How to Save Money on Custom Packaging

October 2, 2018 by Erin Behan

It probably won't surprise you to find out that custom packaging costs a bit more than plain shipping or gift boxes, but that doesn't mean custom packaging has to break the bank. What if you want custom packaging, but you're on a budget? We've got eight tips for how to get the best custom packaging at the lowest prices around when shopping at Distinct Packaging or any custom packaging shop.

Custom boxes

1. Buy custom packaging in large quantities.
At Distinct Packaging and most packaging companies, the more custom boxes you buy, the cheaper each box becomes. For instance, at Distinct Packaging if you need a custom 10x10x10-inch kraft shipping box with customization on the outside, you'll pay $4.67 a box if you order just 250, but if you order 1,000, the price drops to $3.96 per box. Order 5,000 and you're down to $2.92 per box. Of course, if you want to test the waters, you can always order a few to make sure your custom boxes look just as you want, and then order a bundle.

2. Buy exactly the right size box for your needs.
On average, larger boxes cost more than smaller ones, so it's important to make sure you're ordering exactly the box size you need. For instance, an 8x8x4-inch mailer box in standard white with printing on the outside costs $3.89 per box when you buy 250 at Distinct Packaging. Buy that same box but in the 6x6x2 size, and the cost drops down to $1.76 per box. Size also matters when it comes to shipping. Order a box that's too big than what you need and you may overpay twice—once for the cost of the box itself and a second time with increase shipping costs. That's because many shipping companies factor the dimensions of a box into the shipping price.

In this vein, it may serve you to consider a custom size. For instance, if you go with standard white finish and a 250-box purchase, you can get a standard size 12.5x10x5-inch mailer for $6.73 a box or you could order a 12x10x2-inch custom mailer for just $3.84 a box—a savings of $2.89 per box! To create a custom sized box on Distinct Packaging, just type in the size you need on our calculator, which is built into every product page where it's available.

3. Choose a shipping box over a mailer.
Since Distinct Packaging offers a wide range of standard sizes, plus your ability to create your own size on most box types, it's easy to compare the price between similar box types. If you need a box that's roughly 8 inches tall and 8 inches wide, and were considering a mailer box, you might want to look at the cost difference between that and a shipping box. An 8x8x4-inch mailer box is $3.89 per box (standard white finish, 250 per order), while a 8x8x8-inch shipping box with those same parameters is just $3.31, a savings of 58 cents per box.

4. Choose a basic box finish.
There's nothing wrong with choosing a fancy finish like premium white gloss to make the colors on your customized box really pop, but choosing a premium finish will cost you. Take a 10x8x4-inch mailer box. Choose standard white and you'll pay $4.19 per box with a 250-box order. That price jumps to $4.47 with kraft, $4.85 for premium white, and $5.08 for premium white gloss. You could save 89 cents a box on finish alone. For more on why one finish over the other might work for your needs, check out Choosing the Right Shipping Material for Your Brand.

Custom wine boxes

5. Choose to print on one side of the box only.
One of the notable features of Distinct Packaging is that it's easy to print on the outside and inside of most boxes. However, if you're looking to keep costs as low as possible, choosing to print on the outside only can save you quite a lot of money. For instance, if you print on both the outside and inside of a 12x12x2-inch pizza box in standard white and order 250, each box is $5.16, but if you print on the outside only, each box is $3.13—a savings of more than $2 a box.

6. Design all of your materials at once to save time and money.
Whether you've got an agency or design firm working on your packaging or you're doing it yourself, save yourself both time and money by making all your branding decisions at once. If you're working with an agency, you'll likely find it easier and cheaper to wrap box design into a larger design package rather than add it on at a later date. The same goes if you're doing the work yourself. Save time and energy by making sure your branded materials work across platforms—including on your packaging—in one shot, rather than having to go back and rework your entire concept once you apply it to packaging.

7. Shop with a discount.
Who doesn't love getting a little extra off an order? If you're looking for the absolute best deal, make sure to sign up for email alerts from companies such as Distinct Packaging. You'll often get an introductory deal on your first order and be the first to know of sales and discounts throughout the year. To receive discounts and alerts from Distinct Packaging, go the bottom right-hand corner of the homepage and enter your email address.

8. Consider the lasting effects of custom packaging on your business.
When you look beyond a direct price comparison, it turns out that paying a bit more for custom packaging in the short run can actually save your business money in the long run. Custom packaging can save you money because it's more than just a protective box for your product. Among other advantages, custom packaging can serve as advertising, drive interest and anticipation, create customer loyalty, and increase the perceived value of your product. For more on that, see How Custom Packaging Can Save Your Business Money.

To get started, head to Distinct Packaging and choose the type of packaging that's best for you, from custom mailers to gift boxes to tissue paper. Design your box and find the right balance among printing options, finishes, and the amount you need. Once the price is right, order and wait … but not for long. At Distinct Packaging, orders ship within 10 business days.
Erin Behan

Written by Erin Behan

Erin Behan is an L.A.-based writer and editor who considers fine paper one of life's little pleasures.

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