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Amazon Packaging: Lack Thereof, Redux

Fortunately, it’s hard to damage an aluminum-body “tactical” flashlight:

J5-V2 Flashlight - Amazon packaging

J5-V2 Flashlight – Amazon packaging

A keyboard and cylindrical cell charger arrived intact, with absolutely no credit due to Amazon’s careful packaging:

Keyboard and charger - Amazon packaging

Keyboard and charger – Amazon packaging

Sometimes, a box does arrive with a token scrap of padding dropped inside, but, as nearly as I can tell, it’s cheaper for Amazon to replace the occasional damaged item than to waste time and material stuffing the boxes with air pillows, eco-foam peanuts, or, heaven forfend, space-filling foam.

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  1. #1 by Keith Ward on 2016-11-30 - 08:08

    That certainly must be the case. I know my parents told Amazon to stop after three attempts on broken ceramic items they had ordered. We have probably all heard the stories of Amazon fulfillment centers and how it is all about speed and efficiency. Many of us also remember the days of the “inspected by” stickers or signatures on various items. At some point one would think that packing problems could actually be narrowed down to lines, stations, and then individuals. But like you indicated, it’s not that they can’t, they just aren’t bothering to yet.

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-11-30 - 08:26

      I’m absolutely certain Amazon tweaks their “standards” to optimize the tradeoff of processing speed, packing materials, and broken-on-delivery performance: they certainly have the data and, given their scale, motivation. The folks on the line do exactly what they’re supposed to!

  2. #3 by Jose I Romero on 2016-11-30 - 08:53

    I’ve had them ship me an alternator and a pc fan, they put both in the same box with just one strip of those hopeless air filled nylon bags. Needless to say the alternator completely obliterated the poor fan :(

  3. #4 by madbodger on 2016-11-30 - 09:55

    One of many reasons I have blackballed amazon and no longer do business with them.

  4. #5 by Frans on 2016-11-30 - 10:23

    Weird, I don’t often order at Amazon for, let’s call it ethical pragmatic reasons,[1] but their packaging is quite good. In my experience they would a) never use a box so absurdly oversized and b) always stick in a proper amount of balled up paper.

    By the by, that’s a pretty nice looking mechanical keyboard!

    [1] The antics of American companies like Amazon leave something to be desired, cf. http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/amazon-and-other-us-corporations-flout-german-labor-laws-a-900615.html

  5. #6 by William on 2016-11-30 - 14:12

    FWIW we receive a lot of Amazon packages (St Louis, MO) and they’re always packaged well. Maybe my wife is on some kind of frequent shopper list…

  6. #7 by RCPete on 2016-11-30 - 17:01

    Curious, we’ve been getting the air pillows in our packages. It’s been quite a while since we got a poor packing job. Maybe it’s the individual centers–a lot of our stuff comes out of Nevada.

  7. #8 by steve on 2016-12-01 - 12:19

    A lot of our packages have those air pillows in them. Shipped to Colorado they expand quite a bit. It’s not uncommon to have the shipping label nearly fall off because it wasn’t pressed on very well, as the box transitions from cubic to spherical.

    • #9 by Ed on 2016-12-01 - 19:35

      Some of the packages have a token air pillow in them, but not at all filling the space available. Ah! I’m getting the Colorado packaging option!

  8. #10 by Hexley Ball on 2016-12-01 - 12:19

    Now and then we order hand soap in dispenser bottles (a brand we can’t source locally) from Amazon. We can usually expect the shipping box to have at least one area soaked with soap from dispenser mechanisms that have come free in transit and deposited a squeeze or two of liquid during their journey. The idea of oh, say, putting a piece of masking tape across the dispenser to secure it seems to be a non starter no matter how much “packaging feedback” we leave.

    • #11 by Ed on 2016-12-01 - 19:34

      no matter how much “packaging feedback” we leave

      That seems on a par with the “Close Door” button in an elevator: you really want to think the button does something, but there’s no way to prove it.

    • #12 by Ed on 2016-12-01 - 19:42

      Then there was the box containing a 5 pound bag of peanuts, a set of hex wrenches, a kitchen scale, and one strip of air pillow packaging … [sigh]

  9. #13 by Simon on 2016-12-02 - 06:57

    I ordered a couple of offcuts of steel from one of the local-ish companies that deals in such things – the 2 lumps each weighing around 15kg (say 35lbs) had a token piece of bubblewrap firmly held in place with some of that glass reinforced tape which also trapped the shipping note. Both were delivered from the back of a van with dozens of other packages inside….my lumps arrived in perfect condition but I am not sure about the other packages…..!

    • #14 by Ed on 2016-12-02 - 12:32

      Kinda like that trailer hitch; if there wasn’t any collateral damage, it sure wasn’t their fault!