How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

An Honest Guide to Repacking a Product


An Honest Guide to Repacking a Product

Faulty products, misguided impulse buys, kid rejection, whatever; sometimes life gives you lemons. But you paid hard-earned money for those damn lemons, so you’re not just gonna sit there with a puckered-up face and bear it. You need to make a return.

Sadly, before you can make an exchange or a return, you can’t just chuck everything into a lawn-and-leaf garbage bag and drag it back to the store, you need to put it all back the way it was. This is often ridiculously easier said than done.

There’s an expression: “You can’t fit 10 lbs of sh*t into a 5 lbs bag.” The phrase effectively paints the rather brown picture of the mess you’re going to get into trying to perform some impossible task. And with some packaging there can be a kind of freaky black magic (or if you prefer “brown magic”) that occurs when you open up a product. The contents seem to increase their size and mass, so they never fit back into the box the same again. This magical effect seems blackest (or brownest) when it’s a kid’s product or toy.

Maybe this isn’t really true. And maybe it’s always a total breeze for the world-champion Tetris players or witchcraft practitioners out there, but we’ll let this stand as a realistic set of instructions for the rest of us.

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More Instructional Diagrams
Because knowing how to do something right is overrated.


5 Responses to “An Honest Guide to Repacking a Product”

  1. Laurie says:

    Perfect description! Is it weird that I find myself searching all pictures for a “banana added for scale”?

    • Andy says:

      I LOVE THAT! It isn’t weird at all for me; I have to make that judgment call on every single Instructional Diagram I make. I even had a reader call me out on one that didn’t have one and I redid it with a banana. 😉

  2. Elizabeth says:

    It must be my OCD. I can actually get everything back in it’s original box. Including packing material.

    • Andy says:

      In all honesty, I’m like a ninja with repacking, too. Not an OCD thing, I just love puzzles and washing my hand 31 times a day in months that have 31 days in them. Tee hee!

  3. Dads Make says:

    If you find yourself in this position, leave the box half open. Most retailers are more concerned with their customer service reputation than their vendor relationships. I quit worrying about perfect repacks years ago, my crowning moment being taking the folded up box, some mismatched Styrofoam and a pile of parts back in a home depot bag.

    Besides, If you repack it too well, they’ll just resell it as is. Pay it forward: don’t pack it properly.

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