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Buying Luggage on Amazon? Read This First

I use Amazon a lot. I end up there a few times a week in search of reviews, price comparisons, or products. But its de facto role as my one-stop shop for product information hasn’t been quite as seamless since I discovered something a few months ago while researching a story.

It started with an obsession with extremely lightweight luggage. I was researching carry-on bags for the story that would eventually become Really (Truly) Light: Carry-Ons Under 5 Pounds. To lay the foundation, I bounced around the Internet, checking luggage companies’ websites, third-party luggage sellers, and, of course, Amazon.

But something kept coming up. Since the whole story hinged on the weight of the bags, I wanted to make sure I was accurate down to the ounce. And as I compared weight listings across sites, I began to notice that Amazon sometimes had it wrong. Not all the time, but enough that I began to wonder what was going on.

Worried, I compared the other specs, but found that—at least for the suitcases I looked at—the rest of Amazon’s information was correct. It was only the weight that was off. What was happening? My best guess was that the shipping weights and the empty case weights were getting mixed up somewhere in the process, but I couldn’t verify that.

The inaccurate weight issue came up (though far less) on luggage-seller websites as well. So consider yourself cautioned: If weight is a key part of your suitcase decision, don’t necessarily trust the first number you see unless it’s coming directly from the company itself.

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