How to Save Money with Custom Size Boxes

shipping box sizes

Last updated on July 26th, 2021 at 02:28 pm

You probably sigh when you think about having to purchase shipping boxes. Just more money you have to spend right? Yes, but you can still save money in the long run if you opt for custom-sized shipping boxes! Instead of buying one size of the box in bulk, you can spend a little more money upfront for custom sizes, and save money down the line. Shipping is not cheap, and the bigger the box, the more money you spend. Why waste money on air and packing peanuts, when you can send your products in custom-sized boxes and reduce your shipping prices?

Understanding shipping prices

Person picking up shipping boxes with a large shipping label on it

It used to be that you just weighed your package and paid based on weight, but things are not quite that simple these days. Most carrier’s shipping costs are based on dimensional weight, so it’s important to understand what that means. Dimensional weight (DIM) takes into account both the weight of the package and the volume. The formula to find the dimensional weight of a box is the length times the width times the height, divided by the DIM factor. Custom-sized boxes help avoid wasting money on extra space that the item doesn’t take up in the box.

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You also have the option of negotiating shipping rates with carriers such as FedEx or UPS. You will most likely need an account manager to negotiate, so make sure you cultivate a relationship with them. In order to successfully negotiate your shipping rates, you’ll want to gather information regarding your shipping history. There are two discounts available, volume-based and guaranteed. Volume-based discounts are achieved when you ship a certain number of packages, the more you ship the better the discount. Guaranteed discounts are not based on the number of packages you ship. If your volume is not consistent that’s ok, but you do still need to ship a lot of packages to get this discount.

Avoid returns due to damaged products

damaged shipping boxes

When you receive a package in the mail, you may have noticed that occasionally the packaging may be slightly damaged. This happens from being tossed around or sitting out in the elements after it was delivered. Though this may not necessarily be your fault, the way you package an item plays a big role in its safety and can help avoid damage. If you have ever received a package that was blatantly poorly packed, odds are you did not make another purchase from that company after. Damaged products leave a bad impression on your customers, and can result in the loss of them. 

Once the shipping box leaves your facility, the risk of your product getting damaged during transit increases. By avoiding damaged products, you leave your customers happy. When someone receives a damaged item, they will be disappointed and will most likely return it. This will cost your company money. You would lose money from both for replacing the damaged product and the cost to return the package. The good news is, there are things you can do to avoid this happening.

Custom boxes are designed to fit the shape and size of the items inside, ensuring that they are safe from bouncing around in excess space. The more secure the item, the less likely it will become damaged. An oversized box with a lot of air runs the risk of being compressed if it is placed underneath a heavier box. If you do have excess space, you would want to fill that with bubble wrap or packing peanuts. This will help to avoid damage, but still costs your company money for the materials.

Avoid waste and bad reviews

Review site asking for feedback from customers

Have you ever ordered a small item and it arrived in a giant box? It was a ridiculous experience, right? Not only does this waste money and increase the possibility of damaged goods, but it can also create embarrassing situations for your company. In the age of social media, people are likely to go online and talk about their experience with a company, good or bad. Unfortunately, people are more likely to talk about a negative experience than a good one.

If you send a small item in an over-sized box with a ton of plastic for cushioning, you may end up receiving some negative publicity online. For example, a customer ordered a microphone boom pole from Amazon that arrived in a 4’x2′ box filled with 30 feet of paper. For reference, the boom pole sits at 2 ft long when unextended. The customer was able to fit her entire body in the box! This experience can now be read about online, and it’s not necessarily positive. I know they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but there is, especially for small businesses. It can be hard to gain the trust of your target audience. So do everything in your power to do things to not lose that trust once it’s earned.

When it comes to successfully and cost-effectively shipping your product, what it really comes down to is this: box size. The odds are you may have to spend a little bit more money upfront, and that can certainly turn people off. You probably sell items that vary in size, so it’s tempting to pick one size box. But that box will have to be big enough to accommodate your biggest product.

What about all of the tinier items you sell? If you think about it, consider all of the money you are spending to ship over-sized boxes. You will quickly realize you will actually save money in the long run by not having to pay for extra space you don’t need. A few extra dollars per order shipped can quickly add up. But a few extra dollars one time when you purchase your supplies is not so bad. Ordering boxes in bulk is less per unit, but when you order with Printivity, your order doesn’t need a minimum. Only order what you need to avoid waste and extra unused materials!

Printivity offers a variety of box sizes, but you are also able to order custom-sized boxes. If you have any questions or need assistance with your order, please reach out to Printivity at 1-877-649-5463.


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