Author Topic: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart  (Read 1190 times)

Offline Jesse James

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New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« on: October 26, 2009, 03:54 AM »
This is something weird I've noticed lately but which I assume is in an effort to stop the theft that seems to plague the toy aisle (I was told by a management friend of mine in WM a bit about this)...  When you return something now, they actually open it to inspect it, even if it's sealed...  Boxed items that is.

I've never seen this before in the past, but I've had to make a couple returns to WM stores recently, one a SW vehicle and the other another boxed toy.  Both times, boxes were unopened/sealed and everything, and both times the cust. service girl cut them open and pretty roughly ripped the contents out, glanced them over, and pushed it back in.  She ruined the fold-out display to the vehicle I returned, which sort of annoyed me.  It accordianed the way she put it back in, pretty badly.

Anyway I just found this a bit of a surprise...  It used to be much less involved and they just shot for 3 points to a basket in the back.  I guess toy theft (not sure if this is with all items or not) is perhaps on the rise.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 08:27 AM »
REALLY?

I find this kind of funny, really.  The reason being that I was in a WalMart store less than one week ago and found something peculiar.  It was a Titanium Darth Vader sitting plain as day on the shelf just below the basic figure pegs.  The reason I found that funny is because this particular WalMart store opened AFTER the Titanium figure line had already been discontinued.

I have no doubt that we're going to continue to see ridiculous things getting returned to WalMart stores because their employees are far too dumb to know any better.  The store you're talking about may be different.  Who knows.  But WalMart has historically been a joke when it comes to just how much they're willing to take back.  Hell, I even saw them take back EPISODE I figures and put them back out during the TSC days!
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Offline JediJman

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 10:51 AM »
Wow, that seems bizarre, but good that they are doing something I guess.  How about just looking at the figure/ship and comparing it to the back of the box?
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Offline Keonobi

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 11:38 AM »
My question is now that WalMart has opened the package to "verify" its contents, are they going to put it back on the shelf (yes), and since they can't reseal is, I'm assuming they'll just tape it, meaning anyone who would've broken into the box in the store, could easily do that.  I don't know about the WM in your area, but around here its reasonably common to either see items that have been opened in the store.  Seems like their policy of opening returns invites that behavior.  Oh and the alternative is they'll have an opened, and then taped closed product on their shelf (not in the clearance area) that will sit there because not many people would choose to buy an opened product for full price.
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Offline Darth Broem

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009, 12:03 PM »
REALLY?

I find this kind of funny, really.  The reason being that I was in a WalMart store less than one week ago and found something peculiar.  It was a Titanium Darth Vader sitting plain as day on the shelf just below the basic figure pegs.  The reason I found that funny is because this particular WalMart store opened AFTER the Titanium figure line had already been discontinued.

I have no doubt that we're going to continue to see ridiculous things getting returned to WalMart stores because their employees are far too dumb to know any better.  The store you're talking about may be different.  Who knows.  But WalMart has historically been a joke when it comes to just how much they're willing to take back.  Hell, I even saw them take back EPISODE I figures and put them back out during the TSC days!

Well not everyone in the world is a Star Wars collector.  They probably figure if they can stick it back on the pegs or shelves and get some money from someone for it then why not? 

Offline Jesse James

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 04:42 PM »
Nick's post made me think of a not-so-funny story I ran into...

2006 Saga figures at a Wal-Mart that I frequent on my semi-routine toy run I like to do that's a big loop.  Anyway, not only were there about 10 Saga figures (501st Commander, Jerjerrod, Clone Engineer, etc.), but about half of them all had $6.99 KB Toys price stickers on them and were dusty beyond belief.  :)

To me this screamed scalper because at the local Toy Show the scalpers always have tons of dusty figures on the card, price stickers and all.  I know a couple guys out there that Ebay a lot too, and set up at the show, so I'm wagering it's one of them.

Incredibly scummy, but what's the worst of it all is the KB Toys stickers and they still took them back...  People work at WM for a lot of different reasons, and for some it's just a job and all, but the sticker was there and I saw it immediately.  How do you take that back?

Anyway, my manager friend told me she sees a ton of theft in the toy dept. and that's a pretty nationwide thing.  I need to ask her if that's a new policy though, to open stuff, and if it's across the board on all boxed items or if it's just toys or whatnot.

They really just tore it open though, checked (roughly, there's no way they'd have known if something actually was missing) it visually real quick, shoved it back in the box, and shot for 3 into the cart for the toy dept.

The most opened stuff I see in the Toy Dept. is either a removed droid part or accessory, or a figure that a really younger child was opening I'd guess, and the parent told them no and put it back on the pegs so it has everything, it's just falling off the packaging.  I see that somewhat routinely.

I've had that box opening thing happen to me now at two different WM's in two very different local areas...  It was really surprising and I thought it was just a fluke the first time, a cautious employee, but the second time made me really think it's something new they have to do.
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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 04:51 PM »
They really just tore it open though, checked (roughly, there's no way they'd have known if something actually was missing) it visually real quick, shoved it back in the box, and shot for 3 into the cart for the toy dept.

Yeah, I can see them opening boxes and being able to tell "duh, there's a brick in here instead of a DVD player" or something, but I doubt it will slow down the regular toy swappers.  As long as it "looks" like it has all the pieces, I'm sure they'll take it back anyway.   ::)
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Offline Keonobi

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2009, 05:01 PM »
Nick's post made me think of a not-so-funny story I ran into...

2006 Saga figures at a Wal-Mart that I frequent on my semi-routine toy run I like to do that's a big loop.  Anyway, not only were there about 10 Saga figures (501st Commander, Jerjerrod, Clone Engineer, etc.), but about half of them all had $6.99 KB Toys price stickers on them and were dusty beyond belief.  :)

I wonder if WalMart would have to legally honor that price?  I know here in NY items either have to have a shelf tag, or be individually marked (I think there are a few exceptions, but can't recall them).  But would they have to honor a competitors price tag on an item in their store.

You wonder if someone less than scrupulous would try and shop lift these items, because if they were caught, they could show the Toys R Us price tags and claim they had been purchased elsewhere.  Not advocating you do that, just seems ridiculous for Walmart to stock them.  Walmart never ceases to amaze.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 05:21 PM »
THe 2006 figure's sku is in the system I think because I ran one through and it rank up $6.63... 

Quote
As long as it "looks" like it has all the pieces, I'm sure they'll take it back anyway.   

This is exactly what I was thinking...  They still have no clue if something's missing.  I was figuring it's just to be sure that what's in it is what's supposed to be there instead of stuffing in other things, like you said.
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Offline Adam_Pawlus

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2009, 07:29 PM »
Wow, that seems bizarre, but good that they are doing something I guess.  How about just looking at the figure/ship and comparing it to the back of the box?

Doesn't always work out, with most companies it does but sometimes Hasbro takes shortcuts with its packaging. 

Hasbro's Valor vs. Venom line frequently had figure repaints use old figures artwork, so they don't match up.  For Transformers Energon, a handful of toys didn't match the box photos at all.  A great example is Energon Ultra Magnus, which not only showed the wrong color of toy (it's a blue repaint of a red toy, the box showed the red toy), but some showed Mini-Con accessory figures of cars.  The actual toy included space equipment.  During Revenge of the Sith and The Saga Collection, we had some variation figures that showed the wrong deco-- to an uneducated person trying to do their best, it certainly looks like someone swapped out a plain white Clone Trooper for one with green markings, for example.

On the other hand, people who put a plain white POTF2 Stormtrooper in a Vintage cardback likely would slip it by (and have, from what I saw) because it did basically look correct.  This new policy is probably to avoid people buying dolls and returning phone books, I'd wager.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 08:53 PM »
Are you seriously trying to build a case for not comparing the figure to the package based on the relatively rare possibilty that someone is returning one of the very few toys where figs & packing don't match?  I think we all get that it's not a perfect system, but it's also very obviously not being done now.  Based on the repacks I've been hearing about retailers could solve 75% of the issue by taking an additional 3.5 seconds to just look.   :o
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2009, 10:15 AM »
That seems to make about as much sense as all the retailers opening and inspecting perfectly sealed DVD's and Video games. Always drives me nuts.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2009, 04:59 PM »
I have a pretty funny recent return story...

When I first found the EP1 wave, I stumbled on a complete case of BAD #1 - #12 at my local WalMart and I was in a rush so I just grabbed the case and left the store.

When I got home, I left the repacks MOC and the kid in me opened up the new figures. (I only get the repacks for the MOC collection).

Anyway, I noticed that my hologram of Darth Sidious did not stay on the walking projector very well. Come to find out that there was a flaw in the piece and a pretty huge "dent" near the peg that holds the hologram in place was preventing the hologram piece from staying on.

Needless to say, what I did was package the figure back up and take it back to my WM to be returned as "defective" - something you are very much allowed under their return policy.

The girl at the customer service desk gave me no problem, I showed her the issue with the display base and she promptly gave me a refund of my money.

Two days later, the same DEFECTIVE figure was back on the pegs in a taped up package.

Two days after that - the figure was gone!

I hope that maybe a Hasbro rep came to survey the store and grabbed it but I do feel bad if another collector or a kid out there now has a defective figure - which is probably most likely the case.

The moral of the story is that if WM feels they can sell it, they will tape it back up and put it out on the shelves hoping to get their $$$ one way or another.


Jesse - did your area suffer from people stealing the droid parts out of the figures? I'd be happy if a policy like this cracked down on the jerks who buy figures just for the droid parts only to return them with the droid part missing or some older bogus part substituted in its place. I would love it if the guy who does that locally by me was caught!

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 05:05 PM »
This was boxed items being opened...  a packaged figure of course can just be inspected visually so I'm wagering they didn't have much to do with one another.  I see droid parts removed here and there, but it's not something I consider a rampant problem here.  It happens...

The most recent I can think of is a Hoth Rebel I bought that had a POTF2 rem. limbs 3PO arm in place of the silver 3PO arm...  I had about 20 of them at home, so I just bought it anyway since I wanted the figure.  Now I've got a random extra Rem. Limbs 3PO arm laying around from some loser. 

If I was trying hard to complete a droid I'd have been miffed but that was the part from probably one of the easier droid parts to find, so why not just ask someone for one?  I may give them out at Halloween to kids.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: New Return Procedures @ Wal-Mart
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2009, 09:18 PM »
If only a policy would stop this kind of stupidity, as seen today

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