Posted on December 26, 2019 by Michael Boik

Stock Packaging or Custom Packaging?

A recent phone call with an inquiring potential customer is the inspiration for this post (as often is the case) because it sparked a realization. There may not be a wide understanding of what a stock solution is, and a custom solution by comparison.

Often times what seems like common knowledge for those of us who are experienced within the packaging industry, may not be for those outside of it. Questions, topics and discussions that we have within the industry on a daily basis are the same questions, topics and discussions that those who are just starting their packaging journey may be completely unfamiliar with, and may be in need of a little guidance in order to move forward.

As such, two of the very first questions we ask of any potential customer are:

“How many (of a given product/solution) do you need?”

“When do you need them by?”

This sets the groundwork for the remainder of the conversation, because the answers to these questions can lead to a very clear picture of whether stock or custom solutions are right for you.


Stock Packaging Solutions

Stock simply refers to products that we have available in our warehouse for immediate, low quantity purchase—ideal for when you need packaging materials in a pinch, or don’t yet have the demand, storage or budget to justify custom packaging. When the answer to the first question (how many) is a few hundred or less, chances are that a stock solution is the best available option to you. On custom shipping boxes, our minimum starts at 1,000 pieces, depending on the specific application. Our stock boxes can be purchased by the bundle of 25-50 at a time.

If the answer to the second question (when do you need them) is immediately, then stock is also the way to go. Our lead time on a custom box order is about 2 weeks production time, but that does not factor in the other unknown aspects, such as design (graphic or structural), sample shipments, proof and ink approval and other factors. Stock boxes can usually ship within 48 (business) hours of order placement.

All of the stock products we carry can be found at our online webstore Globe Guard Products. Our stock boxes are kraft brown, unprinted and made from 100% recycled content. More information can also be found on our brand new stock green packaging supplies page.


Stock Packaging or Custom Packaging?Custom Packaging Solutions

Custom packaging encompasses anything and everything that we don’t offer as a stock product. Even if all you need is a white box, without any printing, for us, it’s still a custom product, because we do not stock white boxes. The same can be said of any internal packaging needs as there are no stock or standard inserts, partitions or dividers, so these would all be custom items as well.

Custom packaging can take many shapes, sizes and forms, as you can see by visiting our gallery or our brand new Custom Printed and Branded Packaging Page.

If your answer to the first question (how many) is 1,000 or more, and you have some flexibility in terms of when you need packaging by, then custom packaging could be the best solution for you, especially if you are looking to deliver that all important wow-factor or unboxing experience for your customers.


What Does Semi-Custom Mean?

Semi-Custom is a term that is found frequently across our websites, but its meaning is commonly misunderstood. Semi-Custom should not really be viewed as an alternative to stock products, since the minimum is still 1,000. It should only be viewed as an alternative to having a custom size box or envelope made. This means using an existing cutting die size that we have available. We have over 200 cutting dies for mailer boxes which can be utilized, saving you potentially upwards of $800 or more in cutting die costs to make a custom size. Chances are, if you want a branded box, and are flexible in terms of box dimensions, semi-custom is likely the best option for you.


Please Contact Us Today

We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


Related Posts: