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Do "Lego Stores" care if you exchange a set you bought elsewhere for one of their sets?

j_sj_s Member Posts: 3
With Lego sets on sale at stores like Walmart - Lego sets which tend to be not the kind that I like in my collection - I've wondered what's the Lego Store's posture concerning exchanges of sets bought elsewhere. Their receipts say that as long as the item is in brand new condition and as long as the set is in stock, they will exchange it for a set of the same price or give you a store credit. I imagine that these exchanges are performed with the assumption that the Lego set was bought at the Lego Store, or some Lego Store, but given that the times I have returned sets to the Lego Store without a receipt I have never been challenged or asked where I bought them, do they even care if you buy a set at a substantial discount at Walmart and exchange it for a more palatable, similarly priced set?

Comments

  • ChubblesChubbles USAMember Posts: 459
    That doesn't seem like a very ethical thing to do though
    Pitfall69goshe7lego007GoldchainsnychromastoneJern92
  • veign06veign06 USAMember Posts: 137
    Yeah, not sure how much help you'll get with this as its generally pretty frowned upon since it could technically be considered fraud. To answer your question though, if Lego stores take items without the receipt I would assume they accept it as long as its something they still sell in the store and its in good condition.

    Pitfall69lego007Goldchains
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,862
    One would hope any such unethical type behavior would be caught by the manager and they would ban those abusing the goodwill of LEGO from the stores.
    Ladder19JTKmatticus_bricksPitfall69oldtodd33lego007Goldchainsnychromastone
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    ^And don't sets sold at LEGO stores usually have a unique price sticker on the box? I would hope they would check returns for that sticker as proof it came from a LBR. 
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    The policy does not say it needs to be purchased from LBR, so it's technically allowed. At the same time, everything is done at management discretion, and my guess is that most managers are less than appreciative of having to swap out a slow moving, clearanced set for something that is generally more desirable that sells easily.

    As a litmus test, tell the associate that you bought it elsewhere for a discount and see if there's any issue. 
    pharmjodChrisbstm
  • novicebuilder101novicebuilder101 Member Posts: 130
    I'd advise against doing this. Not only is it unethical, abusing Lego Store's liberal exchange policy will cause them to reevaluate said policy and in turn, ruin it for those that might have a legitimate reason for enjoying its benefits. For example, If I lose my receipt for an actual Lego Store transaction or receive a set that I might not necessarily want, I'd like the option to exchange it in the future. Stores are getting more and more strict with their return and exchange policies because of folks trying to take advantage.
    oldtodd33madforLEGO
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    ^And don't sets sold at LEGO stores usually have a unique price sticker on the box? I would hope they would check returns for that sticker as proof it came from a LBR. 
    Why would they? The store's return policy explicitly allows the return of any sealed LEGO set that is in current inventory. It does not matter what where the set was bought. 

    The intentions are honest - say a birthday gift that a kid already has - but there will always be people unethically taking advantage. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,113
    So along the lines of ... My son got 25 copies of this poorly selling set for his birthday, please can I exchange them for a modular?

    pharmjodSumoLegoPitfall69
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    Ma1234 said:

    Why would they? The store's return policy explicitly allows the return of any sealed LEGO set that is in current inventory. It does not matter what where the set was bought.
    Does the return policy explicitly say it doesn't matter where the item was bought?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    no, but the word 'return' kind of does.  :/
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    no, but the word 'return' kind of does.  :/
    Yes, that's what I was leading into. It's a return policy, not a trade-in policy. The terms of the return policy are irrelevant if the item wasn't purchased from the store to begin with.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    Why limit it to Lego stores then? If you can return a set to any store where it isn't discounted, this wouldn't be any different. I'd imagine if a set is discounted at a retailer, it might not be available everywhere including lego store. So this might be a moot point, but still I agree, not the most ethical thing to do.
  • goshe7goshe7 Columbus, Ohio, USAMember Posts: 515
    ^ Because LEGO has a generous return policy, and rarely discounts cheaper than anyone else.  

    Target and Wal*Mart will accept returns without a receipt as well.  But they require an ID (and have limits on number of times that any person can make a return without a receipt).  When accepting a return without receipt, I believe it is their policy to offer store credit equivalent to the cheapest price at which the item has been sold.  Those factors limit the damage potential.  

    So this unscrupulous practice can be deployed at other stores.  Just not as effectively.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,259
    @CCC - why stop at a modular?

    I'm sure you could wheel in a palette of poorly selling sets from Walmart and demand some double reward points as well...
    Ladder19JTK
  • SolariousSolarious Kalamazoo, MI, USAMember Posts: 317
    This dick move isn't just unscrupulous- it's flat illegal.

    I always love how some people think they can just screw over large companies and it's perfectly ethical and OK because Lego (or Walmart or whoever) wont notice a few dollars missing and as a fan I think they owe me a few.

    Besides, if Lego wasn't quite so expensive I wouldn't have to steal it (and that is clearly what the OP is doing)

    Ever wonder where some of that cost comes from? Those loses get passed to us honest consumers in raised prices.

    Did the OP actually get on here thinking that we would all congratulate him for finding an awesome loophole that everyone should exploit?

    I'm personally red-flagging him so that I'll never make the mistake of trying to make a deal with someone that I clearly can't trust to be honest
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,965
    edited March 2015
    As someone mentioned.... Presents. 
    Some stores do have open return policies for presents, and that is really the intention.
    I had a present that we received years back that was a duplicate. There was no gift receipt. I did ask at the Lego store about it, explained the situation, and they were more than fine with that and told me just to return it when I next came it. The toy may have come from there or from Target or somewhere else we just did not know, but the store handled it very admirably. Policies that are more open are for situations more like that. Now, if they told me we are sorry, we can only do a return with a receipt, I would have been equally fine with that. I do feel it is the stores/companies prerogative to choose how to handle situations like that. 

    The intention of return policies, though, is not to knowingly buy a product somewhere for cheap, and then get full price for it by returning it elsewhere.

    That would constitute a form of fraud. In fact, American Girl recently brought a case against someone that knowingly did that. The individual bought a large number of dolls at a highly discounted rate (a sale) and then returned them for full price/credit. The charge was felony theft by swindle. http://kstp.com/article/stories/s3684614.shtml
    ETA: American Girl probably has had an even more open return policy that many stores out there, and they still cared enough to bring charges in this case, so yes, I believe Lego would very much care if individuals did knowingly buy on sale and returned for full price....that does fall under theft.

    Pitfall69Goldchains
  • goshe7goshe7 Columbus, Ohio, USAMember Posts: 515
    Solarious said:
    it's flat illegal.
    Tell me more, please.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,965
    ^ You did see that right above you I actually posted a link where someone was charged with feeling theft-by-swindle for this exact thing, right?
    I am not sure we can be more specific tha that. Sure it was with dolls instead of Lego, but the scenario described is the exact same... Knowingly returning an item bought on discount to receive the non-sale credit or return. It is theft.

    The issue I presume comes in when one is knowingly trying to defraud a company of money. That is a very different practice than a company having a generous return policy and good customer service practices and telling a consumer they can return something.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,965
    There is a line between a company having great customer service practices and a company being taken advantage of.
    I had one company that messed up my order and told me they would immediately send out the new product and then I could keep or donate the one they accidentally sent me.
    That is good customer service. As a customer, good customer service is something that will keep me coming back.

    Assume the exact same scenario, but let us say I lied and never had the wrong item, but I suspected there was a hig chance they would do the above. That would be stealing.

    On the surface the same conversation happens, but only one is with the intent to commit theft.
    Ronyar
  • busumoe1busumoe1 Member Posts: 194
    edited March 2015
    Before folks get bend out of shape about my comments below, I am not trying to justify OP, but ultimately you and I are paying for this "service" offered by Lego Stores.  

    In the nineties, my not so ethical friend would buy a Nintendo cartridge on sale, play it, return it without receipt, and pocket the cash.   Of course over time the return without receipt policies evolved.  But the fact that such service still exists today after all this time tells me a few things.  

    First, companies are not stupid.  They are well aware of the possible abuse and yet they still offer such a policy (Hold it.  That statement does not mean I am inviting people to abuse it).  Without going too much into branding and marketing, just like the silly gimmick of 1% cash back on credit cards which you and I and those who pay in cash are paying for; such services are priced into the cost of operation.  Lego decided that they can take a risk (or even a hit) on abuses and gain brand loyalty.  (Again, hold your horses).  

    If I have to buy electronics and choose between Target or Best Buy, I go with Target because of 30-days instead of 14 days return policy of Best Buy.   I know why BB changed their policy and Target probably did lose money in some cases (say stuck with TurboTax after tax day).   But in the end Target get my business more than any other company.   

    Lego simply does not have to offer such service and maybe they can lower the prices for all the sets, too.  But Lego is smarter than that.   There are always going to be people who cares little about ethics and I am 100% sure quite a few out there are abusing this service.   lego has factor in that cost, thus you and I are paying for such service.   

    Again, please don't interpret that I encourage folks to go ahead and scam Lego stores.   i am just looking at this more from a business perspective.   I had been scratching my head as to why stores still offer no-receipt polices.   But you know what, it works.

    Folk who are outraged should not feel too bad about Lego.  Those who abuse this are really stealing from all of us.   

    adol7
  • SolariousSolarious Kalamazoo, MI, USAMember Posts: 317
    ^So it's OK that people abuse a system because people that don't abuse it are paying a "service fee" so that people can?

    That makes almost no sense at all

    Yes, there always will be people out there that think their interests are more important then anyone else's. We should just shrug our shoulders and be cool with it?

    That's like saying cancer exists and probably always will so why should we bother looking for a cure?
  • SolariousSolarious Kalamazoo, MI, USAMember Posts: 317
    And thank you tamamahn for getting snippy so that I didn't have to

    People stop shoplifting when they are kids
    Don't think that because we are playing with toys that you get to devolve into child behavior
  • Chang405Chang405 Member Posts: 81
    tamamahm said:
    ^ You did see that right above you I actually posted a link where someone was charged with feeling theft-by-swindle for this exact thing, right?
    I am not sure we can be more specific tha that. Sure it was with dolls instead of Lego, but the scenario described is the exact same... Knowingly returning an item bought on discount to receive the non-sale credit or return. It is theft.

    The issue I presume comes in when one is knowingly trying to defraud a company of money. That is a very different practice than a company having a generous return policy and good customer service practices and telling a consumer they can return something.
    Was the doll person ever convicted? Getting charged with theft does not automatically make one a thief. Without a conviction, can we say for sure what he did was indeed illegal? Unethical and illegal are two different standards.
  • adol7adol7 Member Posts: 150
    The OP only asked if LEGO cares, didn't necessarily say it was his evil scheme to repeatedly cash in. Whether or not anyone has done so, the thought must've crossed our minds, he just happened to mention the idea out loud. Grab your pitchforks and torches!

    While I haven't done any exchanges myself, a friend's son received a set he didn't want for Xmas (no gift receipt) and had it exchanged at the LEGO store, and I thought that was most awesome customer service on their part.

  • busumoe1busumoe1 Member Posts: 194
    Solarious said:
    ^So it's OK that people abuse a system because people that don't abuse it are paying a "service fee" so that people can?

    That makes almost no sense at all

    Yes, there always will be people out there that think their interests are more important then anyone else's. We should just shrug our shoulders and be cool with it?

    That's like saying cancer exists and probably always will so why should we bother looking for a cure?
    Hmmm... I guess I did not pepper my article enough about the intent of my post.  Yet again where am I saying that I think it's "OK" to do such things?  Please take your frustration elsewhere and not direct it at me.

    People are all up in arms about the service and to be honest, Lego should just NOT offer such a service and we'd not have this conversation.  I hope no one here thinks they DESERVE to get such service from any company.


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