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Old 09-24-2014, 10:27 AM   #1
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WalMart Buyer Beware!

A while back I posted about my experience buying a battery at WalMart. When I got it home, I discovered that the acid vials were empty and the battery was clearly previously owned. Apparently someone bought a new battery, put the old one in the box and returned it for a refund. Presto, a free battery!

This weekend I was in a different WalMart purchasing a new hitch ball. One of the balls in the bin looked odd. Upon closer examination, I saw that the chrome was worn off and the nut was torn up as if it had someone had used a pipe wrench on it. Again, I think someone bought a new ball, attached the tag to the old one and returned it for a full refund.

I commend WalMart on their no-questions-asked refund policy, but if profit hungry store managers are putting the returns back on the shelf with no inspection then we all need to be extra careful when shopping there. On another thread someone reported that they bought a gallon of DEF for their diesel and found the DEF had been replaced with water. I wouldn't be surprised to find the same thing happening with oil, antifreeze and other expensive liquids.

Just a heads up for fellow IRV2 members.
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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In concept I agree, that buyer must beware. I just take exception to singling out Walmart. This problem is true of so many stores, large and small. I am sure returning merchandise to stock is not part of the company policy but rather the actions of an employee to facilitate returns. How often to you find outdated food in the grocery. Tire stores sell old tires. Car dealers do not check on manufacturer recalls.
The headline should read: Buy beware, and not single out one retailer.
JMHO
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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Had a similar incident at Wal-Mart too. Bought a 4 pack of dog flea and tick meds. Got home and found it only contained 2, and could see where the other 2 missing tubes HAD BEEN glued to the card but were missing. It's a shame that we have degraded to the point that we'll steal from each other in this manner. If Wal-Mart is going to continue their no questions asked refund policy, then they MUST institute some sort of Inspection Program to ensure that the items are actually still New, and OK before restocking them.
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:23 PM   #4
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We love Wal Mart's return policy but I never thought about that trick. I have purchased numerous items that were all taped up and I assumed the box had simply torn loose but I suspect it may have been returned merchandise but I have never ran across anything that was broken or missing parts so maybe someone simply did not liked it and returned it.

I am sure they get quite a bit of abuse on returns but I hope they don't change the return policy simply check the return a little closer prior to restocking item.
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:40 PM   #5
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I just don't buy anything in a box that looks like it has been opened or damaged in any way, at any store. I always take from the back, and go to another store if they don't have the product in a box packaged without damage. I know it's being a little anal but it seems evertime I break my rule, I get home and find I'm the lucky guy who gets the broken or missing product, just my luck, and I hate making returns. My wife on the other hand grabs whatever she wants and worries about it when she gets home. She loves making returns, it gives her another reason to go back and buy more...she also sleeps better than me at night...Go figure
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
I just don't buy anything in a box that looks like it has been opened or damaged in any way, at any store. I always take from the back, and go to another store if they don't have the product in a box packaged without damage. I know it's being a little anal but it seems evertime I break my rule, I get home and find I'm the lucky guy who gets the broken or missing product, just my luck, and I hate making returns. My wife on the other hand grabs whatever she wants and worries about it when she gets home. She loves making returns, it gives her another reason to go back and buy more...she also sleeps better than me at night...Go figure
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I never buy anything that looks to be tampered with or damaged, even at Costco. If it's the last one I just go somewhere else and buy it. I hate returning stuff.

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Old 09-24-2014, 03:47 PM   #7
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once bought a pint of ice cream, got to my RV, found the container was half full, i know, I need to pay attention. got a refund.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:07 PM   #8
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There are a lot of stores out there with no questions asked return policy. Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Sports authority etc. It's not just Wal-Mart. Check your merchandise before leaving the store. Then you'll be sure. Caveat Emptor!
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:08 PM   #9
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It's not much worse than these folks who buy something for their motorhome, wear it out beyond warranty period then complain to Good Sams Club so they pitch the company for a full refund AND GET IT... when, in fact, they really don't deserve it. Amazing how cheap folks can be. Self sufficient? Aahhh.. yah, sure.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:12 PM   #10
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I agree, it's an issue, but not just Walmart's. Years ago I bought a mid-price TV antenna. Got home, opened the box, it had been replaced with the cheapest model. I guess it had been switched out so someone got the mid-price for the price of the cheapie. My wife worked retail at a large department store that rhymes with Lacy's. She had a shady looking couple returning 3 Hummel figurines. No box, no receipt, they were dusty. She didn't want to take them in, her manager overruled her and gave full refund. Turned out they were stolen, I.D. of course false, they got away with it.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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Many stores have such a policy and many have been bitten.... Yes, always check to make sure that which is in the box is new and in good condition and actually what is supposed to be in the box.

I have seen stores sell a computer that turned out to be a brick in a box. I mean a brick, the kind you make a fireplace with.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:19 PM   #12
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Everyone keeps saying CHECK IT OUT! Don't buy if taped up, etc! Well a lot of these items are opened and the re-sealed in such a manner that it undetectable. In the case of the flea meds we bought the box was still glued and no signs that it had been opened. Same way with those that have bought DEF only to find that the jug was filled with plain water by the previous owner some of them even had the cap seal in place. The only way to know about MOST of this is for us to open the package ourselves PRIOR to purchase to verify that it is what it is. Can you see all the people in Wal-Mart opening things in the store before purchase? Store security will be running wild about it.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:26 PM   #13
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I recently bought DEF at WalMart. I always check the seal, now after reading about the practice of returning DEF with water in the bottle. I opened the box which had been sealed with clear packing tape (like the typical packing) through the perforated hole. Sure enough, took the screw cap off and the seal was gone. Smelled...no smell. Stuck my finger in and no taste [read water]. Brought a worker over that worked that section over and showed and explained to him what someone had done, then showed him the real thing. Did the same with a manager up front.

Bottom line with DEF, check it. If it is good, you're buying it anyway. If not, the store needs to know! And learn something. Unbeliveable what folks will do to steal these days. A lot of trouble for $11.38!
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:55 AM   #14
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Everyone keeps saying CHECK IT OUT! Don't buy if taped up, etc! Well a lot of these items are opened and the re-sealed in such a manner that it undetectable. In the case of the flea meds we bought the box was still glued and no signs that it had been opened. Same way with those that have bought DEF only to find that the jug was filled with plain water by the previous owner some of them even had the cap seal in place. The only way to know about MOST of this is for us to open the package ourselves PRIOR to purchase to verify that it is what it is. Can you see all the people in Wal-Mart opening things in the store before purchase? Store security will be running wild about it.
If it is a small appliance or something that has numerous parts I have opened the box to make sure that it is what it is supposed to be and has everything included. I have done this in WalMart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. and have never had anyone "running wild" about it. I have been asked what I am doing before and I tell them exactly what I am doing and that was the end of the discussion. I have found several of the "surprise" packages that I always give to customer service and tell them about it. Also if it is Ok I will take the box that I opened and not get an unopened box.
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