Author Topic: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper  (Read 697 times)

Offline Dressel Rebel

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Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« on: January 30, 2013, 04:31 PM »
The last couple years I have been noticing a figure swapper striking at my local TRU.  Kind of annoying when I see a wave put out, see the package of a figure I want, only to find a POTF2 figure swapped into the bubble.

The last couple months it really heated up.  Every week, every other week, I'd find 2 more.  I started turning the figures into Customer Service everytime, explaining what to look for, gotta say, they could not give a ****.  I said to them, one of these times I'm gonna show you these figures, and you'll say, "Yeah, that guy just returned those 30 minutes ago, I know who that was!"  But no they didn't really care much about possibly stopping them.

So today I am in there and find 2 more swapped out.  This time, I show the manager.  It took him a minute to understand what was happening, only after I put 2 of the same figure side by side, showed him the swapped one, and the real one.  The take home message?  "Nah we can't really do anything about that."  Actually he seemed kind of impressed how the swap was so flawless and seamless.

So there it is.  Showed everyone from customer service to the store manager.  Nobody cares.

If I were the manager, I would say, okay, CSM reps, for the next month anyone who receives a star wars figure return, call me over.  They would have this guy in 1-2 weeks.

But I am telling you they just don't care to stop it, and quite frankly, actually seemed kind of impressed.

Whatever.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 04:43 PM »
That seems REALLY sad and considering that Toys R Us was the biggest victim in that Mother/Son Toy Swapping scam from almost two years ago, you would think that at least all TRU employees at the Management level would have been trained and more vigilant to protect against the swapping problem.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 04:44 PM »
I've run into it both ways...  Sometimes they care, sometimes not.  I think it just depends on the quality of the employee (especially managers...  I feel the guys getting MW for stocking shelves will never care because, that's just how I always experience things).

K-Mart locally had a swapping issue, and it was nipped in the bud immediately when I brought it to the attention of the people at the CS desk.  They even requested the manager so I could explain it to them.

That said, this same store refused to look for something I wanted once, which I knew they had in stock, and they just gave me the run-around.  It's all in who you get.

Swapping is something I see a little more...  Not rampant, but I see it more.  It mostly was happening with this one K-Mart though and now nothing for a long time.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 11:02 PM »
I haven't seen much of this lately, but Mpls has definitely seen its share of swaps over the years.  I can't decide if I'm more bothered by the highly deceptive figure swap or the bold just steal the figure out of the package right there at the store. 
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Offline JesseVader08

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 11:16 PM »
But I am telling you they just don't care to stop it, and quite frankly, actually seemed kind of impressed.

That's a pretty disheartening story, you'd think at least management would have some interest in stopping this.

Offline Muftak

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 11:18 PM »
The only time I saw the new Bespin Han on the shelf it was actually a POTJ swap, so I feel ya here. I turned it in and explained to them how they had been had. Never saw it again.

But I'm curious...if this problem has been ongoing and the store doesn't care, are their pegs filling up with swapped junk? Or are the clueless types still buying the swapped figures at 2013 prices? If so there's the source of your retail apathy.

I remember going into a comic book store a few years back and seeing a bunch of Cinema Scene packs on display with obvious swapped figures...stuff like old gi joes and x-men figures. They had 'em marked with sky-high prices and called them "factory errors." I shook my head at that one.
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Offline Diddly

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 06:00 AM »
I've seen SO much of this crap since 30AC, when I used to never see it at all. But most of the time it's just figures ripped open with the damaged packaging left there, as can be seen in these pictures I snapped from last year:





And the sad part is that these opened packages stayed on the pegs for WEEKS.

And off the top of my head, I've seen the following swaps:

-- Target Exclusive Wedge w/ X-Wing: SA Wedge swapped with the POTF2 carrying case Wedge
-- 30AC Tantive IV Battle Pack: RFTs and Stormtroopers swapped with POTF2 Yavin Ceremony Lukes (I still have a pic of this on my old RAZR phone)
-- Legacy Obi-Wan's Hut Battle Pack: New Luke swapped with a POTF2 ANH Luke
-- Various Iron Man 2 figures with "Try Me!" packaging: Limbs missing from some, others the entire figure is gone as seen above
-- Various BAD pieces stolen
-- A BAD figure with a Battle Droid arm instead of the BAD part

And I too have tried to tell customer service what's going on and am met with the same apathy. Eventually I stole an idea from someone on here, I want to say CHEWIE, where if you notice a swap, damage the hell out of the packaging so no casual mom/kid will buy it.

Offline JediJman

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 11:24 AM »
The problem is that its just not worth a retailers time to go after swappers.  How do they train their employees to look for incorrect product during a return?  What if they thought there was a swap when the product was actually a variant?  Would they catch POTJ Bespin Han vs. Vintage carded Han? 

Play this out for a minute and you'll see there's little benefit.  Let's say they accurately identify a figure swap.  You've put both the employee and consumer in a difficult situation to save what $5-10 on a figure?  Maybe half that in what the retailer actually paid.  The savings just isn't big enough to warrant action.  And what's to stop the consumer from saying "I'm returning this because someone else swapped it."  That actually happened to Jeff a few years back with someone swapping a TIE Interceptor.  He didn't find out until he got home.  Do you want to take the chance of incorrectly attacking your consumer's credibility?  At minimum you would probably lose that consumer for life, at worst it could be a PR nightmare.

And lastly, the product might still sell!  At least there is product in there.  Someone else might be interested in it or might mistakenly buy it, but that's really not a problem from a retailer persepective.  Worst case, someone brings it back again...big whoop.  I'm not endorsing this at all - it is irritating as all get out in most cases, but I can see why retailers take a "who cares" attitude about it.  Now stealing product out of the package - that's a 100% pure loss and something I'd be far more concerned with.  There's no way to recoup that money and if someone's getting away with it, what else might they be stealing of even higher value?
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 12:20 PM »
It's a bad situation and you're right: how do you stop it?  You can't train every employee to be knowledgeable for the thousands of toys in their aisles.  That be insane...