Cheaper Packaging Materials

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Forum topic by scott0317 posted 04-21-2015 01:38 AM 1907 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 1908 days

04-21-2015 01:38 AM

I was reading some post’s about selling on-line and how to ship the cheapest. It got me thinking so I wanted to pass on a tip.

I have been in the packaging business for over 25 years, believe it or not. Depending on where you get your packaging supplies, it can be very expensive. If you do a fair amount of shipping and do need to buy supplies, almost every city has a packaging distributor that will sell individual rolls of bubble, foam, peanuts, etc. a lot cheaper than the big box stores, walmart, etc.

Just google packaging distributor, xyz city, and you should have a few to chose from. Not all sell to the public but most do. I hope this helps someone out.

-- I've almost got all the tools I need, almost.

14 replies so far

View Gassit's profile


37 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 04-21-2015 02:04 AM

It’ll certainly help me out.


View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1852 days

#2 posted 04-21-2015 05:25 AM

I have bought supplies from Uline. Is that good, or did I pay too much?

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2342 days

#3 posted 04-21-2015 10:25 AM

I usually get stuff from work (I too work in shipping).

I’ve even saved by getting it shipped through work.

View scott0317's profile


58 posts in 1908 days

#4 posted 04-21-2015 02:57 PM

Uline is not a bad source. They are certainly better than buying anything from UPS stores. I’m sure a lot of you do what I do and save a good bit of packaging from items I get in the mail. Of course free is hard to beat.

-- I've almost got all the tools I need, almost.

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1852 days

#5 posted 04-22-2015 04:36 AM

I save packing materials that come my way, like when I order stuff online. Including boxes and padded envelopes. It’s when I run low, is when Uline gets my biz.

View Mykos's profile


103 posts in 2248 days

#6 posted 04-22-2015 11:10 PM

I don’t ship things as a business, but I do sell stuff online from time to time. I usually just use plane shavings as the packing material since I have those in abundance and the price is right.

View MrUnix's profile


7448 posts in 2652 days

#7 posted 04-22-2015 11:23 PM

I just gave away 2 huge hefty bags full of packing peanuts, one bag filled with bubble wrap and another bag of those air filled ‘pillow’ thingies… and I still have several bags full of bubble wrap (much of it the anti-static type), foam, cedar wood chips and other material out in the shed. I guess I don’t ship enough :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View WIwoodworker's profile


65 posts in 4151 days

#8 posted 05-16-2015 04:21 AM

I get materials from Uline. If some free materials came my way I’d use them but I like the simplicity of knowing my shipping materials are standard size and readily available.

-- Allen, Milwaukee, WI

View gthomson's profile


19 posts in 1580 days

#9 posted 05-16-2015 07:12 AM

I don’t do a large volume of shipping, but a couple times I had to scramble to find a box to ship something sold on Ebay the next day, and I ended up paying too much for a box from Staples.
I now keep a dozen square boxes from Uline available – 8.5×8.5, 10×10 and 12×12.
i think over 12” and USPS Priority starts bumping up the price a lot, so have to be more specific there when needed. But those sizes have served me well.

I think I tend to overpack things too much – was using bubble wrap when peanuts would do.
I’ve learned a lot from watching how others pack things that I receive.
Ordered a couple dozen of glassware from China to re-sell, and the amount of packaging put in there was extremely minimal. And no, I don’t make a habit of buying from China to re-sell here – it was more of a test to see how the whole process worked when trying to learn Ebay.
Double-boxing I think was the key to them needing very minimal packaging – each glass was in it’s own little box.

Also a thing I learned that was good to know – those peanuts…
Some are edible, some are not.
Caught my pooch eating them, so naturally I got worried.
Did a quick google search – some are made of cornstarch and are biodegradable. Some are made of styrofoam.
The test to know which – eat one yourself – or at least see if it dissolves in your mouth.
So I tested the ones my dog was eating – dissolved in my mouth, so Chipper my pooch was okay.
The ones I have now don’t dissolve – so they stay up and away.
Probably good to know for anybody with kids as well.
And probably also good to know if you are buying a bag of them to keep around.
I haven’t had to buy peanuts yet, so don’t know what kind of cost difference there is between the two.
But the cornstarch option would seem like the better option if cost were close.

-- Techie by trade, tinkerer at heart

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2965 days

#10 posted 05-16-2015 09:57 AM

The bubble wrap I purchase I get from a local packaging center called EcoBox they also sell boxes at low rates due to the fact they are moving boxes with heavy ink on them, I have friends and family members collect their junk paper that comes in the mail along with news paper, I first wrap the item to be shipped in bubble wrap than fill the lower part of the box with wadded up paper, place the item in and complete filling the box with wadded paper, it works great and gives me a solid secure from damage shipping.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View runswithscissors's profile


3057 posts in 2478 days

#11 posted 05-17-2015 03:44 AM

You can also make your own, if you have an air popper for popcorn. Biodegradable, and lightweight, and needn’t cost much if you buy your popcorn in bulk.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View bandit571's profile


23429 posts in 3136 days

#12 posted 05-17-2015 03:47 AM

Wife brings home all them Walmart sacks, and stashes them for whatever reason…...they do make decent enough diller for boxes, just wad them up. Big old handful of the things seems to be about right.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 3774 days

#13 posted 05-17-2015 04:03 AM

I used to use Uline but on a whim I looked at Amazon and especially with prime they beat Uline by a healthy margin on most items.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2727 posts in 3375 days

#14 posted 08-30-2015 01:59 PM

I buy boxes from Uline that I use to store and transport my stuff to local sales events. I also use them to ship items. I pay 59 cents each for nice boxes ,exactly the size I need.

-- No PHD just a DD214

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