Overkill packaging in retail

I liked Seth Godin’s recent rant on Packaging for Retail. I’ve often wondered why most computer hardware comes in packaging that is almost worth more than the component you just bought, but it’s just to trick you into thinking the product is more valuable than it really is.

If someone sees a computer headset in cheap shrinkwrap with a cardboard backing and the exact same headset in indestructible, complicated plastic packaging, they’ll assume the one in fancier packaging is worth more. I’m generally immune to advertising, but I still catch myself falling for this trick.

They could at least make the packaging reusable by using food grade plastic and resealable lids so you can use it in the kitchen instead of feeling guilty about adding to the landfills. And what’s wrong with recycled cardboard? You can gloss print on it, so it’s not going to look shabby on the shelves, and people have no qualms about getting a sales person to open up a box to check the goods so you don’t have to worry about a box window.