Frustration-Free Packs target 'wrap rage'

Watch your Amazon boxes shrink before your very eyes!
Watch your Amazon boxes shrink before your very eyes!

If receiving a box of electronic goodies from Amazon feels like Christmas, then annoying blister packs, excessive cardboard and fiddly wire tags are like Father Christmas slapping you in the face.

And then telling you he doesn't exist (sorry, kids).

"I think we've all experienced the frustration that sometimes occurs when you try to get a new toy or electronics product out of its package," said Jeff Bezos, CEO of, who probably has a team of minions to open his packages of Beluga caviar, diamond-encrusted Fabergé eggs and myrrh.

Well, Jeff is now aiming to eliminate such 'wrap rage' by launching a range of products in Frustration-Free(TM) Packaging - the same high-tech contents but without all the wasteful containers.

First to be targeted are memory cards, which are typically encased in oversized plastic clamshells to deter shoplifting, then placed inside larger cardboard boxes for shipment out to customers.

Popping that blister

Working with Transcend, Amazon has eliminated the hard-to-open blister pack and the need for an additional box.

Instead, some Flash memory cards will now ship inside recyclable cardboard envelopes which use less material and (coincidentally?) save Amazon packaging and shipping costs.

Also available at launch are a selection of Microsoft's optical mice, Fisher-Price digital cameras and a bunch of Mattel toys. You can see the full range at

Although launching initially just in the US, Jeff says, ""It will take many years, but our vision is to offer our entire catalogue of products in Frustration-Free Packaging."

In the UK, we can expect Frustration-Free Packaging to be rolled across Amazon's international sites beginning in 2009.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.