September 9, 2009, 12:00 AM

Less is more when it comes to Amazon’s growing product packaging initiative

Product packaging ratings and two new electronics manufacturers join Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging campaign. In providing feedback, customers can rate Amazon’s packaging on a four-point scale ranging from “too small” to “way too big.”

Environmentally conscious consumers are seeking less wasteful packaging of the products they buy, and Amazon.com Inc. has set up two features on its web site aimed at those green-focused customers. Product packaging has been added to its product rating system, and, in the latest phase of its Frustration–Free packaging initiative launched late last year, Amazon is now offering top-selling items from two more electronics manufacturers in easy-to-open, environmentally friendly packaging.

In providing feedback on their purchases, customers can rate Amazon’s packaging on a four-point scale ranging from “too small” to “way too big.” They also can rate the ease of opening a product package from “very difficult” to “very easy.” Amazon plans to use this information to improve how it ships products to customers, the retailer says.

Kingston Technology Co. and Monster Cable Products Inc. are the latest manufacturers to join the streamlined packaging program. "Kingston strives to be as eco-friendly as possible and we’re proud to be part of Amazon’s Frustration-Free packaging efforts,” says David Sun, CEO of Kingston, which sells jump drives and other plug-in digital storage devices. Most of the products sold by Kingston on Amazon are packed in easy-open, recyclable cases just big enough to accommodate the products, he notes.

Monster is avoiding the use of hard plastic clamshells, and its products ship from Amazon in their original cardboard box, eliminating the need for an additional box for delivery to customers, according to Monster, which sells cables for television and home theater use.

Amazon’s Frustration-Free packaging is a multi-year initiative to use recyclable boxes that are easy to open and free of excess materials. To date, it covers products in consumer electronics, toys and groceries.

Amazon.com Inc. is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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