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How much smaller do products need to be than the box options for carrier calculated shipping?

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Does anyone have any idea how much smaller (like exactly.... .25"? .5"?) products need to be than the available box sizes in carrier calculated shipping (Advanced Commerce)?

I have a client who ships some items in their own packaging... so the product size is technically the same as the custom box size that I input in the Shipping tab. We've discovered that we're having issues getting the system to recognize that a 10x10x2 product can fit in a 10x10x2 box... let alone combining 2 or more smaller products with dimensions adding up to any of the 10x10x2... but I can't just run trial and error on this as the store is live, so I can't put it on test mode and spend a couple hours trying whacky product order combos. I also don't want to go through and change hundreds of products' dimensions to an arbitrarily smaller number just to have it not work. 

We're basically going to have to go in and fudge the sizes to make them smaller than they actually are so the system will think that the items will fit in the boxes (can't change the box sizes since that will impact shipping fees)... which may be an issue for when it packages multiple items into one of the boxes. Whew.

I contacted SS via chat and they didn't have an answer. Has anyone encountered this? Any info would be appreciated.

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