Shopping Discussion

Walmart opening electronics before selling?

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  • Sep 15th, 2010 6:45 am
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 3, 2007
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Toronto

Walmart opening electronics before selling?

I was at a Walmart today and I saw a woman was buying a Nintendo DS Lite, factory sealed and new. The guy at the electronics cash opened up the sealed package and compared the serial number on the DS to what was on the box. Does this make any sense? Why would walmart need to open up a new package if the customer is buying a new product?

I know walmart will open sealed electronics that are being returned, because it is easy to commit fraud with a fake factory seal. But why would they need to open packages before selling to the customer? Is this a new policy at Walmart?

If I wanted gutted crap I'd just go to EB.
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Deal Addict
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Nov 9, 2008
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Maybe it's to ensure the product is in fact in there? I'm not sure. There have been instances at BB/FS where someone bought a video card and when they got home it was just a box with some heavy product inside (not the video card). Perhaps it's to ensure that the product is the right one as to prevent having the customer come back and complain, and not knowing whether he/she is lying.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 9, 2003
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Don't the DS Lite boxes have a hole cut open in the back where the serial number of unit is clearly shown?

Maybe they're no longer like that...
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Oct 7, 2007
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crimsona wrote:
Sep 10th, 2010 2:53 pm
Don't the DS Lite boxes have a hole cut open in the back where the serial number of unit is clearly shown?

Maybe they're no longer like that...

Exactly what I am thinking. There's a hole in the box that you can peak into the console and read the serial number right off the console.

Maybe the woman requested it to be opened right there. I don't see Walmart doing this automatically.
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Aug 5, 2007
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crimsona wrote:
Sep 10th, 2010 2:53 pm
Don't the DS Lite boxes have a hole cut open in the back where the serial number of unit is clearly shown?

Maybe they're no longer like that...

no my ds lite, and all the newer ones (dsi, dsi xl) have the serial # printed on the box as a sticker. maybe the old phats were like that i dunno.

the only systems i've seen that have the hole in the box directly to the serial # on the unit was the xbox 360s.. however, the new ones i believe don't have that.

my ps3 had a sticker on the box too.
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Jul 5, 2004
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They do it to prevent fraud. There's been many threads on RFD claiming that their electronic device they just bought isn't the original that was in the box. There's no way to prove it one way or the other, so now they open boxes to compare serial numbers.

I'd like to know how it's suddenly gutted just because they opened the box to verify the seal number? How exactly does that change anything about your product? It's still brand new.
Newbie
Sep 12, 2010
8 posts
Westcoast
Best Buy ...

I bought the Samsung LN40A650 LCD tv at Best Buy late-March 2009 during their Door Crashers Week sales and such, as well as some V-Tech phones.

When they rang the items through ... the sales clerk noted their policy of opening the box (on larger items or the pricier ones?) to ensure the goods were in fact intact and not damaged. He opened the box and slid the tv out to show me that it was in good shape and there were no scratches or cracks. Fortunately it's a very strong/sturdy box and didn't compromise anything. I've actually kept the box for the future in case I move (so that it's easy to transport ... and of course padding the thing up on the exterior at that particular point in time. Did the same thing with a pc package I bought custom-built on Craigslist in 2008. Great box for the Tsunami Dream pc tower. Sturdy/durable w/ handle.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2005
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We're probably going to see it become a pretty universal practice for stores to open up all pricier electronics at the till to verify the contents.

I'm sure retailers are all pretty sick of the amount of return fraud that goes on; and doing this will also help kill off the re-selling of their deeply discounted sale items by eBayers (much tougher to get max $ there for goods that are not still in factory sealed packaging, since everyone just assumes opened = store return.)
...
"I count as braver he who conquers his desires than he who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over the self." - Aristotle
Deal Fanatic
Mar 12, 2010
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It's only an issue if the retailer won't accept items that have been 'opened' for return...
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 3, 2007
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Toronto
Shaner wrote:
Sep 11th, 2010 11:00 pm
I'd like to know how it's suddenly gutted just because they opened the box to verify the seal number? How exactly does that change anything about your product? It's still brand new.
A brand new item that has its factory seals cut and opened, then sold as new, is the definition of gutted.
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Dec 19, 2001
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It sounds like a good idea. I would insist on it at places like FS and BB that have a reputation for selling returned and used items hidden in new boxes.
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Nov 21, 2007
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Kitchener
Helico-pterFunk wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 7:47 am
Best Buy ...

I bought the Samsung LN40A650 LCD tv at Best Buy late-March 2009 during their Door Crashers Week sales and such, as well as some V-Tech phones.

When they rang the items through ... the sales clerk noted their policy of opening the box (on larger items or the pricier ones?) to ensure the goods were in fact intact and not damaged. He opened the box and slid the tv out to show me that it was in good shape and there were no scratches or cracks.

They also open TVs to protect themselves. They don't want someone to break the screen on their new TV while taking it home and say it was like that from the store. Especially now that big TVs are getting so common. Not a lot of people have a vehicle to properly transport something that big.
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Jul 5, 2004
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appleb wrote:
Sep 14th, 2010 2:17 pm
A brand new item that has its factory seals cut and opened, then sold as new, is the definition of gutted.

It's not like it was opened in the back room long before you bought it. It was opened right in front of you to verify the serial number. That's anything but gutted. That doesn't change anything about the product whatsoever. What they did is no different than you opening the box when you get home. Stop your whining.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2005
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Shaner wrote:
Sep 14th, 2010 8:41 pm
It's not like it was opened in the back room long before you bought it. It was opened right in front of you to verify the serial number. That's anything but gutted. That doesn't change anything about the product whatsoever. What they did is no different than you opening the box when you get home. Stop your whining.
+1
I don't see how the item is "gutted" just from being opened . . . unless you're anticipating a major case of Buyer's Remorse and are worried you won't be able to return it now that it's been opened.
...
"I count as braver he who conquers his desires than he who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over the self." - Aristotle
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2010
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What if it's a gift for someone? You don't want to give someone a present (especially electronics) that has the seals cut open/missing, and it probably complicates matters if you/they want to return it.

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