If you’re new to packaging, trying to order it can be a massive headache. Do I need dual peel-n-seal? What gauge film do I want? There are different bubble heights? None of this makes sense right now, but it will. We’ve outlines the steps in order to placing your first packaging order. We’ll run through them together and I encourage you to download our handy infographic at the end.

#1. Type

How much protection is needed?

The best type of packaging to use will depend on the items you’ll be shipping. Soft goods, such as apparel, can be adequately protected in a flat poly mailer. These are  100% recyclable and can also be manufactured with recycled content. Shipping items in a protective box like jewelry, electronics, or DVDs and need a little padding? A poly bubble mailer will do the trick. Need a lot more padding? We manufacture the Jumbojacket with extra tall bubble! Or perhaps you don’t need any bubbles, but you don’t want your documents or images to get bent. We also manufacture rigid paperboard mailers to keep your items safe. Need additional help on selecting the right type of packaging for you? Check out our previous blog with a handy Slideshare to walk you through the selection process.

#2. Size

Give yourself plenty of room

When determining the size of mailer necessary, always err on the side of caution. You’ll want to consider any inner packaging or additional padding to be inserted as well as marketing collateral, etc. It’s best to use a stock size whenever possible. See our stock sizes available here.

#3. Quantity

Don’t run out!

Running out of packaging is never fun. So we encourage you to keep a healthy supply in your warehouse, room permitting. How much packaging do you use a month? You’ll want to keep at least a couple months of inventory on hand, if at all possible. We also understand this is a financial commitment, so you’ll need to weigh your inventory needs with what you can afford at the time.

#4. Stock + Custom Print

Packaging consistent with your branding

Stock or custom print packaging will largely be influenced by the quantity determined in step #3. If you use a few thousand mailers a month, you’ll want to stick with stock. If you’re going through 10,000 mailers a month, a custom option may be for you. Our minimum order on custom printed mailers is 25,000. If this is not a feasible number for you at this time but you still want a custom look, I would encourage you to order our stock mailers and utilize a custom label. You’ll be faced with much lower minimums and still get a great looking product!

#5. Cost Analysis

Expenses throughout supply chain

Does the cost of your packaging relative to your product cost make sense? Also take into consideration the freight cost to get the packaging to you as well as the shipping cost to send to your customer. Mailers will almost always be cheaper to ship than boxes. To determine the cost savings of switching from a box to a mailer, plug your outer dimensions into our Mailer vs Box Tool and note the impact.

#6. Lead Time

Give yourself enough time

Custom printed packaging takes time. Be sure to give yourself a buffer when planning your orders. Going with stock packaging? Suppliers sometimes run out, especially during the holiday rush! Get your orders in ahead of time to be safe.