Yet another Amazon poor-packing rant

Yet another Amazon poor-packing rant

Summary: We need to insist on quality from our vendors. There is absolutely no reason packing has to be this shoddy. Frankly, I expect better from Amazon. I'm disappointed (again).

TOPICS: Amazon, Storage

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Tuesday, wherein I initiate yet another Amazon packing rant because Amazon sent me yet another package with barely any padding.

Let's get to the dirt right away. I bought two disk arrays for work. They are not cheap. They are not light. They were thrown into boxes by the Amazonauts with about six inches of air for padding. I got two cartons like this:

2013-06-10-photo 2
Image courtesy David Gewirtz (and Amazon's poor packing quality)

They were kind enough to throw a small layer of paper on top. One wonders why they protected a half-inch of air, but didn't seem to care about the big six-inch gap on the side:

2013-06-10-photo 3
Image courtesy David Gewirtz

We here at ZDNet have discussed the migration from retail to online somewhat ad nauseum. Here are two recent commentaries by Jason Perlow and yours truly:

I live in something of a wasteland myself — central Florida — and even if I wanted to buy some gear locally, I couldn't. So, I rely on Amazon and other online retailers for just about anything important.

There is no excuse for this. Amazon, in particular, should have the quality control structure in place to know to throw some frickin' padding in the frickin' box, if you know what I mean.

I've discussed this before. Amazon isn't alone. Another online retailer which I frequent, Newegg, pulled the same thing, but not with anything quite as fragile as hard drives or disk arrays:

Of course, the only real difference in shipping is that we don't see how badly vendors pack when sending goods to retailers, but at least that prevents packing-related rants.

Look, we need to insist on quality from our vendors. There is absolutely no reason packing has to be this shoddy.

Frankly, I expect better from Amazon. I'm disappointed (again).

Topics: Amazon, Storage


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Spell Check Gone Awry?

    " ... me yet another package with barely and padding."


    " ... me yet another package with barely any padding."
    • Fixed

      David Gewirtz
  • I work

    At the fulfillment center in San Bernardino, CA and I don't know exactly where you're product came from but our supervisors insist on the highest standards for packaging. If one of the supervisors saw that, there would definitely be a write up. As a very, very small representative of Amazon fulfillment, I do apologize.
    • I'm in Florida

      Thanks @EVH, I'm in Florida and as you can see from my previous discussion about hard drive shipments, this is not an isolated case. I'm hoping this sort of article gets supervisory attention and these problems get fixed. As it is now, I just bought 18 TB of drives, but chose not to buy them from Amazon because I couldn't trust the shipping quality. That's just sad.
      David Gewirtz
  • maybe the employees need a morale boost

    just whip harder until workers get happy again
  • Another Point

    I'm also in Central Florida, and have noticed the Amazon packing problem on about half the orders. I've also noticed the waste in packing. The way too big box, packing material wasted, tape, etc. Proper packing would reduce the cost of shipping and the wasted materials significantly. As we move to more online sales I think the packaging will come under scrutiny and it needs to be fixed.
  • Yet another viewpoint

    I guess i am just lucky. I live in Northern Kentucky and get most of my shipments from the Lexington, KY facility. I have never had a problem with packaging. If anything, it is sometimes excessive. I would only ask about your shipment, whether the inner box was packed as HDDs usually are, with custom padding or end caps. If so, your package is slightly less egregious....Not totally excusable, but not as bad as it otherwise might be.

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