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There are thieves among us. A Gunship tale of woe.
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bigospedros



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:
I guess I just see things differently, because fundamentally I see it as the same thing.

When you romantasize it with language such as "willing to pay" as opposed to "stealing," that's just fancying it up, but it's still the same thing. Taking advantage of others and making a profit because of it. Legal, illegal, whatever. Fundamentally it's the same thing.


Rolling Eyes try this argument in a court of law and see how far you get ...

You cannot take advantage of someone if they choose to pay over the odds for something of their own free will. The seller is not forcing the buyer to pay the price they're asking for.

What you're saying is that any company or individual that makes even a tiny profit is, in essence, a criminal. What planet are you living on ?
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Voice of Reason



Joined: 17 May 2005
Location: Naples, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:
Y'know, I'll prolly end up burned at the stake here, but I have a question for the forum.

We have TVOR who is buying the new sets and parting them out, earning a profit.

We have the individual who returned the RGS box filled with two Magnaguard fighters, earning a profit.

What's the difference between the two? Either way, someone is turning a profit at the detriment of someone else (paying $20 for a minifig? Paying $120 for two partial sets?).

Just something that's been runnin' round my mind since this thread started a few days ago


There is a very clear difference. I'm not stealing.

I have made maybe $30 on top of what I paid at the height of my selling. Now I'm lucky to clear $20 even with the current Target sale prices. I offer this service so I can help out others and make a bit off the top to buy myself two Gunships and one AT-TE. I put over $2,000 on a credit card just to make about $300 profit (which went right into my LEGO habit.

I could have done this a lot faster had I took out the minifigs and returned the sets or worse yet, replace the set contents with some heavy garbage. But that would be just plain wrong, as many here have pointed out. At least what I have done, like it or not, does not involve stealing. Everything is mutual.
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DestructiveZombie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:
Y'know, I'll prolly end up burned at the stake here, but I have a question for the forum.

We have TVOR who is buying the new sets and parting them out, earning a profit.

We have the individual who returned the RGS box filled with two Magnaguard fighters, earning a profit.

What's the difference between the two? Either way, someone is turning a profit at the detriment of someone else (paying $20 for a minifig? Paying $120 for two partial sets?).

Just something that's been runnin' round my mind since this thread started a few days ago


VoiceofReason isn't screwing anyone over with his methods Wink
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's one short and well-reasoned argument.
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore - VoR isn't taking advantage of anyone. Saying people are "willing to pay" x amount for whatever isn't romanticizing anything, it's just stating a fact. These sets are readily available right now but for the people who just want certain parts of figures it's all about convenience. The fundamental difference here is honesty. VoR (and pretty much every person who parts sets out on Bricklink) is providing a service for a relatively small fee. This dude in the store is stealing. Pure and simple. It's all about consent.
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Starsmore



Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Location: What Language: English. We speak it!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigospedros wrote:
Starsmore wrote:
I guess I just see things differently, because fundamentally I see it as the same thing.

When you romantasize it with language such as "willing to pay" as opposed to "stealing," that's just fancying it up, but it's still the same thing. Taking advantage of others and making a profit because of it. Legal, illegal, whatever. Fundamentally it's the same thing.


Rolling Eyes try this argument in a court of law and see how far you get ...

You cannot take advantage of someone if they choose to pay over the odds for something of their own free will. The seller is not forcing the buyer to pay the price they're asking for.

What you're saying is that any company or individual that makes even a tiny profit is, in essence, a criminal. What planet are you living on ?


Well, actually, the seller is forcing the buyer to pay the price their asking for, because for someone who doesn't want to spend $10.50 on a minifig (current eBay pricing for the new CW mf) is out of luck. They either pay the ripoff price, or they go without. Just because SOMEONE out there is willing to pay that price doesn't make it any less of a ripoff.

TVoR: That's the part that I don't understand. You said you've spent $2000 to make $300. Why not just spend $300, and save the other $1700?
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ImpairedZombie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He means it costs him $2,000 to buy the sets to make a $300 profit.
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tamuhockey



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:
bigospedros wrote:
Starsmore wrote:
I guess I just see things differently, because fundamentally I see it as the same thing.

When you romantasize it with language such as "willing to pay" as opposed to "stealing," that's just fancying it up, but it's still the same thing. Taking advantage of others and making a profit because of it. Legal, illegal, whatever. Fundamentally it's the same thing.


Rolling Eyes try this argument in a court of law and see how far you get ...

You cannot take advantage of someone if they choose to pay over the odds for something of their own free will. The seller is not forcing the buyer to pay the price they're asking for.

What you're saying is that any company or individual that makes even a tiny profit is, in essence, a criminal. What planet are you living on ?


Well, actually, the seller is forcing the buyer to pay the price their asking for, because for someone who doesn't want to spend $10.50 on a minifig (current eBay pricing for the new CW mf) is out of luck. They either pay the ripoff price, or they go without. Just because SOMEONE out there is willing to pay that price doesn't make it any less of a ripoff.

TVoR: That's the part that I don't understand. You said you've spent $2000 to make $300. Why not just spend $300, and save the other $1700?


Buyers ALWAYS control the market (the one exception being a true monopoly), and sellers cannot force anyone to buy at their price.

He spent $2000, and ended up making $2300 - meaning he ended up ahead by $300. Which he then spend on LEGO's. If he had just spent $300, he would have been behind by the $300. In one situation, he breaks even, but has $300 worth of LEGO to show for it. In the other, he has $300 worth of LEGO, but has $300 less in his bank account at the end of the month. Which would you rather have?
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:
Well, actually, the seller is forcing the buyer to pay the price their asking for, because for someone who doesn't want to spend $10.50 on a minifig (current eBay pricing for the new CW mf) is out of luck. They either pay the ripoff price, or they go without. Just because SOMEONE out there is willing to pay that price doesn't make it any less of a ripoff.
The real rip off would be having to spend the full price on a set when you really only want the minifigs. You don't seem to understand that no one is entitled to these toys just because they exist. The value of all minifigs fluctuate based on interest - the only time you're really getting ripped off is if you actually pay more than you want to, but when that's the case it's your own fault for not knowing your limits. But you - just like the rest of the collectors in here, don't feel singled out in this crowd - like to complain when things aren't exactly how you think they should be. That's the truth behind this all. "If I'm not getting what I want at the price I like then it's just not fair!" I'm not going to pretend like my mind doesn't throw that logic around from time to time. Wink
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bigospedros



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:


Well, actually, the seller is forcing the buyer to pay the price their asking for, because for someone who doesn't want to spend $10.50 on a minifig (current eBay pricing for the new CW mf) is out of luck. They either pay the ripoff price, or they go without. Just because SOMEONE out there is willing to pay that price doesn't make it any less of a ripoff.


so the seller is putting a gun to the buyers head are they ? No ... they're not.

It's a buyers market. A selling setting a price too high will find they don't sell anything. It's up to the buyer to decide what they think is a fair price. In this case it seems that the seller is offering a fair price, making a small profit for their trouble. Nothing wrong with that.

If the buyer thinks there is something wrong then yes, they either go without, or they buy the full set and sell the bits they don't want. Are you saying if they did that, they should sell the spare bits at cost ? Why would they do that if they *knew* that the market allowed them to make a bit extra ?

Sorry, but your argument doesn't have a leg to stand on.
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Starsmore



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigospedros wrote:

so the seller is putting a gun to the buyers head are they ? No ... they're not.

It's a buyers market. A selling setting a price too high will find they don't sell anything. It's up to the buyer to decide what they think is a fair price. In this case it seems that the seller is offering a fair price, making a small profit for their trouble. Nothing wrong with that.

If the buyer thinks there is something wrong then yes, they either go without, or they buy the full set and sell the bits they don't want. Are you saying if they did that, they should sell the spare bits at cost ? Why would they do that if they *knew* that the market allowed them to make a bit extra ?

Sorry, but your argument doesn't have a leg to stand on.


One guy sells ten minifigs on eBay for $10.50 a piece. Other sellers notice, and suddenly everyone is selling theirs for around $10.50, and no one wants to dare sell at any cheaper, cuz all the other guys can get away with charging more.

So basically the buyer pays $10.50 for a minifig, or no minifig.

I'm sorry, that doesn't sound like a buyer's market. More like pricegouging to me.

I'm done, tho. Don hit it on the head.

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"If I'm not getting what I want at the price I like then it's just not fair!"

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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heh... yay collector logic! Wink

Anyways, even though you're done doesn't mean the rest of this lot is so I might as well babble on some more before they get a chance.

The setup you proposed is flawed, because if no one wants to pay the $10.50 for the figs then they'd just sit there, unsold, and it wouldn't take long for the seller(s) to drop the price. Likewise, no every seller picks the same minimum. Take a look at anything on Bricklink: you'll get the proposed 10.50 minimum for a few, a dozen within five cents, another dozen or so ranging from there up to 1.5 times the minimum price, and then a couple at some ridiculous price (like 3 to 4x the min). The "cheap" ones sell and more pop up for that range, but the excessively high ones linger. That's the buyers setting their limit. They still control the market, though they're still at the mercy of supply. As soon as the lower end of the spectrum dries up, the demand creeps up to meet the remaining supply at a higher price. Blah blah I hate economic junk like this, the moral of the story is the prices depend more one what people will pay, not what sellers will charge, because in the end they control the action. "Simple." Razz
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JediMasterHalcyon



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Master wrote:
bedaho wrote:
I would add a paragraph at the end of your sarcastic post explaining what you actually meant. I'm kind of surprised a member who had been around for 3 years would not have picked up on this...


I'm just grabbing this before it disappears over the hill, can someone (MOD or original poster) edit the text on the previous page as it still just says "I stopped because I nearly got caught and it was getting too risky". I just spent the last 5 minutes reading through the whole conversation, thinking it would end in someone being burnt at the stake. Neutral Bragging about stealing is a stupid thing to do on here, considering we have young members present. It's not a good example to set. Confused Stealing just shows that you're desperate - and for what? A load of plastic bricks? *Sighs* Of all the things to steal. Rolling Eyes

If the suspect is guilty and is doing a poor job at creating a cover story which everyone can see through anyway, then kick 'em out. I can smell these sorts a mile away and personally don't want them here. Confused


I haven't been able to access the forums for the last few days which explains my brief absence.

Anyway, I am sorry you feel I am a liar but I have to accept that the consequence of my carelessness has ultimately led to my otherwise spotless reputation being (to some) tarnished.

DonSolo, I am also sorry that you "do not buy it" (a choice of words I find interesting), but I feel I explained the reasons for my initial, confusing posts as best I could and I can do no more then tell you calmly that it is the truth. If that is not enough for you and you feel the jury is still out on this, can I please request for you to keep these feelings to yourself rather then unfairly post those opinions for all to see (I say unfairly as 1) you are in a position of considerable authority and as such have a charismatic effect on other members, and 2) there is no proof, for or against my committing of illegal activities)

Although in hindsight a smiley next to my post would have prevented all of this, the reason I have stopped using them was because I felt they disfigured my posts and made them appear slightly "newbish", perhaps ironically considering what has been.
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Flesh Skywalker



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is how it works, I want the figures VOR is selling, VOR's price makes it not worth it to me, I buy the whole set feeling that the additional cost over VOR's price of the figs alone, is worth the rest of the set.

This reminds me of: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2006/07/29/dont-buy-stuff-you-cannot-afford/Thatís why I developed this unique new program for managing your debt. [Holds up book] Itís called, ďDonít Buy Stuff You Cannot AffordĒ

Let me see that. [Reading from book] If you donít have any money, you should not buy anything. Hmmm Ö sounds interesting.
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brickscout



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: There are thieves among us. A Gunship tale of woe. Reply with quote

Getting back to the orignal message, after working for TRU for nearly 5 years, 4 at the Time Square location I was never surprised at how low people can go...I often told the managers to call me before people returned LEGO sets because I knew the poor excuses they would use to rip us off. I had an argument once with a customer, excuse me "guest" Rolling Eyes who said that the set was missing the people...we all know that lie, after the person said they were able to build the entire set and all the bags were sealed when they opened it. They didn't seem to care that I knew what we all know here that the minifig parts are spread throughout the bags...this is how our world allows the Twisted Evil people to feed off the nice people. You can return anything you want to any store and get your full amount of money back if you are willing to be a loud, annoying, *&$hole. You never ever, EVER have to have TOYSRUS' stupid buyer protection plan, If you are willing to be a jerk enough...
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Voice of Reason



Joined: 17 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starsmore wrote:
bigospedros wrote:

so the seller is putting a gun to the buyers head are they ? No ... they're not.

It's a buyers market. A selling setting a price too high will find they don't sell anything. It's up to the buyer to decide what they think is a fair price. In this case it seems that the seller is offering a fair price, making a small profit for their trouble. Nothing wrong with that.

If the buyer thinks there is something wrong then yes, they either go without, or they buy the full set and sell the bits they don't want. Are you saying if they did that, they should sell the spare bits at cost ? Why would they do that if they *knew* that the market allowed them to make a bit extra ?

Sorry, but your argument doesn't have a leg to stand on.


One guy sells ten minifigs on eBay for $10.50 a piece. Other sellers notice, and suddenly everyone is selling theirs for around $10.50, and no one wants to dare sell at any cheaper, cuz all the other guys can get away with charging more.

So basically the buyer pays $10.50 for a minifig, or no minifig.

I'm sorry, that doesn't sound like a buyer's market. More like pricegouging to me.

I'm done, tho. Don hit it on the head.

DonSolo wrote:
"If I'm not getting what I want at the price I like then it's just not fair!"



Not one person who bought a minifig or vehicle from me complained. Nor did I coerce, deceive, or manipulate them in any way. They were all very happy. Those who did not like the price made the unhindered choice to not buy.

Sure, if I gave them out for $1 (or whatever price you feel is fair), many collectors would be ecstatic. But then why would I do that? Take away motivation (in this case money) and nobody gets what they want. There are many collectors out there who just want figures, and some who want to add more vehicles at a lesser price than a complete set. Me? I just wanted to make a little money so I could buy some LEGO for myself. I did not resort to rifling through LEGO sets to do it either.

In a way, LEGO has a role in aftermarket pricing when they release an exclusive figure. Lando, printed Boba Fett, Greedo, Jango Fett are all prime examples. They have a high aftermarket value because of their limited availability, while battle robots are now almost a dime a dozen (so to speak).

The term "price gouging" is usually thrown around as a derogatory term when someone is unhappy about an asking price. Legally, it refers to highly inflating prices of essential goods when facing an imminent disaster (hurricane, flood, major emergency). LEGO minifigs hardly fit the bill.

Instead of thinking price gouging, try educating yourself on the concept of free market instead.
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Voice of Reason



Joined: 17 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now here is an interesting anecdote with a bit of a moral dilemma:

I sold some minifigs here and some on eBay. I had some Buy-it-Nows for a Commander Rex at $25 (that is the average price they were selling for at the time). I also listed one as an auction that started at 99 cents. Shipping was free for either auction. The auction ended at about $38, even though the Buy-it-Now was still up. Bidders drove up the price.

So there I had a buyer committing to paying $38 that they bid up to, even though at the same time I was selling the same figure on the same site for $25. They paid instantly too.

Would you take the $38 and ship, or contact the bidder and say "Hey, I would have sold this for less so here is some money back"? Be honest, now. Remember the auction started at 99 cents and they willingly placed their final bid amount.
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TheDarkness



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd keep the money and be thankful they didn't look better when bidding. It isn't your fault, and the fact they paid instantly says they were more than willing to part with the cash. It isn't ripping them off, as they chose to pay. Maybe upgrade their shipping though Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheDarkness wrote:
I'd keep the money and be thankful they didn't look better when bidding. It isn't your fault

Exactly. That's the magic of eBay. Wink

It happens all the time, and not only with collectibles like LEGO minifigs. For some reason there are people out there who turn off their brain when bidding. I recall reading somewhere that eBay actually recommends setting the lowest possible starting price, as this gets people interested. For some the thrill of the hunt is so much that they keep going well beyond the sensible price. They just don't want to be outbid. (Mind you, this can also backfire. Imagine having to sell Rex for 99 cents because only one single person placed a bid.)

Personally I don't have that problem. I decide up front how much I think an item is worth to me. If there is a buy-now at below that value, great. If not I place one bid for my maximum value. If somebody else has already placed a higher bid - tough. I start looking for the next auction.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen this countless times...where people will bid on minifigs/sets when there are identical ones in Buy-it-Now for cheaper.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd take the $38 and ship them the product they paid for. I'm not your mother and if you pay too much for something that's your problem not mine. I know I've been burned by this because I wanted something and I didn't do my research. After you're burned a few times you learn to control your impulses and look for the deal. Sometimes though, for those special figs (Cloud City Bobo), you just have to bite the bullet.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On subject. once I went into a wal-mart to find most of the 20$-10$ sets opened and not one lego peace in sight. Do to the fact that the larger sets like the 30$ sets were untouched(yet thay had the same type of box). alot of people who steal, steal for the sport of it "The thrill of the hunt" thats why we can watch movies that have people stealing things, yet at the end we feel thay are the good guys.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

commander ark wrote:
On subject. once I went into a wal-mart to find most of the 20$-10$ sets opened and not one lego peace in sight. Do to the fact that the larger sets like the 30$ sets were untouched(yet thay had the same type of box). alot of people who steal, steal for the sport of it "The thrill of the hunt" thats why we can watch movies that have people stealing things, yet at the end we feel thay are the good guys.


Do you even know what you're trying to say?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had bad experience with Wal-Marts. One time I found an opened Darth Vader voice changer in one of the isles, and I reported it to an employee (No thank you). Then I found another opened toy (This time one of those Die-Cast titanium-whatever things) reported it to the same employee (Again, no thank you). I decided not to report the third one (Or the fourth one, or the fifth one, etc.). It was just horrid.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just disgusting. What will people stop at for 30 bucks and four minifigs.
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RF Aurora



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flynn wrote:
I've had bad experience with Wal-Marts. One time I found an opened Darth Vader voice changer in one of the isles, and I reported it to an employee (No thank you). Then I found another opened toy (This time one of those Die-Cast titanium-whatever things) reported it to the same employee (Again, no thank you). I decided not to report the third one (Or the fourth one, or the fifth one, etc.). It was just horrid.


Which Wal-mart was this at? as a former employee, I know that all opened items are supposed to be taken to claims whether found by the employee, or by the customer.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not open anymore, although it's Super Wal-Mart replacement isn't much better.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are the crossroads? I might know which one you're talking about.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old Wal-Mart was at 19th avenue and Bell, and the "Super" Wal-Mart is at 17th avenue and Bell. I might be the other way around, I don't know.
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Jinx32



Joined: 08 Sep 2006

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This BS happened to me a while back when the Hyperdrive ring came out. I grabbed the best looking box of the batch from TRU, went home and opened it up. Box looked perfect. Rifling through the bags, I could not find Kit Fisto's head. The corner of one of the bags was very carefully taped shut, almost invisible. Then I looked inside the box and could see the box seam was ragged on the inside where it was cut open and then reglued. I took it back to TRU and talked to the manager about it. We opened another one in the store and I walked out more happy than not with my new set. Then I went on eBay and found someone not more than 12 miles from that TRU, selling many many Kit Fisto figs.

Mad
J
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