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Boxes, not just for the cats.
Boxes where to buy them?

 7:49 am on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi all.

I am setting up shop I am trying to figure out a good steady source for shipping boxes. So far I looked at uline.com, starboxes.com, and papermart.com . At uline, shipping adds 35% to 15% of the total cost per box. ($250 to $1600 test orders) While starboxes.com prices are really cheap and the shipping is free. Now I know you get what you pay for and I am thinking starboxes's boxes are pretty bad. What about the prices from the above sites are they good or bad?

How about local manufacturers? Generally do you find their prices acceptable for lowish volume?

For my particular product line and target sales volume I am thinking about starting with 800 boxes in four different sizes. (this should last six months or more)

Oh, and I am aware of USPS free boxes for priority, however I need larger boxes for UPS and such.





 8:59 am on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hello and welcome to Webmaster World!

This might not be possible for you but I work alot with an ecommerce business who send out fairly high volume but don't buy any boxes (except a couple of 'pretty' ones for gift wrapped orders). Instead they recycle old boxes and scraps of cardboard and use a strapping machine to secure the packages. It's surprising what you can do with a couple of bits of cardboard and one of these machines. If necessary the package then gets brown papered or put inside one of those sealable bags.

There is of course the initial expense of the strapping machine but it has paid for itself time and time again. You can also use the fact that you recycle as part of your 'green' marketing whilst also saving you and local businesses the expense of getting rid of unwanted boxes (business rates even for recycling in the UK are not cheap!)


 3:31 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)


We find that a local manufacture is significantly cheaper and will usually drop off the boxes. They usually have low requirements so you should be ok with a few hundred of each. The only issue is they usually do not stock the sizes you need so it takes a few extra days to get them.


 5:21 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good idea on the strapping machine. It sounds pretty good if I am able to find a local source of a business giving or selling cheap used boxes. However, in my situation, I need thin boxes, 3" to 6" thick and the items I sell are border line luxury items so I need to save face and send them in new shiny boxes.

I am excited to call up the local manufacturers. I will post my findings. They are about 60 miles away and I have access to a full size van, so I might be able to pick them up.


 6:57 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

I notice this offshoot from Star Boxes... My Star Supplies. Anybody check the quality of their stuff? I've not tried that one. I agree uline is a bit high.


 1:55 am on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Larger boxes go with uline. The quality is better and if you have some weight in your larger boxes the uline hold up the best


 2:08 am on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was thinking the same thing but the twist is my product weight is 1.5lbs per piece. So, I might be able to get away with the cheap ones. I will prob buy a test lot from starboxes.


 1:20 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hadn't heard of starboxes before and their pricing looks pretty good, esp on smaller quantities. If/when you end up doing a higher volume, contact uline for a quote - they may give you an unpublished price. Haven't done this with boxes specifically, but have received substantial unpublished pricing on other items, and all I had to do was ask. They even sent a rep with samples of 10-20 items that I wanted to compare/see/feel before buying.


 1:41 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Box manufacturers will hit you up for a cutting die charge if they can. Uline has decent prices for smaller quantities and may be cheaper in the long run.


 3:37 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

We have a company near us that specializes in selling boxes that are over-runs for large manufacturers. That was the cheapest way to acquire boxes when we first started. Perhaps you can open your Yellow Pages and see if you have anyone near you who does this.

The problem, the boxes are stamped with logo's and packaging information for other products. Occasionally we would get a customer call us and say "we did not order a case of shampoo from you". So we started turning the boxes inside out.

Since then we have enough volume that we get boxes made for us at a competitive price.


 3:44 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you search box overruns on the Internets, you will find people selling these.

(hope i did not break the rule of not mentioning specific searches)


 3:14 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Box manufacturers will hit you up for a cutting die charge if they can. Uline has decent prices for smaller quantities and may be cheaper in the long run.

I've considered doing this, but just assumed it would be very expensive. Or they would want us to get 10k or something. I would like to have long triangle boxes. They work much better than the square. But nobody seems to make them much bigger than the little white ones.


 6:33 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was paying about $300 for a cutting die that was 16x8x5 as a finished box, if that is any help. If you just want a long triangle box you can probably get them made with a slitter machine (a basic box maker) and not need a die.

Another point of reference - I just had 100 boxes made that were 200# test and dimensions of 48x6x6 and were $2 each at the 100 quantity.


 7:41 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

That's not bad... Maybe I'll give them a call. I usually just slit the regular square boxes and fold them into a triangle. But it takes time and that's always a bad thing.


 5:27 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

After experimenting for years with different sizes and forms we decided to go for custom made boxes some time ago. Now we only use one size for all items - which is cheaper than having three or four different sizes since we get a larger discount if we order a large amount of only one box. One time costs for the cutting die were about 400 EUR. Our boxes also have adhesive strips - so we do not need additional tape or straps to close the boxes. Saves money and prevents "tape arms". After working with those heavy tape dispensers for a few hours my employees always used to complain.


 2:19 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Saves money and prevents "tape arms". After working with those heavy tape dispensers for a few hours my employees always used to complain.

We had a manual dispenser and switched to the electronic one. The increase in speed was amazing. We used 4 sizes of master carton, so it was very easy to know what size piece of tape to use. The electronic machine easily doubled the rate of taping master cartons. Your pre-stuck boxes sound interesting, but don't you end up with a huge pile of trash (the backing) after a day?


 1:06 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

That's what I would like to have is the self sealing long triangle boxes. As it is now, we have to do this ridiculous dance, spinning the boxes around on their end while wrapping the tape around them. It might actually just be easier using cellophane, now that I think about it. Could just put it on some kind of turntable and let it go.


 1:15 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

@dpd1 they do make large size shrink wrapping setups to do that. You put the plastic bag over the box and hit the heat and it is sealed up. Bit pricey if I recall.

You might consider an air powered box stapler. I have had one for two years and love it. Bought it used on ebay for $50.


 2:20 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

That's an idea... I'm seeing that the bundle wrap stuff is pretty cheap. I could probably build a turntable gizmo where you just clamp the box in there and just hold the handle with the plastic on it. That would probably add some strength. Usually what happens on the long boxes is they get a kink and then it starts to collapse at that point, It helps to tape it up and down a lot, but it wastes tape. Heck, I could probably just make a simple lazy susan thing to spin them on.

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