Amazon Ships "Ready To Ship" Box… Inside Another Box

On one hand, the mere existence of such a thing as a “ready to ship” box at Amazon leads us to believe that there may be hope for them after all. Sadly, the fact that they packed the “ready to ship” box inside another box before they shipped it does leave us with some nagging doubts.

Gerardo says:

About a month back I ordered a 6-pack of “method Foaming Hand Soap, Green Tea & Aloe, Case Pack, Six – 10 Ounce Bottles (60 Ounces),” I ordered this and some hair gel that I have a hard time finding in the the stores. Well sure enough as soon as I bought the soap it went on back order and so it was going to be shipped separately.

I didn’t mind so much since as we all know if you order using amazon’s free shipping you shouldn’t expect it anytime soon. Well, after receiving the soap in the mail, I opened the box to find yet another shipping box inside. A clearly marked “ready to ship” box, which obviously wasn’t ready enough as they had to ship it in a much larger box. I guess Amazon workers are on autopilot mode.

We still think this might be progress. Maybe. Ok, probably not.


Edit Your Comment

  1. coan_net says:

    An simple explanation was that they ordered multiply items – and when the put the smaller box into the bigger box, the person doing the packing might have seen the 2 items on the list and figured there was more to pack.

    The next person comes along in the line, see’s the one items is all that is needed, files the rest with packing material and sends it off.

  2. describe_one says:

    It looks like they might have repacked it because the first box wasn’t fully closing and you can see through the clear packing tape. When shipping stuff you work within set weight restictions, so upping the box size probably didn’t cost them any more than shipping your box. To prevent the box from opening up or from having to pay someone to re-pack it, they just opted to place it in a securely packaged new box.

    It seems like overkill, but it’s better than having the box open up during shipping and depending on the shipping company to repack/ship it correctly.

    • MameDennis says:

      In the OP’s case, the soap is sold in quantities of 6–could the “Ready To Ship” designation mean that the proper quantity is already packed in a box and that the packers shouldn’t break down the carton?

      I’ve run into the same labeling with cases of dried soup cups. The boxes they’re packed in are *definitely* not ready for shipping primetime on their own.

  3. Shark1998 says:

    I can only suspect that they outsourced to a packing company and they are being reimbursed premium dollars by Amazon for less than premium packing material used.

  4. mgermano says:

    FYI. The 12-packs of protein bars that I order from Amazon show up with this same sticker. In my case I think they are trying to let the packer know that the box needs to be packed as-is, and not to open the box and pack just 1 bar. The box of bars alone are NOT ready to be shipped without being packed in another box. It may seem like common sense not to ship a single bar, but I wouldn’t be surprised if its happened.

    • mugsywwiii says:

      @mgermano: This has been my experience. I doubt my box of beef jerky that is made out of perforated, non-corrugated cardboard is really intended to be shipped as-is. ;)

  5. BeeBoo says:

    I order bulk from Amazon frequently, Mexican food, Indian food, etc.

    The “Ready to Ship” label seems to refer to a carton containing multiple identical items, meaning, 6 cans is one purchase and shipping unit. I have never ever received one without it being in a larger box. The boxes with this label always contain multiple identical items ordered as one unit (e.g., a “set” of eight 12 ounce containers).

    Many of the cartons with that sticker obviously were never intended to ship through the mail as they are of very inferior quality cardboard. Sometimes the box is good quality but has large gaps in it which would not protect the contents from insects or moisture.

    The manufacturers of these items, frequently food or beauty goods, intended these cartons to be used in larger boxes or on pallets in trucks and warehouses.

    That said, Amazon does a lot of goofy packing, a boxed set of 100+ CDs in a carton with a 5 pound tub of spackle, guess which got dented up badly?

    On the other hand, Amazon is basically a logistics company and they have state-of-the-art software and warehouse facilities. If there is a more efficient way to do things, they will figure it out.

    • kaptainkk says:

      @BeeBoo: Thanks for clarifying. I wanted to say the same thing because I order food from Amazon too and get many of these boxed items labeled in such a manner. The “Ready to Ship” stickers do not mean that it’s ready to have an UPS label smacked on top of it.

  6. _NARC_ says:

    The prior 2 posters have it. The Ready to Ship seems to be an indication that the packers should not break that package down any further for shipping.

    I also see that with the food products I purchase from Amazon. Try the Kitchen of India meals, they’re great!

    • BeeBoo says:

      @_NARC_: Especially when on sale for 40% off or a little over $1 a box vs. over $3 in the grocery store. The Kitchens of India brand is much better (spicier) than Trader Joes/Tasty Bite.

      lidor7, the hair gel was on back order, so they went ahead and shipped the other item.

      • _NARC_ says:

        @BeeBoo: I know, I’m running out from the last time they had a sale. I think I picked up 3 cases worth. I was just thinking to myself the other day that I was ready for a sale again.

  7. lidor7 says:

    Maybe I’ve misread, but where’s the hair gel? Did it come in a separate box or in the same box? It would make sense to put two items into one larger encompassing box, but there’s no mention of the hair gel other than he purchased it at the same time.

  8. startertan says:

    I just ordered some RAM from newegg and wanted to send pics to consumerist. I ordered (2) DIMMS and they cam in a simple albeit large bubble wrap lined plain brown envelope. = smart shipping gang

  9. Jesse says:

    That box strikes me as kind of small. Are there minimum size requirements to ship packages?

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      You can buy food at Amazon?!?

      @Jesse: I don’t know, Jesse, but I’ve sent some really tiny boxes by FedEx at work, where the label was bigger than the box and they got there just fine.

  10. latemodel says:

    Heres my guess based on info from a local operation. This local company employs all mentally handicapped persons and does warehousing and shipping for local manufacturers. This is some kind of government subsidized program, but the company is also paid by the manufacturer based on the number of boxes they ship; ie there is no incentive for them to consolidate packages as the manufacturer pays for all the materials and fees. This also has to be a minimally complicated procedure too.

    • BeeBoo says:

      @latemodel: No, Amazon has giant state-of-the art shipping facilities and billions of dollars in revenue. It is not a charitable organization. Other companies even use them to run the backend of their web stores.


      • floraposte says:

        @BeeBoo: And that, I suspect, is why the boxes are shipped the way they are from such places. The packing procedure is automated and streamlined, and it’s much cheaper to have more boxes than more people.

  11. Also, that box could not be shipped out by UPS b/c it has markings on it. UPS, FedEX, USPS usually WILL NOT take a box that has a bar code on it, as it can mess up their systems. ULine sells special paint to spray on boxes to cover existing labels so that most shippers will accept them.

  12. Thorgryn says:

    Considering that I have several times ordered boxes of slim jims (something to munch on between classes at college) they all have that sticker on them and always come in bigger boxes. It is meant to indicate that the package it is in does not get opened up to ship the individual items inside.

    Slim Jims come in really flimsy light cardboard packages, that have on a few occasions split open while even enclosed in the bigger package, so they are definitely not ready to ship as is.

  13. mariospants says:

    In poorer countries, this box could have been someone’s home.

  14. whitefang2000 says:

    I work in a shipping department and we are a lot better than this. I like the idea of labelling boxes “ready to ship”. We dont do that, it just gets boxed after its printed.

  15. BeeBoo says:

    Well, you just missed the August sale. I picked up a couple of boxes of Kohinoor Aloo Ki Sabzi and a bunch of MTR pickles. Plus MTR spinach & carrot soup, a couple cases of chipotle in adobo, and some mole sauce. The Kohinoor is not quite as good as the Indian Kitchen but better than Tasty Bite.

    Did you get the Indian Kitchen with the free CDs in them? I got 20+ sets of four, still trying to give them away.

    • _NARC_ says:

      @BeeBoo: Well, you just missed the August sale.
      ? !ARRGH!

      Yeah, I’ve got a bunch of those CDs. The kids make us listen to them when we eat Indian. lol

      Good to know about the Kohinoor. My progression was from TastyBite (which I thought was decent at the time) to KoI, and I won’t go back. I’ve got a bunch of Jaipur Vegetables that I need to eat though. My wife loves the KoI Red Kidney Bean Curry.

      Sucks I missed that sale though. I’ve got to get some notifier or something. The one before that was in April, so I don’t know when it will come around again. But for now, I can use subscribe and save to get below $2/container. That’s at least better than the supermarket.

  16. DanKelley98 says:

    I’m guessing if the contents of the “ready to ship” box arrived damaged, you would have bitched about that.

    Perhaps after the inside box was stickered, experience determined that it wasn’t “ready to ship”.

    I don’t know. You don’t know either. But your purchase arrived in fine condition, no?

  17. I have bought the same dry soup cups from Amazon several times. Sometimes they come in just the “ready to ship” boxes and sometimes they repackage them. All has arrived undamaged.

  18. monkeysattack says:

    That box which has the sticker on it was obviously shipped inside of another box *to* Amazon, so why get pissy when Amazon ships it out the same way it came in?

    A core principle of Amazon is frugality; trust me, if this was not the absolutely cheapest way to ship this item, it would have been shipped differently.

    Worried about waste? Recycle the boxes.

  19. joebar says:

    Er, no. I just got a large box with a “ready to ship” box inside of it… Inside the “ready to ship” box was a smaller box packed nicely in bubble wrap. Inside this box was a SINGLE bar-b-que gas gauge.

    All explanations above are bogus. In reality, it’s just more inefficient excess packaging issues brought to you by Amazon.

  20. Ben Popken says:

    You should have seen all the wasteful packaging they used when I ordered a container that contains itself.

  21. winnabago says:

    Wait, are we complaining that this shipment was packaged too well? If the inner box had been sent on its own and failed, we’d have a consumerist post about how poorly the warehouse did. The consumerist, where you just can’t win.

  22. Anonymous says:

    You see, the mistake you’re all making is expecting high intelligence or problem-solving skills from people who *work in a packing plant*. Some of them there will be smart guys down on their luck, but this isn’t the 1920s any more… people in one neighbourhood don’t all go work at the same job in the same factory just because that’s the way it’s done. They’re working there because they weren’t able to get anything better.

    (I have the same theory about the tutors I have to support in my job as community college IT tech – they really want to teach, and can at least handle that part of it, but everything else in their mind is so broken that they weren’t able to cut it as actual teachers, or as university tutors… so here they are… having trouble with the most basic of concepts (you’ve seen those helpdesk humour websites with the reports of people not understanding how power sockets should be used? yeah… that’s these guys) and causing us 2x the work we already had with genuine faults. The actual schoolteachers I know are much more savvy with such everyday stuff – because if they weren’t, the kids would quite quickly mock and shame them into quitting. In the local college, the students can’t grasp what’s going on either (as they didn’t do well at school, didn’t make it to uni, and are back here re-doing their basic skills), so don’t notice the tutor’s making an utter hash of it)