I'm experimenting with shipping my non-breakable items in cheap and lightweight packaging instead of nice brown boxes. What do you guys think about this? Cheap and light is good, but don't customer like to receive that nice brown box?
I think it depends on what you're shipping. If it's a less expensive item that will travel well without the protection of a box then the packaging is less crucial. If you're shipping higher-end products that customers expect to see arrive in a box then that's how they should arrive.
Your target market can answer that best. Why don't you hold a poll on your site and ask your visitors to see what they think?
I often order my fishing lures and tackle online and it usually arrives in plastic stick-and-close postal bags instead of boxes. I've never had a damaged shipment and never really thought twice about the fact that I don't have another box to cut up and toss in the recycle bin. Then again, if I ordered a $300 bait-caster that arrive in a plastic bag I'd probably be a little pi@#$% off.
The last poster makes an excellent point. In addition to the price of the item the customer's gender may have a bearing on feel about it as well. Poll some recent customers or post the question on your site - you'll get the information you need pretty quickly I would guess.
I recently had a small non-breakable item arrive in a 12 x 12 x 12 box filled mostly with styrofoam popcorn. Besides being a huge waste, it took me about 10 minutes to clean up the mess. Please, give me cheap, light and easy to dispose of.