Original boxes. Why?

The fetishization of authenticity.

A theme explored here through the history of Kentucky Fried Chicken:

Full disclosure - I just kept a box, along with the sticker and artistic paper inserts.


cool, but what do you mean by trade? English is not my native language and I thought selling and trading is the same…


Hmm good arguments above, thank you all.

I started wondering if those who tend to keep gear boxes also keep boxes of other things they buy. Or would audio gear boxes be the exception? I think someone mentioned a computer keyboard box, and i held onto for example the box of a vacuum cleaner at one point in my life.

Thank you for asking for clarification. For us non-native speakers of languages things are not always clear and it does not always come easy to ask; so I applaud your courage.

Trade would mean to exchange one thing for another. So you would give a module for another thing of equal value.

Selling would be to give a module in exchange of money.

Hope that clarifies the distinction! :slight_smile:


Ah, I see… Thank for clarification. With a little thinking I might have come to the same result, but… sometimes communication isn’t such a bad idea.


I’d assume most people just save boxes and packaging for all the practical reasons mentioned here. If nothing else, think of all the waste saved by reusing packaging rather than throwing it out, just to buy a new box if you don’t get along with something and decide to pass it on to someone who could put it to better use.


Agreed, this rather oblique comment is in relation to the extra monetary value associated with original packaging.

My thought is that what people are really playing for is the experience of authenticity.


There’s boxes and there’s boxes

I hope the ones you’re all throwing out are just boxes.


On a purchasing level, it’s a signal. It says “this person potentially looked after and cared for this object”. That’s a pretty valuable metric when you’re giving a stranger a not-insubstantial amount of money based on a couple of blurry photos and some vague self-authored text.

On a experiential level, I personally enjoy the entire holistic experience of an item. The packaging is a potential window to glimpse into the minds of the creators, be that the cheekiness of Isla Instrument branded rizlas, the contemplative illustrated family of Monome boxes, or the slick over-engineered precision of an Apple carton.

On a functional level, when you move around a degree and/or don’t have a lot of working space, then original boxes are often the most efficient way to store items when not in use.


Bye bye :wave:



There goes about 50$ in value! Its done, over, might as well just throw the Digitone away now!

Completely useless garbage! :joy:

This thread did get me to thinking where the box thing really came from, and I think largely you could liken it back to the comic book crash of the 90’s.

Back then all these investors were going crazy buying comic books and pop culture paraphenilia. Suddenly you had this craze of “still in the original wrappings” as in the case of “The Death of Superman”, jacking up the collectors price to ridiculous levels. In a lot cases, that came from vintage Star Wars toys finding second life on the collectors market as well.

You saw this wil Beanie Babys, and then again in the early aughts when vintage NES games and systems became sought after (I think an unopened Mario Bro’s Cart just sold for a million).

So I think a large part of the box craze isnt for practical purposes (I.E Shipping), but this contrived notion of higher valuation.

… Which in a sense, at least with synths isnt unreasonable to an extent: Its just easier to ship. On the other hand, Ive shipped 400$ modules in a small, USPS one rate box for 8$ simply because I couldnt find the actual box… It still served the purpose!


Haha perfect :joy: I bought the Digitone second hand without shipping, and instead took the train and walked, and had very nice interaction at the sellers home testing it, and chatting about music, sound, gear and life, before taking the train home. Should I one day sell the Digitone¹, i hope to sell it the way i bought it :handshake:

¹ not planning.


Is a valuation contrived if people are actually paying more?

To me, it sounds like you simply value different things in your purchases, which is fine, but doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to an original box as a metric to gauge how well someone has taken care of their belongings. If someone cares enough to save a box, then in my experience, they’re also more likely to care enough to really think about how they’re using a piece of gear, including things which won’t necessarily leave a visible mark (overheating, overloading, rough handling of physical controls), but may reduce its lifetime.

To be completely honest, for most used gear I’ve bought, the shape of the gear vs. the saving compared to buying new simply weren’t worth it. But I take extremely good care of things that I own, to the point that it’s not uncommon for years old, daily use gear to be in a condition good enough that it could practically be described as “like new”.

It’s just a different philosophy in the end. I can also see the advantage of not really worrying, and just using the gear, but that’s not the way I think and work.


Is anyone familiar with this one, Boxes. A Field Guide edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder and Maria Rentetzi (2020, Mattering Press)?

(Mattering Press is amazing in a lot of ways, open access being one of them)


This is great—thank you! Was wondering if this thread had any place to go and sure enough a lines member comes up with a path to broader contextualization of a narrow question. Essays on fermentation tanks and glass plate negative boxes! Further explorations into Mattering Press pending.


Coincidentally my good game studies colleagues at work just published a podcast episode of *ITU Playcast: 3: Videogame Objects, Unpacking which in the latter half addresses people’s box-relationships through Witch Beam’s game Unpacking. Trailer

Also the questions concerning content, containers and containment and yes discontent come up near the end.



You went into a strangers home…?

You danger loving, adrenaline junkie, you :rofl:

Honestly I wish I had that kind of opportunity. There is no where that I know of in my tri-state area to be able to even touch a synth – and Im an hour away from a Pittsburgh Modular!

The only time I was ever around other Synthheads was when we were in PDX and we went to Muffs and Control Voltage, and even then I had zero idea what I was doing or this mystical world of Eurorack!

Samsies for the most part – unless you live in a state that isn’t taxed w/ online checkouts and you happen to score a quarterly sale, I typically agree. Except now that Reverb up’d their fees and added taxes, there is less incentive to buy used.

As far as the box goes, If you are a collector than sure, I agree that the valuation has a higher markup value – hence the guys who get all excited over an unopened NES Cart. For them, it’s more about the collectors appeal of having the box. In my particular case a large part of keeping my box stemmed from that. As of late, I am significantly less picky because I’m more interested in a solid deal, and if I need to sell, I’ll just grab something.

Most boxes are just cardboard anyways, and there is nothing intimately unique about them other than a stamp or sticker. But then you get the more specific stuff from say Strymon, or Electron. Considering that they are much more high end than your typical synth or module, it really is in ones best interest to keep the box around because of shipping.

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!Because im a hoarder!

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Stick boxes up on ebay for selling imo. Id likely buy a box for a tenner or so… if I have a device that was purchased without one.

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when we were young, we even did two colors