As of Dec. 1, 2008, the United States has been in a recession for an entire year. Businesses and individuals alike are scrambling to stay afloat in this uncertain economy. Where can you cut costs? Where can you save a little extra money? These questions spin through people’s minds every day.
For some businesses, the answer to those questions may be as simple as reevaluating your packaging. It may not seem like much, but in this economy, every little bit helps. And sometimes, those “little” savings turn out to be substantial.
A plain brown Kraft paper bag is the least expensive option. Although that may not sound very upscale the first time you hear it, consider this: Bloomingdale’s, one of the most famous department stores in the nation, uses these simple brown bags. Their “Big Brown Bags” have become iconic and instantly recognizable.
No matter what you sell, a plain brown Kraft paper bag could help you save money while still giving you an upscale look. Simply customize your bags with a logo or a clever, catchy phrase. As an added bonus, these bags are also more eco-friendly than most, which means you can be “green” and save some money at the same time.
If you have higher-end paper bags (colored Kraft, or those with rope handles), there are ways to save money without restructuring your entire packaging program. For example, order stock colors rather than custom colors for your bags. While most bag suppliers can give you custom colors, they will almost always be more expensive than the stock color bags.
If you use rope handle bags, save money by using soft cord or poly cord rope rather than cotton or ribbon handles. The thickness of the handle also affects the price of your bags. Talk with your bag supplier for suggestions.
Take advantage of price breaks: If your monthly bag use runs in the thousands, don’t just order 2,000 or 3,000 bags every month. It costs the manufacturer the same amount to start the printing press whether they’re printing 1,000 bags or 100,000 bags. Purchase a six-month supply of bags and take advantage of the price cut.
Order as early as possible: You will cut costs substantially when you place your order with normal delivery requirements, rather than waiting until the very last minute. Many custom print bag suppliers can accommodate a rush job, but it will cost you in rush fees and extra delivery fees.
Is thinner better? We worked with a company that used a very thick paper for their high-end bag (210 gsm). Since they were ordering more than 100,000 bags several times a year, the customer wanted to explore ways of saving money on their orders. We looked at what they were putting into the bag and found that the paper was too thick for the intended use. They could use a thinner paper and get the same look for a significantly lower cost without sacrificing their image. We made the change, and it wound up saving them about 9 percent. When you’re ordering 100,000 bags at a time, 9 percent savings is huge.
Finally, talk with your bag supplier: There are hundreds of ways they can find to help you save money on your packaging needs. Meet with them and be very clear as to what you want, and ask how they can help you achieve it for a reasonable cost. You may be very surprised at what you learn.