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Old 10-17-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default LOL @ Amazon's "frustration free packaging"

http://www.amazon.com/b/?&node=2233256011

Ever have Santa in brown deliver a package with the Amazon smile on it... you tear open the carton, only to be frustrated at the bomb-proof plastic packaging the goodies came in? Ever feel like Sylvester the Cat in the episode where the family went on vacation and left him at home cans of cat food, and he says, "All we need now, is a can opener!" Every try to rip it open and end up in the ER to get your fingers stitched up? Ever spend 10 minutes looking for the scissors, only to have the scissors bend and strain and break at the scissor-proof plastic packaging?

Well, never again, now Amazon has Frustration-Free Packaging!



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What is Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging?

Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging, a multi-year initiative designed to alleviate "wrap rage," features recyclable boxes that are easy to open and free of hard plastic clamshell cases, plastic bindings, and wire ties. The product itself is exactly the same--we’ve just streamlined the packaging. Learn more.
What Does Certified Frustration-Free Packaging Mean?

When you see an item with Certified Frustration-Free Packaging--no matter where or whom you buy from--you'll know you are getting a product that's painless to open, in a recyclable box.
How Can I Suggest More Items I Want to See Frustration-Free?

Amazon.com is in a unique position to listen to customers via the Packaging Feedback program, and then to work with our vendors to bring about change. You can visit Packaging Feedback and provide responses on the "ease of opening" for products that you have recently purchased. We will use your input and work with the manufactures to bring more items in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging.
How Does a Product's Packaging Get Certified Frustration-Free?

We have built a simple way to get your packaging evaluated by our team of packaging engineers. If you are a manufacturer interested in submitting products for certification click here to learn more.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:16 PM   #2
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that's great and all but sometimes you can get the frustrating packaging for 1/3 the price of the frustration free.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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I must be missing something...

Amazon has been shipping in "frustration free" packaging and is now trying to encourage vendors and manufacturers to make their product packaging easier to open?
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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The only item I have purchased with frustration free packaging was a memory card and it was cheaper by a few cents than the standard packaging option. And yeah, it was easy to open. Horray.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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Never had frustration to begin with.
I open my mail with a chainsaw
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #6
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The only item I have purchased with frustration free packaging was a memory card and it was cheaper by a few cents than the standard packaging option. And yeah, it was easy to open. Horray.
same here. just a card in a plastic bag, but it was void of anything that lead me to believe it was brand new... i didnt like that. Hell, I honestly think it was just the memory card and nothing else...Like they opened it for me. Kinda odd.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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If I have a frustration with Amazon, it's the number of items priced juuuuuuust below the $25.00 minimum for free shipping.

Any have a good list of sub-$5.00 items that are eligible for free shipping?
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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Actually this part of the equation sounds pretty good to me:
Does Amazon throw away the original retail packaging and re-box items in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging before shipping them to customers?

No. Instead, we work directly with manufacturers to box products in Frustration-Free Packages right off the assembly lines, which reduces the overall amount of packing materials used.
One of the things that has always tweaked the latent passive environmentalist in me is how much material we use just for packaging products for shelf display; lots of thermo-formed plastics and glossy four-color cards, which contribute absolutely nothing to the functionality of the products and wind up in the garbage system immediately after purchase.

There a latent benefit to the consumer as well. This new packaging likely translates into lower cost and thus higher margin for both the manufacturer and the retailer. While that savings is not likely to be passed on to the consumer immediately, it may translate into a lessening of the severity of price increases in the future.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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One of the things that has always tweaked the latent passive environmentalist in me is how much material we use just for packaging products for shelf display; lots of thermo-formed plastics and glossy four-color cards, which contribute absolutely nothing to the functionality of the products and wind up in the garbage system immediately after purchase.
I know this isn't exactly what you're talking about, but I was always amused during that transitional period in which computer games were first available on CD-ROM's, but were still packaged in boxes big enough to hold a large hardcover book.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:41 PM   #10
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I know this isn't exactly what you're talking about, but I was always amused during that transitional period in which computer games were first available on CD-ROM's, but were still packaged in boxes big enough to hold a large hardcover book.
You could say the same about when software distribution was on floppies.

The very earliest commercially-distributed computer games (after cassettes) consisted of one floppy disk in a zip-lock bag, placed inside a padded envelope.

It seems that we jumped from that stage directly to large cardboard boxes the size of a hardbound book, despite the fact that there was still only one (or two) floppies inside.

Now, granted, Kings Quest IV on 5.25" floppies took up a hell of a lot of space (maybe a dozen disks?) and that seemed to be about the point when Sierra switched to the "jumbo" box (the one that was about 3" deep), which made sense. And once they'd established that form-factor, I can forgive staying with it after the jump to CD-ROM, since it allowed them to only keep a single box style in inventory regardless of what was in it.

But yeah, I do see your point.

I wonder, in all honesty, what the environmental and economic impact of today's standard packaging (the plastic DVD-style case) is as compared to the large cardboard box with floppies inside? I'd assume that the plastic DVD cases are a hell of a lot cheaper to manufacture, though I've never looked to see if one is recyclable (nor would it really occur to me to toss one in the green bin.)
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
If I have a frustration with Amazon, it's the number of items priced juuuuuuust below the $25.00 minimum for free shipping.

Any have a good list of sub-$5.00 items that are eligible for free shipping?
Amazon Prime FTW

I buy just about everything I can from Amazon. Sometimes I have 2-3 packages a week coming from them. Unless I can find it cheaper on eBay (not just by a few dollars), I get it from Amazon.

Their frustration free packaging is a good idea for those memory cards. Otherwise you need to hack into that thick plastic to get it out. I mean come on, its a ******* $15-$20 item. Why does it need to be sealed like that?
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #12
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the other day i bought hot sauce. it came in a bottle. in a box.

when i was checking out, the checker lady tried to put it in a bag too. I said NO and walked out with my saucebox.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:33 PM   #13
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the other day i bought hot sauce. it came in a bottle. in a box.

when i was checking out, the checker lady tried to put it in a bag too. I said NO and walked out with my saucebox.
It cracks me up when customers come into my store and buy a book with 400 pages of paper, and then when I ask them if they'd like a bag, they say, "Nah, save a tree."
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #14
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to be fair, they will probably not throw away the book when they get home.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:38 PM   #15
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They're getting better about that around here. Most box-stores (Fry's, Staples, etc) will ask whether you want a bag or not, rather than just automatically stuffing your stuff into one. I figure that if I didn't need a cart or basket to get my items to the checkout, I can probably make it to the car without a bag, so that's nice of them.

The grocery-stores, on the other hand, are not. May have something to do with the fact that the kid who puts your groceries into the bag is unionized. About a week ago, I stopped by Stater Bros on my way home because I needed an onion. Not a sack of onions, just a single Vidalia onion. So I picked an onion and put it into one of the thin little bags they have in the produce department, tied a knot in the top, and went to the checkout line. The clerk actually put my one onion, which was already in a perfectly serviceable bag, into a larger bag.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:05 PM   #16
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Since I do packaging design for a large company, I've been involved in this stuff for years. 2 or 3 times a year for a long time I would get phone calls from people who were pissed off enough about difficult-to-open packages to track down the guy in charge and complain.

The truth is, the only reason you'll find any of our stuff in plastic clamshells is because the retailers insist on it. They're big - so it's tough to stick them in your pocket; they're a bitch to open - so you can't take the product out and stick it in your pocket; they make the product visible - so you're less likely to tear the package open to look at the product, and then buy an unopened one. Also, since they're big, there's more room for splashy graphics(more perceived value!).

Also, they cost my company a lot more money than a properly-sized box.

Whenever we do a new design, the first result is an efficiently-sized rectangular cardboard box. We're actually about 90% successful pushing that through, especially since WalMart started trying to make hay with their "environmental sustainability" program and everyone else started following.

We've been approached by Amazon, and I'm pretty certain that almost everything we sell them qualifies as "frustration-free," but that's a Marketing-driven certification that you have to pay for, and I don't know whether we've ponied up yet.

And Joe - you can buy the CD/DVD jewel boxes around here in a 10-pack for under $2, and the store, distributor and manufacturer can all make money at that level. They must cost nearly nothing to make.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:33 PM   #17
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at least you see some stores putting the small well-designed boxes in either a locked case OR a larger-than-a-pocket security box that has to be opened at the register.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by xturner View Post
The truth is, the only reason you'll find any of our stuff in plastic clamshells is because the retailers insist on it. They're big - so it's tough to stick them in your pocket; they're a bitch to open - so you can't take the product out and stick it in your pocket; they make the product visible - so you're less likely to tear the package open to look at the product, and then buy an unopened one. Also, since they're big, there's more room for splashy graphics(more perceived value!).
And these are all perfectly reasonable requests from a brick-n-mortar retailer that puts its items out on a shelf or a peg-hook for shoppers to look at.

But for an e-retailer, minimalist packaging makes a whole lot more sense from an economic standpoint, as they don't have to worry about either shoplifters or drawing attention to the product as it sits on a shelf.

So I don't foresee Best Buy or Target moving in this direction any time soon, but for e-tailers, it seems like a win-win situation. Less direct cost in the product packaging, and less indirect cost (putting boxes into larger boxes for shipping).


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And Joe - you can buy the CD/DVD jewel boxes around here in a 10-pack for under $2, and the store, distributor and manufacturer can all make money at that level. They must cost nearly nothing to make.
Yeah, I sort of figured they'd be highly cost-efficient. Especially since only the insert has to be custom-printed for any one product vs. the next.

I wonder how they'd stack up to a typical Sierra box from the late 80s, assuming you discount all of the pack-in goodies (most of their games came with silly **** like a comic book, a coupon for one free robot repair, etc.) The boxes themselves were pretty plain (just vanilla-colored cardboard) though the slip-covers were quite fancy- most were actually embossed.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:15 PM   #19
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Any have a good list of sub-$5.00 items that are eligible for free shipping?
Can't be more than a few items...
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #20
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Yeah; even my 24-pack of candy cigarettes cost ~$8 (but was eligible for super saver shipping!).
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