Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea Conversations Attn online tea buyers: do you mind receiving orders in re-used boxes?

10 replies, 8 voices Last updated by  Xavier 6 years, 2 months ago
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  • #7833

    Anonymous @

    *When we ship our orders to customers we typically use boxes that we have on hand, which are often boxes that have already been used to ship things to us. To me this seems responsible and efficient, but do any of you think it might appear cheap or compromised? I hate to buy and use brand-new boxes when we don’t need them, but appearances are important.

  • #7836

    Anonymous @

    Yes, and no.  If you inform me that you are pro green and would like to do your part by reusing, repurposing, then that’s great.  I actually enjoy doing business with companies that try to be environmentally conscience.  

    Now, I don’t know how else to put this but there are other companies out there that simply try and take the least expensive way out.  Makes me question what else they may be doing or hiding.  If I received a reused boxed from a company without explanation I may find it odd.  That is just my honest opinion.  It wouldn’t stop me from buying from them again but I’m not going to lie I would notice it and question it.

    However, I like what you are doing.  Reusing is a wonderful way to save more garbage from ending up in landfills.  Share with your customers your process and why.  I am certain you would find support in what you are doing.

    I hope that helps.

  • #7837


    *I’m torn. I’ve grown up with that awareness, that boxes should be recycled. In my parents’ house we were always hanging onto every cardboard box ever mailed to us, and it was duly recycled. I still get re-used packages from them, and from friends in the mail. Looking at the many adventurous trips some of these packages have been on before they get to us, makes me smile. However, from a tea company, I’m not so sure. I guess it depends on the customer base, and the online store’s eco-friendly image. If you are known for that, it’s probably okay. I I guess I’d prefer if the packets didn’t look too worn out, and not in need of a scrub down, with me wondering about the sanitary conditions at their departure point. Perhaps it’s also important that they didn’t contain chemicals or coffee beans in a previous life 🙂

    Anyway, I think if you were going to go the “gently used” route, perhaps mention it on your site. With a little blurb about how recycling is better for the environment. For me, a let’s call it “pre-owned” box is fine, as long as it doesn’t look like it’s ailing.

  • #7838

    Anonymous @

    I would not mind at all. I’m always glad to see when companies are making an effort to reuse/recycle. You might want to put a note in your shopping cart system telling people their items may be shipped in a gently used box for environmental purposes. 🙂

  • #7839


    I agree with @iheartteas on this. While from a business perspective I like that I get new box when I order from Adagio Teas and it has the company logo printed on the outside.

    I suppose there needs to be a balance, as Rachel said, being informed that you are recycling and reusing boxes is a good way to handle it. Not everyone has the resources that Adagio has to go whole hog in using the best practices of the mail order industry. There is something special about looking at a box when it arrives and knowing what it is in it (which is why Adagio does it that way).

    Tony Gebley at Chicago Tea Garden uses rubber stamps on his boxes to mark them up with things like, “Your tea is here!” and his company logo. I thought it was clever, and if you have to reuse boxes, stripping and marking them to represent your company may be worthwhile. It comes down to making a connection with your customer at every step in the process.

  • #7841


    One of the sample packages that I usually offer is called the “Foodzie Box of Samples” because I am reusing the box I receive on a monthly basis from Foodzie.  These boxes are a nice size, fit well in my mailbox (which means I don’t have to make a trip to the post office to get it in the mail), and I really like the box.  I’m weird that way, I guess, but, I’ve always had a thing for boxes.  I love the shape and the intrigue of them (what’s inside?) and they just bring out a certain part of me that I like about myself … and so I don’t like to break them down and put them in the recycle bin, so whenever I can reuse a box, I will.  And these boxes from Foodzie are very sturdy and nice and are large enough to fit a good number of samples.  

    There is no need to worry about coffee having been in my box, though, because I avoid that stuff!  🙂  (Coffee Bad, Tea Good!)

    Edited to add:  I guess, to answer your question, I do not mind when a company reuses boxes, so long as they’re in good shape.  I’d rather a company reuse a box than to send me a new box that is too big (which is something I took issue with when I received some teas a while back, they put five small samples into a HUGE box, seemed so wasteful to me).  But I would want to know that the box used wasn’t previously housing something that would not be tasty if accidentally coming in contact with my tea.  As long as the tea is securely packaged and the boxes are in good shape… YES please reuse boxes!  Better that than to waste!

  • #7842


    That’s a good question! I was wondering about it too! I wouldn’t mind at all, as long as the box is clean. But I do suspect some people would mind getting orders in a used box. So far I have been using new boxes for our web store. But I never want to throw away a re-usable box, and tend to use them for my ebay sales. But obviously I’ve bought more than I’ve sold on ebay and I’ve accumulated a bunch of re-usable boxes.

    A mid-way solution I’ve been thinking of is, re-using some boxes from well-established companies, such as Amazon. They more or less have somewhat uniform looking. But after all I think I should cut off my online shopping so I won’t end up with many re-usable boxes 🙂

    I think what Peter said about stamping or decorating the box is a very good point! I have a collection of rubber stamps and tend to use them to stamp boxes when I feel like to. But I haven’t got any “official” stamps yet.

  • #7850


    You should promote this re use and try to personalise the boxes to show that they are yours.

  • #7858

    Anonymous @

    *Thank you all for your feedback. It is very helpful, particularly with regard to the importance of informing customers WHY they’re receiving tea in a used box. I can easily accommodate this both in the ordering system and by including a note in the order itself. Also, I really like the idea of using a rubber stamp on the outside to identify the shipments, regardless of the previous function of the box. (I find it particularly amusing to re-use Amazon boxes, but I don’t tend to have very many of them on hand.)

  • #7859

    Anonymous @

    *Also, we would never send any tea out in a box that had been used for something with any strong odors. That’s something I’m very conscious of.

  • #7860


    But warning people and explaining the hows and whys are the first and most important steps.

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