Is calling stores ahead of time worth it?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by delta7890, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. delta7890

    delta7890 Well-Known Member

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    With higher and higher gas prices, it's more difficult to afford a good old-fashioned toy hunt. In your experience, does calling ahead to a store to see if they have a certain item in stock net any sort of benefit? I can't imagine many employees knowing a lot about Transformers, but surely at least one could ask them to look for "that robot t-rex" or "the purple and green plane". Are employees likely to to actually look for the darn things, or is it a lost cause?
     
  2. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Use the numbers.

    Walmart will work with UPCs
    TRU will work with SKNs
    Target will only work with DCPIs

    It's kinda wave-specific (or in Target's case size specific, so don't waste your time calling them)... It all depends on who answers the phone, too...

    Give it a try. If you're just banging your head against the wall, take the time to go look.
     
  3. Metal Chaos

    Metal Chaos The Spark of Chaos

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    I think if you know the name or number of the product they can check the registry for you, I'm sure it's very unlikely for them to leave their post to go check the toy aisle as they may miss important calls. Usually they have a computer that has a connection to their inventory database and they can see what's in stock. Would be nice if stores had that available to customers online so they could check to see what's in stock and how many of it are in stock.
     
  4. AnimatedFan

    AnimatedFan Banned

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    Calling ahead is an iffy thing.

    I've had great success with it, such as Energon Omega Supreme, Movie '08 Bumblebee, and about 2-3 others.

    On the other hand, I've had just as many turn downs, incorrect information and then some.

    To be honest, I couldn't tell you which I've had more of, success or failure. I'm going to lean towards failure because of how many figures I've missed out on due to bad information.

    I've come to learn one thing: You're gonna pay no matter what, and always over retail.

    By the time you spend the gas money, already over retail. (it's true that you can get lucky on a regular shopping trip and find what you're looking for, but the chances of that happening much anymore are getting slimmer.)

    You can also preorder, buy online (if it's in stock) or whatever.

    In the end, you get what you wanted and you've paid about the same price, give or take a buck. (seriously.)

    To all of these people who bitch and moan and say "I never bought it because it never came to my area." That's what the boards, stores and eBay are for. Bite the bullet and deal with it like the rest of us have to.

    To all of these people who bitch and moan and say "I never bought it because it never came to my area and I shouldn't have to because Hasbro should be doing their job. I won't pay online prices! I won't dammit!" You don't deserve to have 'em then.

    Collecting is an expensive hobby and addiction. You're going to have to pay to receive the pleasure (sounds so bad ;)  ) and until you pony up, you're gonna have an empty spot on your shelf.

    Seriously, quit standing on principle. Past a certain point, you'll be standing all alone.
     
  5. BarBoBot

    BarBoBot Well-Known Member

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    The Target near my house did not put Animated up until a few days ago, but since I called ahead with the DCPI # I was able to get All the Animated stuff a week before they even put it out.

    Calling ahead can be a good thing. It doesn't hurt to try. :) 
     
  6. mechabot-1

    mechabot-1 Banned

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    no. because most stores have minimum wage folks who do give no care about checking store stock...that is how it seems in Tucson anyway.......
     
  7. Kingplay

    Kingplay Banned

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    i think its worth it!~
     
  8. DJ Soundwave

    DJ Soundwave Action Figure Master

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    Calling stores is a waste of time ....... alot of times they'll just give you bull, or they'll make you wait forever.
     
  9. Shark Jumper

    Shark Jumper さあ、お前の罪を数えろ

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    Calling is mixed nuts. Sometimes they leave you on hold for a long time...

    I ride the bus, so I cannot do mad store runs. Usually the info given by # is accurate.

    I hate it when they have what I want, but BS they can't hold it...
     
  10. Acid Wing

    Acid Wing Senior Alien TF Member

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    From my experience, not worth it if you're looking for a specific item, even when the store most definitely has an item. Whoever answers usually has no idea what they're talking about or gives a vague answer since some are very aware of collectors calling in (which is understandable).

    However, if you're calling with a DPCI # at Target, that tends to work out. And if you're lucky, an associate for the toy aisle may be able to hold the requested fig/figs.
     
  11. Noisemaze2006

    Noisemaze2006 Banned

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    That's a complete load of BS! Hasbro packs figures unevenly, the stores refuse to stock their shelves & ebay scalpers are a pain in the ass. That doesn't mean we don't deserve the figure we want. Every single person deserves to be able to go to the store & buy the figure they want as easily as they can go buy a damn box of Capn Crunch! If Wal-Mart can manage to keep the cereal aisle well stocked they can do the same damned thing with every other aisle in the entire friggin store!:mad 

    Another thing, the toy sections DO NOT need to be so tiny! Just look at the 25th GI Joe line. The entire store is huge & they only have like 3 or 4 teeny tiny microscopic pegs for the figures & they're ALWAYS empty. Yeah, if we can't find the figures & don't wanna pay scalpers on ebay then we don't deserve the figures, WHAT-EVER!!!!
     
  12. onesock

    onesock Banned

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    Because making Transformers is JUST as easy as making Capn Crunch.
     
  13. NeoZeRo35

    NeoZeRo35 Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on who the person is. From what I can tell it's all up to them. I've had times where they were extremely helpful, even to the point of asking me what character I was looking for and asking if I wanted to put it on hold. Other times I get someone who shouldn't be in the toy department, let alone a retail job. I still call though and hope for the former because of gas prices.
     
  14. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

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    Not only that but the probably make more money off of capn crunch too
     
  15. Rodimus Major

    Rodimus Major Custom User Title

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    And they don't get douches switching out the cereal and returning it.
     
  16. AnimatedFan

    AnimatedFan Banned

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    That's not true. No one's the wiser when you switch Special K regular for the strawberry or chocolate kind.

    Haven't you ever glanced at the double bagged corn flakes and Malt-O-Meal bags taped around the Kellogg's boxes?

    ;) 
     
  17. wgoodman

    wgoodman Big Bot

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    When Masterpiece Starscream was due out I tried to call and check more often than going to the stores. There are 13 Walmarts within 20 miles of my house. Most of the stores are within 10 miles, but of course they are mostly in different directions. My experience was hit and miss, but mostly miss.

    I found that if I asked for the toy department it was almost always a dead end. Either no one would answer the phone or they were clueless about anything more than the fact that their store did at least carry Transformers. I never found anyone in the toy department that was able to look it up by the item number. One time the operator connected me with a guy in electronics because it was right next to toys and no one was answering in toys. I described the toy and the packaging and he seemed to know what I was looking for. Then he told me that the didn't have it but he suggested a web site that had them for sale. That conversation really bugged me because it made me feel like this guy was supplying the web site with the Walmart exclusive and probably buying them before they were put on the shelves. It was just the fact that he was basically telling me that I should give up on shopping in his store and go spend my money somewhere else. Of course I had no proof of his intentions and his location turned out to be the one that I found mine, although it was 4:00 AM and they had just been shelved.

    The only real successes I had came from asking for customer service and providing them with the item number. It usually took a few tries but eventually I would find someone that was aware that their store actually kept track of the things that they sell and the quantity on hand. Most of the time they were either unable, unwilling, unaware, or any combination of the 3 to look it up for me. It definitely paid off to remember the names of the helpful people and to ask for them the next time I called.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  18. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    Not since Alternators...never again...
    DN
     

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