The Beginning

Our journey starts in receiving, this part of the process actually has nothing specifically to do with your order but what's done here makes the rest of the process infinitely easier. Shipping trucks will pull up to the warehouse and unload cargo pallets filled with computer products. A pallet is a wooden or plastic platform that can be picked up using a forklift; palletized cargo is cargo placed on a pallet, which is how Newegg's inventory is shipped to them.

Once the pallets are received and unpacked they are sent off to receiving, which is a mere 30 feet away. The pallets don't just magically appear at Newegg, they are ordered from a set of offices and cubicles attached to the warehouse:


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What you see in the picture below are a few Newegg employees at computer terminals surrounded by hundreds of boxes. What they are doing is scanning each and every item that comes into Newegg. If it's a retail product, such as a boxed AMD CPU, then the retail barcode is used and information is attached to it. If it is an OEM product, such as an OEM AMD CPU, then Newegg will create their own barcode for the product. The bar-coding process is quite important because Newegg's system actually associates a great deal of information with each barcode.


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For every product that's scanned not only are its specifications entered into the system but so are its physical dimensions and the weight of the product. The importance of this is that when your order is placed, Newegg's system knows exactly what size box(es) to ship your order in as well as how heavy your order will be. After your order is complete and before it is boxed up, the weight of the order (as well as the barcodes on each item) is checked against Newegg's database to make sure that you are indeed getting what you ordered.

In the far left corner of the picture above is a station where Newegg will take pictures of any new products coming into their warehouse, which end up being listed along with the product on their website.

After the products are received by Newegg, they are then sent to one of two places - the staging area or "the racks" where actively shipping product is organized and ready for orders that are being placed immediately.

The picture above is closest to the receiving area, and thus is the emptiest of the staging area. Newegg's facility here is no where near full capacity but also important is the fact that Newegg doesn't keep product for very long at all, which allows them to usually take advantage of the best pricing possible and in turn offer highly competitive prices to their customers.

The farther away you get from the receiving area, the more crowded the warehouse becomes:


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  • OAKside24 - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    Great Story, y'know we all wanted to know these things and you delivered on getting us Anands behind the scenes at a HUGE distributer and great company, NewEgg.com! Thanks for the awesome article, and OR COURSE the giveaways rock! Reply
  • samduhman - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link


    Am I the only one that looks at that setup and sees a couple handfuls of employees, because of all the automation, running a co that did 1.3 BILLION in sales last year! Sure its great that my orders are done speedily and accurately but I can't help think that some poor slobs working at Walmart, Foodlion, Best Buy could have had a decent paying warehouse job and Newegg still make a bundle. Maybe Im looking at it wrong...?
    Reply
  • Phiro - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    If you think menial jobs should be protected, then by all means make sure your kids make a career out of them.

    Until then, labor protectionism = bad evil evil.

    Reply
  • eastvillager - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    You're looking at it the wrong way. Instead of thinking about the low income, low skilled jobs lost in the warehouse, consider the high income, high skilled jobs gained in the sector that designs, sells, installs, and supports the automation.

    Smart jobs for smart people is better for the economy than keeping people down at minimum wage in brain-deadening jobs. At least it is in my limited opinion.
    Reply
  • Phiro - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Newegg used to be a FedEx shop by default, however recently FedEx significantly raised their rates, which Newegg passes directly onto their customers.


    So you *know that to be true? FedEx significantly raised their rates, and you know that Newegg passed it directly onto their customers?

    That whole section should be bracketed with a "Newegg alleges that [...]" instead of throwing a "Newegg claims" in the middle of a paragraph.

    Also, since Newegg claims they love Anandtech readers and follow what we say? Well, fix your damn web servers! You cleared $1.3B last year and you are still using the same 286 to run your website? You need to fire your web services dudes and bring in trained monkeys; they wouldn't do any better of a job (or worse) but the at-work hijinks would probably be hilarious.
    Reply
  • stupid - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    I can't say how I stumbled onto Newegg's site back in 2001, they had really good prices back then, and they still do right now on many of their items. The reviews are pretty helpful too and I read them as well as "professional" reviews for anything that I buy. Professional reviews are great because they give all the technical information and comparisions. User reviews are great because they may give different persective, long term use, and a general understanding if a product is good or not if there are plenty of reviews. However, Newegg does reserve the right to screen reviews and exclude those that mention other competitors, prices, overclocking, etc. Kinda reminds me of China's Firewall policy on "offensive information", but that's a different topic...

    I have to say though that I was disappointed when they made the switch from FedEx to UPS. Since I live in NYC, both of their pickup points are relatively near where I live. But I feel that FedEx just does a better job at handling packages. People have mentioned that they love UPS because they would leave their package on their doorstep/porch. That actually makes me feel uncomfortable because anyone can just walk by and take it. I live in an apartment build and I've seen quite a few UPS packages just sitting in front of the apartment door. What's gonna stop me from simply taking these packages except my conscious (Damn my conscious)? I don't want hundreds of dollars of merchandise just sitting in front of my door waiting to be taken away. Thankfully though in all the times UPS have tried to deliver packages to me, they never once left it in front of my door.

    I can understand why FedEx do not simply leave packages out in the open. It's a matter of liability. Yeah, UPS may 'convienently' leave packages by the door/porch, but what happens if it gets stolen? Newegg's? No, I don't think so. UPS? Yes, 'cause they were dumb enough to leave out in the open. Now you gotta file a claims report, and you'll probably fight the charge on your credit card. The credit card company may successfully force Newegg to give you credit, but if this happens enough times Newegg may increase prices to cover such losses.

    FedEx is great, but I hate FedEx Home delivery. I placed an order at Buy.com that offered free ground shipping using FedEx Home. Sounds great, but in the end it was a definite headache. FedEx Home do not deliver to a corporate business addresses (maybe the local mom & pop store) in NYC. After 3 missed deliveries between 9am and 5pm (hey, I gotta earn a living you know) I had to drag my ass from Manahattan, all the way into some obscure customer pickup depot in Brooklyn on a Saturday afternoon to get my package. Fortunately, it was small since I don't own a car.

    I hope Newegg can renegotiate a contract with FedEx (and not use FedEx Home), but so far I personally can't complain their use of UPS at this point.

    Hopefully I'll win that Athlon X2 contest since I'm about to build a new PC, but knowing my luck I might as well just order it from Newegg of course.
    Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    [quote]Hopefully I'll win that Athlon X2 contest since I'm about to build a new PC, but knowing my luck I might as well just order it from Newegg of course.[/quote]

    Knowing our luck, one of the noobs that couldn't get the promo link to work in the first place is gonna win it. They'll get their shiny new X2 4600+, and wonder where it will fit inside their Dell XPS 400... /sigh
    Reply
  • Junkkyy - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    So how much did Newegg pay you for this advertisment? I sure hope it was a lot. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    AnandTech does not accept any payment for any articles, period. The Newegg article is no exception. I just thought it'd be a cool look at the behind the scenes of one of the most popular and longest running tech etailers. I've toured Newegg in the past, but this time I got them to agree to letting us publish photos for everyone to see. I'm sure Newegg sees it as a PR opportunity, but for us it's simply something neat for the readership, that's all.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Junkkyy - Thursday, February 16, 2006 - link

    So you were not compensated at all for either an advertisement passed off as an article. Nor were you compensated for them using your celebrity status as a spokesperson in their new banner ads plastered all over your site.

    I have trouble believing this, but if it is true it just means you were foolish not to negotiate for a suitable spokesperson fee.

    Regardless, it's as blatant a conflict of interest as any, and you've lost any shred of credibility because of it. Things were already pretty iffy with paid forum stickies and random embedded article ad-linking, but this takes the cake. I've been reading since the 90s, but you've just lost all credibility in my eyes, and I'll be looking elsewhere for hardware news/discussion now.
    Reply

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