Posted on December 19, 2019 by Dennis Salazar

Save Money with Our Stock Cutting Dies for DTC, e-commerce Semi-Custom Boxes

Approximately ten years ago we created a new term for some of the boxes we make referring to them as “semi-custom.” They are boxes made with one of our available stock cutting dies, saving our customers time and money.

Over the course of twelve years, we have accumulated close to 200 stock dies for many of the most popular e-commerce sizes. We have cutting dies available for most everything including candles, clothing, coffee subscriptions, cannabis products, CBD containers, personal care, and cosmetics, just to name a handful.

Fast rising cutting die prices

We make millions of boxes, so every year we buy many rotary cutting dies for ourselves and for our customers. Earlier this year we noticed that cutting dies that once cost around $800 were now priced over $1,000 and in some cases, over $1,200. We were told by more than one supplier that most of the wood and steel used to make steel rule cutting dies is imported from overseas. We also discovered that the primary reason for this sharp increase was the addition of import tariffs.

I’m not sure if I really buy all that and I won’t get into the politics of this situation, but I realize that none of us are big enough to fight it. Higher cutting die prices have become a fact of life, so we all must learn how to deal with it and if possible, avoid it.

Semi-custom boxes use existing cutting dies

That brings us back to our large inventory of cutting dies and how it could benefit you. If we have a die size you need, you use our die to make your boxes and you can avoid that largest initial pre-press expense. If you need a box that is 24” X 12” X 8” high, we probably don’t have that size available, but we have many that are sized to make boxes that are typical “fit in a mailbox” type e-commerce. For obvious competitive reasons, we never share the entire list but if you call us or email us and tell us what size you need, we will likely give you three or four sizes that are close to your requirements.

cutting dieJust a reminder, in addition to the available size cutting die, keep in mind that “semi-custom” packaging also means the die is set up for a specific board grade, and your box features such as peel and seal adhesive strips, easy open devices, closure types are all predetermined. Fewer options but also fewer decisions, fewer delays, and no added cost. Keep in mind we will always send you a sample of the box size you are interested in so you can try a physical sample and make sure it is right for you and your product.

Years ago, we agreed that we are not in business to sell our customers cutting dies or print plates, our goal is to sell incredible e-commerce boxes that communicate.

Unfortunately, cutting dies are a necessary expense, so we work to minimize or avoid that type of expense for our customers whenever possible, before production begins.


Contact us via email at or call us at 630-551-1700 to speak with one of our experienced and fully trained branded packaging advisors. They are sure to help you maximize impact of your e-commerce box and deliver it at the lowest possible cost.

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