When & Why Weights Are Taken


The Stages Of When Companies & Carriers Record Weights

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'd see that the majority of tutorials discuss social engineering methods to the likes of (but not limited to) the wrong Item received, sealed box, missing Item, partial, boxing etc, for the reason that they're the backbone of each and every attack vector. And If you don't have one In place that's suited to the nature of the Item, as well as the company and carrier's operations, your SE cannot and will not make a start - It's simply not possible to exploit a given online store and manipulate Its representatives without a compatible method. 

In other words, you need a "plan" that will be used to guide your SE from beginning to end, and the "plan" Is the "method" which basically Instructs how your attack will be executed, and determines the best course of action to ultimately achieve what you're after - a refund credited Into your bank account or If you prefer, a replacement Item dispatched while you still get to keep the original one. Although some methods like the DNA (Did Not Arrive), are not tied to any specifics and can be used with almost any product of reasonable size & weight, the majority of traditional methods (such as those mentioned In the first paragraph above), heavily rely on "the Item weight for Its success"

For example, let's say you're looking to SE an IPhone 14 Pro Max from who else but Amazon using the missing Item method (also known as "EB" - Empty Box), by saying that after the driver dropped off the package, you opened the box and nothing was Inside. Of course, It was received, but you're stating otherwise for SEing purposes. Under the circumstances, the company opened an Investigation and liaised with the carrier that serviced your delivery - specifically to cross-check the weight recorded at their depot.

Their findings concluded the phone was enclosed In the package, namely because It weighs 240 grams and that figure registered on consignment, hence It could not have been missing when the package was travelling through the carrier's network. As a result, your claim was declined and rightly so - you didn't bother taking the weight Into consideration with the missing Item method. If you had've known how heavy It Is right from the start, the boxing method could've been used by adding a little bit of dry Ice and sending that Instead of the phone.

But In order to effectively apply It, you'd need to know "the stages of when companies & carriers record weights" - which Is precisely the objective of this article. Evidently, It also relates to an array of other methods and as such, a lot of SE'ers keep asking me something along the lines of: "After I purchase my product, do you happen to know when packages are weighed?". If you're part of the same equation, rest assured, I've got you covered. 

What you will learn today, Is "Why do companies & carriers record weights", "When do companies & carriers record weights" and finishing off with "Methods based on weights" - all listed In that very same order. When you've reached the end of this article, all your questions and concerns pertaining to weighing packages and goods will be answered In full, thus you'll attain the knowledge and skillset to formulate methods that're weight dependent with Incredible ease. Okay, so without further ado, let's rip Into It.  

"Why" Do Companies & Carriers Record Weights?

Before I make a start, I'd like to point out that due to the nature of warehouse logistics, Inventory management and freight & distribution, It's way beyond the scope of this post to cater for each and every company and carrier environment. What I will do, Is give you a general and very accurate example of why weights are recorded, and to make It easy to follow and understand, I've separated companies and carriers In their respective categories as per below.

Why Companies Record Weights

If you've been social engineering for many years to date on an Intermediate or advanced level, or perhaps offering your service as a refunder to Inexperienced SE'ers, I'd say It's safe to assume that upon using the missing Item or partial method, the representative told you an Investigation has been opened and he'll email you the outcome In a few days or so, am I right? I though as much! Have you ever wondered why It happens and what goes on behind the scenes of the Investigation team? I'm sure the title of this topic has answered It for you, but of course, I'll explain the reason behind It.

Almost every company that operates on a medium to large scale, "weighs their packages/boxes" which Is not only used as a point of reference to Identify orders, but to also "cross-check the weight" with claims, returns or otherwise. For Instance, let's pretend you're SEing an IPhone 13 using the sealed box method. You've very carefully opened the box, took the phone out, and replaced It with a useless Item that you had lying around the house. To make sure It was resealed to perfection, the packaging sealing stickers were purchased from this site, and signs of tampering was not evident with the finished product.

The Item was then sent back due to a change of mind (or whatever else complies with the company's return policy), with the Intention to have the box scanned, put back Into stock, and a refund Issued Into your bank account within x-amount of business days. However, you forgot to match the "weight" of the useless Item with the IPhone 13 and as a result, when the Inwards goods centre "weighed your return", they noticed the variance and opened the box - only to find It contained some piece of garbage. As such, your request for a refund was Immediately declined.   

That's just one of many examples of "why companies go through the process to take weights" - there are many more related to other methods like the wrong Item received, missing Item & partial and the boxing method, but I cannot possibly cover those In this topic. Instead, I've discussed each one at the end of the page titled "Methods Based On Weights". Now that you have a pretty good understanding of all the above, we'll move onto the carrier side of It.   

Why Carriers Record Weights

Given you've just read about why companies record weights, you'll have no problem Interpreting why carrier's do It, for the fact that their reasons serve a similar purpose, but their procedures are obviously different. Generally speaking, carriers to the likes of DHL, FedEx, UPS, DPD and others that operate on the same level, weigh packages, boxes, pallets, skids and so on, for a couple of reasons as follows. The first Is "cost of freight", whereby they'll charge the company for transporting their goods to customers, In this case, social engineers like yourself.

As easy as It may sound, It's not as simple as slapping on a price and generating an Invoice with the total amount payable - there are a number of factors that need to be calculated to determine the final cost of the shipment. I have no doubt that you're most likely unaware of this, and given It's somewhat complex from an external perspective (yourself), I'll try and simplify It as best I can. Up until around 7 years ago, carriers only used the "actual weight" of  packages to calculate costs (regardless of their size) and because huge packages/boxes took up a large amount of space In the truck/van, not enough money was being made with those that were very lightweight.

To maximize profits, measures were Implemented to work out the final cost of freight - namely the "actual weight" (the weight of the package Itself), the "dimensional weight" (package length x width x height) and the "billable weight" (consolidating the actual & dimensional weight). By calculating all three (actual, dimensional, billable) Into a single figure, the cost Is established and profits are made - Irrespective of how light and small packages/boxes happen to be. There's a lot more to It than that, but I don't want to confuse you any further! That's "why" carriers record weights - not to make a loss when servicing their companies/clients, as well as addressing any queries that come to hand.   

"When" Do Companies & Carriers Record Weights?

If I had a dime for every time a social engineer asked me "when are weights recorded by companies & carriers?", I'd be happily retired sitting on a beach In The Bahamas enjoying a care-free lifestyle. Though, I'd still be engaged In what I was born to do - you guessed It, social engineering! Anyway, back on-topic, one of the main reasons It's vital to know at what point weights are taken, Is to effectively formulate your method - particularly the boxing method.  

Why Is that, you ask? Well, If the product you're (seemingly) sending back to the company Is quite heavy, you cannot return the box with nothing Inside - the discrepancy In weight will be picked up straight away, thus conclude you didn't return anything and the rep will put an end to your claim. What must be done when boxing heavy Items, Is add dry Ice (Instead of the Item) to substitute the weight, but to figure out how much you need, It's Important to understand when both "companies & carriers record package weights", so let's check It out now.              

When Companies Record Weights

Because there are so many stores/retailers, ranging from family-owned businesses with only a handful of employees, to Fortune 500 companies to the likes of Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Best Buy, Nike etc, that operate with state of the art logistics on a very large scale, It's not possible to discuss the Inner workings of each and every one. As a result, what you're about to read, Is not based on any specifics, and should be used as a general guide

Okay, stating the absolute obvious, all companies that distribute goods have a warehouse full of stock and In order to send products to buyers, they must first pick & pack them correctly by description and quantity. Once that's done (or during the process of doing It), "weights are taken" - just to make sure the stores team has accurately grabbed the correct Item(s) and quantities, by matching the weight against their warehouse scales.

One example Is when the storeman picks the Item(s) from Its respective location In the shelf/racking, and places the box on a conveyor belt where the packers are standing by waiting to receive It. Right above the packing area, are CCTV cameras Installed, that record precisely how the contents are packed In the box - by their description and quantity. The packing tables also have "scales that document the overall weight of the box", and then calculate what It should In fact weigh. If there's a variance, It will alert the packing team that something Is not right, and the box will be checked and corrected.

In a less elaborate setup, almost every warehouse environment weighs packages and boxes either "just after the goods have been packed and taped/sealed", or when they're "placed In the dispatch area" In readiness to be transported to customers by their carrier partners. As you can see, depending on how the warehouse Is structured, parcels/boxes are weighed at least once before they leave the company. But It doesn't stop there - carriers also record weights, which brings me to the next topic below.     

When Carriers Record Weights

Given there are so many gateways packages travel from one destination to another, such as International freight going through customs and shipments dropped off at various storage facilities, It's Impossible to speak for the way every consignment Is handled. So, what I've done, Is focused on "local deliveries" - namely when packages are weighed as they're travelling through the carrier's network. Everything said from this point onwards, Is based on a typical local delivery from consignor (sender) to consignee (receiver) and vice versa.      

Depending on the circumstances of your shipment, be sure to allow for some flexibility by adding and/or removing the "stages" of when packages are recorded by weight. Okay, In very simple terms, here's how It works with "local deliveries". After the company picks & packs your order, their carrier partner (or a third-party service) collects the package and transports It to their depot, and both the "weight & dimensions" are taken for record keeping and cost of freight. If It's a standard shipping (or similar variant), the package Is placed In storage awaiting a delivery date and time.

When It's ready to be dispatched, "the weight Is once again taken by the carrier", and the driver loads the package (along with hundreds of others) In his van/truck for his daily delivery run. As mentioned, this Is a classic example of a "local delivery service", but not an exact representation of the series of events that take place. There are many other factors, like "a same day delivery or postal service", that may alter the way things are handled, and at what point packages are weighed and distributed, hence this should only be used as a rough guide. The final topic I'll be discussing Is "methods based on weights", so let's get cracking.        

Methods Based On Weights

As per the title of this topic, what you will learn Is a few traditional methods that require the weight of an Item as part of their preparation, but because there are quite a number of methods used by SE'ers of all shapes & sizes, I've only listed those that're commonly used and preferred by almost every social engineer

To avoid congestion, I've limited each subtopic to a single paragraph, and referenced/linked the methods to my very own tutorials on this blog. Furthermore, each one concludes with a very short description titled: "The Weight Factor" - which will help you perfectly understand how & why the weight plays an Integral role with the method's formulation. Alright, I'll kick this off with one of my favorites called "the sealed box method".     

The Sealed Box Method Weight

The good thing about "the sealed box method", Is that It can be used on a broad range of products that're packaged In a box containing a factory seal and/or wrapped In clear film, and for the fact that the likelihood of Its success Is extremely high - but only when It's applied In a systematic manner. You'll see what I mean when you click on the "Read More Here" link at the end of this paragraph. The method Is not only suited to online stores, but It can also be used with "In-store SEing", by returning the box In person at the customer service counter, which In my experience, has a very high success rate.  

Read More Here

The Weight Factor: The method Itself Is (basically) not limited to a certain weight. The only Implementation, Is the weight of both the useless/random Item and the original Item must match, or have a variance of no more than 40 grams. 

The Wrong Item Received Method Weight

The biggest advantage of "the wrong Item received method" Is Its versatility, meaning It's compatible with every company that has a warehouse full of stock. Unless you're SEing a car (so to speak!) there's almost no restrictions with the type of Item to be SEd, therefore It's classed as a universal method that can be used with just about all online stores. The method works by buying a product and saying that upon opening the package, a different Item was enclosed. Before going ahead with the method, you first need to "purchase the wrong Item that you're pretending to have received" - for the reason that the rep will ask you to send It back, and a refund will only be processed when the company has It In their possession. Read my guide by clicking on the link below.

Read More Here

The Weight Factor: The original Item that was ordered and dispatched, Is supposed to be the wrong Item, so the weights of each one must be equal or as close as possible - no more than a 40 gram variance. 

The Missing Item & Partial Method Weight

Although both of these methods are titled differently, their formulation Is much of a muchness, so rather than separating each one, I've decided to Include them here. In terms of the "missing Item method", you'd tell the rep/agent that the Item you bought was missing from the package/box after It was delivered to your home. It's based on SEing only a single Item. The "partial method" Is very similar but Instead of ordering one Item, you'd order a bunch of Items and then say It was "partially filled" when you received It. In other words and purely as an example, "5 Items were purchased", however "only 3 or 4 of those Items were received"

Read More Here

The Weight Factor: The weight must not exceed 120 grams when using the missing Item method but to maximize Its success, where possible, opt for a 40-60 gram limit. When hitting the partial method, the weight of each Item being SEd, must be combined Into a single figure.  

The Boxing Method Weight

One of many ways this method Is used, Is by claiming your product Is not working and after the representative Is satisfied that It's defective, he'll approve a refund/replacement but only when you've returned your (seemingly) broken Item. Obviously you have no Intention to send It back, and that's when "the boxing method" comes Into action by returning your package/box without the Item, and making It look as though It was tampered with during shipment. To do that, cut It on one side and seal It with different coloured tape so when they receive It, they'd think that someone stole your goods, and Issue a refund or replacement Item within x-amount of business days.

Read More Here

The Weight Factor: An empty box can be sent when SEing products that are under 120 grams. Dry Ice must be used as a weight substitute with anything significantly over that figure.

In Conclusion

If you're one of many social engineers who's been questioning when & why companies and carriers record weights to no avail, there's no doubt that most, If not all, of your concerns have been answered accordingly. 

As such, you're now In a position to effectively prepare your method and execute the attack, based on the knowledge you've acquired of when your package Is likely to be weighed while In the hands of the company, as well as the stages It passes through the carrier's network. All In all, you're fully familiarized with the Importance of taking weights Into consideration where It's warranted, so use your skillset wisely with every SE performed.    


  1. What about when your package travels through multiple depots? My package rarely goes straight to my house. It's usually company -> depot -> depot -> depot -> my house


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