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  1. #1

    Exclamation Beware! Not Making It To The Walmart Shelves!

    During the holidays I started to become so frustrated and discouraged because of the problems with the distribution within the L.A. area - especially with Walmart (Cerritos, Paramount, Long Beach stores). I thought I'd score during their 24/7 holiday hours by shopping during "stocking time," but I came up empty handed. I originally thought that other collectors were just getting there before I did, but when I was hitting the stores at odd hours like 12:30am, 4:00am, and 5:00am, I knew that there was more to the story. To put it all in a nutshell, I have spoken to several employees, MANAGERS, and security guards and found out that the reason I can never find my figures (when they have reportedly hit other stores) is because the employees aren't putting them on the shelves! They are taking them and selling them for a higher price on certain "flea market" type websites, and collector's "swap meets." The MANAGERS at some of the Walmarts even told me that they KNOW it is going on, but there isn't much that they can do about it (whatever). Please do not fall for buying marked up prices (out of desperation) on figures - that only makes the process more marketable for those "insiders" (employees), and tempts them to do it all the more. I have reported the problem to the Hasbro Consumer Affairs (1-800-327-8264), as well as the Walmart Consumer Affairs. If you are experiencing the same problem as I am, don't be naive about it and simply think that other collectors are just getting there before you do - DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Investigate and report it to the Consumer Affairs departments with Hasbro and Walmart. If enough people bring it to their attention, hopefully the problem will be resolved. Thank you.
    Last edited by M1-H2; 01-17-2003 at 03:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Good advice, I agree we should do something. If there are managers allowing it, then we have to go over their heads.

    All the more reason to scour the pallets before those filthy employees can loot them.

  3. #3
    Shhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    You're gonna kill my business!!!
    "Roger Nasty Butler!"

  4. #4
    Unfortunatly, it's not against the law for people to buy and resell things. As long as the employees are purchasing the items on their own time, they have just as much right to buy it as anyone else. And there is very little proof that the items arn't hitting the shelves. Sorry to completly bust your bubble about this, but it's been debated endlessly.

    And the problem is never going to be resolved, because there is no problem. While what they are doing is morally wrong in our eyes, legally there is no recourse against it. We may not like it, we may hate it, but unless the store themselves decides to limit the quantities allowed to be purchased, there isn't much that can be done.

    MTFBWy and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  5. #5
    That's true Jar Jar Binks - it isn't against the law to BUY and resell, but who said anything about the employees "buying" anything? After my thorough conversations with the managers, it is pretty safe to say that not all of them actually do any "shopping."

  6. #6
    Oh please, I highly doubt that these dubious employees are actually stealing the figures and are still working there. That's just rediculous. A store isn't gonna care who buys what they get, but they arn't going to allow people to actually steal from there.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  7. #7
    Also, Jar Jar, I have found A LOT of proof that they are NOT hitting the shelves in some stores. During the holidays, I was there practically everyday (and night) when the employees reportedly said they stock the SWFs, but nothing new was ever put on the shelves. The MANAGERS who I talked with at the Cerritos, Paramount, and Long Beach stores even told me point blank that it WAS going on - they are just limited as to what they can do about it. That is why I am urging collectors not to be naive, but to check it out and report it. Maybe someone on a higher level will actually do something about it!

    Yes, yes, yes - some of the managers HAVE admitted that there are thieves, er, excuse me, employees who ARE stealing figures and are STILL employed there. One manager even urged me to take it to a higher level so that something will be done about it. The Hasbro Consumer Affairs toll free number is: 800-327-8264, and to contact Walmart Consumer Affairs call: 1-800-WALMART and click on the prompt that leads you to the Lee Scott Department. Thank you.

    Hey Jar Jar, by the way, what do you do for a living?


    Mod Note: Merged back to back posts together. If you need to add something, use the "Edit" Button.
    DA
    Last edited by Dar' Argol; 01-18-2003 at 12:14 AM.

  8. #8
    Well it must be a LA thing cause I've found pretty much everything at walmart except the Saga Tie Bomber. The Xmas pack and the Trash Compactor scenes were sitting on the shelves.

  9. #9
    Interesting (raises one eyebrow.)
    As someone who shops at all of those particular stores, I find it interesting to hear that the managers would tell you THAT much. I'm not surprised by the employee [EDITED] scalper thing ... I know those stores and I know how they're probably selling what they find (if they CAN sell it.) I doubt that it's the Wal-Mart employees stealing though ... I've seen my share of scalpers and you'd be surprised just how persistent THEY tend to be. (If you're there once/twice a day, they're there four times as much. Though we're probably seeing each other and thinking ... "Hey, there's a scalper! Grrrrr!")

    I would say that for the most part though, I'm not sure that the holiday "distribution" problem was just an east L.A. County problem. I'd say that thanks to the dock worker problem that we had in the ports (Long Beach) up and down the coast ... distribution was pretty messed up nation wide. If anything, once merchandise started moving into the stores, we had a huge advantage because our particular sources ... Wal-Mart & Target (LB, Lakewood, Cerritos, Seal Beach, Paramount, etc.) ... are getting stuff first because they're closest to the port. More so in the case of those brand new Long Beach Wal-Marts because they're really interested in getting stuff on the floors and making these stores look good.

    I don't believe that the majority of Wal-Mart employees ... or more than one or two probably ... are scalping though. We just aren't getting that much new stuff in (period.) BUT ... as someone who has NO problem hassling jerks that abuse the "system" and burn me when it comes to my not having a shot at what's out there ... I'd more than welcome a PM with more specific info on what stores and who you talked to about this. It's something to think about when I'm out shopping.

    ... and JarJar's right ... it's been debated endlessly, though I think it's one of the few things that deserves to remain an active topic. The employee/scalpers hurt their stores image by scooping the customers on merchandise. The main draw for these huge stores is that the stuff will be on the shelves and that it's convenient to locate and purchase. If employees DO abuse their access to the inventory, they end up doing damage to how the community perceives that particular stores selection. (In this case ... "Ugh, that place still only has 40 Senator JarJar figures!") Yet, yeah ... what can you do? It's like having birds c**p on your car. You can either throw rocks at them (which makes you look like a nut) or you can just park some place else.

    -pf


    Mod Note: I removed offensive word. Even if its a mis-type, please watch what you type.
    DA
    Last edited by Dar' Argol; 01-18-2003 at 12:22 AM.

  10. #10
    That is just great! I was going to go to the Long Beach WM today to look for the Trash compactor sets. So should I just not go??? That's the closest WM to me
    "A gift from god may sear unready
    fingers." --Octavia E. Butler

    Star Wars Action Figure Reviews
    http://starwars.carrotnetwork.com

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