That packaging post I’ve been promising for a while…

DSC_0248When I first decided to sell on-line, I realised I needed good postage safe packaging so after hours pricing up different packing combinations, I placed a large (for me) order with Rajapack.  This consisted of brown cardboard boxes, tissue paper (apple green – I decided early on to choose a main colour and stick to it), small green kraft gift bags (one of my best buys), a large roll of brown paper, Jiffy bags and some green circle stickers for sealing packages.

I made plenty of mistakes such as cutting patterns for new designs according to whim and not thinking about posting them (so having to go and buy yet more packaging) and going a bit overboard with boxes not realising then that my main sellers would be lavender bags that would be better sent in Jiffys.  As a result, I now have 4 sizes of cardboard box (2 of which I hardly ever use), 4 sizes of Jiffy, 1 size of bio-degradable ‘plastic’ bag all of which have to be stored somewhere.  My husband loves all my shop stuff 😉  Having learnt some lessons,  I now design with existing packaging in mind and I also try to pack so I don’t have to go to the post office as this involves driving around our village for 20 mins trying to find a parking space, so ideally I stamp small items at home.

Everyone reading this will know (I have failed to buy anything homemade which hasn’t been packaged beautifully) the packing is a key part to selling homemade goods, I frequently buy mass produced things that are also well packaged but it’s nice to have a personal touch with the little details.  I’ve written about this before here and here, in fact I see I am slightly repeating myself so sorry if you pop back to read these posts, however I am a MOO fan, in the mini cards and business cards, if you pop back to the links above you can read all about my corner cutting tools used to add the finishing touch to my (then) new MOO business cards.

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I am also a bit addicted to our printer, again you can read more here, but I do like to print postage labels and cards, that is until I have to replace the ink and remember how much it can cost!

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In fact this is a great opportunity to show you a lovely package that arrived this morning from Kirsty at Kirsty Elson Designs.

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How nice it that?  and the contents are great, I especially love the Reindeer card.

I recently had a packaging problem in that I didn’t have a way to send my new Christmas Birds, I was worried their beaks would get bent if they were packed in a Jiffy and they are too small to pack in a box (the minimum postage for which is £1.62) so I decided to order some postcards to fix them to from Overnight Prints. I highly recommend these guys, the order was produced in Germany and I had progress emails throughout the whole process.  I should point out though, they are not overnight unless you want to pay extra and the other rub is there is a set postage of £10. I ordered 100 x A5 (I see they now have an option for reduced number and quality in A5 size) along with 2 lots of A6 postcards (sets of 100 on sale for £9.18 each).

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The arrived just before we went to Yorkshire and I’m impressed by the quality.  I paid for the very basics so no extra gloss, one-sided and I opted for cutting the corners myself, although next time I will pay the extra £2/100 for this.

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I kept to a simple design for the mounting cards, on the basis that I will probably be using them next year so I took a photo of ribbon with a vintage bauble and one of my sewing tags.  I then attached the birds with removable glue dots on the beads and placed the lot in a cello bag.  Perfect, job done and they take up a fraction of the storage space they did.

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The A6 cards are for a special ‘treat’ for some of my regular customers and those who placed lage orders in the past year.

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I made up 2 new colour birds which are attached to the cards with punched holes and gold ribbon, they will hopefully be sent out next week as a little Christmas card and gift.

Lastly (this is a long post, hope some of you are still with me!), I thought I would copy out my individual pricing list which I keep so I have an idea how much my packaging is costing per order.  In most cases I have included a percentage of the delivery costs in the price as well and obviously some pricing may have changed, but here it is:

Rajapack

Good for large orders and has a next day delivery (in a LARGE lorry) but you have to place an order on-line and they call you back to take payment, also delivery is £8.95 so you need to factor that in.  The prices below include VAT and may well have changed since I bought mine.

Brown Standard Postal Boxes (bought in 50’s)

A6 215 x 155 x 50  –  35p each

A5 310 x 220 x 50  – 50p each

Lrg Flat 430 x 310 x 50  – 80p each

Lrg 430 x 300 x 120  – £1-65

Rajabul Mailers (their Jiffy)

White 300 x 450 (50 /pack) – 44p each

I also buy tissue, green small kraft bags (8p each) and rolls of brown paper from them.

Smart Packaging Store

I bought Jiffys (Jiffylite) from here simply because I needed them in a hurry and they offer free next day delivery.

Lrg Letter 220 x 320  – 26p each (min 50)

Lrg Letter 170 x 245  – 15p each (min 100)

Simply Envelopes

They allow you to order small quantities and delivery is £4.50 for next day (optional).  I had struggled to find a supplier of mailbags in small quantities, more importantly they had a good price on large Biodegradable Poly Bags.

Clear Cello Bags 230 x 167 (A5)  – 7p each (exc VAT)  – no min order

Jiffylite 115 x 195 (A6)  – 19p each (exc VAT) – no min order

Biodegradable Poly Bags – 595 x 430 (exc VAT) 36p each – no min order

Overnight Prints

Love em!  Price below include VAT and allow £3 postage towards each 100 cards on the basis 3 orders covers the £10 set delivery

A6 postcard, one-sided, no extras – 13p each

A5 postcard, one-sided, no extras – 30p each

Moo

Moo Mini – £11.99 (box of 100)

Moo Business – £12.99 (box of 50)

Plus Delivery

Hope some of that helps, I am sure there may be better options, these are just some options that I have used in the past.

9 thoughts on “That packaging post I’ve been promising for a while…

  1. Wow, Beth – you take the art of packaging to a new level! I had the privilege of receiving both the Lavender Bunny and the Cashmere Teddy ordered on Folksy, and both were beautifully wrapped with the beautiful personal touches you’ve mentioned here.

    Presentation is so very important, and it makes such an impression. I, too, am a great fan of Overnight Prints – they’re brilliant for postcards, and you’ve reminded me that I must order some more soon! And your post has given me plenty of food for thought to be a bit more creative 🙂

    Regards
    Kirsten x

    • Hi Kirsten,

      Not sure why I hadn’t used Overnight Prints before, I guess I mainly printed my own cards but the price of ink makes OP such a better option and they are such good quality.

      Glad my slight obsession with packaging pays off on the delivery.

      Bx

  2. Beth that is sooooo helpful, thankyou for taking the time to do this! I’ve been meaning to order some mini cards from Moo for ages, and you’ve given me the kick up the backside i need to sit down and sort out my images and work it all out. You are my packaging guru!

    • If you get the chance check out the link to the MOO blog (in the older post I wrote) as there are some great uses of MOO mini cards. Bx

  3. Hi Beth,
    I’m always having ponderings with my packaging and am doing the printing it all out bit on my printer thing at the moment. There never seems to be time to sit down and set it all up for professional printing, but it looks well worth it. Your packaging looks great. I love the nest of birds on the ribbon.
    I also love how you have photos of your neat piles of things to sew, like some little mice are going to fix it all overnight (you wish!) Your Upcycle foxes are a winner too!
    Best wishes
    Helen

    • Hi Helen,

      Your mouse comment has just made me laugh – a lot! I keep little neat piles as the rest is such a mess and I tend to sew ‘on the move’ (ie between my studio and kitchen as the kids allow) so have to vacate the kitchen table for eating, usually in a hurry. I wish I had little mice now, so much to do – wouldn’t that be nice?…must add magical sewing mice to my Christmas list to go with the cleaning elves!

  4. Thank you for your post! I’ve been in a packaging dilemma for a few months, mainly product packaging as opposed to delivery packaging. I’ve also just used Moo to print postcards and labels – they are fantastic and very easy to use. Thanks again : -)

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for commenting, really glad you found this post useful. I find that packaging is generally a moving target with me as I often find myself changing things around! MOO are the very best, I have fallen in love with their new business card stickers at the moment but MOO mini’s remain a firm favourite. Beth 🙂

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