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The Hidden Costs of Overseas Essential Oil Bottles and Caps

by Steve Carow  |   Mar 8, 2018


Aromatherapy is more than just a fad or a trend. The use of essential oils can be beneficial for patients battling cancer according to the National Cancer Institute––and dispensing oil from essential oil bottles can reduce stress, anxiety, and nausea.

If your company produces essential oils, then you already know the value of these aromatherapy products. In fact, as consumers are becoming more aware of the medical opportunities afforded by essential oils, your small company has grown in response.

You’re at that point in production when your current packaging is no longer an effective solution. So what should you do?

Expanding with Essential Oil Bottles

Upgrading your packaging for essential oil bottles is right around the corner, but you need to identify the best path to take for your business. You may have considered transitioning from searching Alibaba to working with a US-based packaging provider to grant you a more competitive analysis.

The secret to serious success at this stage in your growth is to find the partner that will allow you to reach that competitive level. Your first priority is to find a way to produce a product on a consistent level.

If you are like most smaller essential oil providers, you most likely started your business by hand-filling those tiny bottles. From this stage, the next viable step in growth is to explore filling your product with a semi-automatic or automatic filling systems. You can opt to fill your product in-house or outsource this task due to the high cost of packaging machinery.

Also, the availability of your packaging components will play a critical role in your company's growth. But what if you choose a packaging partner that can’t provide you the components you need in time? You are locked in a battle for a product that will prevent your business from growing. This will defeat the purpose of expanding the filling production of your essential oil bottles.

The following are some key issues we hear from customers looking to grow their business with more high-quality essential oil bottles and caps––and escape from the high cost of low-priced varieties:

Top Issues of Bottles and Caps


All too often, we hear how customers are losing money on choosing low price bottles and caps because these products don’t do their jobs.

For example, if dropper inserts are falling out of the dropper caps, this product failure would jeopardize your business. You might also receive tamper-evident bands that are already broken. This causes the consumer to distrust the essential oils brand.

Maybe you’ve noticed that your caps have cracks in them. This is a disaster considering essential oils must be kept in a secured, sealable container to maintain their efficiency.

What if you don’t know your manufacturing origin on your bottles? Consumers are smart, and they will ask about this type of packaging information. Brand origin matters, and your business must be able to answer this question with confidence.

Finally, we frequently hear about essential oil bottles that are ill-equipped to do the job due to droppers, caps, and bands that do not fit on the bottle. Replacing every broken or malfunctioning bottle is both a waste of time and money.

Time and Language Barriers

This brings us to the time lost on the faulty packaging of essential oils.

When you are working with a foreign supplier, you will almost always have to wait longer to receive samples or shipments due to logistics. This waiting period slows down your company’s productivity and adversely affects growth potential.

You also have to deal with imports and border checks, which can leave your packaged product in limbo at a US Customs office. All of this adds to the overall cost of the product for your product.

Another often overlooked factor associated with foreign partners is the language and cultural barriers. When you are designing and packaging a technical product, you must be able to communicate your needs or concerns with your bottles and caps.

Fortunately, international business has grown leaps and bounds thanks to globalization. Global technology including live chat and video conference calls helps to ease the packaging pains. However, there will always be a growing pain associated with developing a working relationship with someone overseas versus an in-person option at a warehouse location closer to your office.

To Sum It Up

There is one crucial way you can avoid all of these issues and concerns: work with a US-based manufacturer or packaging partner. Distributors like Carow often offer a custom stocking program to ensure you will have the highest quality and readily available components for your essential oil bottles.

As for quality control, we are always here to work for you. As your team, we offer a collaborative approach that includes built-in technical assistance. We also offer advisory services if you want to switch only one product line at a time over to our system.

Cost is often a primary concern for businesses preparing for the next level of production––but you may not see a large increase in the costs of your product lines as you expand your business with a local distributor.

This all depends on the scale of product you are purchasing. In fact, by partnering with a local distributor, you can most likely save money on costs per unit, which will drive down your overall packaging costs. You benefit from quality control, improved production opportunities, and cost savings––all of which will allow your business to grow at a natural rate for optimal success.

Contact us today to compare pricing on upgraded bottles and caps that deliver an even better experience for your customers.


Essential Oils

Steve Carow

Author: Steve Carow

Since 1993, Steve has developed a comprehensive knowledge of dispensing, including sales, operations, information technology, and product development, which he applies when identifying customer solutions. He is the President of Carow Packaging and our representative for Midwestern US & Central Canada Sales.



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