How to flat pack a single yo-yo for cheapest shipping

Here’s the cheapest way I’ve found to send a single yo-yo, that minimizes package weight and size, while still protecting the yo-yo.

:warning: This method is indeed cheap but it will NOT include any kind of tracking! This is shipping for cheapskates :ice_skate: who are OK with a bit more risk in the name of being cheap, so if you require tracking, look elsewhere!

What you will need

  • cardboard (any used box is fine)
  • padded envelope (any used kind is fine, it’s actually preferred)
  • packing tape
  • small plastic baggie

Yo-yo prep

Take apart the yo-yo into two halves. Remove the axle and bearing. Place the axle and bearing into the small plastic bag.

Cardboard prep

Cut two rectangular pieces of cardboard large enough for the two halves to sit comfortably a bit “apart” from each other, with some border around the top, bottom, and sides. Place the halves on the cardboard with the plastic bag in the middle

If you want to include string (you gotta have some string!), put that in the center. This also helps segregate the halves.

Tape it up

Place the other rectangular piece of cardboard on top. Tape it down SUPER TIGHT so the two halves don’t move. There should be a bit of a pyramid shape from being pressed down very firmly over the two halves. If you shake it, nothing inside should move because the cardboard is strongly holding it down.

Place it in the padded envelope

Place the cardboard assembly inside the padded envelope and cut it to fit, then tape it closed. You want to use a boring generic padded envelope so it doesn’t look like remotely like a gift or anything like that. Generic random mail that won’t get a second thought is exactly the “look” you’re going for here.

I ended up with a package that was 109 grams (3.8 ounces), 9 inches by 5 inches, less than 1 inch “depth”. You could cut it a tad smaller than I did if you want to reduce width and length (and weight) a bit more.

USA shipping cost

First class :us: domestic package service for a 4 ounce “padded envelope” is $4.06, so make sure you have at least that much on it, in stamps. Current forever stamp value is $0.55 so that’s 8 stamps = $4.40. I guarantee this will work for domestic USA shipping and it is completely safe in my experience. I have shipped dozens of yo-yos this way without incident. There is risk, yes, but it is tiny.

International shipping cost

Per the official USPS shipping calculator, using Turkey :tr: as a random international example:

  • a 4 ounce “large rigid / variable thickness envelope” should cost $14.25 to ship via First Class Mail International

  • a 4 ounce “large envelope”, with max dimensions of 15" x 12" with max thickness of 3/4" is only $5.10 to ship via First Class Mail International

I’ve found that if you put ~$8 of postage on this package, it gets reliably delivered internationally – not sure if it’s significantly slower shipping, or what have you, but it works. That said, I would not use less than $8 postage! That’d be 15 forever stamps at their current value which is kinda tough to fit on a package this size… so I suggest getting the higher denomination stamps. First class international stamps are $1.15 in value; 7 of those is about $8 and will cover you.

My theory is that we’re barely squeaking by on the 3/4" thickness requirement and they’re letting it slide. 3/4" is 19 millimeters. I just calipered a ti-vayder and each half is ~19mm wide so… the math just about adds up, minus the cardboard thickness and the padded envelope thickness.


Address it and add stamps for postage per the above, then drop it in any mailbox, you’re done!

Are you nuts?

Well… yes :crazy_face:

There’s virtually no risk to this (in my opinion of course) when mailing within the USA, other than not having tracking for peace of mind or proof that you actually shipped, if needed. However, I will admit there is definitely more risk when sending internationally. That said – I’ve sent ~7 yo-yos this way to Australia, the UK, Canada, Israel, etc and they all arrived fine.


Can we just take a moment to appreciate how everyone of Jeff’s topics are super organized


I wouldn’t say there’s no risk sending in the USA, untracked mail can and does get lost. But I’d agree that there’s very little risk. The worst thing USPS will do is either collect the postage from the recipient or send it back to the sender.

Overseas on the other hand… I’d never do. If a customs agent decided to search that somewhat suspiciously thick package with no declaration on it you’d lose the yoyo forever and probably never hear from them. Also who knows what the policy is of another country if they decide the package needed more postage? (Actually curious how that works, the USPS gets the money for the postage on a package, do they hand half of those $ over to the recipient country’s postal service?)


Well the postage for one yo-yo is 100% accurate (even slightly generous) for the US, so that’s not a risk. I did have one I mailed in the US a while back where I messed up the postage a tad with two yo-yos, not the one shown here, and they billed the recipient – it was like 50 cents.

International is significantly more risky without a doubt… but I’ve found this to work ~7 times so far. I like to roll the :game_die: sometimes, I guess I think of it as an experiment… one way you could reduce risk is to put the full $14.25 on there. But at that point you might as well ship in a box IMO.


All of my domestic shipments in a box with tracking end up being $5 or less. In some cases zero savings to send this way and you lose tracking and require sending unscrewed. Plus if you don’t package securely enough you have yoyo halves dinging each other- not everyone is as meticulous as you may be in that initial packing.

I wouldn’t encourage sending in padded envelopes. I’d rather a seller ask for $1 more to ship and put it in a box.


Shipping a single yo-yo via “click n’ ship” via is at least $9.30 for priority though. More for longer distances. Your numbers aren’t correct.

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I send normal first class package it includes tracking at no extra charge

Editing to add I always walk in to my local post office location at the hardware store so I never use online but I can’t imagine walking in is cheaper. I honestly normally pay $4 and change to send anywhere in US from Colorado


Maybe that’s a service you can get if you’re willing to visit the post office every time you wish to mail something, but a) it’s not available online via click n’ ship and b) I’m not willing to do that :wink:

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That’s weird they don’t offer that online! And I never use online since I would have to find a drop off anyway and there’s normally no line at the USPS location at the hardware store. First Class package is way cheaper, arrives in a couple of days and includes tracking.

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I just leave mine at my mailbox and it magically gets delivered after the mail carrier picks it up. I am a very, very lazy person.

You could put as little as $4.06 postage on it and it’d work, but that requires having exactly the right amount of stamps.


I live in a complex with a little slot for drop off. I sell maybe one per month so the dropoff is no problem.

I will say if I bought a yoyo on BST and it came in a flat pack I would not be thrilled. Even if yoyo came undamaged I would suggest seller use a box in the future. Every yoyo I get off BST cost the person under $5 and came in a box with tracking. If you’re sending free stuff that’s one thing but if somebody is paying I say use a box.


If you’re able to make it to the post office every time I agree that you should definitely take advantage of first class package shipping vs. priority shipping – online click n’ ship does not offer first class at all as you can see from my screenshot…


You can ship w/ first class parcel service (2-5 days) online through paypal:

Up to 8oz for < $4, with tracking. You can normally fit up to 2 yoyos in that weight if the box is small enough.

The comparable international package is about $13 but the tracking & addl. speed are pretty nice.

On the other hand, you can also mail string trades/samplers in a regular letter envelope for the price of a single stamp/international stamp, about 50 cents/$1.50.


It always costs me 5$ to send a yo-yo in a BOX!!!


Hold up a minute… Is this really possible…According to what I have read here on the forums taking apart a yo-yo will forever ruin it, by stripping the axles, introducing horrible incurable vibe, making your tires bald, spoiling the meat in your fridge, give you the flu and other nasty things…in other words never take a yo-yo apart only bad can result.



NO! Why’s he do it? What’s he hiding? Does he think he’s better than me?! (Probably is, but still…)


I was going to mention the potential introduction of vibe by taking apart the yoyo but didn’t want to open that can of worms. I can only say from personal experience that I have had yoyos that once I take them apart and then re-assemble have a noticeable vibe that wasn’t there before. I regularly take apart yoyos, deshield bearings, clean and lube and I know how to “tune” the yoyos. I’ve had years of experience and can say from definitive personal experience that you can introduce vibe by pulling apart a yoyo and screwing it back together. You can most always tune this out if it was vibe-free in the first place, but the risk of the buyer not knowing how to do this, and having vibe get introduced is certainly another reason that I personally would never use an envelope, regardless of the difference in cost. I just would never do it. I think yoyos should be shipped assembled and carefully packaged in a box, preferably within the original box and with some nice goodies included like at least one extra string. But that’s just my personal way of doing things, and from my experience the way every other BST person I’ve bought from does it.

I’m only making this point so emphatically because I would hate to see people shipping in mailers become a thing. Stick to boxes people.




I’m with Bobafret on this one. It’s bst etiquette to ship in a box. I also have the luxury of being a minute from the post office in a small town, so it’s not an inconvenience for me.

I’d be less annoyed if I got a package that was prepped nice, but I’d still be annoyed getting a yo-yo in a flat pack.


There’s almost no point to this when you can ship a yoyo for the same price in a box, especially if you’re sending it to a buyer. Use boxes people!