Small business looking for packaging solutions.

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Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby tbakems » Mon May 22, 2006 8:56 pm

For almost a year now, my wife and I have been selling art
toys of my wife`s design on the internet.  These creatures are known as
amigurumi (ah-mee-gah-roo-mee)- fancy Japanese word that essentially means
cute, crocheted or knitted doll.  Click here
to see some of her work. My wife has received alot of attention for her dolls
including several gallery shows, an upcoming article in Make Magazine, various
offers to lead amigurumi workshops and a even "how to" book deal with
Lark Publishing.  
So, as we start our second year as entreprenuers, we are looking for solutions
and ideas to some of our more persistent problems. 

In this post, we are looking for packaging solutions.

 This has been a problem from the very beginning.  Since the majority
of our business is done over the internet, our packaging up until this point
has been based around shipping supplies, laying a doll on a bed of packing
paper in a USPS Priority Mail box and sealing it up with a short thank your
note on a business card.  At upwards of $175.00 a doll though, this
packing seems a bit crude.  The dolls come in a number of sizes - anywhere
from 14" high to 3" high and weigh approx. a pound for the
heaviest.   We`ve considered clear tubes or long envelopes 
with  little windows, but anything we get will most likely have to be
custom ordered.  And custom orders brings up another problem: finding
reliable packaging suppliers who are willing to produce small runs of these
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby CalgaryPix » Tue May 23, 2006 1:40 am

You could check out, they do - yes - wooden boxes in all shapes, sizes and can do custom boxes in short runs. You can also have your logo, name, etc branded or lasered into any side. They`re pretty reasonably priced but not as cheap as some solutions.For a smaller price tag - although not as nice looking as the boxes above - you could find a packaging supply company, get cardboard boxes in appropriate sizes and have labels made up at your local printer or ideally through a decent graphic design. If you used, say a red or blue box, and had a well designed label it would look fairly nice and not be too expensive.
Perhaps you could find a clear box and have a designer/printer do a
series of backing cards with die cuts to help hold the dolls in place. You can some pretty creative things with cards and die cutting.Third idea would be to get custom boxes made up at the size needed for the largest doll and using packing materials such as raffia to take up space as needed.Make sure whatever you do is reasonably well done as that will help create value for the dolls in the future.

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby davenny » Thu May 25, 2006 4:44 pm

Great post and Congratulations on the success of your

I have two ideas which could possibly help.  First I would look at the product
as needing its own designed packaging as if it was going to be sold on the
shelf of a store.  Then you wrap that package with the shipping material. 
Its like the Tiffany box, if you order it online yes it would come in a UPS or
USPS mail box, but inside that box would be the Tiffany box!

Second, when I order book online by do not use packaging paper they have these
air filled plastic baggies.  If you would like it not to be a mess when
your customer opens the shipping package then I would recommend using these
little air bags.  You could call UPS I am sure they could recommend where
you could get some or at least see if they would work for you.

Good Luck, I am going to check out your website.

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby Eric » Fri May 26, 2006 2:02 am

I have to tell you. What you and your wife have done is just totally too cool. I love `em. Finally somebody can buid a creature with character. The best expressions I`ve seen on something handmade since the classic Steiff puppet. Excellent ....just excellent.
It would be criminal for your creations to be shipped in anything less than a premium container. They deserve the best and people that pay the price want the best that you can offer. Find some designers, get some quotes. This is a slam dunk.  Good for you. I hope you can make a lot of these things really fast.
I love creativity in all forms. Seeing your creations really tugged at me deeply and I just thought I`d let you know that I think you have something very special on your hands. 
I hope to be seeing them in high end gift boutiques soon!

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby tbakems » Fri May 26, 2006 9:08 am

Thanks for your help and encouragement everybody.  This place is pretty cool.

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby scrappy » Tue May 30, 2006 6:45 pm

Pkg and shipping has been my biggest nightmare!  It`s rediculous how expensive it can be.  Most companies want minimums and we`re not talking 25 boxes... it`s more like 150 boxes minimum.  If you`re needing special size boxes that require die cuts, then there are tooling charges involved.  With your products being smaller, it may not be as expensive... Pkg, for me, has been by far the most expensive investment in my business.
Try to find a local distributor so you don`t have to pay for freight...
Good luck! Marcy

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby grocoff » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:24 pm

We are a small start up packaging company which designs here in the US and produces in China.  We can work with you regarding minimums and the tooling charges in China are a fraction of what you would pay here. let us know if we can help!
Qualiti USA

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby PremierPackaging » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:24 pm

I second  CalgaryPix`s suggestion. Opt for a box to fit your largest doll, and use raffia, paper shred or printed tissue paper to take up the additional space.
Considering your situation, you`ll likely want to opt for printed labels. Hot stamping or ink printing would be great for getting your packaging noticed, but considering the small runs you need, it`s likely not cost effective.
If you`re looking for small quantities of gift boxes, we do sell these in 50 count packs.

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby JBSurfs » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:50 pm

The first question is where are you located?  My main job is distribution engineering, so I know the majority of companies  in this field in the US at least.  I can recommend some if you want to PM me and possibly they can help.  It will depend greatly on the number you need. 
The bubble bags mentioned earlier are typically called air pillows.  They work out to about 2 cents per pillow.  However, you need a machine to fill and seal them and you buy the film by the roll.  Usually 75-125 dollars.  At 2 cents per bag, you get the idea.  Then, to get a free machine, you probably need to be using about 10 rolls or so a month.  I personally hate paper used as dunage because of dust and possible ink transport depending on what you are using.  Bubble wrap may be the easiest route to go if you are looking to protect.  newspapers are probably the cheapest route.
Most supplying companies of corrugate and film and tape are basically middlemen.  They buy in bulk and will house until you need.  So, with that in mind, there is the possibility of getting on with a firm and finding a box size that works for you that they order for someone else.  Then, you just buy a pallet at a time if that is once a week, once a month or once a year. 
Again it all depends on volume of needs.  Staples may be the help for where you really are, but over time if you can grow, then you`ll be looking at full packaging companies. 
Good luck and good to hear of your success.

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RE: Small business looking for packaging solutions.

Postby infinique » Sun May 16, 2010 4:12 pm

You might want to consider using recycle material for your packaging. That way it sends a green message and might cut down your cost on packaging.

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