Want to Avoid Shipping Damages? Pretend the Package Is a TV

iStock / iStock

Want to ship a bike without breaking it? Just pretend it’s an expensive television set. As The Independent reports, Dutch bicycle manufacturer VanMoof recently did just that after seeing many of their international orders getting damaged. They started printing images of flat screen TVs on their boxes, and incidents of damage dropped immediately.

VanMoof wanted to keep their sneaky plan under wraps, but it was eventually leaked on Twitter, prompting the company to confirm the strategy. In a blog post titled “Our secret’s out,” VanMoof’s creative director Bex Rad explained that prior to the disguise tactic, customers were getting annoyed, and the company was experiencing financial losses. And since VanMoof is aiming to sell 90 percent of its bikes online by 2020, they knew they had to find a solution.

“Our team sat together and we imagined that couriers would be more careful with packages if they knew even more precious goods were in them,” VanMoof co-founder Taco Carlier told The Independent. “As our boxes are exactly the size of a huge flat screen television, we decided to print a television on them. It works great.”

The shipping scheme has worked especially well for American orders. VanMoof’s store in Brooklyn had previously been cluttered with refurbished broken bikes that had to be sold at discount prices—but after the new boxes were introduced, damaged goods were reduced by 70 to 80 percent, Carlier told reporters.

[h/t The Independent]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.