Excessive packaging

A few years back I purchased a TV. It came in a box. Recently I purchased a DVD player. It too came in a box. Simply placing the DVD player close to the TV did not let me watch DVD movies. I guess remote technology isn’t quite there yet. You still need a wire to connect the one to the other.

So I purchased a wire to connect the two. The silly thing cost almost as much as the DVD player. I’m sure it is a fine wire, all nice and shiny and coated and all. It even has some sort of filter on it to keep those pesky radio waves from annoying the video signal it will carry. It’s an Acoustic Research wire, so I sure it must be good, for any wire costing that much and being made by an outfit with “research” in its name must be pretty special.

But here’s the thing. The package it came in, ah the package. It required two different screw-drivers to open the package: a Phillips to un-screw two screws, and a long flat-head to pry open a couple of tabs. Unfortunately, inside the package was only most of the wire. Where was the rest of the wire? It ran inside a second, inner package which was affixed inside the primary package. It took a flat-head screw-driver and a pair of pliers to open the second package to free the last section of the wire.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much used to being able to open purchases without resorting to numerous handy-person tools. Removing purchases from shopping bags is simple enough. Opening cardboard boxes is almost as easy, although sometimes tape must be cut first. Even the most serious and important products, such as automobiles and Argentinian corned beef cans, can be opened with a simple key within seconds. But not the package containing the Acoustic Research wire. I think that Acoustic Research should design a remote control which will open the packaging in which the wire is contained.

Go look at a box a printer comes in…look for the tiniest printing on the box. It will say…cable not included.

Go figure.

There was cable in my printer box, and USB to boot. :slight_smile:

I purchased a clock not that long ago. its a small clock, that has a projector that shines the time on the ceiling in foot tall numbers. great for people who cnat see shit without their glasses on.
did I mention its a small clock? about the same size as a stack of 6 cds in jewel cases.

the package it came in was over 2 feet long and over a foot wide made of tamper PROOF plastic. yeah its always fun when getting your new toy out of the wrapper includes the possibility of serious cuts and the danger of breaking said toy while trying to get it out.

fooking packaging.

Video Game packaging - it used to make a tiny bit of sense. Games came on tiny floppy disks, but had a big hulking manual - so naturally the box had to cater for that. But now they come in a CD jewelcase. With a tiny paper manual inside the jewelcase, and a little online help thingy that comes installed with it.

Why, then, is the packaging the same size as the complete collection of Charles Dickens?

Responding to the above two posts:
I think this type of packaging is to prevent the products from being easily shoplifted.

As a former retailer, I can answer some of these questions. Mostly, the packaging is that way (bulky, hard to open) because of what retailers call “shrinkage”.

Let’s take the first case, that of the wire. Now then, the wire itself is probably not at all bulky. However, it IS costly, and many people (not our fine Muffin, of course) would attempt to remove it from the package in the store, thereby saving themselves some Big Bux. No, I’m NOT kidding, I wish I were. I’ve seen too many people try to steal too many things. So we get packaging that is not only theft-resistant, but legitimate-user-resistant, as well. Very few people are going to be able to remove that wire from the packaging in the store without going to considerable time and trouble…and then there’s the package within the package to deal with, as well.

Same thing with video games. There’s a REASON why Wal*Mart, KMart, and all the other Marts keep their full price games locked behind glass cabinet doors. The cartridges are small enough to be stolen easily, and they are also bought and sold without people asking about their origins. Heck, look on eBay, there’s THOUSANDS of games listed. Now, I’m sure that the majority of them are listed by their legitimate owners. I’m also sure that a fair number of them are stolen games, though I couldn’t tell you which particular listing, precisely, would fall into which category. Around my area, too, there are plenty of places that buy and sell used games, and it’s difficult for the traders to tell whether or not a particular game has been stolen.

Some people will buy a lightbulb, battery, whatever, take it home, exchange it for their used one, and then try to return it to the store. How’s THAT for lowdown?

When I worked at a dress shop, we had a “no return” policy on all formalwear, which we later had to extend to “casual elegant wear” as well. Too many people would buy an expensive garment, wear it, and then attempt to return it. No, they didn’t seem to be ashamed of this in the least. And they would kick up an unimaginable fuss if we refused to allow the return, even when we pointed out that the garment had deodorant residue, tags removed, and in a couple of instances, alterations! We were NOT in the business of just loaning out clothes at no cost.

We finally had to tell one woman that we would not exchange ANY garment for her, as she would buy something, wear it a few times, and then attempt to return it. Apparently she didn’t like to wear any garment more than half a dozen times. She was furious, and said that she would take her business elsewhere. Since she was COSTING us money (we generally had to mark down her returned garments, IF they were in a condition to be sold at all), we were all happy to see the last of her.

See Guin’s customerssuck site for more stories like this. It’s not just stores that I’ve worked in, this is going on all over the world.

Again, it’s a case of a few scuzzballs ruining it for the rest of us.

actually they are making the pc game boxes about the size of a book now it hasnt kicked in all the way yet tho

But in a few months it will be totally switched over … althouhg if there wasnt a outcry from the gaming community and the need for instuction books theyd just ship them out in the jewel cases ala " the bargain bin "

DVDs or CDs. First they wrap them in cellophane that is so closely wrapped to the jewel case that it’s impossible to get the cellophane off without using some sharp implement. In doing so you invariably scratch the jewel case. Then when you finally get the cellophane off, they have that holographic silver tab that keeps the thing clamped shut. Okay, more sharp implements. Then when you FINALLY pry apart the two sides and expose the CD/DVD, it is packed so firmly in the case that you nearly bend the CD in two trying to remove it from the center rings.

By the time you get the CD into the CD player, the mood has passed and you don’t even WANT to listen to “Dancing Queen” anymore!

Does anyone want to purchase a personal safe? It is ideal for protecting your cash, cards and personal items against thieves. It is portable, for your trips about town, and is stylish too.

Excessive packaging? I recently ordered a selection of three items from an internet retailer. Specifically:

  • a torch with an extending flexible head. Fits comfortably in the palm of my hand.
  • another light, this one wearable as a badge. About the size of a largish coin, say a 50p piece.
  • a pen. Roughly, well, pen sized.

The box these things came in was two foot six long, two feet wide, six inches deep. On opening, it appeared to be completely full of styrofoam peanuts; it took ten minutes of dedicated groping before I could even find the stuff I’d ordered.

Remember, this was ordered over the 'net, so prevention of shoplifting can’t be a factor (or, if anyone knows how to shoplift over a T1 connection, I’d love to hear about it).

Most new CDs I’ve seen have a transpartent strip on the top of the CD jewel box, which peels off easy enough (although usually in two or more pieces).
Does anyone remember the horrible ‘dogbone’ silver tab, which left nasty residue on the CD box (forever, I think, as I could never get that crap off).
Of course, nowadays the few times I buy CDs I only buy used ones.

I bought the DVD of “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” yesterday to go along with my brand new DVD player. The disc had a) shrink wrap, b) the annoying transparent strip at the top, and c) two, count 'em two “Security” strips (one on the side, one on the bottom) that were tougher to take off than the one at the top.

At least with CDs you can do the “unhinge the jewel case” trick to get the strip off. It took a full 5 minutes with a screwdriver to finally get access to the disk.

In terms of other excessing packaging, my favorite yet is from Amazon. I had a coupon for some absurd discount in their garden department. We needed a new yard cart (mini-wheelbarrow) for all the horse poop we have, so I ordered one of those. It came in a huge box, and every spare space inside and outside of the cart was filled with thousands of those Air-Pillos they use. It took me forever to pop those bastiges.

Try buying toys these days. You can easily open up a 12" action figure and walk away with several pieces of cardboard, a few dozen twist ties and, if you’re lucky, part of the clothes may be sewn to the box.

In one particular set of three action figures, there were about 18 twist ties and 9 little bits of plastic involved in the packaging.