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Most Popular Packaging Options - Find Out Which Is the Best for Your E-commerce Store and Products

Updated: Jul 23, 2021

As a dropshipper, you should have had some exposure to myriad types of packaging materials at some point. You might have also wrapped your head around which one to choose in order to keep your costs low and appease your customers. In this blog post, we will provide you a list of most commonly used packaging and dunnage options in the dropshipping industry together with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

External Packaging

1. Poly mailers/bags


  • A cost-effective option for extra protection and seal

  • Light-weight

  • Flexible and soft but durable (hard to break) and resistant to moisture and dust (for most variations)

  • Come in a wide range of sizes and forms that are suitable for different kinds of products

  • Require little to no dunnage

  • Can easily be branded and customised to align with your brand (e.g. colors, logo, etc.)


  • Do not provide good protection against high impact and pressure

  • Usually not ideal for heavy and sharp items

  • Most variations are non-recyclable

  • Give a sense of inferiority and ‘cheapness’ to customers

Ideal for

  • Soft and small items that require little padding such as clothing, small electronic devices, office supplies, and jewelries

  • For items that need a little more cushion support (e.g. books and notepads), bubble lined poly bags can be used

2. Corrugated/cardboard boxes


  • Durable and provide some cushion support in the shipping process

  • Come in various sizes, suitable for many products

  • Can contain multiple items of varying shapes, sizes, and weights in one box

  • Generally affordable when purchased compared to the majority of other alternatives

  • Prevent bacteria contamination thanks to the ways they are constructed

  • Eco friendly (most are biodegradable and recyclable), usually made from 70% or more of recycled materials

  • A cheaper variation is paperboard boxes, which do not offer as much protection


  • Rigid

  • Often require dunnage to fill in the air gap inside

  • Can be damaged under certain conditions (e.g. rainy, snowy)

  • Usually incur more shipping costs due to their sizes

Ideal for

  • Almost any items

3. Rigid boxes


  • Highly condensed and durable, thus offering good protection against high impacts such as drop from high altitude

  • Consist of multiple compartments for different parts of the items

  • Have premium customisable features such as coating and hot-stamping

  • Deliver a luxury/superior ‘look’ and ‘feel’ to customers


  • Heavy, thus incurring higher shipping fees

  • Expensive

Ideal for

  • Luxury items such as cosmetics, watches, high-end electronics (e.g. phones).

Dunnage: Refers to interior packaging materials that offer additional support and protection from damage, contaminants, or shifting of items inside the boxes.

More often than not, you need to take extra steps to ensure that your customers receive the products in good conditions, and dunnage does just that. It provides some cushioning, especially for fragile items, to decrease the likelihood of breakage and damage in the delivery process.

The table below lists some advantages provided by the most common type of dunnage.

Kindly note that the list above is non-exhaustive. However, we hope that it would help you make a more informed decision for your business. If you want to take some burden off yourself regarding this matter, you may work with a dropshipping agent, who will be able to provide you with valuable insights and advice on which options work best for your products and brand names.

With over 30 years of logistics experience, Xianchao Logistics began to branch out to serve the dropshipping industry in 2015. With our experience in logistics fulfilment and close relationships with suppliers, our company has risen to help different dropshippers grow their businesses over these years. We believe that our company’s success and growth will only come with helping our clients grow. Do you have a dropshipping business to grow? Discuss with us and let’s get started ASAP!

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