It’s Holiday Shipping Season and it’s Time to Stock Up!
Howdy small business friend! It’s already October and The Holidays are edging ever closer. You know what that means? Yes – lots of turkey (or Nut Roast if that’s more your flavor). But it also means that it’s Holiday Shipping Season! With that in mind, it’s time to stock up on your Holiday shipping supplies.
Now, inflation has hit small business owners hard this year. Add to that annual surcharges and other shipping costs and shipping can get expensive. With that in mind, this post has been split up in a way that will help you find Holiday shipping provisions based on your budgeting needs. So, here, you can find shipping supplies that are:
- Cheaper but still good quality
- Customized for a great unboxing experience, but still affordable
Sound good? Let’s dive in…
Where to Get Free Shipping Supplies for the Holiday Season
When it comes to shipping, there are some costs you can’t control. However, what you can control is how much you spend on packing materials. One great way to cut back your shipping expenditure these Holidays is by picking up free stock! So, where can you get those oh-so-sweet free supplies?
Free USPS, UPS and FedEx Supplies
Did you know that you can get FREE shipping supplies from USPS? All you need to do is visit the USPS store online to get your free boxes and envelopes. You don’t even need an account to place an order – just your mailing address. Oh, and you can get your shipping goods delivered right to your door. So, you don’t need to go back and forth to the post office multiple times.
Another way you can stock up your Holiday Season shipping reserves is by using local businesses. Some businesses receive dozens of deliveries each week. If they don’t ship themselves, that’s lots of boxes and packing material with your name on it. So, reach out to businesses in your area and see what you can get! Plus, it opens up an excellent networking opportunity. You’ll also be practicing eco-friendly shipping too – you world saver, you!
Where to Get Cheap(er) and Cheerful Holiday Shipping Stock!
Whilst free shipping supplies are great, sometimes, the options are limited. As a result, you might not be able to find the items you want. But what if you’re still trying to keep costs down? Is there somewhere you can pick up your shipping goodies on the cheap for the Holidays? Yupp! A few places actually. Here’s our picks:
I bet you were expecting our first suggestion to be some super niche website no one has heard of. Nope. Here’s the thing – Amazon is a really good place to get cheap shipping supplies for the holidays.
There’s a HUGE variety of shipping materials available on Amazon. And there’s a lot of cheaper options available. Although, you will have to do some digging yourself to find the cheapest packing tape and poly-mailers! But the research is well worth it. Once you’ve found the product you were looking for – you can keep coming back for it. Plus, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get free shipping, quick delivery and free returns. If not – you can become a Prime member for $14.99. The initial cost is well worth the amount you’ll save on shipping and returns.
There’s also the bonus of being able to use customer reviews. There are often HUNDREDS of reviews on shipping products. This way, you can know you’re getting an affordable AND quality product. The last thing you want is shoddy packaging leading to a lost item and a dissatisfied customer.
Your other alternative for affordable shipping provisions is PackagingSupplies.com. Again, like Amazon, they have a real range of shipping supplies available. As well as wholesale pricing. If you want to buy cheap but good quality – look no further. Prices also decrease as your order quantities grow. So you can buy in bulk and save more in the long run. And they offer a price-match guarantee. Therefore, you know you’re getting the best deal possible.
PackagingSupplies.com is also renowned for great customer service and a super easy shopping experience. However, they do charge for return shipping and restocking. Not everyone can be Amazon!
Where to Get Customized, Colorful and Holiday Themed Shipping Materials
It’s time for some options that can add a little more flare to your packaging. Now, this can be difficult. On one hand, you want to cut shipping costs by using inexpensive supplies. On the other hand, you want to give customers pretty packaging and a memorable unboxing experience. But, often, customized packaging is costly.
However, there are some places where you can get more affordable customized materials…
The Packaging Company
If you’re looking for customized supplies – The Packaging Company is a fantastic option. You can customize almost every single facet of your shipping materials. Want to set exact dimensions for your packaging? Ok. Want colored boxes and ribbons that are on brand? Sure. You can even add custom branding.
In fact, The Packaging Company is a bit of an all-rounder. They also offer a massive range of standard materials. So, if you want to mix it up with some customized supplies and some standard ones – you can.
And the great news is that both their customized and standard stock offer affordable pricing. Although only standard items are discounted by unit price when ordering in bulk – not customized materials. It’s also worth noting that returns can become costly. Shipping return rates are based on size and weight, so be careful about returning a large number of items.
FYI: Have you always wanted to be more of an eco-friendly shipper, but found it too expensive? The Packaging Co. offers affordable planet-friendly supplies. #Win
An alternative option for fancy packaging is ULINE. They offer a variety of colorful materials that are perfect for that unboxing experience. You’ll also find a seasonal selection page on their site with packing supplies ready-made for the Holiday Season. Although their customization options aren’t as extensive as the Packaging Company. That means ULINE probably isn’t the best option if you’re looking for something branded and specific.
Their prices for shipping materials are generally mid-range. Therefore, you’ll need to decide whether they fit your budget or not. However, you’d probably be able to save more on your provisions elsewhere. ULINE also don’t offer free shipping. And larger orders can become quite expensive, as they charge based on the weight and size of your items.
That being said, ULINE has really consistent and quick delivery. They have more than half a dozen warehouses and can generally get your supplies to you within 2 days. This is an excellent option to have if you need shipping materials in a hurry. So use ULINE if you’re looking for quick and colorful. And be careful with big orders!
Summary – Mix & Match and Choose What’s Best for You and Your Budget
There are plenty of places where you can stock up on your shipping goodies for the Holiday Season. Each of them has their pros and cons. However, you have to decide what is going to be best for you and your budget. Maybe you’re just starting out and need to take advantage of free carrier supplies as much as possible. That’s cool. Or maybe you have a little in the budget for some customized packaging. Great. You can couple those with some cheaper supplies and still offer your customers something special, while saving on other materials.
Offering branded packaging is a great way to make your buyers experience extra special. But if you don’t have the budget, don’t worry. Don’t break the bank. Pick what suits your situation right now. And mix & match suppliers to get the balance between what you want and what you can afford!