Where to find a bag to ship in?
November 18, 2009 8:22 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get one of those durable bags that clothes and such are sometimes shipped in?

You know the ones I'm talking about? Grey, opaque? I've gotten several shipments of clothes and things in them. I'm mailing someone a number of tote bags, and I think it would make more sense to ship in one of those than a box or something. I'm not sure if they'd fit, though. Is there anywhere local (Fedex, UPS, post office) where these might be available? I've got to get these in the mail this weekend, so I'd rather not order online - I /can/ use a box.
posted by R a c h e l to Shopping (9 answers total)
I've never seen them at the post office, but Wal-Mart, Target and similar stores have them. Just call first to make sure to save time.
posted by VC Drake at 8:25 PM on November 18, 2009

Oops, I thought at first you meant clothing bags. You just mean shipping bags. Yes, the post office has them, as well as the other shippers, and the stores I mentioned.
posted by VC Drake at 8:27 PM on November 18, 2009

Okay. I didn't see them on the USPS site - you're sure they have them, though?

Thanks so much - I'll head over there tomorrow.
posted by R a c h e l at 8:28 PM on November 18, 2009

Do you mean Tyvek envelopes? You should be able to find them at the office supply chain stores (Staples/Office Max). I don't think the post office carries them.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:36 PM on November 18, 2009

Like I mentioned, call them first. Two of the post offices near me have them, two don't. You may want to check with the UPS Store too. Office Supply stores are a sure thing.
posted by VC Drake at 8:41 PM on November 18, 2009

Definitely Tyvek, I'm pretty sure.
posted by floam at 9:00 PM on November 18, 2009

There's a non-Tyvek® tough plastic that is sometimes used also. Might be cheaper.
posted by hattifattener at 9:08 PM on November 18, 2009

Some stores ship in something that's basically just heavy vinyl plastic. It seems to be at least two layers of material. It's shiny and feels like plastic. The envelopes that feel "papery" but are impossible to rip open (they start to stretch if you try) are generally DuPont Tyvek. It's a neat material.

The Priority Mail envelopes from the USPS made of Tyvek are Item No. EP-14 (not EP-14B or EP-14F). They are about 11.5" by 15". I don't think it's a "flat rate" package although if it's not overstuffed it ought to be at the minimum Priority Mail rate anyway.

I haven't seen them around recently but I haven't been looking either, and they were popular enough that I'd be surprised if they were discontinued without hearing anything about it. You might just want to call around to a few POs (during a non-busy time) and ask if they have any.

To get the direct-dial phone numbers for local Post Offices, you can either use the local phonebook (the dead tree kind) or you can use the Post Office locator on USPS.com and then click "More Info" on the result you want. In addition to the 1800-ASK-USPS number, there should be a local number for each. Some of them may just redirect you to the 800 number though ... I've noticed this happening more and more. (It sucks.) But it's worth a try if it saves you a fruitless drive.

Also, I think FedEx gives away several sizes of Express envelopes made out of Tyvek ... UPS has "Paks" which are tough plastic but not Tyvek, but they'll let you use them for Ground shipping if you want. FedEx only lets you use the complimentary packaging for Express services.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:48 PM on November 18, 2009

The bags you're thinking of are not Tyvek, they are "poly bags" or "poly mailers." You can get them at OfficeMax and other stores, just like the Tyvek ones, but I don't think you'll find them in small enough quantities for what you need. For example, here they are in quantities of 100.

So, in the end, you're probably better off just using the box you have, unless you want to use the USPS priority mail Tyvek ones, and they aren't going to be big enough for more than one or two tote bags.
posted by cabingirl at 7:48 AM on November 19, 2009

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