Please refrain from posting animated GIFs, memes, joke videos and so on in discussions other than those in the off topic area.

Dismiss this message to confirm your acceptance of this additional forum term of use.
You must be 16 or over to participate in the Brickset Forum. Please read the announcements and rules before you join.

Tampered Boxes

skherbeckskherbeck Member Posts: 33
edited January 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Last July I went to Target and stumbled upon a huge 50% off clearance on Lego... I ended up purchasing about $300 worth of Lego games and sets. I kept some, gave many away to "Toys for Tots", and used several as gifts for my son's friends. On New Year's Eve, friends of the family came over with their son and belatedly opened Christmas presents from us, one of which was a Star Wars set purchased in July at the Clearance Sale. The weird thing was that this Star Wars set contained nothing of the original parts... it had a used instruction book from a different set, and a bunch of resealed parts bags with random bits of lego and other toys (broken army men, Halo figures, etc.) Obviously, someone must have purchased the set previously, taken the original parts out and put in the substitute garbage bits, resealed the box, and returned it to Target. When I purchased it, it looked and felt like a brand new set. I tried to return the set, but the receipt was expired and Target basically did nothing for me. Has this happened to anyone else? Make sure you inspect the seals closely on any store bought Lego sets!!
«134567

Comments

  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,266
    I'm surprised Target didn't help you, especially if you say it was a gift.
  • skherbeckskherbeck Member Posts: 33
    Apparently reciepts have an expiration date. I spoke with the manager who said there was nothing he could do; he then referred me to a corporate office who said there was nothing they could do... although they did thank me for reporting the issue. Your welcome, Target.
    bobabricks
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,266
    I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe see what Lego says? They may be more lenient.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,285
    ^ Totally agree, that would be my next point of call.

    Not that I'v been able to take advantage of the US sales recently, but how many of all of the those discounted 'sealed' sets do you think might be full of "broken army men and Halo figures?" Christ!!! They're not likely to be opened for months.....years! :o/
  • bor2112bor2112 Member Posts: 289
    ^I had the same thought! Although, I am careful to check seals and edges when I purchase, there are some crafty people out there.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited January 2012
    It's really unfortunate that there are people out there that do shady things like this.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 972
    Unfortunately this is quite common, especially at Target and Walmart. I highly recommend opening all LEGO sets shortly after purchase to make sure everything is there. Even if it is going to be a gift, or you are planning to hold on to the set in a sealed box, I recommend checking the content before your receipt expires.

    This also happens with eBay and BrickLink sellers; they are selling a set MISB, then later they find out from the buyer that the content was garbage! Of course the buyer thinks the seller is a fraud, but most often than not these are honest sellers, who buy LEGO on clearance at retail stores, then re-sell them online.

    Imagine the can of worms they have to deal with after a transaction like that! And imagine if the transaction was international! Ouch! Yeah, pretty scary thought!

    Best is to check the content of the box and write in the description that the content was inspected to make sure all parts are there. Buyers or recipients of the gift will apreciate that.
    Andor
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    I had this happen to me as a seller. I sold a $100 set on Ebay last year and was told that the box was full of junk. I fully refunded him. He thought I was pulling one over on him. I stated that I had 100% feedback why would I do that? I though maybe he was scamming me, even though I didn't let him know. It was a mess. Who knows what was in that box??? It does go both ways as I have heard of people pulling this scam on sellers. I really don't think there is any protection from the store on this one. I am happy I only had this happen once.
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,254
    That's why if I sell on Ebay, I don't sell MISB. I will sell used/ adult displayed sets only. I only buy sets I intend on using myself or my kids. i open every one of them. So, unless you open every set you purchase or resell, you never know what is in that box. I used to work retail and ohhh the stories I could tell you!
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited January 2012
    There has been a few discussions on this before, sorry to hear it though. So sleazy...

    Are these scammers just really good at breaking and resealing these, or is it a case where the seals weren't examined closely at purchase? I've tried to open seals carefully myself if I'm regifting and I've never had much luck at getting them back to looking new.

    Luckily this scam is a pretty rare event (imo) compared to the number of Lego sets sold every day.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,204
    So I guess a question is, what did the seals look like after the fact?
    Did they look damaged, or re-glued? Just wondering if there is something to be on the lookout for.
    My guess is there should be damage to the original seals if this was done.
    I ask because if you can get a picture, or describe how the seals look then that may be beneficial for future purchases.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,177
    Another good reason to buy from amazon or lego.com.
    Andor
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 679
    Yesterday while doing a quick walk through the local TRU, looking at the bare LEGO shelves, I noticed a Star Wars Advent Calendar. When I looked at the box, one side had been opened and retaped.... wonder what's missing in that one?
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    @Legogeek - I noticed the same thing on quite a few of the SW Advents...

    Did you happen to notice the price? ;)

    Dec 1-24, they were $29.99 on "clearance" for $20 off. Dec 26-28-ish, they were "on sale" for $39.99. Since then, they are now back to $49.99 full price. What a joke.

    Brent
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 679
    @Legogeek - I noticed the same thing on quite a few of the SW Advents...

    Did you happen to notice the price? ;)

    Dec 1-24, they were $29.99 on "clearance" for $20 off. Dec 26-28-ish, they were "on sale" for $39.99. Since then, they are now back to $49.99 full price. What a joke.

    Brent
    No, once I saw it had been opened I didn't bother to check the price. Maybe I'll go back and do that. I had thought about bringing it to someone's attention, and asking to open and examine the contents, but the store is in such a disarray right now and the staff is back to it's old bare bones three people, I didn't want to waste my time.

  • johnsbricksjohnsbricks Member Posts: 211
    This scam where mentioned seems to be confined to the US Walmarts or Target. I've not heard of a UK case. Sealed boxes ie not the taped ones are relatively easy to scam. One way to check is weight and a shake...lego in sealed bags have a distinctive noise! Taped boxes are difficult to scam without some evidence of the box being tampered with.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    edited January 2012
    The US SW Advent boxes are taped, not sealed. (For what it's worth, most boxes are taped.)

    Brent
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    The box I sold was from Toys R Us. This is sorta off topic but.. The other big scam I get as a seller is.....the box did not arrive. It happens atleast 5 times a year. I do have tracking and insurance, so I am protected. They say it was left when they were not home. Some people get quite irate and threatning. Once I tell them I will have UPS come out to follow up on there claim...the box is magically found at a neighbors or some other spot. I keep selling though because I enjoy it and on a whole I believe most people are good.
    CaptainClutch
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,559
    In regard to boxes of the CMF, I was recently (yesterday, in fact) in communication with the retailer that I use to get unopened boxes of them and they informed me that Lego requires that they randomly open CMF boxes to ensure that there is proper content distribution (ie, the right number of figure packages within the box). As a result, they told me that they can not guarantee a MISB box every time.

    This puts a new spin on taped-up boxes at other retailers. I wonder if Lego asks retailers to do this with more than merely the CMF boxes. I've always assumed that taped up boxes on shelves were the result of customers opening them and retailers trying to sell the damaged goods regardless. If Lego asks retailers to perform such checks outside of the factory, that would be odd. I suspect that since the CMFs are intended for individual sale, the checks on the boxes are unique phenomena with Lego.

    In any regard, just thought I'd pass on that little tidbit of information. As you were.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    With the CMFs being made in China, I am not surprised LEGO has that requirement.

    Brent
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    bought some pyramid sets on clearance from exoneit . there was a flyer inside to say that the plane sets may or may not be missing the spare propeller based on previous problems.

    i'll call lego and get them to send me some to be on safe side :-)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,204
    edited January 2012
    In regard to boxes of the CMF, I was recently (yesterday, in fact) in communication with the retailer that I use to get unopened boxes of them and they informed me that Lego requires that they randomly open CMF boxes to ensure that there is proper content distribution (ie, the right number of figure packages within the box). As a result, they told me that they can not guarantee a MISB box every time.

    This puts a new spin on taped-up boxes at other retailers. I wonder if Lego asks retailers to do this with more than merely the CMF boxes. I've always assumed that taped up boxes on shelves were the result of customers opening them and retailers trying to sell the damaged goods regardless. If Lego asks retailers to perform such checks outside of the factory, that would be odd. I suspect that since the CMFs are intended for individual sale, the checks on the boxes are unique phenomena with Lego.

    In any regard, just thought I'd pass on that little tidbit of information. As you were.
    Why would a retail store need to open a Sealed LEGO set? CMF, I can kind of understand (to ensure that the 60 packs are in there), but that is LEGO doing that. Why would a retail store open a set? (other than display purposes maybe, and Id like to think they would not rebox it for sale after) It is not like they are going to take out the instructions and count every part bag in the set.
    My assumption, and a store manager would need to confirm this, is once a set is opened, it is returned, not re-stocked, at least that how it was when I was in retail (but that was about 18 years ago ) because of issues like this.
    Bottom line if these sets really do look like the seals are tampered with, that people need to just take a really good look at the tape seals on the LEGO boxes.. make sure they are not cut, or were pulled up and re-glued or cut with tape over them, etc.... When in doubt, do not buy it, or if you are buying it for yourself take it up to the service desk and ask them about it and if you can open it in front of them to ensure all pieces are there before purchasing it..
    Most of the sets I buy are from online or from a LEGO store, but occasionally I will pick up the occasional LEGO set from Target when I am there, or TRU if they have a sale or I need to burn through reward points, and I always investigate seals closely to see if they look like the were peeled up and re-glued, or if there is tape on top of the LEGO seal/tape that factory sealed the box.
    Since I have not seena response as to the condition of the seals on the tampered box yet Im guess ing it can look crude, not if they look like good seals and someone found a way to unseal the glue and seal it without making a mark then there are bigger issues.

    Andor
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 480
    Somewhere in the thread someone asked if a person can re-seal sets. The answer is, yes. I have never re-sold or returned a set I bought, but for any product wrapped in plastic/sealed in plastic, all a person needs is a plastic shrinkwrap machine (I had it out with a cardshop owner once when I spotted a machine in his back office area). These became popular back in the late-80's when baseball cards were on top of the world.

    As for the Lego boxes, I always carefully peel the taped corners back, even though I do not save the boxes (seriously, its an OCD issue). Depending on the type of cardboard used to make the boxes, I could reseal the boxes if I wanted, without anyone noticing.

    Whenever I give Lego as a gift, I untape one side and check the bag count. All it takes is a good knife blade, and no one notices... but I'm satisfied the gift is solid.

    So if you ask me, yes, it is very easy to reseal a box without anyone being the wiser (sadly).
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,285
    edited January 2012
    ^^ Obviously, I won't post online how, but the tape seals can easily be removed and reapplied. You'd never know it had happened.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 480
    oh, side note, the taped boxes are usually higher priced sets. The smaller sets, like battle packs are done the way all boxes should be sealed!
    77ncaachamps
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited January 2012
    Eesh, that's scary to find out...I thought you just had to examine the seals carefully before buying given my unsuccessful attempts. I have all sorts of sets saved for the future, time to crack them open. Thx for the heads up.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited January 2012
    Eh, nm...not worth the trouble...if I end up with a set or two that's been tampered with than so be it. Not much to be done at this point anyway. Good to know the risk is there though...call it the risk involved with buying a set on clearance...even if 1 set in 4 was bad (which seems very unlikely), you'd still be ahead of the average buyer paying full price.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 739
    Tilt the box to one side. If you hear bricks rattling around then the bags are opened inside. Like a previous poster said, bricks in bags have a distinct sound. You can also try shaking the box. I fell victim to this at Target too but I found out before I opened the box so was able to return it.

    The guest services clerk opened the box in front of me and found it suspicious that I knew the bags were opened inside. I explained that I buy a TON of LEGO.
  • skherbeckskherbeck Member Posts: 33
    Whoever filled my "New" Star Wars set with garbage bricks and broken army men took the time to fill 4 clear poly bags and then tape them up; there were no loose bricks in the box. They even put in an old manual, as mentioned above... so if you shook the set, it felt exactly like it should. Also, the seals were tape, and they looked perfect! Oh well, out of hundreds of sets I've purchased, this has only happened to me once.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    I have received LEGO boxes via UPS in the winter where the seals have come undone due to the cold.

    After it warms up, they become sticky again...

    Brent
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,204
    Has anyone opened a non Star Wars set to find garbage or figs missing?

    It is just disappointing that there are people that are spineless enough to do something like this to begin with.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Unfortunately, people are doing this kind of stuff all the time, and not just with LEGO: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/jell_no_li_geezer_duo_busted_PcvehLSb5wUgAGYL6ywYcM

    Anyway, I usually inspect the tape - the tape used by LEGO appears to have a couple of security features: a Black rectangle in just about the spot where the two cardboard flaps meet (and where one might cut it with a knife), a 4-digit code printed in black on one side of the tape, and rounded corners. Not that the tape can't be faked, or removed and reapplied, but some don't go through the effort.

    The lack of the printing on the tape saved my from buying a previously-played-with Toy Story set from Target.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,559
    Why would a retail store need to open a Sealed LEGO set? CMF, I can kind of understand (to ensure that the 60 packs are in there), but that is LEGO doing that. Why would a retail store open a set? (other than display purposes maybe, and Id like to think they would not rebox it for sale after) It is not like they are going to take out the instructions and count every part bag in the set.
    My assumption, and a store manager would need to confirm this, is once a set is opened, it is returned, not re-stocked, at least that how it was when I was in retail (but that was about 18 years ago ) because of issues like this.
    Bottom line if these sets really do look like the seals are tampered with, that people need to just take a really good look at the tape seals on the LEGO boxes..
    They're an online-only retailer so there's no chance of the open boxes being the result of consumer tampering. I might add that the boxes I've received from them have always been fine but that when I inquired about when unopened boxes of Series 6 would be available, they informed me that they can not guarantee sealed boxes because Lego requires that they conduct random inspections of boxes.

    Like I said, I suspect it only applies to the CMFs because the display boxes are not the product and thus not intended to ever be sold unopened.
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    I have been warned several times by Target employees to check seals and have seen them check them themselves when checking out. This must be quite common.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,559
    "Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately, [we do] not guarantee that clients will receive sealed cases. We are required by manufacturers to randomly open cases to inspect the contents for possible damage, defect, or incorrect product assortments. The vast majority of cases are never touched, so it is possible that a client will receive nothing buy [sic] sealed cases, however there is always a chance that a client will receive a case that has been opened, inspected, and then sealed again. Also, cases are opened and inspected at the factory, so it is possible that these cases will be delivered to [us] in a resealed condition.

    That being said, LEGO has told us that they are making the next Minifigures release open to all retailers, so we are expecting them… however LEGO has yet to send us an official solicitation for the new Wave."

    Here's the email response I got to my inquiry regarding if and when sealed cases of CMF Series 6 would be available for purchase.
  • omgitsrenzoomgitsrenzo Member Posts: 46
    edited January 2012
    So yesterday I was at my local walmart ( just like every Sunday) to get my lego fix. As I strolled over to the CMF boxes iv noticed that in the first box, at least 75% percent of it has been opened and robbed of it's minifig.

    I checked loads of other boxes underneath it and it seems most of the contents in the other boxes have been opened too! I checked the Lego aisle afterwards and I was shocked to see boxes of different sets opened and their contents picked through. It seems the person doing it has a little minifig fix since he/she only took minifigs. 7 boxes were opened and dis-minifigured

    I told the workers and they said that's it's been happening alot lately ... I tried to ask if I could have the opened boxes since .. They were opened already but they declined -___- sadly

    anyway .. Has anyone else experienced these?
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,516
    I've heard of people buying sets to find that the figs have been taken out, either in store or as a return. But you would have thought that CCTV would catch something.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    Was in my local Tesco (UK) last week and noticed they had CMF series 6 in.
    Had a quick look and found 3 of the 5 I looked at were all open, most were empty with the exception of the Flamenco dancer who was left in her open packet :( Clearly not worth stealing!!
    First time I have EVER seen this and I have been in lots of shops and see lots of Lego.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 480
    I've noticed this, too. I shook a marina I was buying, asked the sales clerk if I could open it before buying, because it sounded wrong, and she (TRU) basically yelled at me. So, I bought, opened it right there, and then returned it due to missing pieces. Then she became more irate. I think this is a new trend in theft due to Lego popularity.

    Funny thing, though, I bought my only Kro-e Transformers set on major mark-down (basically 80% off) due to a torn open box. No one had stolen those minifigs. Lets us know whats worth stealing :/
  • DatoDato Member Posts: 111
    My local TRU has moved their CMF boxes next to the cashiers. They must have had enough of missing CMFs.
  • giraffefrecklesgiraffefreckles Member Posts: 100
    edited January 2012
    ^^ You think like a pirate. :)

    I'll have to be more careful in the future. I never think to check the seals or rattle the boxes in stores. Too much faith training/lack of thinking bandwidth.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    I've noticed some of the newer sets are now coming with the minifigures in them split across multiple bags, rather than all in the same bag. The Friends sets with more than 1 figure came this way, as did some of the newer City stuff as I recall.
    Andor
  • allendeanallendean Member Posts: 32
    edited February 2012
    So I walk into my local GoodWill today, and see 7163 sitting on a shelf with a price sticker of $12!!!! Even though I was not familiar with this particular set, I knew it was an older version of a set I've been wanting (7676). I don't know if I've ever grabbed anything off a shelf quite that fast before.

    You can imagine how I felt.

    Well now imagine how I felt once I picked it up - it was extremely light. And the top flap was still open revealing the entire contents (hadn't seen a Lego box that opened that way). No minifigs. Approx 30-40 pieces. Most of them put together in some random fashion. Not even sure the pieces went with that set.

    *Sigh*
  • bellybutton290bellybutton290 Member Posts: 453
    I had two whole bags from the battle of endor set missing when purchased from argos :-( all minifigs had gone (bags marked 1 had been taken) box condition was excellent so never questioned it at first. Left a long time before opening it I lost the receipt. Managed to replace everything in the end at a price, I think I'll take more care going forward.
  • cynthilinacynthilina Member Posts: 188
    I think that Lego needs to consider the security on their boxes anymore. Since the Lego products are becoming collectible more and more this is going to be a growing problem. There is allot of fast easy money to be made from these sets. Lego really should print their logo on all the tape they use and use tape that is more temperature resistant.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited March 2012
    ^ That would cost a ton for LEGO. I think the best way is for stores to have better security.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    ^ i mostly agree. Stores could do two pretty simple things:
    1) for returns, closely inspect the set for resealing, etc. if it's open or has been opened and resealed, they need to inspect the contents and/or return it to LEGO for credit rather than just slapping it back on the shelf
    2) for in store tampering, they need to set it aside and return to LEGO for credit instead of just taping up the box and selling it.

    If stores can't afford or don't want to have employees that are LEGO-knowledgeable enough to be able to tell if a set is complete or not, they should just ship it back to LEGO.
    Andor
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,721
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    ^^ While I agree that tampered boxes of returned sets should not be returned to store shelves, I disagree that the sets need to be returned to LEGO for credit. TLG should not be have to take the loss because stores are not responsible in checking return items.

    There is a electronics store (which also sells LEGO) here called Fry's who stringently checks all return items. Any time something is returned, even if it seems unopened, they will open it up and check all contents. After ensuring that everything is in order, they will repackage the item and sell it with a small open box discount (I think).

    Obviously I don't think that stores like Walmart or Target will adopt these policies, but it is an example of how there are stores out there that do take responsibility in checking return items. I don't expect stores to open up each and every returned item, I do expect them to check for completeness the ones that have obviously been opened.
«134567
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy