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Toys R Us...R U For Real?

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  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    I usually gripe at my local TRU (which is a lot more than normal retail, more than TRU's own website and rivals Manhattan's TRU flagship store)...but I did pick up 12 figs today and it was a good savings. The figs here are normally $3.49...so for $2.50 each, I couldn't pass it up.
    Out of 12 I got 2 Statue of Liberty, Skater Girl, Minotaur, Alien, 2 Bandits, Sleepy head, Surgeon, Flamenco Dancer, Leprachaun and a Butcher.
    Even got a Geonosian Cannon for $15.49...$4.50 savings....so all in all TRU came through today for me.

    But I understand what some people are saying....they really jack the price (Batcave at my TRU is $104.00)..and it makes me mad...BUT, they still sell them. They are all sold out. Unbelievable. Some people just don't know or want to shop around. At my store, seems they take advantage of mothers, grandmothers and the like that are just there for birthday gifts, xmas gifts and the Baby's R Us section. So yeah, as much as I gripe, they are making the dough. I just wish the store had a 'posher' look for the prices. Looks like a dump at times.

    I alerted 2 mothers last week looking to get some Lego there. They were concerned with the price for a birthday present and I said...hey, if you have the time, go down about 10 blocks and there's the Lego Store in the mall and get everything you see on the shelf here for at least 20% to 30% cheaper. Sure enough they went out and to the Lego Store. My compassionate consumer good deed of the day.


  • tstmooretstmoore Member Posts: 5
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    Thanks
    http://svy.mk/zIWZoX
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Boy they are a rude company. Couldn't update my information online so I called customer service to fix it. Explained why I couldn't update myself, she said she didn't understand, kept cutting off my explanations, tells me I have to go online to update, told her I said at the beginning I couldn't, she fixes problem, tells me it sounds like I'm having a bad day, then my password no longer works as she is rushing to get me off the phone. Amazing people.
  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    Next you'll tell me Best Buy has bad customer service....

    TRU and BB have gotten terrible in the customer relations departments since their competition stores closed shop.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    I actually think Best Buy has excellent customer service -- especially given how big they are. Its not perfect, there can be hitches, but I've never had someone be rude or unfriendly. Mistakes happen, big companies will have breakdowns at certain levels but they have always worked to make it right at least with me (Best Buy that is).
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Funny that we all have different experiences...

    Ten years ago I was a loyal best buy customer, bought everything there. Had a problem one day, short story, they told me to pound sand. Have not been back in their store since.

    It can take very little to lose a customer. Amazon has grown so much because of their customer centric attitude.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    ^ I had a similar experience with Best Buy. It used to be a weekly stop for me. I bought all my DVDs, video games, and other random crap from them. One day they treated me like garbage and I quite literally haven't stepped foot in one of their stores in perhaps 6-7 years since that happened.

    Amazon has completely replaced them, for me.
  • DavidBrickleyDavidBrickley Richmond, VAMember Posts: 338
    Same here. In central VA, when Best Buy was helping to drive Circuit City out of business, their customer service was great. Afterwards, staff levels were cut, and service in general took a dive. One bad experience with a store pick-up, and that was it. I may still wander in to "shop", but I do all my buying elsewhere (kind of like where I'm at with Toys R Us...I was CERTAIN someone posted in January that their holiday prices would come back down to normal after Christmas, but I haven't seen it yet!)
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    TRU and BB have gotten terrible in the customer relations departments since their competition stores closed shop.
    This really irks me in the face of LEGO who has never had anything I would consider real competition, yet has always (in my experience) had the most amazing customer service reps I've ever dealt with.
  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    TRU and BB have gotten terrible in the customer relations departments since their competition stores closed shop.
    This really irks me in the face of LEGO who has never had anything I would consider real competition, yet has always (in my experience) had the most amazing customer service reps I've ever dealt with.
    Its a top down thing. BB and TRU especially were more concerned with uping profit levels then trying to build and maintain a customer base.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    ^ Every company is/should be concerned with "upping" profit levels. Its the whole point of business. If it isn't, it will be their downfall just as much as bad customer service will be. They are not mutually exclusive.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,262
    I believe BB and TRU are publicly traded companies, and I think LEGO is not. That makes a big difference and it is a lot easier for LEGO to care about the consumer and not the stock price.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^Hadn't considered that... but very true.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    I think the thread title needs to be changed.....
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    ^^^ Publically traded companies are typically bad for the consumer. There are rare examples such as Amazon who have bucked the trend. Apple Inc. used to be better, but they only care about the bottom line nowadays though their CS is still pretty good. I do appreciate that Lego is privately owned. I haven't bought anything from Best Buy in several years. I merely window shop there from time to time. I hear they are in bankruptcy proceedings. I like to window shop at TRU for the smell of new toys but their Lego section isn't much better than Target.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,262
    I think a fact that no one considers is that this DOES hurt LEGO popularity if a parent goes to TRU and sees an obnoxious amount wanted for a set and assumes that ALL LEGO everywhere is that price, then they buy their kids Mega shlock to fill the building brick need...
    Ultimately I feel this does effect the LEGO brand if every store (and not just TRU) starts bumping up the retail price at their store.
    Remember there still is a LARGE amount of people out there that do not shop online and have no LEGO store around them.

  • Jasper_ParnebrickJasper_Parnebrick Member Posts: 35
    edited May 2012
    I have seen a few posts here and there regarding TRU pricing being marked up like 20% over other retailers. Is this just something that you find in the US? From what I have seen, TRU in Canada is pretty much dollar for dollar to the Lego store, Chapters, Zellers, Sears, WalMart (which I try not to shop) or any other places that I find Lego (not on sale of course). So when people say that they ignore the 20% off lego at TRU, because that's pretty much the same as the regular price they should be charging, I assume that these members are in the US. Am I right? Am I crazy?

    That said, who generally has the best prices in Canada? In the US?
    We don't have B&N or Target (yet...)
    From what I have seen, Mastermind is a bit overpriced.

    I just came out of my Dark Ages a couple of months ago. I own 5 sets, but purchased them all on sale. When I see a deal, I generally look at the price per brick. Sometimes even something 20% off in Canada is still way overpriced IMHO.
  • dimefielddimefield Edmonton Alberta CanadaMember Posts: 314
    From what i understand TRU in the states does add to the MSRP. Im in Canada and also find the prices everywhere here on par with the Lego.com prices. As far as best prices in Canada I just watch for sales. Walmart is sometimes a buck cheaper on MSRP but I try not to shop there. (unless I find CMF for the first time!)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,118
    In the US (at least in my neck of the words) all the retailers basically sell LEGO at RRP or higher as their "regular" price. But there are always sales going on somewhere, some better than others of course.

    The only exception to this I've seen is warehouse club stores - but they don't stock LEGO year round, and when they do get sets, it's just 2 or 3 at a time, which they sell around 20% to 25% under RRP. They don't keep them on the floor for long...
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,226
    ^^ I agree, I don't find as much variation in the prices of Lego in Canada. But because I live so close to the border, I tend to wait to buy Lego (amongst other things) for when I take a shopping trip to the US. Even TRU in the US seems cheap to me! More often than not I buy Lego at WalMart though. Especially on Black Friday.

    I was really sad to find that the FAO in Vegas had closed on my last trip there. It wasn't always the best for prices, but was one of the best toy shops around.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Can a toy manufacturer even dictate a maximum cost that a retailer can sell their product for? I've never heard of this. My uneducated brain on this matter tells me that if LEGO has a problem with TRU selling their stuff for way above retail and, then their only recourse would be to refuse to continue to supply TRU.
    Yes, TLG can dictate selling prices to TRU because they have a contractual relationship. See "first-sale" law for this. TRU is free to take the items on TLG's terms, or not at all. Once you buy it at TRU, you can resell it for anything you like since you have no agreement with TLG.
  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    Can a toy manufacturer even dictate a maximum cost that a retailer can sell their product for? I've never heard of this. My uneducated brain on this matter tells me that if LEGO has a problem with TRU selling their stuff for way above retail and, then their only recourse would be to refuse to continue to supply TRU.
    Yes, TLG can dictate selling prices to TRU because they have a contractual relationship. See "first-sale" law for this. TRU is free to take the items on TLG's terms, or not at all. Once you buy it at TRU, you can resell it for anything you like since you have no agreement with TLG.
    Unless I'm mistaken, TLG can only set a cap on retail price, not a floor. A floor would be considered price fixing.

    That said if they wanted to force TRU into selling at MFSR max, it would basically become a game of chicken, who losed more, TRU or TLG. In the case of business, Lego doesnt much care what TRU sells them for as once its out of their warehouse, its not their issue anymore. As long as it sells and they keep getting orders, they have no reason to force another company to "play fair" especially when they have their own direct outlets to the consumer which they can directly undercut without hurting themselves.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Unless I'm mistaken, TLG can only set a cap on retail price, not a floor. A floor would be considered price fixing.
    The laws here are complex and vary from state to state I'm sure...

    There are many items that have MAP, minimim advertised price, the reseller can sell for less, but can't "promote it".

    That being said, there are items that are price fixed, consider the price of eBooks, which the publishers are trying hard to control flat across the board so that companies like Amazon can't discount them. Amazon wants the right to sell them at a loss if they want, and the publishers don't want them to.

    That one will end up in court sooner or later I'm sure. :)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/18/net-us-apple-ebooks-idUSBRE83H1CN20120418
  • wertyjjwertyjj Member Posts: 64
    edited May 2012
    Last night I went to my local TRU to pick up the new Lotr sets and luckily had brought my smart phone. I was about to purchase set 9472 (Attack on Weathertop) when I realized it was $80.00! Though on LEGO.com it is only $59.99.
    I was outraged and decided to purchase the sets online. It seems that lately TRU's LEGO prices are getting higher and higher.
  • 260madison260madison Member Posts: 50
    my local Lego store (official store) marks their items up 10% from regular MSRP :(
  • MarkMiltonMarkMilton Member Posts: 6
    "my local Lego store (official store) marks their items up 10% from regular MSRP :("

    i'm not certain, but that doesn't sound right at all... they aren't franchises are they? if they're supposed to be "official" stores, then they should have the official prices.
  • 260madison260madison Member Posts: 50
    "my local Lego store (official store) marks their items up 10% from regular MSRP :("

    i'm not certain, but that doesn't sound right at all... they aren't franchises are they? if they're supposed to be "official" stores, then they should have the official prices.
    http://stores.lego.com/en-us/New York City/LandingPage.aspx

    This one, their excuse is because of their location, its inside the Rockefeller Center
  • mattheww888mattheww888 Member Posts: 87
    I was just at the Rockefeller Center Lego store yesterday and I was surprised they can do that and get away with it. Noticed it mostly on the larger sets; smaller sets were priced about right. SSD was $440--glad I got it for $320 on May the 4th! I was also surprised at their on hand stock of some hard to find sets, too. They had quite a few Medieval Markets and Clone turbo Tanks left.
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    edited May 2012
    ^Yep, Rockefeller Lego Store has mostly a 10% markup on their stuff. The location is prime so they cover that rent! Queens Lego Store has all items at regular retail.
  • 260madison260madison Member Posts: 50
    if they can't afford the rent, maybe they should open the store at a less prime location instead of selling at above MSRP to mostly unsuspected tourists (with no warning what so ever)

  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    edited May 2012
    ^Too good a spot to NOT have a store there. Also even with the 10% markup, our European friends get Lego waaaaay cheaper than in their countries(plus are Aussie friends will go bonkers over the prices). They see it as uber cheap. And let's say I'm a tourist from the US that doesn't live near a Lego Store...it's great...biggest PAB wall, havin' fun in New York and a little markedup Lego in-which I don't pay shipping. It's all good. Lego In The City...;)
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    even with the 10% markup, our European friends get Lego waaaaay cheaper than in their countries
    I'll testify to that. You guys are paying $100 for a set that costs £100 here in the UK. You effectively pay about 37% less than we do!
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    ^ Not exactly. Our prices here don't include sales tax. I know that it doesn't equal the difference in price, but it isn't as cheap as you make it seem (tax in my state is around 9%).
  • 260madison260madison Member Posts: 50
    right, but for me to have a lego store locally yet the pricing is above their suggested retail price
    ^Too good a spot to NOT have a store there. Also even with the 10% markup, our European friends get Lego waaaaay cheaper than in their countries(plus are Aussie friends will go bonkers over the prices). They see it as uber cheap. And let's say I'm a tourist from the US that doesn't live near a Lego Store...it's great...biggest PAB wall, havin' fun in New York and a little markedup Lego in-which I don't pay shipping. It's all good. Lego In The City...;)
    sucks for the folks who live in the NYC:( this is why I either go to Roosevelt field mall or order from amazon)

    I can't think of a place in the city that I can get lego at even retail price (toysrus in times square has a markup, same for FAO, and this Lego store)

    Does anyone know where in Manhattan i can find lego at retail pricing?


  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 762
    @260madison
    The LEGO Store at the Queens Center Mall sells for LEGO MSRP. The staff there are fabulous, knowledgeable and friendly. The mall is easily accessible from Manhattan via subway and there is a stop across the street from the mall. Can't speak highly enough about this store!
  • 260madison260madison Member Posts: 50
    i haven't been into that mall in years, might stop by one of these days to check it out
    wife prefer Roosevelt field however

    is this the mall which in one seinfeld episode where they got couldn't find their car in the lot?
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited May 2012
    I've never shopped at TRU for two years. :)
  • RobbRobb Member Posts: 144
    From the turn that this thread has taken, I reader jumping in at this point would think that TRU was to blame for the health care situation in the USA :)

  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    @260madison
    The LEGO Store at the Queens Center Mall sells for LEGO MSRP. The staff there are fabulous, knowledgeable and friendly. The mall is easily accessible from Manhattan via subway and there is a stop across the street from the mall. Can't speak highly enough about this store!
    Right on! That's my store. From Rockefeller Center area take the M or R straight to Woodhaven Blvd. Queens Mall. About 20 minutes. Great service and great people work there. Very eager to please and attentive.
    Then only 2 blocks away is Target on Queensblvd. Most Lego at retail with some above but not as bad as in the recent past. Complaints I feel seemed to work (I was vocal and I believe many other patrons as well).
    About 8 blocks the other direction is TRU at the Rego Park Mall. Avoid it but only if you're looking for polybags that the Lego Store or Target don't carry.

  • 260madison260madison Member Posts: 50
    might head out to queens center this weekend to check it out, i can't even remember when was the last time i been to this place, i checked the mall website, looks like they made some renovations since i have been there
  • ryanromusicryanromusic Member Posts: 27
    edited June 2012
    Really disappointed. Starting Monday TRU raised prices above MSRP on many LEGO items here in Canada. Every LOTR item is anywhere from $1-10 extra (Mines of Moria is probably the worst percentage wise). About half of the Monster Fighters and Superheroes have been raised as well. $25 sets are now $27, so on and so forth. Emailed them about it, they replied only babbling about their low price guarantee and 'everyday low prices.'

    I mean depending on the item still worth waiting for their regular 20% off sales on different themes, but 20% off say, the Shelob or Lex Power Armor sets only really saves you a couple bucks under MSRP now.

    Anyways, not much we can do about it, but really disappointed to see especially considering how much higher prices are in Canada for LEGO compared to the USA, despite the dollar being at par for nearly a decade now. (I do understand it's not as simple as that, but it doesn't take the sting out of paying sometimes $50 extra on bigger sets).
  • keta123keta123 Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2012
    over the past 9 months I've given TRU three chances to "get it right." FIRST - I was denied 30% off savings of my Star Wars Lego when the ad clearly stated ALL Star Wars toys are 30% off. I even asked at the customer service desk and they agreed lego was included. The manager headed me off at the register when the price did not ring up correctly. This prompted several emails and phone calls back and forth to corporate...results = nothing. SECOND - TRU recently had a BOGO 50% off all lego sets. LOOK CLOSELY...they raised the price of each set so when you did get one 50% off the price was exactly the same as regular price at lego.com. I double checked and the day after the sale, the priced dropped back to "normal." THIRD (bonus time)- The BIG Toy book came out and it had a few Lego coupons in the front. Flip back to page 26 for the lego set prices and you find that with the $30 or $20 or % off savings you are getting them for regular price, woo hoo, some savings. FOURTH (this is the icing on the cake) - tonight I went in to 'price match' a set Wal-Mart had on their website. I showed the person at customer service the website on my phone and she checked to see if they price match Wal-Mart...the reply was yes. I grabbed three of the sets and went to the register with my phone. The cashier needed a manger override. That manager needed another manager. Result = I walked away empty handed. I was told that no Wal Marts had the item in stock and were unable to offer this one to me because of that. I didn't argue (not wanting to make a scene), but rather I expressed my disappointment with the store and walked out. I later thought...people price match for two reasons; 1. the store that has it advertised is too far away or 2. The store you buy it from is out of stock (my reason). So I am done with TRU, except for the phone calls I will make tomorrow expressing my sincere distaste for their practices. Please join me and purchase legos from other retailers. Far better prices and better service.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited October 2012
    Welcome to the forum, keta123. Many of the issues you referenced have been well documented by others on the forum here, so you're certainly not alone in your sentiment.

    Many people here, including myself, seem to shop at TRU on a very limited basis already. I'm can't say I would boycott them completely, though, since there certainly are some deals to be had here and there. It's not like they're employing slave labor or anything, though their pricing policies leave a lot to be desired.

    Out of curiosity, what is your goal with the boycott- to put them out of business, or to get them to recognize their habits and change their ways? Hopefully just the latter, given less competition generally equals higher prices.

    Lastly, may I respectfully suggest breaking long posts into paragraphs- it's much easier to read long posts that way.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    Yea I don't buy there anymore either, although I did cave and buy one set there during bricktober. I especially hate what TRU does in your SECOND point. Raising the price on sets during "BOGO" sales.
    OldfanTitus
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 416
    edited October 2012
    Limiting my purchases there. I already threw out the useless rewards card. You really can't blame the employees for doing their jobs; they have to answer to higher ups.
    OldfanTitusthelegoguy421
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,138
    I feel for you and I doubt anyone will vouch for their pricing model but having a few people on a forum boycott a massive toy store isn't going to accomplish anything. The store by me is always packed and the Lego aisles around Christmas time are always sold out completely, even with a Walmart and Target around the corner.
    thelegoguy421
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,168
    I wish I could boycott Toy R Us but unfortunately they have some exclusives (not Lego) that I buy. I am an informed buyer so I buy from them only when their deals are good. I haven't had too many bad experiences thankfully.
  • keta123keta123 Member Posts: 1
    Thank you for listening to my rant. I am frustrated and am not going on a huge "put TRU out of business" campaign. Some of their business practices just stink.
  • stoneboistoneboi Member Posts: 42
    woah, big chunk of text!!
  • stoneboistoneboi Member Posts: 42
    sadly , they dont have strong competitors, do they? dedicated toy stores
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