Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Little Box Maker

for electronics retailers.
  [vote for,

Immediately after purchase, the customer is asked if they wouldn't rather have a reasonably sized and shaped package for their new shiny. For an extra dollar, the plastic display shell, bane of anybody with an ounce of common sense, is removed with prejudice and cross-shredded into a recycling bin. A crude 3D scanner then does its thing on the actual contents while the operator removes bar codes, serial holograms and FCC notices from the piece of shirt-cardboard that also serves as podium for the big print advertising and the small print disclaimers.

Then, the Little Box Maker chugs to life, producing from a roll of fresh flat stock a rectangular box, sized to fit all the pieces, snugly. Offcuts are used to make holders and standoffs within the box.

The manufacturer's name and a non-verbose description is printed on one side of the box, the proof-of-purchase barcode etc. affixed to another, and the retailer's logo (plus tel/fax/website and store locations/hours) is emblazoned on the top.

The customer is presented with his or her freshly boxed purchase, a small sheet of free bubblewrap, and a thankyou-come-again.

Another dollar and the retailer mails the detritus back to the original company.

The machine and accessories (that come packaged in a brown cardboard box) quickly pays for itself, becoming a revenue generator.

FlyingToaster, Feb 21 2015

Who knew it was so involved ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm
Joey is a Paradigm, Joey is a Paradigm, na na na na nah [popbottle, Feb 22 2015]

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       Finally (+)
normzone, Feb 21 2015

       Better, shirley, for the retailers to refuse to sell goods unless packed in cardboard boxes?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2015

       I have been supermarket shopping with someone who pointedly unpackaged everything practically unpackagable and proceeded to place the prodigious pile of packaging pointedly into the supermarket's litter bin.
pocmloc, Feb 21 2015

       Your prices are too low to pay for the extra work and machinery. Otherwise [+]
Voice, Feb 21 2015

       // mails the detritus back to the original company //   

       No, no ... burn it ... burn it all ... ahahah, flames, that crackling noise,the smoke, MUHWHAHAHAHA ! BURN IT ALL !   

8th of 7, Feb 21 2015

       //prices are too low to pay for the extra work and machinery//   

       Actually it'd be a revenue generator. The mailing bit would break even (packaging isn't heavy), then you only have to worry about the wage for the employee. On a slow day the cashier could do the work and the revenue would go right to capital cost. On a busy day, it isn't hard to imagine 15-20 repackagings per hour per machine, even more, requiring a dedicated operator (at minimum wage). Single-ply boxboard isn't that expensive.
FlyingToaster, Feb 21 2015

       April showers bring May flowers. They also melt cardboard boxes.
popbottle, Feb 21 2015

       ^ We could have "Not an Umbrella" printed on the side* . Though, considering the target sales are small gadgets and doohickery which are usually individually packaged in grossly oversized military-grade plastic shielding for display purposes, that's not much of an issue. You've bought it: put it in your pocket.   

       * Unless of course it actually is an umbrella.
FlyingToaster, Feb 21 2015

       The primary deficit is with the retail padigm of the product which ships, displays, and is dispensed by means of the same materials. In some cases this can be a marvel of conservation; the shipping crate that becomes a display, but generally it reflects a form of intensive retail where human labor and knowledge is minimized while the factory packaging serves to replace it. The store where diw wits stock skeletal shelves with mirriad brightly colored shouting boxes, oversize and theft blunting. A warehouse where the wares themselves provide the illusion of a retailer. Here we find another gravestone of civilization.
WcW, Feb 21 2015

       You blew it by misspelling "paradigm".
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2015

       // You blew it by misspelling "paradigm" //   

       No, actually he blew it by using the word 'paradigm" in the first place; the misspelling merely compounded the error.   

       Only managers, and the mouth-breathing dolts from sales & marketing, ever use "paradigm" in anything other than an ironically humorous context.
8th of 7, Feb 21 2015

       "What's that brightly coloured bird up there? Is it a cockatoo?"
"No, it's a paradigm sure"
pocmloc, Feb 22 2015

       Piffle. I'll leave it forever just because it seems to bother you.
WcW, Feb 22 2015

       //Here we find another gravestone of civilization.//   

       What did civilization look like, when it was alive, [WcW]? Or, to put it another way, which particular civilization would you like to go back to?   

       That's not a trick question. I'm just wondering where you might stand in relation to, say, F R Leavis or, as it might be, William Morris.
pertinax, Feb 22 2015

       When I read this idea I kept getting visions of Rowan Atkinson's character in "Love Actually" wrapping jewellery for Alan Rickman when the latter is in a huge hurry - "No sir, this shall be the work of but a moment" and so on for an interminably long time.
AusCan531, Feb 22 2015

       ////prices are too low to pay for the extra work and machinery////
//Actually it'd be a revenue generator.//

       Well, okay, provided that you can get your costs down below your expenses.
Your costs are a) cardboard, glue/staples and other running costs b) depreciation on the very expensive kit you purchased and interest on the debt incurred, c) rent on the space this device takes up.

       I suspect if you looked into the cost of each of those you'd be surprised.
Loris, Feb 22 2015


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