Shipping your products can cost you an arm and a leg, but with the right preparation, you can minimize the damage to your bottom line by reducing your packaging costs. Here are five ways to reduce your packaging costs so you have more money to spend on other parts of your business.

1) Save on Packing Tape

When you’re shipping products, it’s tempting to think that more tape is better. However, over-packing boxes makes them harder to ship and increase your costs because boxes are priced by weight. Use just enough tape on each box so that they are secure but not too heavy. Buying rolls in bulk is also likely to save you money. If you do go with smaller rolls of packing tape, make sure to keep a consistent pattern when wrapping cardboard around items; otherwise, it will be almost impossible for someone else (or even yourself) to figure out how to open packages later on.

2) Use Shrink Wrap

One of the easiest ways to reduce your packaging costs is to utilize shrink wrap. Most retailers don’t even think about it as a cost-cutting opportunity because they assume that everyone else uses it, too. The truth is, most brands have never considered using shrink wrap because they think their customers won’t like it. This couldn’t be further from reality. It’s easy for shoppers to spot shrink-wrapped products and feel reassured that they are buying something authentic and unopened, which can boost their sense of security about purchasing an item online. Plus, it’s one less thing for them to worry about!

3) Use Affordable Materials

The first step in reducing your packaging costs is deciding which materials you can afford. You have a huge range of options, from custom wood boxes and designer wrapping paper to recycled cardboard or plastic containers. Some materials are more expensive than others, but they don’t all come with environmental benefits attached. When it comes to choosing affordable materials, it’s up to you whether you’d rather be frugal or eco-friendly. But just know that for every material out there, some consumers will pay a premium for sustainability. If your business is brand new and building its customer base, focus on affordability so you don’t limit yourself at an early stage.

4) Look for Alternative Uses for Materials

Sometimes, in order to save money, companies use packaging materials for more than one product. If you can find a material that works for your product, but also has a second (or third!) life as another product, you could end up paying less for your packaging. Alternatively, you might be able to save money by choosing packaging materials with multiple uses in them already; for example, liquid detergent containers are often made of glass rather than plastic because it’s difficult to repurpose large quantities of empty glass bottles. However, large quantities of small glass bottles means that more breakage occurs during shipping and storage — so some manufacturers choose plastic containers instead.

5) Reuse What you Can

One way to reduce packaging costs is by reusing what you already have. When you’re starting a new project, take a look at any containers or empty packages lying around and see if they can be put to good use. Even scraps of sturdy cardboard or pieces of paper that you aren’t using can be repurposed for shipping materials. And keep an eye out for package-free options when ordering from online retailers—many companies offer bulk pricing when items are shipped without packaging. The next time you need some bubble wrap or packing peanuts, think about asking your friends and family if they have any extras lying around first. You just might find everything you need right in your neighborhood!