Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Launches "Frustration-Free Packaging"

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the save-the-earth-and-keep-more-of-your-fingers dept.

Businesses 353

mallumax notes Amazon's new Frustration-Free Packaging initiative. Over several years the retailer hopes to convince many of its suppliers to offer consumer-friendlier packaging. It's starting with just 19 products from Mattel, Fisher-Price, Microsoft, and Transcend. Until this program spreads to more products, better get one of these (ThinkGeek and Slashdot share a corporate overlord). From Amazon's announcement: "The Frustration-Free Package is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties. It's designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging. Products with Frustration-Free Packaging can frequently be shipped in their own boxes, without an additional shipping box. Amazon works directly with manufacturers to box products in Frustration-Free Packages right off the assembly lines, which reduces the overall amount of packing materials used."

cancel ×

353 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Best packaging innovation ever (4, Insightful)

CMonk (20789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620665)

How much cost does it add to a product to make it retail shelf friendly (theft, presentation)? Hopefully this will save us money down the line too.

Re:Best packaging innovation ever (5, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620703)

Given that they're the exact opposite of retail B&M store packaging (easy to open and steal, likely shippable in it's own box and thus largely unlabeled) I'd say we're not going to see the disappearance of the hand-slashing blister pack. The "features" of a retail package exist because the necessities of retail in-person sales demand them. These necessities aren't going to disappear because Amazon's mail order business isn't bound by those necessities.

Vista Box, Best Pack-Cage Evar (1)

right handed (1310633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620941)

"They just want to mess with your minds, you know. Because, if you don't know how to open this box [youtube.com] , you probably can't install Microsoft Vista"

Gotta love the music and detailed notes. Oh yeah, the shattered box is priceless. Customer hostile from the first layer of plastic.

Re:Best packaging innovation ever (3, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621181)

The odd thing is that even in situation where theft isn't an issue (like, behind the counter, or in a locked case) the products are still (often) clad in highly annoying, theft-proof, finger-slashing packaging.

In any case, the manufacturer could still use user-friendly packaging, and the stores (were it an issue) could use those reusable plastic lock-boxes you sometimes see software or videos in, which are cheap enough to buy in quantity but still need to be opened with a key at the register. One could make a case that this is even more secure than blister packaging (the anti-steal rfid is inside the locked box, instead of glued on the outside) and since the boxes are reused, much waste is eliminated.

Re:Best packaging innovation ever (5, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621267)

I don't think you realize how cheap those blister packs are, or the economy of scale in packaging everything a given manufacturer makes in the same kind of packaging (even if not the same size). Different kinds of packaging require different kinds of very expensive machines to handle, and that means different assembly lines that can't be easily converted to a product that uses the other kind of packaging. And so on.

Plus, at the retail end, anything the requires a key to sell requires, if not a manager, at least a senior employeed who has been vetted more throughly than the average cahsier.

stupid fucking seal on the edge of CD's.... (2, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621303)

I wish they'd take off that stupid tape thing that is on CD's....damned near impossible to get all off easily. Hell, I go to my Mom's to visit...and her CD's still have most of that crap on them.

I've found so far, best way to get it off...is run a sharp knife under it cutting it on edge..leaving enough room to try to peel each half off in one motion.

This stuff sucks when you try taking it off in the car to listen to it...

Re:Best packaging innovation ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25621419)

their is a security tag inside the case as well look for it to fall out next time you open a cd/dvd if you still buy them (they are a big part of stopping employee theft i.e people who can take the security covers off)

Re:Best packaging innovation ever (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621461)

I don't know about that. I have noticed both at my local Walgreen's and Wal Mart more and more items are simply having an empty box set on the shelf with a card holder in front of it with slips you take to the check out. I personally prefer it this way since you still can read the box while at the same time avoiding the "blister packs from hell" that are such a royal PITA to deal with. Not only is this more eco-friendly but for those of us with hand problems it makes the purchase a LOT easier to deal with.

Re:Best packaging innovation ever (1)

barfy (256323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621157)

Um... Pennies. It is a negligible cost of the product.

This is mainly a giant win for Amazon, who doesn't have to spend for additional materials for packaging or shipping of single pick orders. As a matter of fact they are probably willing to give the manufacturer some sort of benefit from this. Slightly higher costs for instance.

lawsuits... (5, Interesting)

eeyoredragon (674402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620689)

Why is it people are sued for their coffee being too hot... but people haven't sued the crap out of corporations for packages that quite frankly maim their customers?

Re:lawsuits... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25620821)

The package doesn't maim the customer, the customer maims themself. There is a proper way to open a package, sometimes it's not all that clear, but it is possible to open a package without causing bodily harm. It's not all that apparent, but quite a bit of thought goes into designing a package; sadly, the end-user isn't always the main concern.

Re:lawsuits... (5, Insightful)

eeyoredragon (674402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620905)

You can dance around it all you like... but it doesn't change the end result. People every day are injured in some way by this "two plastic bubbles melted together" method of packaging. Because it practically requires bladed weapons to open.

I have instructions on jars that tell me to twist open a cap... I'd say the whole twist cap thing is pretty self explanatory, yet people feel the need to put instructions on how to open jars.

You know why there's no instructions on how to open a solid lump of plastic? Because it being able to be opened isn't on their mind at all... not that it isn't their "main concern". They'd put it in a solid lead bubble with a cytotoxic theft deterrent system, but sadly that costs them more money.

Re:lawsuits... (2, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621037)

Because it practically requires bladed weapons to open.

That's the wrong tool for the job. Use a small pair of tin snips, and there's very little chance that you'll injure yourself. (Making packages that require tin snips to open is still stupid, though.)

Re:lawsuits... (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621249)

"That's the wrong tool for the job. Use a small pair of tin snips, and there's very little chance that you'll injure yourself. "

Yeah..like everyone has a pair of those laying around...

[rolls eyes]

Re:lawsuits... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621323)

Well, most everyone who doesn't have a lame-assed assortment of tools has something along those lines.

Re:lawsuits... (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621365)

Even if they did, tin snips still aren't very effective at getting open blister packs safely unless you're wearing heavy work gloves, in my experience. You'll still end up with a sharp edge whipping around, even if you're not ripping it open with your hands (which is undoubtably unsafe).

The fact that we have to have this discussion at all just goes to show the level of insanity that went into blister packs.

Frustration-free packaging can't come soon enough. I hope Amazon works out a deal with CD and DVD distributers too. They're not blister pack-dangerous, but still a major pain in the ass.

Re:lawsuits... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621429)

considering that it's about 5 bucks after the first google result, I wouldn't go crying like its' hard to get though.

Re:lawsuits... (0)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621363)

Use a small pair of tin snips...

Absolutely. That's how I replace the battery in my iPod...just kidding...I don't have an iPod...Uh oh...I hope this hard plastic is fireproof.

Re:lawsuits... (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621211)

...Because it practically requires bladed weapons to open....

And that is so terrible? A sharp pair of scissors is quite good for this and reasonably safe for anyone that doesn't have two left hands.

Re:lawsuits... (1)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621255)

You are aware that scissors are a pair of shearing blades, right. Scissors, tin snips, and other shears must have the property of a hard sharp edge in order to do their job. Good scissors can cut you if you touch the blade. Also, the plastic itself becomes dangerous when cut. That stuff can be quite sharp.

Re:lawsuits... (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621361)

...the plastic itself becomes dangerous when cut...

well yes, but then LIFE itself is dangerous. You will never get out of it alive! Honestly, if you don't face greater danger every day than cutting yourself on a piece of plastic, or even on a piece of paper, you are living a very sheltered life. I DARE you to get out of your mothers basement and RUN across the street. The odds are pretty good you will make it, IF you look both ways first! This packaging thing is a non-issue for most people.

Re:lawsuits... (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621479)

And that is so terrible? A sharp pair of scissors is quite good for this and reasonably safe for anyone that doesn't have two left hands.

Il facto, even if you have two left hands, there are scissors for people like you!
Left Handed scissors [lefthandnz.com]
For the record, left handed scissors beat paper and lose to stone. Cheers! -- Vig

Re:lawsuits... (1, Insightful)

adamruck (638131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621319)

I'd say you are the one dancing around the issue.

-Yes the blister packs require a knife or scissors to open.
-Yes it is annoying.
-Yes if you are clumsy or not paying attention or just plain dumb you might cut yourself or damage the product.

If you screw up, perhaps next time you will be more careful. Consider it a life lesson.

Re:lawsuits... (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621139)

The package doesn't maim the customer, the customer maims themself(sic). There is a proper way to open a package, sometimes it's not all that clear, but it is possible to open a package without causing bodily harm. It's not all that apparent, but quite a bit of thought goes into designing a package; sadly, the end-user isn't always the main concern.

That's the defence that Detroit used to fight the safety features that they were dragged kicking and screaming into introducing by Ralph Nader. Initially they blamed the victims instead of taking responsibility for producing dangerous products.

I'm sorry, but packaging should protect the product AND be possible to access safely. If there's no obvious way to use it and avoid injury, the designer is at fault.

There is no way that I have discovered to get into a clamshell without running the risk of serious injury either from the metal blade that I have to use to cut it, or the plastic blade that is formed when using scissors and always ends up pointing into the path of my oncoming hand.

Whoever invented plastic clamshells should be sentenced to an eternity of sitting in a dark room opening one of his creations after another.

Re:lawsuits... (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621313)

I've paid for tools specifically for opening blister packs, and the net result is only that I do less damage to myself rather than none at all. Short of wearing work gloves and safety glasses and then taking an angle grinder to the packaging, I can't think of a better way.

Re:lawsuits... (4, Informative)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621449)

Why is it people are sued for their coffee being too hot... but people haven't sued the crap out of corporations for packages that quite frankly maim their customers?

The ladder is frivolous in comparison. The coffee case has largely been misrepresented in popular media. Liebeck, the plaintiff, suffered third degree burns on her thighs, buttocks, and genitals. She required 8 days of hospitalization, skin grafts, and $11,000 in medical bills. Liebeck first sought to settle out of court for $20,000 to cover said bills. When McDonalds countered with a $800 offer, Liebeck took the case to court.

There have been frivolous lawsuits, definitely true. The scalding coffee was not. Other coffee vendors around the city were, at the highest temperature, 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than McDonald's coffee.

Main source. [reedmorganpc.com]

They could also call this (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620701)

"Laceration-Free Packaging" as far as that cursed clamshell packaging goes. I hate that crap, good riddance.

Re:They could also call this (1, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620771)

This is an outrage! I demand hard to open packaging! If you can open it with your bare hands / normal scissors its just not good enough.

Re:They could also call this (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621067)

Just use a bandsaw. That way, when you cut off your own fingers, it's your own fault.

Re:They could also call this (5, Funny)

sking (42926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621253)

And I always figured that this packaging would end when someone hijacked a plane with it.

Re:They could also call this (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621383)

Hell, they could build the plane with it, and you could probably land the thing a hell of lot harder without breaking anything, except a few bones maybe.

Re:They could also call this (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621495)

I hope the TSA isn't reading this. Holiday travel is bad enough without them confiscating our gifts.

Re:They could also call this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25621307)

That's funny, I thought "Frustration-Free Packaging" was a pseudonym for a torrent file.

I'll be happy if... (3, Insightful)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620709)

I never accidentally cut the cord of something while opening the packaging with a pair of scissors.

Knowing that you've accidentally ruined something worth $50 or more is a horrible feeling.

Re:I'll be happy if... (4, Funny)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620777)

Turn in your geek card, a soldering iron and heat shrink tubing will fix any power cord from 28AWG to about 2 gauge.

Re:I'll be happy if... (5, Funny)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620901)

I can't help it! I'm a discrete math major. I'm like 5 layers away from the soldering iron!

Re:I'll be happy if... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25621191)

Turn in your geek card. A short will develope and the cord will get hot and degrade the heat shrink and the now molten hot solder will work it's way to something vital such as the expensive rackmount server that some schmuck put under it. *banghead*
Wow, no one told me a breaker could fail to trip long enough to do that....

Replacing the cord is optimal, using the proper crimped splice, the proper heat shrink and heat shrinking technique is the next best. Last now and forever is a soldered connection on anything AC except in a carefully controlled location with redundant fuses. That would be inside the electronics. Any engineer that does NOT use redundant fuses should be dragged out and dipped in molten solder. That's you you crisco using Cisco cretins!

Re:I'll be happy if... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25621205)

I've always wondered, with someone being told to turn in a geek card for something trivial in nearly every thread on Slashdot, where do they all go? Are they redistributed to approved candidates, or is there just a pile of them somewhere foretelling the eventual extinction of the card-carrying geek?

Re:I'll be happy if... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621335)

They go to junior geeks who prove their worth with a worthy hack.

Re:I'll be happy if... (2, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621349)

....if you're doing that with 2 gauge, it's going to take a hell of a lot of solder and heatshrink to hold it together.

Seriously. If you're working with cables that carry enough power to mandate a conductor with a 1/4" diameter, let the pros take care of it. You'd also likely want something a bit thicker than heatshrink to insulate it.

(A typical extension cord is ~14AWG = 0.06")

Re:I'll be happy if... (4, Funny)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621403)

If he has a knife sharp enough to accidentally cut through 2 gauge wire, we should probably let him keep his geek card.

Re:I'll be happy if... (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621489)

i'm not an electronics geek (i'm more of a web developer/graphic designer by trade), so i'm a little curious; how hard, or easy, is it to repair a damaged cable?

i have a couple A/mini-B USB cables that no longer work or are extremely temperamental. i'd love to be able to fix these with a soldering iron rather than having to replace them. it'd also be nice to be able to repair damaged cellphone charger cables rather than having to fork over another $20-30 for a brand new charger.

do other slashdotters have any experience with fixing damaged USB cables or cellphone chargers? would it be difficult for the average person to repair them with a soldering iron?

I'm not crying, I just have something in my eye! (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620721)

*sniff* I never thought the day would come!

Seriously, as a parent, I've seen packaging on kids toys get progressively worse. Not just ultrasonic-sealed plastic clamshells, but toys attached to cardboard boxes with dozens (sometimes over a hundred) wire twist-ties and highly strecthy rubber-band-like straps.

It took me over an hour just to de-package ONE toy for my kid last Christmas. Seriously, there is no excuse for such obnoxious packaging. I, for one, will be keeping a close eye on this initiative and it will likely make me look at Amazon first for my purchases.

Re:I'm not crying, I just have something in my eye (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620987)

you need to add a pair of diagonal cutters, to your knife and scissors for christmas morning. Stuff them next to your drink. something with enough reach to pick away at that sort of packaging. I will never spend more than ten minutes opening a box. I may spend months assembling the item inside the box but the box itself shouldn't take more than a minute.

Re:I'm not crying, I just have something in my eye (4, Funny)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621085)

The scissors come in a blister pack too.

Child-proof packaging (2, Interesting)

Brian.Kirby (1328523) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620729)

Now the next thing they need to research is child-proof frustration-free packaging...

Re:Child-proof packaging (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621405)

No, they don't. Children don't have credit cards and therefore can't shop at Amazon without adult supervision.

Shoplifting (4, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620769)

The current trend in packaging was for two reasons. It allowed the consumer to actually *see* the produce he/she was getting. And it reduced shoplifting. Big box retailers (rhymes with ball-cart) pushed for these even though the consumer didn't want it.

Fortunately, sites like Amazon can now pressure manufacturers to go back to the more traditional packaging. Maybe I'll finally be able to wrap birthday gifts without needing an additional box/bag. And on Christmas morning, my hands won't be sore from opening 200 packages, cutting wire-ties and tie-wraps, and dealing with having to unscrew the frickin' battery compartments.

Re:Shoplifting (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620979)

If they went for the simpler packaging what would be there to help stop theft in the shipping warehouse, or on the UPS loading dock.

Hell, I just got an order from a retailer (clothing), and the box was clearly opened and retaped... when I opened it and counted the items, it turned out that 2 were missing. So they fell off the truck, one way or another.

Having a relative who works for UPS, I know for sure that this stuff happens all the time. When they load, they punch into random packages, and see what they can pull out.....

SO anyway to get to the the point, I'm all for the more secure packaging.

Re:Shoplifting (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621251)

SO anyway to get to the the point, I'm all for the more secure packaging.

Me too. Amazon's motive here seems like a good one, but there is no way I'm going to order items shipped in easily-identifiable, easily-opened packaging. It's too much of a hassle to deal with returns/wait for the delivery window to expire if someone steals some/all of the contents.

Re:Shoplifting (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621395)

I've ordered several items online that have been delivered in their normal, decorated boxes with a shipping label slapped on. Three of these are TFT screens, all have a big picture of a TFT on the side of the box.

I've also ordered flash drives etc from eBuyer, which have come loose (sometimes in an envelope, sometimes in a gigantic box, but with nothing more than a small plastic bag around the drive).

Maybe the dodgy couriers need to fire their dishonest employees (possibly put more CCTV in the depot, and track who delivers what and follow up reports of theft).

Re:Shoplifting (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621465)

My only answer for that is that you need to hold your shipping company accountable. Clear packaging and tie-wraps were never intended to stop theft in the transit system or warehouse theft. They are there to stop casual shoplifting. Clothing was never protected with the clear packaging.

To be specific, what we are talking about here is when (mostly) kids' toys come in the clear, celloplastic coverings or half-embedded in cardboard. The celloplastic is hard to open and frequently damages the opener or the item inside. The half-cardboard items are usually secured with 1/4" tie-wraps or twist-ties that can only be cut with wire cutters.

Will they do this for DVDs? (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620783)

Now Amazon needs to do this for DVDs. After all, Amazon doesn't have a shoplifting problem.

Given that DVDs are a shock-insensitive waterproof object shipped inside a rigid case, they should be mailed with far less packaging. A manila envelope would be sufficient. Most of the perimeter seals, "Security Device Enclosed", and shrink wrap could be dispensed with. One seal that's broken on opening would be enough to identify packages that have been opened.

Re:Will they do this for DVDs? (3, Insightful)

ITEric (1392795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621069)

If the companies do decide to address DVD packaging, I hope they do something about the little round disk retainers inside the package. I know the idea is to keep the DVD from falling out when you open the case, but do they have to make the retainers so difficult to release that one worries about breaking the disk trying to get it out?

Re:Will they do this for DVDs? (1)

slashtivus (1162793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621379)

If you lightly press on the center of the retainer while lifting the disk they come out very easily. (some will pop off on their own)

Umm...no... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621145)

You ever ordered a box set or one of those DVDs packed in cardboard boxes?
Pack that in envelope only and you can look forward to scratches, dents and tears on the boxes.

Special edition (read - more expensive) tin boxes are even more sensitive.
Bumping those around even in a cardboard box can lead to dents on the boxes.

DVDs are bought for collections or as gifts. Or for resale. For watching there are cinemas, TV, downloads and torrents.
In all cases - even the slightest damage or sticker mark on the box is a BIG no-no.

Extra packaging and shrink-wrap for my books and DVDs?
YES! Please.

Especially: Fix those two pieces of stupid tape (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621149)

... that ruin the clear plastic cover over the artwork when you try to remove them.

Re:Will they do this for DVDs? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621189)

Given that DVDs are a shock-insensitive waterproof object shipped inside a rigid case, they should be mailed with far less packaging. A manila envelope would be sufficient.

A tyvek sleeve in an ordinary envelope is sufficient to mail a DVD. That's how Blockbuster Online mails theirs.

How about frustration free snack bags? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25620789)

You know what I mean. Plastic snack bags where the tops are fused together so tightly they're near impossible to open. When you apply the force required to get the top open then the cheap plastic bag splits all the way down to the bottom. Chips/pretzels spill out. Oh joy.

Re:How about frustration free snack bags? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620921)

MOD PARENT UP!

Why I'm treated like a criminal when all I want to do is dust the front of my Sephiroth t-shirt in Cheetos orange is something I'll never know!

Re:How about frustration free snack bags? (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621115)

Exactly. And how about yogurt packaging that doesn't spray your shirt with yogurt when you start peeling off the top? How about soda cans that you don't have to push the opening (that rats were peeing on back at the warehouse) into the soda itself? How about those fancy bottle caps that you are supposed to pull open and closed with your teeth so you only need one hand, except that there is no opening for air to enter the bottle, so when you start drinking you create a tug of war for soda between your mouth and the vacuum inside the increasingly flattened bottle? The list is endless...

Re:How about frustration free snack bags? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621421)

Exactly. And how about yogurt packaging that doesn't spray your shirt with yogurt when you start peeling off the top? How about soda cans that you don't have to push the opening (that rats were peeing on back at the warehouse) into the soda itself? How about those fancy bottle caps that you are supposed to pull open and closed with your teeth so you only need one hand, except that there is no opening for air to enter the bottle, so when you start drinking you create a tug of war for soda between your mouth and the vacuum inside the increasingly flattened bottle? The list is endless...

1) Turn the yogurt around, then it'll spray the other way. No longer your problem!
2) You already have a choice for soda -- buy the bottled version.
3) Squeeze the bottle. Release to allow air back in.

Re:How about frustration free snack bags? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621425)

A box of cereal is packed the same way. It's more child proof than a bottle of Drano.

This will get me to shift buying habits (1)

Basilius (184226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620793)

I haven't shopped Amazon all that much recently (used to be a big customer, but just slowly drifted awa) but this will bring me back if it gets widespread.

As a parent of two children under 5, I believe the person who invented those wire-wrap fasteners should be shot, drawn, quartered, and hung from the neck until dead. In whichever order is most convenient.

Re:This will get me to shift buying habits (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621045)

...I believe the person who invented those wire-wrap fasteners should be shot, drawn, quartered, and hung from the neck until dead. In whichever order is most convenient.

Bad idea. The most convenient order is not necessarily the most painful.

Re:This will get me to shift buying habits (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621373)

how about twist-tied and rubber banded inside a plastic & cardboard package filled with red army ants.

There's a cheap solution to this (2, Informative)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620811)

I heard this product [myopenx.com] mentioned elsewhere. It's inexpensive enough that I'm thinking of buying one and asking a cashier to keep it under their counter at a local electronics store I frequent.

Re:There's a cheap solution to this (3, Informative)

Fez (468752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620927)

I have a couple of these and they really do work well. Between that and a pair of cutters for wire ties, I can open almost anything in under a minute. Including convoluted child toy packaging.

Toy packaging these days is far, far worse than the plastic clamshell. Dozens of industrial strength wire ties, miles of tape, plastic screwed into other plastic through cardboard, plastic pull-tabs, and obnoxiously shaped boxes. They make me pine for simple hand-slicing clamshells.

Aviation shears (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620933)

Also called aviation snips -- they'll go through the packaging, and they'll clip the wires like they're butter.

Don't go for the heavy duty models -- they have smaller jaws, and aren't really needed for going through plastic.

Even cheaper (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620937)

What about a pull strip cutter? Anyone remember cigarette packs? They came in cellophane wrappers with a red strip that you pulled to cleanly cut the packaging open. Surely the same idea could be scaled up to open any sort of packaging?

Re:There's a cheap solution to this (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621027)

Call me paranoid, but I have the slight suspicion that the guys who invented this product are the same ones that sell clam packaging machines.

Let's hope not, but at least we can be sure that clam package openers are an artificial need in the same way antiviruses are an artificial need for Windows systems.

Re:There's a cheap solution to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25621129)

I just use my Spyderco, I keep that in my pocket all the time anyways.

Better opener (4, Informative)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620819)

That thing on thinkgeek is a piece of crap. It's a flimsy knife with a weird handle. This is much more effective [amazon.com] . And cheaper (since you get three). And you can cut metal with them. They're called tin snips. AKA, the manly alternative to the overpiced ones designed by and for women [amazon.com] .

Re:Better opener (2, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621097)

Isn't it slightly disparaging that there exists widespread, near universal packaging that requires an implement that cuts metal to properly open?

Re:Better opener (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621113)

You know, someone is going to word nazi me and say, "Disparaging is the wrong word" but I meant toward the consumer, hope that clarifies it. It's insulting to the people receiving the product.

Re:Better opener (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621377)

I would find it amusingly ironic if the package opening device referenced happens to come in a clamshell.

Re:Better opener (1)

dazlari (711032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621501)

Yet another simple (no moving parts) cheap (US$4:50) device for slicing open clamshell and other thin film crap: The iSlice [remogeneralstore.com]

The ergonomically shaped iSlice Cutter is a paper and packaging cutter that incorporates a recessed high-tech zirconium-oxide ceramic blade that resists wear and never dulls or rusts. It's great for cutting: recipes, newspaper clippings, shrunk-wrapped CDs ... and those impossible-to-open blister packs (ironically used to package the iSlice itself).

Funnily enough they do mention this fact in their blurb! I use one, and no, I don't work for the company.

Scissors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25620839)

What kind of idiot buys a product specifically for opening plastic packaging? It's called scissors [amazon.com] , and you probably already have a pair.

Re:Scissors (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620973)

No, it's called a "box cutter". Scissors are a pain to open much of this kind of packaging with because of the bevelled edges. Even if they're Fiskars.

Re:Scissors (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621017)

Scissors don't work for a lot of this stuff. I've actually broken a pair trying to open something in this hard plastic crap.

Good for them and all, but let's be honest (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25620957)

They're not doing this to be consumer friendly, or environment friendly. This is about saving costs in shipping. Right now, Amazon isn't really much cheaper than Floor-Mart/Searz/Target, but they avoid sales tax (worth 5-10%), and they offer "free" shipping for >$25.

If they dropped the free shipping (especially since if you pay them $75/year as a convenience fee), then a big reason for people shopping at Amazon would be gone. So like any responsible company, they're reducing shipping costs by lowering the size and weight of what they ship. And then marketing it as "Saving the Consumer and Being Oh-So-Green".

I don't have an issue with them doing it, but let's not put them in the hall of fame for trying to cut costs.

Oh, unless they're planning on cutting the price of shipping and merchandise? Nah, I didn't think so.

Re:Good for them and all, but let's be honest (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621209)

Um, what? Of course they'll use it to cut prices. Unlike some companies, Amazon is in a competitive field. And when people are shopping online, it's trivial to comparison shop, so people do. There are plenty of other online retailers selling the same stuff as them, and one of the reasons Amazon does well is that they're cheaper. Sure, they want more profit -- but once they find a way to cut costs, the optimal way to make more profit is to pass some of that cost savings along as a price reduction, in order to attract more customers. Remember, there are two ways to increase profits -- increase margins, and increase units sold. In highly competitive markets, the optimal use for any cost cutting measure will be a mix of the two.

Sure, you won't see the whole reduction passed along (at least not until everyone is doing it and they can't afford not to), but who cares? The stuff gets cheaper, and friendlier for the environment, and less frustrating to open. I rather like this idea.

Re:Good for them and all, but let's be honest (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621339)

Oh, unless they're planning on cutting the price of shipping and merchandise? Nah, I didn't think so.

If these "first 19" products are any indication - no. Same price for "naked" as for the originally packaged products.

 

 
BTW... does anyone else think that there is a great potential for disappointment for kids when they get their SuperCoolTM toy packed in a plain brown cardboard box?
Boxes those come in are often more than just packaging.
And they sure are shiny and eye-catching.

Something tells me this new packaging method will not be such a great success when toys and gifts are concerned.

blister pack tip... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620977)

...aviation shears. Works a charm.

Smart Move (1)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621019)

I recently purchased a new XBox controller. The packaging was so ridiculous that I ended up slicing my finger and started bleeding - not from my mishandling of the scissors or razor blade but from the plastic packaging itself.

I mean seriously, I get the appeal of the plastic sealed packaging for retailers. It's light, and see through, usually hangs in a display properly, and very, very shoplifter resistant. But what about a nice cuboid cardboard box with a plastic see-through window and some high-quality tape for sealing it up? I can get into it at home, and a shoplifter has trouble at the store. If there are any problems with it I can return it to the store placed back in the packaging and not just the product and the pieces of packaging that are leftover from the demolition I had to perform. I think many Apple products are this way, as was a Belkin n52te (PC game controller) that i recently purchased.

Oblig. Penny Arcade Link (4, Funny)

ASimPerson (138798) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621033)

The Space Devil [penny-arcade.com] will not be pleased.

He's on my list (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621057)

I'm a pretty laid back guy, but if I ever meet the guy who invented the clamshell package I'm going to punch him in the face.

My congratulations to Amazon for this effort, and I hope they can get more of their suppliers on board. I've made purchasing decisions based on the packaging before, and this will make me check Amazon more often when I make purchases in the future.

Re:He's on my list (2, Funny)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621135)

I think the FBI have him on a protection program, even his family don't know where he is now.

Re:He's on my list (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621243)

I think the FBI have him on a protection program, even his family don't know where he is now.

He's in Guantanemo Bay. The FBI has to open packages too, you see. And when he's down there, he can teach the guards new <strike>torture</strike> tough interrogation techniques in exchange for privileges.

Re:He's on my list (2, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621355)

Hmm, torture:
The food is packaged in throughly sealed blister packs, and they aren't given a knife, tin snips, band saws, thermal lances [wikipedia.org] , etc. to open them.

Re:He's on my list (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621431)

Wonder what the "bubble boy" did when he grew up? Perhaps the FBI has him surrounded in a protective bubble!!

A U.S. Thing? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25621201)

Until I moved to the U.S., I'd never had to deal with sealed clamshell packaging and the like. Certainly, in the U.K. and France, packaging is a lot more user friendly.

Re:A U.S. Thing? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621499)

Until I moved to the U.S., I'd never had to deal with sealed clamshell packaging and the like. Certainly, in the U.K. and France, packaging is a lot more user friendly.

Oh.

Well, if the stuff in the USA is really that much worse than the stuff in the UK/France, then I take back all my comments in this discussion.

In fact, seaching "clamshell packaging" on Google.co.uk shows the top few UK websites are all advertising "weld-free" packaging, that's tamper-proof but nice to open. I think this is what I see most often here -- it's easy to open, but difficult to reseal, so you can't pretend you haven't used an item. Maybe theft isn't such a big concern after all?

Frustration? Try tamper free (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621229)

I'd quite like to know that shiny new 8GB SD card is actually brand new and not returned or refurbished goods.

Just how hard do people find it to use a knife or scissors anyway? Have schools gotten so over cautious that you now need a college education before you're permitted anywhere near safety scissors?

Re:Frustration? Try tamper free (5, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621299)

I've never injured myself with the tool used to open hard plastic clamshell packaging before.

I have, however, had my fingers or hands cut open numerous times by the cut, torn, or ripped edge of the plastic itself when the packaging finally gave way to my cutting implement. I tell you, Boy Scout training on knife safety when cutting wood or animal skins does Jack to teach you about how to open nightmare packaging.

Happens with scissors, knifes, box cutters, or whatever. It's the plastic that scratches me up. I'll admit to being a klutz, but that style of packaging is just an irritating menace.

Re:Frustration? Try tamper free (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621457)

Clamshell packaging is not proof that the package came from the manufacturer as new. Returns can be sent back to the manufactuer and reclamshelled same as the originals, your only defense is truth-in-labeling laws.

Quality Packaging (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621301)

There was a time when a company was certain to provide their product in an impressive package-- after all, only cheap products, likely to fail at the slightest awkward glance could possibly come in cheap packaging. It seems to me that there are only a few industries remaining that take any sort of pride in the container their product is delivered in. Two that come to mind are the cigar industry, and the wine industry (with some limited extension to hard alcohol, of course). I don't know about any of you, but when I first discovered the "blister pack", I was amazingly unimpressed with it-- after all, this is a protective package that cannot be re-used, in any event. Wine and cigars tend to come in ornate, hardwood boxes, often with clever opening mechanisms. Game controllers, heatsinks, flash drives and some toys have this eye-sore, heat-sealed clear plastic armor that is simply unattractive. Granted, a wooden box is unlikely to be appropriate, but can't we at least get a nice, rectangular cardboard box with some iconic artwork on it, like the same sorts of products came in only 15 or 20 years ago?

Action figures (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621417)

This could spell bad news for the action figure collectors if it's possible to easily open the packaging without any damage - how will traders & buyers know the figure genuinely has never been removed from it's packaging?

*nonchalantly whistles whilst trying to hide his extensive ReBoot collection* (where do you think my user ID came from)

Thank God. (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621463)

As a parent of 5 kids, I will probably attend church on Christmas morning to thank him in person. And all my kids toys are coming from Amazon.com.

One of my pet complaints (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 5 years ago | (#25621471)

Is the way that the 2 types of modern packaging work.

The first, the plastic blister pack that is almost impossible to open.

The second, used for potatoe chips etc, falls apart
and spreads in contents far and wide, despite trying many ways to open it without this happening!

Ah, modern tech, ya gotta love it!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?