Dear AB: What is the Small Order Fee?

Dear AB: What is the Small Order Fee?
Container and Packaging
by Container and Packaging
September 8, 2020, Updated July 13, 2021

Sometimes as an advice columnist, I receive some pretty heavy-hitting questions. I take great care in giving my honest opinion about everything related to the container industry, and so when I get one of these tough questions, I really take it to heart. This month is no different. I've been asked about the oft-tabooed topic of small order fees, and I hope that I can give some support to those of you out there who are struggling with this problem today.

Dear A.B.,

I'm a tiny customer of Container and Packaging. By tiny, I mean that I don't order very many bottles at once. For some reason, I keep getting hit with a small order fee every time I place an order. Is there something wrong with me? What do I need to change about myself to stop getting this extra fee?

Tired of Fees


Dear Tired,

This is a great question, and one that a lot of people are asking. What is the small order fee, and why do smaller customers have to deal with it? Before we address the reason that we have this fee at Container and Packaging, let's take a broad look at most of the other distributers in the market.

Would you believe me if I told you that most distributers actually don't want to work with small buyers? Well, believe it. They would rather only work with large customers, those who need thousands of their products all at once. So in order to discourage you, the smaller customer who only needs ten or twenty bottles at a time, they set their minimum orders high. If you try to buy your small order of bottles from those other distributers, you'll be thwarted when you try to select your quantity. You'll be unable to buy from these companies because to them, your small order just isn't worth it to them.

Container and Packaging Supports Small Orders

At Container and Packaging, your small order is important to us. You can purchase almost all of our products in quantities as low as one item. We don't have minimum order requirements like those found at many other distributers. However, small orders take more work to fill. Imagine a full box of 100 bottles. If one customer orders that full box, it is quick and easy for our warehouse workers. They find the box, label it, and ship it. Now, imagine if 100 different customers each ordered just one of those bottles. Now our warehouse workers have to go find that box 100 times, pull out just one bottle 100 different times, package that single bottle up 100 times, and ship it 100 times. That's a lot more work for our employees. So to cover that extra labor, we have the small order fee. This fee is $10 for any orders under $50, and it helps offset our base handling fees for these smaller orders.

In order to inform you of this fee so that you aren't surprised when it shows up, this information is posted in many different places on our website. It is at the bottom of each item page, and is also found in your shopping cart before you purchase your items. It will also be listed in the email confirmation of your order.

If you have any other concerns or questions regarding the small order fee, please feel free to contact us. Check out the rest of our Policies and Terms here.

Amber Boston, aka A.B.