Item 1: My Logitech cordless remote
(which I like a lot) came in plastic, non-recyclable packaging that
weighed twice as much as the remote itself.* The plastic was so well
sealed and so thick that I actually broke a kitchen knife trying to
open it. (*this is not hyperbole. I weighed it).
This is expensive, time-consuming and positions the product as extremely ungreen.
This packaging is the result of a paranoid retail buyer (the person who orders in bulk for the store, not the buyer at retail) demanding
pilfer-proof packaging combined with a lazy brand manager choosing a
lousy solution to the challenge presented by getting it into a retailer. "Make it pilfer-proof or we won’t carry it," he says. The brand manager doesn’t want to take a risk, so she packages it the way they packaged it when the device cost $1,000. Impregnable.
When you buy it from Amazon, of course, a cardboard
sleeve would be sufficient. The manufacturer, though, only wants to have one sku, so Amazon sells the wasteful one as well.
So, why not compromise and shrink wrap it to a cardboard backad? A simple piece of cardboard, 8 x 10, impossible to fit under your jacket, much lighter, easy to recycle, cheaper and easier to ship.
Item 2: Those stickers on digital cameras that say things like "8
megapixels". Why is there a sticker on the camera that you don’t even
see until you’ve already purchased it?
Because one out of 100 boxes are opened by the store to put on
display. By stickering ALL the cameras, they can be sure to get that
sticker on the one that gets in the case… I am just fascinated by
this. It seems so clever. The mystery is why the digital photos that
they provide to Amazon et. al. don’t have the stickers affixed.
Lessons: Package your stuff so that it works at retail. Put stickers on things that are going to get unboxed. Create sample kits. Consider
offering a second package to Amazon. Think about cutting down weight
and customer angst by making pilfer-proof packaging that is lighter,
easier to open and recyclable. You save money and you sell more stuff. Oh, and don’t ship stuff with styrofoam peanuts. We can do better.