Buy.com Ships Four Hard Drives In Four Over-Sized Boxes

Steven at The Jewish Channel ordered four hard drives from Buy.com, and got them, along with a packaging surprise. The packaging was very excessive. Each hard drive came in its a separate packing box 4591.75 cubic inches larger than the hard drive box it was meant to contain. In addition, that extra dead space was taken up by what amounted to a waterfall of brown packing paper. The containers, measuring 24″ x 18″ x 11.5″ could each have held six of the 10.75″ x 7″ x 5″ boxes. More pix inside. Steven writes:

[All the boxes] have the same “from” address…there was only one packing slip, in one of the boxes, and it says they all came from the same dock…

At UPS.com, if you calculate the shipping cost of the same weight, but the hard drive’s dimensions instead of the box’s dimensions. You get $8.06 for the smaller, $12.42 for the larger. So, at regular rates, that means $17 was lost by buy.com that didn’t need to be

If they’d shipped all four in one box, it would’ve cost $12.42. So that’d a savings of $37.20 versus what they paid. And those savings could’ve been passed on to me. I could’ve paid $9 less per hard drive.

It’s hard to imagine that any reasonable estimate of the extra time and effort it would take to box these more efficiently could add up to anything close to the amount they spent shipping these items inefficiently. It’s clear to me, as a consumer, that I could’ve been charged noticeably less for the same product, if the retailer had simply packaged these with a bare minimum of attention paid to avoiding waste. This means that retailers, in not addressing waste, are telling consumers that the bottom line doesn’t matter, and that prices are noticeably inflated as a result — due to simple lack of effort and planning.

Silly, silly, planet-killing shippers. Though, HP still takes the cake for shipping 32 sheets of paper in 17 boxes.