Posted on September 25, 2019 by Dennis Salazar

What is the difference between an e-commerce custom packaging estimate and a packaging quote?

We are fortunate to receive hundreds of phone calls, emails, and inquiries every month. Many ask for quotes when all they really need and want is an estimate, and others ask for estimates when they really need the specifics and detail of a formal quote.

This post explains the difference between the two so we can provide our valued customers exactly what they need.

What is a custom branded packaging quotation? 

This is typically for someone a little further down the design or redesign path. To us a quote is more formal and detailed to provide firm, accurate pricing. Details such as board specs, tooling cost, and other information is listed for your convenience.

In order to provide that, we of course need a lot more detail from you. We typically ask for artwork and in many cases, such as glass bottle projects, we will ask for product samples, because contrary to popular belief, all bottles are not created equally.

We also like to see samples if a custom insert is needed. We make over a dozen different styles of inserts, dividers and partitions and they all vary in design and price. There is a huge difference between a simple divider or partition, to a complicated two layer insert design to protect and present the product being shipped.

As always, exact information allows us to provide exact pricing.

What is a custom, branded packaging estimate?   

seasonal e-commerce boxes by Salazar PackagingIn many cases, a “ballpark” estimate is all that is needed especially in the early, perhaps prelaunch stage of a new business under development. What these people generally need for their business plan, investors, or other reasons is an answer to the “how much is packaging going to cost” question. All they really want to know is if the packaging is going to cost $1.00 or $3.00 per box.

With a handful of questions answered, we can provide an estimate that usually proves to be remarkably accurate.  When does that estimate prove to be wrong? When the specs change dramatically. The customer tells us their graphic design will be two colors printed using a flexographic process and their graphic designer is suggesting a five-color digitally printed design.

The questions we need answered by the customer are:

  • What style or type of packaging do you need?
  • What size?
  • What color board or paper do you need? Generally, it is Kraft (brown) or white but we can do flood coats of any color on most of our products.
  • Custom printed or not?
  • If printed, how many colors inside and/or outside?
  • Last but not least, how many do you plan to buy initially?

In most cases, answers to those six questions will give us everything we need to give you an accurate estimate.

The last piece of advice we will provide is do not be intimidated by the above questions because we know, everything is subject to change. The difference between 1 and 2 colors is minimal. The difference between white board on a box or natural Kraft board is also almost insignificant. You only have one chance to do it right the first time and impress the world with your packaging. We have the experience to help you accomplish both objectives.

Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via Our branded packaging will be glad to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to our gallery to see a small sampling of the work we have done for others.

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