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View Full Version : 30th Anniversary...at SEARS???? and Kmart



General_Grievous
03-03-2007, 05:18 PM
http://www.rebelscum.com/story/front/30th_Anniversary_Collection_Stateside_104019.asp

I'm completely bewildered. When was the last time new Star Wars stuff was found at Sears?

Tycho
03-03-2007, 06:15 PM
"Now we've been living together for 20 years,
2 hours, forty minutes, maybe 400 beers.
You can't shop for love
when you're shopping at Sears." - Bon Jovi

There's one right across the street from me. I can WALK there. I'm going to check it out daily now. I need to pull my weight in my collector group anyway. The guys have gotten me all my Kashyyyk Troopers I need now.

Mad Slanted Powers
03-03-2007, 06:21 PM
I think I saw some figures there around Christmas a couple years ago, but they don't normally have much of a toy section if any. Even years ago when they had a bigger multi-floor store, I don't recall there being many toys there. We always ordered them through the catalog. Maybe I will take a look there next Saturday when I go to the mall since it is not far from Target.

2-1B
03-03-2007, 07:01 PM
I picked up the new 30th anniv ESB washing machine when I was on my hunt this afternoon.

Kidhuman
03-03-2007, 07:18 PM
Dude, I got the matching dishwasher today. Awesome

Mad Slanted Powers
03-03-2007, 07:20 PM
Get a freezer. You can use it to carbon freeze your figures.

Kidhuman
03-03-2007, 07:21 PM
Get a freezer. You can use it to carbon freeze your figures.


Good freakin call. It beats the hell out of the playset that came out a few years back.

General_Grievous
03-03-2007, 08:15 PM
I usually freeze my figures in lemonade instead of carbonite. It's just like popsicles, except that there's a prize inside! :p

Mr. JabbaJohnL
03-03-2007, 09:14 PM
While this is cool for the guy that found them, I doubt that many Sears stores will start stocking new SW stuff all of a sudden. But at least they're showing up now, so WM and Target will probably be getting them within a few days or weeks.

Tycho
03-03-2007, 09:24 PM
They had the TAC white TIE fighter.

They had the Emperor's Throne Room Battle Pack (all Imperials with Dignitary, 2 Royal Guards - Saga1 versions)

They had the Tarkin / Stormy comic 2-packs.

They had 4 Naboo Soldiers; probably 6 Emperor's Wrath Vaders (saga2).

other stuff like Attaktix / Titanium stuff that I never pay any attention to.

That was it.

I met this guy who was about 30-something and also a collector who came into the isle, claiming he was unaware of the store reports. We talked for like an hour almost! It was like being on the forums with you guys, only I didn't have to use a keyboard.

The police were arresting someone outside when I was arriving.

They were all white people (see: I'm fair and balanced and report it like it is) and there were 2 girls, one trying to kick a guy down on the ground in handcuffs with a police officer standing on his legs. The other girl was crying in the arms of another guy. Probably 5 white guys total, plus the one on the ground. They were sort of dressed like skaters. Probably in their 20's. The guy on the ground was complaining and the cop said he was standing on his legs so he didn't move and get up and try and run - and that he was such a whining baby! Oh that was funny. I wondered if he was going to say "But I was going in to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!" Two more cop cars with 3 more cops in them showed up as I was parking over at Sears.

I would have loved to have stayed and watched, but I didn't want to miss my chance to get the TAC if they had them.

jedi master sal
03-03-2007, 09:26 PM
...I need to pull my weight in my collector group anyway. The guys have gotten me all my Kashyyyk Troopers I need now.

So that means you can hook me up with kashyyyk troopers now??

2-1B
03-03-2007, 10:20 PM
It is almost poetic though, since way back in the day people used to order Star Wars Vintage figs from the Sears Catalogue. :)


I met this guy who was about 30-something and also a collector who came into the isle, claiming he was unaware of the store reports. We talked for like an hour almost! It was like being on the forums with you guys, only I didn't have to use a keyboard.

Did you tell him about your dreams?

Tycho
03-03-2007, 10:56 PM
So that means you can hook me up with kashyyyk troopers now??

Yes. If and when more ship. It's so dry here! My Clones are coming from out of the COUNTY actually! He's not going to mail them until Wednesday though, so I have that long to see if I can save myself the shipping, but maybe I'll just save myself the gas.

But I think there's still the matter of an $11 dollar difference from the s&h of your Utopau Clones with your "account" with me, JMS.



Did you tell him about your dreams?

Actually, that did come up - the specific dream that I'm using to pen my novel I'm working on anyway.

You know - I did have another dream the other night that was pretty interesting but not really something I wanted to work into a story. I was going to post it, but I went back to sleep. I'll try to remember it. I'm sure you guys would feel like you were missing something if I couldn't post about it.

However, I do really post about my REAL dreams, so I can't just make something up. I don't do that.

Phantom-like Menace
03-03-2007, 11:49 PM
Hmm, I work at the mall during the day, so I suppose I can look at Sears, but I don't even know where they would put toys. They haven't had any that I know of since Christmas.

Otherwise, I wonder if this means I might get lucky at K-Mart. I check after work every day just in case they've put out some of the later Saga figures.

Tycho
03-04-2007, 02:46 AM
Some of the K-Marts are now "Sears Essentials." Those are basically the same thing as K-Mart was before, with a new name on the outside of the building. They have toy departments.

Regular Sears stores might be pretty different and not have a toys section - like the kind of Sears stores in malls.

"Sears Essentials" are found more in suburban strip-malls (the kind where there's a parking lot and only external entrances and egresses to each company's box store).

I believe Sears' corporate owns everything (K-Mart and all Sears) after the merger.

K-Mart was not holding out well against Target and Wal-Mart.

It's interesting to note that Wal-Mart dominates that discount department store nitch, but Target's customers are those that don't want to be caught shopping at Wal-Mart. If you go into either store, there are four-fold more people in them than in a Sears Essentials. You wonder how much longer Sears' stores will be able to afford to pay the rent?

Their prices on Ocean Spray fruit juice today were the equivalent of Wal-Mart's. But I wasn't shopping for anything else.

sith_killer_99
03-04-2007, 03:35 AM
Ahh, but Sears Essentials has one thing the other stores will never have, Craftsman tools!:D

Tycho
03-04-2007, 06:46 AM
Ahh, but Sears Essentials has one thing the other stores will never have, Craftsman tools!:D

Does Sears Essentials carry those? I own some Craftsman stuff but I got it at a regular Sears. I never had reason to check out "Essentials' " stuff.

Mad Slanted Powers
03-04-2007, 10:13 AM
The K-Mart here "essentially" hasn't had much in the way of Star Wars figures for two years, at least not when I go in there. When all the ROTS figures showed up in 2005, I couldn't find any at K-Mart.

tagmac
03-05-2007, 09:02 AM
The regular Sears stores haven't had a real toy department since the days of the Vintage line. And K-Mart has been looking pretty bare in the SW department, although if you need wrestling, Superman, or any of those other toy lines, they have plenty of them.

JEDIpartner
03-05-2007, 11:48 AM
http://www.rebelscum.com/story/front/30th_Anniversary_Collection_Stateside_104019.asp

I'm completely bewildered. When was the last time new Star Wars stuff was found at Sears?

Technically, it's the Sears stores that took over the Kmart brand name.

MacGyver
03-05-2007, 01:15 PM
It seems people are confusing TAC finds at Sears Essentials and Sears Grand stores as being finds at Sears department stores, even the story on the front page of Yakface does. Sears actually bought K-Mart a few years back and are converting some of them into Sears Grands or Sears Essentials stores (they are basically still K-Mart with a different name). You will not find any figures at a Sears Department store. I thought I would get this message out to save people time. I actually found the TAC figures at a Sears Grand store (converted K-Mart) in Kansas City, MO yesterday. However, I believe most K-Marts are still called K-Mart and not Sears Grand or Sears Essentials.

Slicker
03-05-2007, 01:29 PM
So these are basically being found at K-Marts?

JEDIpartner
03-05-2007, 03:26 PM
Yeah-- or, in my case, not.

plasticfetish
03-05-2007, 03:44 PM
Sears is trying to compete with Wal*Mart and Target by opening freestanding stores called "Sears Grand" stores.

http://money.cnn.com/2003/07/08/news/companies/sears__food/index.htm

I would think that the toy distribution is much the same as Kmart (or whatever Kmarts are turning into), which is to say, extremely hit-and-miss.

JediTricks
03-05-2007, 04:27 PM
There's a great misconception about this, actually Kmart bought Sears, not the other way around. It was only a year after Kmart came out of bankruptcy too. After they bought Sears, the company changed its name from "Kmart Holdings Corporation" to "Sears Holdings Corporation".

General_Grievous
03-05-2007, 05:29 PM
Well I guess that makes a lot more sense.

plasticfetish
03-05-2007, 06:08 PM
There's a great misconception about this, actually Kmart bought Sears, not the other way around.Yeah, this is true, but it doesn't really matter, because the Kmart name will probably vanish in time. (Not that Sears is much better, but the Kmart brand image has really suffered over the years.)

...doesn't have anything to do with finding these toys though.

Luuuuuuke
03-05-2007, 06:24 PM
The only thing I find surprising is that a Sears Essential/KMart would have these figures first. Otherwise, they seem to get what the other stores get, with the exception of exclusives. But it varies, especially between Sears stores and Sears Essentials. Some Sears stores practically have no toy section. But Sears Essentials do. The one nearest where I live has quite a good selection of stuff.

Slicker
03-05-2007, 06:37 PM
The only thing I find surprising is that a Sears Essential/KMart would have these figures first. I remember back in 2002 when the AOTC figures came out I found them about 2-3 weeks before anyone else and they were at a Kohl's. I guess it's not that uncommon for these stores to get things like this. I bet your local TRU or Target has 'em in but they've got a street date probably. K-Mart may not give a carp and just put 'em out.

bobafrett
03-05-2007, 07:00 PM
My girlfriend works for Sears, but she refuses to "add" to my addiction, and I'm broke until the end of the month.

Luuuuuuke
03-05-2007, 07:46 PM
I remember back in 2002 when the AOTC figures came out I found them about 2-3 weeks before anyone else and they were at a Kohl's. I guess it's not that uncommon for these stores to get things like this. I bet your local TRU or Target has 'em in but they've got a street date probably. K-Mart may not give a carp and just put 'em out.

I might stop by a local Target that has those punch-in DPCI machines tonight or tomorrow morning and see if they do have the new figures. Unfortunately this Target does not like to pull stuff from the back. But it would be good to know at least.

I stopped by a Sears Essential and two K-Marts since yesterday and nothing except some wave 9, including 2 Kashyyk troopers I passed on. They also had plenty of the new little Unleashed sets.

DarkArtist
03-06-2007, 07:15 AM
I stopped by the one K-Mart that is close by to me (East Brunswick) and the SW stuff on the pegs was 2 Endor Vaders, 1 Rep Been, and 2 Naboo Soliders along with some titanium ships and lightsabers.

Tycho
03-06-2007, 10:35 AM
I stopped by the one K-Mart that is close by to me (East Brunswick) and the SW stuff on the pegs was 2 Endor Vaders, 1 Rep Been, and 2 Naboo Soliders along with some titanium ships and lightsabers.

That's the wave I'm seeing there right now as well. But I spoke with the toy manager that said they'll be getting / unloading a new truck tomorrow in the early a.m. and to come by in the morning and she may have stuff for me.

Sears is closer to me and so much better than going to Target and leaving empty handed as has been the case now for over 60 days.

One funny thing was a posse of 3 of my local Target Hot Wheels collectors guys came into Sears while I was there (and gave me the Target update - which as I suspected, wasn't worth making the short 5 min. trip over there). These guys are not scalpers -they're just total Hot Wheels collectors and they're really nice. We don't really have sociopathic trouble-makers at my stores. The regulars all know each other by real name, so I can't refer to any like the LA characters some of you guys describe.

I found all the rest of the Saga2 I need at Wal-Mart the other day though. Finally. I'm still looking for some Hoth soldier Galactic Heroes that they're getting, so while I'm there I'm going to start picking stuff up for SSG members I've been in contact with about particular Saga2 items. That being said, I think you still should be patient on Saga2 stuff, as you're probably overpaying if you have it shipped to you (though not if you don't live near a Wal-Mart).

JEDIpartner
03-06-2007, 03:12 PM
Okay... found the wave at the Kmart on the hill this afternoon. WOOOOOOO! Go me!

Tycho
03-07-2007, 10:32 AM
I just bought a whole case of TACs at Sears Essentials. They work out to $7.53ea after CA sales tax.

It's about $7.14 per figure at Target (if they had anything - reports are they're not even at their distribution centers).

2 R2D2 (1 to friend)
2 Galactic Marines
2 Airbornes
1 Mace (to friend)
1 Super Battle Droid
2 Obi-Wan (to friend)
1 Mustafar
1 Concept Trooper (to friend)

Droid
03-07-2007, 10:46 AM
Tycho, bring back your old avatar. I can't recognize you with that thing.

Tycho
03-07-2007, 10:49 AM
Tycho, bring back your old avatar. I can't recognize you with that thing.

That's the great American hero Michael Bay demonstrating his special effects!

Maybe when Mr. Purple releases El Chuxter, Tycho will come back. By sniffing a suspicious Mouse Droid, Tycho has fallen under the impression that the 2007 Transformers movie might be alright. He is currently contemplating what Autobots smell like.

But I thought that it might be time for a change seeing as how eventually an image of the new Tycho Celchu action figure from the TAC waves will be shown (C4 or Comic Con?). So it might finally be time for a change.

Rest assured, I did save the traditional Tycho - Mouse Droid and 12oz bottle and all.

El Chuxter
03-07-2007, 11:20 AM
Maybe when Mr. Purple releases El Chuxter...

No, no, no. You have it all wrong. Mr Purple is my father. I am Louie the Lilac, Purveyor of the Purple and Friend of the Flower Children--and Batman's deadliest foe!

For more information, consult your local library, or click here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=MpH8THdDcrs), here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=y6bxlhuW0_A), and then here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=9n8nttrbU-A).

THIS I COMMAND!!

Tycho
03-07-2007, 11:39 AM
Louie the Lilac is AWESOME!

Alright. Michael Bay will definitely want to make one of his AWESOME movies honoring him!

He reminds Bay of how if he sniffs certain kinds of awesome flowers, he can envision Bionicles carrying on The Transformers' legend! The fans should think that is also AWESOME!

mtriv73
03-07-2007, 12:15 PM
This was posted on a site I bought a case from. Apparently, they were supposed to be held and come out everywhere at once and Sears dropped the ball...


SW wave 1 shipping
March 7, 2007 | 9:45 AM | newforce1

We have received about 80% of our order on wave 1, and Hasbro has given us the green light to ship (this wave was originally scheduled to have a 3/24 shelf date). So, we will ship all preorders at least 1 case, and allocate multi case orders at this point.

Slicker
03-07-2007, 12:23 PM
I just got back from K-Mart and I guess the two near me are the only two in the country that didn't put 'em out early.:rolleyes:

JEDIpartner
03-07-2007, 12:43 PM
Sorry, man...

On another note... I can't stand that "Love Doll" Obi-Wan. He looks stupid.

I posted my reviews HERE (http://reviews.sirstevesguide.com/showcat.php?cat=5)

DarkArtist
03-07-2007, 04:30 PM
I just bought a whole case of TACs at Sears Essentials. They work out to $7.53ea after CA sales tax.

It's about $7.14 per figure at Target (if they had anything - reports are they're not even at their distribution centers).

2 R2D2 (1 to friend)
2 Galactic Marines
2 Airbornes
1 Mace (to friend)
1 Super Battle Droid
2 Obi-Wan (to friend)
1 Mustafar
1 Concept Trooper (to friend)

Nice find Tycho, wish I had some Sears Grand here in Jersey. I've checked the 4 TRU, 3 Targets and 3 Walmarts and 2 K-Marts I know off and have yet to see anything in the looks of 30th figures. Sales Associates look at me like I have twenty heads when I ask if they are getting any shipments in.

Tycho
03-07-2007, 05:03 PM
The sales associates here are really nice. It's sort of surreal.

They were really helpful, too. The figures were not stocked yet. The manager asked an employee to see if there were any in back. He brought me a case and said I could buy whatever I liked. I picked up the entire box knowing my friends could use whatever I couldn't.

I'm keeping 7 out of 12 figures, offering 5 to a buddy in my group (assuming he'll go for 2 Obi-Wans - if not I'll move down my line to offer him with a BattleDroid 2-pack I've been saving for another guy in my circle (best friend in this case actually - we just agreed I should do something first for some of the other guys because my buddy gets the best stuff from me always). This other pal is returning from Disney World Florida with the 3 Star Tours figures for me that I'm missing, so after cost is figured in - he'll only owe my about $7 for the figures when we trade (unless he doesn't want 2 Obi-Wans).

BlueSnags
03-07-2007, 07:43 PM
TAC Wave 1 hit at K-Mart in Burbank this morning, but I missed most of them (only Lava Miner, Obi-Wan and Artoo left when I showed up at 8:45 AM).

Ended up using the DCPI at Target a few hours later and got the rest of Wave 1. First I called one store and gave them the DCPI #. They said they didn't have any TAC but gave me the locations of the stores that did. One particular Target had 48 in stock. So I called them and spoke to Guest Services. I gave them the DCPI and they said (lying), "We don't have any." I then asked them if ANY other stores had them in stock and they said, "NO - they're sold out everywhere." Typical Target B.S. here in LA. I had to laugh at this $5/hour ham 'n egger scumbag. So I drove down to this store on my lunch break, saw an employee with a scanner gun and walked up to him: "Hey buddy, can you help me out - I'm looking for this item." He checked the DCPI and said, "We have 'em - I'll go get them for you." FINALLY a Target employee with GOOD customer service skills - I couldn't believe it. He brought out a whole case for me. Good thing I didn't listen to that first trained chimpanzee who tried to tell me that they didn't have any.:laugh:

JEDIpartner
03-09-2007, 01:02 PM
I've run into a couple really good Target employees who helped me out. It's rare but they are out there. The ones at the Kmart I got my set at are really useless. There's one lady at the cash-wrap who is really sweet but she's always stuck behind the service counter and can't do anything to help other than try to get someone on the floor to assist.

stad
03-09-2007, 01:30 PM
Found a case at one of my local K-Mart's today, here in Clarksville. Wednesday they had the leftovers from a Wave 10 case, and two days later they had a case of TAC, so I can't complain much! SEARS here is still the same one in the mall, they've left K-Mart alone, although you can now buy Craftsman tools in K-Mart.

Mad Slanted Powers
03-10-2007, 01:32 PM
No toys at Sears. Nothing new at K-Mart today. Or at Wal-Mart. Or Target.

sjd9299
03-10-2007, 05:10 PM
I went a on toy run yesterday. I hit 2 Wal-Marts, 2 K-Marts, 1 Target, and 1 TRU. Wal-Marts were sad, nothing. Target had nothing, TRU had some of the last wave of Saga - Got topless Kit and Yerael Poof, But K-Mart was awesome with the new TAC figures. At the first one they had 2 Obi-Wans, 2 R2s, and 1 Super Battle Droid. I got one of each. At the second one, all they were missing was Vader and the Galactic Marine, so I got the rest. A really good day.

Of note, the McQuarrie Stormtrooper has grey paint apps and the picture on the card has black. Also the real on has more deatil on the armor than the picture does.

Tycho
03-10-2007, 10:05 PM
I got a little bit of details you might be interested in:

March 25th is the street date for the TAC. The cases that stores receive might have instructions on them NOT to stock until then (exactly 2 more weeks).

I just looked at the CASE I bought from Sears (box and all) - it's printed SW Basic Figures Wave 1 on it, but the distribution label SEARS put on it for their inventory says "SW Greatest Hits Figure Asst." on it.

I'm beginnin to think I got my figures because of a labeling mistake.

My guess is that in exactly 2 weeks (14 days until that SUNDAY), the pegs will be full of TAC figures and Mace, Obi-Wan, R2, and the Lava Miner will be as available as Lushros Dofine and Moff Jerjerrod. I'm sure sales of the Super Battle Droid will be next to slow down, but the troops will be the ones to grab every time a new case is supplied.

If you finish with this wave, there will be nothing else to go to the toy stores for nearly a MONTH for. (That also means less trips to the gas station though :thumbsup: )

Phantom-like Menace
03-10-2007, 10:26 PM
He checked the DCPI and said, "We have 'em - I'll go get them for you." FINALLY a Target employee with GOOD customer service skills - I couldn't believe it.

I know I'm one of the few who thinks not wanting to risk reprimand or termination is a perfectly valid reason for an employee not to break the rules to help me, but instead of insulting the customer service skills of other employees, can we rephrase to "Finally a Target employee who refuses to do his job properly even at the risk of punitive action." Hell, I've broken the rules to help customers, but it wasn't out of any desire to help them. I just didn't want to hear them ***** and complain about how I didn't care. Ironic really that I didn't care.

BlueSnags
03-11-2007, 12:29 AM
Not sure if I read that right. Are you saying that employees SHOULDN'T bring in-stock merchandise from the back for a paying customer? What's wrong with good customer service?

Phantom-like Menace
03-11-2007, 03:06 AM
Not sure if I read that right.

You didn't.


Are you saying that employees SHOULDN'T bring in-stock merchandise from the back for a paying customer?

There are two types of employees: the ones who will break store policy to get our toys, and the ones who will not break store policy to get our toys. The ones who break the store policy are the ones who are not doing their jobs properly. In fact, they are the very employees who make it so hard to find these toys. Why does your local Target have no product to put out when it's supposed to be set? Because these employees have been giving merchandise out when they're not supposed to. Oddly enough, if we get the product from these employees who either don't know the policy or are willingly breaking it, then they're "good employees," and engage in "good customer service." The ones who will not break store policy to get the toys are attempting to allow everyone an equal chance to get them, attempting to guarantee an ample supply come time to set these products on the shelves. But, because the other employees have been breaking the rules and there is no more product left, they are "bad employees," and engage in "bad customer service."

Do we help the process or hinder it? Well, we hinder it. When we learn that an employee is willing to go into the back against policy to get our product, do we inform the employee that the rules are being broken? Of course not! We wouldn't get our product otherwise. So we work the broken system with only ourselves in mind and justify it in whatever little way we can. So since being part of the solution won't get us our figures right this minute, we'll complain about the people who do care, accuse them of not caring; we'll complain about the people who are doing their jobs, accuse them of not doing their jobs, all just because we're selfish and don't care who else gets figures, gets reprimanded, etc, simply because the latest con job might get us our figures.


What's wrong with good customer service?

Nothing.

plasticfetish
03-11-2007, 05:20 AM
What this boils down to, is that this "policy" of refusing to serve certain customers by refusing to check back stock, is stupid. There are very few situations outside of this one in a retail environment, where this would be considered an acceptable or intelligent form of customer service.

Any Target employee willing to "break the rules" by catering to the demands of a paying customer, can e-mail me directly and I'll recommend him or her for a much better job (http://www.containerstore.com/careers/index.jhtml), with a company that considers tending to the needs of the customer to be a priority over holding merchandise back for when it's the "right time" to put it out.

The idea that merchandise would or should be maturing in a stockroom, taking up valuable space, rather than being sold is completely idiotic. You sell it, and if you run out... you order more. I sure bet the vendors like Hasbro would want to see it done that way.

Droid
03-11-2007, 11:21 AM
I think that it is odd for a store to have a policy that limited employees not ability to sell product either from the floor or "the back".

Can you imagine a shoe store: "I'm sorry, we're not allowed to look in the back. You can only buy what we have out here."

As long as it isn't, for example, selling the latest Harry Potter book before the street date I don't get the problem or the policy. Though scalpers are a pain, from the store's perspective I don't see why they can't just turn over the whole case to them. I think it is Hasbro's job to keep enough product in the stores, factoring in the hoarders and scalpers. It is not the store's job to give everyone an equal shot at getting an item or to make sure everyone gets one figure. I used to hate Target's limits on how much you could buy. I think a store's job is to move product and to make money.

Though there is an interesting argument for making as MANY customers happy as possible to generate return business.

Also, toys are a TINY fraction of Walmart or Target's profits, yet there employees spend an inordinate amount of time tending to the customers in toys. I can see having a policy against having the employees constantly running back and forth to the warehouse all day long.

Not an easy issue.

DarkArtist
03-11-2007, 01:23 PM
well I finally found two of the TAC line today at K-Mart in East Brunswick. Picked up Obi Wan and R2. Asked about 3 associates and even the manager and got the same response, "Sorry we don't check for collectors." the manager even told me to "Grow Up and Get a Life." I mean what kind of people are these stores hiring that they can treat people like crap.

I mean I can understand if I was a hound harassing the associates and lurking around the store everyday but all I asked was if they had anymore in stock. I'm going to send a letter to the corporate office of K-Mart and report the rude treatment I recieved today. While it might be true that I am a collector, no one deserves to be treated in that manner.

Tycho
03-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Whoa! Dark Artist! That was uncalled for of that guy. And he's a manager?!

Want us to pitch in letters on your behalf as well?

You're a paying customer and asking for Star Wars figures is no different from asking an employee to help you reach toilet paper on the top shelf.

I mean so what if you're a collector? We all are.

We have a life. SW is a hobby that's part of our life - and it's part of what helps pay the rent so that store manager has a job. Geeze.

By contrast, in the Sears Essentials that I shop at, the employees are beyond "unreasonably kind." It's a genuine pleasure shopping there and though they might be a dollar higher than Wal-Mart on some items, I may shop there because of the positive experience - plus it's right across the street and I could walk instead of burn my gas.

I have no idea, but maybe the strategy at Sears is to go the extra mile and be kind so they earn the business. Well it's working!

lee gray
03-11-2007, 02:39 PM
Luckily where i work in tesco they have been getting the first wave in so i managed to get first grabs of the concept trooper and a display box

Just hoping thats not the only wave they get in as would love to see a continuation of the waves on this line so i dont have to hunt or buy online
as with the saga line they just continued to get the same 6 figures in month after month

DarkArtist
03-11-2007, 03:21 PM
Whoa! Dark Artist! That was uncalled for of that guy. And he's a manager?!

Want us to pitch in letters on your behalf as well?

You're a paying customer and asking for Star Wars figures is no different from asking an employee to help you reach toilet paper on the top shelf.

I mean so what if you're a collector? We all are.

We have a life. SW is a hobby that's part of our life - and it's part of what helps pay the rent so that store manager has a job. Geeze.

By contrast, in the Sears Essentials that I shop at, the employees are beyond "unreasonably kind." It's a genuine pleasure shopping there and though they might be a dollar higher than Wal-Mart on some items, I may shop there because of the positive experience - plus it's right across the street and I could walk instead of burn my gas.

I have no idea, but maybe the strategy at Sears is to go the extra mile and be kind so they earn the business. Well it's working!

Thanks Tycho. After reading your post about the street date being the 25th of March perhaps the manager was tired of being asked and finally let out his frustration. Either way I looked up the address for the corporate headquaters and sent out a letter already. Doubt it's going to do anything but at least I was able to vent for awhile.

Tycho
03-11-2007, 06:37 PM
Someone tell me what's the point about a street date for these figures?

OK, it's the 30th Anniv. The movie toys I can understand a major release date for - the Midnite Madness, etc. But that's all over for us now.

Is Toys R Us going to open at midnight on the 25th? (J/K - they're not so I don't want to start any rumors).

But what the heck?

figrin bran
03-11-2007, 07:10 PM
i believe that 3/25 date applies only to Target as that's supposed to be the date of the next toy aisle reset.

Tycho
03-11-2007, 08:02 PM
I spent $90 at Sears on the case I bought already, and barring I don't pick up figures for anyone else (my local group is pretty much done save for extra clones), I just plan on buying 3 more figures or $22.50.

With Target's current reset strategy, should they not help me any further, they won't get any of my business for at least a month (until Wave 2) or not at all - since I can walk to Sears Essentials and the employees treat me so well there.

I make a list of household stuff I need like handsoap and papertowels as I run out. I pick them up wherever I'm shopping for SW. So Target's lost more than $90 of my business already.

jedibear
03-11-2007, 10:48 PM
Found the first wave at our local KMart...amazing, considering this store has had the same three figures hanging on the pegs for almost 6 months!

Looks like they just put out 1 case worth...there were only 12 figures...I got one of each character in the wave...

My head's still shaking...KMart?!? Ok by me, considering we don't have a Target...

Phantom-like Menace
03-11-2007, 10:54 PM
What this boils down to, is that this "policy" of refusing to serve certain customers by refusing to check back stock, is stupid. There are very few situations outside of this one in a retail environment, where this would be considered an acceptable or intelligent form of customer service.


I think that it is odd for a store to have a policy that limited employees not ability to sell product either from the floor or "the back".

There is a distinct difference between disagreeing with a policy and deriding the customer service skills of employees who are simply acting in line with a policy they have no control over. Dislike the policy all you want, but leave the poor guy who doesn't have the slightest modicum of control alone.


the manager even told me to "Grow Up and Get a Life." I mean what kind of people are these stores hiring that they can treat people like crap.

Now this is just patently unacceptable. This is certainly not any form of policy agreeable or otherwise but simply a person who is has taken it upon himself to act in a despicable manner. He's the manager at KMart, which is its own form of punishment, but this is the type of behavior that goes beyond bad customer service. Sadly I bet he either has enough sway with the company to allow himself to do this sort of thing or is "on his way out" anyway.

Tycho
03-11-2007, 11:26 PM
He's the manager at KMart, which is its own form of punishment

I think I might adapt that as a signature line! That was classic P-LM! lol

BlueSnags
03-11-2007, 11:30 PM
What this boils down to, is that this "policy" of refusing to serve certain customers by refusing to check back stock, is stupid. There are very few situations outside of this one in a retail environment, where this would be considered an acceptable or intelligent form of customer service.

Any Target employee willing to "break the rules" by catering to the demands of a paying customer, can e-mail me directly and I'll recommend him or her for a much better job (http://www.containerstore.com/careers/index.jhtml), with a company that considers tending to the needs of the customer to be a priority over holding merchandise back for when it's the "right time" to put it out.

The idea that merchandise would or should be maturing in a stockroom, taking up valuable space, rather than being sold is completely idiotic. You sell it, and if you run out... you order more. I sure bet the vendors like Hasbro would want to see it done that way.

PF,

You are 100% right. Store employees are there to assist the customer. The customer is there to buy merchandise. The customer buying merchandise is the one who keeps the store in business. Simple.

If you don't want to provide good customer service, why the hell are you working at Target in the first place? Why not go get a job as a night watchman or something?

And YES, Good Customer Service does include bringing IN STOCK merchandise to customers WHO ASK FOR IT. What's the difference whether Target makes money on this stuff today or on 3/25? THEY STILL SOLD IT.

Is 3/25 the day when throngs of people show up at the store, looking to buy Star Wars TAC merchandise, and the pegs are CRAMMED with figures??? Oh man, the MAGICAL RESET HAS OCCURRED! Yes! Has anyone ever seen this? I sure as hell haven't. Give me a break.

Luuuuuuke
03-12-2007, 12:18 AM
Same nice employee who has helped me two times before--but who probably doesn't even recognize me-- helped me at a SGValley Target today and pulled a case(which was all I asked for). I obviously got two Galactic Marines, two Airborne troopers and the McQuarrie. I left the rest of the figures cause I'm passing on all those. Just 4 more Marines and I'm happy. But now I can just chill.

I don't blame Target employees per se when they say they can't pull something for me. Some ARE clearly just being lazy and some clearly lie. But my wife briefly worked for Target and she said at some stores, some of the toy supervisors do get anal retentive about not having stuff pulled. So some employees technically can get in trouble; and management is full of pricks just waiting to nail you for anything.

For my part, I haven't run into too many a-hole employees at Target. Having said that, I'm starting to see more and more pegs full of wave 9 and 9 all of a sudden, and I'm not sure that bodes well for TAC getting out there on time, whatever that is.

Tycho
03-12-2007, 12:22 AM
Waves 8, 9, and the Wal-Mart wave are supposed to ship simultaneously with TAC until May. Then Saga 2 will officially be retired.

That is how Wal-Mart is handling it anyway. Target might do their own thing.

figrin bran
03-12-2007, 01:17 AM
PF,

You are 100% right. Store employees are there to assist the customer. The customer is there to buy merchandise. The customer buying merchandise is the one who keeps the store in business. Simple.

If you don't want to provide good customer service, why the hell are you working at Target in the first place? Why not go get a job as a night watchman or something?

And YES, Good Customer Service does include bringing IN STOCK merchandise to customers WHO ASK FOR IT. What's the difference whether Target makes money on this stuff today or on 3/25? THEY STILL SOLD IT.

Is 3/25 the day when throngs of people show up at the store, looking to buy Star Wars TAC merchandise, and the pegs are CRAMMED with figures??? Oh man, the MAGICAL RESET HAS OCCURRED! Yes! Has anyone ever seen this? I sure as hell haven't. Give me a break.

i've gone to target on many of these magical reset dates and more often than not, there wasn't new stock put out.

thanks to a target guest services employee with excellent customer service, i was able to score wave 1 of TAC yesterday. while i was waiting for them to bring the figures, i overheard another transaction where this woman wanted to exchange a wooden shelf set. it was kind of heavy so he actually went around the counter to lift up the set and then personally went to bring back a brand new one. for him, there is no distinction between pulling toys for me or pulling a wooden shelf set for someone else and that's the way it should be.

Phantom-like Menace
03-12-2007, 01:17 AM
PF,

You are 100% right. Store employees are there to assist the customer. The customer is there to buy merchandise. The customer buying merchandise is the one who keeps the store in business. Simple.

If you don't want to provide good customer service, why the hell are you working at Target in the first place? Why not go get a job as a night watchman or something?

And YES, Good Customer Service does include bringing IN STOCK merchandise to customers WHO ASK FOR IT. What's the difference whether Target makes money on this stuff today or on 3/25? THEY STILL SOLD IT.

Is 3/25 the day when throngs of people show up at the store, looking to buy Star Wars TAC merchandise, and the pegs are CRAMMED with figures??? Oh man, the MAGICAL RESET HAS OCCURRED! Yes! Has anyone ever seen this? I sure as hell haven't. Give me a break.

Well, if we ignore the idea that employees don't always or even often have a say in whether or not they are allowed to go back into the back (and apparently we are ignoring that distinction, though I didn't needlessly capitalize things, so it's my fault), I would imagine customers who refuse to see things from the employees' perspective to the point of feeling justified in unprovoked insult could conceivably wear away at the employees' desire to go out of his or her way for customers. I would understand it if not condone it.

BlueSnags
03-12-2007, 02:21 AM
Well, if we ignore the idea that employees don't always or even often have a say in whether or not they are allowed to go back into the back (and apparently we are ignoring that distinction, though I didn't needlessly capitalize things, so it's my fault), I would imagine customers who refuse to see things from the employees' perspective to the point of feeling justified in unprovoked insult could conceivably wear away at the employees' desire to go out of his or her way for customers. I would understand it if not condone it.

Everytime I go into a store to buy something I want, the first thing that comes to mind is, "I wonder how the employees of this store feel about me being here...buying things...keeping this place in business...yes, I hope the employees are happy about me being here. I hope I don't get anyone in trouble as I'm spending my money buying merchandise in this store." That's my first concern, to be honest. Making sure I don't get any Target employees in trouble as I spend money on merchandise. That's how all successful businesses are run - with customers worrying about store employees - not the other way around.

I didn't "needlessly" capitalize anything that time - don't want to confuse you anymore than I already have. Happy hunting.:thumbsup:

Tycho
03-12-2007, 05:40 AM
Interesting BlueSnags.

When I go into Target I hope that the hot girl who works the toy isles will succomb to my charms (she just straightens and doesn't stock though - but who cares? She makes going there and finding nothing pleasant anyway, as she likes to come over and talk with me and aims straight for me whenever I'm over there).

When I go into Sears, I hope the sexy little cashier clerk will play with me. She said I bought something on sale and "saved," so she high-fived me the last time. She's terribly cute and bubbly. She always tells me something about what's going on in her life.

Both are college girls, I'd say 18-20 (NICE!!!) I've never hit on the girl at Sears, but the one at Target's given me the "I'd like that," (to go out) but has always been too busy as of yet.

What's really cool is that both ladies expect me to have a LARGE...Star Wars collection :D

In any case, I have to make the most of opportunities when they happen. So maybe these girls are just extra friendly, but especially the one at Target who knows I'm interested, could avoid me if they wanted to. But when I'm there, I seem to be the first customer to get their attention. (I've noticed I've started to dress nice for SW hunting as of lately, too. :rolleyes: )

In any case, the girl at Sears has no bearing on the entire store's efforts to show really good customer service. As it was a middle-aged woman manager who asked a male employee to go in the back and bring me a case of TAC.

Phantom-like Menace
03-12-2007, 07:32 AM
Let's turn it around. The employee has been lost in dislike of the policy. Let's say Target's policy when they don't have the item your looking for is for the employee to climb into a rocket kept on five minute stand-by, fly to China, personally pour the plastic into the molds, make a second figure for you to accomodate you for their inexcusable shortcoming, climb into another rocket, come back to your store, and hand you the item while supplicating himself before your greatness. Now, does the employee who follows that policy have good customer service skills or is he just doing his job? I don't see he needs praise for following store policy anymore than the employee who can't go into the back needs crticism for following store policy. It's out of their hands and you're shoving it in their face.


Everytime I go into a store to buy something I want, the first thing that comes to mind is, "I wonder how the employees of this store feel about me being here...buying things...keeping this place in business...yes, I hope the employees are happy about me being here. I hope I don't get anyone in trouble as I'm spending my money buying merchandise in this store." That's my first concern, to be honest. Making sure I don't get any Target employees in trouble as I spend money on merchandise. That's how all successful businesses are run - with customers worrying about store employees - not the other way around.

And it's that attitude that turns even those employees who can help against us because we only care about ourselves, like bulls in china shops taking along our own personal blast radii. I can't give two ****s how you allow people to measure you as a person, but I'm not sure why you have to take it out on employees who are just doing their jobs. Flies and honey, people. Spew vinegar all over the place and you're just going to drown in it.


I didn't "needlessly" capitalize anything that time - don't want to confuse you anymore than I already have. Happy hunting.:thumbsup:

That was clever. What you did there--and you did it masterfully--was decide I either implied or stated that I was confused, and making that conclusion from whole cloth, you've proven my point must be less valid because I must be unintelligent.

Luuuuuuke
03-12-2007, 10:46 AM
Everytime I go into a store to buy something I want, the first thing that comes to mind is, "I wonder how the employees of this store feel about me being here...buying things...keeping this place in business...yes, I hope the employees are happy about me being here. I hope I don't get anyone in trouble as I'm spending my money buying merchandise in this store."

Target and Wal-Mart are so big they really don't need toy collectors enough to for their employees to turn into happy little urchins when they see one of us walking in ready to blow money.

Besides, the employees are just that--employees. They work for The Man, so to speak. They're generally badly paid and subject to the whims of mid-managers who aren't shy about putting people in their doghouse. That's been my insight. You come into a Target and buy stuff, you're not keeping the employees' business in business. Their only stake is their paycheck, and I think most are nice enough. The employees have no pride of ownership in the company.

The only reason I can see an employee being happy to see any customer is because the customer is nice, whether they're on a "toy hunt" or not; and let's face it, as nice as many of us probably are, we all but admit we turn on the charm to get what we want. Just because someone works in retail doesn't mean they're stupid. They can see through that.

On those few occassions when I've used the DPCI, I never try to charm the employees. I just nicely ask if they could check whether they have a certain item in stock and give them the number. And thank them. I actually think turning on the charm on steroids can make you seem more suspect. It's phony as evidenced by the low-regard a lot of us have for the average retail employee.

BlueSnags
03-12-2007, 12:29 PM
From Allbusiness.com:

Ten Rules for Great Customer Service

Think about the last time you had a negative buying experience. Did an e-commerce site fail to respond to your email query? Or maybe a sales associate at your neighborhood computer store didn't know the difference between a floppy drive and a hard drive. Perhaps you were left on hold for an inordinate amount of time when you called a mail-order company's toll-free line.

Negative buying experiences are almost always linked to shoddy customer service. These days it's rare to find good customer support, even though most businesses claim that they put people first.

But customer service hasn't gone the way of the dodo. In fact, after consumer groups and the media took potshots at e-commerce sites last year for leaving customers in the lurch, many businesses started to pay more attention to the levels of service they provide. Good customer service is essential for all businesses, and providing it isn't that difficult if you and your employees enact these 10 basic rules:

Commit to quality service. Everyone in the company needs to be devoted to creating a positive experience for the customer. Always try to go above and beyond customer expectations.
Know your products. Conveying knowledge about products and services will help you win a customer's trust and confidence. Know your company's products, services and return policies inside out. Try to anticipate the types of questions customers will ask.
Know your customers. Try to learn everything you can about your customers so you can tailor your service approach to their needs and buying habits. Talk to people and listen to their complaints so you can get to the root of customer dissatisfaction.
Treat people with courtesy and respect. Remember that every contact with a customer — whether it's by email, phone, written correspondence, or face-to-face meeting — leaves an impression. Use phrases like "sorry to keep you waiting," "thanks for your order," "you're welcome," and "it's been a pleasure helping you."
Never argue with a customer. You know darn well that the customer isn't always right. But instead of focusing on what went wrong in a particular situation, concentrate on how to fix it. Research shows that 7 out of 10 customers will do business with you again if you resolve a complaint in their favor.
Don't leave customers hanging. Repairs, callbacks and emails need to be handled with a sense of urgency. Customers want immediate resolution, and if you can give it to them, you'll probably win their repeat business. Research shows that 95 percent of dissatisfied customers will do business with a company again if their complaint is resolved on the spot.
Always provide what you promise. Fail to do this and you'll lose credibility — and customers. If you guarantee a quote within 24 hours, get the quote out in a day or less. If you can't make good on your promise, apologize to the customer and offer some type of compensation, such as a discount or free delivery.
Assume that customers are telling the truth. Even though it sometimes appears that customers are lying or giving you a hard time, always give them the benefit of the doubt. The majority of customers don't like to complain; in fact, they'll go out of their way to avoid it.
Focus on making customers, not making sales. Salespeople, especially those who get paid on commission, sometimes focus on the volume instead of the quality of the sale. Remember that keeping a customer's business is more important than closing a sale. Research shows that it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. (To ensure that you accurately track your customers, your business might want to invest in CRM software. Read our overview, How Is CRM Different from ERP? (http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/customer-service/1347-1.html) to get a handle on that type of program.)
Make it easy to buy. The buying experience in your store, on your Web site or through your catalog should be as easy as possible. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork and forms, help people find what they need, explain how products work, and do whatever you can to facilitate transactions. -End-

Hold on, you say - this is Target we're talking about. They're a big business and they don't care about getting repeat business from their customers, especially those no-good toy collectors, even if they do spend hundreds of dollars on other stuff in the store. Besides, these poor workers are just following the orders of their wise, much-respected, business-saavy managers. Who can blame them?

That's not the point.

The point I was trying to make all along is:

Target is in business to sell merchandise to customers.

Certain Targets "hold" CERTAIN (there's those caps again) merchandise that is deemed "collectible" until the geniuses decide "it is time."

The "policy" is randomly enforced depending on the store. Most of the stores I've encountered that enforce this "policy" don't care about a "revision date" (which is just a guideline anyway) - they just don't want to be bothered by customers requesting in-stock merchandise.

The "policy" is, by definition, bad customer service.

So, if I receive bad customer service, whether the employee is just "following orders" or not, it's worthy of derision from me, be it on these message boards or elsewhere. Are we all on the same page now?:yes:

Mad Slanted Powers
03-12-2007, 06:45 PM
I don't usually stress over looking for figures. I rarely ask an employee, because they usually don't have a clue anyway. A couple examples.

Back in '05, I was checking Target for their exclusive clone trooper with the red emblem on him. I think I was there on a Thursday. I don't usually bother to ask anyone, but I ended up going to the customer service counter and asked if they knew anything about the figure. I believe that the response was that it could arrive any time. I checked in again on the weekend, and asked someone in toys. She said they sold out right away. I asked when they were there. I didn't get a definite answer, but it sounded like it might have been before I asked on Thursday.

More recently, I was in the toy aisle and asked about the Mace Windu Battle Pack. I didn't know if it had arrived or was long gone. The guy didn't seem to know what I was talking about. He just went to the Star Wars section and pointed out the Unleashed Battle Packs.

There used to be a guy at Toys R Us when they were still here that seemed aware if new figures had been there. However, I don't recall if I've ever had anyone check stock at any store.

Finding Star Wars stuff is usually not a problem for me except for some exclusives and end of line waves. So, there is usually no reason for me to ask anyone. If it's not there, I'll try the next store. If I don't find it today, I'll find it next week. Once it becomes apparent I won't be finding it, then I can start checking online.

Turbowars
03-12-2007, 06:51 PM
Well Let me tell you guys what happened yesterday. I asked to get some TAC from the back and everything was cool, until the girl went to the back and a manager was there getting a canopy for another customer. I guess he didn't like that the case was being pulled and came out to tell me they don't cater to collectors. Let me just say if it wasn't for jail time the man would have broken ribs and jaw. Ok so I say what did you say? He said it again and I told him I am a paying customer right now AND I spend between 120-170 everyweek there on other stuff with my wife. So needless to say I was mad. He came up with some BS about being short handed. The time it took to BS with this idiot he could had just brought out the case. Let me also say that I'm very nice to every employee until I smell BS. I'm not stupid and I know when a 5 dollar an hour employee is lying.

That same day I had another wonderful women tell me I was monopolizing the action figures. I truly don't think she knew what monopolizing meant. I told her I was highly offended and did not sell this stuff on e-bay. Target employees need to learn how to speak to customers. I then told her if I needed a TV from the back would she not sell that to me too. She had no comment. The management is at fault for hiring morons in the 1st place. At the end she changed here tune and got me a Vader and Coin holder. I think she thought I was going to rat. This BS could had been avoided, but her personal feelings got in the way.

And as far as you go Phantom-like Menace, you should not be in retail. You don't have clue how to treat customers. I did it for years and not one time did I refuse to sell product to a customer. I mean it ludicrous to think a store that is in business to sell product holds product. I don't see the WII's being held back for all those carzy gamers. The whole thing makes no sense.

Luuuuuuke
03-12-2007, 07:26 PM
I'd be willing to bet the proportion of a-holes among collectors and retail employees is roughly equal. In my experience, I have dealt with probably two outright rude a-hole Target employees.

Some were not particularly helpful, most of them simply saying they were not allowed to pull stuff from the back. Turbowars makes a point I tried to make earlier: sometimes employees aren't B.S.ing you when they say they'll get in trouble. It's because some a-hole manager or supervisor will get on their case. This probably varies by store and by work shift.

Clearly at the stores where I've had stuff successfully pulled the employees don't worry about getting in trouble with their Barney Fife-like supervisor. There's two Targets I can think of where they just don't sweat it and say sure, let me check in the back. Then again, I actually try not to ask for stuff to be pulled too often.

But there's other stores where clearly employees will and have gotten in trouble for pulling stuff from the toy section. And my wife, who used to work for Target, does agree that there is an anti-collector sentiment in many of these cases--because in most of these places, they'd have no problem pulling almost anything else that's in stock.

But it really varies by store, and by management. She said there's actually no written in stone policy about this, at least in most cases.

Either way, there's no excuse for employees to be rude. I've been lucky in that most of the employees I deal with have been nice. I've never gotten the you're a scalper look or nasty comments about buying action figures. The only time a couple of Target employees were truly jerks with me was over the Wii, when they lied about having it in stock. That was the angriest I've ever been with Target folks.

Mad Slanted Powers
03-12-2007, 07:29 PM
Maybe it's a form of discrimination. They see an older guy asking for Star Wars toys and they think that either you are a scalper or some stereotype of a loser geek with no life that lives in his parents' basement. Consider the comments Bob Eubanks made about the 501st at the Rose Parade, and what the K-Mart manager said to Dark Artist. If a grandmother were to go in the store and say she is looking for a certain figure for her grandson, they wouldn't treat her like that, and they'd probably have trouble explaining a "no checking stock" rule.

Luuuuuuke
03-12-2007, 07:51 PM
Maybe it's a form of discrimination. They see an older guy asking for Star Wars toys and they think that either you are a scalper or some stereotype of a loser geek with no life that lives in his parents' basement. Consider the comments Bob Eubanks made about the 501st at the Rose Parade, and what the K-Mart manager said to Dark Artist. If a grandmother were to go in the store and say she is looking for a certain figure for her grandson, they wouldn't treat her like that, and they'd probably have trouble explaining a "no checking stock" rule.

I think you're right on the money.

100% right, if some kid or a grandma or mom type went looking for action figures they wouldn't get an attitude, or even a glance. But action figures have increasingly become the domain of older male collectors who sometimes stop by the stores at unusual hours(to their way of thinking perhaps.).

There's no question there's some discrimination, BUT I also think it's true that some collectors behave strangely when they're in stores. They have little rituals that are easy to mock. It's gotten to the point where I can't totally tell a scalper apart from a collector a lot of times.

Quite frankly, a scalper is also a customer and so whatever respect is due to us as collectors is due to them. I actually don't think Target is anti-collector so much as anti-scalper--or better yet, anti-"what they think is scalper." Unfortunately a lot of employees think any guy over a certain age looking for toys is a scalper.

Tycho
03-12-2007, 08:23 PM
I sort of got good customer service today at Target.

I asked a Target "Team Leader" for help. He worked in hardware or something, too - not toys.

The DCPI No. I had was missing a character (my friend phoned it to me and screwed it up) so we had no luck checking the stock room. He said they were several pallets high back there throughout and that he asked my forgiveness, but he really didn't have time to go check through them for any small cases of Star Wars figures. But he had walked from hardware to toys to try the Saga2 DCPI and see if he could alter my incorrect one to read for the TAC figures. He knew what they were, too - but he just hadn't seen them in the store.

I think he was sincere and I thanked him for his effort.

figrin bran
03-12-2007, 09:48 PM
Well Let me tell you guys what happened yesterday. I asked to get some TAC from the back and everything was cool, until the girl went to the back and a manager was there getting a canopy for another customer. I guess he didn't like that the case was being pulled and came out to tell me they don't cater to collectors. Let me just say if it wasn't for jail time the man would have broken ribs and jaw. Ok so I say what did you say? He said it again and I told him I am a paying customer right now AND I spend between 120-170 everyweek there on other stuff with my wife. So needless to say I was mad. He came up with some BS about being short handed. The time it took to BS with this idiot he could had just brought out the case. Let me also say that I'm very nice to every employee until I smell BS. I'm not stupid and I know when a 5 dollar an hour employee is lying.

That same day I had another wonderful women tell me I was monopolizing the action figures. I truly don't think she knew what monopolizing meant. I told her I was highly offended and did not sell this stuff on e-bay. Target employees need to learn how to speak to customers. I then told her if I needed a TV from the back would she not sell that to me too. She had no comment. The management is at fault for hiring morons in the 1st place. At the end she changed here tune and got me a Vader and Coin holder. I think she thought I was going to rat. This BS could had been avoided, but her personal feelings got in the way.


this wasn't at the target i was telling you about, was it?

Turbowars
03-12-2007, 09:50 PM
this wasn't at the target i was telling you about, was it?
Yeah it was. The one that the lady told me I was monopolizing was Bur. Sucks to be me.

figrin bran
03-12-2007, 10:10 PM
Yeah it was. The one that the lady told me I was monopolizing was Bur. Sucks to be me.

did you mention that at least one case was pulled the previous day? (the one they pulled for me)

i guess it just goes to show that even the same target location, depending on when you go and who is on duty can have either good or poor service. i know speck always claims that the other pasadena target is really good about bringing out stock but they've never been willing to help me out.

Tycho, you mean you don't have the DCPI memorized?? :p they always start with 087-06 and so all you need to do is remember the last 4 digits

Turbowars
03-12-2007, 10:17 PM
did you mention that at least one case was pulled the previous day? (the one they pulled for me)

i guess it just goes to show that even the same target location, depending on when you go and who is on duty can have either good or poor service. i know speck always claims that the other pasadena target is really good about bringing out stock but they've never been willing to help me out.

Tycho, you mean you don't have the DCPI memorized?? :p they always start with 087-06 and so all you need to do is remember the last 4 digitsLOL yeah that other Pas store is bad I mean really bad. They one time told me they had the VOTC, but they couldn't get in the warehouse because it was closed and at a location down the street. Could you image being told that? I was hot! I always get them to get the stuff for me one way or another, but damn I don't think I should be lied to over and over and have to jump threw flaming hoops.

Tycho
03-13-2007, 02:01 AM
Tycho, you mean you don't have the DCPI memorized?? :p they always start with 087-06 and so all you need to do is remember the last 4 digits

I'll try that in about 8 hours. Maybe the guy helping me was not actually trying to help me afterall because he could have know how to complete that number. :rolleyes:

Phantom-like Menace
03-13-2007, 07:36 AM
I just got back from K-Mart and I guess the two near me are the only two in the country that didn't put 'em out early.:rolleyes:

I knew my store here could be competitive on this point. My store didn't put them out either.

Tycho
03-13-2007, 08:33 AM
Tycho here with a long post but an incredibly insightful point:

This thought came to me as I woke up a few minutes ago:

1) Suppose Target is running an advertisement of all their wares to debut with their March 25th reset?

2) Suppose Star Wars figures (likely at their regular price) will be in that advertisement?

3) Their policy might be to have that merchandise in stock at least at 8am when the doors open (for all the good it will do them when they sell out by mid-morning)?

4) If they sell out of the back room to customers with DPCI numbers, their warehouses, and in turn Hasbro, cannot resupply them fast enough for March 25th. I bet the company ordered so much, ever so cautious of an Episode One glut. These products go to their regional distribution center. Then the individual stores (say there are 6 per distribution center) are each allowed 1/6 of the inventory the dc receives. If a store sells out of their backroom, they won't get more in time for the advertisement.

5) The customer will complain regardless:
a) if they don't sell out of the backroom when the DCPI number registers they have a few cases

b) when March 25th rolls around and a customer holding the Sunday paper ad asks why it's pictured if they don't have ANY SW figures in stock.

6) Conversely, on March 25th, assuming they hold back 5 cases (60 figures) and they restock toys with 2 cases every other hour:

8:05am the racks are emptied of 24 figures, 36 are left.

10am the racks might be emptied of 24 more figures if collectors are amongst the customers visiting the store at that hour.

12pm - the last 12 figures are sold out.

2pm - the pegs are most likely empty.

3pm - the first one of you complains "why if it's in your ad, don't you have it in stock?" A raincheck might be offered, but that's a waste of effort for the store because if you see the stuff at Sears or Wal-Mart, you'll buy it there first.

7) Conversely, if

a) Sears beats a Target ad / set street date, you'll go to Target later and leave them with 10 Obi-Wan figures (assuming you and others buy everything else and you already got Obi-Wan at another store). If you leave Mace, that's 15 figures. By inventory count, that's over 1 case that's NOT SOLD: 10 Obi-Wans plus 2 Maces = 1 case (12 figures). The computer inventory is not that specific to differentiate between the Clones and the main character Jedi, and all the same, those 15 figures take up the same amount of space on the pegs. If Target orders more to get 2 more Airbornes and 2 more Galactic Marines, they'll have 2 more Obi-Wans and 1 more Mace, and add 3 more figures to the 15 in stock, now putting 18 figures on the pegs, or 1.5 cases. You can see that 1 more case does it and inventory says there are 2 complete cases in stock, even if the only characters are Obi-Wan and Mace.

So how many customers does that serve? (Let's say they are collectors / army builders) Maybe 7 customers, but you'll need 18 customers who don't have Obi-Wan or Mace to move the inventory!

b) Let's say LA Target and Hollywood Target are in the same distribution center and Hollywood sells out of the backroom. If allocations allow it, they might get their trucks, sell out, and re-order before LA does, and leave both stores with no inventory for the advertisement - thus problems at two locations versus one.

8) Hasbro can help by doing what SideShow does with a Military Line.

a) Change the card SIZE and style for army builders. Make it "a different product" even though the figures are 3 3/4" still. Hasbro ships the clones / other soldier-types on this DCPI sku. (They are attempting to do this with their Legacy (Saga Legends?) assortment, though the cards will be uniform and have coins, IIRC.) The idea is that retailer inventory systems will replenish new regular line figures and the Heroes and Villain types independently.

But there is still the problem that the unaware stock person scans the DCPI at the end of the peg to order more. If the product is all uniform (goes in a carded collection well that way, by your and my own thinking, and Hasbro's), the figures will all get mixed up so General Grievous figures will be amassing on the pegs that Airbornes are supposed to occupy and more Airbornes won't get ordered until 18 Grievous' sell or something. :rolleyes:

This is why carded collectors might want to compromise on their love for uniform cards for Saga Legends versus the regular line. - Oh and Hasbro needs to take even new updates to figures of characters like Mace and Obi-Wan out of the regular line! Have them in-stock in Saga Legends. Duh!

Anyway, the alternative to "good customer service" is to go in the backroom for every collector with a DCPI off the internet. By the time the advertisement breaks, they'll have no figures in their inventory.

So should stores save stock up for an ad? That might be the question.

Remember, even if they're getting figures out of the backroom for JediMasterSal exclusively, they might have to make 18 sales of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu before their inventory ordering system will even REQUEST them more figures.

El Chuxter
03-13-2007, 09:43 AM
I have discovered that you get better service in the toy department if you have a baby or young child.

It doesn't matter if the baby is unable to sit up, wearing all pink, and you're looking at Marvel Legends. Something about having the kid with you puts you in an elite club of folks who get treated better by toy department employees.

Tycho
03-13-2007, 11:04 AM
Don't customers look at you funny when you ask them if you can borrow their child?

sjd9299
03-13-2007, 01:55 PM
Don't customers look at you funny when you ask them if you can borrow their child?

Thats why you don't ask.

Tycho
03-13-2007, 03:18 PM
It'd be crazy to see an episode of NBC Dateline's "To Catch A Predator," where that Chris guy, who usually says "So you were expecting to have sex with a 13 year old girl?" instead says, "So you were expecting employees at Target to bring you Star Wars figures when you presented this child?"

I imagine if it was a real kidnapping, or could be construed as such, you'd still land yourself in jail. The "what are you in for?" conversation would be priceless though :D

So Chris would be saying, "So you saw pictures of the ones with the coins on the internet?"

El Chuxter
03-13-2007, 03:23 PM
If he asked if you were planning to get Target employees to bring you toys, you'd have to say that you just wanted to talk, and act like you don't know what toys are.

Luuuuuuke
03-13-2007, 04:50 PM
I just figured out that I have asked on 8 occassions if something could be pulled from the back at Target. And only once was I denied, and the employee was polite and explained in detail why she would get in trouble. This store pulled something for me before, but even then the employee seemed wary about doing it, saying she didn't want to get in trouble. So it was clear to me that some supervisor(s) had indeed lectured employees about not doing this.

Only twice did I have my little daughter with me, but I don't think I made a difference since one of the employees has pulled stuff for me three times, and only the last time(this weekend) did I have my little girl.

But I do think having your child with you(or nephew or a niece) probably does help because it softens your image.

Tycho, you raise a good point I think. If Target is going to advertise a certain item as being available a certain day in an ad(which is what they did with the Imperial Shuttle), then they kind of have an excuse for not putting it out sooner.

figrin bran
03-13-2007, 09:26 PM
Tycho, you raise a good point I think. If Target is going to advertise a certain item as being available a certain day in an ad(which is what they did with the Imperial Shuttle), then they kind of have an excuse for not putting it out sooner.

that's true but shouldn't they be more straightforward about it? instead of concocting all these excuses like "no stores in the city have them in stock", why not just tell us point blank that they're holding it for a certain date and cannot sell it to us just yet. that way, they don't alienate us and lose our business and it ensures that we'll come back on that date.

Kidhuman
03-13-2007, 10:15 PM
They wont tell people that becuase then that mnorning a ton of people will show up and raid the store. By saying "no stores have em" its less likely there will be a line out there.

figrin bran
03-13-2007, 10:38 PM
well, they don't have to give us the exact date...at least for me, even a simple "i'm sure we'll get them in soon...keep checking" would smooth things over.

Mad Slanted Powers
03-13-2007, 10:51 PM
Hey, it's Star Wars. They should just say, "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future."

Luuuuuuke
03-13-2007, 11:12 PM
Hey, it's Star Wars. They should just say, "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future."

Ha! If they had a sense of humor, they could, and I bet a lot of collectors would actually get a laugh out of it.

I don't really mind when an employee explains to me that they can't put them out because they'll get in trouble. I know that in some cases that can definitely be true. There are some serious pricks in mid-management and it wouldn't take much for a lowly employee to end up in their dog house.

But like figrin bran said, they shouldn't just lie to you.

By the way, I wonder if Target isn't unfairly beaten up on. How good is TRU and Wal-Mart's track record for pulling stuff out and not being a-holes about it? I'm curious.

Tycho
03-14-2007, 12:57 AM
How good is TRU and Wal-Mart's track record for pulling stuff out and not being a-holes about it? I'm curious.

My TRU is awesome about getting stuff from the back, as well as fairly distributing hot figures and stocking the other ones intelligently. When Geonosians began to pile up on the pegs, the manager took a good many of them into the back and put them out again as the supply on the pegs sold. That way they didn't appear to be duds at all - but unique (as they really are - for how many figures have wings?) Anyway, if TRU gets stuff first, I have no trouble getting it. They really appreciate collector business.

As to Wal-Mart, my store is 24hrs now. I know an employee who will call collectors on the phone in the middle of the night to come in and pick stuff up that arrives and is on their want-lists. He's fair about it. I'd consider writing his management a complimentary letter, but I don't think he's supposed to be doing that at all. (It's way above and beyond the call of duty though). I will ask him if I can help him in any way. He collects himself - but highend stuff from SideShow mainly.

Target has provided the least of my luck as of lately. An old store I used to live by rocked, but that's sort of far to drive to now.

Oh, and Sears is just excellent as of lately! Who'd have guessed?

figrin bran
03-14-2007, 01:41 AM
At least from the TRU's i go to, they seem to put out stuff promptly and with them i have confidence that if it's not on the shelves, it's not sitting in the back either (unless we're talking about the infamous Burbank TRU). Walmarts, at least the 2 that i frequent are quite inconsistent about stocking.

however, because most of my finds occur at Target, i have greater expectations for them and so when they don't come through, it's viewed as "worse" than TRU or WM not coming through for me.

JediTricks
03-14-2007, 05:24 AM
First off, Target is not the only store with this shelf-date, WM also has it (well, it said March 24th, but close enough).


Secondly, I hit 4 Targets today and I couldn't bring myself to ask an employee for assistance with the case, they've mistreated me in this department too many times and I just feel beat up by it - that's a bad sign for Target in my opinion, it means their discriminatory practices here in LA are working and that'll lead to a breaking point. Anyway, I ran the DCPI at the last store I was at, they have the newer scanners with manual input and increased info on the screen, but alas they were not in stock.

Phantom-like Menace
03-14-2007, 07:29 AM
That five-word slave yoke, "The customer is always right," is a funny expression. Originally it was intended to remind merchants how to act toward customers. At some point though, the expression was misappropriated by customers to describe how they should act toward merchants. This probably happened sometime around the time modern work saving devices taught us we can and should do all of our daily chores from the comfort of our couch.

At some point in the near future, Wal-Mart will finally successfully unionize, and whether or not Target and K-Mart and other retailers join them, the workforce of the largest employer the United States has ever seen is suddenly going to be making the rules. If we're very, very lucky, they'll take back "The customer is always right" and restore its original meaning. More than likely, it'll be rewritten to something mock-harmless like, "The customer will wait at least as long as my hour-long lunch break for service." If you all think retail employees are insufferable now inasmuch as they refuse to give up their jobs so you can get toys, I'm going to DVR the first time a customer (who is always right) attempts to cross a Wal-Mart picket line, and I'm going to enjoy watching it almost as much as I'll enjoy the extra-large popcorn I've purchased to munch on while viewing the event.

Luuuuuuke
03-15-2007, 10:22 PM
Well, whatever "the customer is always right means," I don't like using the DPCI technique. Like Jedi Tricks, I feel awkward doing it. Having said that, my batting average is about .875 using the DPCI, so I can't complain too much. Then again, once I'm successful once, I don't keep trying to get the same items over and over again using the DPCI. (I also know which Targets generally won't do it; if they have a sign saying they're not supposed to do it, I don't even ask. To me that's kind of a lack of respect on the customer's part; you have to respect the possibility employees really could get in trouble).

I can honestly say I'd never get ****ed if an employee declines to bring something from the back unless they were rude or they lied to me. If the street date has not arrived and they tell me they'll get in trouble, I have to respect that.

Turbowars
03-15-2007, 10:58 PM
The problem is do you really know if they are lying to you? I can tell if someone is full of it.

Phantom-like Menace
03-16-2007, 12:14 AM
I also know which Targets generally won't do it; if they have a sign saying they're not supposed to do it, I don't even ask. To me that's kind of a lack of respect on the customer's part; you have to respect the possibility employees really could get in trouble.

That's the largest part of what I'm saying. It's far too easy to work with these people than against them.

On topic (I'm done playing retail's Che Guevara) I still haven't seen TAC at K-Mart. I'm probably not going to bother really looking for another week, maybe a hair over and see if that March 24/25 date means anything. With Wal-Mart and Target making noise about that date, hopefully that's when the fun will begin. I just opened a Tantive IV pack and saw the picture of the V-wing. Very nice! I'd seen Toyfair pictures, but my wallet now realizes the time is nigh.

Luuuuuuke
03-16-2007, 12:55 PM
The problem is do you really know if they are lying to you? I can tell if someone is full of it.

I'd say I have a pretty good B.S. detector. For instance, I have no reason to not believe this one woman who seemed reluctant to bring a battlepack case out because she said she wasn't supposed to do it, but brought it out anyway.

If she's going to lie, she might as well go all out and not even bother to bring it out. But a couple of months later, I got shot down at the same store by a polite employee who said they used to take them out, but that they were lectured about it during a meeting. NOW, there's signs that say they are not allowed to pull stuff from the back.

I think it's logical to assume I wasn't being lied to be either of those employees in retrospect at least.

Do I think the other two employees who have straight out told me they're supposed to put stuff out as soon as it's in stock are necessarily telling me the truth? Actually, as beneficial as that is to a collector, the answer is no. I think they're being genuine, and nice. But I also think it's possible that technically they're supposed to go by a street date, but they happen to have supervisors who don't really care one way or another. So they're totally cool with bringing stuff out.

Back on the topic of K-Mart/Sears--I've only seen the TAC rejects at one K-Mart.

Darth Cruel
03-16-2007, 05:34 PM
Although I will be picking my case of Wave 1 revision 1 up from Entertainment Earth on Monday, I have seen remnants of cases of the first wave at a local K-Mart and at a TRU not too far from me. I have yet to check the Sears Grand that is farly close. But I half expect to find it there as that one DOES have a toy section.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
03-16-2007, 06:04 PM
Today at my Kmart I got Obi-Wan, Mace, and R2, and the other stores have yet to put out anything. Hmm . . .

Phantom-like Menace
03-20-2007, 10:26 PM
I slid by K-Mart today just for the hell of it, and they did actually have some TAC out. Word must have gotten out to look for them, because they only had Mace and "Blow-up Doll Obi-Wan" (an apt name, I think, having finally seen it in person), and I would have bet real money I was the only person regularly checking that store for action figures. Though come to think of it, I know of one other guy who might check, but at least he's a collector and good guy.

DarkArtist
03-21-2007, 04:03 PM
this is going to be an expensive weekend since people are reporting finding the Sith Inflitrator, V-Wing, Order 66 two packs, Commander Neyo battlepacks, and both Wave 1 & 2 of the TAC.

General_Grievous
03-21-2007, 10:22 PM
I'm praying that I find a Treachery on Saleucami battlepack at Wal Mart this weekend. I'm heading there on Saturday.

Tycho
03-21-2007, 10:24 PM
I went out hunting and turned up nothing. :cry:

figrin bran
03-22-2007, 12:23 AM
DarkArtist, where have you read about wave 2 sightings?

DarkArtist
03-23-2007, 02:33 PM
DarkArtist, where have you read about wave 2 sightings?

I remember reading that some people on RebelScum and JediDefender have found Wave 2 mixed in with Wave 1. Not sure whether it is truth or someone spinning some fiction. I do believe that March was to be the launch of Wave 2 before they pushed the date back so it wouldn't surprise me if we do start to see some fo the figures show up.