Attention HPR Rocket Manufacturers. Label your Kits!

Discussion in 'Product and Vendor Reviews' started by lowga, Sep 28, 2019.

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  1. Sep 28, 2019 #1

    lowga

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    Pet Peeve. I'm racing to complete a project (kit bash) for the upcoming Bama Blastoff next weekend. My work bench has various parts for the build that I've labeled and placed into storage pins.

    For the airframe, motor mount, fins, etc. I planned to kit bash two different rockets from different manufacturers into a single bird. The problem is that I have about ten HPR kits in my current "build pile." Opening them up today, I discovered that literally only one of the nine have any sort of identification, markings, etc.

    Other than that, I've got a shipping label and parts.

    I know the theory is that anyone with HPR certifications doesn't need instructions--true enough, but would it be too much trouble to slap a kit label on the box or throw in a sheet of paper with a photo of the assembled kit? Any kind of clue would be appreciated.

    Instead, I get to look up order dates, drag out the calipers, etc. and play detective.

    Rant concluded.
     
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  2. Sep 28, 2019 #2

    DAllen

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    What about labeling the boxes yourself before opening all of these at once? Most people are building one or two at a time at the most. Plus, what brand kits are you building? Most of the HPR kits I've build come in either labeled boxes or plastic bags.
     
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  3. Sep 28, 2019 #3

    David Schwantz

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    Black magic marker is your friend!
     
  4. Sep 28, 2019 #4

    lowga

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    We travel for business a lot. The boxes often come in while we're gone--and may sit in the garage for months. Believe me, I try to label each one with a marker when it arrives, if I'm home. But honestly, how much trouble is it to put some branding on the kits?
     
  5. Sep 28, 2019 #5

    Buckeye

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    Geez, first world problems. The manufacturers focus on their kits. Misuse of the their products (kitbash) is up to you.
     
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  6. Sep 28, 2019 #6

    cavecentral

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    I tend to open mine, check for completeness, then close and label. Fro black Friday orders, I use the email receipt to figure out what is supposed to be there since I forget.
     
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  7. Sep 28, 2019 #7

    lowga

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    First world problem to be sure--but also marketing/branding 101.
     
  8. Sep 29, 2019 #8

    Andrew_ASC

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    Funny crap I read ever.
     
  9. Sep 29, 2019 #9

    lakeroadster

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    Adopting your request would drive the price of the kits up. And I think we can all agree we don't want that.

    vs simply marking the parts with a pencil at the time you open the kit and are checking to ensure all the parts are there.
     
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  10. Sep 29, 2019 #10

    lowga

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    You're right of course. This is the same reason why I now scan my own purchases, bag my own groceries, and carry them to the car at Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot.

    Doing so keeps my prices low. NONSENSE.

    The advice about a black magic marker--that works just as well for the guy selling the product as it does for the customer.

    Providing service to customers should never be seen solely as a line item on an expense sheet, or some sort of burden.

    You're providing a product that your customers are investing their hard-earned money for. Make it the best possible product, deliver it on-time, package it well, and do everything you can to make the experience great for the consumer.

    If Estes packaged their rockets like this, do you imagine that they would have survived for sixty years?
     
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  11. Sep 29, 2019 #11

    neil_w

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    The strangest thing about this thread is the idea that any vendor would ship a product like that without any identification whatsoever. To me that's just weird, especially since it is not obvious from looking at a bag of parts what rocket it belongs to. I would like to have some confirmation that they at least shipped me the correct item.

    Now, once the bag is opened, keeping track of which piece belongs to which rocket becomes the owner's problem. Has anyone *not* ever gotten parts mixed up on the bench at one time or another? When I remember to, I pencil-mark my various body tubes to avoid later confusion.
     
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  12. Sep 29, 2019 #12

    DAllen

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    Exactly what I am thinking which is why I asked exactly which brand of kits we're talking about here earlier.
     
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  13. Sep 29, 2019 #13

    lowga

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    To be clear, I opened each box individually and removed the parts seeking to identify the two kits that I intended to kit bash.

    After inspecting the parts, I immediately returned them to their boxes. If I could identify the kit, I labeled the boxes with a magic marker.

    Not all HPR manufacturers are guilty of this. Some do a great job of labeling packages.

    I'm not naming names to avoid hurt feelings--but as a customer, I find the practice inexcusable.

    I'm dropping off a hard drive filled with digital graphics files and videos later with a customer later today. That is my "product", since I'm in advertising and marketing. It takes five minutes to print out a label detailing the contents of the 1TB drive, and the dates that these were authored.

    If my client goes looking for those files a year or two from now, they'll be very grateful not to have to boot each drive just to figure out the contents. It's called "customer service."

    If you choose to accept less--then believe me, that's what you'll get. Shifting the burden of tasks to customers may keep costs low-but it's a poor way to run a business.

    NOTE--SOME OF THESE BOXES ARE LABELED IN MARKER TO MAKE FINDING THEM ON A SHELF EASIER. NOT BECAUSE THE MANUFACTURER DID NOT INCLUDE A LABEL.

    Rocket Boxes 1.jpg
     

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  14. Sep 29, 2019 #14

    Flyfalcons

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    Yeah all those darn manufacturers that don't label boxes :rolleyes: 20190929_121045.jpg
     
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  15. Sep 29, 2019 #15

    rharshberger

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    IMO once the parts are out of the LABELLED bag, it becomes YOUR problem to keep them separated and identified. All the kit manufacturers I have seen label the bags the parts are in unless its a bulk kit package like Estes Alpha's, Wizards etc.
     
  16. Sep 29, 2019 #16

    lowga

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    Rich and Ryan,

    With respect--maybe you're not buying from the same companies. It has become common practice for manufacturers not to label their boxes.

    The ones you've shown are all that I'm asking for.

    And I didn't open the boxes and mix up the parts. The boxes were never labeled, nor where the parts even packaged in bags.

    They're fiberglass parts, dropped into an unmarked box, with some craft paper to protect them from damage. Other than a shipping label, there is nothing on the box at all.

    Welcome to the new normal. That's what I'm complaining about.
     
  17. Sep 29, 2019 #17

    kuririn

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    "Builders kits" are bare bones parts often without instructions or recovery hardware.
    Are these what you are referring to?
    If that is made clear on the website as to what you are receiving then I don't see a problem with that. It keeps the cost low and you know what you are getting (and not getting).
    Of course if you don't approve of that you can always take your business to a competitor.
    My first fiberglass kit was a Rocketry Warehouse Mouse. I was taken aback when I opened the box and found no instructions, no chute, no nose weight, etc. But I worked it out with the help of Rocsim and now it is one of my favorite small field flyers.
    Practically indestructible.
    Cheers.
     
  18. Sep 29, 2019 #18

    Flyfalcons

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    I own several Wildman kits. That who you are alluding to, no? The packaging is not designed with the intention of people randomly pulling parts from different kits to make their own. I am not sure why they need to adjust their offerings to fit a very small minority of builders.
     
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  19. Sep 29, 2019 #19

    lowga

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    You're right. It's just me.
     
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  20. Sep 30, 2019 #20

    Joe Rocket 97

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    At any given time I've got a couple of the said vendor or other vendors with no instructions kits going at one time, I don't have said issue.
     
  21. Sep 30, 2019 #21

    DAllen

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    Have you tried contacting the offending manufacturers?

    You know, while there aren't a lot of manufacturers out there there are enough that you could just not buy from the ones that are irritating you.

    Personally I would much rather NOT pay for labeling of any sort. Just send me the kit and I'll figure it out from there.
     
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  22. Sep 30, 2019 #22

    neil_w

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    Man there are some weird replies in this thread. o_O I don't think folks are grasping the simplicity of the OP's request, but it seems like it's past the point of productive discussion at this point.
     
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  23. Sep 30, 2019 #23

    WILDMANRS

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    I don’t think it’s a good idea to start labeling boxes in the shipping systems with pictures of rockets .
    It can cause undue attention and unwanted questions from shipping companies.
    We have thought about individual packaging inside of the boxes and found that most customers would prefer the nesting and less expensive shipping instead of individual packaging.
     
  24. Sep 30, 2019 #24

    lowga

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    Would a packing slip be too much to ask for? And yes, I've sent e-mails to the companies.

    Honestly, I'm disappointed because of a rare break in my work schedule that would have allowed for me to complete an important rocketry project in time for a high-ceiling opportunity. Instead, I wasted hours identifying kits--and the delay may be the difference between finishing it in time and not.

    That's a lot of disappointment that could have been solved with a packing slip.
     
  25. Sep 30, 2019 #25

    MikeyDSlagle

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    The problem is clearly identified in the first post.
    Solutions to your problem:
    Focus: Complete a project before starting another
    Restraint: Quit hoarding kits
    Consistency: Mark all your boxes, not just some
    Prioritization: Build the important projects first

    Sorry. Half serious, half joking. :D Take no offense.

    I have 4 builds going myself, but they are waiting on my motivation to paint or ground test before paint; and AV bays. I think there should be a packing slip or manifest to know what is in the box but I USUALLY remember what it was I ordered from a certain company. Traveling for work is no fun. I did it for years and it got old. Being a father now, I wouldn't want to go back to traveling for work.
     
  26. Sep 30, 2019 #26

    GRIFFIN

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    I kinda like the boxes not being labeled. I currently have 18 kits in my build pile ....I know this because I just had to relocate everything to a new location in my basement. When I was going through all the kits, it was like Christmas! I was opening boxes and boxes and to my surprise, I had kits that I completely forgot about. Some of them destined to be valuable classics, maybe even collectibles.

    I went through with a $0.99 Sharpie marker and labeled everything myself. After doing that, I realized that the surprise and excitement I just experienced wouldn’t be there next time.

    I just placed an order to my local vendor for 18 new UNMARKED boxes to repackage all my kits. Sounds like a good solution to solve my problem.

    I can solve yours if you like. I will send you my sharpie marker.
     
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  27. Sep 30, 2019 #27

    LOC

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    This is a GREAT Monday morning read!!! LOL I'm chuckling because on our end, we HAD to start labeling individual parts even. Not as much to help the customer, but to keep our scatter brains organized so WE know what is what!!
    *Cheers
     
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  28. Sep 30, 2019 #28

    dr wogz

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    I don't get it. maybe I'm still "new" or that the Canadian border forces vendors to better labels their shipments..

    Don't all shipments come with a packing slip?
    Don't all shipments come with a return address?
    Don't you have a record of what you purchased? E-mails? An account summary?
    Don't you remember what you ordered? I wish (and others too, i'm sure) would love to have that problem: to order 4-6 HPR kits from one vendor at a time.. repeatedly..
     
  29. Sep 30, 2019 #29

    Lawndart

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    I recently purchased two kits. All the parts were nicely wrapped in paper. But the parts were loose in the shipping box. Now, the kits are almost identical. Only three parts are different. So, you know what’s going to happen
     
  30. Sep 30, 2019 #30

    Binder Design

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    I notice one of my kits in your build pile. :) Just to be clear to potential customers viewing this thread, he's not talking about my kits. We provide a printed instruction manual and all parts are sub-packed in an orderly fashion and can be opened individually as the build progresses. And they come with decals that even if you lost the instruction set, you could identify the kit by the name/logo.
     
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