Friday, January 1, 2010

You Do Not Want This Product, Part Two

I just wrote a post in my music blog about how much of a hassle it is to open the well-wrapped CD packages that you buy in record stores. But there are other industry products that are just as painful to open.

I used to have a printer - I won't tell you the name of the company, but its initials are H.P. - and they had notoriously bad packaging for their toner cartridges. While CDs have soft wrapping that you have to peel off, toner cartridges have very hard packaging that requires scissors or a knife to open.

The most amusing part is that once you cut the package open and actually got to the box that contained the toner, opening the box revealed a pre-paid envelope that you could use to dispose of your old toner cartridge. This envelope is supposed to impress you with the fact that the printer manufacturer is environmentally friendly. Meanwhile, you have a mangled hunk of plastic sitting next to you, but the printer company didn't send you an envelope for THAT.

And there are other product manufacturers that love the hard plastic. I buy my razor blades in bulk at a large warehouse store (FourSquare link), and I also need scissors or a knife to actually get to the razor blades. Perhaps I could save some money by retaining the mangled plastic and using THAT, rather than the razor blades, to shave. It's certainly sharp enough!

But why do companies create such a struggle for people to actually open their products - CDs, toner cartridges, razor blades, whatever? Well, they do it for you! This packaging enhances the value of your product, protecting it from harm. Oh, and by the way, the packaging helps keep your costs down by reducing the possibility of theft. Theoretically.

So I guess I should wrap my car in that hard plastic. Then I don't need to worry about the alarm system.
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