Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Can I mail/ship a Rubbermaid storage bin unboxed?

patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,180 Senior Member
edited May 2008 in Parent Cafe
Does anyone know whether I can ship one of those blue Rubbermaid Roughneck storage bins, either through the USPS or UPS, by simply taping it closed securely all around with duct tape? Or will they only accept a cardboard box?

I need to send a couple of pillows, a set of sheets and some miscellaneous stuff (contents of desk, cables, surge protectors, etc) that my son brought home from college because he had no place to store it over the summer. He pretty much just threw the stuff in plastic bags and stuffed it in his luggage, but he ended up with extra bags at the airport and had to pay $$ to get them home. I'd rather send them back in the Rubbermaid bin so he'll have it to store them in next summer.

I'm pretty sure UPS or FedEx will take the bin unboxed, but I don't know the postal regulations.
Post edited by patsmom on

Replies to: Can I mail/ship a Rubbermaid storage bin unboxed?

  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,134 Senior Member
    I'll bet with enough duct tape on it, it'll probably be ok. They are pretty sturdy, but see-through. Do you care that the contents are visible??? YOu can probably check the FEDEX website or call 1800GOFEDEX and ask someone
  • F.O.LTSF.O.LTS Registered User Posts: 300 Senior Member
    Yes. My mother-in-law shipped Christmas presents via Rubbermaid trunks--circa 1990 on.
  • patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,180 Senior Member
    jym, I don't mean the clear ones. They make a blue one (Target sells them) that's opaque.

    F.O. LTS, did your m-i-l ship the gifts via the post office or UPS?
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,134 Senior Member
    OOh- Forgot about the blue ones. Did you happen to check the Newell-Rubbermaid website? Maybe it has some info
  • mafoolmafool Registered User Posts: 6,453 Senior Member
    I believe you would be OK. I have seen people mail suitcases at the post office and send automotive tires, unwrapped, via fed ex.

    I'd suggest you call the carrier to make sure.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    It might get pretty messed up and sticky having had duct tape all over it and shipping labels stuch to it. Why not just put the filled bin in a box for shipment? It shouldn't really cost more and you can often find one out back of a grocery or department store.
  • F.O.LTSF.O.LTS Registered User Posts: 300 Senior Member
    She sent it both ways. She used packing tape. I still have those trunks--they are in my attic. I used them in a couple of long distance moves--and sent kids stuff to college in them. they are all around handy.

    15 year old tape and packing labels haven't been an issue. Here are USPS guidelines: USPS - Prepare Packages
    USPS - Measuring Tips

    Tip: Where does son live? If he's in a dorm, check his storage space. One year, my son had an enormous room with heaps of storage space. Another year it paid to make sure the box would fit under bed.

    Also, check with airlines about sending 'unaccompanied' luggage. Might be close to same cost as USPS--and you know son will have it delivered to room with him.
  • patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,180 Senior Member
    I will check with the post office to see if they'll take it without a box and to compare rates with UPS/FedEx, etc. I did consider sending it as extra baggage with the airline, but he will be returning alone with 3 duffels, a rollaboard carryon and a backpack. No way will he be able to manage the bin, too. I'd rather have it sent directly to the dorm.

    [guoe]Where does son live? If he's in a dorm, check his storage space.[/quote] Yeah, that is a consideration. But he says if he can't find a spot in the room or the closet, he can leave it in the dorm basement. This summer he left several items in the basement but had no box or container in which to store them -- simply left them loose. I'll be amazed if they're still there when he returns. That's partly why I want him to have the big Rubbermaid bin, so he can store it all in one place in the basement over summers.

    Appreciate all the suggestions and advice :)
  • Karen CollegesKaren Colleges Registered User Posts: 1,752 Senior Member
    If you haven't bought the bin yet, some are made to be locked and shipped. Stanley bins is one brand, and there are others.
  • familyoutdoorsfamilyoutdoors Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    As a previous manager and long time employee at the UPS Store, I can tell you that yes, you can ship in these type of bins. If anything gets broken or lost you may not have any rights to collect insurance. Make sure to use plenty of heavy packing tape. Do NOT use Duct tape. Duct tape is NOT approved for shipping. It is good for many uses, but in the ever changing heat/cooling that your package will go through, it will not make it! You might also it charged a service fee for not having your tote inside of a cardboard box. Another poster mentioned were will you store said tote once you are done with it? You might be better off just purchasing a box and then removing the tape and storing it under the bed or ? When you are ready to ship back home, think twice about all the junk you want to send back. Do you really want to pay $30 for a box full of plastic coat hangers? And ps, if you bring garbage bags to places like a UPS Store or Fed x please wash your clothes before you ship them! Talk about a fun time with six pairs of old smelly sneakers and lots of gym shorts/shirts that haven't seen soap and water all year! For specific shipping requirements check out your favorite shipping centers website or call their 800 number. Remember you can ship anything that's living either.
  • patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,180 Senior Member
    The reason I want to ship stuff in the bin is because this summer my son had to leave a lot of things behind that he couldn't fit in his luggage (he had to fly from TX to FL). He had to throw away his pillows and hangers because they took up too much space. The dorm lets the kids store things in the basement, but he had no boxes or tape, so he left a lot of things loose in a pile on a shelf down there. I'm sure they'll be missing by the time he gets back in August. If he has the bin, he can put all the smaller loose items (and the pillows!) inside, mark it with his name and leave it in the dorm basement next summer, and he can store it down there during the school year if it won't fit anyplace in his room.

    I ran into the FedEx guy at work today and asked him about shipping that type of bin without a box and he said people do it all the time -- there are even some bins with holes all around the rim of the lid that allow you to attach it with plastic ties. I'm going to look for that kind - great idea!
  • F.O.LTSF.O.LTS Registered User Posts: 300 Senior Member
    As far as shipping it to him because he cannot manage all the big heavy stuff at the airport--well pshaw Mom! He'll load up a trolley and be fine.

    My kids go across the country with all kinds of ungainly duffel bags and trunks.

    Of course a guy who can't source a plastic bag to store his gear--well maybe he's storage challenged?
  • patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,180 Senior Member
    I'll grant you that he's storage-challenged. He waited until the night before he was leaving to realize that he had no place to pack the overflow, and it was too big/bulky for the plastic bags he could find around the dorm.

    But as for managing the stuff at the airport -- he's already bringing 3 huge duffels, a wheeled carryon and a laptop backpack. He's only got 2 hands.
  • crazedcrazed Registered User Posts: 1,972 Senior Member
    UPS will take a rubbermaid box. Just tape it closed.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    FedEx ground will take a suitcase or a rubbermaid box.
This discussion has been closed.