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The real thing that bothers me is that many people buying these sets in stores, many on clearance, do not seem to care that they could be trying to sell a set later on that may have been a tampered box.. it only makes you look bad if they think you did that..
I think really it will get to a point where you may have to start offering to open a box before selling it to verify its contents.. I mean I only buy from online but that is no guarantee either.
If that is the case, then LEGO is ultimately losing money here.. and they are losing confidence in their product if this starts to get worse (Expertly re-applied stickers or no) I know there are those that think they can spot this fraud a million miles a way... but Ill tell you, I'm no slouch when checking the seals and I still got tampered boxes.. it happens more than you think.. and even if you can detect them, many people cannot, or would not know what to look for, or would never assume that scumbags would do such a thing..
LEGO really needs to use more stringent ways to stop this from occurring because the simple fact is it happens and it happens in part because it is apparently so easy to do.
But a total pain to verify the weight for this, that, and the other. Add my voice now to all the other "paranoids."
Do I start cracking open all my purchases and cut into the resale value for piece of mind? I really don't know.
I have been buying LEGO for over 10 years (in Switzerland, sometimes Germany, and quite a few other countries in the EU when traveling) and have never experienced this.
I often pick up new LEGO reduced due to returns/damaged boxes/etc, and never have had anything other than the original content.
I'm sure it also happens here (Europe), but not with the systematic regularity as in the USA. Let's hope this doesn't spread across the pond...
As for 10% if sets missing parts, I've only had 1 part missing from 200+ sets and probably another 200 CMFs and it was in a CMF. I've had 2 badly printed legs but Lego replaced no problems. If 10% of sets had missing parts I would have said I'd have encountered more than the 1 piece missing. Could it be the quality control is better in the European factories??
If I can, anyone can. If you checking your boxes, make sure the flap's are flush with the box. if they are rised unevenly, Don't buy it, and let store staff know.
Hope this helps. End of the day I could have been nicked for this. Thats why I took every thing back to the store. Please don't try this, I look very nasty in real life, so most, dont f**k with me. But I have a conscious.
I just ask because 90% of my NISB LEGO is coming from online purchases. I very rarely by stuff in a physical store.
I'd imagine most of this scum do this at B&M stores due to getting their money back quickly and expecting the clerk to not take as much care to look at the box seals if they are standing right there, as there is less likely a confrontation about something if someone is standing right in front of you...
But I usually buy via online after I got burned on two passenger train sets at a TRU.
It is a bit worrisome and you would think LEGO would get the idea seeing all of these 'defects' coming back to their company, because I believe that is all the stores that get these sorts of returns are doing.
As for reselling, it really is a roll of the dice if you bought from a B&M..
Do you continue to roll the dice and sell em on eBay only to find out someone gets a bunch of junk and could leave a neg feedback thereby hurting your rep, or do you start to crack the seals to ensure that the contents of the box is really the contents of the box, and risk losing a bit of profit for piece of mind?
If you have two then you can hope to weigh both boxes to see if there are subtle differences, but that does not always work, but again this is the main reason why I no longer buy from retail stores.
LEGO really needs to take steps to stop this, and not just because of reselling either, if reduces confidence in your product, all to what ...make the box easier to collect for collectors or save a buck? Getting a larger piece of sticker that must be cut to get through or risk some sort of damage to the box would probably be the cheapest way to fix this.. granted you may never stop the die hard scumbags but you will stop the others.
As others have noted there are plenty of ways to stop this, and why LEGO is not trying those things, who knows.. may it is to stop the people the buy now to sell later... who knows...
I had a box come from Amazon that looked a bit sketchy with the seal and Ill need to check that one, and I think I got another from TRU that may have looked like a return label was affixed to it that I have to check. Ill update later
I'm seriously going to have to start thinking about opening sets I have set aside for resale before listing them. While I might lose out on the MISB crowd, it will probably save me money in the long run from not having to dispute the contents of the box and issue refunds. As long as the parts are still in the sealed bags, I doubt it will matter much to a lot of buyers.
Honestly, I would probably buy new retired sets with more confidence if I had the contents confirmed for me before paying.
I don't think the answer should be that everyone has to inspect or open every box. I think from reading this thread that the criminals have found ways around it. I hope Lego changes the box and I will let them know as I think it is a problem.
So...it looked like someone had kind of "rented" the set in that fashion, it was all still there!
I also got the staff in my local Asda to open a 7957 for me at customer services-1 because it wasn't actually on the stores stock list and 2 because it rattled. It was full of plastic soldiers that were sold in the £1 toy section.
I left a baffled manager to sort that one out.
Having said that, as we know well enough, a sealed set does not mean it hasn't already been opened.
I think whatever the way the easiest, and quickest was is for LEGO to improve their seals.
Why not just swipe that right along with the return, the cashier doesn't need to know or see any of the information, just the system. Mark each returned item with a unique sticker so you can track who returned THAT specific box, as well as track returns in general. This way, the system can watch for patterns of abuse.
i really don't think this sort of thing is that big of an issue in the overall scheme of things. I think it maybe seems that way because people on this forum buy *a lot* of Lego, so it crops up every once in awhile. Even so, I've only ever seen a handful of reports of this sort of thing on these forums.
These stores don't even seem to care that much about shoplifting/theft, as far as spending money to fight or figuring our a better solution to fix that problem goes, and they lose exponentially more money from that. So I'm not holding my breath for any kind of fix in the near future. :)
I personally don't understand shoplifting, you're just stealing from yourself, the store has to cover it all in the end anyway, so it is built into the prices.
My understanding is that Walmart has a do-not-proscute policy on shoplifting under $25. A kid putting a candy bar in their pocket is not worth calling the police for. Someone doing the barcode scam on $1,000 worth of Lego? Yes, that is worth pressing charges for.
don't buy any sets from Wausau, WI Target stores :)
Weight is a good initial indicator (if you know the target weight of the box), but unless you physically open the box yourself, you can never be 100% sure of what's in there.
Maybe TLG is realizing the threat of the beast they created with minifig fanaticism.
Just doublechecked. Knew I read that somewhere.