Just had a thought about something, and I suppose this is as good a time as any to post about this, because it comes up from time to time. What am I talking about, you may ask? Boxes.
Yes, boxes. As in, the ones you receive your orders in. Now, some people are lucky and receive their orders in mostly label-free and design-free brown cardboard boxes. The unlucky ones get their orders in other boxes. I will use whatever I have. Today, I sent out an order in an Always Ultra Thin Pads with Wings -- bright green / yellow box. Hey, the order fit PERFECTLY needing just a tiny amount of packaging peanuts, why not. I've used printer boxes. I use Greenies boxes (love those!), Omaha steak boxes (also love those, but not as useful), and mini pizza boxes (from dry dog treats shaped like pizzas that my dogs love). Plus everything else you can imagine. If I bought something, and it came in a box, and I thought, "this could be a useful box for shipping something out," chances are, either I used it, or it's sitting in my pile-o-boxes downstairs. I probably look like a box collector to someone who wouldn't know why I have so many.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I've had people make comments about wanting plain boxes. Now, why someone wouldn't want a bright green / yellow Always Pads box showing up on their doorstep, I just can't imagine :P. Haha. Anyway, if I can find a box that's a decent size, I try to use it. As you may or may not know, the post office charges more if your package has dimensions over 12" on any side. So if I can cram your 40 items into an 11 x 11 x 11 box, I do, so we all can save money and go home happy. But sometimes that box is an Always Pad box. The boxes you can purchase are very standard sizes, and let me say, large, so you will pay more for shipping. In addition, if I had to go and purchase boxes, prices would go up. Occasionally, I have gone and purchased a box, rather than sent someone their order in 5 smaller boxes (because that's just not practical). Now, if I do that, the cost of that box is tacked onto your shipping and handling charge. Boxes can run up to $5 for big ones at Meijer, so believe me, most people would rather not pay that.
I have looked into getting long boxes from U-line to simplify shipping out those long wood shelves that never fit into anything else. I haven't purchased any yet, but those I may buy. For my own convenience, mind you, not because you all want plain brown boxes. The reason being, when someone wants a 32" shelf and I only have 24" boxes, there's a lot of taping and cutting of multiple boxes and lots of effort going on to get a box together for that shelf. Versus buying some boxes that would just fit those shelves as they are. So that's a possibility.
But in general, I will use whatever I have on hand, as it's cheaper. Same with packaging materials. Since I just recently moved this year, I have a lot right now. I actually have packaging peanuts (which are usually a hot commodity, but I have some at the moment), and I have lots of different pieces of styrofoam, those air bubble things, bubble wrap, you name it. If you've walked into the room that houses the saw and the other wood items, you've seen the multiple plastic trash bags full of packaging materials. I look like I'm collecting those as well. I save em, because eventually I will use them, and they're free. Eventually when I run out, you will see me crumpling up pages out of the yellow pages phone book. Why? Because it's free. Occasionally, I will buy bubble wrap, as that can be hard to replicate with free items. But the things is, I try to pack things the best I can, with what I have, which doesn't typically cost me a lot. It's cheaper for me, easier for me, and cheaper for the purchaser. But, sometimes that means you get a fun box on your doorstep.
If it's really important that the box be mark-free and just plain brown cardboard box, let me know. If you're one of the people that doesn't care, I guess you can continue to enjoy the surprise of whatever box makes it to your doorstep this time. :)