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Building a perfect iPhone return box

TUAW readers are probably familiar with Gazelle. It's a service, started in 2008, with one goal in mind -- to make it simple for people to send in used consumer electronics devices (primarily Apple products) and receive cash in return. CNET has a fun post today about how Gazelle has gone through many iterations of designing the perfect box for customers to use when sending in their used equipment.

Initially, Gazelle would supply customers with a US Postal Service box and an envelope. Many of their clients figured that they needed to add some padding to make sure their old iPhone or iPad arrived in one piece, so they dropped everything ranging from unused disposable diapers to pillows into the boxes. This added time and waste to Gazelle's process, so they set out to design their own return boxes.

After more than a hundred versions of the Gazelle phone box, the company came up with a simple box, seen above, that holds an iPhone in place under a piece of plastic film. There's a pre-paid label inside that the sender places on the outside of the box, and a small piece of Gazelle-branded packing tape to close it all up. The result? No more diapers and pillows being sent to Gazelle.

The company is also planning a redesign of their return box for iPads.

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