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Shop @ Home packing strategy

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Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby zithy » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:42 pm

I was just curious why it is that when I order multiple sets from LSAH that some of the larger sets come 2 to a box when there's plenty of room in there for 2 more. To me, it would seem that a perfect or good fit for 4 identical sets in a single package would be cheaper than being shipped in two seperate packages.

It can't be for concern over the sets, that they would face a higher risk of damage, because I've opened ten packages for twenty sets and 75% of the sets were munched. It's always a coin flip if the sets will be dented/bashed/etc from LSAH. Obviously Lego gets a price break from the shipping companies, but I would still think that the higher weight would be cheaper for fewer packages as well as less boxes, tape, air bags, labels, etc. Unless the shipping discount is factored on quantity?

Long story short, when you order 8 medium-big sets, why are they shipped in four boxes of two sets and not two boxes of four sets? There's plenty of room.
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby buhs » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:27 pm

I can honestly say I haven't had this issue. I've ordered lots of multiple sets, and had 4... 5... 6... etc... sets in a single box from S@H. The only thing I can think of is if the sets you are ordering touch two sides of the box, then maybe they split them up? Or possibly it depends on the person who is shipping the order; i.e. what they personally feel will fit in the box with sufficient padding? Either way S@H has standard shipping rates, so it's not costing you any more regardless of how they ship it (or if some sets are back ordered, they still charge the same rates for the whole order). In this particular case, which sets are you talking about, and which overpack box (size)?
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby Lich_Barrister » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:32 pm

Just to join in - I ordered 5 Space Skulls sets when they were heavily discounted, and they shipped in two boxes - three in a massive box (I think 2 ft x 2 ft x 1 ft) and two in a moderate box (I'm guessing 1 ft on each side of a cube), if memory serves. Four Space Skull boxes would have fit in the moderate box, if memory serves - three certainly did, as I had three in that box when I sent it to my cousin who'd joined in on the order.

Then again, my other orders have tended to be pretty prosaic. Go figure.
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby Draykov » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:41 am

Lich_Barrister wrote:Then again, my other orders have tended to be pretty prosaic. Go figure.


You keep using that whord...I do-no' think it means whatchoo think it means.
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby zithy » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:05 pm

My recent order was 10 of the discounted Train Stations #7997
Set dimensions are(in inches):
15 length
11.5 width
4 height

LSAH shipped the sets in 5 boxes containing two sets each. Funny thing is that they used 1 smaller box that 2 sets fit well in and 4 large boxes which could have easily fit 4 sets in. Box dimensions are:
Box 1(small)
19 length
12 width
9.5 height

Box 2(big)
27 length
21 width
9.5 height

I don't remember the box dimensions, but they did the same thing for Rogue Shadows when I ordered them when Lego discounted them 50%.

I was never complaining about the shipping charges that Lego charges the customer; to me they seem reasonable. But rather why they would use more boxes to ship empty space with more packing material than to condense them, which I would think would save the company a good amount of money.
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby Dalek Caan » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:57 pm

Is it possible that since some sets are manufactured in different countries, they were boxed in separated factories and then shiped together to you, without being reboxed?

But yeh I have noticed it and thought /\
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby BrickSith206 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:46 am

You should notice "DIM WT = x" on the bottom of the boxes. DIM WT is dimension weight. The number is the maximum weight the box can hold.

Amazon ships sets this way as well. 20 Venators showed up in 10 boxes, when they could have shipped them in 7.
Do something.
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby starbeanie » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:14 am

Actually DIM WT or "Dimensional weight" has nothing to do with the weight the box can hold. Freight carriers utilize the greater of the actual weight or dimensional weight to calculate shipping charges. Dimensional Weight is calculated as (Length x Width x Height) / (Dimensional Factor).

Dimensional weight favors shippers of dense objects and penalizes those who ship lightweight boxes. A box of unpopped corn kernels will likely be charged by gross weight; a box of popcorn will probably be charged by its dimensional weight. This is because the large box of popcorn takes up a lot of space but does not fill up a vehicle's capacity in terms of weight, making it an inefficient use of space.

Shippers avoid dimensional weight charges by using smaller boxes, by compressing their goods, and by reducing the use of packing materials.

So S@H is penalizing themselves by not filling the boxes.

Bret
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby BrickSith206 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:10 am

starbeanie wrote:Actually DIM WT or "Dimensional weight" has nothing to do with the weight the box can hold. Freight carriers utilize the greater of the actual weight or dimensional weight to calculate shipping charges. Dimensional Weight is calculated as (Length x Width x Height) / (Dimensional Factor).

Dimensional weight favors shippers of dense objects and penalizes those who ship lightweight boxes. A box of unpopped corn kernels will likely be charged by gross weight; a box of popcorn will probably be charged by its dimensional weight. This is because the large box of popcorn takes up a lot of space but does not fill up a vehicle's capacity in terms of weight, making it an inefficient use of space.

Shippers avoid dimensional weight charges by using smaller boxes, by compressing their goods, and by reducing the use of packing materials.

So S@H is penalizing themselves by not filling the boxes.

Bret


Your last statement assumes the position that everyone pays the exact same shipping rates aka LEGO is not getting a deal for shipping volume.

It's a tough call on whether or not they are penalizing themselves by not filling boxes to capacity. With so many different box sizes that need to be shipped, and in an almost infinite combination of ways to package them, even LEGO would be hard pressed not to find an across-the-board boxing solution. While it's no secret those boxes can hold more than the DIM WT, I think other factors have been looked at, such as how will the box be handled once it leaves the facility? If the box is overfilled and arrived damaged, there is replacement cost + customer service function, etc. I think by keeping the weight on the boxes low (and consistent) makes the flow of box traffic much more manageable. Not to mention what are Grandma, Mom, and sadly enough, some Dads going to do when UPS shows up with one 40lb box of LEGO, instead of 4 10 lb boxes? My only other thought is that the DIM WT on the boxes is more for the staff, and shipping company. Boxes with DIM WT = 10 are charged a certain rate, DIM WT = 14, another rate, and on down the line.

P.S. The gross weight rating on those DIM WT = 10 Boxes is 65lbs, but I've never been able to pack more than 25-30lbs without feeling risky. It's the fast fold flaps that appear to be the weak point.
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby starbeanie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:50 am

On other side of the coin is I was at my local Lego store and had them order 2 sets from S@H(get free shipping that way, if the store doesn't have it). Both sets were backordered for 3 weeks online(no problem for me, I have other stuff to build). They sent my Free Shark-man key-chain immediately and used a 12 x 16 box to ship it in.

Bret
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Re: Shop @ Home packing strategy

Postby zithy » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:47 pm

It's a tough call on whether or not they are penalizing themselves by not filling boxes to capacity. With so many different box sizes that need to be shipped, and in an almost infinite combination of ways to package them, even LEGO would be hard pressed not to find an across-the-board boxing solution. While it's no secret those boxes can hold more than the DIM WT, I think other factors have been looked at, such as how will the box be handled once it leaves the facility? If the box is overfilled and arrived damaged, there is replacement cost + customer service function, etc. I think by keeping the weight on the boxes low (and consistent) makes the flow of box traffic much more manageable. Not to mention what are Grandma, Mom, and sadly enough, some Dads going to do when UPS shows up with one 40lb box of LEGO, instead of 4 10 lb boxes? My only other thought is that the DIM WT on the boxes is more for the staff, and shipping company. Boxes with DIM WT = 10 are charged a certain rate, DIM WT = 14, another rate, and on down the line.

P.S. The gross weight rating on those DIM WT = 10 Boxes is 65lbs, but I've never been able to pack more than 25-30lbs without feeling risky. It's the fast fold flaps that appear to be the weak point.


I think they do have a solution. I'd imagine they use very few different box sizes to ship sets in, no more than 5-6. Many Lego sets are designed to stack within a certain cube of space. Shipping box A would fit 1 Home One set inside or 3 Recycle trucks side by side by side. That rough type of scenario.

And I'm not talking about them shipping 10 Battle of Endor sets in a single box, but if they send 2 Train Station (7997) in a single box where there's plenty of room to add 2 more, why not do that? Unless as I guessed earlier that they might have a volume discount if they reach a certain number with UPS.
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