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Lynusann

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Does anyone obtain their OWN boxes for shipping to customers? I can buy boxes at the post office that will fit single bars of soap but they cost $2.19 and then another $2.95 on average to ship (7 oz bars). As with EVERYONE, shipping has been the biggest logistical nightmare for me to attempt to figure out in my pre-planning stages.

It just doesn't make sense to charge $6-7/bar and then another $5.95 for a flat rate box, for a single bar of soap. I'm not particularly keen on shipping in those bubble envelopes in the summer.

So wondering if anyone makes or purchases their own kraft style boxes that they actually use as the shipping box?

I've looked at something like this, which I really like and can print on and I can negotiate price with the sellers on these sites (I am striving for the cost of 30 cents/box max).
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Blac...20-pcs-lot-Free-shipping/32231076831.html?s=p

But still concerned with getting it to point B in 1 piece. If anyone has favorite packaging company that is reasonably priced I would be open to hearing more about them, but I'm really looking for a double walled type box
 

Dorymae

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Honestly a single bar of soap goes in a bubble wrap envelope every time. Why are you worried about summer? Are you selling bars uncured? I can only speak for myself but my bars (cured 6-8weeks) are not going to melt this I am sure of!

Or are you talking about M&P?
 

SplendorSoaps

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I found some boxes that I liked, and then bought in 100 unit bundles from Uline (http://www.uline.com/Cls_04/Boxes-Corrugated?dup=3). When I bought them they were $0.15/pc. when I bought in quantities of 100, and I was able to pick them up locally so there was no charge for shipping the boxes to me. They don't allow free pickup any longer, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do when these run out!

Still, I've found that the 6" X 6" X 6" boxes work incredibly well, especially if a customer orders more than one bar or multiple items. The 4" X 4" X 4" also work well for smaller items (depending, of course, on the size and shape of your bars). And for the record, I agree with you about the logistical nightmare that is shipping! It's definitely my least favorite part of the transaction.
 

Lynusann

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Honestly a single bar of soap goes in a bubble wrap envelope every time. Why are you worried about summer? Are you selling bars uncured? I can only speak for myself but my bars (cured 6-8weeks) are not going to melt this I am sure of!

Or are you talking about M&P?
No, bars don't come off my cure rack until 6 weeks minimum right now. I suspect I could probably move some of them at 4 weeks but I prefer the longer cure time. You're right though I'm concerned for summer since I've never actually shipped any of my soaps in summer. Everything I've made over the last yr + has either been given away locally, I've hand carried to out of staters or I've shipped over winter. This will be the first time I've even considered shipping in Summer.

I haven't done much in the way of melt and pour except for a few "trial size" type soaps but I've considered adding it down the road (honestly, M&P kind of bores me though...). So if I do decide to ship M&P what's the best way to keep it from melting in the summer heat during shipping?


I found some boxes that I liked, and then bought in 100 unit bundles from Uline (http://www.uline.com/Cls_04/Boxes-Corrugated?dup=3). When I bought them they were $0.15/pc. when I bought in quantities of 100, and I was able to pick them up locally so there was no charge for shipping the boxes to me. They don't allow free pickup any longer, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do when these run out!

Still, I've found that the 6" X 6" X 6" boxes work incredibly well, especially if a customer orders more than one bar or multiple items. The 4" X 4" X 4" also work well for smaller items (depending, of course, on the size and shape of your bars). And for the record, I agree with you about the logistical nightmare that is shipping! It's definitely my least favorite part of the transaction.
I looked at Uline. Funny enough, a week after I formed an LLC in anticipation of things changing, I got slammed with marketing mail and they sent me a massive catalog. If I'm only buying 100 at a time, most of the boxes I saw are a bit too close to the $1 mark. For sake of still making a reasonable profit, I'm wanting to keep closer around the .30-.40 cent mark.

I'll tell you what, I've not officially sold anything under the LLC yet (though I've sold plenty unofficially prior to) and I have loved working on labels, logos, photos, listing descriptions, etc. Figuring out packing for the purpose of shipping has nearly made me pull my hair out!

At the same time, while expenses with packaging is a concern, I kind of want something that will make my package stand out just a little. Does anyone ever get those monthly subscription boxes? We know the second we open our mailbox what it is. If I could find a reasonable mailer solution like that, I would be all over it.

In the short run, bubble mailers might be the best solution, but in the long run, I want a stand out option that is still affordable.

I don't sell online, but I have bought soap and had it shipped to me and it always came in bubble mailers. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GHTBJ8/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
You've never had any melt? I think beyond melting, I'm concerned with damage because of how I've seen some mail handlers with their trucks...
 
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DeeAnna

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I don't ship soap, but I do ship hundreds of small lightweight packages especially around Christmas time. I really truly wouldn't use a box like the one in your link as a shipping container, because it's just not designed to withstand the abuse of shipping. I'd much, much, MUCH rather lose a sale or two because customers don't want to pay the shipping cost than cut corners on my packaging and have to deal with irate customers calling after the sale to complain about shipping damage.

If you're buying boxes one at a time, then you're going to pay a premium and there's no getting around that. If you live in the USA, get boxes in bulk at places like Uline, Papermart, etc. For example, here's Uline's offering of basic small boxes suitable for shipping: http://www.uline.com/Product/GuidedNav.aspx?t=184360&R=1;1 And there are nice mailers here that might be sized better for soaps: www.uline.com/Grp_29/Literature-Mailers and padded envelopes here: http://www.uline.com/Cls_11/Envelopes-Mailers. Papermart's prices are competitive to Uline or even a little better depending on what you want to buy.

If you want to ship USPS priority mail, small flat-rate boxes are free from the post office or you can get them in larger quantities direct from usps.com. Yes, I know the small flat rate box ships for a bit over $5.00, but for that money you get tracking, a free box, and reliable service. Or get an account at stamps.com or endicia.com and learn how to buy first class postage online, if you are determined to go cheaper yet.

While I do my best to keep shipping as reasonable as possible, I've also gotten over feeling bad about passing a fair cost on to customers. I learned early on to use shipping services that provide package tracking and send frequent email updates to my customer. I am absolutely convinced that package tracking and email updates are the best things that have happened to my business. Before these services were common, I dealt with too many "lost" shipments and too many anxious or impatient customers. That service comes at a price, but the extra cost is worth the added peace of mind to me and to my customers.
 

Lynusann

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Uline is sometimes overwhelming to look through but I will check those links out as soon as I'm at home. Thank you for those!

I guess it's going to take me a while to not care so much about adding to the cost of the product with shipping. I'm confident in the final products I have but if I were in the buyers shoes, I would be less likely to buy a $7 bar of soap if the final price was $13 after shipping. Granted, it's better if they buy multiple and so I intend to try to encourage that but that's not in everyone's budget.

As for the box I posted, you're right, that specific one is too flimsy for shipping I imagine but there are double walled boxes out there that are much sturdier. I just prefer that particular "look" and it's the closest I've come to finding exactly what I want.

This whole packaging/shipping thing is like a never-ending battle it seems....the only thing I'm looking forward to less is itemizing my COGS (and I'm an accountant!!!)
 

cmzaha

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We use white boxes similiar concept to what you are showing, but they go into a shipping box. My daughter is a bit ocd when it comes to packing nice boxes. Real Popcorn is used for our filler. Single bars we wrap in bubble wrap and use a white plastic mailer. Our shipping boxes are purchased from PaperMart
 

navigator9

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You've never had any melt? I think beyond melting, I'm concerned with damage because of how I've seen some mail handlers with their trucks...[/QUOTE]

I've never had any melt, though I've only bought CP, not MP, and I've never had any that have been damaged. I haven't ordered tons of soap, but the ones I have, have been fine.
 

JayJay

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We use white boxes similiar concept to what you are showing, but they go into a shipping box. My daughter is a bit ocd when it comes to packing nice boxes. Real Popcorn is used for our filler. Single bars we wrap in bubble wrap and use a white plastic mailer. Our shipping boxes are purchased from PaperMart
How cool! Have you received any feedback from your customers about the popcorn?
 

Lynusann

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I'd be interested in knowing about the popcorn as well. What has the feedback been?
 
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