Idea #11: A database of how items are originally packaged


A few years back, my brother got a gift he didn’t like. He opened it, realized that he already had the same thing, tried repackaging it to return it, failed, and walked away. As far as I know, it’s sitting somewhere in my family’s basement with the packaging open so that it gathers dust on the inside. This is laughably inefficient, and it could have been fixed if he had simply been able to figure out how to repackage it. The thing is, it’s also common.

The Concept:

To remedy this, create an index of products, similar to the indexes of foods at sites like StillTasty and DailyBurn. Instead of expiration dates and nutritional information, though, this should walk users through the process of packaging items so that they fit into their boxes as they did when they were first bought. It’s a simple process: rely on the all-too-common unboxing videos to reverse the process, diagram how to repackage electronics and similar items, then upload instructions for every product out there.

Another topic for this type of site to cover might be shipped items. Though online merchants such as Amazon are starting to move towards simpler packaging, quite a bit of stuff still gets shipped in difficult-to-restore boxes.

The Pros:

  • We live in an age when people value time and frugality. The ability to return items without the hassle of figuring out how to put them back in their boxes is appealing to many everyday consumers.
  • There is also a benefit for neat freaks who like keeping items in their boxes except when they use them. Though the ones I know seem to have this figured out, dilettante OCD sufferers can achieve their dreams if they have the instructions this tool can lay out.
  • eBayers and those seeking to sell items without making a bad impression on buyers (shabby-looking packaging is a turn-off)  may benefit greatly from figuring out how to restore products to their original packaging. This site would fill a niche of people like them.

The Cons:

  • Unscrupulous sellers may try using this to sell used items at a markup, pretending that they’re new. The same thing applies for customers who damage items–they might try returning them by pretending they never opened the packaging.
  • Though this idea can help a lot, there are some things that it can’t help with. For example, there is no way that I know of to repackage items in that clamshell packaging that’s melted together around the edges. This may frustrate several users. (Just a note: though they can’t be closed, there is a pretty cool solution for opening those.)


This section is a new addition to my usual format. If I have any ideas for product names, I will include them here. They’re just suggestions, though, so feel free to like them or dislike them, use them or avoid them.

  • BoxBase
  • Perfect Packaging
  • ReWrap
    • Accompanying that is ReBox

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