SMALL BIZ RESOURCES: THE SOURCES I USE TO PACKAGE + SHIP MY PRODUCTS

If you're completely overwhelmed when it comes to packaging + shipping your physical product on Etsy, never fear! Today I'm sharing allllllllll of my sources + tips for getting the most bang for your buck. Click through to learn what companies I recommend >>

If you are buying your packaging + shipping supplies from Walmart or an office supply store, I'm about to share some resources that will change your life (and your bank account!) forever!

When most people think about ordering supplies online, it tends to freak them out a little bit because there are words like “wholesale” and “minimum order requirement” floating around there that make it sound like ordering online is just for the big kid on the block.

Not so! Today it’s easier than ever to get low-cost packaging + shipping supplies (and sometimes even free ones!) by ordering online. You don’t have to be selling dozens of items a day to justify the cost-- you can order small quantities and still save big bucks.

Below I’m sharing the resources that I personally use to run LittleHighbury. I work/have worked with all of these sources for years and highly, highly recommend them. No affiliate links-- just good, honest recommendations to help you out :)

Shipping Supplies:

 

Padded envelopes: Eco-lite Kraft Bubble Mailers from Amazon

I ship about 98% of my orders in padded bubble mailers, and Amazon has-- by far-- the best prices + free shipping (for the win!). I’ve tried PaperMart and Uline before discovering Amazon and let me tell you-- I will never go back. They’re cheaper, the same quality, and they ship for free-- which is AWESOME when you compare it to the freight charges from other places.

Shipping boxes: Uline Corrugated Boxes

One of the best ways to save on shipping costs is to use boxes that fit your items as closely as possible-- so you’re not having to waste money on extra padding. Uline offers box sizes in every single size imaginable (but seriously)-- and even offers boxes that will work for multi-sizes-- with indents to fold them smaller or larger depending on what you’re shipping(these are some of my favorites to use when I get large orders!).

Bonus tip: Uline has free shipping codes (just Google "Uline Coupon Codes" to see if one is active) that go out about 3-4x a year and last a whole month. These will usually save you around $60 in freight costs and are well worth waiting to purchase until then :)

(FREE!) Priority Shipping Envelopes + Boxes: USPS Online Store

You can get your shipping boxes and envelopes for FREE if you ship USPS Priority Mail-- all you have to do is set up an account on usps.com and pick the shipping supplies of your choice! You can find them here. There are multiple sizes to choose from, and USPS ships them out to you for free as well. These are ONLY for Priority Mail though (and it’s illegal to use them otherwise), so if you ship First Class, you’re better off finding another source for boxes.

Custom Printed Mailers: UPakNShip

If custom mailers are up your alley, check out -- they offer custom printing on any mailers, any size, and have low minimums so you’re not stuck with 5,000 envelopes and no where to put them :) Their prices are reasonable (on plain bubble mailers as well) plus, their company was started by a stay-at-home momma-- so it’s a win-win!

Packing Tape | Uline 2-roll Starter Pack

I’m going to let you in on a little secret-- I NEVER buy packing tape. I use it on every package (to double-seal my mailers), but I’ve never had to buy it because I get it for FREE from Uline :)

When you order bulk orders on Uline, they let you choose out a free gift for reaching certain dollar amounts-- and if you hit $300 in supplies, you can totally select a starter pack of tape as your free gift. It comes with two large rolls of high-quality packing tape + a dispenser to save yourself a lot of trouble.

Free shipping supplies for the win? Heck yes!

Label Printer | DYMO LabelWriter 4XL Thermal Label Printer

If you are still using a standard inkjet printer to print off your labels, stop right now! After running out of ink twice in one month (this was back when the biz was starting to pick up), I decided to order a label printer and it changed my life (I’m always so dramatic about these things, but when you ship as much as I do, it really can be life-changing!).

I went with the one Etsy recommends (this guy) and it has hands-down been one of the best business decisions I have made. It doesn’t use ink, so the only refills I ever have to worry about are labels (which cost me literally $.01/each). Plus, there’s no having to cut them out and tape them on-- they just print right on a 4x6” sticker that you can place directly on the envelope. Seriously-- labeling a package takes all of about 15 seconds from start to finish-- it’s that easy.

Yes, it’s a pricey little bugger, but it is sooooo worth it once you start receiving regular orders-- and I promise it’s an investment you’ll never regret. Ever. The money you’ll save on ink + tape alone (not to mention time!)? More than worth it.

And that ends my awkward love affair with my label printer....oy vey.

Refill Labels | DYMO 4x6 Direct Thermal Adhesive Labels

I don’t know how I stumbled upon these guys, but I am so, so glad that I did. I’ve done A LOT of price comparisons, and these guys always seem to have the best prices on labels (seriously-- only $.03/label even if you order the smallest quantity). I usually just batch-order these in huge quantities once a year and am good to go :) Oh, and they offer free shipping on every order, so that’s a definite bonus, too :)

It’s been awhile since I checked in with them (again, I order like 8,800 labels at a time, ha ha!), but it looks like they now offer more than just labels-- padded mailers, boxes, tape, and more-- so it’s worth looking into them for basic shipping supplies as well :)


Etsy Packaging Supplies:

 

Kraft Paper Boxes | Uline Kraft Paper Jewelry Box

This is a question I get on a weekly basis, and while some sellers are super snooty about sharing sources, I’m not that seller :) I get my kraft paper boxes that I package my headbands in from Uline, but they sell similar ones at PaperMart as well. I like the quality from Uline a little bit better, but, again, they are a little more expensive.

Bonus tip: Uline has free shipping codes (just Google "Uline Coupon Codes" to see if one is active) that go out about 3-4x a year and last a whole month. These will usually save you around $60 in freight costs and are well worth waiting to purchase until then :)

Business Cards | Moo or VistaPrint

I am a firm believer in including a business card with every single order. In fact, I usually include two-- one for the purchaser, and then one inside the package, in case they decide to give it as a gift and the receiver wants to buy more (it happens more than you think!). I have gone with Moo and VistaPrint and have good and bad things to say about both:

  • Moo - They will easily create the most beautiful cards you’ve ever owned. I’ve ordered just the “original” quality and they are absolutely gorgeous. They have a million customization options and shapes (square business cards!), so if you sell higher-end items, these might be the printers for you! Also, their batch-to-batch consistency is really good. But you pay for that quality-- they're definitely on the expensive end of the business card spectrum.
     
  • VistaPrint- There are a few people out there that dislike VistaPrint, but I’m not one of them :) I’ve been using VistaPrint exclusively for printing my business cards the past 2 years and I love them. I get the metallic luster business cards with 2-sided printing and they are awesome. Also, they always, always, ALWAYS have a sale going on, so I usually only pay about ½ price for my order (just google “v ista print coupons” and you’ll see what I mean). You can get your cards super quick or (if you’re like me) just select the economy option and still pay a reasonable shipping price.

 

Ribbon | Solid Satin Ribbon from PaperMart

If you are interested in including ribbon as part of your packaging, PaperMart is the place to get it from. In fact, I order my personal Christmas ribbon from them as well :) They have hundreds of styles and colors (literally), and are reasonably priced (as an FYI, I order the satin ⅞” ribbon in aqua for all of my packaging).

Custom Printed Stickers | Sticker Giant

Stickers are a great way to instantly legitimize your business, and if you’re looking to upgrade your packaging without splurging on custom-printed boxes, then custom-printed stickers are going to be your best friend. I am not currently printing custom stickers for my packaging (I splurged on metallic business cards instead), but back in the day when I used to put a sticker on every box, these were my go-to guys :) They’re reasonably priced, great to work with, and can even print in metallic!

Creative Packaging | Papermart

Papermart is an amazing tool for brainstorming new packaging ideas-- they have so many styles to choose from (gift boxes, favor boxes, pillow boxes, and so many more!) and it can be a great place to start if you’re stumped on how to package your product.


So there you have it-- my top resources for creatively packaging + shipping your product. And let me know if you have any companies to recommend-- I'd love to add them to the list! xoxo