Nothing feels better than opening your small t-shirt business up for orders. But all of the excitement of getting your first few customers shouldn’t make you overlook an essential aspect of selling your product: Shipping. After all, you need to make sure that your customers receive their orders and that they are in good condition.
Poly mailers are super popular packaging choices for shipping t-shirts, and for a good reason. They are affordable and easy to use, and they look great! But what size poly mailer do you need? We’ve got everything you’ll need to know about poly mailers so that you can focus on what truly matters – the success of your business!
The Best Size Poly Mailer For T-Shirts
What is the best size poly mailer for t-shirts?
The best size poly mailer for shirts is around 9 x 12 inches. Mailers of this size can fit 1 to 3 medium shirts or 1 to 2 larger shirts. You can also get mailers that are catered to your needs by measuring the width, length, and height of your shirts when they are folded.
Poly mailers are a great and cost-effective way to get your t-shirts from your small business to your customer. They are both small in size and extremely lightweight, which means that they are much cheaper to ship than boxes.
Plus, poly mailers are usually available in a variety of fun and unique designs, which means that you can tailor your mailer to suit the overall aesthetic of your business.
There are also a ton of companies that offer to print customized mailers for you, which is a fun way to personalize your packaging to promote your brand.
But, how do you know what size mailer to use?
Well, you can either use a general, standardized poly mailer that should cater to most of your needs, or you can go ahead and measure your products to determine which size would work for you.
Using a standard mailer size seems like a good idea in theory because you can get your mailers in bulk in whatever size you need. But what happens when you’re dealing with shirts of different sizes and thicknesses?
For instance, you can fit between 1 and 3 medium, lightweight t-shirts into a 9 x 12-inch poly mailer. But when you use the same mailer with shirts marked large or extra-large that are made of a thicker material, you’ll need to get a bigger mailer. The same 9 x 12-inch mailer could probably only accommodate 1 or 2 large shirts.
Instead of playing the guessing game, there are a few factors to consider when you’re picking out the perfect poly mailer size.
What To Consider When Choosing A Poly Mailer
The first thing you’ll need to think about is the size of your products when they are stacked or bundled together. Of course, depending on the fabric you have used, the number of items that need to be shipped, and the size of each garment, you’ll need to adjust the size of your mailer when any of these factors change.
You will also need to consider whether or not your poly mailer will be padded. This is important because the padding can often take up extra space within the mailer. So, instead of shipping 3 shirts in a standard mailer, you’ll only be able to fit 2 of the same t-shirts into a padded mailer.
While you don’t necessarily need to use padded poly mailers, they do come in handy during the shipping process.
Shirts are not considered a delicate item to ship, so they don’t need any extra protection to prevent damage. But, if your package were to be torn for any reason during transit, your t-shirt will be exposed and will also be at risk of becoming torn or damaged before reaching your customer.
You’ll also need to think about the overall cost of shipping your product. Using mailers that are bigger than necessary can increase both your overall packaging costs and affect the cost of getting them to your customer.
T-shirts are easily folded to become more compact, so you don’t need any extra room in your mailer. Your shirt should ideally fit snugly into your mailer to keep them neatly folded. After all, you don’t want your customer to get a wrinkled t-shirt!
Poly mailers are also extremely flexible and versatile, so you can use one type of poly mailer when bundling your shirts. If your customer has bought a few t-shirts from you, you can use the same type of mailer for three shirts as you would use for one.
You can also always order a few sample sizes of each poly mailer you want to test from your supplier. By packing each one with as many shirts as you can in each size, you’ll get a good idea of the sizes that do and don’t work for you and your product.
Find The Perfect Poly Mailer By Measuring Your Products
Now that you know what to think about when choosing your mailer, you can move on to measuring your products. By measuring your t-shirts, both individually and in bundles, you can get a better idea of what size will work best for your business.
You can start by measuring an individual shirt from your product range. Ideally, you will measure your shirts twice. Once for sizes ranging from your smallest size to a medium-sized shirt, and again for shirts sizes large and up.
When you measure your products, you will be looking to figure out both the minimum width of your preferred mailer as well as the length you will need.
So, to determine the width, you’ll need to fold up your product and measure its overall folded width. You can also measure the folded height of the t-shirt. You can add these two values together and add about a quarter-inch to make up for small changes in the final measurements.
Your sum should read as follows:
Minimum poly mailer width = Product width (when folded) + Product height (when folded) + ¼ inch
Make sure to write your sum down and keep the total value for future reference. Then, you can move on to working out the minimum length that your mailer will need to be.
To determine the length, you can measure the length and the height of your t-shirt. Be sure to keep your t-shirt folded so that your measurements are more accurate. You’ll need to double the height of your t-shirt to ensure that your poly mailer will be able to close once your product is inside.
As we did before, when determining the width, you can also go ahead and add a quarter inch to your total.
Your sum should read as follows:
Minimum poly mailer length = Product length (when folded) + (2 x Product height (when folded)) + ¼ inch
You can repeat this process with bundles of shirts as well to adjust the measurements accordingly. If you only sell around two t-shirts at a time, you should be able to get away with one standard poly mailer size.
As we’ve mentioned, poly mailers are very forgiving and can easily accommodate a few shirts in one package when they are stacked.
It’s important to note that if you want to include anything else in your package, like a free thank-you gift or promotional item, you’ll need to account for the extra size within your poly mailer.
How Much Do Poly Mailers Cost?
Poly mailers can be an extremely affordable and cost-effective way for small business to ship their products. The price is normally determined by how many mailers are ordered (poly mailers will be considerably cheaper when ordered in bulk), what material the mailer is made out of, the size of the mailer, and the overall durability of the mailer.
Good, robust mailers are still a much cheaper option than shipping your product using large, bulky boxes. So, if you’re trying to decide between a poly mailer that costs a few cents or a poly mailer that costs closer to a dollar, the decision is a no-brainer.
For a few cents more, you can ensure that your products are reaching your customers in tip-top shape and that you are using more eco-friendly materials. Alternatively, you could spend those few extra cents on ordering customized mailers with your logo on them.
Whatever mailer you choose, no matter your price point, it should tick a few specific boxes. Your mailer should be:
- Made of high-quality materials
- User-friendly (easy to open)
- Thick enough to guard against product damage
- Robust enough to withstand shipping
- Eco-friendly or recyclable (as far as possible)
Now that you know how to find the best size poly mailers for your shirts, you can start ordering your packaging. If you’re still unsure, speak to your poly mailer supplier about testing out a few sample mailers.
Just remember: All small businesses go through some trial and error! So don’t feel too discouraged if you’ve bought a few mailers in the wrong size. We’re here to help you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.
Bryan E. Robinson is the former owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has over 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.