Mailer Boxes vs. Shipping Boxes – What’s the Difference?


It’s easy to assume that all shipping boxes are created equal. Still, anyone who’s ever shipped a high-value item knows that choosing the correct box can make a difference. It can either be between your package arriving safely or getting squashed and mangled along the way. 

When shipping valuable items such as electronics or antiques, it’s essential to know the differences between mailer boxes and shipping boxes and why each would be best suited to different situations. This guide will help you understand the differences between the two box types and determine which one will work best for your situation.

Why Differentiate Mailer Boxes vs. Shipping Box Packaging?

Whether you’re a small business owner or just handling shipping from your home, it’s essential to know the difference between mailer boxes and shipping boxes to choose the appropriate one for your product or service. It also depends upon diversified uses of mailer boxes or vice versa.

We’ve put together this handy guideline to illustrate the key differences between these two types of boxes and explain why one might be better than the other in certain situations. Check it out!

The Need for Mailers and Shipping Boxes in Your Business

Before we come to the topic of what are mailer boxes, you must know the difference between the needs of mailers and shipping boxes. When starting a business, one of your first purchases will likely be boxes. Therefore, it is essential to use mailer boxes when sending packages to customers.

In the same way, shipping boxes should be for items that need to move within a warehouse or via freight. With so many different sizes available, you may be confused about which box is suitable for your shipping needs.

To clear all that confusion, we have decided to define various aspects of both these boxes so that you know which one to use and when. Below are some standard terms used in discussing mailers and shipping boxes. We also cover how certain aspects affect your purchasing decision between these two box styles. No need to mention the material of mailer boxes or shipping consignments is also crucial in this regard.

Main Differences Between Mailer and Shipping Boxes

  • A Mailer Box is relatively minor and smaller than a shipping box.
  • Custom mailer boxes, as their name suggests, are designed for sending through mail services like UPS and FedEx. 
  • A shipping box is used to deliver large items or items in bulk, whereas a mailer box can also be used to provide a solitary order to a specific address.
  • Shipping boxes have a standard size and weight, while all mailer boxes are not equal.
  • In some cases, mailers and shipping boxes can also be used interchangeably. At that point, some might ask that are mailer boxes good for shipping. The answer to that question depends upon the terms and conditions of your usage.
  • A mailing consignment can also be in the form of a mailer envelope; however, that will not be the case with a shipping box; it will always be in the form of a conventional box.
  • A shipment box will always be a sturdy and highly resistant package to sustain various mechanical hazards.
  • They’re made from lighter cardboard than other boxes (since they’ll be traveling by air), but they’re sturdy enough to keep contents safe during transit. 
  • Last but not least, you can transform retail packaging boxes into mailers but not into shipping boxes.

Points to Remember for Mailers and Shipping Boxes

When you’re looking to buy boxes, you have a few choices. You can go to a shipping store or order online; either way, you’ll find several different kinds of boxes (and many of these will also be branded with other names). 

Here are some things to consider when deciding between mailing and shipping boxes: 

  • When considering size, think about what fits best into that container. 
  • For example, an 8 1/2 x 11 manila folder won’t fit inside a 9 x 12 or 10 x 13 mailing envelope. 
  • In the same way, standard-sized business envelopes aren’t going to hold posters well without folding them first. 
  • The same applies to sizeable wooden shipping boxes unsuitable for such minor objects.
  • Mailers should always have flaps on top that fold down over the box; this prevents them from being crushed by machinery when going through sorting facilities.

Purchase of Boxes for Shipping or Mailing

Regarding shipping boxes, it’s better to have more than you need than not enough. It is generally more cost-effective to purchase in bulk through a wholesaler or retailer specializing in shipping supplies than buying them piecemeal at individual box stores. You can save a few dollars if you pay attention and time your purchases right. But it’s also important to consider how much time you’ll spend purchasing these items. Additionally, be sure that any box company you work with offers standard cardboard shipping boxes and heavy-duty mailer boxes; sometimes, there’s no way around having both in stock.

Final Thoughts

Is it true that not all boxes are equal? In this article, we’ll go over the main differences between mailing boxes and shipping boxes and how they can benefit you in your business. Plus, we’ll give you tips on choosing the best option for your business needs. So read on to find out more! For more information on mailer vs. shipping options, contact a business packaging company that suits your needs best. 

I am a marketing copywriter and strategist working with CBM (Custom Box Makers). In my role, I manage their social media platforms and curate engaging content for their blog pages.

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