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Recipients love the sleekness and protection of poly mailers. Shippers love the ease and affordability of poly mailers. When compared to default shipping options like corrugated boxes, poly mailers are:

  • Waterproof.
  • Lighter.
  • Flexible.
  • Easy to label.
  • Easy to open.
  • Easy to customize.

Of course, poly mailers aren’t intended to be default replacements for corrugated boxes. There are simply many applications where corrugated is king. However, there are times when auditing your packaging plan to see where the convenience of poly mailers can replace the unneeded bulk of corrugated boxes for some products is smart. The first step to deciding the how, why and when of using poly mailers comes down to understanding the best practices for using poly mailers. What fits in custom poly mailers? Take a look at the products that work nicely with poly mailers.

Meet the Poly Mailer

The poly mailer is typically considered to be the lightest of all packaging options when shipping goods. Poly mailers are made from a durable, pliable material called polyethylene. Polyethylene is especially effective for resisting tearing and punctures during processing, handling and shipping. They are one of the only shipping options to be naturally waterproof by default!

Poly mailers are also very secure. They are sealed tightly with a heavy-duty strip made of adhesive material. One of the advantages of the self-adhesive strip is that the seller doesn’t need to worry about purchasing additional tape, fasteners or sealing materials. The all-in-one aspect of poly mailers also helps to speed up processing times during the shipping process. Workers in a shipping assembly line can seal each package in one step. Finally, poly mailers have opaque interiors that offer built-in product privacy. It’s essentially impossible to see what is concealed within a poly mailer without opening the package.

What Types of Items Can Be Shipped in Poly Mailers?

Poly mailers can typically be found in sizes ranging from 6 x 6 (inches) to 24 x 24 (inches). The product profile for an item that can ideally be shipped in a mailer is a small, lightweight item that isn’t particularly fragile. Poly mailers don’t have the insulation needed to protect items with intricate, breakable parts. However, some strategic product wrapping can make a poly mailer a suitable option for a product that is slightly fragile. Here’s a look at the superstar categories for using poly mailers:

  • Apparel: Shirts, pants, skirts, jackets and sweaters do beautifully in poly mailers because these items aren’t at risk for being crushed during transport. They also tend to fold nicely into poly mailers in a way that prevents excessive wrinkling.
  • Accessories: Hats, masks, gloves, sweatbands and scarves are great for poly mailers! In fact, many customers appreciate receiving a smaller item like a hat or mask in a right-sized poly mailer instead of opening up a box that’s mostly filled with empty air!
  • Bedding: Soft bedding is a great match for poly mailers.
  • Lifestyle Accessories: Phone cases and electronic skins are ideal for poly mailers because they are small, thin and durable.
  • Books: Books tend to slip inside poly mailers very smoothly without risks for crushing or bending. Buyers of books tend to appreciate the efficient, eco-friendly usage of right-sized packaging over large boxes.
  • Swatches: Companies that provide samples of paint colors or fabrics can save on shipping costs using an efficient system that involves poly mailers.
  • Prints: Prints and artwork can be transported safely in poly mailers as long as a rigid backing is provided to prevent bending.
  • Health Products: Supplements, vitamins and healthy snacks can be shipped in poly mailers. The durable seal provided by a poly mailer helps to ensure freshness!
  • Jewelry: Many artisans ship handmade jewelry using poly mailers. While a poly mailer may not be an appropriate choice for a fragile item like a watch unless that watch is already housed in a box, common items like beaded earrings and bracelets can be shipped very cheaply with confidence!
  • Candies: Hard candies and chocolates hold up nicely in poly mailers. Loose candies are especially easy to ship with poly mailers because there’s no need to worry about matching a specific size or shape.
  • Cosmetic Items: Poly mailers can hold makeup products easily.
  • Any Products That Have Hard Packaging: Any product that is already in a box or shell can typically be mailed in a poly mailer.

The quality of the poly mailer being used plays a big role in the outcome on the customer end. Sellers should avoid purchasing “bulk” mailers from faceless brands. In many cases, these are inferior mailers that may not provide the structural integrity or durability needed to keep products safe. Ordering custom poly mailers from a reputable packaging distributor helps sellers to save money in the long run. High-quality mailers help to protect sellers against reshipping costs, replacement costs, negative reviews and negative customer impressions.

It’s also important to know about the best practices for ensuring a successful shipping experience! For instance, sellers should avoid leaving empty spaces in mailers. This leaves the product inside vulnerable. First, try to order bags that are appropriately sized. Next, have a policy of padding extra spaces with materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts or eco-friendly shredded kraft paper.

Know the Rules for Mailing Products With Poly Mailers

It’s essential to know the official United States Postal Service (USPS) requirements for shipping out poly mailers. Luckily, working with a reputable packaging providers means that you can make your purchasing decisions with the help of experts that deal with these rules every single day. The biggest rule to know is that poly mailers must be at least 2 millimeters thick for shipments up to 5 pounds. Shipments up to 10 pounds require at least a 4-millimeter thickness. Lastly, a mailer’s overhang cannot exceed 0.05 inches when the mailer is flat.

Finding the Right Poly Mailer for Your Product

The poly mailer should never been seen as a one-size-fits-all option. While placing bulk orders for generic mailers does often result in being stuck with a single option, this isn’t the experience when you use custom poly mailers. Take a look at the many options available for custom poly mailers.

Standard White Poly Mailers

“Regular” poly mailers provide “budget” packaging for a wide variety of products. While they provide some insulation, standard white mailers do not feature bubble padding. They are ideal for items like clothing, scarves and hats.

Bubble-Padded Poly Mailers

Many brands and individual sellers like the added peace of mind offered by bubble poly mailers. While bubble-padded mailers offer many of the same cost benefits of plain mailers, they increase security during shipping. The extra cost is usually cancelled out by the fact that the shipper doesn’t need to purchase padding or filler.

Expansion Poly Mailers

Sellers looking for a way to tap into the cost savings and efficiency of poly mailers while mailing slightly larger and heavier items can consider expansion poly mailers. Expansion mailers are made of ultra-durable polyethylene. They offer an added barrier against threats of puncturing, tearing and tampering. What’s more, they are excellent for protecting items from moisture damage during shipping.

Can You Purchase Eco-Friendly Poly Mailers?

Many sellers assume that the only options for eco-friendly shipping are recycled corrugated boxes and craft paper. This causes many decision makers to purchase boxes that are actually larger and bulkier than is necessarily simply because they want to select the most eco-friendly material. The reality is that there are many eco-friendly options available when selecting poly mailers. However, many bulk suppliers that offer “cheap” poly mailers of dubious origins do not offer eco-friendly options.

Sourcing poly mailers from dedicated packaging experts allows shippers to access eco-friendly options that include mailers made from recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials. Customers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly packaging options from sellers as part of a larger preference for purchasing from eco-friendly brands with business practices oriented toward sustainability. A 2021 study on customer attitudes shows that more than 80 percent of consumers feel it’s either “important” or “extremely important” for companies to design environmentally conscious products.

Is It Time to Consider Custom Poly Mailers?

Many sellers are wasting time and money by ignoring custom poly mailers. This packaging option can fill in gaps in your shipping system. The team at Mid-Atlantic Packaging is here to help you explore poly mailers in a wide variety of sizes. We offer options that are durable, attractive and appropriate for nearly all types of merchandise. Get your quote today!