Many customers visit UPS to return or mail out packages instead of going to its competitors for several reasons. One of the added benefits of taking a package to UPS is that they provide customers with additional services that would not be available had they gone elsewhere. But, most customers need packing tape readily available at home, which is usually a problem that users have. If you bring your package to UPS, would UPS tape the box for you?
While it depends on what you are mailing out, UPS usually seals packages for you, but they charge for the tape you use.
There are a few exceptions to this. For example, in some forums, users report that they are not charged if they know the employee or pay for a particular package tier through UPS. So, as a customer, what do you need to do for UPS to tape your package?
Free Tape for UPS Account Holders Using Selected Air and Worldwide Express Services
Apart from getting your package taped for free on the off chance by your local store, there are two exceptions to paying for tape. First, the benefit of free tape applies to two types of services: Selected Air and Worldwide Express. If the packages you send do not fall under these types of services, you will not be able to tape the boxes for free.
However, these services are often found ordering online or when you are with the clerk at the store. So, there is also the possibility that it might not be available in your area. Additionally, it is essential to note that customers must have an account with UPS to receive this benefit. One can quickly create an account through their website. And the best part of their account is that it is free to all customers.
Once you create your account, you can go to UPS My Choice Memberships, where you can see the available options in your local area.
Customers can register to receive SMS updates on their packages, see where their packages are in transit, and coordinate to have them arrive at an access point. Seeking an alternative drop-off location works, as customers find comfort that their package is in a store or access point rather than sitting on their front doorstep.
The Packing Process
UPS claims it is a “go-to resource for packing and shipping.” And, it is true. When customers arrive at their stores, they sell an abundance of boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and more. But, it is not just that they sell supplies, but also the service. For example, when making a return with a prepaid label, customers need to drop off the package, and an employee will handle the rest.
UPS considers itself a supporter of small businesses and provides many different services to help those businesses grow and reach its local community.
Amazon Returns are Packaged by UPS
Amazon and UPS have an agreement where UPS will handle any returns. This process includes the checkout, packaging, and taping of your boxes. Implementing this process makes it easier for consumers to return items they purchased through Amazon. In addition, all Amazon returns are free of charge as long as the customer brings in a digital copy of their return slip.
UPS My Choice Premium
Alternatively, if a customer wants additional benefits, they can register and pay $19.99 annually for the UPS My Choice Premium package. The premium tier membership comes with these added benefits:
- Reschedule delivery to another day for free
- Reschedule delivery to another address for free
- Upgrade UPS SurePost® packages for free
- Get two free confirmed 2-hour delivery windows annually
If the customer does not have a premium membership and needs any added benefits, they will need to pay out of pocket from $5.99 to $14.99 for any particular service. So, for some customers, it might make sense for them to pay for a premium package.
What Competitors Do Differently
Competitors like the U.S. Postal Service will not tape boxes for their customers; instead, they will sell the customer a roll of packing tape if needed. And the price for the roll of tape is not necessarily affordable, primarily because it is overpriced since it is deemed as a convenience.
Business Inder reported on a leaked internal letter in 2011 that discussed how packing tape is to be sold by the roll. In this case, a customer was refused service because her package was not sealed and told that she needed to buy a roll of tape. Things escalated, but what USPS missed was that had they charged her for the piece or tape or provided that the escalated situation could have been avoided as part of their services fees.
The entire situation was a missed opportunity to provide quality customer service because of a piece of tape. Public services agencies, like the USPS, cannot take on the additional expense of providing tape to customers’ boxes. That is why they justify selling rolls of tape rather than a strip or as an add-on service.
Customers prefer that wherever they choose to drop off, their packages have a service or a small convenience fee for taping their boxes for them. Plus, it is uncommon for an average person to carry packing tape in their house.
Other tapes, like duct tape, are not accepted due to their intolerance to weather conditions and heat while in transit. Packages sealed with duct tape risk opening while in transit and losing their contents; therefore, most stores will not accept packages sealed that way.
Ready to Mail Your Packages
At UPS, you can have your outgoing boxes taped for you for a minor fee. In addition, customers are recommended to register for the UPS My Choice program, a free membership so that packages can be tracked, and a place to put notes for your UPS driver.
Additionally, UPS includes some packaging and envelopes with their services, which helps customers mail out their packages quickly and with all they need at one price. So, while the tape is not free, it comes with the piece of mind that you only need to pay for part of the roll of tape.
Hi there, I’m JJ, and welcome To EverydayQuery! Founded in 2022, we created this project to be the most complete resource on the web for your everyday questions regarding retail, shopping experiences, and overall consumer questions. We’re a team of passionate consumers whose mission is to provide the best answers to your everyday questions.