Help support TMP


"...and here's the right way to pack a shipment!! Pt. 2" Topic


9 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Hobby Industry Message Board

Back to the Consumer Affairs Message Board



942 hits since 23 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Baranovich23 Mar 2018 11:27 a.m. PST

Yep, it's me again. Yep, same topic! Same topic because it's a hugely important one and ties into a whole host of larger issues about our economic system.

First, hats off to Ebay seller Brapsmagic! Absolutely superior packaging, and a guarantee that they will get more of my business in the future. If this is what I can expect when ordering from them, why on earth would I buy something from hypothetical "you" when you simply throw retail boxes in the mail to get crushed and pounded? Convince me to order from you instead. Go ahead. What's the sales pitch? That "most of time products make it there "ok" so what's the problem?"

Sorry! Wrong answer! Not a good enough answer when we're dealing with expensive and fragile sprues, plastic bits, and thin, fragile retail boxes.

I pre-ordered Star Wars Legion. Two of the Core sets and one of the AT-ST models. All told, an order worth $230.00 USD. Three retail/display boxes, two core sets and the third set.

Here's how it was packed:

link
link
link
link
link
link

You will note it's a DOUBLE-THICKNESS corrugated cardboard box. Note that every retail box inside the shipping box is IMMOBILIZED with paper and peanuts. Note that at the corners of the larger core box sets there are additional corrugated angular reinforcements protecting the corners of the retail boxes from any potential impact or crush forces.

Also note that the third retail box, the AT-ST box is sandwiched between the two core box sets, thereby protecting it and at the same time providing tension between all three retail boxes which prevents any movement during shipment.

Sellers/vendors/companies do you get it? Do you? This isn't rocket science. This is nothing more than a capitalist enterprise making the correct and CONSCIOUS DECISION to ensure that their products make it to their customers in NEW condition, given that the customer paid the NEW price for them.

And I argue that corporate garbage like Ebay seller Subautomation that sold me a single sheet of PVC plastic and threw it in the mail to get pulverized, they also made a conscious decision, and to back that up gave me the corporate answer that "that's how they pack single-sheet orders" so don't expect better unless you order more sheets. Now, the kicker/follow up to that previous post was that Subautomation charged me EIGHT dollars and fifty cents for shipping. Yes, that's right. $8.50 USD and for that amount I got a single sheet of thin scrap cardboard and four pieces of tape attached to the PVC.

What they don't know is that I have a new terrain project for which I now need 10, maybe 20 sheets of PVC. And guess what? Subautomation isn't getting my order! So now, they saved about $5.00 USD by skimping on my previous order by not providing a box to protect the PVC. They saved $5.00 USD. Yay! And now they've lost $100 USD or more because the order that I would have placed with them is now going to be placed with someone else!

SEE? SEE how capitalism can sometimes be a snake eating its own tail? They saved a few bucks, allowed a small order to be damaged, and now they've lost a $100 USD+ order from me. That leaves them by my math $95.00 USD down in this situation. Hope it was worth it to them to lose $100.00 USD of business in order to save $5.00 USD on a box. Well done (insert sarcasm here).

Here's the bottom line to all you companies who sell hobby products. There are TWO areas of your company that you don't want to try to "maximize profit" by skimping on. Labor and packaging. Trust me you don't. Don't underpay your people with c**p wages because you save a few bucks up front. I argue if you pay them decent they will have an incentive to do a better job. Secondly, don't skimp on packaging. Yes, you may save some money up front. But it will bite you in the a** in the long run, spending money and lost time dealing with damage claims, refunds, returns, etc. etc. You THINK you're saving money by cutting corners.

You aren't. All you're doing is postponing the money you WILL have to spend on the back end when problems arise.

Finally, let me say again as a customer what I am entitled to when I pay for something new in this case Star Wars Legion.

Part of that $230.00 USD includes the following:

The RIGHT to get those retail boxes in the SAME CONDITION as if I picked those boxes up off the shelf at my local hobby store. The RIGHT to be able to get my retail boxes in an uncrushed, uncompromised condition.

IN OTHER WORDS they should arrive looking EXACTLY like they would if I bought it off a shelf in a store. EXACTLY.

If you ship Star Wars Legion, or any other game to customers, and you make the CONSCIOUS CORPORATE decision to save some money and time by just throwing the retail boxes in the mail and shipping them that way you're not really saving any real time, and the little money you save on cardboard or tape or whatever else you think you're saving on will result in problems that cost you more in the long run.

You have every right to make profits and make a living. But don't maximize profits at the expense of your customers and employees because an economics class told you to. Make profits AND pack your products right!

End of rant.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2018 12:11 p.m. PST

Think about for more than a few minutes and you will understand why a $230 USD order got more care than a $5 USD one.

In the distant past a well known UK hobby supplier used to be up front about packing thin, easily damaged materials. Either order a large enough quantity so it is economically worthwhile packing them safely or order something they can be packed with to keep them undamaged. If you didn't it was your own risk.

It was valuable advice and, IMHO, a sensible way of solving the problem.

teboj17 Inactive Member23 Mar 2018 12:49 p.m. PST

How much did you pay for shipping for the Stars Wars legion stuff. That might be helpful and something relevant to add to this rant. So where are you going to get the sheets of PVC from now? From Subautomation on ebay it looks like their stuff has free shipping.

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2018 1:04 p.m. PST

I always try to pack things as best that I can, but as GildasFacit pointed out there is an economy of things as well. Is someone going to pay $8.00 USD to get a $2.00 USD single miniature sent priority in a box?

Not likely.

And of course there is always the chance of postal damage above and beyond the "oops I kicked" it variety. I had one buyer who had two orders stabbed through with a fork lift. One item was a Plexiglas display case for a basket ball. Not something you normally need to worry about getting broken, but they shattered it.

D A THB23 Mar 2018 2:37 p.m. PST

Since you have everyones attention it would be useful for this discussion if you would order $230 USD worth of PVC sheets and post photos of how they were packed.

I suspect if you bought one of the Star Wars Legion boxes it would arrive in a box just big enough to fit the box in and still liable to get damaged.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2018 3:27 p.m. PST

Baranovich, I agree that more than one firm has destroyed itself in the pursuit of petty savings which drive away customers and help alike. (Can you say "Borders?") But your rant seems to assume that a $100 USD order makes the dealer $100. USD You might want to talk to an actual capitalist--like say any retailer--about that.

I promise to have something to say about shipping and packing when the miniatures I paid Lord Ashram for at Cold Wars actually arrive. Just what I will have to say depends on how many pieces my two one-piece figures arrive in. (I'm betting on three.)

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Mar 2018 1:39 p.m. PST

Agreed Robert the usual dealers percentage is around 35% so your only getting $35 USD gross profit on that $100 USD order.

I know I spend way more time packing bulk orders then I do single.

Walking Sailor25 Mar 2018 2:51 p.m. PST

The RIGHT to get those retail boxes in the SAME CONDITION as if I picked those boxes up off the shelf at my local hobby store.

You would get those retail boxes in the SAME CONDITION if you bought them off the shelf at your local hobby store. Doing so helps insure that said FLGS does not go the way of Toys-R-Us.

Baranovich07 Apr 2018 10:06 a.m. PST

Just for the record, the shipping charges for the Star Wars Legion order was $16.00 USD. For a large box containing three retail boxes that I think weighed like 6 or 7 pounds maybe?

And a fundamental question has not been answered by the replies. What is the point of offering single-sheet PVC orders if they aren't going to be treated with the same care as bigger orders? That's pure capitalism at its worst.

"OH, we still would love to get your money, oh we still want you to buy a single sheet from us. But understand you aren't getting it new. We can't be bothered to incur any cost on us for a small order. But we'll still take your order!"

Yeah? Well s**** you. As I said, DON'T sell single sheets if you don't treat them like other orders. Require a minimum order and everybody knows what to expect.

The reason I call it a conscious desision on Subautomation's part is because the Star Wars Legion package was $16.00 USD, weighed about six pounds, and was packed like a tank.

The Subautomation package weighed about 3/4 pound if that, and was $8.00 USD and had no box at all.

Please don't tell me that Subauto. is forced to use some mysterious shipping company that charged five times what Brapsmagic paid for shipping, and that mysteriously Braps could afford the time and effort to pack items in a real box and Subauto. could not.

It's simply two companies with different priorities. One has them in order, the other does NOT.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.