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JayC

Is Walmart Price Gouging It's Customers On MOTU Origins Figures?

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This morning I was checking the Walmart website to see if by some of chance they had any of Mattel's new Masters of the Universe Origins figures actually in stock. After all the official release date for these toys was August 1st, and at least for now Walmart is the only place to get them. As usual, all the figures were listed as SOLD OUT until I came upon the Masters of the Universe Origins Teela figure. To my surprise Teela was showing as being available for purchase. Then I noticed the price. Instead of being listed with the normal $14.99 price these figures are supposed to cost, Walmart has Teela listed with a WHOPPING price of $36.00. That is more than double of what she should cost.

At first I thought perhaps this was from a second-party seller you sometimes see on these big-box retail sites, which I might note are very annoying in their own right. When it's a second party seller however it is generally indicated somewhere on the page as such. Not here. There is even the option of having it sent to a physical Walmart store for pick-up which I don't believe is offered when its a second-party seller.

So what exactly is going on here? Has Walmart taken product they have essentially released in limited numbers, hence creating an artificially inflated demand for them, and now trying to take advantage of that by gouging collectors who can't find these figures anywhere else??? That is certainly what appears to be happening. It's bad enough when we collectors have to deal with scalpers with this kind of thing, but this is taking it to a whole new level.

Hopefully once word of this comes to light someone at Walmart will fix this, probably say it was just listed in error, but regardless this is just another example of what collectors are having to deal with on a regular basis simply to buy products that really shouldn't be the difficult to get.

MOTU-Teela-Walmart-Price-Gouge.jpg

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Besides the website being archaic, their pricing algorithm is broken.

The Transformers Netflix Hotlink has been listed at $61.95 (should be 39.99) for a month now sold via Walmart themselves, which is more than a leader class figure costs. They absolutely are price gouging. It was cheaper for me to get him off eBay at the end.

I'd spent a week reporting the price information was incorrect using the listing link, and spoke to about 10 different people over the last month. I provided links to show the correct price, comparisons with other voyager sized figures and leader sized figures, solicitations, everything I could find to prove the price was a good $20 too much. Some reps told me to email their help line. Some said they had opened a case and it had been passed along.

One rep told me after I provided him with links that clearly listed the item and it's actual price that the reduced price was "just a promo" and I should just live with it. I wasn't expecting anything to come out of Walmart so I wasn't shocked.

When I finally received a response by email they said it was reported but they can't do anything at the moment to fix it. This was two weeks back now.

10 people over a month and the price is still $61.95. I don't know if they'll fix that Teela even if they become aware of it.

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1 hour ago, Shellhead said:

I linked this very article to their FB page. Curious if anyone from Walmart will respond.

I doubt they will publicly respond but I do expect it will miraculously go back to the normal price at some point at which I am sure it will say sold out again like the others. If they adjust the price I am curious if they will refund the difference to anyone who paid the $36 for it.

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1 hour ago, Afterlife07 said:

Besides the website being archaic, their pricing algorithm is broken.

The Transformers Netflix Hotlink has been listed at $61.95 (should be 39.99) for a month now sold via Walmart themselves, which is more than a leader class figure costs. They absolutely are price gouging. It was cheaper for me to get him off eBay at the end.

I'd spent a week reporting the price information was incorrect using the listing link, and spoke to about 10 different people over the last month. I provided links to show the correct price, comparisons with other voyager sized figures and leader sized figures, solicitations, everything I could find to prove the price was a good $20 too much. Some reps told me to email their help line. Some said they had opened a case and it had been passed along.

One rep told me after I provided him with links that clearly listed the item and it's actual price that the reduced price was "just a promo" and I should just live with it. I wasn't expecting anything to come out of Walmart so I wasn't shocked.

When I finally received a response by email they said it was reported but they can't do anything at the moment to fix it. This was two weeks back now.

10 people over a month and the price is still $61.95. I don't know if they'll fix that Teela even if they become aware of it.

If they are deliberately price gouging online for stuff like this, that is applauding. That would suggest they are in fact deliberately limiting the release of said product so they can jack up the price. It's probably not illegal since technically they can sell it for whatever price they want, but its a disgusting practice and if the manufacturers are turning a blind eye to it then that is just as bad on their part.

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Walmart did the same with the Masters of the WWE figures a few months ago, when the first figures began to run out on its stores, someone contacted them and was told the price gouge wasn't a mistake, totally intentional, The same seems to be happening now. I don't know why Walmart uses this type of practice, but it is best to be patient and wait for prices to return to normal.

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43 minutes ago, Mr_Scary92 said:

Walmart did the same with the Masters of the WWE figures a few months ago, when the first figures began to run out on its stores, someone contacted them and was told the price gouge wasn't a mistake, totally intentional, The same seems to be happening now. I don't know why Walmart uses this type of practice, but it is best to be patient and wait for prices to return to normal.

I've seen Gamestop pull similar stunts like this, but its hard to believe Walmart has done this deliberately. I really hope this was a mistake and anyone who might of paid $36 will get a refund for the difference. Time will tell I guess.

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Short answer? YES. Walmart.com has been using scalper pricing methods as long as I can remember. That's why I don't order through them.

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34 minutes ago, JayC said:

I've seen Gamestop pull similar stunts like this, but its hard to believe Walmart has done this deliberately. I really hope this was a mistake and anyone who might of paid $36 will get a refund for the difference. Time will tell I guess.

Something curious is that even with the $36 price the figure runs out in a few minutes, who knows if there are desperate people out there willing to pay  that price ($36 is still a better price than the $70-$90 price scalpers are asking on Ebay) or are the so called bots of the scalpers in function, in fact it is one of the problems about giving full control of a line to a single retailer, they can do whatever they want with it.

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Seems Walmart has taken a few too many tips from the scalpers they support. Ive never liked how they handle their website pricing as too many 3rd party companies are using their online space to scalp tf out of people and Walmart takes a blind eye to it. Same with Amazon and some other companies are starting to do it too which sucks. Makes me wonder if I ll actually be able to obtain that Super Shredder thats exclusive to ole wally world. 

 

1 hour ago, Mr_Scary92 said:

and its OOS. 

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It looks like price gouging, to be honest. Just another reason to hate Walmart. Do you have any idea how much I hate that the Masters of the WWE figures are complete Walmart exclusive? It's an exercise in frustration whenever I go to hunt for them

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They have also gotten really bad about sending what you actually ordered. My last three orders from WM had to be sent back because they sent the wrong thing. Now they just send something from the same toy line and price and that is as far as they seem to go to getting the order correct. Then there is their in store pickups that are a whole other mess.

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28 minutes ago, Blackmada said:

They have also gotten really bad about sending what you actually ordered. My last three orders from WM had to be sent back because they sent the wrong thing. Now they just send something from the same toy line and price and that is as far as they seem to go to getting the order correct. Then there is their in store pickups that are a whole other mess.

Yeah, that's Wal-mart employees for you. They are the epitome of "I Don't Care"

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11 hours ago, JayC said:
This morning I was checking the Walmart website to see if by some of chance they had any of Mattel's new Masters of the Universe Origins figures actually in stock. After all the official release date for these toys was August 1st, and at least for now Walmart is the only place to get them. As usual, all the figures were listed as SOLD OUT until I came upon the Masters of the Universe Origins Teela figure. To my surprise Teela was showing as being available for purchase. Then I noticed the price. Instead of being listed with the normal $14.99 price these figures are supposed to cost, Walmart has Teela listed with a WHOPPING price of $36.00. That is more than double of what she should cost.

At first I thought perhaps this was from a second-party seller you sometimes see on these big-box retail sites, which I might note are very annoying in their own right. When it's a second party seller however it is generally indicated somewhere on the page as such. Not here. There is even the option of having it sent to a physical Walmart store for pick-up which I don't believe is offered when its a second-party seller.

So what exactly is going on here? Has Walmart taken product they have essentially released in limited numbers, hence creating an artificially inflated demand for them, and now trying to take advantage of that by gouging collectors who can't find these figures anywhere else??? That is certainly what appears to be happening. It's bad enough when we collectors have to deal with scalpers with this kind of thing, but this is taking it to a whole new level.

Hopefully once word of this comes to light someone at Walmart will fix this, probably say it was just listed in error, but regardless this is just another example of what collectors are having to deal with on a regular basis simply to buy products that really shouldn't be the difficult to get.

MOTU-Teela-Walmart-Price-Gouge.jpg

I noticed this yesterday when I was adding all the Figures to my Walmart app to check availability... That was totally bogus to see her at that price...

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On 6/22/2020 at 8:22 AM, Spack said:
4 hours ago, JayC said:

Put back to $14.99 but also sold out. Not sure I would call that fixed.

Availability (we can all definitely agree) is a separate ongoing issue. I was speaking only of the online price correction.

 

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I hate using the Walmart website, it's a mess and any search for a product shows more results from third party sellers than the actual Walmart. 

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I want to know why is it that when I type in “Masters of the Universe” in Wal-Mart’s search bar none of the origins figures show up?  I know there are direct links to each figure that have been found and published but honestly  I just never have time to go dig up those individual links each and everytime I want to just check to see if any of these things are in stock (Particularly when they never are).  
 

When I go to Walmart.com I just want to type the names of the dozen or so brands I’m interested in (Marvel Legends, GI Joe Classified, Star Wars Black Series, etc) and have everything there to scroll through to see if anything is newly in stock or has rollback pricing.  Searching for individual links to the 50+ items I’m interested in is ridiculous and not worth it. 
 

I know supposedly these aren’t really going to stay as a store exclusive, but honestly just the fact that it has been thus far has really killed my interest and enthusiasm for this line.  MOTU has been one of my top 2 or 3 brands and one of the brands where I had been a completist.  I have at least 2 complete sets of every Classics figure (1 loose, 1MOC plus extra troop builders) a near complete vintage and 200x collection (still working on completing them) each and every reaction variant, MUSCLE, “as seen on TV” etc figure and item from Super7, all the Funko POPs, and minis, and jumbos, etc. etc. etc.  But having these things only at Walmart (a store I don’t have near me) and the fact that I’ve been unable to see them in stock to ship at MSRP online has really killed my interest and enthusiasm and almost turned being a collector of this line into an after thought.  After 13 years of being a hard core (prior to that I was more casual) and generally enthusiastic and optimistic collector the number of store exclusives and “should be easy to buy items that end up being difficult to buy due to retail partner restrictions Items“ is really finally starting to burn me out.  At this point I’m feeling like if they all show up to where I can pick up the entire lineup easily At MSRP I will but I’m not going to go all in picking up random figures unless I realistically feel I can complete all the waves and if these remain difficult then I’ll probably just be done with all of them with the exception of cherry picking a Orko, Battlecat, the Sky Sled and any figures never made in the vintage line.  That’s getting to be the point where I’m at with a lot of these lines and brands where so many items are getting restricted as store exclusives.   I‘ve been a positive and enthusiastic completist for so many of these lines and brands for the last 13 years but once I decide to stop trying to get full collections of the things I’m after it’s going to become hard for Mattel, Hasbro, NECA, etc to win me back to these lines.  (Although applause to NECA for taking positive steps to address this).

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Also, yes, having 3rd party stuff on Walmart and Target’s website is super annoying and similar to what others have said with Walmart not only do you have to worry about them cancelling preorders months after you’ve placed them, or worry about them smashing/folding items meant to stay mint in package, but far too often have they ended up sending the wrong item.  

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