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Packaging? What Packaging?

By Chris Dawson October 18, 2011 - 11:02 pm

I honestly thought I’d seen everything as far as returned items go. I’ve seen many items missing the manufacture packaging and the age old perennial of items returned in the manufacturer’s packaging with with the address hand written and courier labels stuck to the retail box so the item is unsaleable.

Just occasionally you’ll meet a considerate customer who needs to return an item and will reuse the original packaging that you sent the item out in, but today I met an online computer seller whose customer decided to “lose” the manufacturer’s packaging and the outer packaging that the product was shipped in and simply return a laptop in a paper envelope.

That’s right, not even a jiffy bag, just a paper envelope! The buyer explained to the seller that he thought it would be fine as it just went from his house, to the courier’s van, and from the van back to the seller.

Of course the buyer didn’t realise that the courier returned to a local depot where the parcel was sorted onto a trunk lorry to another local depot and then into yet another van for delivery to the seller. Needless to say the laptop is totally broken and now needs serious repairs.

What’s the most inappropriately packaged returned item you’ve ever had? Can you trump a laptop in a paper envelope?

  • dave loves ebay
    6 years ago

    needless to say the seller got 1 star Drs for even considering stating the buyer was a Muppet.

    I once sold a lockable item, that self locks. Only the customer choose to send it back with the keys inside.

  • 6 years ago

    That’s what you get selling on eBay.

  • 6 years ago

    We’ve had a car headlight [glass] returned in a couple of supermarket carrier bags & it was smashed to bits.

    It was sent out bubble-wrapped & in the over-sized original box.

  • 6 years ago

    I have actually started adding a note on returns to say items should be returned in the packaging I sent them in. Never anything this bad but I have had them mail items back to me with no packaging so they arrived heavily damaged.

    People are dumb.

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    Assuming this was an ebay sale what I want to know is did the buyer receive a full refund and if not how did eBay view this when the innevitable dispute was opened up?

  • Glenn
    6 years ago

    I had one customer who sent me a rather concerned email stating that they had ordered a book and I had sent them a Flat bed scanner.

    Reply “Open the box Muppet”, only I left out the word Muppet!

  • 6 years ago

    How did it get resolved re laptop in envelope?

    • 6 years ago

      The customer is paying the post and packaging costs to have it returned to them in it’s existing condition.

      The only problem when it was sent was the customer changed the BIOS to boot from a USB device – that was easily resolved. Sadly it’s now got a cracked motherboard and only stays on for a couple of minutes.

  • paddy
    6 years ago

    I once received an upright fridge back on a pallet with a single strap over it and nothing else. No packaging, protection or anything. A single hard push and it would have been off the pallet.

  • Chris
    6 years ago

    Mind you it is not always Buyers returning goods that send them inappropriately. My Son bought a windscreen for a car on ebay. It arrived with one sheet of cardboard around it with various warning notices but no other protection. Needless to say it arrived broken(big hole in the middle).

    I had a book sent back as undeliverable by the Post Office. By the time it arrived with me the packaging was very “moth eaten”. So I repackaged it and sent it back as the customer was shouting that he had not received it. But the best bit was that the Postman was telling the customer that he had not seen it(while he was the Postman who had sent it back as undeliverable). Finally the customer got his book and was very pleased leaving a good feedback. The Postman well I hope he did not get a Christmas Box.

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      I received an order from one buyer for a Book which I sent. A little while later he contacted me and asked why I had sent Book A instead of the Book B that he had ordered. As I do not have Book A in stock I was obviously confused. So I queried his email. Turned out that he had ordered several books from differant suppliers and had managed to get confused about which books were going to be supplied by which suppliers. Finally he managed to work it all out and identified the Book that he had ordered from me and subsequently received from me and was happy(if probably still a little confused).

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      Over the years I have accumulated a large stock of packaging. Just occassionally when I am buying something I get the impression from the various emails with the seller that he is lacking a bit in the understanding of “packaging”. So I offer to send him a box of packing. So he can use what he needs and keep the rest for other orders. Just recently I did this but he assured me that he had plenty. Well the item arrived in a box with no packing. Luckily in perfect working order but it could have been so differant.

  • Bunchy
    6 years ago

    I had a piece of jewellery returned that was alleged as “squashed”. It came back in an C6 white envelope minus it’s hard plastic jewellery box. Needless to say by the time it came back it was most certainly squashed.

    • katakitty
      6 years ago

      I’ve just received a tap from a German seller with the label and stamp on the outside of the box. No thought that I might have been buying it to resell, I’m not but I could have been.

  • John Pemberton
    6 years ago

    I get shoes back with the address written all over the box + stickers..thus rendering the box useless. Its mainly German customer who do this, as they see the box as just to protect the goods inside (logical). The Brits see the box as something they have paid for and has a value!

  • Henrietta
    6 years ago

    Two vintage transferware cups and saucers put into a shoebox and mailed, this was an eBay seller who was quite upset that I was upset.

    Returns? I had someone send back a large print because they didn’t like the expression on the dog’s face. It went out wrapped in tissue and mounted on very expensive foamboard, came back folded in four in a torn envelope

  • 6 years ago

    I had a fragile plastic light sabre that I would send bubblewrapped in an Umbrella Box, returned to me in Gaffa Tape.

    Covered in the stuff. No packaging, just Black Gaffa Tape. There was no point trying to remove the tape, the object was in several, wobbly, stuck together pieces.

  • Alistair
    6 years ago

    We had an item returned from a buyer in an old dirty bed sheet, we have also have an item returned wrapped in old clothes.

    It always amazes me what customers consider good safe packaging!!

  • dladds27
    6 years ago

    I had a recent incident of a 42″ Samsung 3D LED TV returned by a customer due to change of mind. The unit was supplied in the orginal box and manufactuer packing and was new.

    The buyer sent it back with no packing, no box, no stand, no remote, no cables etc. The courier label was simply attached to the rear of the TV.

    Needless to say the TV was extensively damaged upon return. Buyers excuse for not returning the product as delivered was that the packing was to complicated to put back together.

    Obviously we refused the return, buyer raised a case with paypal and the buyer won! Needless to say I was not happy with the outcome and complained to paypal, and still the buyer got away with it.

  • 6 years ago

    We had a client return a photocopier that sent out on a pallet and wrapped very carefuly. When returned it had no pallet and no wrapping hence smashed to bits. We noted it as damaged with the courier he’d sent it back with and filed a claim with them – it was UPS and they cam and took it away. I contacted eBay and filled them in on what had happened and emailed the documentation to them. They found the claim inour favour as I could prove that Id asked the buyer to return it in the same packagingwe had sent it. We always find it best to keep a trail (i.e. emails not phone calls) so you can prove what has been said.

  • Tula
    6 years ago

    I received a 36-inch roll-feed scanner wrapped in a single layer of newspaper inside of a wooden crate. The brain trusts who packed it actually screwed the crate to the scanner itself, making holes and wrecking the cable connection point and interior circuits. The seller insisted I must have damaged it when I opened it (impossible, given how it was “screwed”). This was before the no negatives to buyers change, so I didn’t dare neg him since I knew he’d retaliate.

    I also once received a china plate inside a flattened cereal box – no padding, just the ends taped together. Needless to say, it was in several pieces. Some people are really dumb.

  • northumbrian
    6 years ago

    our buyers have discovered the secret of invisibility
    we get returns that you cant see touch or feel ,though paypal seem to have the equipment needed to see them in our premises and refund

  • 6 years ago

    Our best one has to be a returned laptop coming back wrapped in nappies inside a box.

    Thanksfully they were not used nappies!

  • Gemma
    6 years ago

    I’ve had many badly packaged returned items, often just put in a bin liner, but an experience I had with a professional seller on Amazon Market place as a buyer tops my list. Last Christmas I purchased a portable photo studio – lights screen etc – for my partner. I chose express delivery because of the weather, thinking that was bound to be the best option. It was duly delivered – with no packaging whatsoever! Just a Parcelforce label on the outer box! And guess who went to the door to sign for the parcel? Needless to say present time on Christmas morning wasn’t what it should have been.

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      In regard to items being returned in a bin liner. When you go into the Post Office near the Counter are various types of packing available for purchase. Envelopes, jiffy bags, Boxes etc. But usually there are also glorified plastic bags printed as if they are to be used for posting out items. In addition if you have a magazine subscription these are very often just posted in a plastic bag.

      I find myself wondering if there are some who think that if it is all right for a magazine its all right for a lap top computer or other bit of delicate equipment. They don’t seem to realise that a cuddly toy or magazine will “ride” knocks so probably does not need a lot of protection. But a computer or TV or other delicate item should be given the very best of protection.

      I was reading some comments elsewhere about posting out of Books. Some of the posters were commenting on the number of damaged ones they suffer. I must admit that I suffer very few damaged books(cannot remember the last Book damaged in the post)

      I have for years always put books into a plastic bag long before I put it into the jiffy bag or other packaging. I swear that it allows the book to move within the packaging and “ride” minor knocks. Also if the packaging gets wet the plastic bag will protect the enclosed. Also of course we are handling the plastic bag not the book so it protects from such as torn dust-jackets. At what stage do I put the book into the plastic bag usually when it goes into stock. So with some of my old stock they could have been in the plastic bag for years staying clean and damage free. The plastic bags cost about 1p each which I count as an investment given the very low number of damage problems of all sorts I suffer.

  • cw
    6 years ago

    If business sellers do the job properly,then parcels to customers arrive in accordance with the couriers recommendations
    I.E.
    Wrap each item carefully in bubble wrap
    All shipments are unavoidably subject to shocks during transportation. Wrapping them separately will ensure the items don’t cause damage to each other.

    Use the right box
    We recommend you use corrugated boxes in good condition. You can identify the strength of the box by reviewing the Box Makers Certificate (BMC), which can be found on the base of most shipping boxes.

    Fill the base of the box with cushioning materials
    Cushioning your shipment on all sides helps to make sure it arrives in good shape. The contents should never come in to contact with the outer packaging.

    Create a double wall at the bottom of the box
    Insert a double corrugated card on top of the loose fill to create a double wall at the bottom of the box.

    Add further cushioning
    Add more loose fill on top of the card in preparation for the item.

    Insert a double wall divider
    This will prevent the contents coming into contact with the outer packaging on the sides of the box.

    Surround the wrapped object with cushioning
    This will prevent the item from moving during transportation. The cushioning should be able to absorb shock and vibrations

    Insert a card to create another double wall on top
    Place a firm card on top of the cushioning material to make sure everything stays in place. Allow some room to place extra cushioning on top.

    Extra protection on top
    Protect the upper side of your package by filling up the remaining space with more cushioning material.

    Close the package carefully
    Make sure the box is closed carefully, so no cushioning material can get out. Using a good quality, rigid box with intact flaps is advisable.

    Close the box securely with strong tape
    Seal your package with pressure-sensitive plastic tape or water-activated paper tape, preferably around 50mm in width.

    Add the finishing touches
    Do not use strings or cords: they can get tangled up in automated sorting equipment. Place your address and shipping labels on the top surface of the box, avoid putting them on seams, closures or on the sealing tape.

    Never strap two parcels together
    If you have two parts to a delivery, do not strap them together and send them as one parcel as this could result in a loss and you won’t be compensated. If you have two parcels, send them separately.

    THE WORST RETURN WE HAVE HAD WAS A LAPTOP FROM A CUSTOMER WHO HAD CHANGED HER MIND
    WITH THE ADDRESS WRITTEN ON THE LID IN PERMANENT MARKER!!!!!!
    You should have seen the courier’s face we had a good laugh over it.
    because we have a good friendly relationship he waited until i had turned it on and tested it.
    Guess what IT WORKED!!!! unbelievable.

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