I usually just reuse Amazon shipping boxes. Sometimes I'll run out and then use a padded envelope (also reused from something sent by an online retailer usually) with some cardboard - and also the plastic bags
. All recycled of course... But right now I'm swimming in boxes from Amazon and Best Buy so it is no problem. I'll have to move them out of my office and into the garage as my tower o' boxes falls over all the time. I sent in several things to Amazon last week, though, and didn't have all these boxes then so it was the padded envelope/cardboard/plastic bag treatment. I got credit for 2 submissions today - no problems.
There was a time a few years ago (when Amazon had the awesome trade-in promos) that I had to buy boxes. I got pretty cheap ones from Target, actually. You definitely do not want to go to a UPS store - their boxes are way overpriced. And USPS does not generally carry generic (non-Priority) boxes (though they may have some). But they would probably not be that cheap either. It always surprises me how many people I see go the post office and treat it like a full service packing store - expecting them to provide a box, tape, labels, etc... If you end up buying that stuff there it will add up - much better to hit up a cheaper place for tape (and boxes if necessary).
I know you can cancel a trade in but is this frowned upon by amazon? Do they have to pay ups anyway when I do cancel? I ask because I want to lock in the awesome tiv for AC:R but not sure I'll be done with the game in a week.
Absolutely do not worry about it - cancel at will. I've canceled probably 40-50 trade-ins. Sometimes I've locked the same game in and canceled it 3 or 4 times. Sometimes the price actually goes up or sometimes I just cancel/resubmit to extend the mailing period (assuming the value stays the same). Other times I just decide to keep a game or maybe even sell it (or trade it to Best Buy instead). It is always good to cancel as we aren't sure if you get your "slot" back if you let it expire. By "slot" I mean one of your 2 copies per year on that title. You never know - you may find it dirt cheap later and want to do another trade. To be absolutely safe, though, if you are just doing the 1 copy of AC:R, simply make another
trade-in submission. When that shows on your trade-in history as valid (or you get the confirmation email), then cancel the older one. The reason I say that is that sometimes the value will drop while you are checking out and you end up with a lower price at the end (this has happened to me a few times).