retail packaging

5 Red Flags to Look for in Retail Packaging Service Providers

Your retail packaging is critical to communicating your marketing message to buyers.

At some point, your retail packaging service provider may fall short. The growth of your product line, higher consumer demand, or a shift in your goals can push your packaging needs beyond their capabilities.

It’s also important to be aware of any changes in your relationship with your product packaging supplier at all times. A previously perfect arrangement may devolve into something more complicated or problematic over time. Paying close attention to the warning signs will help you to solve problems early. If multiple warning signs pop up or issues arise often, it may be time to look for a new packaging partner.

So, what are a few red flags to keep an eye out for when it comes to retail packaging companies?

retail packaging

Complacency Prevents Innovation for Retail Packaging

When there isn’t an immediate problem with your retail packaging, it can be difficult to see the potential of new ideas. A great packaging company presents innovative ideas that could help increase sales or cut cost. They are invested in their clients’ success and can see opportunities that someone less familiar with the packaging industry would miss.

If your current retail packaging service provider is on auto-pilot and things are “just fine.” the situation is not optimal. Think about how they are helping you save money, promote brand awareness, and communicate your marketing message.

To get fresh ideas, you may need to reach out to a few suppliers.  New perspectives may help you find out if a different level of creativity could better serve your needs.

custom retail boxes

Poor Quality Samples Show Internal Problems

When your company feels inspired to create changes to its product packaging, you need your packaging company to provide high-quality samples. Your samples are a physical representation of the concepts that will take your product to the next level in sales volume and popularity with your customers.

If the samples are not good, the finished product won’t be either. Sample errors are the result of poor quality control, a lack of knowledge, or your packaging partner cutting corners.  And unfortunately, this usually indicates serious internal issues. It’s unacceptable to push back product deadlines due to unmet expectations.

box printing for retail

Proofing Mistakes Indicate Lack of Communication

The lack of good quality control on your supplier’s end serves as a red flag that you could face severe problems down the road. There are many reasons why quality control can suffer, but the most common culprit is poor internal communication.

If proofing mistakes for retail packaging are becoming a frequent problem, it’s time to explore other options. Finding the right packaging partner could take time. Proofing mistakes are an indicator that you need to start planning your search for a new packaging company. Slow Response to Request for Changes

A dependable packing partner is willing and able to respond to last-minute changes. If they can’t or won’t handle requests requiring a fast turnaround, you could miss out on valuable shelf space.

Adjustments to retail requirements are a common occurrence in this industry. It’s reasonable to expect your supplier to be able to handle changes of any size and scope efficiently.

If your current supplier responds to your inquiries about packaging changes slowly or they aren’t enthusiastically supporting your efforts to stay in compliance with your retailers’ requests, it may be time to move on.

design retail boxes

Waiting Too Long for Retail Packaging Quotes

Having an agile retail packaging partner on your side will help you respond to market changes and execute new ideas swiftly. When you request a quote for new packaging or changes to your current setup, your supplier should respond immediately with an estimate of when you can expect a quote.

If you have to hold production while waiting for their answer regarding your retail packaging, you would be wise to shop around for a supplier that is more responsive and better serves your needs when on a tight schedule. Your packaging partner shouldn’t take days to respond to your request for a quote. There is a problem if you aren’t getting the answers needed to move forward with your plans in a matter of hours.

Any time you experience a pattern of dissatisfaction with a supplier, consider it a warning. Forming a relationship with a retail packaging company that will serve your business needs for the long haul takes time. It’s best to identify problems with your current supplier as early as possible. If the issues are not easily solved, it’s time to begin the process of finding a more suitable partner.

It’s best to handle the transition from your current supplier to a new partner gradually. This helps avoid confusion inside your company and product delays. If you are in a situation where you need to find a new supplier right away, your business operations are at a disadvantage.


While ending your relationship with your current supplier isn’t easy, it may ultimately be the best decision for businesses committed to continued growth and innovation. Your business deserves a packaging partner that consistently exceeds expectations. Early detection of problems with your current supplier will help you make the right move at the right time.

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