Collectibles > The Vintage Collection

Even TRU management didn't want to stop a figure swapper

<< < (2/2)

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.

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.

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?

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...


[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version