How Much Do Custom-Printed Retail Boxes Cost?

When designing a custom box, you have more control over how much your boxes will cost. If you need to stay within a specific budget, you can do so with some strategic design choices. The cost of custom boxes depends on a few points, like what type of printing you want and how sturdy or protective your boxes need to be.

Here are some of the factors affecting cost how much custom-printed boxes can cost:

1. Box Strength

First, consider what items need to go into your boxes. Is your product fragile or oversized? Will your customers expect to receive high-quality packaging? Both variables can affect your overall cost.

Fragile products will need to be placed in a protective box with enough room to include filler materials like packing peanuts or air pillows. Oversized materials will also need a protective box that can hold the product. If you sell a high-end, luxury product, your customers will most likely expect high-quality packaging.

In any of these cases, you should consider going up to the next box strength level than what you previously considered. Three common box strength levels are:

  1. Standard: Standard boxes offer single-wall structures and can hold products that weigh up to 50 pounds.
  2. Strong: Strong boxes also have single-wall structures but can safely store products that weigh up to 75 pounds.
  3. Extra strong: Extra strong boxes have double-wall designs to hold products weighing up to 100 pounds.

Standard and strong boxes tend to be close in price. However, if your product needs an extra strong box, you can expect the total price of your box order to increase.

2. Box Size

Most shipping providers offer their own standard-size boxes. These boxes typically range from small to extra large. Of course, the larger the box, the more expensive it will be, but what if your product is in between sizes?

You’ll need the bigger box to ensure a proper fit. You also may need to purchase more filler material to keep the product from shifting around in the box. Additionally, shipping carriers may subject you to paying higher shipping costs.

Luckily, with custom-printed boxes, you can create a box size that will perfectly fit your product. Bolt Boxes allows you to customize your box length, width and depth. This means you only have to pay for exactly how much space you need.

Bolt Boxes offers boxes in the following size ranges:

  • Length: 5 inches to 80 inches
  • Width: 4 inches to 80 inches
  • Depth: 3 inches to 80 inches

3. Printing Method

Most people opt for customizable boxes mainly to have their business logos and other designs on the box. Especially for e-commerce businesses that don’t interact with customers face-to-face, packaging can be a way to leave a positive lasting impression on customers.

So, how much does it cost to print on a custom box? The cost can depend on how big or complex your design is and how many colors you want to include. Custom box providers also offer different printing methods, which factor into your total cost. Three popular printing methods are flexographic, lithographic and digital.

Flexographic Printing

Flexographic printing is a popular printing method that prints directly on the box. Up to three colors can be used during flexographic printing. This method is known to be cost-effective because it only requires a one-time investment in print plates and processes up to 12,000 sheets per hour. Flexographic box printing is affordable while also producing high-quality products.

Box types that typically use flexographic printing include:

  • Bakery boxes
  • Clothing boxes
  • Jewelry boxes
  • Shipping boxes
  • Subscription boxes

Lithographic Printing

Lithographic box printing produces premium-quality prints. It’s the highest-quality printing method available and can use up to six colors. Lithographic printing is printed on coated paper and then laminated on the box. If your design includes intricate details or photographs, lithographic printing is for you.

While lithographic box printing may be more expensive than flexographic printing, the cost of lithographic printing goes down as the size of the order increases.

Digital Printing

Digital box printing is a simple, electronic process that eliminates the need for printing plates and other traditional printing materials. Digital printing prints directly on the box and can produce intricate or photo-realistic designs. While digital printing is efficient and easy, it’s only recommended for smaller orders of about one to 500 boxes.

Digital printing is also ideal for any orders with deadlines. Because digital printing has fewer steps than other traditional printing methods, you can expect to have your order completed much faster.

4. Order Size

It may sound backward, but it’s true that the more boxes you order, the more money you save. As you increase your box quantity, the price per box decreases. So, even though your total cost is higher, you’re saving money in the long run. Therefore, it’s better to buy your custom boxes in bulk instead of placing multiple, smaller orders.

Of course, not every custom box order must be done in bulk. For example, your business may want to use holiday packaging for just one week in December. You wouldn’t need to order these custom boxes in bulk the way you would for your year-round designs. Most custom box providers allow for smaller orders — just keep in mind it’l impact how much you pay per box.

Build Custom-Printed Boxes With Our Help

For over 60 years, we’ve helped businesses create beautiful custom-made boxes, and we can do the same for you. As one of the only manufacturers that offer flexographic, lithographic and digital printing in-house, you can build your perfect custom box with the features and price that are right for you.

Use our online box builder to build your custom boxes and instantly receive pricing information. If you need help determining what you’re looking for, or what type of box is best for you, our expert team is here to help. We’ll work with you to create the perfect design and offer you support throughout the whole process, including determining your custom packaging costs. 

Start your partnership with us by filling out our online form today!