Types of Packing Material for Subscription Boxes

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Depending on your product offering, you may consider using some type of packing material when shipping your box.

When deciding, first remember that this comes down to your niche and how you want to present your company. Packing material directly influences the all-important “unboxing experience,” or the experience your subscribers have when first opening a monthly box to enjoy your service.

There are many different types of packing material available, and many are customizable, whether that’s by color or custom printing. Below, we’ll outline three options for packing material and provide some examples of boxes that use these materials.

Shredded Kraft (or “Crinkle”) Paper

Self-care subscription Merkaela uses kraft paper to cushion its products.

Pro: Shredded kraft paper is easy to drop in the box, tuck around products, and make the box feel fuller. Because it’s cut and crinkled in a unique way, it may feel more “artisanal” (and luxurious) than traditional bubble wrap or tissue paper. This comes in multiple colors and can add to your unboxing experience if used correctly.

Con: It can be messy and difficult to get a standardized amount of kraft paper for each box. Because it consists of small pieces rather than a uniform wrap size, it’s not as suitable for protecting glass or delicate items. And depending on your fulfillment source, paper fuzz may accumulate in your box.

Cost: Categorized by weight, usually costing $1-2 per pound. Bulk purchasing can lower this. 80 pounds boxes can be purchased for roughly $80-100/box.

Our recommendation: Use for a decorative element, but if you have fragile items, consider wrapping those separately in padded paper or bubble wrap.

Wrapped Products

Jackie’s Chocolate wraps their monthly truffle selection in a box (and crinkle paper) within their mailing box.

Pro: Using a nice wrapping paper can add a unique element to the unboxing experience, allowing customers to discover and experience many more “little surprises” within the box. Think of it as a holiday in a box!

Con: It can be time-intensive to cut, wrap, and tape the wrapping for each item, which impacts your efficiency during the packing process. Since it adds a few steps, you’ll need to factor in extra time for your fulfillment.

Cost: This varies greatly on the type of paper used. For stronger wraps, considering using a corrugated cardboard wrap (in A or B flute) or textured craft paper. For 48″ by 250 feet, you can get rolls between $60-80 a pop.

Our recommendation: Like with bubble wrap, try to measure out how much bubble wrap you’ll need per product. Have a cutting station set up for packing and dedicate a session for pre-cutting and sorting the different sizes needed. A custom sticker or labeling tape (as seen in Hatchery’s example) can add an extra special touch too.

Tissue Paper

Red Velvet NYC, a baking box, scores a 10 on presentation with their tissue paper and ribbon.

Pro: Tissue paper is a cheap, effective way to add a surprise element to your box. It comes in many colors, which can help create a mood – of energy, cheerfulness, or relaxation – as your customer unboxes. Furthermore, the packing process is simple: simply laying your tissue down and wrapping it over the products at the end of packing will keep items tight and secure.

Con: If the tissue isn’t pre-cut to correct sizes, it can be tedious to measure and cut the lengths you need. Additionally, if you want to print custom tissue paper with your branding, the costs can add up quickly.

Cost: Generally very low for plain-colored tissue paper. Costs are usually organized by ream (the stack of paper). Two reams of plain-colored tissue, with 480 sheets per ream, can cost roughly $30/package.

Our recommendation: Measure the tissue paper to lay down on the bottom of the box (lengthwise or widthwise) so that half the length sticks out of the top. Once you’re done packing products, fold the second half of the tissue paper over the items and tuck in (or sticker it!) shut. This can make you box look well-put-together.

Packing Material for Subscription Boxes

Try mixing and matching different packing materials inside your box to see what works best for you. As you can see, some of the examples above use two or more types of packing material – whether tissue paper and kraft paper or corrugated wrapping paper and kraft. Think of which materials best capture your brand’s identity, and consider testing it out on your next shipment!

Learn More About Cratejoy’s Custom Box Program!

Check out the standard Cratejoy boxes or design your own custom boxes through Cratejoy’s partnership with BoxUp! We offer high-quality boxes, fast shipping, and special prices, only for Cratejoy sellers. For new customers, BoxUp offers 15% off, and all sellers receive 5% off!

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