You’ve found the perfect rigid box style to showcase your wonderful product. You request quotes from different rigid box companies only to be stunned by the cost per unit. Yikes! Yes, a lot of people want a rigid box for their product. Who wouldn’t? They increase the value of your product in the mind of the consumer, but the high cost of a rigid box makes using them unrealistic for many.
If only you could find a cheaper alternative that could yield the same results you are looking for – a beautiful, expensive-looking rigid box at folding carton prices.
If you find yourself in this situation, I have some food for thought for you…
But first allow me to quickly explain why the cost of a rigid box is so steep. There are several reasons:
- There is a lot more equipment set-ups involved with each step of the box making process
- Rigid boxes require varying degrees of hand labor to produce
- Expensive paper wraps are often used
- The thick chipboard used to make rigid boxes is more expensive
- Rigid boxes are more expensive to ship (box for box) because they use up more space than a folding carton which ships flat
Folding carton production, on the other hand, is a lot more automated with less equipment set-ups involved. The folding board is less expensive, there is usually no hand labor involved in their production and no need for expensive paper wraps.
For more information on the differences between rigid boxes and folding cartons, click here.
So now, here’s what I’m proposing…
Imitate the Look But Not The Cost of a Rigid Box
How is that possible you ask?
Simple. Simulate the look and feel of a rigid box by using a folding carton that employs multiple layers of folding board folded onto itself to imitate the sturdiness and weight of a typical rigid box.
A rigid box is anywhere from 60 pt to 100 pt thickness. So, a 24 pt folding carton can be folded over to double or triple it’s thickness, thus imitating a rigid box.
The best way to explain this is to illustrate using a real world example.
Here are two very attractive boxes that appear to be very similar in appearance and quality – the one on the left is a rigid box and the other is a folding carton. Both packaging examples provide sturdy, elegant packaging for a quality electronics product.
Here are some close-ups to help you see the differences in construction.
The thickness of the rigid box comes from the type of board used (often called chipboard). The folding carton imitates this thickness by being doubled or even tripled over onto itself. This gives the customer the feeling of a box that is more substantial in weight and importance than a typical folding carton, implying an increased value of the product inside.
I’ve seen this many times with electronic products, and I think it’s fair to say that this may not necessarily work with all types of products. However, depending on what your product is and what the competition looks like, this may be a great option for you.
There are some caveats however. While it may be less expensive to produce the folding carton, once it ships to your warehouse, someone still has to erect the box (remember, folding cartons ship flat and need to be set-up before product goes inside). If your volume is low, this may not be a problem. But if your volume is high, this could be very expensive and time consuming to set-up and fulfill all of your boxes.
Rigid Box Inserts
When a custom insert is required to hold your product into place that’s another big reason the rigid box unit cost becomes unbearable for many. My rule of thumb for inserts are the following:
- Use paper based materials instead of plastics or foam if your product allows
- Use the same materials that your box is made up of, if possible
Assuming the logistics of set-up and fulfillment are not a problem for you, using a folding carton in this way can get you closer to what you want without the higher cost of a rigid box. Saving money without the need to compromise too much? Yes please!