Shipping with boxes can be cumbersome and isn’t always necessary. If you ship non-fragile items, how important is it that you ship them in big bulky boxes? Ecommerce shipping requires you to cut costs wherever possible, not corners, and one way to do this is to cut back on high packaging costs. And poly mailers offer a surprisingly affordable alternative to standard packaging while also taking up less space and being easier to pack and ship.
1. They’re affordable
Poly mailers’ most significant advantage is, of course, their affordability. While mailer boxes of a similar size can be as costly as $1.25 or more per unit, even when buying in bulk. Poly mailers, though, are usually only about $0.25 per unit when purchasing in bulk.
2. They’re space-savers
Boxes, even when collapsed, take up a lot of space. Poly mailers, on the other hand, take up hardly any. When you get in the rush of packing and start laying out your packaging, recently assembled cardboard boxes can clutter your warehouse floor—sometimes even turning your work area into an annoying obstacle course. Poly mailers stack nicely and don’t require the assembly that boxes do. So you can pack more parcels more quickly.
3. They’re commonly used
Some merchants may have a stigma around using something that seems so flimsy. Ultimately, poly mailers are just very economical and are quite commonplace. If you’ve ever ordered from Amazon or Walmart, you’ve likely received a poly mailer. So, don’t worry about always delivering brown paper packages tied up with string, a few of your favorite things have already been delivered in poly mailers.
4. They’re easy to brand and customize
Similarly to their affordability, poly mailers are surprisingly easy to customize. ShipStation knows how important branding the shipping experience is, be it a standard shipment or a subscription box. The price point for customizing poly mailers is also substantially lower than customizing boxes. Companies like Stickermule and Ecoenclose let you design custom poly mailers for under a dollar per piece. If you order a high enough volume, they can be less than $0.25 per piece. You simply upload your design, and they’ll print it and ship it to you!
Where to buy Poly Mailers
Poly mailers are easy to find. You can pick up a pack of them at drug stores or supermarkets like Walgreens or Walmart. But it’s more sensible to buy these from somewhere like Amazon.com or, better yet, Uline.com. Buying in bulk not only ensures you have enough supplies in the event of an order surge, but it also offers better price breaks in volume.
Which type of poly mailers to use for which contents
Again, poly mailers work best for items that are not fragile or too large or heavy. Anything from teeshirts to DVDs can ship inside a poly mailer, but you need to be careful that you use the right envelope.
Poly bag: Clothing and unpackaged materials that won’t bend or pierce the packaging.
Bubble mailers: Items or items in packaging with angled corners or items that are semi-fragile like enamel pins, or jewel case CDs. Additionally, wrapping the items in extra bubble wrap helps ensure that it will arrive dent-free.
Which services to use with Poly Mailers
Poly mailers are frequently shipped with USPS First Class, Priority Mail, and Media Mail. The service used would be Package or Thick Envelope. These services are both, ultimately, “Package”. Thick envelope just refers to the thickness of the package containing the contents. Any envelope with a thickness of more than 3/4″ is considered a Thick Envelope. However, selecting Package or Thick Envelope results in the same rate.
USPS First Class Mail: Any poly mailer weighing under 16 oz.
USPS Priority Mail: Any poly mailer weighing under 70 lbs.
USPS Media Mail: Any poly mailer weighing under 70 lbs. with a content type of books (at least 8 pages), videotapes, DVDs, Blu rays, CDs, Vinyl records, printed music and other sound recordings. This is considered Fourth Class Mail and the USPS is allowed to open the contents to verify that its contents are valid.
Featured photo credit: Sanny11