By Harry McCracken | Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:14 am
Ever felt like you should keep a blowtorch on hand to blast your way into the tamper-resistant packaging that a lot of tech products come in these days? Help is at hand–and it doesn’t involve blowtorches. Instead, it takes the far more sensible step of making packaging easy to open.
Amazon has launched an initiative called Frustration-Free Packaging, which involves selling products in packaging that eliminates those indestructible blisterpacks and scissors-destroying plastic ties. The initial lineup of offerings includes a bunch of toys, but also some electronics products, including a Microsoft mouse and Transcend memory cards.
The company says that an added benefit of the frustration-free packaging is that it’s more environment-friendly. That makes sense: I can’t imagine the world really needs all that plastic packaging, when cardboard and paper (which is what the Frustration-Free Packaging involves) will do.
The plasticky stuff–from now on I’ll think of it as Frustration-Filled Packaging–is meant to discourage shoplifters, so it was always pretty silly that customers of a Web-based merchant like Amazon had to deal with it in the first place.
I’d love to see brick-and-mortar retailers jump on this bandwagon. While we’re at it, could they do something about the pointless and insulting anti-shoplifting procedures involving a guy at the door who glances at your receipt and pretends to examine the products in your shopping bag?