items through the mail.

Single Wall Boxes

The most common type of shipping box available, single wall boxes come in a variety of wall thicknesses and styles. The table below lists some of the more common single walled boxes available.

Wall Type



Corrugated plastic material; performs well under adverse weather; typically used for shipping automotive and electric parts


Paper based material; a recycled, low-quality product; easily cut and formed; lightweight, yet strong material


A type of corrugated fibreboard; paper based; has a flute thickness of 1.6 millimetre, with 295 plus or minus 13 flutes per linear metre


Thicker than e-flute; paper based material with a thickness of 3.2 millimetres, and 154 plus or minus 10 flutes per linear metre


Standard corrugated box thickness; has 128 plus or minus 10 flutes per linear metre, with a lute thickness of 4 flutes per millimetre

Customers should use single walled boxes for boxes and items weighing less than about 30 kilogrammes if tightly packed or multiple lightweight items. For single items, shippers recommend a weight limit of no more than 20 kilogrammes.

Double Wall Boxes

Double wall boxes follow the same construction as a single walled box. Instead of one layer of cardboard and corrugated material, double walled boxes have two. This gives them added strength when holding items for shipping.

Triple Wall Boxes

Akin to the single and double walled boxes listed above, triple wall boxes add even more strength with an additional layer of cardboard material. Built to hold the heaviest of items, these box types also afford the most protection to items when shipped.

Box Terminology

Burst strength and edge crush factor provide the biggest factors in determining the strength of a box. The sections below details both terms to help shoppers understand them while buying packaging and posting boxes on eBay.

Burst Strength

A burst test determines the force, in kilogrammes per square centimetre, required to burst the side of a corrugated box. This number provides an important insight into how successfully the box can contain its contents without the side of the box becoming ruptured.

Edge Crush Test

Measuring the strength of a cardboard or fibreboard boxes sides when stacking, the edge crush test rating defines a boxes ability to withstand force. This translates into the amount of weight that a box can withstand per square centimetre before getting crushed.

Other Shipping Containers

While boxes are often used when shipping larger items, sometimes smaller sized items are too small for most box sizes. Shoppers have a variety of options. The following section details some other methods for shipping items, including bags, tubes, and other mailers.


Shipping bags hold small items, such as screws, nuts, and bolts for example, or even help keep paperwork dry and in good shape in the case of plastic bags designed for this purpose. Typically taped shut, bags afford the least protection and cannot accommodate larger items.

Postal Tube

Postal tubes are great to use for shipping posters and other larger items. Companies often ship long, thin items in a postal tube. Make sure the tube's size can accommodate the item. For this purpose, shoppers have a wide selection of tube diameters and lengths.

Record, DVD, and CD Mailers

Record, DVD, and CD mailers provide another option for customers when shipping more fragile items, such as records, DVDs, and CDs. Coming in a variety of different package amounts, such as 15, 50, 100, and more, mailers protect the items shipped in them from the elements, dust, and damage from scratching. They typically do not protect items from being dropped or crushed though.

Box Materials

Shoppers have a selection of box materials to choose from when looking for a way to ship their items safely. The following table lists some of the more common materials.

Material Types



The most common packaging material available; corrugated cardboard affords even more strength and protection


Affords maximum protection to items; encases items in polystyrene foam; great for fragile items such as mugs, glasses, and bottles


Typically includes shipping bags; useful for mailing forms and other paper articles; the plastic coating provides protection from wetness

The above items afford various levels of protection for items. Most importantly, shipping containers that contain fragile items need the appropriate labels to signify to mail carriers that the items contained within require extra careful handling.

Other Packaging Items

Shipping an item through the mail often requires more than just putting it in a box and closing it up. Sometimes, items need additional protection by using packing peanuts or bubble wrap, for example. Tape and shrink wrap also play a major part in packaging items properly for shipment. The table below details more information on items essential to safely shipping items through the mail.

Packaging Items


Packing Peanuts

Small bits of polystyrene foam specially made as a cushioning material; shaped to interlock when compressed

Bubble Wrap

Pliable, transparent material useful in protecting items; comprised of air-filled sections evenly spaced across the sheet

Packing Tape

A polypropylene, pressure-sensitive tape used for closing packaging and posting boxes; strong in both the long and cross direction

Shrink Wrap

A polymer plastic film useful for wrapping items tightly; shippers can use a heat gun for a tighter seal

Shoppers should make sure to purchase enough of the above-listed items so they have extra on hand when necessary. This way they can assure that they properly protect and wrap the items they need to ship.

How to Find Bargains for Packaging and Posting Boxes on eBay

When looking to save money on packaging and posting boxes, shoppers have a few options while visiting the eBay marketplace. The sections below cover ways that shoppers can save money, including buying used and refurbished products.

Buy Used

Used boxes, while not in the same shape as new, provide a way for shippers to save money and stay within a budget. Some used items come from a surplus supply, so they have never been used even though they are listed as used.

Buy Refurbished

Refurbished boxes are boxes that sellers have cleaned up and repackaged for sale. Usually comprised of bundles of items, such as boxes, bubble wrap, and more, these items typically feature a high quality and are almost like new.

Find Packaging and Posting Boxes on eBay

Shopping on gives you a quick and easy way to buy the products of your choice. Start searching eBay by looking through applicable product listings, searching for cost, quality, size, colour, and other terms of sale. Ask the seller any questions that you have by clicking the Ask a Question link on the listing page. They get back to you quickly with a response. And remember to check the seller's feedback rating, which allows shoppers to find out what other shoppers think about the seller, including ratings about product quality and customer service.

When you are ready to search for products on eBay, start by entering keywords into the Search box on any eBay page. Use terms like "single wall mailing box" or "white postal cardboard box", for example, to begin your search. After viewing the list of results, focus in on the choices that you prefer the most by clicking on the Categories options to display only the listings that detail the particular item interested in. Utilize eBay's search tips page for instructions on searching for packaging and posting boxes, and try shopping specific eBay shops for even more product options.


Find packaging and posting boxes bargains on eBay by searching for the products needed to protect packages large and small. These bargains include items such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, boxes and packaging, and even tape. Make sure to select the right boxes for what needs to be mailed, including single, double, and triple wall boxes. And also search for the best box materials, including cardboard, plastic, and polystyrene.

Also remember that when selecting packaging or posting boxes, consider the size, number, and weight of the object shipped. For heavier, single items use a higher strength box, and for smaller items, thinner boxes can do the job. When shopping eBay for these items, make sure to look at top seller products and read through the product listings before making a purchase. And also contact the seller using the Ask a Question link on the listing page for more information.

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