When Do Stock Labels Make Sense?

by Maverick Label | March 02, 2020

Trying to decide whether it makes more sense to print your own labels or to have us do it? There are a lot of factors you should take into consideration. Depending on your circumstances, it may make sense for you to use stock labels and print them yourself. But first, let’s define our terms!

What Are “Stock” Labels?

stock integrated label being printed
Stock integrated label coming off the printer

Stock labels are plain labels that we do not pre-print with any personalized logo, artwork, or text.  We also call them “off the shelf” labels. Generally speaking, these are white paper labels, although we do have stock labels on Kraft paper, clear film, and some polyester options.

Most people use stock labels to print their own customized information. (We also have stock labels that you can use “as is,” like our blank holographic seals.) They can be used for shipping, labeling pantry or hobby goods, name badges, etc., as well as products for commercial sale.

downloadable template
Template download info for laser/inkjet labels

A lot of our stock labels come on 8.5x11 inch sheets, with a varying number of labels, depending on the shapes and sizes you choose.

Generally, the shapes are circles, ovals, squares, or rectangles, but we do have some other options as well. These options can be found under the "Special" selection on the Label Shape tab of our Laser/Inkjet labels pricing page.

Set up your template for the labels (we have downloadable templates for many of these). After that, it's easy to add your data, and run them through your laser or inkjet printer - and you’re done.

We also have other blank label stock that comes on rolls and is destined for other types of small-business label printers.

When Does It Make Sense to Use Stock Labels?

There are definitely times when it makes sense to use blank labels and print them out yourself.

When you need the flexibility to print a few labels at a time

Do you have some products that are basically “one-offs” or that you like to personalize for your customers?  It makes sense in those cases to create and print the labels yourself, so that you have control over the particular text you want to use each time.

Want to test out different label styles, artwork, or fonts? That’s a good time to print small batches on stock labels, too.

When the content of your labels changes frequently

Address labels, packing slips, product analytics or ingredients if they vary from batch to batch - it makes sense to print these sorts of data yourself, so that it can be done on your timeline.

When you’re printing in black on white labels

Printer ink is expensive. You probably don’t want to print in color on most of your labels. And if you’re printing on clear labels, sometimes even black ink doesn’t stand out enough! (We print white behind it on clear labels, to make it more opaque.)

Colors other than black may not come out the way you want, particularly if the background material isn’t white. Brown Kraft paper in particular can changes color values. Your colors may not be consistent over time. Print color may change depending instead on how much of each color ink you have available in your printer.

When you don’t need a top coating or protective laminate

If your labels are going to be exposed to abrasion, moisture, or environmental hazards, stock labels aren’t the best idea. Despite what some self-print blank labels say, they may not work well outdoors.

When the labels will be used on a flat, non-slick surface

The adhesive type used on most blank labels is best for placing the label on paper or cardboard. If this is where you plan to use it, great! But if the label will go on a highly curved or textured surface, stock labels may not be the way to go.

Not sure if stock labels will work for your application? Request a sample from us. Give them a trial run on your product before ordering a bunch - that way you’ll know they work for you. You can request samples from any of the product pages. If you want samples of more than one product line, please specify which you’d like in the comments section of your sample request.

Give Your Stock Labels a Pop

partially custom, partially stock integrated label

You can partially or totally customize many of our “print your own” label product lines. For instance, integrated shipping labels or our laser or inkjet printable sheets can be imprinted. Add your logo, grid lines, or other custom items, and then use your own printer to finish the label when it is needed. This saves printer ink costs, which can be steep, and also ensures that your logo or trademark colors are consistent through the entire batch.

We have a number of customers who started out getting blank integrated labels from us. Gradually they've had us add printing their logo and address, then the main headings of their packing slip data (SKU, Qty, Description, etc.).

Some have gone on to ask us to print their logo on the peel-off address label portion of the integrated label. It makes financial sense to have their branding consistent and to save on in-house print costs.

We even have a fast design for shipping labels, where you can choose from among 10 different styles and add three lines of text in the color of your choice. These labels come in sheets (600 labels per pack) or rolls (two different label sizes, 500 labels per roll). You can then print the recipient’s address, in black ink, whenever you ship the item out. 

Other Options 

In some cases, it may make sense to have us print some of your product labels. Then you can print stock labels for other portions of your product information. In an industry like the rapidly-growing cannabis market, for instance, state or local requirements or individual batch data can change quickly. Printing separate labels can make labeling quicker and easier, while keeping design elements front and center.

Have your product packaging labels done in full color - these won’t change from day to day or batch to batch. Your required lab analysis, which may be different for each batch, can be printed in black ink on stock labels. These can then be placed on the packaging as needed before sale.

Bottom line, blank stock or custom printed, we have the right labels for you!