questionswhy the huge amount of packaging?

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i once got a car engine in a box suited for a pair of sunglasses.

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I think my instinct is to want more packaging vs less, especially if something is inclined to break... but your example does seem a bit excessive.

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I think I side with Inky; during a previous woot.plus sale of refurb Vizios a bunch of people recieved their's heavily damaged, and few actually had their replacement come damaged. I'd much rather vendors err on the side of caution.

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@inkycatz: I think it depends on what kind of "breakable" it is. I had amazon UK send me a vinyl record in a slightly oversized box (with a wad of brown paper) and it was sliding around the box the whole trip to the US, and it arrived with cracks all along the spine, and the corners bent to hell. The outside box was in pristine condition, though.

(I complained and they resent it, claiming they would package it better this time, and it was in just as dismal condition the second time, in the exact same packaging. They eventually refunded it... Still haven't gotten a mint copy. Sigh.)

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I hear ya. I get huge boxes, comprising of small objects inside. I used to take photos of what came in boxes, just to show the waste. I say waste, because the larger the boxes, the less packed on on trucks and planes. The less packed on them, the more fuel needed to transport them. If the packaging fit the products inside, it would take less space, which means more on a plane/truck, which means less fuel for more transported. At least, that's my theory :-)

I find people, like from eBay, package best. Much less wasted space in packaging, and (in my experience) people package breakables pretty well.

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@jsimsace: Probably something like that. I buy some of our shipping boxes at work, and I get asked about surplus runs weekly. A lot of what we ship in get turned inside out and get our stamp on the new outside, meaning you might open your box and on the inside it's printed for motor oil or feminine hygiene products. Shoot, we still ship in Digital Compact Cassette player boxes. Bought thousands of those over 10 years ago for a few cents apiece.

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I totally agree with those who say more is sometimes better, especially if fragile. However, some of it is just ridiculous. Amazon is just annoying though, especially when I consider how they are the gold standard for shipping consumer products. I've had a few sites that ship three of the same thing in three different oversized boxes. Part of my annoyance also is that the smart post stuff should fit into my mailbox, but doesn't because of the packaging, so the mailman leaves it on the front doorstep. I live in an area where this is very risky with my product. Oh well, I'll get over it.

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I read somewhere that Amazon bought AIRplus stock(storopack.com).

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Yeah, when packages are too big, stuff is more likely to be damaged because of all of the moving around it does. I'd rather have a snug fitting box and appropriate protection... but hey, can't win 'em all.

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@meanjoeira: If you don't mind trips to the post office, ask your carrier (or preferably, the Post Master) to put a note on your address that any box too big for your mailbox gets left at the post office for pickup. I'm home all the time, but because I'm exactly a half mile from my mailbox, my carrier won't bring packages to my house. I got tired of having to wait until the next day to pick up my packages (since the carrier doesn't finish his route until after the post office closes), so I requested that things too big for the mailbox never even leave the post office. That way, if it's something I'm expecting, I can go to the post office and pick it up that day. Otherwise, the carrier leaves a notice in my box and I just get it the next day. Works well for me, at least.

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A bigger box just means more room for bags of that precious sweet sweet Texas air!

(yes I am aware that Woot now ships from all over, but hush, you're spoiling the joke! :D)

Seriously though, the point about smaller boxes being easier on the environment is absolutely true...
Apple has an interesting study on their website about how they shrunk the iPhone box 42% since the first generation and how much transportation that simple step has saved: http://www.apple.com/environment/#transportation - They also shrank their computer boxes and their software and warranty boxes.
HP is similarly trying to reduce the percentage of packaging for their equipment to a maximum of 28% of the products: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/environment/goals.html
Dell has reduced their packaging by 12% since 2008: http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/corp-comm/earth-products-packaging.aspx

So the trend seems to be smaller, but clearly not everyone is doing it. And in this case, size matters!
-=C=-