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BREAKING: #Amazon Discovers Boxes Still Legal for Shipping!

I heard footsteps and the sound of something being dropped by the front door. Dreading what I might find when I looked, I checked anyway. I was expecting a book I’d pre-ordered months ago but figured this would be another fight with ’em, trying to get something that is minimally damaged at best.

After all, for ages now, Amazon‘s had this flat-out refusal to ship books with any sort of care or pretense of care! I was wondering if my book might be in just a bubble mailer, or one of those crappy "cardboard envelopes" and picturing the various damages the book’s suffered.

Imagine my genuine shock and "holy $#*^!" moment when I saw an actual, genuine BOX! Like, a box-box, 3-dimensional, not an envelope of any sort, but a real live virtually vintage Amazon BOX!

amazon_actually_used_box_11222016a

And of course, I had to document this. It’s like some unicorn randomly ringing the bell and asking to be photographed! Considering I genuinely cannot REMEMBER the last time I received ANY book from Amazon IN A BOX, this is a momentous occasion!

amazon_actually_used_box_11222016b

After my initial surprise, I once more had some trepidation spotting this hole in the box, obvious damage to the box, which could indicate some massive damage to the book inside. No snark to that statement–something like this could mean something was driven into the box, obviously the box is punctured, so who knows what sort of damage might’ve been done to the book? Alternatively, if part of the book made the damage, then who knows what it suffered in doing so?

amazon_actually_used_box_11222016e

To my further surprise, on opening the box, not only did Amazon use a BOX…but they used packaging material in a vain ATTEMPT to "protect" the book!

These flimsy, crappy air-bubble things mostly don’t do a darned thing and are flatter than not, but SOME air remained in the ones on "top" here. And once I removed the book itself, I realized it’d been laying on one (then flat), but it seems likely that this one on top truly DID protect the book.

No obvious damage to the book’s cover, and since the hole left the cardboard punched down INTO the box, it indicates (to me) that something hit from the houtside…but in most likelihood, the gap between the box itself and the book was maintained by the bubble enough to allow the box to take the damage WITHOUT sharing said damage with the book itself!

These bubbles by no means kept the book STILL within the box–it could still slide around and take damage from being rattled during shipping–but this is more packaging material than I’ve seen in the last (at bare under-estimated MINIMUM) dozen books I’ve ordered from them!

This is not ideal, truly acceptable packaging…especially compared to the actual care and quality from InStockTrades/DCBService (which have CHEAPER shipping and I can’t imagine even with their customer base that they do a fraction of Amazon‘s business!) but considering the complaints I’ve had, I didn’t want to not share this today!

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Look–even the cat is wary of this unfamiliar, rare, and foreign object!

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How Amazon Invalidates its own Prime Shipping

When one orders something on Saturday, is a current (has paid through November) Prime customer, and the key thing about that is the “free” two-day shipping, it’s reasonable to expect to happily have the (bought) product in-hand Tuesday (Two-day shipping: Monday is 1 day, Tuesday is 2nd day). If the time of day means they count Saturday (or apparently Sunday) and the item is delivered Monday, great.

…Except when that item arrives damaged.

Which is apparently such a common thing that they have a built in system to just generate a replacement order and return-mail label and such.

So, Item arrives Monday, damaged. What I’ve taken to calling “an oversized paperback” in my Amazon feedback, sent in a flimsy, oversized bubble mailer. Sure, bubble mailer. Ok, it’s not just put in a paper envelope and shipped; maybe the plastic of the bubbles helps protect from potential water damage (?!?). But that’s really about all–it certainly does not protect against bending, creasing, folding, denting, nor the book sliding around in the envelope, and depending on the angle, pressure, and whatever beating it’s taking, sure allows plenty of room for the cover to be creased and folded, the books corners and top/bottom spine to take damage and dents, etc.

I immediately turned it around–initiating the return/replace mechanism. Replacement was due to arrive Wednesday. Didn’t arrive Wednesday. Didn’t arrive Thursday. Amazon’s own “tracking” only shows the thing at some in-between “on its way” stage. Will it arrive Friday? Or will I be waiting til Monday?

Two other items I’d ordered at the same time arrived together Tuesday. One was another paperback, the other a large, heavy hardcover. Both of which were tossed loose in a cardboard packer together, with a gaping corner not even sealed off from the elements or external exposure. Both, of course, damaged. Corners a bit dinged up, some dinging to the spine, on the hardcover. Not horrible, but noticeable to me for looking for the damage. The paperback was banged up as well–sliding around, hitting the sides, and not exactly helped by being somewhat loose with a heavy hardback (which seems to have helped drive the paperback against the sides of the package with just a little more force/pressure than it would have managed on its own. So again, I initiated the return/replace process for both of these.

Despite initiating the process back to back, only the paperback immediately got a replacement “order” right away, the hardback was apparently held up in some kind of queue to be reviewed by a human first, resulting in it not making the cutoff for a two-day turnaround.

Wednesday, nothing arrived, despite expecting that first paperback’s replacement.

Thursday, the replacement of the second paperback from Tuesday arrived…and like the first one Monday, this was loose in a bubble mailer, and actually in more of a beat-up condition than the other book. Of course, I’ve initiated a second round of return/replace…but because I have these delivered to work and it won’t allow me to edit what address to send to…a two-day turnaround on Thursday means Saturday–I’m not at work, no one is there to accept deliveries…making it a four-day thing with Monday being the earliest I’ll be able to get it.

Still no sign of the replacement of the first paperback.

At present, I’m expecting possibly that one arriving Friday, along with the replacement hardcover (3 days instead of Prime’s 2 days).

And really, I should have just gone through something like InStockTrades or CheapGraphicNovels, because I might have received stuff tomorrow (Friday) or possibly Monday…but at least they’d’ve been thoroughly, securely, safely packed to prevent damage in-transit.

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