Tons of people struggle with budgeting in their everyday lives—and it’s even harder when it comes to the business world! This especially rings true if you’re trying to figure out areas that you’re not exactly well-versed in, such as product packaging. Thankfully, we are here to help you effectively manage your product packaging budget with these ten helpful tips:

1. Don’t Spend More Than You Have To

The first tip for effective product packaging budget management is to not spend more than you have to. Your packaging selection and budget need to make sense for the products you’re selling, and the price point you’re selling them at. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for you to spend a fortune on a packaging engineer for a cheap trinket that only costs a few dollars. 

Think of packaging like real estate—you wouldn’t want to buy a cheap house and then spend a lot of money fixing it up with unnecessarily nice features that no realistic buyer actually cares about because you wouldn’t get a good return on your investment. Just as ROI is a consideration in fields like real estate and marketing—it’s also a consideration in product packaging. 

2. ...But Don’t Skimp Either

That being said, you also don’t want to totally skimp out on your packaging budget either, as it can influence your consumers behavior. While you don’t want to waste money by giving your customers more than they expect, you also don’t want to skimp out and end up disappointing your customers in the process. Overall, it all comes down to what the customer cares about and what they want to see in your packaging. 

For example, is your customer on-board with spending more money in order to get eco-friendly packaging from a company that is dedicated to caring for the environment? Does your customer expect an exciting unboxing process with tons of different components, or are they more of a minimalist and just want protective packaging? When you know your customer, you know what packaging you need and how much you should spend to obtain it. 

3. Determine Your Budget Ahead of Time

Speaking of spending money, once you’ve thought about your brand, products, and customers—you need to think about your budget. Everyone has a wish list of things they would like to have. However, some of these things may not be realistic. That’s why it’s important to set a budget ahead of time so that you know what you’re working with and you can accurately and realistically weigh the costs of different options based on how much you have to spend. 

For example, is splurging for a custom mailer box worth the cost if you then have to ditch custom inserts? Having a clear budget will help you sort through the pros and cons of each option so that you can make the best decision for your brand. 

4. Consider One-Time Costs Vs. Recurring Costs

One thing that people tend to forget about when planning and designing their packaging is differentiating between one-time costs versus recurring costs. For example, you may have to shell out some money up-front for a custom package die or even a custom printing plate. These will cost you a pretty penny at first, but with time, they become more cost-effective if you use them enough. 

On the other hand, there will be some recurring costs that you will have to cover on a regular basis, such as actual packaging supplies like boxes, tape, fillers, etc. So long as you know what you’re spending where and how often, you should be in good shape. 

5. Buy In Bulk

Perhaps one of the best tips for effective product packaging budget management is to buy in bulk to get a volume discount. That being said, only buy in bulk if you actually need to, and it makes financial sense. After all, you don’t want to be paying for 1,000 boxes when, realistically, you’ll only actually use 250 of them. 

These determinations can be tricky for companies who are just starting out and don’t have the best idea yet about their product volume and what quantities they will need for different types of packaging. As a rule of thumb, you should always overestimate but don’t get too crazy, or else you could end up with a bunch of wasted boxes and wasted money as a result. 

6. Choose The Right Packaging Type

Speaking of boxes, in order to effectively budget your product packaging, you need to choose the right type of packaging. Some types of packaging are more cost-effective than others. That being said, your products and shipping method can eliminate some of these options right off the bat. 

For example, while it may seem initially appealing to use poly bags for your product packaging since they are super cheap, lightweight, and easy to store, they aren’t ideal for shipping things that require protection and insulation. In those cases, going with a corrugated cardboard mailer box that’s stronger and more durable would make more sense. Even though it may cost you more now, it will save you in terms of damaged products and unhappy customers in the long run. 

It also depends on what type of business you are running. For example, if you are an ecommerce company then choosing ecommerce ready packaging is a must!

7. Choose The Right Printing Option

Another factor you need to consider when managing your product packaging budget involves the different printing options available. When it comes to printing on boxes, there are three different options: flexographic printing, lithographic printing, and digital printing. Flexographic printing is more cost-effective as it requires a simple plate with limited colors. Lithographic printing will cost you a bit more, but it may be worth it if your customers are expecting high-quality images on your packaging. 

That being said, both of these options require a substantial initial investment into a custom plate that can be reused again and again—making it ideal for high-volume shipments. On the other hand, digital printing is better-suited for short-term or tester packaging since it doesn’t require investing in a rigid plate that can only be used to create a single design. 

8. Don’t Forget About Extras

Once you have the basics of your packaging down, you shouldn’t forget about the extras! Primary packaging is just one piece of the puzzle—while secondary packaging still has a big role to play. If you’re new to the packaging game, it’s easy to forget about these extras when you’re just focused on the big-picture basic components. 

However, it’s easy for these extras to add up quickly and throw a wrench in your budgeting process if you don’t plan for them ahead of time. So always keep in mind whether or not you’ll need inserts, fillers, insulation, dividers, etc. within your packaging before you make any major decisions. 

9. Research Different Suppliers

Just as your customers will research different options before choosing your brand and products, you should also do your research and check out different suppliers before you pull the trigger on anything. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different options out there in terms of packaging suppliers who all seem to offer the best products at the best prices. Well, why don’t you see for yourself by contacting them, looking at samples, getting quotes, and more? 

In terms of identifying top-notch packaging suppliers, we recommend that you go with companies that do all their manufacturing in-house within the United States, like BoxGenie. BoxGenie has years of experience working with both large and small companies, so they are able to work with you and your budget to find effective and practical packaging solutions for your brand and products. BoxGenie’s record with huge clients like Bose, Canon, and Black+Decker really speaks for itself—so make sure that you check out their wide variety of different custom packaging options! 

10. Be Prepared For Unexpected Packaging Costs

Finally, the last thing that you need to keep in mind in terms of budgeting for product packaging involves incidental expenses. Real-life is messy, and things will come up that will end up costing you money—so make sure that you’re prepared with a rainy day fund

Perhaps your storage facility has a leak, and your boxes get ruined. Or perhaps federal regulations change, and you have to quickly come up with a new design to comply with these regulations and get it printed right away so that you can keep fulfilling orders. As a business owner, you’ll come to expect the unexpected—so always be prepared with some extra cash to cover unexpected costs. 


As you can see, effectively managing your product packaging budget is totally possible if you follow these 10 tips and work with BoxGenie to design quality and affordable packaging solutions that are totally unique to your brand’s image and requirements. 




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“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

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