People are accusing Amazon of ‘ruining’ Christmas by sending items without their own boxes, but there’s a really easy fix

Some items ship from Amazon in their own boxes. Getty/Rick T. Wilking
  • Amazon ships larger items in their own boxes.
  • This can cause problems around the holidays if the intended recipient sees the package on the porch.
  • There’s an easy fix for most items, however. Customers can click “ship in Amazon box” as they check out.

Amazon is a go-to online destination for many families as they purchase gifts around the holidays.

But shoppers who aren’t careful might accidentally spoil the surprise. That’s because many larger items – including certain toys, Instant Pots, musical instruments, and other items – don’t ship in Amazon’s characteristic arrow box, but in their own box with whatever is inside clearly marked on the outside.

These recipients could then potentially see the item, thus “ruining” Christmas, as one Twitter user cited by The Independent put it.

Luckily, there is a way to avoid that altogether.

When adding an item to an Amazon shopping cart, look for this phrase: “Item arrives in packaging that reveals what’s inside. To hide it, choose Ship in Amazon packaging at checkout.”

Then, simply do so. Click the button that says “Ship in Amazon packaging.”

It will look like this:

Ship in amazon packaging

Then your order will come discreetly in an Amazon box instead. Voilá, problem solved. Doing this is completely free and mostly painless.

There are a few drawbacks and footnotes here. First, you shouldn’t do this if you don’t need to. There’s absolutely no reason to waste another huge layer of cardboard on top of cardboard. There’s a reason this item ships in its own package – Amazon has already decided it is safe enough. Don’t create more waste unnecessarily.

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Also, this isn’t going to work for everything Amazon sells. There simply aren’t boxes big enough to package everything Amazon sells in its own box. It’s impractical.

So there you have it. Check a box and make sure Christmas isn’t ruined this year.