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View Full Version : Would stores give you an answer over the phone?


HotShot81
2016-03-14, 07:41 PM
Alright I am in Canada, it sucks no real new bots since December in my area. I want a few of the current wave. ::Gives an eye to Shockwave, Buzzsaw, Skylynx, and Chop Shop::

If I call Target, Wal-Mart, Toys"R"Us, will I get an answer if they have them in stock, or will they lie? What will they do?

Brendocon 2.0
2016-03-14, 07:47 PM
Yes, I can give you a definitive answer as to the integrity of toy shop employees as a whole that will apply without exception.

Sades
2016-03-14, 09:19 PM
You can call but it's probably going to be a crapshoot. Best way to find out if they have them is doing the legwork.

Warcry
2016-03-14, 10:38 PM
I'd be surprised if the employees would be able to tell, honestly. I don't think our retailers have Transformers in the computer system as separate items the way they are in some US stores. They'd be able to tell you if they have "Generations Legends-class" in stock, but they'd have no idea if those Legends were Shockwave, Bombshell, Skywarp or Rodimus. And I don't think they'd be allowed to leave the customer service desk to go look.

Thunderwave
2016-03-15, 12:39 PM
As a former retail employee (TRU and Target) they'll send some poor soul to the Transformers section to go look and see if they have what you are calling about.

Weather or not you get an honest answer is down to the employee on the phone knowing what you are talking about, communicating that to the floor employee well enough for them to find it, the person on the floor knowing what they are looking for, the floor employee having the integrity to actually go look and not wander off somewhere else and just radio back "No we don't have them". So it's a crapshoot. Most of the time, though, they'll be as honest as they can be about it.

And no, they won't check the back to see if they have a specific case in. Most store employees have no idea how to do that and don't care. It's a waste of time 90% of the time.

HotShot81
2016-03-16, 11:31 PM
So I guess if I want those bots, I might need to do 100 miles of driving to see if they have them in stock...

Warcry
2016-03-17, 03:48 PM
Or buying online and paying a 50% markup. :(

It shouldn't be this difficult to buy retail product. It just shouldn't. I can get big-box stores like Walmart not caring about their toy departments outside of Christmas time, but I really don't understand how places like Toys'R'Us can turn a profit when half of their shelves are empty and the other half are filled with product that's two or three years old and literally collecting dust. Popular lines sell out and instead of stocking more of them they take down the price tags and fill the space with more of the stuff that isn't moving.

It's gotten to the point where I have an easier time buying Asian-exclusive MP Transformers and DC toys that I can only get online and through comic shops than I do stuff that I'm should be able to pick up from any of three or four different shops that I go by on the way to work every day. Maybe the reason why toy sales are down so much isn't because kids are losing interest, but because nobody can find anything they'd be interested in buying?

Or maybe I'm still just pissy because I stopped at my local Toys'R'Us this week, looked for five different toylines that I'm interested in and couldn't find a single one of the probably thirty different things I might have wanted to buy?

Blah. Sorry for the rant. :(

Cliffjumper
2016-03-17, 09:13 PM
Similar experiences here, TBH. Might be the time constraint of parenthood playing a part but I really find it less hassle (and rarely particularly more expensive considering UK high street RRP) to just go online and buy exactly what I want from Hong Kong or whatever.

Sades
2016-03-17, 10:09 PM
Yep. I don't buy a lot of things nowadays but generally when I do, I order it.

Unless (because I don't drive) I'm willing to make a day out of bouncing around to all the likely places in town looking for a specific toy, which if you factor in all the extra crap I'm likely to pick up along the way (toys, lunch, snacks, etc) it usually ends up being cheaper anyway.

Warcry
2016-03-17, 10:31 PM
Sades, just out of curiosity, where do you order from?

Similar experiences here, TBH. Might be the time constraint of parenthood playing a part but I really find it less hassle (and rarely particularly more expensive considering UK high street RRP) to just go online and buy exactly what I want from Hong Kong or whatever.
Unfortunately it does make a big difference price-wise in Canada. I find that Canadian retailers' sites are mostly useless save for big-ticket stuff that I don't want (i.e. Devastator or that G2 Superion). And toysrus.ca is especially useless because anything I order from them will inevitably require a hour-plus round-trip drive across town to pick it up from their shipping company's depot. So most everything needs to be ordered from out-of-country, which means paying USD, which means a 25% markup on top of however much the seller's jacked the price up over US MSRP, plus shipping, and when it's all said and done I've spent $40 on a $20 toy. And shit, if I wanted to do that I'd order the Takara version.

Compared to five years ago when I could get 90% of everything I wanted just by popping into the toy aisle while I was doing my grocery shopping, it's become really frustrating.

Sades
2016-03-18, 01:22 AM
Sades, just out of curiosity, where do you order from?

Wherever I can get it from cheapest. We still do the majority of our toy shopping by randomly visiting the toy aisle if we can (which we usually can, because we usually do our grocery shopping at Wal Mart, swinging by to look at toys is nothing). Specific items tend to be bought online.

Hound
2016-03-18, 04:03 AM
Having spent 20+ years working retail jobs I can also confirm that there's never going to be a sure way to find out if a local store has something unless you go down there and look for yourself.

As for buying online, the usual suspects are Amazon or Ebay but depending on what I'm trying to get it could be just about any retailer as long as it's the cheapest option and I feel like I can trust the site. Generally speaking though, most of my TF purchases are down at the local Walmarts or ToysRUs. Most stuff makes it to one of them eventually.

HotShot81
2016-03-18, 11:15 AM
Sades, just out of curiosity, where do you order from?


Unfortunately it does make a big difference price-wise in Canada. I find that Canadian retailers' sites are mostly useless save for big-ticket stuff that I don't want (i.e. Devastator or that G2 Superion). And toysrus.ca is especially useless because anything I order from them will inevitably require a hour-plus round-trip drive across town to pick it up from their shipping company's depot. So most everything needs to be ordered from out-of-country, which means paying USD, which means a 25% markup on top of however much the seller's jacked the price up over US MSRP, plus shipping, and when it's all said and done I've spent $40 on a $20 toy. And shit, if I wanted to do that I'd order the Takara version.

Compared to five years ago when I could get 90% of everything I wanted just by popping into the toy aisle while I was doing my grocery shopping, it's become really frustrating.

Tell me about it. As I pointed out to the guys at Toysonfire.com (a Canadian company). I dig the fact they have to pay S&H and mark it up due to USD to CND. However, to turn a $9.99 toy into a $24.00 is gouging, and I won't pay.

I agree that most .ca websites are useless because the bots I want aren't listed. I really don't want to go on a 100 mile+ round trip unless I knew there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...

Warcry
2016-03-18, 09:30 PM
Wherever I can get it from cheapest. We still do the majority of our toy shopping by randomly visiting the toy aisle if we can (which we usually can, because we usually do our grocery shopping at Wal Mart, swinging by to look at toys is nothing). Specific items tend to be bought online.
Boo, I was hoping you knew about some super-secret good places to shop online that I didn't. :(

I still try to do most of my shopping during grocery runs as well, but it's gotten to the point where more than half of the stuff I'm interested in never shows up locally. And yet Transformers is still the easiest toyline I follow in that regard, since at least the shelves are consistently stocked, even if it's mostly with shelfwarmers and weird overpriced Platinum stuff.

As for buying online, the usual suspects are Amazon
Do you use the Canadian site? I find that it's rare for them to stock anything, and the third-party sellers usually want even more than I'd pay if I bought off the US site.

Tell me about it. As I pointed out to the guys at Toysonfire.com (a Canadian company). I dig the fact they have to pay S&H and mark it up due to USD to CND. However, to turn a $9.99 toy into a $24.00 is gouging, and I won't pay.
That's extortionate, I agree. Even charging $30 for a $20 toy that's allegedly still available at retail is a bit ridiculous, frankly, but some people will pay it as long as the retail distribution system remains broken.

Warcry
2016-03-23, 06:00 AM
I find that Canadian retailers' sites are mostly useless
So of course, the week after I say this I find four of the toys I was after for sale on Canadian retailers' sites without even really looking for them. I literally just now turned on my laptop for the first time in a few days, noticed that I had an Amazon.ca tab open, refreshed it for shits and giggles as I was punching in my monthly utility readings and hey! Combaticons! And similarly, I found some Star Wars stuff on Walmart.ca a few days ago after stumbling on a post saying they had it.

So now I've got Swindle, Brawl, Jango Fett and Trooper Finn on the way, but I also look like a spoiled, entitled jerk who was whining about nothing.

Eh, I'll take that trade. :)

HotShot81
2016-03-26, 08:52 PM
That's extortionate, I agree. Even charging $30 for a $20 toy that's allegedly still available at retail is a bit ridiculous, frankly, but some people will pay it as long as the retail distribution system remains broken.

The reason they CLAIM they needed me to pay double the price is Shockwave is in high demand, and they have to order him in a 4 pack.

I was ready to buy 3/4ths of the 4 pack, even offered to go 4/4 at $13.00 a pop, but no they won't haggle on prices.

I'll be glad when things slow down a bit for me, so I can head down state side to look at Transformers. Get my summer tires on my new car. Maybe give her a polish and wash job.

Thunderwave
2016-03-26, 09:44 PM
That's extortionate, I agree. Even charging $30 for a $20 toy that's allegedly still available at retail is a bit ridiculous, frankly, but some people will pay it as long as the retail distribution system remains broken.

Yikes! That 150% mark up is nuts. However I'll gladly, at this point in my life, pay that extra $5-10 plus shipping to not have to waste time, gas, wear and tear on my car trying to hunt the damn things down and just make them come to me.

Where I live might also be a factor in that. Usually when those "We saw this at retail!" sightings start here in the US on a figure I've got at -least- a month, sometimes a month and a half, before I'll start seeing them in stores barring a shelfwarmer clogging the isle. The joys of living in the Rust Belt.