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Walmart Return Scammer Caught!

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Comments

  • CaptainRogersCaptainRogers Greensboro, NCMember Posts: 417
    Yes! I'm so happy to see this. Whenever I find boxes in Wal-Mart that have obviously been returned without the proper contents, I always find a customer service representative and tell them what's going on. I feel that's my civic duty...
    Plus, I have a stake in the game! I've seen sets on clearance, only to find that they aren't all there. 
    SumoLegokiki180703mithridateAllBrick
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 905
    Glad to hear this....i wish walmart and other retailers would put more resources into stopping this behavior
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 3,743 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,342
    This is fantastic news. 
    SumoLegoFowlerBricks
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 154
    Good news for justice indeed!
  • RogerKirkRogerKirk BrightonMember Posts: 252
    Good to hear someone has been caught for this. Sadly, he's likely just one of many people.

    Perhaps Lego should add small windows to the boxes to see the content in an attempt to counter this if it's a wide spread issue.
    Astrobricksjosekalel
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New England/DenmarkMember Posts: 1,884
    Perhaps the first of many! Good job!
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,355
    …I'm from Stafford County. Not exactly the sort of context I like to hear my area referenced in the news! At least the guy got caught though.
    CaptainRogersFowlerBricks
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 338
    I'm super glad this scumbag got caught, but also worried that the news article will make scammers who otherwise wouldn't have known about this scam aware of it. >.<
    AstrobricksFowlerBricksTyresOFlaherty
  • buildalotbuildalot Pennsylvania, USAMember Posts: 30
    Wow. Whenever I saw boxless sets on ebay my assumption was resellers who got their home flooded or something. Will have to be careful. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,459
    To be fair, the boxless eBay listings in this case was excellent corroboration of this chap's felonious activities.

    I normally dispense with the boxes when trading to save on shipping.  There is a lot of empty space in the packaging, and that translates to increase shipping costs.

    I wonder what he put in the boxes to 'approximate' LEGO, or if the Wal-Mart employees just took the boxes back without really checking.
    Fizyxrd1899mithridate
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,365
    ^ Megobloks or shingle are the common substitutes but it was a query I was hoping to be answered in reading the report.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New England/DenmarkMember Posts: 1,884
    It’s really quite unfortunately people act this way.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 741
    Glad he got caught. So many times I've come across deals at Walmart and Target only to shake he box and hear loose pieces rattling around inside because of people like this guy.
    pharmjodFizyxmadforLEGOkiki180703
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,234
    I returned a Killer Croc set last Fall and the customer service person popped the seals and checked it before accepting it. Of course now who would want to buy their taped up box?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,578
    Legoboy said:
    ^ Megobloks or shingle are the common substitutes but it was a query I was hoping to be answered in reading the report.
    Or dog food.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,002
    The police should return this man to his home, minus his dangly bits.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,365
    CCC said:
    Legoboy said:
    ^ Megobloks or shingle are the common substitutes but it was a query I was hoping to be answered in reading the report.
    Or dog food.
    No way would that box make it back inside the store in one piece if my dog were travelling with me.  Hell, Jake would grass me up before I got through the doors.


    MegtheCatcatwrangler
  • milambermilamber Norfolk UKMember Posts: 105
    Legoboy said:
    CCC said:
    Legoboy said:
    ^ Megobloks or shingle are the common substitutes but it was a query I was hoping to be answered in reading the report.
    Or dog food.
    No way would that box make it back inside the store in one piece if my dog were travelling with me.  Hell, Jake would grass me up before I got through the doors.


    Ours eats Lego.........as do the cats. Came home the other day to find one of them had removed, chewed up and spat out one of the fishing rods from Destiny's Bounty.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,578
    ^^ I think it was@kwkw that had the dog food switch, might have been another US bricksetter. It was a bit of a running joke a few years back.
    SumoLegokiki180703
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,459
    edited February 4
    The only time I've experienced that was purchasing a new coffeemaker from Sears, only to find someone else's clearly inoperable one instead.

    Thankfully, the box looked a bit off to me, so I insisted on opening it at the store.  We all had a good laugh.

    Also bought a car at auction, complete with a glove compartment full of wadded up five dollar bills, plastic toy handgun, a case of gum and a mangled fedora.  (The previous owner had a tiny head.)
    BumblepantscatwranglerSprinkleOtterYodaliciousjosekalelkiki180703mithridateSamJAllBrick
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,329
    edited February 4
    I returned a Killer Croc set last Fall and the customer service person popped the seals and checked it before accepting it. Of course now who would want to buy their taped up box?
    Well that is the price to pay for (IMO) LEGO's incompetence with making many of these boxes easy to surreptitiously open. What they should do is use a Walmart sticker or something to say 'opened to check contents' so someone knows that it was opened, but by an employee.
    Im glad this scum bag is caught, but it does not excuse LEGO IMO for making it easy for these jagoffs.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New England/DenmarkMember Posts: 1,884
    I returned a Killer Croc set last Fall and the customer service person popped the seals and checked it before accepting it. Of course now who would want to buy their taped up box?
    Well that is the price to pay for (IMO) LEGO's incompetence with making many of these boxes easy to surreptitiously open. What they should do is use a Walmart sticker or something to say 'opened to check contents' so someone knows that it was opened, but by an employee.
    Im glad this scum bag is caught, but it does not excuse LEGO IMO for making it easy for these jagoffs.
    I actually returned an item a few weeks ago after sourcing it much cheaper on amazon.  The lady didn’t so much as look at the seals let alone shake it or whatever before she put it on the table in the back of her. Different all over I guess.
    josekalel
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,329
    I returned a Killer Croc set last Fall and the customer service person popped the seals and checked it before accepting it. Of course now who would want to buy their taped up box?
    Well that is the price to pay for (IMO) LEGO's incompetence with making many of these boxes easy to surreptitiously open. What they should do is use a Walmart sticker or something to say 'opened to check contents' so someone knows that it was opened, but by an employee.
    Im glad this scum bag is caught, but it does not excuse LEGO IMO for making it easy for these jagoffs.
    I actually returned an item a few weeks ago after sourcing it much cheaper on amazon.  The lady didn’t so much as look at the seals let alone shake it or whatever before she put it on the table in the back of her. Different all over I guess.
    Yeah, YMMV. My guess is that if it occurs enough at a store the store manager will dictate that the item is opened before returning to the shelf.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 795
    I found a used CFL coil type light bulb in an LED bulb box in the clearance section at Walmart a couple weeks ago. I pointed it out to an employee who, unexpectedly, actually thanked me for doing so.
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,649
    I returned a Killer Croc set last Fall and the customer service person popped the seals and checked it before accepting it. Of course now who would want to buy their taped up box?
    Well that is the price to pay for (IMO) LEGO's incompetence with making many of these boxes easy to surreptitiously open. What they should do is use a Walmart sticker or something to say 'opened to check contents' so someone knows that it was opened, but by an employee.
    Im glad this scum bag is caught, but it does not excuse LEGO IMO for making it easy for these jagoffs.
    I'm not sure what would work better, though. I mean, a blister package that totally encapsulated the card would be something, but they seem to be trying hard to keep their packaging recyclable. I would love to see a solution to this, though - and meanwhile, there's more of these jerks to catch. 
    madforLEGO
  • josekaleljosekalel Rio Grande Valley, TexasMember Posts: 677
    I returned a Killer Croc set last Fall and the customer service person popped the seals and checked it before accepting it. Of course now who would want to buy their taped up box?
    I wouldn't mind if all the contents were inside...also, I mean, Walmart sells thousands of items, it's IMPOSSIBLE for ALL employees to learn either the exact content of every item (seriously, who in here can tell me exactly the number of bags in every LEGO set?), but at the same time, they could increase their proficiency a bit (some people are picky with returns, some don't even care). In the end, Walmart doesn't lose, we all do by paying more.

    Either way, Glad to hear the scammer got caught. 
  • herbyderbyherbyderby CaliforniaMember Posts: 44
    edited February 5
    I once bought #70903 from Amazon Warehouse Deals. Apparently they sell some returns that way. It appeared to be NISB--the seals were intact. All bags were present inside, and sealed. But the minifigures were all missing! Upon very close inspection the inner bags had been re-sealed somehow. I can only imagine how many figures have been stolen by someone with that expertise.
    Fizyxjosekalel
  • teal93mr2teal93mr2 USAMember Posts: 738
    ^Wow, that's incredibly disappointing. For someone to go through that kind of trouble, they are most likely doing that type of theft on a large scale for reselling, or just picking out figs they want from certain sets for themselves and returning them. There will always be someone who has to work the system. Quite pathetic, really. Lego has tried to combat this by spreading out Minifigure parts in separate bags, but that really only helps in store theft. 
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 329
    I saw a very large and very expensive set at Target with an "as-is" sticker on it and a pretty steep discount relative to its original price.  I think that typically means the item was an online order and was returned to that store but it's not an item they stock, which gave it that "as-is" status and discount.  The seals looked untampered with and the discount was awfully tempting but I just didn't want to risk something similar to what @herbyderby said.  Maybe it was a mistake since it was gone a couple of days later but, no regrets!
    ryjay
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 161
    edited February 5
    I once bought #70903 from Amazon Warehouse Deals. Apparently they sell some returns that way. It appeared to be NISB--the seals were intact. All bags were present inside, and sealed. But the minifigures were all missing! Upon very close inspection the inner bags had been re-sealed somehow. I can only imagine how many figures have been stolen by someone with that expertise.
    They probably just pulled the bags open from the top and sealed them back with a heat sealer from a vacuum seal machine. Evil AFOL! 

    EDIT: Oh crap, I hope I didn't just tell people how to...there are no evil AFOLs here right?
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 905
    I saw a very large and very expensive set at Target with an "as-is" sticker on it
    I once saw an electronics item with one of those stickers on it.  Took it to the CS counter and asked to open it to see if it is all there....they said "as is" cant be opened nor could the item be returnable after purchase.  I passed on it.
    Fizyx
  • josekaleljosekalel Rio Grande Valley, TexasMember Posts: 677
    ryjay said:
    I saw a very large and very expensive set at Target with an "as-is" sticker on it
    I once saw an electronics item with one of those stickers on it.  Took it to the CS counter and asked to open it to see if it is all there....they said "as is" cant be opened nor could the item be returnable after purchase.  I passed on it.
    Depending on the set, I would have taken it, especially for the spare parts. Again, if it was at a really good discount, at least 50% off. 
  • rd1899rd1899 U.S.A.Member Posts: 102
    Some additional details, via another article (WTKR):
    Taylor, according to investigators, returned $1,800 worth of LEGOs to the Garrisonville Road Walmart in Stafford. The returns occurred three times since December 30, 2017.

    “The loss prevention officer observed on camera a customer returning a large amount of LEGOs on multiple occasions. He suspected that the individual was obtaining money by false pretenses,” Stafford County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Vicinanzo said. “The deputy discovered that LEGO sets matching the descriptions of the ones Taylor purchased online and returned were found for sale online under the suspect’s eBay account.”
    The likely eBay account wasn't that hard to find, using a zip code search of completed listings for Lego sets.  Looks like the guy acquired some high-priced sets, mostly Star Wars UCS.
  • Habitant99Habitant99 FloridaMember Posts: 89
    So for the past year I've been buying sets that I want but don't feel super attached to, and buying them from a "store return / shipping damage" retailer.  I've bought probably 10 sets this way because I'm just planning to build them and don't care about the boxes, I'm not planning to resell, they're just for me.  I've been burned once thus far, and it was a really annoying crushing one.  I got a great deal on 75158, and it got shipped to me missing the bags with the minifigs.  I would have been less annoyed (paid less than 50% of SRP) if it has all the parts but no minifigs, but it was missing whole bags.  Parts are great, but that one was on my for not verifying it upon receipt (could have returned it if I had) and it reminded me that many of these 'great deals' I was getting could easily be someone scamming the system...
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 329
    ryjay said:
    I saw a very large and very expensive set at Target with an "as-is" sticker on it
    I once saw an electronics item with one of those stickers on it.  Took it to the CS counter and asked to open it to see if it is all there....they said "as is" cant be opened nor could the item be returnable after purchase.  I passed on it.
    That actually makes me more glad that I didn't purchase it.

    josekalel said:

    Depending on the set, I would have taken it, especially for the spare parts. Again, if it was at a really good discount, at least 50% off. 
    It wasn't 50% off and even if it was, it would've still been over $200... a lot of money to spend on a gamble.  Plus, I'm not a parts flipper or MOC'er so I wouldn't have much use for an incomplete set.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 905
    edited February 6
    josekalel said:
    ryjay said:
    I saw a very large and very expensive set at Target with an "as-is" sticker on it
    I once saw an electronics item with one of those stickers on it.  Took it to the CS counter and asked to open it to see if it is all there....they said "as is" cant be opened nor could the item be returnable after purchase.  I passed on it.
    Depending on the set, I would have taken it, especially for the spare parts. Again, if it was at a really good discount, at least 50% off. 
    no, it was an electronic item, not lego.   Don't even know if the remote was in the box let alone other parts.  Wasn't touching it even if they gave it to me.  I understand the no return on "as-is"  items but was surprised you couldn't open it to inspect it.....not like the box hadn't already been opened.   I'm not doing that with electronics or lego items.
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 608
    ryjay said:
    I saw a very large and very expensive set at Target with an "as-is" sticker on it
    I once saw an electronics item with one of those stickers on it.  Took it to the CS counter and asked to open it to see if it is all there....they said "as is" cant be opened nor could the item be returnable after purchase.  I passed on it.

    Wow, you guys really need some stronger consumer laws in the US. A UK retailer would never get away with that. Even discounted items must legally be as described and fit for purpose.
    Fizyx
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Minnesota, USAMember Posts: 38
    I don't think we need a law for this. If it says "as is" but they won't let you open it to see what actually is there... don't buy it! I probably wouldn't shop there again.
    SumoLegopharmjod
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New England/DenmarkMember Posts: 1,884
    It also seems pretty far fetched.  Especially for a Target (if it was there) could have just been the CS rep assisting; I mean what if you get home and electronics are not even working?  Then it's not sold "as is" but sold "as broken".
    pharmjod
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 905
    edited February 7
    I'm not even really sure of what the legal term "as is" means.  I know when selling cars it gets the seller out of having the car smogged, houses they pass on inspections, but i have no clue where the buyer protection lays, if any, in an "as is" condition purchase.  Is it agreed upon by buyer and seller that once sold it belongs to the buyer no if's, and's or but's?  Just don't really know.....
    SumoLego
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,279
    At different times, I've gone to the customer service desk (at Target) to open questionable boxes before I buy them. They don't like it but I don't see the problem. If it's legit, I'm buying it. If it's not, better they get stuck with it than me. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,459
    ryjay said:
    I'm not even really sure of what the legal term "as is" means. ... Is it agreed upon by buyer and seller that once sold it belongs to the buyer no if's, and's or but's?  Just don't really know.....
    'As is' usually goes hand-in-hand with 'buyer beware'.  Unless you can demonstrate a dramatic fraud on the part of the seller - the buyer is stuck.  The buyer always has the option not to buy.  Or adjust the price to account for the risk by waiving legal recourse.
    juggles7ryjay
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New England/DenmarkMember Posts: 1,884
    At different times, I've gone to the customer service desk (at Target) to open questionable boxes before I buy them. They don't like it but I don't see the problem. If it's legit, I'm buying it. If it's not, better they get stuck with it than me. 
    I agree and I think you just have to find the right manager to be OK with this - heck not even a manager.
    Astrobricksgmonkey76
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 329
    I'm sure there's some fine print rule somewhere on how Target handles "as-is" items but I wouldn't count on the workers/managers knowing what that is.  Not a knock against them, but when it comes to nonstandard stuff like this, it usually ends up being at the discretion of the person helping you.  Therefore, no use getting worked up over it.
    Astrobricks
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the WestMember Posts: 2,106
    This is why I balked at buying a Death Star for $350 at WalMart.
    But boy was it tempting...
  • Wookie2Wookie2 Leeds, UKMember Posts: 153
    I actually had a recent experience with Asda where the Ninjago set (#70624) I bought on clearance had most of the minifigure parts missing; a few parts for the main build missing; scenery parts missing; loom bands added; and the inner bags all opened. Unfortunately, this was not discovered until Christmas day when my nephew opened his present which made it a lot worse. Needless to say I got a full refund and apology and then had to buy the replacement parts from Bricklink to complete it for him.

    From memory the box did not look tampered with otherwise I would never have given him it as a present (I've no idea how somebody managed to reseal it as the boxes damage so easily). He got loads more presents but that was the one he fixated on so it wasn't a very good experience.
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 329
    This is why I balked at buying a Death Star for $350 at WalMart.
    But boy was it tempting...
    Funny, that's the set I was talking about and at that price, too, just at a different store.  If I didn't already have the original version, I'd be even more tempted.

    Hope it worked out for the person who bought it, unless they're the flipper who always clears out my area of deals.  ;P
    77ncaachamps
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New England/DenmarkMember Posts: 1,884
    Which all begs the question what do they do with stuff, in this case LEGO, that doesn't end up back on the shelves?

    One time I was returning a package of diapers (Target is good about that) and I asked what they do with it - the lady said they "defect it out" which can only mean it ends up being recycled or thrown away.  Now I don't believe someone would recycle and or throw away LEGO, even if only half the set is present - but still I wonder...
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 329
    Which all begs the question what do they do with stuff, in this case LEGO, that doesn't end up back on the shelves?

    One time I was returning a package of diapers (Target is good about that) and I asked what they do with it - the lady said they "defect it out" which can only mean it ends up being recycled or thrown away.  Now I don't believe someone would recycle and or throw away LEGO, even if only half the set is present - but still I wonder...
    I know that Target sends a lot of stuff that doesn't sell to Goodwill.  But for consumables that are clearly opened and can't be resold, I have no idea.
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