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jamesquinn-half
Community Member
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎06-01-2010
Accepted Solution

Where to buy cheap boxes?

Hi, I hope someone here might be of help.

 

I am a small seller. I ship 10 to 40 books a week. Most of my sales are single item. I strive to ship all large and/or hardback books in cardboard boxes.

 

For years I've managed to scrounge up enough boxes from here and there, but it is time consuming and lugging boxes around is never the high point of my day.

 

Many of the books I ship in boxes sell for $5ish and so buying boxes would really cut into my profit margin. I know a lot of sellers use bubble mailers for less expensive hardbacks and oversized paperbacks, but I want to avoid doing so.

 

Does anyone know where I can buy boxes appropriate for shipping one hardback for less than thirty cents apiece shipping inclusive?

 

Thanks in advance for all your help, James

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elynslibrary
Community Member
Posts: 745
Registered: ‎07-01-2006

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

If you are located within driving distance to one of their warehouses, Uline is one of the best. Make it a day trip and stock up, they are worth it.

 

They currently have their "ream" size box on sale for $0.39 ea. - 11 14 x 8 34 x 2 34" Corrugated Boxes. - a little bit large, but the price is good.

 

My usual favorite "Book Box" is S-4601 - 10 x 8 x 2" Corrugated Boxes.

 

Keep an eye on their sales, they happen often and when they do it is worthwhile to stock up, as long as you have space to store the flattened boxes.

 

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-4559/Corrugated-Boxes-200-Test/11-1-4-x-8-3-4-x-2-3-4-Corrugat...

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mmadigan
Community Member
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎10-06-2004

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to elynslibrary

I will second the Uline recommendation.  As Elyns pointed out if possible you will want to pick the boxes up.  I am located 160 miles downstate from their Chicago area warehouse and a few weeks ago I ran out out of boxes for oversized books.  The cost of shipping (UPS) was about equal to the cost of the boxes (ca $19.00).  Everybody will have their favorite size.  I like the 12x12 boxes.  I wrap all the books in Uline's corrugated wrap which then fits snuggly in the box so there is no movement.

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Community Member
Posts: 1,245
Registered: ‎01-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

jamesquinn-half wrote:

Hi, I hope someone here might be of help.

 

I am a small seller. I ship 10 to 40 books a week. Most of my sales are single item. I strive to ship all large and/or hardback books in cardboard boxes.

 

For years I've managed to scrounge up enough boxes from here and there, but it is time consuming and lugging boxes around is never the high point of my day.

 

Many of the books I ship in boxes sell for $5ish and so buying boxes would really cut into my profit margin. I know a lot of sellers use bubble mailers for less expensive hardbacks and oversized paperbacks, but I want to avoid doing so.

 

Does anyone know where I can buy boxes appropriate for shipping one hardback for less than thirty cents apiece shipping inclusive?

 

Thanks in advance for all your help, James


I don't think you will be able to find a box for less than 30 cents to include shipping. You might want to call the folks at Multi-D to get a quote on their small or medium size boxes. You have to buy a bunch of them at a time but they are an excellent shipping option.

 

http://www.multi-d.net/

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ksmrkt
Community Member
Posts: 1,027
Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to keziak
I'm going to agree with keziak:

Less than 30 cents per box,including shipping, seems difficult unless you want to buy a BUNCH!
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jamesquinn-half
Community Member
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎06-01-2010

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to ksmrkt

Hi, thanks for the sugguestions.

 

U-Line doesn't look like it will work as the boxes cost 39 cents each plus shipping, which makes them cost prohibitive.

 

The multi-D website was just frustrating, a video sales pitch with no pricing or ordering information.

 

I don't mind buying in bulk, but for me that would mean something like 200 boxes, which I know is small-time bulk for these sellers.

 

Again, I do appreciate the suggustions. Maybe it just is not feesible to find boxes for a price that will work for me. Since I earn an average of about $5 profit on each book I sell now I just can't see paying fifty cents per order for a box. . . unless I increase my shipping fee, . . . which I expect will result in significantly less sales and lower DSR ratings. . .

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Community Member
Posts: 1,245
Registered: ‎01-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

You have to call the folks at Multi-D to discuss prices. They are excellent people and their product is a wonderful alternative to boxes. I keep three sizes in stock but use the small size the most often. 

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ksmrkt
Community Member
Posts: 1,027
Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

I'm going to give another suggestion since you said that a large "bulk" order for you might be something like 200 boxes. 

 

Search on ebay.   Really.   You may not immediately find a price or quantity or size that suits you, but if you keep searching for a few days  you may find a good deal for 25 or 50 or 100 boxes.   Put any listing and any seller that looks promising on your watch list.  If the seller has a store, or if the seller has other listings, check out what else the seller has to offer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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jamesquinn-half
Community Member
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎06-01-2010

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to keziak

Hi Keziak, how much do the Multi-D boxes cost?

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Community Member
Posts: 1,245
Registered: ‎01-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

I don't have any figures at my fingertips, but their site has phone and email contact numbers. 

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jamesquinn-half
Community Member
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎06-01-2010

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to keziak

Thanks, if you come across the cost and can pass it on I would appreciate it.

 

I cannot imagine any possible scenario where I would willingly call a corporate salesperson at a company with secret prices.

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Community Member
Posts: 1,245
Registered: ‎01-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

I checked my files and earlier this year I spent $79 on some, but I didn't note the size or quantity. They probably don't come in under 30 cents with shipping so you may need to look elsewhere anyway.

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connorsvilleschool
Community Member
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎02-02-2005

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to keziak

I like Uline.  Priced online, no minimum order amount that I can tell; other than as stated per item.  They arrive so swiftly I believe they are waiting up on HWY 64 just in case I want something.

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Community Member
Posts: 1,245
Registered: ‎01-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to connorsvilleschool

I also like Uline and I have lots of their boxes in many sizes and shapes. They are not particularly inexpensive though. 

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Community Member
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎07-12-2013

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to keziak

If you are near them, PaperMart is by far the most economical supplier of shipping supplies I've found.

 

I use Amazon prime, so I'm never at a loss for cardboard to wrap books in, or to put in my bubble mailers to stiffen the paperbacks.

 

If you aren't close enough to a Uline, shipping is more competitive with PaperMart.

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blackandtanbooks
Community Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎06-01-2009

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

how much do the Multi-D boxes cost?

 

I think they recently bumped their prices up about a nickel, but the last time I ordered them they were $.20 ea. for small, $.25 ea. for medium and $.31 ea. for large. And shipping added about $.10 ea. to that. (I live about 1,000 miles away from the plant.)

 

Note that Multi-D's are uniquely designed so that three important things happen:

 

One, when the box is closed, there is a double layer of carboard around the book and

 

Two, the book is frozen in place and 

 

Three, a cavity formed at each end of the box all but eliminates the possibility of corner damage.

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jamesquinn-half
Community Member
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎06-01-2010

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to keziak

Thanks for looking for that price.

 

I guess what I have learned here today is that I probably will not be able to find boxes for sale for thirty cents - the lowest seems to be around fifty cents a piece with shipping. Which is sadly more or less what I expected.

 

But thank you all for the responses. For the time being I guess I'll just keep on using recycled boxes and hope I don't run out.

 

Best regards,
James

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robssecondjob
Community Member
Posts: 534
Registered: ‎09-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

I bet you would find it it more economical to spend the extra 20 cents and not waste your time looking for boxes.  At 50 books at week you are only talking $10.  You will save more than $10 worth of time.  List two extra books and you are in the money. 

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cornercube
Community Member
Posts: 1,448
Registered: ‎06-11-2004

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to robssecondjob

"Does anyone know where I can buy boxes appropriate for shipping one hardback for less than thirty cents apiece shipping inclusive?"

 

Your price point is probably too low for current market conditions.

 

1) Consult your local business listings and then get on the phone. Rolls of b-flute might be a less expensive option if you can find it locally.

 

2) The way to buy from U-line is to shop their sales. The white mailers are not on sale at present and have not been at thirty cents for several years.. Another option might be:

12 x 8 x 8" Corrugated Boxes-25/bundle Model# S-4129    SALE! $0.49

12 x 8 x 8" Lightweight 32 ECT Corrugated Boxes-25/bundle Model# S-19065 SALE! $0.44

 

The long sides of these are 8X12, which is larger than most hardcover fiction, and sufficient to fold around a book with a girth of no more than 16 inches.

 

Bisect the 8x8 ends with a vertical line, and extend it across the inner flaps top and bottom. Cut the box in two along those lines. You now have two bookfolds, each large enough to ship one hardcover book. 

 

A utility knife with the blade retracted makes a decent scoring tool for corrugated. Lay one down flat on a table and place a book on the center portion, aligning the bottom edge of the book in the center and 1/8-inch above the fold for the lower flap.

 

1) Score an outline around the book about 1/8-inch away

2) Extend the side scores up and down across the upper and lower flaps, then cut the extended portion of the lines

3) Score a second outline around the book, spacing it the thickness of the book outside the first

4) Score two horizontal lines across the cardboard, 1/2-inch away from the top and bottom of the book, then cut the part of those scores that extend outside your previous cuts. (This will remove a rectangle from each corner.)

 

Fold the top and bottom flaps around the book, then fold the sides around. You may want to trim the flaps in some cases.

 

Also, you'll notice that the package as described has one thickness of cardboard on the bottom, and two on the top. The  rectangles that were cut out of the corners can be used under the book as an extra layer of protection.

 

Secure the package with glue, tape, or hot melt, and you're ready to go.

 

With a little practice the scoring and cutting takes a couple of minutes. Each package is customized to the thickness of the book, and does not require bubble wrap, but a plastic bag will protect the book and secure the packing slip if the package is inspected.

 

 


Google and Wikipedia are not substitutes for education or intelligence.
— cornercube, 2009

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Community Member
Posts: 1,245
Registered: ‎01-18-2003

Re: Where to buy cheap boxes?

in reply to jamesquinn-half

jamesquinn-half wrote:

 

 

Many of the books I ship in boxes sell for $5ish and so buying boxes would really cut into my profit margin. I know a lot of sellers use bubble mailers for less expensive hardbacks and oversized paperbacks, but I want to avoid doing so.

 


I'll be the only one to raise her hand and speak up for bubble mailers. Not for most hardcovers, of course, but I ship a whole lot of trade paperbacks using bubble mailers. From time to time I get a return-to-sender for one reason or another and get to see how the books fared with that much handling, and they are just fine.  When looking at keeping shipping supplies low-price, bubble mailers can play a big role.

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