We offer mentoring and advice support to new bag brands – here is an example of how we help customers…
We had a customer send us a really “simple question” the other day asking “how to package his bag”.
Now what did he mean? Package the bag in it’s travel from the factory to him, or package the bag when he sends it to his customers ?
Or was he interested in the package and presentation of the bag when the customer received the bag – or even how it was “packaged” at point of sale in a shop?
What looked like a simple question could in fact mean a lot of different things!
As it was after a message or two we established that he wanted advice about how to pack his product (a bag) and send it to the end customer by post, and he was thinking of making some custom designed boxes….
So he wanted to know if we should make the box in the same country as the bag is being made in – or make it in the (UK) and then put the bag in the box before sending it to the customer.
Well, there can be quite a lot to consider in this question so we thought we would share the advice we gave him with you……( his bags are being made in Asia but sold in the UK initially).
If you want to deliver in cartons this has a marketing and perception benefit of course and I suspect this is where you are coming from. Cartons none the less probably equal extra shipping volume, (and weight if you airfreight any to get them.)
But cartons printed and supplied at the point of manufacture will no doubt be cheaper than those made in the UK.
We have previously checked on being able to get cartons made of recycled materials in China and yes this can be done ( but at a higher cost than basic cartons – big surprise.)
Add to that the cost of putting every bag in a box in the UK. This is part of your fulfilment costs, and you can get the warehouse to do this as part of their service. If you are providing the cartons to them all well and good and they will charge you for storage, pick pack and post of course.
The volume of say 1000 cartons might be a pallet full – so add a pallet storage to your costs.
Now the volume of the bags shipped already in their cartons from the factory is probably not a good idea due to cost.
Also – any cartons could get damp en-route if there is bad weather and they could get crushed en-route so let’s assume you ship them flat packed.
But the cost of manufacture of cartons – flat packed in China, and added to the shipping of the goods might well be in your interests – it’ll be cheaper than if you do it in the UK.
But then….will you ship all bags to the end customer in cartons?
For instance – if you are sending by courior in the UK only ….then the volumetric shipping cost will be X but if you ship overseas such costs might be onerous. So you might choose to ship some in poly bags to save costs – and send the the ‘land shipped’ goods in cartons.
So the issues are:
- Cost of cartons. I would assume damage to a small percentage in delivery from the factory so you might need to ‘over order’ a small amount.
- Cost of shipping from source of manufacture to the UK.
- Cost of shipping the bags inside cartons versus squashed flat in cartons.
- Storage costs of cartons.
- Benefits of image of bag and brand if their new bag arrives in box. Here are some lovely examples you might like to look at !
- Ethical issues regards poly bags v cartons. But then you probably have to pack the bags in poly bags anyway, so do you want recycled plastic poly bags?
- Do you want to ship the bags squashed flat for economy (most brands do) or do you want a bag that is plumped up with cardboard and tissue to retain it’s shape so it’s pristine at point of delivery? You might do this with top end designer handbags but not with more middle range products.
Other packaging issues.
- You probably would like swing tags on every bag. Costs of this are the design, print and supply and fixing these to the bags. Everything but the design can be included into the finished price of the bag from the supplier.
- Design of the boxes, swing tags and any other literature included with the bag. Note you need to include space in the artwork for address labels and storage labels indicating colour etc.
- Polybag graphics. You need any poly bags to have (at least) safety information on it but you might like to use these graphics to present your brand well. You might prefer recycled paper bags of course…?
- Ethical / Eco packaging. Is this what you want or are you not concerned at this point?
- The writing of the copy for the text for the artwork for the packaging. This can be built off the back of your Website and promotion, but is a task in itself.
My opinion in summary.
In my opinion recycled cardboard cartons would be an excellent idea if you feel that this will support your market positioning.
Of course plain Polybags for ‘warehouse to customer shipping’ will be cheaper.
So this is a market positioning issue possibly more than a ‘carton cost’ issue.
I would manufacture the cartons near the factory in Asia and ship with the goods to save volumetric costs.
Storage costs of the cartons and their use as ‘shipping containers’ as they wing their way to the end customer would add cost but I would say in the round it’s worthwhile.”
So our customer’s simple question received a rather long and detailed answer!
But we did what we always do is give full and detailed answers and recommendations – honestly and up front based on what we think is best for their business, their brand and how their customer will perceive their brands image and service.
If you hire Design IQ you are getting a lot more than bag design and manufacture – you can tap into a lot of practical commercial and branding advice as well.
If you’d like to discuss we can help you with mentoring advice ( https://www.design-iq-ltd.com/mentoring/) or a bag design and sampling project – just email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or call + 44(0) 1531-640118.