When This Company Ran Out Of Shovel-Sized Boxes, It “Got Creative”

As someone wise once said, if you don’t have a box that will fit what you want to ship, just figure something out. One of our very own Consumerist readers was the recipient of such necessity-driven creativity recently, when an item she’d ordered online showed up on her doorstep in, shall we say, unexpected packaging.

The reader says she ordered the large sifting shovel — ideal for use in chicken coops or large-scale animal rescue operations — last week on Amazon from a third-party seller, and it was left on her porch a few days later.

“Yes… this is how it was delivered,” she wrote, adding that she got “quite a kick out of it.”


We checked with the seller, Next Day MRO, to verify that they had indeed, shipped a shovel with the handle sticking out of a box, and a representative for the company confirmed that the choice was deliberate.

“Yes, this bit of creativity was ours,” the rep wrote, explaining that UPS and FedEx charge for items that aren’t shipped in a box. “Our team would typically put this item into a box that would fit the whole handle; turns out we were out of boxes so they got creative,” he said.

That’s not proper packaging for such an item, a UPS spokesman confirmed with Consumerist when we shared the photo. He explained that drivers occasionally pick up packages from customers assuming they know what the proper packaging guidelines are. However, sometimes the person doing the packaging might not know or might not have followed those guidelines, the rep explains.

“Our drivers strive to give the best service in our industry and that is perhaps the reason that shovel may have been accepted, but it should not have been accepted in that condition,” the spokesman told Consumerist in an email. “It should have been completely enclosed in packaging material.”

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