When you order stuff, you get unwanted crap. Why send me stuff that costs a non-zero amount that I’m immediately going to throw away or struggle to recycle!?
- order food for takeout or delivery, you get sauce packets, chopsticks, plastic utensils, napkins. I usually don’t want any of this.
- order electronics, you get another unwanted USB charger
- order other goods, you get unwanted stickers, storage bags, assembly tools, etc.
- donate money, you get unwanted bumper stickers, tote bags, Christmas cards, calendars, etc.
A lot of this is cheap goodwill: the customer might want this stuff, so provide it for free. But the real goodwill ensues from giving customers a choice, and I hate companies that send me stuff I didn’t request. Let me uncheck all these items when I order!
It’s a no-brainer for restaurants that assemble each order, though the staff tend to be on autopilot and often include napkins and utensils even if I specifically and repeatedly tell them to leave them out.
It’s harder for companies that obsess over having a minimal number of SKUs (stock-keeping units) that end up on the shelf of a reseller such as Amazon; they want to default to having a single box that gets shipped out. But we have robots! It must be possible to pre-assemble, and eventually assemble on the fly, the add-ons that most people don’t want.