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View Full Version : Ethics in Collecting or Can you believe this???



Sentinel18725
01-11-2003, 12:16 AM
Today, I was on my cell phone shopping (yes being one of those people) when I stumbled upon some Destroyer Droids at KB Toys on Fullerton in Chicago. I found five Destroyer Droids.....AND EVERY SINGLE ONE WAS RIPPED ON THE CORNER!!!! Can you believe this? This was obviously done on purpose...you could see where it was started and then folded down. Not a single other figure was bent. ....I eventually found one that was not bent but it was hidden behind some boxes. Aren't we supposed to help each other and not try to deter someone from collecting. This was the first new figure that I have found in almost two months. Our love of the toy and of the movie is what brings us together. Let's play nice people....Anyone else have something like this happen to them?

Val Da Car
01-11-2003, 12:39 AM
Yes absolutely!!!!

I live in SE Wisconsin and I have run across someone that tears exclusive items (like the Target Accessory Sets; Dlx Yoda & C3P0 and the Cantina sets) and as of yesterday the Walmart Exclusive Trashcompactor set.

If I find this person I will report them to the store for destruction of merchandise and ask for charges to be pressed.

That is not too harsh is it?

2-1B
01-11-2003, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by Val Da Car
I live in SE Wisconsin and I have run across someone that tears exclusive items (like the Target Accessory Sets; Dlx Yoda & C3P0 and the Cantina sets) and as of yesterday the Walmart Exclusive Trashcompactor set.

Hey, was that in Racine where you found the damaged sets???

I was there on Thursday on my way through town and found the Trash sets for the first time - and sure enough each one had a big tear on it!

QLD
01-11-2003, 02:00 AM
Well, just buy them and open them? ;)

I got frustrated with trying to buy mint cards a long time ago.

stillakid
01-11-2003, 03:36 AM
Sometimes the store itself does this to prevent the regular scalping crowd from taking everything. Believe it or not, they're actually trying to help us. Being that I generally open everything, I appreciate the effort on our behalf, but I can certainly understand the frustration for the others that like pristine cards.

Jargo
01-11-2003, 06:04 AM
Or its posible the case was damaged if the cards are all torn at the same place one sise of the case could have been mashed in transit. Over the xmas period the deliveries are hectic and people take less care of stuff because they have so much to shift.

Sentinel18725
01-11-2003, 07:35 AM
I have come across that some Emperor Jargo. Where a little corner is smashed in all of them. You find this especially in GI Joe's (which I also collect). The ones on the destroyer droids were definetely hand ripped (it's like the card was folded and then torn from top to the side). I do hope that KB was doing this to help us, but I doubt it....

robman71
01-11-2003, 08:49 AM
I have also seen this happen with new or "rare" items. I can't say for sure that someone did this (the bubble on the card is very big), but more than likely it is just someone trying to get a rise out of carded collectors.

Val Da Car
01-11-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Caesar
Hey, was that in Racine where you found the damaged sets???

I was there on Thursday on my way through town and found the Trash sets for the first time - and sure enough each one had a big tear on it!


Caesar, Yes that is in Racine where this is happening!!

Sometimes over lunch I will do a "Hard target Search" and this problem happens at Wally World and Target but never at TRU or KB.

Old Fossil
01-11-2003, 09:35 AM
Last year... or maybe the year before... all the R2-Q5 cards at the retailers in the small town where I live were creased along the upper right corner. I bought a couple, anyway, since (see QLD's post above) I open 95% of all my figures.

sith_killer_99
01-11-2003, 10:34 AM
WOW, this subject has been brought up a lot.

Pretty much the non-carded collectors (or "openers") could care less. There have even been a few on the boards who condone and defend this activity. I seem to remember someone here admitting to doing this themselves, or seriously wanting to. However, there are a few "openers" who do not condone this activity.

As for the stores doing this? Well, I remember Target tried to avoid this by using a hole punch on their cards at one time. IMO, if a store was doing this intentionally they would probably go that route, and it would be on all of the figures not just a single type (i.e. Destroyer Droids). BTW, Target is very unfriendly to collectors IMO. Though some like their practices, to each thier own.

The debate has ranged from "collect to collect" the ethics of collecting and helping others, to the legality of destroying store property. On the otherside of the fence we have the arguement of Star Wars is for kids (who don't care about package condition), to the "thier just toys so open them" crowd.

Of course damaging cards helps the opener crowd, though, I honestly believe most intentional damaging is done by SCALPERS.

The boards here are pretty well split, half are "MOMC" collectors and half are "openers". So this type of issue can go back and forth for quite some time.

I personally do not approve.:(

mtriv73
01-11-2003, 11:47 AM
I really don't know how I feel about this issue. On the one hand it keeps scalpers and MOMC collectors from buying up all new toys thus giving kids a shot at them. Unfortunately, it often means that you can't find "the perfect" toy to add to your collection. I only open a few of my figures and try to buy the best cards I can, but if all the retailer has is a card in bad condition then I'm likely to buy the figure anyway rather than paying too much from an aftermarket vendor.

plo koon 200
01-11-2003, 12:15 PM
I am mostly a MOMC collector and let me tell you it is very unfair. Why should a opener be allowed to buy a toy and not a MOMC collector. We are both collectors, correct. As a matter of fact usually openers buy more figures than MOMC collectors becasue they often times want to build dioramas. So, when a MOMC collector stumbles upon a toy they like damaged it is very unfair because an opener would have no problem buying them all up.

Fulit
01-11-2003, 12:21 PM
Damaged or MOMC, my local scalper takes it all, regardless.

Turbowars
01-11-2003, 12:23 PM
Well as I get older and older I'm getting meaner and meaner and would probably knock the guy out if I saw him doing this to my beloved SW toys. I truly think the people that are doing this are either Hot Wheel collectors(I hate these guys) or collectors that don't have the money to buy the toys at that the time. So they have a if I can't buy it, no one will mentality. IMO, kids don't buy SW toys, so I count them out.

12inch Lando
01-11-2003, 12:37 PM
Well, here in Atlanta a couple of years ago we had the mysterious silly string bandit. It was crazy. Everywhere you went the figs were pulled off the pegs and were covered with dried silly string.

TheDarthVader
01-11-2003, 01:01 PM
That's weird...same thing here in NE Texas...someone with silly string spraying it all over the figures...interesting....

sith_killer_99
01-11-2003, 01:03 PM
Yeah, I saw some idiot around here had done the same thing with silly string. But it usually doesn't reuin the cards, unless noone bothers to clean it up afterwards.

The way I look at it, if a card is damaged I will decide if this is a figure that I will want for my loose collection or not. If I was planning on buying one to open, then it really does not affect me too much (though I prefer to buy a MOMC first). I don't usually resort to the secondary market. I'm too cheap and patient for that. Sometimes I will trade with others on-line.

I always look for a banged up card or bubble for my openers, it's just my litte way of being friendly.

Here is something else to consider, I was out and about one day when I saw a couple of figures opened and missing accessories!

This is the same thing to a loose collector as a damaged card is to a MOMC collector. Granted, damaging a card is not actual theft, but it still deters some people from buying product.:Pirate:

Kidhuman
01-11-2003, 01:09 PM
The same thing here with the silly string, in 2 different Wal-Marts. I cant stand when people purposly damage packages since I am a carded collector. My wife hates shopping for my B-day and Christmas because I am picky about the packages. If I opened them I don't think I would mind a damaged package as long as the figure was intact. But to go as far as ripping and purposely damaging figures is just absolute;y wrong. I feel that most collectors understand the occasional damaged case, but to do it purposely is wrong.

Jargo
01-11-2003, 01:28 PM
I said elsewhere that even though i open everything i still think it's my right to recieve unblemished goods at full price if full price is being charged. I like to buy something brand new that looks that way not mangled and second hand looking. True I rip the card to shreds as soon as i get home but it's withing reasonable consumer rights to recieve goods that are worthy of sale and damaged packaging does not fulfill that criteria. Damaged goods should be discounted to compensate the consumer for the shoddy goods they are being forced to purchase if the store has no better replacements. In the UK as far as i can remember damaged goods aren't allowed to be sold by law. damaged packaging alone means the item is good but the damage to packaging means it can't be sold at full price anymore. Maybe that's a managers option and not law but nine stores out of ten will give you a discount on 'shop soiled' goods. I know it's not a real compensation for carded collectors but it makes a great bargain for anyone else. Anything like that happen in the states?

Now i read a few more comments I probably agree that someone deliberately tore the cards, especially if one was hidden that was mint. Someone is having a laugh at collectors' expense.

gibbspaulus
01-11-2003, 01:40 PM
I think vandalsim of any item is apalling. I am an opener and I do open cards fairly violently - but they're my cards. I hate such selfsishness in someone that they'd damage something just to spite someone else. You can almost see why they did it if it was a personal vendetta against a specific person. bUT to just randomly damage stuff, regardless of whom it will affect - it's sh#te.

Opener - MOMC. I appreciate our differences. It's what you yourself get out of the hobby that should be important.

sith_killer_99
01-11-2003, 02:35 PM
EJ, sometimesstores will discount merchandise that has been opened or whatever, but not every single carded figure that is bend, dinged, or crunched.

Maybe it's a cultural thing? Maybe Corporate America is too greedy, or maybe they are afraid that sneeky customers will intentionally damages packages to get a better deal, for the loose collectors.

In any event, that type of discounting rarely happens.

I have a hard time convincing employees to pull merchandise that is missing stuff. I remember a while back WWF ring sets with the little ring skirts getting pulled out of the hole in front. The hole was there so that you could "feel" the real cloth. But sneeky customers would pull 'em out and stuff 'em in their pockets (steal them). After seeing this at several store I finally started reporting it, I must have reported it at 7-8 stores. Yet I would go back and still see them sitting out, the stores were still asking full price for them.:rolleyes:

Greedy corporations.:mad:

2-1B
01-11-2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by 12inch Lando
Well, here in Atlanta a couple of years ago we had the mysterious silly string bandit. It was crazy. Everywhere you went the figs were pulled off the pegs and were covered with dried silly string.

QLD paid his debt to society for his crimes, so let's leave it alone please. :crazed:




Just a clarification, the condition of those Trash Compactor sets didn't stop me from buying them - I didn't want them to begin with!
I agree with Jargo in wanting REASONABLY decent packaging from which to open the goods. I wasn't going to buy those sets anyway, but I sure as hell took note of how shoddy they looked on the shelves. If I was running the store, I would find it unpresentable. :)

Ji'dai
01-11-2003, 03:12 PM
I haven't opened anything since late 99 but I stopped caring about card condition a few years ago. My focus has shifted to finding the perfect toy, not necessarily the perfect package. I will pass on ripped packaging or missing box artwork though unless the toy is for army building.

With the complex paint and detail they're attempting I spend most of my time trying to select toys with decent and error-free paint jobs, which has become a royal pain as it is.

Kidhuman
01-11-2003, 07:49 PM
Having worked in security in Department stores, it is impossible to give discounts to everyone because something is damaged. There are plenty of dishonest people that will damage merchandise to get a discount(I don't think anyone here would do it personally). I understand both sides of the view(yours and the stores). I have never heard of anyplace doing that in the states. It is a fair thing to do but as a carded collector it would do me no good to have a damaged card.

Turbowars
01-11-2003, 07:56 PM
Well in the States you have to ask. i got a 12" Dew and Stormy when they 1st came out for $40 because the back pack and stick was missing. I also have worked in retail and as a sales person I gave discounts all the time when a item was missing something or chipped. I guess its the department stores that wouldn't do it, but theres many places that will.

Emperor Howdy
01-11-2003, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by 12inch Lando
Well, here in Atlanta a couple of years ago we had the mysterious silly string bandit. It was crazy. Everywhere you went the figs were pulled off the pegs and were covered with dried silly string.


Hey....wait a minute! That happened here in Conyers as well. Actually.....quite recently. The few Saga figs. left at WalMart were splattered with silly string. Hmmmmm....

That is weird, though. Almost as weird as 12" Lando making an appearance. My god, man....you're alive! :eek:

2-1B
01-12-2003, 04:27 AM
Originally posted by Emperor Howdy
That is weird, though. Almost as weird as 12" Lando making an appearance. My god, man....you're alive! :eek:

No kidding!
What's more rare is that he already made a post the day before . . . and referenced me by name! :happy:
Imagine my honor !!!!!!!!!! :crazed:

Tiggertheterrible
01-12-2003, 11:31 PM
Yeah, I haven't seen to many kids searching through the rows and rows of Padme Coruscants and Chancellor Palpatines and Dexters (no insert) just to find the more elusive figures. If they even look at the Star Wars section, it's usually the lightsabers they like. At least the ones I've noticed! The scalpers in my neck of the woods go before the stores open and wait like vultures. That is precisely why the only place I can even think of buying ephont mon is on ebay--BUT I WON'T!!!!!!! I wouldn't put it past these people to deliberately damage cards!

Val Da Car
01-13-2003, 11:06 AM
I guess my take on this is that if someone is so small that they have to tear up the packaging on a kids toy they are just insignificant and bitter. (In Fact I bet they were mad with the Christmas C3p0 & R2D2 since it was packaged in a plastic bubble......no paper to tear.)

I am not a MOMC collect I open most of mine figures and am working on the Geonosis diorama scene and army building, but I like to keep my paper packaging (except for the plastic bubble).

I sometimes pick up figures for friends if I find them first but I never clean out an isle.

This is making me contemplate not collecting figures any more.

Otherwise if I do catch this person I will ask for charges to get pressed.

JediDBM
01-13-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
Sometimes the store itself does this to prevent the regular scalping crowd from taking everything. Believe it or not, they're actually trying to help us. Being that I generally open everything, I appreciate the effort on our behalf, but I can certainly understand the frustration for the others that like pristine cards.
I most defineatly agree with you, I am about to make myself very unpopular here, but I am grateful to the stores and aplaud them for doing stuff like that. I collect to open and display. Why should I have to go to ebay to pay twice or three times the amount for something just because some jerk buys everything up so he can make a pofit only beause he beat me to the store. I am sorry to those who are true collectors, who want their figures in mint packages, but dont be angry with those of us who appreciate the stores efforts to discourage scalpers, be angry at the scalpers.

JediDBM
01-13-2003, 01:47 PM
Don't take me wrong, if scalpers are doing this, it is for a profit and is wrong. I am against anybody who is just trying to make a buck at the expense of us collectors. As you can tell from my first reply, I am an opener, but I save every card I get. I have two full boxes of just the cards from my figures. I condone the damaging of cards to stop scalpers from cleaning out a particular figure to sell on an auction site, but sympathize with the MOMC collectors. You have a right to an undamaged product, but I still believe all blame should fall on the scalper. It is because of the scalper that this is being done, or the scalper doing it, so the scalper is the real problem. So do you limit the amount of each figure you buy each visit? Pretty hard to monitor... I was so angry, I wanted to walk up to this guy and hit him. At a TRU, this guy actually brought with him a large empty box (couldnt believe the store let him do this) walked back to the action figure section and filled this large box with eveything put out the night before. I told a clerk what was happening and she said as long as he has money to pay for what he's got, there is nothing anyone can do. So where is the justice in that? So to me, all blame falls to the scalper. :mad:

Kidhuman
01-13-2003, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by JediDBM
I most defineatly agree with you, I am about to make myself very unpopular here, but I am grateful to the stores and aplaud them for doing stuff like that. I collect to open and display. Why should I have to go to ebay to pay twice or three times the amount for something just because some jerk buys everything up so he can make a pofit only beause he beat me to the store. I am sorry to those who are true collectors, who want their figures in mint packages, but dont be angry with those of us who appreciate the stores efforts to discourage scalpers, be angry at the scalpers.



As a carded collector I hate the scalpers actions. I am in no way upset with what you said. We are all collectors and since you save the cards I suppose you would like them mint or near mint as well. The only way to stop the scalpers is to not buy their merchandise. This would cause them to be wasting their money and getting stuck with them. I will admit that I have bought a few figs and tried to sell them but I didn't do it at a ridiculous profit(I actually started bidding under my cost. I was trying to help out less fortunate collectors that would have a harder time trying to find newer figs.). If it didn't sell I gave it to my kids. But anyway, we are all in this together and only we can stop scalpers by not buying their merchandise.

JediDBM
01-13-2003, 02:37 PM
You are so right, but it would take a very large populace refusing to buy from the scalps, next to impossible, how do you tell the scalpers from those like you just passing on extras? For example, the Celebration II figure, Jorg Sacul, I didnt make it there to buy one in person, I paid an outrageous amount for that figure. Either I pay the scalpers pice or I dont get the figure, I paid the $98. I had to have it, but the buyers actually set the tone for the price range, then the scalpers started bidding for their figures $10 higher. no win situation...

Kidhuman
01-13-2003, 02:44 PM
I guess the only way to really tell is to check the buy it now options, or wait until near the end of the auction and see the going price then. Most scalpers will also set reserves to make sure they get their share. I did not set a buy it now feature or reserve unless I am selling some of my own personal stuff. I didn't care if I made profit on them or not. I live in a small area and sometimes have access to many figures that are HTF in populated areas. Those are some things to look at when shopping at auction sites to tell scalpers from non-scalpers.

JediDBM
01-13-2003, 02:50 PM
thanks for the advice, you bring some valueable pointers up and I will remember for future buying, but I would rather "kill" them at the source, lol :D

Kidhuman
01-13-2003, 03:02 PM
Also I forgot to mention, look at the city there are from. Usually the bigger the city, the more likely they are a scalper.