Uline

Packaging

Updated May 11, 2018

4 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

19/25

Cost

25/25

Differentiation

19/25

Effectiveness

25/25

Pros

  • One of the largest packaging selections
  • Online ordering, competitive rates
  • Same-day shipping, usually next-day delivery

Cons

  • Customizable products are limited
  • Atrocious customer service when it comes to shipping matters

You’d never expect to think of Uline as a vendor for advocacy or political campaigns, would you? The 37-year old business features one of the most massive arrays of boxes and industrial-grade products for a variety of operations. Considering this, Uline could be an exceptional vendor to use when purchasing packing materials or office supplies in any quantity.

What can you buy from Uline?

Uline built its brand around retailing shipping and fulfillment supplies for hard-labor industries. But, you’re probably wondering what you could purchase from the company for your campaign field offices or nonprofit headquarters, aren’t you?

For one, office supplies including pens, markers, cleaning and janitorial supplies, and desks and furniture all can be purchased from Uline online or in any of their stores.

Custom products, or lack thereof

Uline offers custom products. These products include custom stickers, promotional tape, retail bags, and other branded materials. You can manipulate text and infuse your organization’s color schemes and logos on your preferred products; however, there is no web-native customization experience. Instead, customers must rely on Uline’s designers–and their abilities–to ensure that your logos, texts, and colors are appropriately rendered onto a particular custom item.

Plus, Uline only advertises for eleven customized product categories while some of these categories include custom printed paper and bubble wrap shipping rolls. Compared to other services, like Packlane or Epromos, Uline is bone-dry of any substantive features that could make it a reliable vendor for custom shipping materials, let alone products.

Customer service and fulfillment

One of the least popular aspects of Uline’s business is its customer service when it comes to shipping issues. Uline customers have attributed their experiences with customer service as virtually negative for matters which a customer contacted customer service to receive assistance on a missed package or wrongly shipped item.

Pricing structure

As with their competitors, shipping supplies and related materials are priced by per unit via volume amounts. For example, a basic white literature mailer with the dimensions of 15 1/8 x 11 ⅛ x 4″ at 50 units for volume-based orders cost $79.00 total. Individual products, additionally, (e.g., bubble wrap rolls) start at $45.00 and up (with size and dimensions in mind).

Custom products are similarly priced when adjusting shipping volume requirements. The only catch is that customers wanting custom products must contact Uline directly for assistance–including pricing information. When buying in bulk (or anything close-to), pricing is far cheaper.

What we think

If you’re shipping products from a web-store, Uline is a convenient place to buy supplies. Merchandising products that benefit your cause requires excellent shipping materials to ensure consumer enjoyment from the reception of the parcel to putting on their #MeToo shirt or MAGA hat.

Besides the obvious benefits, Uline only offers basic packaging and shipping supplies that could be considered bland and boring. Competitors who offer customized boxes (i.e., custom box material, positioned logo, matching color-schemes), though expensive, could add customer value to any shipped product. Plus, be wary of Uline’s customer service support line if an order is screwed up. It could become a major ordeal.

If you have any feedback on this review or you would like to suggest an app for us to review, please drop us a note – telegraph@joinlincoln.org.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

19/25

Cost

25/25

Differentiation

19/25

Effectiveness

25/25

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