What's the deal with Amazon shipping small items in large boxes?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Seth--L, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    What's the deal with Amazon shipping small items in large boxes? Sometimes they send books and DVDs in cardboard wraps (meaning not boxes, but pieces of cardboard wrapped around the item), but increasingly in the last few years they're sending these items, and ones as small, in 12x9x2 boxes. The box size/item size ratio seems to be the same if you're paying for shipping, have opted for the free shipping, or have Amazon Prime (which I have to say is worth it).

    Today, though, I received the most outrageously sized box for an item. I ordered a fold-up map (3 x 9.5 inches when folded) and they shipped it in a 12x9x4 box. If there ever was an instance when to put something in a mailing envelope, this was it.

    I guess it's safe to assume that Amazon isn't losing any money through their packaging scheme -- because if they were, why would they continue to do it? -- but they seem to be the only online store who is so box happy with small items.
     
  2. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    I would think it's just a form of stadardization. Instead of having to buy twenty different sized boxes they buy maybe six. Perhaps they have an automated packaging system which uses the same size boxes for anything that fits in it. It always seem wasteful to me.
     
  3. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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    Yup, I heard that with their automation systems they can pack and ship the boxes with no human intervention, but it does rely on standardized box sizes. They can do this cheaper than picking a box that's always just the right size.
     
  4. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    I was wondering this myself when I ordered a CD single and it showed up in a gigantic box. An absolute waste.
     
  5. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    Not if you recycle it.
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Gee, people will complain about anything.

    Those boxes are great for shipping the stuff I sell on ebay.

    BTW, they are made from cardboard, which is made from trees, and we can grow more of those.
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    It's probably easier for UPS (or Fed-Ex, DHL, etc.) to deliver. Securing a map in an envelope isn't as safe as in a box, and the 12x9x4 box is easier to deliver and not get lost on a giant delivery truck.

    but it probably is due to the automation process and just keeping things 'universal'.
     
  8. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

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    A few years ago I purchased a computer component from buy.com. They had a deal going on for free shipping if it was over $30. My purchase was $29.99. So to qualify for the free shipping I found an eraser for $.35.

    I would of thunk that both products would show up in 1 box. Nope. I got the eraser in a seperate box, which was about the size of a tissue box. A day later my component arrived in a box smaller then what the eraser came in.

    Paul
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Obviously the eraser shipped from a different location. Online retailers often house their stock in many different warehouses or utilize a clearance facility which means they do not have to warehouse it at all.

    A few months back I ordered a digital piano from an online retailer. The bench was shipped by the retailer and the piano itself was shipped direct from the manufacturer. They arrived 3 days apart and from two different shipping companies.
     
  10. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    No I think my bunnies attacked it. They love to shread newspaper, cardboard etc. It save them from digging the carpet (most of the time).
     
  11. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I wish every company would do this and not label what items are shipped inside. I bought a klipsch DD/DTS decoder and they had to ship it three times because it was stolen in transit twice. If they put it in a big box and not label what was in it I might've got it the first time instead of having to file a trace form twice. I somewhat assume amazon does this to protect the product in more than one way.
     
  12. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Oh the days of Buy.com.

    This was how every order I ever got came. I'd order 8 DVDs, I get 4 different deliveries from 3 different sites and in 4 differently sized boxes on 4 different days (usually over a 2 week period). Plus there was always tons of space and 50 lbs of styrofoam peanuts.

    I had a theory that secretly they were getting paid to take in waste peanuts, or other material (like toxic waste) that they would blend into a peanut making mix, and would then distribute this "waste" to consumers. Very clever that buy.com. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I have a Buttkicker kit coming from Amazon, weighing in at 45 pounds, and I'm worried about the size of box that thing will come in![​IMG]
     
  14. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    But the box takes up more space in the truck, requiring UPS to send more trucks out, and it's consumers who have to pay for the extra trucks, staff, gas, etc. Or in other words, the size of a box is a component of the cost to ship it.

    I also don't think it's any easier to deliver -- I think UPS can handle letter sized mailers.
     

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