Where To Buy Bubble Wrap (For Moving and Shipping)

Where To Buy Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is one of those things that people tend to think of as a fun popping time, but not much else. Well, until they actually need it anyway. When people need it for wrapping up goods prior to a move or cushioning stuff during a major project, it quickly turns into a race to find a place that carries this stuff. Wondering where you can get enough bubble wrap for your next project? We did the research…

There are several major store categories that are known for selling bubble wrap. These include:

  • Office Supply Stores
  • Mailing Stores/Post Offices
  • Big Box Stores
  • Moving Companies
  • Online Vendors

Where you get your bubble wrap can make a huge difference in the level of convenience you have available to you. Wondering where the closest location to you will be? We have the answers.

Where Can You Buy Bubble Wrap?

Unlike many of the other topics we discussed, like Behr paint or beeswax, bubble wrap isn’t that obscure a thing. However, it can still be tricky to find. To make things easier, we’re going to go over each venue category on its own.

Office Supply Stores

If you have a Staples or Office Max near you, then you already are in a pretty good position as far as bubble wrap supplies go. Office supply stores almost always have a fairly large supply of bubble wrap, not to mention other packing supplies like cardboard boxes, tape, and envelopes. It’s part of their shipping supply department.

Going to an office supply store, particularly one that’s a “big box” store like Staples, is a surefire way to get bubble wrap. It may cost a little extra, since bubble wrap is often sold in smaller batches here, but it’s absolutely possible to get large quantities too. Additionally, most major supply stores also offer the ability to get extremely large quantities (like bike shipping quantities) through their sites or via a call-ahead order.

It’s worth noting that certain big box stores have discounts for large quantities of bubble wrap and other supplies. This is especially true for corporate accounts or people who have discount memberships. If you’re doing a corporate move, it may make sense to ask about any specials you can qualify for.

Mailing Stores/Post Offices

Post offices (and shipping services like FedEx and UPS) are pretty useful when it comes to shipping supplies. This includes bubble wrap, which is often deemed to be a necessity for shipping small, fragile items like vases.

Unfortunately, the selection can be very “hit or miss” depending on where you go. A lot of this has to deal with corporate stocking. If you are going to a place like FedEx or UPS, then you should expect to see large quantities of bubble wrap. Or rather, you should see them have bubble wrap for most shipping available.

Post offices, on the other hand, are a gamble. Some post offices have a small amount of bubble wrap that they sell for a nominal fee. Others don’t. It depends on the town and on what’s available. Post offices typically have bubble wrap cheaper than mailing stores.

Big Box Stores

If you have a Wal-Mart, Costco, or a Target nearby, you might be in luck. Some major big box stores sell bubble wrap in their stores. This is usually found in the packaging material, mailing, or home improvement sections. Some stores might also sell it in their office supply section. The fastest way to find it is usually to ask someone who works there.

Either way, there are a lot of perks that come with going to a major store like Wal-Mart for bubble wrap. These stores usually make a point of selling it for an affordable price, and also are pretty convenient when it comes to proximity. Wal-Mart is usually your best bet, but be forewarned, they likely won’t have too much bubble wrap.

Moving Companies

Planning to move to San Antonio, or somewhere else? If you are, then there may be a quicker, easier way to get the bubble wrap you need for your big move. The majority of moving companies in major cities don’t just do moving services. They also happen to sell bubble wrap, tape, and boxes for a nominal fee. Sometimes, they’ll even pack things for you.

To find out if your movers offer bubble wrap, give them a call. They often have a discount on larger orders, and may even do specials on recycling previously-used bubble wrap. If you’re only using bubble wrap for moving rather than shipping, it’s worth checking to see what prices they offer and if they can ship it to you prior to the move.

Online Vendors

Finally, the easiest way to get virtually anything is to go virtual. Online stores that sell bubble wrap do so at amazing prices, and often give customers free shipping as a way to sweeten the deal.

There are two major benefits to getting your bubble wrap online. The first benefit is the fact that you get to price check everything so that you can get the best possible price. The second benefit? You have a wide range of different bubble wraps to choose from, not to mention a wide range of quantities.

The big drawback, of course, is going to be shipping. It’s hard to perfectly time shipping, even if you have Amazon Prime. If you absolutely, positively need to have that bubble wrap by a specific day, this is not the way to do things.

How Much Does Bubble Wrap Cost?

The price you should expect to pay for your bubble wrap depends on how much you’re buying as well as the type. It’s possible to buy a pack of bubble wrap for a small package for as little as $5, but if you need a full 175-foot roll of moving wrap, you may need to spend as much as $20. 

Industrial-sized bubble wrap rolls can cost far more. A 250-foot industrial roll of two-foot-wide bubble wrap can cost as much as $80 to $100. However, it’s safe to say that most people won’t need to buy that much bubble wrap, even if they are going for a move.

Is It Possible To Find Free Bubble Wrap?

Here’s the thing that many people already know, but don’t know how to approach: it’s possible to get free bubble wrap. Finding a source, though, can be difficult. The best way to find free bubble wrap for your moving trip or project is to find local businesses that are in the shipping, manufacturing, or sales business.

Most of the time, businesses will end up getting shipments wrapped up in bubble wrap. When they receive the shipments, they don’t really have any use left for the bubble wrap in most cases. So, what’s a company to do? They can throw it out, or they can give it to someone who wants it.

If you ask the company owner, or even just the janitor who takes out the trash, they might say yes. It’s good to explain why you are needing the bubble wrap, though, since most people will get a little weirded out by random people asking for garbage. With that said, some might still see it as a “waste not, want not” matter.

Can You Reuse Bubble Wrap?

Here’s another good thing about bubble wrap: it’s usually reusable. Though you might never guess it, most bubble wrap is pretty hard to pop. This means that most bubble wrap is reusable as long as you don’t need to worry about an exact size or shape. When you choose to reuse bubble wrap, make sure that the bubble wrap you’re reusing still has its bubbles intact.

Bubble wrap that has already been popped is about as useful as a bicycle with flat tires. There’s no point in it. With that said, you can use unpopped bubble wrap as many times as you want. If anything, it might be the most “green” thing you can do.

Related Questions

What can I use instead of bubble wrap?

If you’re moving on a budget and couldn’t find a place to buy some bubble wrap, then you still have a couple of other ways to protect your belongings. Some of the most popular ways to substitute bubble wrap include using packing paper, wrapping your items around your clothing, stuffing your box with newspaper, or using pillows as a cushion.

Virtually any type of textile can be used as a form of packing material. So, if you have a lot of towels, bedsheets, socks, shirts, or yoga mats, then you might not need to buy much bubble wrap at all.

Is bubble wrap or packing paper better?

Contrary to popular belief, bubble wrap is not the best choice of packing material for fragile items or items that are easily scratched. Believe it or not, the best packing material is said to be packing paper. According to multiple studies, packing paper is better at keeping items secured, cushioning from impact, and preventing scratches.

Though it’s good to know that packing paper is the top choice, you don’t have to panic over having bubble wrap. Most items will be perfectly fine when properly secured in either packing material.

Can bubble wrap keep things cool?

Believe it or not, it can. Bubble wrap is naturally insulating, which means that you can keep your beer cool by just lining your beer bag with bubble wrap. (It has to deal with the structure of the bubble wrap.) If you are on a budget and going for a picnic, this little trick can offer a lot of help. Note: small bubbles work best.

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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