Online Shipping & Packing Gets Better

03May10

A couple of years ago I started to aggressively order things online. Mostly electronics. I often find steep discounts off things I would never need, but want nonetheless on Slickdeals or Fatwallet. Other times, trusted online retailers like Amazon and Newegg are a man’s best friend. The shipping boxes, however aren’t.

A couple of years ago, I read about the crazy packaging that retailers ship customer’s orders in. There were stories of flash drives in massive boxes from Dell, Amazon, and more. What’s worse is that it’s entirely wasteful. As someone who used to process online orders for a retailer, I can only say that there is a reason why sometimes you will receive a large box for your flash drive.

One of the reasons is stock of packaging material. Simply put that it may happen that there are no more small boxes left to pack your flash drives in, so a large box must be used, despite being wasteful.

The second is laziness. If the person handling your order doesn’t feel like walking to where the small boxes are kept, they won’t. They’ll use whatever box is closest to them. If the only ones near them are large ones, you’re getting a large one. So next time, you complain about these companies being wasteful, don’t. It’s really the fault of the employee. Managers train them, but hell, when no one is looking, do you think a tired employee cares? Because they don’t. I’m not going to lie, but I’ve committed several of these slips myself.

Employees are only human. It’s not a robot that’s packing your order, believe me.

In light of all this, I’m very happy to report that at least Amazon appears to be taking better measures to cut back on wastes. Look at this package box that my New Super Mario Bros. Wii came in a couple weeks ago. It’s a tight fit. If Amazon is engineering packaging for specific products such as DVDs, CDs, and books, etc., this could be very beneficial for the planet.

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Keep it up Amazon. As the largest online retailer, it has the responsibility to set an example for others to follow.

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