Category Archives: Office Supplies

Moving Safely with the Right Boxes

This time of year is usually filled with people thinking about housing.  The weather is nice and moving is in the air.  But in 2020 everyone stopped thinking about it and decided to move.  The interest rates dropped to the lowest of all time and even my wife and I decided to move.  What we didn’t expect is that all of our friends and family would do the same and we found that we were asked to help move a whole lot.  It was incredible the amount of moving we did and we learned a whole lot of lessons.  Since we learned a lot and it is of no gain to us not to share the information, here are a few tips on how to move safely.

The first thing we noticed was that everyone was always doing the same thing.  We all started our plans for moving to the same place.  We were all looking for free labor and free equipment to use.  I don’t know why but no one wants to spend any money on moving if they don’t have to.  This comes right down to the cheap moving boxes we all try to find and use too.  It really is incredible.  Some of my family went to local big box stores to try and find free cheap moving boxes.  We ended up moving a few families that used packages that had been used many times over.  And what we found was that those were not safe. 

We saw many times that the used boxes would flex and shift due to how old they were.  It was something that happened to me too.  I pulled a muscle in my back because my box flexed and it shifted my weight forward.  It made me injure myself.  I also saw a friend fall down a few stairs due to the same exact thing.  This was a lesson to me and to the rest of my family that using that kind of package was not smart.  We needed to be safe and spend a few bucks in order to get the right tool for the right job.

What I found was that there are packaging supplies companies that sell whole moving packages.  They come with cardboard boxes rated for moving.  They even have tape and markers included.  This was a big game changer and it allowed the future moves to be much safer.  Not only were they safer but some of the boxes were created for specific needs.  There were hanger boxes for closets.  I mean you literally took all your closet items on hangers and put them in a box that had a rod in it.  Then you closed the box and it protected all your closet items.  It was a great way to move to multiple homes while not rueing any closet clothes.  Many people keep their best clothes hung up and in this case, they didn’t even get wrinkled.  Talk about a happy move and a great way to help keep everyone involved safer.  The best part was the cost.

These packages when all said and done were about 30 bucks each.  That was a really awesome way to move safely and get some extra supplies along with it. I highly suggest moving this way in the future!

Don’t let Shipping Hurt your Boxes

It is a strange world we are living in and the economy keeps on changing.  The United States has made many fundamental shifts in how it does business as of 2020.  This is all because of the COVID-19 pandemic and many companies are having to make drastic changes to the way they work.  From shipping departments doubling in size overnight to floor sales staff being let go.  The changes are really happing on the back end of many companies and what is happening is that shipping departments have become the most important parts of companies.  This is happening in many different ways and this year they must stay competitive in order to survive.

The easiest way for a company to go bankrupt is to not be competitive.  This year most brick and mortar companies are changing into more e-commerce based businesses.  The transition is truly complicated but one simple way they are losing to the competition is through lack of proper quartermaster purchasing.  When you are overspending on packaging supplies the whole shows starts to collapse.  If you end up buying boxes at twice the price of your competitor then it is hard to lose several percent on every single sale.  What happens if your tape and labels are also being sold at higher prices?

The answer is to shop well.  This means finding a great packaging supplies company and get better deals.  If you can go direct and buy in bulk, I have found that you can at least stay competitive and maybe get a competitive advantage over a rival.  That is the easiest, simplest, and yet most overlooked area.  It is because the shipping department seems small and there are bigger fish to fry, but if you do not look out this area will sink your e-commerce company.

The next area that can be difficult is staff changes.  In order to make your shipping department thrive, you may have to change who is working for you or hire new people while letting old ones go.  I find it better to retrain if you can.  The sales department workers on the flood who are now no longer needed can be great shipping department workers.  I know it is a job shift, but they know your products and can help get it out to new people.  They can also help with the customer service side of your company that may have not existed the week before.  The new transition will mean lots of more calls coming in about fixing issues. Sometimes it is best to have your best salespeople on the phone to keep people happy.

Another area that may get your company into trouble is not having a big enough work floor. This may be because you are shifting to an e-commerce company.  The shift I have been seeing is for companies to start eliminating the sales floor or brick and mortar sales sections and put them to use for storage and shipping.  This can be done with a simple shelving system and a good labeling system that you already have in place.  If you don’t have one I suggest using the ABC’s and numbers to order your new warehouse.  I also like the use of cardboard boxes on shelves to hold products instead of expensive alternatives. Hope these tips help your company in these hard times.

Starting a business and the supplies we needed.

This year has been a crazy year. The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought on many changes in our lives.  For my family, my wife and I now work at home.  This means we have more time for our selves and it also means that we are working on our life the way we want it.  By working at home we have seen that we like to be independent and work on our own lives.  What this really led to was the fact that we wanted to start our own company.  Products and supplies started to run through our heads and we knew we were going to need a lot of capital to purchase all the items we need to start this new venture.  The fact was that we were going to start an eCommerce company and that shipping was going to be key.  There are so many items that we needed it was actually a little staggering at first. But I think we found a good way to go about purchasing all the Shipping Supplies we would need.

We knew that we were going to need lots of items for our company.  Not only was this going to be many online items and paperwork but mostly things to move product. This meant we had to find the right place to purchase boxes and bags for each of the items.  We also had to then work on what to keep our products safe and secure with.  So we needed to find lining for each of these products and they find the best way to seal them while looking cool.  Tape was going to be a big expenditure and we didn’t want to pay full retail prices.  Our search began working on locating each of these items at the best location and price.

Location really mattered to us because we have both been in business for many years and understand that rush items and ordeals happen and matter.  We wanted a place that could replace an item within the same day or preferably an hour.  So if we ran out of boxes, tape, or bags we could go and pick up one that worked with our brand.  This led us to first going to the big box stores right next to our home.  We looked and priced out all the items and tried to find bulk discounts.  If you are shipping 100 items in the same box each day you want to be able to get a bulk discount for 1000 boxes.  Unfortunately, the discounts were not there and the quantity we needed in almost every item except tape was not at the stores.

This led us to search online.  Of course, we went to Amazon to price it all out and found slightly more discounted products.  Not all the deals were prime shipping though. So we would have to order extra due to the week long expected shipping dates.  This meant we would have to purchase more but not at much of a discount and this was a bit of a letdown.  We still continued our online searching. We found that shipping supplies were best to be purchased from the maker of the products.  These companies gave bulk discounts and even advice on which products were better because we called in to order.  This was the answer and it was worth buying a larger quantity to cover the lack of convenience because the price was about half.  So just a heads up, shop around before you buy.

Interest Rates Moves Us Again

It is 2020 and putting all the COVID-19 aside and the rioting the housing market has gone wild.  It has been the best housing market and interest rates that the country has ever seen.  So even though the world seems to be going crazy the housing market is booming.  I have seen more people move then I have ever seen before.  This ended up getting my wife and I into looking at moving ourselves.  So we looked at what mortgage loan we could get and what rate we could get.  It turns out that we could afford a much larger house for the same price we are paying for our current home.  We looked around and neighbors who moved had sold their homes for so much more than they paid for it.  We decided to move up in the world.  So I ended up calling around and looked for some cheap moving boxes because we were home shopping.

We looked for one week and found a home that we really wanted.  We worked a deal that our home had to sell first and then we would end up moving.  It was the fastest house swapping deal I had ever been apart of.  It was 7 days and all was done.  The home was purchased and the house was sold.  It was such a fast thing that we had to struggle to find help to move.  So we ended up with a 3% interest rate on our mortgage and bam we were out of our old neighborhood.

So I ended up calling my family and telling them the story.  Then I started asking for help pretty quick.  We ended up getting some help and then I decided to not use my old method of moving. Usually, I just go to a  big box store and asks for some cheap moving boxes but this time I decided to do it right.  Instead of getting old flimsy boxes I went to a packaging supplies store online and ordered a moving package.  It was only 40 bucks all said and done but I got thick boxes, tape, markers, and labels.  It was a really great set up and the best part was the closet boxes. 

There are literally boxes that have rods in the to hang your closet clothes on and then it seals up.  These were so cool that even my wife was happy I spent the money.  Our closet clothes were safe and not folded.  Instead of hanging in a really cool box that we could carry and not worry about dresses or suits getting damaged. It was something that I wished I had done before.  Never before did I know that such advanced boxes existed.  I decided to tell everyone who helped me move and they all thought I was crazy till they saw it.  They said it was the easiest move they had ever had.  We ordered a trailer to rent and did the whole thing in two trips.  No one pulled muscles and no one broke anything because the boxes were so good.

I honestly, never thought that moving could be so simple.  So I suggest next time spending just a little bit of money to keep everyone happy and all of your gear safe. Happy moving!

Growing Your Shipping Department

This year has been a complicated mess for most companies working in the United States.  Due to the massive amount of different regulations from state to state companies are struggling to keep up with the change.  Many companies have moved from a brick and mortar store to a more e-commerce focused business almost overnight. This has changed the backend and in many cases the front end of many stores.  If this change is happening to your company or you are pondering moving to a larger e-commerce focused business then I want to go over a few areas that have impacted our company that may help you out.

The big thing we noticed with all the regulations is that our staff and also the number of people allowed in our store had to be limited.  In our business, this meant a total revamp of our company.  We ended up moving many of our staff into different positions and at different times in order to allow us to keep our staff. Since our front end staff was no longer needed to sell directly to customers we transitioned them into working on our newly focused e-commerce section.  This was not as easy as we imagined it would be.  We have to not only train these employees to do shipping, but also we had to make the appropriate space for them to work.

The space issue was something that took time to overcome.  We now moved from 80% inside sales to 80% e-commerce sales.  This big switch meant that we needed to move our front end store into a much smaller section.  The easiest way was to get a hold of the landlord and make sure it was fine to put in a temporary wall which took the floor space on the front end and made it much smaller.  We lowered the floor space by about 60% and started to create more space for staff and storage.

Our goal was to be able to store the products more efficiently and be able to find and move them in and out of our system more reliably.  See with a brick and mortar store display and showing products correctly takes priority.  The other thing to think about is to eliminate inventory issues such as theft.  That can ruin your number fast.  So in order to do this, we ended up ordering lots of shipping supplies in order to organize our new back end store better. We looked up some articles and other staff remembered that most big box stores simply use cardboard bins that they ordered as shipping supplies.  This was a super-easy way to move products into a new aisle system.

We move the back end of the store into aisles that allowed us to use a numbering and letter system to categorize each product in more detail.  We had a good system but since our inventory was going to double and need to be a bit more efficient it was necessary.  The staff understood the system really quickly.  This was a wonderful thing because the ABS aisles and numbers for each shelf sped up each order gatherer in finding a product.

I hope these small steps ended up giving you an idea of what you can do with your store.  If you are moving into more e-commerce then space will be more important then looks.

Are your tape decisions costing you?

This year has been quite the learning experience for myself and even my company.  We are starting to do a lot of our own marketing in house and it has been a huge change in all the different types of boxes, bags, and tape we have needed. In all honesty, I never imagined we would be doing so much manual labor, but it is saving us lots of money on our marketing budget.  So some of the things we have learned have been on the basis of manufacturing or warehouse work instead of what we normally do.  Today I want to go through some of the things that we learned when getting into the whole self-marketing area and some of the products we ended up needing and how to get them.

Luckily, we have some very detail oriented people on our staff and that helped us save thousands of dollars this year. That is a big deal especially when our marketing budget had some cuts due to covid-19 and our economy.  Having people count and take note of each process was key to us.  We wanted to learn how to take a marketing gift and put it in a box or bag and put the best amount of tape, bubble wrap, and labels on it to send efficiently.  The last thing we wanted was to end up needing to buy double the amount of shipping supplies to send a marketing gift.  This really was a big part of how we saved money because we had a contest of who could do the fastest job, with the least amount of product possible. 

What this all told us was how much product we need per project and it allowed us to project our costs for each marketing endeavour.  This really is a big deal because the cost of thousands of boxes, leters, stamps, and tape adds up fast.  Our first major hurdle was the tape problem.  We started and most people are used to putting lots of strips of tape on boxes and not even thinking about it.  I know I was one of those people, but when it takes 3 strips per side and then 3 strips per label.  We were using 15 strips of tape when we could in reality use 3.  The problem was not necessarily the fact we were putting so many strips on the box.  In reality with the packing tape we were using that was what I needed. We ended up calling a shipping supplies company and finding out that a different type of tape was what we needed.

There are actually lots of different kinds of packing tape available.   This was at the time far beyond my thoughts when working on simply taping up marketing packages.  So when they told us that we could use a little thicker type of tape and use only one strip per side we started to get excited. But the price had to be right. It turns out the cost was 10% more but using 200% less saved us so much money. It was such a small thing, but taking a few minutes to ask questions and learn good advice sold us on a company to buy things with.  Plus they gave us discounts for the quantity of items we bought, so it was a win all around.

Business and Ecommerce Shipping

This year has had an unprecedented effect upon the way we do business.  The economic shutdown of 2020 was a rude awakening for the brick and mortar stores across the United States.   We were shown that unless you had a big box store that sold essential items that you were likely going to be closed down.  This happened in States that no one ever believed would do such a thing.  Rather it was legal or right is not the question.  The fact that it can happen has shown business people to always be flexible and be prepared to find a new way to do business and stay relevant.  Ecommerce was the answer for many companies and the difficulties that struck them the most was the cost of shipping. I want to go over a few things for the ecommerce world that may end up helping in the long run for these companies.

The first thing to know is that shipping is expensive.  It can be a 10% cost on average for products and that can eat into anyones margins taken into effect that it occurs on almost every sale. This is indeed a very big deal and many companies need to be prepared for the consequences.  This may mean you put that cost onto your customers.  But how do  you convey the cost for shipping supplies to your current customer base?  To be honest, honesty is the best policy.  Many professionals prefer to let the customer base know that prices are going to rise due to costs of business.  A good way to get your customer happy is to give them a discount before it happens.

So the week before you plan to increase prices by say 6-10% give your customer base a deal.  Let them see a 10% Discount and free shipping before things go up do to covid-19. Be honest and let them know they can take advantage of this deal now.  It is a way to win your base over and let them know what is happening and why.  They will usually respond positively in the long run by doing this.  Now once you get extra sales from the sale you can then spend that money to purchase shipping supplies to cover the future sale of products you are about to have.

Once you have the sale done and your customer base knows you are going to raise prices it is time to decide how to ship all of those items.  I really like packaging supplies stores that specialise in only that.  They usually have the best prices especially in large quantities and can give deals that other companies simply cannot.  10% off a already discounted item sold in bulk is a great way to join the e commerce ranks.  It is really important to go overboard in quality in shipping because it will cut down in other areas as well.

The lack of returns by having good materials is worth a little extra money. Remember bad reviews and returns eat away at margins like a leprosy.  That can be avoided by having good materials and getting the product safely and quickly to your customer. Remember you are shifting the cost on to them, so give them really good service for it! No go out and dominate your market!

Variety Of Candy Packaging

There is a wide variety of packaging that holds the most delicious candies that we love to enjoy. Here are a few different types of packages that hold candy and other kinds of treats.

Hanging Bags

Hanging bags are often seen in grocery stores and many other retail locations. These are a type of bag that is made of plastic and is sealed on both ends of the bag and may have seams in the middle.

The bags also have a hole that allows them to be hung on hooks so that they can be displayed on any rack. Hanging bags can hold multiple types of pre-packaged candies which will keep the candy nice and fresh when they are purchased to the consumer.

Pillow Bags and Pouches

Pillow bags and pouches are also a common type of candy packaging that is used to hold pre-wrapped candies in multiple bundles so that you can have more than one piece of candy. The bags have their name since they so much like a pillow and are usually found being laid flat on the shelves of the store and are known to hold small chocolate bars and individually wrapped gummy candy.

Gusseted Poly Bags

Gusseted poly bags are known for their flat bottoms because the pleat is pressed and becomes flattened. The bag allows for more space and keeps the shape of the box and can be heat sealed, tied, stapled, or taped shut. The poly bags are perfect for people to get more candy in one bag and these bags are more likely to be seen at pick-n-mix stations where people can get a bag full of various candies.

Reclosable Zipper Bags and Pouches

Reclosable zipper bags and pouches are highly useful because it allows the candy to stay fresh for a long period of time and allows anyone to enjoy them. The zipper allows the customers to close the bags and portion out their amount of candy and have it on the go.

Candy Trays

Candy trays are often bought in bulk and multiple sizes or can be bought custom-made in different shapes. The plastic trays are found inside of deluxe boxes and gift boxes that can hold candy individually. Candy trays are very popular when wanting to create a clean appearance.

Twist Ties or Heat Sealers

The poly bags that hold your candy and need to be tied up or sealed so that the candy doesn’t fall out and that’s where twist ties and heat sealers come in. Twist ties are a cheap options in order to close your bag. If you have candy that will sit on the shelf for a long time then it would be best to use heat sealers. They make the bag durable and airtight and helps preserve the freshness of your candy and it can sit out for a longer time.

Flexible Pouches

Flexible pouches are great for holding your pieces of candies and many other treats. Some pouches can be closed with a zipper seal. These pouches offer great printing capabilities so that you can add attractive candy branding on the pouch.

Foil Wrappers

Foil wrappers are also known as a common way to keep the freshness and original taste of the candy. The wrappers are often wrapped around different chocolates and other types of delicious sweets.

Gift Boxes

Gift boxes are usually used by retailers in order to create a beautiful presentation for the customers. Gift boxes come in different colors and shapes and can even be customized with different label applications. Although gift boxes are nice, they do not have an air-tight seal, so it would be beneficial to use small poly bags in order to preserve the candy.

Deluxe Two-Piece Boxes

Deluxe boxes are more heavy-duty and are used to store chocolates in a beautiful display for certain occasions. The design of this two-piece box makes if fun for the customer to open and give off a nice and clean look on the inside of the box. The boxes are often used with the candy trays in order to separate all of the treats and make the appearance even better.

What things you need to move your house

The time has come, you have put in your offer and it was accepted.  The finances went through and you just finished closing.  Do you know what I am talking about now? Buying a home and finally getting to the stage of moving into it. This is a complicated and yet sometimes stressful and simplistic time.  The idea of moving all your things from one place to another sounds simple and in theory it really is, but there are some things that need to be taken into account to help lessen the stress and hardship involved.

It seems that having some things on hand are really useful. I find that stocking up on shipping supplies is a big step in the moving process.  So what kind of shipping supplies should you have on hand?  I think lots of cardboard boxes are a great start. But many are not taped or need to be retaped depending on their use. 

So get lots of packing tape to go along with them and you never know when those can come in handy for making barriers between items so they don’t get scratched or even items and vehicles for that matter. It is also important to make sure some things don’t move and tape can be very handy for that.  Scotch tape or panters tape is very useful for drawers you don’t plan on taking out before you move.  Keeping them from sliding out can save much damage from occurring on expensive furniture.

It is also important to have an idea of how many boxes you will need beforehand and this is a complicated process.  I find that you should walk through your current location and pretend in your head to figure out how many boxes you may need. This then correlates to how many you will need to buy and also what vehicles you will need to travel with them to the new home.

Now that you know how many boxes you may use and have planned out all the items you will be moving it is important to have a way to move them to your newly purchased home. Many people like to ask friends with trucks and large vans to help, but some people are not as lucky and don’t have friends who have large vehicles or a trailer they could use.  So other options are rental vehicles and Uhal is a big company that is usually in most cities.

Online Shopping 2020

This year was a huge year for the entire economic environment of the world.  The Covid-19 pandemic took place this year and it legitimately changed the world and how we produce, ship, and shop.  The majority of the world ended up moving into its own version of social lockdowns and social distancing and it forced a good portion of the world to be on house arrest.  House arrest means that you are not able to leave your home without the fear of being arrested.  This was a worldwide acceptable compromise for health.  It did turn out to be the liberty killer that took away the freedom of much of the world for a virus that turned out to be not what we were told.  It was actually similar to the common flu and just like the flu people who have complicated health issues are susceptible to it.  Now we are still adjusting to the new normal of purchasing.

The change in shopping and purchasing has caused a rise in shipping supplies and use all across the world.  Deliver jobs have become one of the most essential and hired positions across the world.  Sales for online shopping almost doubled in the two month lockdown in the United States and Amazon profited like none other even after a 40% stock market drop. Companies that sell shipping supplies ended up selling more boxes, tape and supplies than ever before.  This is due to the change in how people were purchasing.

Brick and mortar stores changed to e-commerce stores overnight. People were not able to leave their house for fear of being arrested and they ended up purchasing through fear from their home for several months. This fundamentally changed a large majority of stores.  They had to move from the mindset that they would be able to sell face to face and change up to the fact that people would be searching online.  So signage marketing completely went caput.  SEO became one of the most sought after marketing products.

So SEO is now the most important marketing tool.  It is simply the fact that people cannot buy your new brick and mortar, turned ecommerce products if they cannot find you online.  This means you need to budget quickly for the change in order to stay ahead of competition.  If you are new to the game it costs money and takes time to hit the top of the search pages. So get on it fast!