All you need is to do wrap the drive with 2 inches of packaging foam or bubble wrap (surrounding the drive) and place it in a small box. Key is to make sure it's snug and doesn't move around AND purchase shipping insurance with signed delivery. So either way, you're covered.
All of this material can be obtained from the PO, Staples, or packaging depot. I had even shipped out drives just surrounded with 3 inches of crumpled newspaper in a re-used small box, and all were replaced without problems.
Paying $25 for a box and packaging is just insane.