I Order Dipstick, Amazon Sends It In Box That Could Fit Spud Webb

When Greg ordered a dipstick, Amazon must have gotten confused and thought he wanted his item packaged by a dipstick. The company sent him his order in a crate that could house miniscule former NBA great Spud Webb — an unlockable player in the new NBA Jam game! — if he stooped down a little bit.

He writes:

I’ve seen some of these before posted on your site. Well here is another shot of absurd packaging from Amazon.com. I ordered a dipstick. Its about 2.5 feet long. The box is about 5 feet by 3 feet by 8 inches. What a waste.

Greg can use the box to construct a life-size go-kart replica, then use his new dipstick to pretend to change its oil. What would you do with a box that big?


Edit Your Comment

  1. jimmyhl says:

    Save the box. OP might need it as a living space if his jackhole landlord refuses to pay the water bill.

  2. cassleer says:

    a poster tube would have worked perfect.. This is why I hate, you pay so much for shipping and some items are shipped in to large of boxes and you are paying for it in the end.. (unless its free shipping)

    • Shoemaster says:

      I work in a place that ships things. Let me say that usually when something happens like this it’s because we’ve run out of appropriate-sized boxes for whatever reason, so we improvise. Since the shipping cost is based on weight and the delivery companies are usually pretty lenient with weights for business customers, it’s not costing you anything extra. Not that we aren’t sorry for the hassle ;)

  3. APriusAndAGrill says:

    Give the box to BP to store the all of the spent foam rolls from the spill

  4. RandomHookup says:

    I saw Spud Webb play when I was in college. Incredible hops.

    • Rayon Fog says:

      I, for one, am offended that this site would insinuate that Spud is nothing more than an oversize dipstick. Nate Robinson, maybe. But not Spud.

  5. Daverson says:

    Greg ordered something from Amazon and it arrived.

  6. APriusAndAGrill says:

    I had to google spud webb :(

  7. cameronl says:

    I can only imagine the kind of pressure the shipping depts must be under to get things out in a timely manner. It’s probably cheaper and more efficient occasionally use an over-sized box than to hunt down the perfect box.

  8. Hoss says:

    How do you lose a dipstick?

    • lolBunny says:

      It can break. When I got my car the nice finger hole/handle was broken off of the dipstick. The mechanic had to replace it. He said that that breakage is common for the type of dipstick that was in there previously. I splurged on a primo new dipstick.

    • Reading_Comprehension says:

      I’m guessing it broke, if you have an older car that leaks/burns oil you should be checking at every fillup. It’s just thin metal attached to a plastic handle

    • Gramin says:

      Excellent question!!!

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      Who said he lost a dipstick?

      *reads article again*

      Nope he didn’t loose a dipstick.

    • ajaxd says:

      Some cars these days come with digital oil level readout but not a physical dipstick. Naturally, not everybody likes it.

  9. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Clearly Amazon wasn’t thinking with their dipstick, Jimmy.

    Also, who orders JUST a dipstick from Amazon? With shipping costs, I’d want to order a LITTLE more than that…

  10. Bativac says:

    This is so weird. I ordered Spud Webb from Amazon, and he showed up crammed into a skinny box that was only about 2.5 feet long!

    I emailed Consumerist but they told me they weren’t interested unless it involved a tiny item and a huge box, or something to do with receipt checking.

  11. Scurvythepirate says:

    I’m coming to Amazon’s defence here.

    Whatever shipping facility the item shipped from may only have had a box that big to fit his item in. Computer tell what boxes to use when shipping items. Maybe they were out of smaller boxes.

    So this really anything out of the ordinary, I order typically 5 things a week from Amazon and there have been some questionable shipping practices.

    Must be a slow news day.

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      Wow my English sucks this morning. I need more coffee.

      • Sneeje says:

        Actually, what I want to know is why is this a definitive “waste” especially for exceptions. Is it more wasteful to create and have boxes of every shape and size on hand or as efficiently as possible make do with what you have? Also,

        1) The box, regardless of size, is recyclable
        2) The energy necessary to power the vehicles to transport the box and recycle the box is a wash in either case because while the weight of the item is constant, but the volume the box takes up is not and may reduce or increase the volume available for cargo on either truck.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Got a better story for them to post?

    • jeffpiatt says:

      I work in a amazon.com fulfillment center and we are told by the computer what box type to use based on what boxes are carried in the we work in and the package will get spit out by slam if the box used is smaller than what the computer wanted it to be in the box bar-code must mach the one selected by the system or be larger and stuffed with enough to prevent movement in the box.on you packing slip on the bottom will be the computers “recommended” box code. some time it under shoots and asks me to pack a large item in the smallest box a A1 when it belongs in the larger 1A1. that’s why amazon added packaging feedback. a packer is rated by units per hour so that packer put the item is the only box he had that it fit in by length. most larger centers have the shipping labels placeid on the box by a robot who scans the Pslip barcode then the box barcode items is the wrong size box get kicked out to be but in the correct box.

  12. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I must agree with Phil here. They clearly should have folded/bent the dipstick so it would fit into a smaller box. That’s why I always include instructions that when I order plates or glasses online that they break them with a hammer until they fit in a small flat rate box, and I glue them back together when I get them.

    But perhaps I’m biased because I used to work in a mailroom, and can understand the process of shipping and have had to use a larger than the item box because we could only store so many empty boxes of so many sizes. Places like Amazon have it even worse because they need to program box sizes into their computer to pick the best box to handle the shipment(That’s why your receipt/invoice has the box code on it), and to reduce overhead, try to limit the amount of boxes they stock to the most commonly used sizes.

  13. Dyscord says:

    Wow. I’ve never had problems with box sizes ordering from Amazon. Of course, I rarely order things that small.

    Still, that’s a little ridiculous.

  14. yessongs says:

    What a dipstick!

  15. framitz says:

    Get over it, just recycle the packaging.

    • Rhinoguy says:

      In beautiful Greensboro, NC we get huge 90 gallon recycle bins from the city. I would need quite a bit of time to smash that box down enough to fit in my recycle container. Although I did drop a Subaru transmission in the bin once.

  16. TerpBE says:

    I put my own dipstick into a box at home.

  17. Mpowered says:

    Amazon lets you rate packaging, btw.

  18. Cantras says:

    That box is *ideal* for building a box fort. Or at least an excellent start. Doors are some of the structurally weirdest things to make for box forts and with that he can just bolt the flap-side to the box fort wall and open/close the big section.

    (I built a giant box fort in my apartment 2 weeks ago as a surprise while my husband was out. part of it’s still up. :D )

  19. Supes says:

    That’s Amazon for you. I ordered a dust buster a couple months ago that arrived in a similarly huge package. Makes no sense. I can only assume (a) the shipping rate for the differences in box size is marginal, and (b) for certain sized objects, it’s tough to find a box that fits correctly.

    I guess as long as we get the items in good condition there’s not too much to complain about.

  20. stevied says:

    It does not appear to be an ‘oversized” box according to the UPS/Fedex shipping standards for oversized = bigger charges

  21. leetnick says:

    They probably just wanted more money from shipping >.>

  22. mileena says:

    Does the Consumerist not have copy editors??

    ” The company sent him his order in a crate that could house miniscule former NBA great Spud Web”

    minuscule, not miniscule!

    • M.P. says:

      Go figure! You learn something new everyday! “Minuscule” has been so widely misspelled as “miniscule” that it is now deemed by some as a variant spelling rathe than a misspelling. Even MS Word won’t correct you on that one. I did think it was spelled “miniscule” but I’ll try to remember that it’s not. :) Reminds me of the usage of “snuck” instead of “sneaked” and such.

  23. Penn20 says:

    The problem with too large packaging like this is that it makes the box and the item more succeptable to damage. The poster tube idea is on the mark. They probably ran out of the “correct” size box. Oh well. Next.

  24. Aaronjk says:

    I only order free shipping, and these big boxes come in handy when I ship stuff.

  25. ellemdee says:

    I’d rather have something overpacked than underpacked. I just ordered a Wii game that came in a retail cardboard box (thim cardboard like a retail SW box) with a hardware accessory packaged inside and Amazon shoved the 2-3″ deep box into a FLAT envelope so, naturally, it arrived crushed. If it would have been a gift, I couldn’t even have given it in the condition it was in.

  26. fuzzmanmatt says:

    On Amazon, this dipstick is $8.37. In my store, this exact same dipstick is $6.99, no shipping, but it does come to my store in a 4’x4’x4′ box, usually that box is loaded with other stuff too, though.

  27. Invader Zim says:

    Better than one of those anti theft plastic packages. That you have to melt in order to get your paid for goods out of.