Dell Still Ships Tiny Items In Massive Boxes

From the looks of David’s package, Dell isn’t close to honoring its promise to switch to alternative packaging within the next two months. This obscenely large box contained nothing more than a 2GB flash drive. David’s son snapped a few pictures, which appear as an eerie slideshow after the jump.

David writes:

Recently, my son Justin and I both ordered Kingston 2GB USB “thumb” drives from Dell after seeing it mentioned on slickdeals.net. My son’s arrived a few days before mine, and he told me that when the delivery guy handed him the box, he asked if there was anything actually in the box because it was so light. I didn’t see the packaging myself until my drive arrived the other day. I asked my other son Brett, a budding photographer, to document the “unboxing” this time.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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PREVIOUSLY: Dell: Let’s Ship Tiny CDs In Massive Boxes!

Comments

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  1. mgy says:

    A flash drive from Dell? Que?

  2. astrochimp says:

    “From the looks of David’s package…”

    I’m scared already.

  3. KogeLiz says:

    ::shrugs::

    I have about 10 packages from several companies a week that i can take pictures of for Consumerist.

  4. KogeLiz says:

    Also, I should not, they make great shipping boxes. We always have uses for them. Most people do.

  5. KogeLiz says:

    should *note*

  6. pmcpa2 says:

    This is a Dell software and accessories shipment… This comes from a 3rd party supplier, not from Dell directly. Normally the same warehouses that Buy.com and Amazon.com uses. Blame them, not Dell.

  7. dronnac says:

    Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
    I second mgy who buys flash drives from Dell?

  8. Hmm, well no, it’s not rare…but I am always happy when a company uses shipping that conserves resources…I love that many clothing manufacturers have switched to paper, cardboard, or plastic mailers which use a fraction of the materials. This does seem relatively wasteful in comparison.

  9. deedrit says:

    This may have been from a third party that Dell works with. I recieve packages every week from Dell and they are VERY minimal with materials.

  10. ivanthemute says:

    Must never have worked retail. “Gee, this huge blue tote seems really, awfully light” *opens* “Who the hell put ONE stick of deodorant in a 12 cubic foot tote?!”

  11. DeadlySinz says:

    Lets see how long the thumb drive works for, Dells crap usually doesn’t last a month in my house from experience its junk

  12. Kwik80 says:

    @ivanthemute:

    I can one up that- 1 package, or about 60 plastic hang tags (20 to a sheet), in one tote. Though that is more amusing, as opposed to the annoying, and potentially painful “tote full of garbage and an open pair of scissors”. Many is a day that I have tried to institute a “team-building” field trip to our distribution center for a late-night bonfire.

  13. scoopy says:

    Can’t Consumerist come up with a separate blog for all these lame packaging posts? Let’s call it http://www.packagingist.com. This way, the few people that are actually entertained by these redundant posts can get their fills in one place.

  14. r081984 says:

    There is nothing wrong with using bigger boxes. Anyone mad at Dell over this is stupid.
    Dell would only do this, if it is cheaper. Using standard box sizes regardless of what is shipped makes the process standardized. With standardization comes better safety, higher productivity, lower cost, and better efficiency.

    Buying more single sized boxes is cheaper then buying multiple sizes of boxes.
    You might think its better for the environment, but having many different sizes of boxes could actually use more energy and be worse for the environment.

    If people want cheaper products from Dell then please stop crying about Dell’s standardized practices that increases productivity and lowers cost.

  15. anonsupport says:

    I think that’s atypical – we use dell almost exclusively for our IT needs, and anything that size comes in a padded envelope. Although maybe that is just Dell Canada…

  16. annswers says:

    Too funny! I still respect Dell. This is an entertaining article! :)

  17. mmbb says:

    @eslaydog:
    I think this post ties in nicely with the Country Crock post. You see, once upon a time, that was the appropriately-sized box for 2GB of memory. However, as you can see, Dell has deceptively and maliciously maintained the same outer packaging while reducing the actual contents. OUTRAGE!!

  18. spinachdip says:

    @eslaydog: I wish human brains had the capacity to deduce the topic of a blog post by simply reading the title, or if needed, by looking at the picture and/or reading the first sentence or two. And then, we could simply keep scrolling down until we find a post that interests us. Alas, we are not that evolved (suck on it, Darwin!).

    Instead we are doomed, DOOMED!, to click on the permalink and keep reading, scroll even further down and comment, giving the post even more undeserved page loads.

  19. StevieD says:

    @r081984:

    Well said.

    BTW, that box is the largest size box that can be shipped for the 1 lb UPS rate.

  20. nequam says:

    @spinachdip: I’ve got to say I like your style!

  21. ByeBye says:

    They did this to me when I buy Wii games from them.

  22. KogeLiz says:

    @r081984: Exactly. Plus people would more likely reuse larger boxes than tiny ones.

  23. ophmarketing says:

    @DeadlySinz

    It’s a Kingston drive, so I’d actually have fairly high expectations for its reliability. However, I can’t understand buying it through Dell. NewEgg has got to be a better bargain.

  24. STrRedWolf says:

    And I bet he paid 2-3 times as much as Newegg. But that’s besides the point. Dell oversized the package. Newegg is much better (although they could put it in a padded mailer).

  25. spinachdip says:

    @r081984: Your comment is reasonable, but the problem with oversized boxes is the extra padding you’d need for fragile items. Granted, the thumb drive isn’t *that* breakable, but I hope they’re not shipping RAMs or hard drives with the same, efficient packaging.

    Considering the extra trouble you’d go through to securely package tiny ultra-small items, it would seem more cost effective to have separate packing methods for big stuff and little stuff.

  26. Buran says:

    @KogeLiz: I got a single wire (custom VW wire with special connectors, ordered by someone I know at a dealership) for a mod I did. It showed up in a box. I don’t know why he didn’t just throw it in a padded mailer.

    We ordered a 2 mL vial of some special stuff for research at work this week as well that showed up in a small box which was itself in a compartmentalized giant box.

    It was equally ridiculous, both times, as the photo above.

  27. orlo says:

    @ophmarketing

    Dell was selling these for about $7 (lime-green only).

    Mine was packed in the same way: while it appears absurd, I’m sure it’s more cost efficient for Dell. [Note to Dell: don't pander to proportional-packaging consumeristas]

    What’s more disturbingly wasteful is that Dell delayed my order, and then shipped it overnight with DHL.

  28. dkozinn says:

    To answer the question of why I’d buy a thumb drive from Dell, note my initial message where I commented that I’d picked this up because of an extraordinarily good deal mentioned on slickdeals.net.

  29. spinachdip says:

    @Ron Seigel:
    I guess yo didn’t know that “unboxing” is a time honored geek ritual that dates back to the 14th century, when geeky aristocrats would commission artists to paint each step of opening a boxed gift. It would often take up to a year to open a single package!

  30. deedrit says:

    C’mon guys! That is someone’s home! Dell is providing low income housing, it must be part of a humanitarian project.

  31. Plasmafire says:

    If they are using the USPS as well as dell its understandable, the USPS loses small packages like crazy. bit packages get lost far less often.

  32. Ragman says:

    Yeah, it is a waste of space. On the other hand, light boxes tend to arrive in great condition, if you recycle shipping boxes.

    I understand the economy in using few sizes vs many, but you’d think they’d pick up some padded envelopes as well.

    And speaking of Dell boxes: There are no moving boxes as good as the Dell desktop boxes(circa mid 90s, I don’t know about today). Double walled, cutout hand-holds – I kept reusing them until we got in our house. Can’t buy anything as good from the moving/storage stores.

  33. FLConsumer says:

    I don’t have a problem with using oversized boxes… Nothing wrong with extra air/volume.

    My gripe is when companies don’t adequately pack their items with either too little packing material or go overboard and make it so you need a blowtorch and jaws-of-life just to open the damn package, usually those retail blister packs.

  34. FLConsumer says:

    @Ragman: They’re still awesome. Could probably fit a dead body in them if you arranged it right and the box would still hold it.

  35. IrisMR says:

    I guess sturdy enveloppes are obsolete…

  36. Seriously, this is one of my pet peeves. When it happens to me, it’s usually an even bigger box filled with about six or seven quarts of packing peanuts (which I then have to dispose of somehow without making a mess) carrying something like that which could have been shipped in a bubble-pack envelope.

    OTOH, if it’s close to the Christmas holiday season, I can try to reuse stuff like that.

  37. Trask says:

    The company I work with uses Sarcom Direct for it’s computers and related parts and they do the same thing and their packaging is never consistent either.

  38. ElizabethD says:

    To anyone with unwanted packing “peanuts” (the styrofoam thingies): Dump the peanuts in plastic garbage bags secured with a twistie and list them for free on Craigslist or Freecycle. They will be picked up immediately by eBay sellers, I promise you!

  39. Serpephone says:

    Dell did the same thing to me. Flash drive=huge box… huh???

  40. ToddatDell says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It looks like the packaging in question came from one of our thrid party vendors. We hold our vendors to very strict standards, and are working closely on reducing the amount of packaging they use when making these small shipments. We will come back here to post updates on our progress as it happens, or you can follow Direct2Dell’s Environment page [direct2dell.com] We rely on continued feedback from customers like you to let us know which areas require our attention so we can meet our goal of becoming the greenest technology company in the world. Thanks again for alerting us to this.

    Todd Dwyer
    Dell Community Liaison – Environment

  41. ToddatDell says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It looks like the packaging in question came from one of our thrid party vendors. We hold our vendors to very strict standards, and are working closely on reducing the amount of packaging they use when making these small shipments. We will come back here to post updates on our progress as it happens, or you can follow Direct2Dell’s Environment page [direct2dell.com] We rely on continued feedback from customers like you to let us know which areas require our attention so we can meet our goal of becoming the greenest technology company in the world. Thank you again for alerting us to this.

    Todd Dwyer
    Dell Community Liaison – Environment

  42. dkozinn says:

    Wow. Nobody read the original story, or my comment about why I bought a ridiculously cheap thumb drive from Dell in the first place.

    As for “complaining”, I wasn’t, I was pointing out how absurd it was.

    And, for those of you who complained about me, I actually do recycle the boxes; I (or another member of my family) use the boxes to send things out, or, if we really get too many, we put them out with the rest of the recycling.