Poly Mailers vs. eCommerce Boxes: Tips for How to Pick the Right Shipping Package

When you’ve got goods to ship to your customers, you have two main choices for shipping packaging: poly mailers or eCommerce boxes.

And if you’re feeling unsure about which one is right for you, we’ve got a few considerations to help guide your decision.

Here’s what you need to think about.

1. Package Size

Consider the size of the item you need to ship. Is it big enough to fill an entire mailer box, or at least to nearly fill it?

If not, a poly mailer may be a better option for you. That’s because poly mailers have a roll-over flap that allows you to shrink them down to the size of the item without leaving a ton of unused space. And this, in turn, can save you money on freight costs which are measured on weight and size.

With boxes, the only way to fill the whole package if it’s bigger than the item you’re shipping is to pad it with fill. While this can be helpful for fragile items, it’s not always optimal, and could end up being unnecessarily expensive.

2. Durability

Speaking of fragility, you should also consider how delicate of an item you’re shipping.

Mailer boxes are significantly more durable than poly mailers and, as we mentioned earlier, can be easily filled with padding for protection. They’re significantly less likely to rip than poly mailers but are also less water-resistant.

At many of these large shipping distribution centres, especially FedEx or UPS, it’s a safe bet that your package will get beat up.

So, plan accordingly.

3. Customizability

Customizability is one area where poly mailers and eCommerce boxes are on a level playing field.

Both are incredibly customizable, including the ability to add:

  • Your logo
  • Brand colours and fonts
  • Statements and verbiage
  • Social media information
  • Images
  • Company information
  • Promotions and contests
  • QR codes

For more detail on each of these features, access our article: Poly Mailer Design Ideas: 9 Things to Consider Including On Yours.

4. Perception

Poly mailers and eCommerce boxes are perceived differently in some respects, including their eco-friendliness.

While poly mailers are actually just as recyclable as eCommerce boxes, their perceived as being less so on account of the fact that they’re made from plastic.

So, if your customers are environmentally-conscious, it may be worth considering an eCommerce box over a poly mailer, or ensuring that you have recycling information on the poly mailer you use.

The Best Items to Ship with Poly Mailers

When it comes to choosing poly mailers versus eCommerce boxes, your decision should simply come down to what you’re shipping, how much it needs to be protected during the shipping process, and the preferences of your customers. 

And if you’re still unsure about which is the right option for you, get in touch with us today. Our team is here to help.

I know we had talked about giving this some thought so if you've got any insights for either, I'm happy to include them!