Purchased Video boxes

This has bugged me for a long time, and there must be a reason for it, that perhaps the Teeming Millions can help with.

When I purchase a video, the box invariably opens AT THE BOTTOM. This means that when I have them on a shelf, and pull them off the shelf, the video falls out of the box.

So I have to store them upside down on my shelves.

Why in the whirled do the manufacturers have the opening at the bottom?

Not just the paper boxes that they’re sold in. I have seen the same idea in some of the plastic boxes that the tapes are rented in, as well!



Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

Get a twirling cassette storage tower and you won’t have this problem. My tower makes a nice accent to my milk crate album storage system.

It’s a conspiracy so that you’ll be forced to hopefully break your toe. The doctors are in it with the people that make the boxes. When you pull the tape off the shelf…bang! hits your foot…breaks toe occasionally…you have to then go to the doctor…he skims a little money off sends it to the box makers. Box maker is a guy sitting behind a desk somewhere cackling and twiddling his thumbs.

that’s my WAG

No, really. Dust.

The box opens on the bottom to keep dust out?

When I purchase blank video tapes, the box opens on the SIDE. Only purchased tapes open on the bottom. Do the blank tapes not collect dust? Why couldn’t the purchased tapes open on the side, too?

The answer “dust” makes more sense than anything else I could come up with, but seems woefully inadequate. (I was gonna say “toefully inadequate”, in honour of Damien’s contribution, but I thunk better of it.)

CK, It is an adverstising thing. Look at all the space the movie guys would be giving up with the hole on the side. That way no matter what direction you place the tape you can see the movie title and other info. The bottom is the only place you do not put stuff on. Sure once the consumer gets the video home the advertising is not as important and they could turn the open side toward the back of the shelf, but it is in the store that matters.

Also, there is the matter of structural integrity. My blank video boxes get crushed all the time, but my bought video boxes do not.

You guys think the video people care if you get dust in the tape. You own it now, what do they care.

CK, just leave the tape on the bottom of the box and it will not fall on your toe. Or tilt it when you take the video off the shelf. Better yet get DVD and skip the video tapes.


I don’t know if I’ve got the cause and effect mixed up but here’s my WAG- Several video chains have hard, clear plastic casings that open on the bottom but the tape hole is slightly narrower than the tape. By squeezing the ends, the tape hole widens enough for the tape to drop out. This squeeze case would be much harder to accomplish with a tape case that opened on the side.

Squeeze case™ and Tape Hole™ are registered trademarks of Mojo, Inc.

Having over 1,000 self-made videotapes in my collection, I have learned a LOT about tape storage. I use hard plastic “full sleeve” storage boxes (like the ones at Blockbuster) and I make my own insert sheets as well as tape face & spine labels. For pre-recorded tapes that come in paperboard boxes I use a cheaper version of the aformentioned “squeeze” boxes - they have flaps on both ends.

Okay. StrTrkr777 makes a good point. Video tape manufacturers and merchants aren’t going to give a rats’ ass if a tape gets dusty.

The open bottom box may just be part of the packaging process. An upright, open-ended box requires less space on a conveyor than a box on laying on its spine. Seems like would be be easier to balance as well.

The reason for a blank tapes’ open spine is for labeling. You can label the tape once, stand it on a shelf spine out and see the label. You only have to label the tape, not the box.

As for the structural integrity of a video tape box: Are you using them for chairs or something?

I deal with tape and tape case manufacturers on a regular basis, and I once posed this same question to a rep. You’ve all hit on most of the reasons, but I’ll sum up his response…

(1) Structural Integrity - boxes with the short-end openings are stronger than those with long-end openings.

(2) Surface Area - More space to print titles and other info.

And most importantly…

(3) Less Labels - Check youre pre-recorded tapes. Do they have spine labels? If they came in a short-end open slip cover, they probably don’t. Because the spine is not exposed, they can save an entire step in the packaging process by not including a spine label.

When in doubt, follow the money!

Hey, I got twoout of three of the official tape industry answers and if I had thought more about it would have come up with the third.

Hey hanging around you guys is paying off. I may win at Jeopardy yet.


Accepting all that, dwtno, that explains why they use the short side rather than the long side. SO WHY DON’T THEY MAKE THE OPEN END AT THE TOP??

… and I, for one, would be glad to pay the extra $0.05 to have the box open on its side.

Hey, when you buy a video its got plastic on it so the no dust theory is out.

Still lots of people put a video on its side so you see the bottom & you can’t even tell what the name is now cuz after you open it you just see a black bottom.

Actually CK, I was not supposed to tell you this, but since you are a great guy and all.

It is a personal conspiracy against you. Whenever the rest of us buy videos, we know the secret phrase to be able to buy the ones that are open on the top. Someone long ago though decided not to tell you this phrase just to have fun watching you drop endless tapes on your toes or to see all of your videos upside down on the shelf.

Now that you know there is a special phrase, all you have to do is find it.


And it’s not “The whole nine yards”.

The problem with most of these answers is that I have seen some boxes with actual flaps on both top and bottom. This gives additional advertising space and also prevents the tape from falling out. Just too expensive, I suppose…

Those are some of the people who do not have it in for CK.