The Cost of Custom: Understanding Packaging Costs

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It’s tough to say exactly what a custom box will cost at a glance. Depending on the materials chosen, decoration, and volume of an order, the packaging costs of a box can vary significantly. Since your custom box has never been made before, adjustments and revisions are expected in the process and these come with a price. There are also other costs like minimum order value, machine setup, tooling, and shipping to consider.

But that’s not to say we can’t make a box that fits your budget. We just want to clear up some common questions about our pricing before you start a project with us.

We can’t give you a perfect prediction of your costs down to the last penny. But we can give you an informed estimate of what our box costs look like based on three popular styles.

Take a look at this comparison of three different box styles with the same dimensions, substrate (base material), wrap, and decoration.

Box Specifications

Each of our hypothetical boxes is sized at 10″ x 5.75″ x 2″ and is composed of black chipboard. Each box is wrapped in Rainbow 70# Eclipse paper with linen embossing from Ecological Fibers and is embellished with a single-color foil stamp decoration at a maximum size of 3″ x 3″. The only difference is the structural design of each box.three popular box styles at Taylor Box Company, white boxes, open, with teal foil stamp in Taylor Box logo

Pricing Estimations

Let’s examine the relationship between the Number of Pieces and Price per Unit in the tables below. What stands out?

Base and Lid, Lift-off Cover

base and lid box open, packaging costs

Of the three options, a set of Base and Lid Boxes is easily the most affordable at low quantities. As quantity increases, the pricepoint modestly drops to reflect it.

Tray in 3-Panel Folder, Book Style

tray in three panel folder box

In the middle of the pack, we have the Tray in 3-Panel Folder or Book Style box. Here, we begin to see a more pronounced price-break as we scale up in quantity. Note the difference in price between an order of fewer than 500 pieces compared to 50,000+ pieces.

Tray in 4-Panel Folder with a Magnet Closure


tray in four panel folder box, open


The most high-end option is, unsurprisingly, also the most expensive. But even this high-end style becomes more budget-friendly at higher quantities.

So, what’s the takeaway?

Creating custom boxes costs money, but as quantities increase, pricing becomes more cost-effective. The standard Base and Lid style box will likely be the most affordable option for a given project. However, even the more deluxe Tray in 4-Panel Folder style box becomes more affordable as quantities increase.

The boxes structure is a major factor when considering cost, and more complex constructions mean more expensive orders.

Other Box Costs

It’s important to remember that Price per Unit is just one variable to consider when working with us. Minimums, prep charges, and shipping are also important cost factors.

  • We have a $5,000 minimum order value, which does not include the cost of tooling, set-up, and shipping.
  • Custom dies must be made for the box structure and sometimes wraps depending on the design, and custom plates must be made for hot stamping.
  • Machines must be set up and programmed with the appropriate settings.
  • Shipping the finished product will be affected by the weight and volume of your order.

Just keep in mind that the Price per Unit does not reflect the total cost of your order, and there are other variables to take into account. But, we wouldn’t be writing this if we didn’t have some recommendations for bringing your costs down.

Reducing Packaging Costs

The options we’ve shown are what we would consider standard boxes based on typical projects. Common boxes; not extravagant, but certainly not plain. Most boxes we make have:

  • A premium wrap
  • At least one foil decoration
  • .060-inch board or heavier

So, revising any one of these elements can relieve pressure on your budget. Here are Five Ways to reduce costs when working with Taylor Box.

1) That’s a wrap

Instead of an embossed or coated box wrap, consider a more economical uncoated paper like any one of the numerous colors from the Rainbox 70# line. A rustic uncoated look can be wildly effective for modern brands focused on sustainability, like this Base and Lid Box for Mother E Essential Oils.

2) Leave your stamp

Eliminating a foil stamp decoration is another option for working on a budget. Foil stamping requires highly-involved setup and labor and has costs commensurate with that level of specialized work.  If you’re producing in higher quantities, off-set printing will become more cost-effective compared to foil-stamping.

3) Lighten up

The board substrate (base material) is also worth reconsidering. Using a lighter weight board will reduce per-unit cost as well as affect shipping rates.

4) Get board

It’s worth mentioning that plain chipboard is more affordable than black chipboard, and pure white is more than black. The one-sided white or black chipboard proves a nice finish on the interior of the box in lieu of an additional interior wrap cost.

5) Size matters

Finally, simply reducing the size of your box can have a significant impact on cost as less material will be needed per piece. Reducing size is an adjustment that can have a real impact, especially on high-volume orders.


Ready to start your next packaging project? Get in touch with our team today!


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