What’s the difference between regular boxes and shipping boxes? Well, the simple answer is: not much. The even simpler answer: not much at all. Essentially you can use any type of cardboard box for shipping something, but sometimes there really are differences, and these are helpful to know. It wouldn’t benefit you to use, say, a lightweight, two piece storage box for trying to ship something.
Another term for shipping boxes is postal boxes, or even mailing boxes, and just like there are a ton of standard cardboard boxes there are a ton of shipping boxes too. From foam-lined boxes for shipping the super delicate kind of stuff to white boxes for when presentation matters. Nowadays a cardboard box isn’t just a cardboard box. You’ve got triple thick sides, you’ve got shockproof. The options are pretty endless.
One type that I prefer to use myself are the flat brown postal boxes, which are very shallow boxes and usually used as an alternative to mailing bags because they are more sturdy. Any time I send something in mailing bag it winds up crushed or bent, and the flat boxes take care of that.
A new kind of box that is becoming more and more popular is the book box. Nowadays people are renting textbooks from online websites and ordering used books from small booksellers off of bigger websites like Amazon. A lot of times you will receive the new book in an actual book box, that opens like a book and closes with an adhesive strip. Due to the practical sizes, you are paying less since you are essentially getting less box. A square or rectangle box is just too much when sending something as simple as a book.
You can also get foam boxes that come already lined with foam, you just have to fold them and they are ready to go. This saves quite a few steps, and ensures the most protection.
Cardboard boxes are cardboard boxes, but shipping boxes come in all manner of specialties. Specialized mug boxes with extra thick walls and that fit a single mug like a glove. Tube boxes for sending posters and papers (they even come in clear plastic!). The book boxes. Boxes that slide into into another cardboard sleeve. Extra long. For garments. For lamps. For glassware. Extra flat and super mini. The exact size of CDs and DVDs. When it comes to shipping boxes, there is never any reason to settle.