Does Amazon.com's "Frustration-Free Packaging" live up to its name?
In early November, Internet ultrastore Amazon.com announced their "Frustration-Free Packaging" initiative, aimed squarely at reducing the jagged tears and nasty lacerations that are an unfortunate occurrence of wrestling with clamshell and other hard-to-open packaging. One of the key points is: you've already bought an item and it's been shipped in a box, so enforcing plastic armor as an anti-theft deterrent is absolutely stupid.
I'm sad to announce that as of this writing, only 19 products are certified "frustration-free". Granted, Amazon has declared FFP to be a multi-year project, but the current list basically boils down to 8 kinds of toys, 7 of the same Microsoft mouse in different colors, and 3 SDHC memory cards. I love keeping you apprised of continuity, so you may remember that in "How to find the sweet spot when buying electronics", I cited the 16GB SDHC from Transcend as a sweet spot. Shortly after writing the article, I purchased 2 of them, and thanks to Amazon Prime, they arrived a couple days later.
Both cards came in a bigger cardboard box, not much deeper than the plastic cases needed to hold the cards. Inside were two smaller flatpacks, each containing a card and labeled as you see:
There was a tear strip that didn't even need scissors.
Seconds later, I had opened the contents.
Also good for the environment: "Contains 30% recycled fiber".
So does Amazon.com's "Frustration-Free Packaging" live up to its name? Simply put: while I haven't tried the other products offered under this option, in this case and without a doubt, yes.
If I had a suggestion for improvement, it'd be that the overall packaging for these tiny cards was still too big.
With an increasing amount of business done online, and quite some time before consumer 3D printers to manufacture our own goods are commonplace, FFP is one of the stepping stones in the bridge of progress. While nascent, it makes sense that when things still need to be shipped as opposed to downloaded (like movies & music), that we'll see this trend continue to rise — and accelerate, especially if more consumers are vocal about their displeasure with clamshell hell.
As with a number of other non-legally-protected advances, more e-merchants should take a page from Amazon's book and provide better packaging which is environmentally-friendly and a joy to unwrap.
Have you experienced Frustration-Free Packaging?