Cost-Effective Packaging Solutions For an Expensive Look

Cost-Effective Packaging Solutions For an Expensive Look

Need an expensive look with a budget-friendly price tag? Learn how to get that high-end look with cost-effective packaging solutions!


We often hear that sophisticated and elegant packaging is unaffordable to small and medium-sized companies. This is simply not true. Yes, international corporations can invest more in high-end packaging. But this does not mean that even companies with big budgets do not try to find as cost-effective packaging solutions as possible. 

This is even more important for growing businesses. Reducing their packaging expenses will save them money. That way, they can invest more in other business areas, such as marketing or product development. Also, in a competitive market, having cost-efficient packaging can give a business a competitive advantage over its rivals. If a company can offer the same product at a lower price due to reduced packaging costs, it may attract more customers.

One thing to note is that there are ways to have quality packaging without exceeding your budget. Yes, some luxurious packaging elements do increase the packaging cost, but here are some tips to help you get quality on a budget.

Tips for Cost-Effective Packaging Solutions

Use Custom Size Boxes

One size does not fit all. There are many companies that fall into the trap of thinking that pre-existing generic boxes are always more cost-effective than custom-printed branded packaging. But this doesn’t have to be true. The cost of the box is not the only relevant information. Consider that very cheap generic boxes can be of lower quality, which will not reflect your brand in a positive way. They can also be significantly bigger than needed, so the product will be loose in the box. This means you will have to use void fillers if you want to secure the product, which is an additional expense. If you use the generic box, you will also have the expense of additional branding elements to make your product more recognizable. So, take all these into account when determining the cost of the packaging options you are considering. 

Having a custom paperboard box size means it will perfectly fit your product. It will sit tight and secure in the box. It will also take up less space and be easier to store.

Paperboard is lightweight yet durable, making it an ideal material for product packaging. Most high-end brands are now choosing eco-friendly packaging options. And paperboard is a recyclable material, which means it can be reused and repurposed, reducing waste and minimizing the need for new materials.

Many stores request brands to have uncoated packaging materials to display their products on the shelves. Uncoated paperboard gives packaging boxes a more natural look and feel because the surface is less smooth and uniform. The colors are less vibrant, which gives off a more subtle, sophisticated vibe. 

These uncoated paperboard packaging materials are less common in production, so if you look for paperboard uncoated on both sides, you will have to pay a higher price because those come from high-end paper brands.

One way to get this subtle, eco-friendly vibe without paying a premium price is to use paperboard coated on one side, which is more common, and thus the price is lower. The trick is to not print on the coated side, which is the usual choice, and how it is intended to be used. If you print on the uncoated side, you will pay less for the same result as with more expensive material. The coated side will be on the inside of the packaging box, giving an interesting shiny contrast to the natural outside look. 

Use Straight Tuck End Boxes

Yes, there is no question that a two-piece box is very elegant. And RETF boxes offer a unique unboxing experience. But are they the best option for your company? Sometimes, we get so fixated on something that we do not even explore other options. These boxes are elegant, that is true, but they also have longer assembly times and do not fit every product. 

Straight Tuck End boxes are very elegant and easy to assemble. You can also insert the product very quickly. This will help you save on the expense of manual labor. There are no rough edges as both flaps tuck on the same side. This gives them a more seamless and elegant look than with the Reverse Tuck End box.

Use Packaging Sleeves

Branded packaging always looks more sophisticated and luxurious than plain unbranded containers. But paperboard might not be the best option for some products. Or you might have some pre-existing inventory of unbranded containers you want to use before switching to fully branded packaging, so they don’t go to waste. The answer to this may be using a packaging sleeve. They are less expensive than boxes. And they will give any container a more elegant look. They also offer more space for necessary information. And they are great if you want to avoid printing different boxes for every product variation. You can have the same box but use sleeves for differentiation. This way, you don’t have to plan the quantities of every option as closely. You can print one larger amount of the same box that you can later use for all the products, saving you some money. 

Some Extra Tips

Consult Your Printer Before Designing

Any supplier should be a trusted partner. Nobody knows your product better than you, but remember that your packaging is your printer’s product. So, they will probably be able to suggest options you might not even be aware of. Open communication is vital for getting the best possible result. If they know your company’s needs, they will help you choose the material, size, and type of packaging that best fits your product. They may also have design tips that can help you stay on budget. You may even save enough money to add some special finishes, such as foil or embossing. This will definitely uplift your packaging and give it a luxurious look.  

Make Sure the Design is Done Right From the Start

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have print-ready files for packaging. If the file is not print-ready and changes are needed, those could be costly. Minor mistakes could be fixed quickly, but the process can be very time-consuming if the changes are more extensive. We have seen designs that would take less time to design right from the beginning than to fix the existing design and make it print-ready. And those delays can cost you both time and money.

We hope our tips have helped you get some ideas on making high-end packaging within your budget. Paperboard boxes are one of the most cost-effective packaging solutions for many products on the market. Do you have any other tips and tricks to share that have helped you stay on budget without compromising the quality you offer your customers?

You May Also Enjoy:

Follow Newprint