Welcome to the world of Subscription Boxes here at ShipMonk! Here, you can find an overview of our Subscription Box Guidelines. If you’ve ever immersed yourself in a “Box Build”, you know there are a million moving parts that require great attention to detail and communication. By adhering to these guidelines, together, we can achieve overall balance and happiness free of delays, errors or additional fees.

Key Terminology: 

  • Batch: A batch combines *all* elements of your subscription box into one easy-to-use "batch". The batch will dictate key details of the subscription build such as the specific SKU’s that will make up the subscription box, target ship date, marketplace notification delay, number of extras to build and where the individual orders will be assigned. Please note: each unique size/color variation will require a separate batch. 

  • Build: The physical act of creating the subscription box. 

  • Extras: Boxes that are built in addition to the number of orders assigned to the batch. Extra boxes can be used for e-commerce sales through your marketplace or to send as replacements for lost/damaged deliveries.

  • Proofs: Photos of a sample box created to showcase how each box will be built. This should include a photo of all units spread out, along with subsequent photos as each “layer” of the box are assembled. 

  • Special project: any task required to ensure the items on a batch are “assembly” ready.  This includes, but not limited to bubble wrapping fragile items, folding articles of clothing or marketing material, separating bulk items into individual units, etc.

Helpful hints for a smooth build:

  • Orders containing gift messages must be designated to a separate batch solely for gift messages. 

  • Subscription orders may only consist of a quantity of one box. If we are shipping multiple boxes to the same customer, separate orders are required.

  • Every item must have sufficient inventory on hand. If there is not sufficient inventory, the batch cannot be submitted, and we cannot build your box.

  • All SKUs on a batch must be “assembly” ready. 

  • Each unique size/color variation will require a separate batch. 

Here are the bullet points for each of our subscription box standards and practices: 

Fulfillment Dates and Flow:

  • 10 calendar days before the ship date: Shipping date needs to be announced. The best way to achieve this is to create the batch and notify your Happiness Engineer.

  • 6 business days before the ship date: All inventory must arrive at the warehouse. This allows adequate time for the inventory to be received, provide the proof and stage for the build. Here is a link to our Receiving Guidelines.

  • 3 days before the ship date: You’ll need to confirm how many boxes you would like us to stage (This includes any orders that will ship plus extra boxes to be built).  This is typically based on historicals; however, if this is the first build or the numbers are drastically changing, the build count should be provided when the batch is created.

  • 2 days before the ship date:  A proof will be provided by your Happiness Engineer. Feedback should be provided as soon as possible to ensure any revisions can be made and resent prior to the build.

  • 24 hours before the ship date: All orders must be assigned to the appropriate batches. Once a batch is submitted by the warehouse, no further changes can be  

  • Ship Date: All orders that have been assigned to the batch will be assembled and shipped on the confirmed ship date. Any extra boxes requested will be placed into inventory under a specified SKU and fulfilled according to our standard pick & pack procedures and fees. 


Detailed/Additional Pricing: 

What's included in the “Box Fee”: 

  • Assembling all boxes needed for your build

  • Building your boxes per the pre-approved batch specifications

  • Sealing the box with a clear circular sticker

  • Affixing the shipping labels to all assigned orders of your batch

  • Coordinating the pickup by the carrier of your choice

Please Note: This price only applies if everything is done as part of a batch. 

The following scenarios may be subject to additional fees:

  • Any batch with less than 50 boxes may incur a Minimum Batch fee.

  • A “special project fee” will be assessed to ensure the items on a batch are “assembly” ready.  This includes, but not limited to bubble wrapping fragile items, folding articles of clothing or marketing material, separating bulk items into individual units, etc

  • If extra boxes were built, any orders submitted after the batch goes out will be considered e-commerce and will incur standard pick & pack fees. 

  • Any Subscription order with a gift message will incur our standard gift message fee. 

Special Projects:

A Special Project may be required to ensure the items on a batch are “assembly” ready.  This includes, but not limited to bubble wrapping fragile items, folding articles of clothing or marketing material, separating bulk items into individual units, etc.

  • All Special Projects necessary for the build will be given a set time frame. If the time frame is approved and the special project exceeds the estimated time frame by 10%, ShipMonk will put the project on hold and request approval to continue.

  • Any Special Project that takes less than 1 hour to complete: As long as the special project is requested and approved by 12 PM (Warehouse timezone), it will be completed by the end of the next business day (in most cases the same day).

  • Any Special Projects that take more than 1 hour to complete:  Each project is unique and the time estimated to complete the respective project depends on a variety of external factors. You will be provided a realistic timeframe and completed according to the expectations established. We will always try to do our best to complete your projects as soon as possible.

What costs can I expect?:

  • Pick fee:

    • Special order pick fees for individual units are discounted by 30%

    • Special order pick fees for master cases, however, are NOT discounted and remain the same

  • Special project fee:

    • $45/hr per person billed in 15-minute increments.

Surplus Inventory:

Since its nearly impossible to forecast the exact amount of inventory needed for each build, it is common to have inventory left over. This  “surplus inventory” can be handled one of three ways:

  1. Storage Only - following the after-batch inventory count, the products are placed into individual storage locations per SKU.

  2. Selling your inventory thru your marketplace - if you plan on selling your surplus inventory via your e-commerce store, we'll place your inventory into pickable locations so it is readily available to ship. (Friendly tip: you'll still select "non-pickable" inventory when creating a receiving)

  3. Create a "leftovers" box. All remaining product is placed in one box and put into inventory under 1 SKU (March Leftovers, for example). This is beneficial to save on storage and/or disposal pick fees. Couple things to note...the after-batch inventory count will not conducted. In the event that you wish to use any of the items in the leftover box on a future build/order, a special project would need to be done to break it down and return the product back to inventory.

Be Sure to let your Happiness Engineer know how you would like your surplus inventory to be handled prior to the build.

As our business continues to grow and expand, we do not want to lose sight of our principles: providing a hands-on and personal approach to fulfillment. We understand that your projects are your passion and our mission is to nurture that passion. Following these guidelines will ensure that you receive a phenomenal support experience. 

As always, if you ever have any questions about any of these protocols, please be sure to reach out to us. We are here for you, always.