How Much Do Custom Boxes Cost? Less Than You Probably Think.


Money, money, money.

If you’re running a business, money’s something that’s constantly on your mind.

You no doubt have a firm grasp of how much it costs you to produce your products. But do you know how much custom boxes and packaging cost?

Let’s face it. Packaging is an essential component of your customer’s unboxing experience – and your bottom line – but figuring out something seemingly mundane like packaging and shipping costs probably ended up at the bottom of your to-do list.

So, how much do custom printed boxes actually cost then?

Diddy custom printed boxes cost

No. You don’t have to be Diddy to get custom boxes that look like a million bucks.

The short answer: Custom packaging costs less than you probably think. But there’s no easy, one-fit answer to your boxing needs.

Asking how much a custom box costs is like asking how much does a watch cost? Obviously, the answer depends on many variables. Are we talking a high-end Rolex or a more downhome Timex variety?   

I can’t tell you definitively, it will cost you $2.36 per box, any more than I can tell you that a watch costs $50. That is, until I know more about what you’re specifically looking for.

Boxes, like watches, come in all shapes, sizes, finishes, purposes, colors, etc. The sky’s the limit with your options.

But don’t worry. Even if there’s not a simple answer that will satisfy everyone, there are ways to figure out how much custom boxes will cost your company. By knowing what you need, you can make an educated estimate to come up with a packaging budget that makes sense to you. You can also request a free consultation with Refine Packaging, a leading custom box manufacturer, to receive a free quote for your unique product packaging specifications.

You can start by asking yourself the following questions to get a clearer picture of how much your company will spend on custom boxes:

What Kind of Products are You Selling?

What Kind of Products Are You Selling

First off – and most importantly – it’s all about what you’re putting in your boxes.

Do you need retail boxes? Cosmetic boxes? Display packaging?

How you answer these questions will have a huge impact on how much you’ll need to spend on custom boxes.

To help hone your estimate, ask yourself the following questions about your products:

  • What’s the price of your goods? If you’re selling luxury items, your customers will expect the packaging to reflect that. They’ll want to feel pampered when they’re unwrapping their goods. So, you’ll want to put some thought (and money) into the overall appearance of your packaging.  

Simply tossing in some packing peanuts in a plain corrugated box won’t get the job done. Think of adding some wow factors like using different colors and textures, or satin ribbon closures to wrap it all up.

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If your items are expensive, you may also want to consider tamper-evident containers for added security. This will bump up your cost, but help ensure your goods arrive in good order.

  • Are your items fragile? No matter what you’re shipping, the main priority is your items are suitably protected. Some items are going to need more protection than others.
  • Are your goods perishable? If you’re shipping items, like cheese or steak,  you need to find the appropriate box, so your items don’t arrive as one funky mess. These specialty boxes will increase your costs.
  • Are you shipping different sized products? It doesn’t make sense to only buy a single size of custom boxes. If the box is too big for your items, you’ll end up wasting money on shipping and void fill. You’ll want to look at a variety of different sized boxes to fit all of your goods – large and small.   

What Kind of Branding Do You Need?

What Kind of Branding You Need Impacts Cost

Another major factor determining how much you’ll pay for your customized boxes and other packaging is the kind of branding you want (also known as your box design).

Are you looking for a small logo printed on your box, or do you want every side covered with your brand colors, logos, and slogans?

Large, established companies, like Amazon, can afford to keep their branding simple. If you just glance at a box with the smile logo you know where it came from. Of course, most businesses have to add a little more pizazz if they want to be remembered and stand out from the crowd.

And branding isn’t just relegated to the box. It continues inside to all of the inner packaging. As you can imagine, going on a full out branding crusade is not going to be as cheap as only printing your logo.

What’s Your Time Worth?

What’s Your Time Worth - custom boxes pricing

You know the old saying, time is money.

Well, that applies to your shipping and packaging needs, as well.  

It takes time to meticulously prepare a gorgeous package. Is it worth it to you to have your employees carefully fold tissue paper and apply stickers just so, or would you be content to casually stuff your boxes with kraft paper?  

Or perhaps your business has more time than money. In that case, you may opt to affix a logo sticker to each box you send out.  Or maybe it makes more sense for you to invest in having your logo printed on each box, so it’s ready to go.

Yes. Custom boxes will save you money in the long run, but there’s no right answer for everyone. It depends on your priorities, and what’s right for your company.

Custom Printing and Custom Box Options

Custom Printing and Custom Box Options Cost

Ok, if you answered the above questions you should have an idea of your company boxing needs. So, let’s briefly explore some of your options.

Read our definitive guide to custom boxes and branded packaging for an in-depth look at your custom box options.

Now, let’s take a look at printing options. Here are the three main printing methods that are used on custom boxes:

  1. Digital Printing:  Digital printing is the most common for smaller orders, but is typically more expensive.  With this method, your design is applied directly to the box.
  2. Flexographic Printing: This method also prints your design directly on the box, but uses a stamp, rather than ink.  Flexographic printing requires the creation of printing plates (one color per plate). At around $1,000 per plate, it can add up fast.  This method only makes sense for larger orders, with a minimum of at least one thousand boxes.
  3. Litho Label Printing: This is a higher resolution option, but of course that means you pay more.  The design isn’t printed directly on the box but rather is made into a label that’s attached to the box.  

Of course, your printing has to physically go on something. That would be your box.  Here are three popular options:

  1. Rigid Boxes: These are sturdy boxes that are often used for more high-end products. They’re on the pricier side, but can give your items a luxurious look.  Also, since they’re already set-up, they’re more expensive to ship.
  2. Folding Boxes: These are affordable, but they’re not as sturdy. These boxes are shipped flat, so you’ll save on shipping, but you’ll have to put them together yourself.
  3. Corrugated Boxes: You’ll recognize these as your typical shipping box. They’re strong and relatively affordable.

Keep in mind that typically, the larger your order, the more money you’ll save. So, no matter what style box you pick, if possible, buy in bulk.


At first, it might seem like custom boxes are too expensive for your budget.

But if you play around with your custom options and priorities, you can find a custom box solution that will work for you.

And it’s not like you’re locked into ordering the same type of box forever.

As your business grows and your needs change, you can always upgrade and spice up your custom boxes to reflect that.

Refine Packaging is the top choice for the world’s Inc 5000 and Fortune 500 companies to create their own custom box packaging. With super fast production times, affordable pricing, and a sky’s the limit attitude, we’ll help you turn your custom packaging into a competitive differentiator. Contact us today and a dedicated packaging specialist will guide you through every step of the custom packaging process without breaking a sweat.

Ready to think outside the box? Let's get started!

Get in touch with a custom packaging specialist now for a free consultation and instant price quote.

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