An Ode to Unscannables

At Shoeboxed, we sometimes receive things besides paper clutter in our Magic Envelope– socks, loose change, hair clips and more. We call them unscannables. Here’s the story of one we got last week.

Here at Shoeboxed, we’ve seen it all. Our Magic Envelopes were designed to be large and sturdy enough to handle even the biggest piles of paper, so it’s no surprise that many of our wonderful customers use them as a catchall for cleaning out their desk or filing cabinet. Whether it’s loose change, candy, a spare sock or random office items like pens or blank post-its– you name it, we’ve probably received it in one of our envelopes. We lovingly call these items unscannables. You may remember a very special unscannable item we received back in 2011 (Hint: it’s illegal, at least here in North Carolina!). We take pride in ensuring that these items make it back to their owners every time (well, besides the above example).

The other day, among the hundreds of Magic Envelopes we received, one envelope came in that included $15 cash. So, we clipped the cash to the envelope and ensured it was sent back to the sender when we finished processing their documents. What we didn’t expect was to have the cash sent back to us! Check out the awesome return letter we received from one of our awesome customers, addressed to our Director of Operations, Sam Glover.

user letter

The entire Shoeboxed team feels incredibly honored and proud to serve awesome customers like this one. Needless to say, this letter made our day and gave us a new energy and excitement for all of the awesome things we’re working on. We have a lot of neat features coming out in the next few months, so stay tuned, and thank you all for being loyal Shoeboxers!


An Open Letter on Marijuana and Other “Unscannables”: The Official Shoeboxed Return Policy

Since our inception in 2007, we’ve received enough documents and receipts to meet the entire paper demand for a small country. But hey, no complaints here! We’re the people that actually like organizing your paperwork. We relish it. Honestly, without the world’s paper clutter, we’d be jobless. However, from time to time our beloved customers send us more than just their documents, receipts and business cards. In fact, personal items from far and wide frequently make their way to Shoeboxed HQ in one of our beautiful blue envelopes. And we understand why. When it’s time to clear off your desk or countertop, our envelopes are ready to catch it all — regardless of the contents. Talk about ultimate handiness. But unfortunately our data extraction scanners don’t seem to enjoy scanning certain items.

Around Shoeboxed, these outcasts are affectionately referred to as “unscannables.”

So over the past four years, you can imagine the plethora of unscannables we’ve come across. Everything from 50 dollar bills, hair clips, socks, unused condoms, breakup letters and beautiful origami pieces have landed on our doorstep. We take great pride in ensuring that these outcasts make their way back to their rightful owners, no questions asked. However, yesterday we received an unscannable that left our Shoeboxed team both puzzled and amused, and we just wanted to take a moment to share the laugh.

Yesterday morning, like many mornings prior, hundreds of blue envelopes filled with paper clutter made their way into the Shoeboxed Operations Center where our scanning and data extraction began in earnest. But one of our verifiers must have sat puzzled for some time, uncertain how exactly to categorize, let alone attempt to scan, one unusual smelling green item. For those of you unfamiliar with our top secret data extraction process, we’ll let you in on a little secret: “medicinal herb” does not fit well through our scanners, particularly when it’s in large bags. Now, under normal circumstances we would contact the owner and have their “unscannable” sent back to them ASAP. But for a great many reasons, this conundrum left us Shoeboxers thrown for a bit of a loop. After all, how can you blame a document digitization company for not including a section on controlled substances in our return policy?

To our valued customer (who may have just recently, and sadly, discovered the absence of this personal item): don’t worry, there is most certainly no judgment here. We get it. It’s medicinal. You’ve got one of those neat cards that allows you to legally purchase marijuana. Despite this fact, please understand that given current legal precedents we highly doubt that Shoeboxed will be able to return your “lawn clippings” to you, and for this we would like to extend our most sincere apologies.

In the meantime, why don’t we just forget this ever happened, agree to keep this little incident between us and we’ll call our lawyers about drafting a new revision of the official Shoeboxed return policy.

Stay Organized (and law-abiding),

The Shoeboxed Team