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March 6th, 2007, 02:11 PM #1Packing Materials (boxes, etc)
We've been ordering the bulk of our boxes and packing supplies from ULINE, supplementing those with free Priority Mail boxes and envelopes from the USPS on smaller items and of course reusing all the packing materials sent to us (except boxes). We still end up paying about $2 an order on just packing stuff.
Obviously we pass most of that on to the customer, but I'd still like to cut costs where we can. Anyone know a cheaper source for boxes than ULINE? A big chunk of our cost is in shipping the boxes to us in the first place. Has anyone had better luck going with a local supplier that doesn't have to ship so far?
March 6th, 2007, 03:27 PM #2
Depends on where you are. There are many companies that specialize in custom shipping materials and packaging. I'm near a large city (San Diego) and I get free delivery direct from the company. I buy in large bulk so that may make a difference.
March 6th, 2007, 04:06 PM #3
If you're near a large city, you should be able to find a boxmaker there. Then you can just drive down and pick up the order (some will deliver if you're close enough).
The main problem with these "old style" box companies, is that they (the ones I've seen at least) make you buy a large amount of boxes, so if you need a few each of a lot of different sizes, you can end up buried in extras as well as have to make a big up-front investment. And, some of their prices are no great deal...you may need to shop around.
reusing all the packing materials sent to us (except boxes).There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway
March 6th, 2007, 04:53 PM #4
I'm in a town of 700, so it'd be a 50 mile round trip at least to get anywhere with a box maker, but in talking with a manufacturer I may pick up today, they mentioned getting a manual box cutting machine. Said they were like $30, and you could cut and fold whatever sizes you were after...?! Sounds a little too good to be true, but worth a look anyway...
March 10th, 2007, 12:56 PM #5
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
I don't buy boxes, but for the other shipping materials I use, I've found prices at Papermart to be lower than Uline.
March 10th, 2007, 03:29 PM #6Originally Posted by Eathan
As for the driving distance, my town isn't so small, but the cities that are big enough to have anything like box manufacturers in 'em are just as far away (and the biggest one is even further, about a 90 mile round trip).
But I could see a point where it'd be worth it to drive...that'd be when UPS's delivery fees are so much more expensive than the cost of my gas/time (including PITA Factor, which I also put a cost to) that it's simply no longer justifiable to have them shipped.
Every year I drive about 100 miles or so round trip to get the bulbs from the importing company, rather than pay the UPS fees...so I don't tend to find a long driving distance itself too daunting. It saves me $150-$200 or more in shipping fees, even after accounting for my own gas, time, and bother. UPS is a real profit killer...
What I DO have a problem with is actually getting to places like that before they close!! Usually such places are long shut before I'm even awake! So if I'm going to do it, I make sure to get PLENTY of stock. They won't be seeing me back in just a week or two.There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway
March 11th, 2007, 01:13 AM #7
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
Leader - you mentioned that your reuse all the boxes unless the previous shipper has stamped their name all over it - I'm seeing several second-life boxes turned inside out with 'BuyXXX' on the outside and 'Sam Smith Beer' on the inside.
March 11th, 2007, 01:17 AM #8Originally Posted by micheck
But I have heard of people buying print overruns from other companies...guess that'd be a way to hide the other name, at least until someone opens itThere is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway
March 12th, 2007, 12:35 AM #9Originally Posted by bayview
Originally Posted by Leader
The driving distance I mentioned is to the next town of any size. They may or may not have a box maker. If there was one, and they were open on weekends, I'd be all over it. It'd have to be weekends though. We already make the trip at least once a week, plus several other trips to stay stocked, etc. After a few years of this, 50 miles feels like 1000 if you don't have to drive it...
Guess that's the PITA factor.
We don't reuse boxes as shipping containers, but we do cut them up to use the cardboard as packing material. Some of the stuff we sell requires a lot of added reinforcement, and most boxes have a lot of good, unbranded cardboard available. It's heavier than the bubbles Amazon uses, but somehow I think a rock pick might make a mess of a box full of plastic bubbles...
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