Bulk source for decent paintable wood small ring boxes?
April 15, 2018 3:02 PM   Subscribe

I feel I've really scoured the internet but cannot find a good source for some paintable, hinged ring boxes. The last ones I ordered are a total fail. Hope me??

I got my boxes previously from Michael's (link to my image only and inside). While they're decent they are cheap, slightly off kilter, lightweight, and very small and also have a beveled edge. They also aren't easy to source. Sometimes they're out of stock or only have a couple and aren't listed online.

These had good reviews and I ordered 24. First of all they aren't as shown (different clasps and hinges on the outside.) In addition, 4 are completely unusable. Over half have uneven clasps or hinges I have to try to fix or they will be unusable. Most need some wood filling and all need sanding.

I've honestly spent hours trying to find something like these. And now I'm spending hours trying to get some workable ones from my last order.

Does anyone have a good source for some decent quality bulk boxes?
-Raw wood to be painted
-Hinges and clasps
-As flat on top as possible.
-Small (the smaller are business card sized, the larger have dimensions listed.)
-Around $2-$3 or less each.
-Available in quantities of maybe 6 to 12.
-Reliable website/supplier.

This seems like it should be easy to find from a craft supply website or Michael's new bulk, but it's not! Is there any hope?
posted by Crystalinne to Shopping (6 answers total)
Have you tried aliexpress.com? If you know someone who reads chinese or are comfortable with google translate shenanigans, taobao.com is cheaper but aliexpress is the friendly english version.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:26 PM on April 15, 2018

I would be happy to know people's experience with aliexpress if that's the best place to go.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2018

How about this: https://woodcrafter.com/boxes/wood-boxes/small-wood-boxes/
posted by poppunkcat at 5:19 PM on April 15, 2018

Stuff from Aliexpress arrives about a month after you order it, in a crummy, insufficiently-padded envelope, but it's crazy-cheap. In my experience it matches the product photo closely.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:39 AM on April 16, 2018

Aliexpress is a market for independent vendors. I've bought merchandise there dozens of times without problems. It's the same stuff being sold by Michael's and OTC and much cheaper, the only downside being the shipping time from China. Some vendors use inadequate packaging but I haven't had a problem with broken or missing goods yet.

Pay attention to seller ratings, compare prices, scrutinize merchandise photos and don't buy anything that doesn't have detailed product measurements. New vendors will sometimes underprice to establish a positive reputation, but on the other hand prices too good to be true usually are. Sometimes underpriced items have outrageous shipping fees attached. Pay attention to discounts; vendors will usually knock a couple bucks off for bulk orders, Aliexpress sponsors major seasonal sales (Anniversary sale in March, 11/11 sale in November) and has coupon programs for new and frequent shoppers. Checking out from the Aliexpress app on your phone or tablet will also save some money. In aggregate, all these nickle-here, dollar-there discounts ended up taking $6 off an $18 order I recently placed for an item selling in the states for over $40.

When you check out, you are usually offered an escalating set of shipping options; paying a premium for shipping is not necessarily a bad idea, especially when the net price will still land under a comparable price from Michael's. Many vendors will work with you if you have particular needs, quantities, and will be even more accommodating when you're a return customer buying more than the minimum quantities of things. communications usually occur through Aliexpress' automated translator, so be patient but don't hesitate to ask for clarifications.

Finally, some vendors on Aliexpress are also listing on Amazon and Ebay, so you can do comparison shopping in that way too.
posted by ardgedee at 5:45 AM on April 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

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