Let's face it. The costs of packaging and shipping items through the mail can be outrageous--sometimes even costing more than the item itself. However, you can get packaging supplies for free. All you have to do is just look in the right places.
Think of places around your home that receive shipments frequently. Pay special attention to stores that may sell fragile items, as each shipment will require lots of packaging material. Contact the manager of the store and ask about picking up some bubble wrap or packing peanuts if they have any. Many times they will be glad to give you their unused packaging supplies instead of going through the trouble to dispose of them.
If you need boxes, a great place to get them for free is your local grocery store. Usually in the mornings, grocery stores will get a truckload of products in cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes. The used boxes are usually crushed and discarded, but if you speak to the grocery manager they will often let you come pick up as many as you need free of charge.
You can also visit Freecycle on the internet and create a posting about needing shipping and packaging supplies. This is a website that is designed for the purpose of recycling things like packaging supplies from person to person. You should receive messages in response to your posting offering you bubble wrap, packaging peanuts, boxes, and anything else you need for free.
One of the easiest ways to get free packaging and shipping supplies is to get the word out that you are in need. Most people periodically receive some type of package, and just throw away the bubble wrap and box. Just spread the word that you are looking for packaging supplies and you may be surprised at the response of free packaging materials you are offered! This is especially nice if you do a lot of shipping on sites like Ebay.
Selling items online or running your own business can be rather hard to do sometimes. Saving on operating costs like packaging and shipping is a small step that can really help your bottom line!