Packaging can have a significant financial expense on your e-commerce business. The choices you make regarding packaging materials can have a huge impact on the profitability of your business. The most popular packaging options are cardboard boxes and padded/bubble envelopes (Jiffy Bags).

Before deciding which packing materials to choose, you first need to determine the pros and cons of each, then decide which one will work best for the item(s) you’re shipping. If you’re shipping clothing and textiles materials, then opting for a padded envelope would be the more logical option. However, if you’re shipping fragile goods, then the safer option would be to use box packaging with the correct inner packing material to avoid damage. This is very important to the customer experience and will help increase the chances of them purchasing from you again.

Padded Envelopes


Padded envelopes are very lightweight. Therefore, they cost significantly less to ship. They are also really cheap to purchase. Padded envelopes are already bubble lined to protect goods. Meaning that you most likely won’t need to use any additional packing support. They’re also very small and will take up much less space in your warehouse/packing station. Of course, all packing materials have their disadvantages.


Padded envelopes are susceptible to being crushed. If heavy items or boxes are placed on top of the envelopes, then the contents could be crushed underneath. Also, a low quality padded envelope can be easily torn or punctured which can cause damage to the goods inside. The main disadvantage of padded envelopes is that they are unable to accommodate large items. They do come in a range of sizes and you can buy large envelopes, but there are still a lot of items that are unable to fit inside of them.

Cardboard Boxes


The main advantage of cardboard boxes is the fact they are strong and sturdy. Also, they’re designed to withstand the weight of heavy items. Boxes can be used to ship heavy goods safely with little risk of being crushed. They are available in a variety of different sizes, meaning that there will be a box out there to meet your shipping needs. With the correct inner packing materials, multiple items can be shipped in a box.


Boxes tend to be quite expensive, especially compared to padded envelopes. Not only do they cost more to buy, but the postage often costs considerably more when shipping a box compared to a jiffy bag. This is often the case when using dimensional weight pricing. 

When shipping goods in a box, you need to ensure that all items are wrapped and the correct inner packing material such as bubble wrap or styrofoam is used. This can also become costly, as the packing material will need to be purchased separately. Compared to using a jiffy bag to ship goods as padding is built-in to them, saving time and money. Boxes also take up a lot more space than padded envelopes do. They can be really bulky which makes them way more difficult to store than jiffy bags if you need to ship quite a lot of items.

Which one to choose?

There are many instances where a box would be the more suitable, such as for bulk, heavy items, or items that need protecting. The same for padded envelopes seemingly better for smaller items and products that thin in width and aren’t prone to damage. 

Taking all of the above pointers into account when deciding which to use will be crucial as you want to make as much profit as possible on the goods you’re shipping out. Choosing the wrong packing material can be costly if you do not factor it in,  you could end up overspending on shipping in the end. 

It’s also vital to consider the fragility of the items you’re sending as it can also be costly to replace or discount an item due to it being damaged in transit, due to the incorrect shipping material being chosen,the wrong box size or using an envelope to save costs, sometimes it can even be the courier dropping the package. 

Choosing the right packing materials is one important factor, but finding a reliable supplier is just as important. We have high-quality boxes and padded envelopes on our website which you can find here.

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