Little Packages

Hello, my name is Bob and I am a little package addict.

It started in the mid 90s, I think it was around 1996.  Amazon was new to the world, it was an oddity.  Of course I checked it out but it didn’t do a lot for me at the time.  If I wanted a howling wolf t-shirt, Walmart was closer, easier and cheaper.  But this was also the time of ebay.  This was an entirely different beast.  There were cheap Chinese knockoffs, used stuff and things I would have never thought of looking for.  I could get my Donkey Kong Country for a fraction of what GameStop was charging.  This was a whole new form of digital hunting.littlepackage2

Then there was Newegg,, and tons of other “you can buy anything” stores.  There was no going back.  Amazon became a wallet draining ninja with it’s secret weapon – reviews, and it’s not so secret weapon – Prime (AKA free shipping).  Ebay fell by the wayside, the novelty of bidding all the time lost it’s appeal.

By now my addiction to having things delivered to me with a wave of the mouse was in full swing.  Like the rest of my socioeconomic peers we justified it with “it saves me time, that’s all” or “I know lots of people who buy more than me . . .”  Midnight, 6 inches from of a monitor that was bigger than the family TV a few short years ago evaluating a sale on personalized sporks you feel it in your bones –     you      are      addicted.

It’s now 2016, malls are a wasteland and it has become socially acceptable to click – swipe and spend with impunity.  The addiction is OK like using your phone while driving or saying “just this once” for the 9th time this week to a waitress asking you about desert.  I could stop here, confess my weakness and melt into the unwashed masses – BUT NO!  I did not stop there.

I have cut out the middle man.  Like most things, fine Corinthian USB cables are now made in China.  Why pay some outfit in Seattle when you go direct?  Aliexpress is the consumer front end to Alibaba.  To give you a sense of scale, Amazon ships an average about 3 million packages a day, Alibaba ships around 12 million.  I do a lot of tinkering with electronics and building projects.  Maybe I need some LEDs.  I can get 100 shipped from Amazon for about $7 – not bad.  I can get 100 from Aliexpress for .86 cents – SHIPPED, for $7 I can get 1000 LEDs in a little yellow envelope from China.  The Amazon order could get he in as little as 2 days.  The Aliexpress order is likely to take 3 weeks.  So, what color LEDs should I get?  I’m not likely to get more than one bag from Amazon, but on Aliexpress?  Give me a bag of every color you got.  At .86 cents I can end up with 5, 6 or 7 little packages heading my way instead of 1 from Amazon.level

Turn away if you must.  At any given time I have 10-15 little packages making their way from the land of the Red Dragon to deep in the heart of Texas.  My LED cup runith over.  I have to build projects just to keep my inventory turns up.  I can’t keep this up, this is a cry for help.  Brother can you spare a little package?

2 comments to Little Packages

  • sarahcakes

    You didn’t mention how the semi-frequent lack of a tracking number makes the whole thing a pleasant surprise when they show up!

  • theChristys

    They are a constant source of joy, it’ like the postman drops in a box of Crackerjack every couple of days