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  • Gokhan Aktas

How are custom tin can prices determined?

Custom tin cans represent a premium type of packaging that is widely used for branding. They are available in many different shapes and sizes and usually, orders are in smaller quantities. As a custom tin manufacturer, we have to prepare a new quote for every inquiry we get. This is something we do daily and it is a process that takes some time due to the high number of factors that go into pricing. Let’s start with the basics of custom tin can pricing.

Person preparing a custom tin quote

The biggest contributor to pricing is the raw material which is the tinplate. We as a company use 1st quality Turkish steel and we pick the right thickness to get the best price/sturdiness balance. However, pricing is determined globally in US dollars. There might be slight differences in different regions due to currency conversions and trade restrictions but the cost tends to balance itself out eventually.

Since custom tins are custom, there might be major differences in the manufacturing process which have a direct impact on pricing. For example, round tea tins are faster to produce and have fewer processes which lowers the labor cost and decreases the price for that particular tin can.

There is also the issue of design elements such as printing and embossing. If embossing is wanted, it will be an additional process to can-making which affects the cost and also there is a cost difference between printing different designs due to the number of colors required.

Teksan's custom tin can offset printing machine

These three major points make up the majority of the costs but then there are the variable pricing factors to consider. Order quantity is one of these factors as the higher the quantity, the less it costs to produce due to the economies of scale. Minimum quantity orders especially cost quite high due to the setup cost not being easily distributed across a larger production volume.

The size and shape also contribute to the variable pricing factors. Some shapes like round tins have more material waste generated which increases material cost. And again round tins take more space when packed in cartons or on pallets which increases packing and shipping costs.

Some start-up costs can apply to certain projects. Sometimes clients will ask for new sizes or shapes that require new toolings. The cost of new toolings is high so they are usually considered for bigger and continuous projects to amortize the tooling expenses. Embossing and debossing processes also require new toolings specific to that design. Unless the clients ask for blank tins, new printing plates should be made for each printed color which is also a one-time cost.

So when we are asked to prepare a new quote, we start from scratch and calculate all these factors one by one to give a fair price for the quality of the service we give and the product we produce. We tend to shy away from giving a price right away when we are asked just because we want to be precise. Now that you know the factors that go into pricing, you’ll be better equipped to analyze the quote and make informed decisions while not sacrificing the quality and appeal of your custom tin cans.

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