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Evolving purchasing habits?

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Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby GuyIncognito » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:44 am

Just a couple years ago, 95% of my TF purchases were made in brick-and-mortar stores. But over the last year, several factors have forced me to rethink the way I purchase TFs:

1. Terrible inventory at virtually every store
2. Hasbro's confounding decisions to simply not make certain figures (Breakdown, Gaia Unicron, Ironhide, etc.
3. Lots of cool repaints and exclusives only available in Japan or "Asia"

So more and more I'm turning to preorders and importing to get the figures I want.

Now I don't want this to turn into a bitch-fest about Hasbro; it is what it is and we just have to deal with it. I'm just wondering: have others started changing their purchasing habits as well? Do you think this is the future of collecting, that we can no longer rely on our local retailers and need to turn to the global market instead?
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Cobalt Prime » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:39 am

Motto: ""Excessive force is not necessary.""
Absolutely.

American retail is dead, as far as TFs are concerned. I tried holding off as long as I could but more and more I'm biting the bullet and turning to online retailers for products that A. Should have been brought to the U.S. market but weren't, or B. Are supposed to be in the U.S. market but never seem to make it to the pegs.

One can only stalk out of Target/TRU/Y'All-Mart grumbling so many times before the discouragement starts to overwhelm. So yeah, I'm in a transitional stage now where online satisfies where retail fails.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Mkall » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:14 am

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I gave up on retail 3 years ago and I haven't regretted it at all. I would love to see Hasbro move to a distribution style similar to Takara's, but I know that will not happen.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby SJ21 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:23 am

Motto: "You don't know because you can't see me. Then you are dead."
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I still go to stores for most of my purchases. My buying is limited to Classics style figures anyway, and we get most of them at retail. If there is an exclusive that fits into the Classics categoty for me, I will order online.

I am pretty lucky though. I have 2 TRU's, 3 Targets, and 2 Walmarts within 15 minutes of my house. i don't have to go too far out of the way to hit any of them.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby gavinfuzzy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:29 am

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Weapon: Sub-Machine Gun
Well, I don't own a credit card due to my age, and that rules out online purchases. The distribution here in Singapore is pretty good, waves do get released pretty fast. Plus, the country's so small you can take public transport across the island in under and hour. :lol:

But still, I rarely buy things at retail prices. I wait for it to drop to 20% off during the holiday season, or even around 45% off during clearance. I have been doing that around the end of Universe 2.0. Sure, I get the figures months later than the rest of you, but I end up saving more. :lol: I collected the entirety of the Generation line while they were on sale (With the exception of Black Shadow, Warpath and Junkyard, who I had to pay slightly over retail price due to their rarity...)
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby fenrir72 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:33 am

Motto: "Power to the strong and the right!"
Weapon: Plasma Cannon
Not dragging politics here but a lot of these factors can also be blamed on the brilliant stewardship of the American economy. I'll leave it at that(whether we like to believe/deny it).

Being said, let's pray for a silver lining in the clouds or alight in the end of the tunnel by next year.

I hope that we return back to post 2000 sized TF toys but not the FOC size range :sad:

I hope by next year, we get more Encores such as the Dinobots among others (Ramjet and Thrust would be nice + the combiner cassetrons + more G1 combiners)

Sturdier MP figures from Tomy Takara.( to make the purchase worth the time and effort.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:14 am

I still check the stores for waves, but I have to admit it's with an air of futility. The pegs where I live have been clogged with BBs and Canada (or at least my area) seems to OD on the first few waves with nothing coming in for later ones. Heck, the Toys R Us near me still has some RotF BBs.

Plus, I really only collect Neo G1 and that's been 3rd party focused for a long time now. No choice with that, it's either online or wait until a con.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:25 am

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
The only "evolution" I've noticed in myself is that I've grown more picky and more aware of my overall tastes. That and my current financial situation plus current lack of new stock puts me in a bit of a bind.
I'm basically forced to look at all the figures online, especially the Japanese ones and wallow in self-pity with the fact I can't afford them :sad:
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Valandar » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:14 pm

Motto: "It doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty, only that you work to make it full."
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Yeah, I still purchase mostly at B&M stores, but that might end up changing.

I got back into collecting around the time of the middle to end of TF:Cybertron, and back then I pretty much collected only the stuff I liked a lot (robot mode good, good articulation, not a beastformer, etc), including some of the Dollar Store Energon Basics. Shortly after my buying habits ramped up, and I bought every single Titanium I saw, etcetera etcetera. Lately, I've toned back down to ones I like, though my tastes are a good bit more relaxed now (and thus I buy more - this started around the second movie line, where I was heavily turned off by all the monowheel figures.

Unfortunately, my preference for B&M means I missed out on Windcharger, Grapple, and others of the tail end of Generations, not to mention nearly every figure after the first couple waves of DotM, and Prime. So... looks like it'll be more online purchases for me.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Doubledealer93 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:18 pm

Motto: "A logical mind is a healthy mind."
Weapon: Double-Barreled, Armor-Piercing Particle Beam Cann...
i too am changing how i buy my TFs. i wanted a breakdown and ironhide. but no. i wanted a lot of things that takara only got. the last 3 DOTM toys, lead foot, que, and soundwave (have him now) last transformer i bought at a store was voyager starscream and that was over 2 months ago. i got my first 3 FOC toys from BBTS and a double of shockwave from target. i have been rethinking how i buy my TFs. its sad that we all have to due to hasblows stupid moves.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby NTESHFT » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:12 pm

Motto: "60% of the time, it works every time!"
Weapon: Black Magic
I think this would make a good poll question, myself.....

I definitely have changed my ways of where and how I buy my TF's too. As stated in other posts, the lack of shelves being stocked, more and more of the TF's I want only being Asian exclusives, plus the fact that I'm not at all happy over the FOC line (higher price for a smaller figure) have led me to change it up quite a bit. I'm now just either buying the Takara MP line, going back and finding reissues I said I wanted, and just saving up for third party guys. I have no more faith in Hasbro, so it looks like they will get little, if any more, of my money. And by saying that, I don't mean I'm pissed and going on one of the usual rants about Hasbro. I'm saying that probably like Hasbro ( if this is their thoughts on the subject), I don't care anymore......To be honest, it is my opinion (emphasis on "MY" opinion) that Hasbro may be doing this on purpose. They may not want to do these toys anymore. Maybe after all that bank they made on the movies, Hasbro might want to do something different for a change, themselves..... :-? .......anyone else share that same thought?
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby PrymeStriker » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:06 pm

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I certainly am. While I've been buying online for a while now (With a quite a few Prime items. FE Starscream, PRiD K.O, and AM Breakdown), I find myself slowing down because, well, not a lot of figures are impressing me anymore. Honestly, I'm only buying 5 figures out of the new FoC Generations line so far, and those are Shockwave, Jazz, Grimlock, Onslaught, and Starscream. And I only need Grimlock, Onslaught, and Starscream.

Aside from that, I'm really focusing on my Prime collection, and even that's being limited because of the clog-ass retail nowadays. I'm pretty sure my local Target or Wal Mart has 3 or 4 boxes of Wave 3s in the back, but everyone's too lazy to check or put them out. Even if they do, I miss them.

Not to mention the cheap-ass plastic Hasbro uses now.

So of course, I'm turning to online purchases more often. But this is not just Transformers. Everything is getting cheap. Everything is having poor (to fair) distribution. And the prices just go up. And it's because our American businesses are lazy, greedy peoples. :roll:
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby craggy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:36 pm

From the closing days of Beast Wars, through to Classics, I bought in brick and mortar shops. In fact, it wasn't until 2010 that I ordered my first TF online (Henkei Megatron) and it was a slippery slope from there. I still like to buy things from actual humans in actual shops. Sadly, it seems that the stores and the companies supplying the products to the stores are unable to put the things I want on the shelves.

Price is rarely the issue. Although I am more likely to pick up a single figure on a whim if I see it in front of me, than I am to order it. I tend to try and buy a few TFs at once, to cut down on shipping costs, since the online stores are rarely much cheaper than the products would theoretically be if a physical shop had them on the shelves. Usually, the online stores, and ebay especially, are much more expensive. There are bargains now and then, but in general, I pay more buying online. However, I am at least given some variety in things I can buy. If I go to a brick and mortar shop, I can buy Bumblebee, or maybe Optimus Prime.

Having branched out into buying 3rd Party items has encouraged my shopping online as well, as you're not going to see the latest FP or iGear stuff in a supermarket or Toys R Us. That and the abundance of exclusives, either by store, or by region, mean that it is usually the only way to get the things I want.

The one thing I'm still reluctant to do is pre-order too many things. Uncertain release dates mean that I might find myself getting $400 worth of stuff come out all within a couple weeks of each other, or I might get one item every few months. It IS the only way to guarantee getting some things, but I grudge paying up front for stuff that I may not see for 6months or more, and paying when it's released runs me the risk of getting stung for loads of stuff at the same time and ending up completely broke at the start of a month or going overdrawn if it's at the end of a month.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby SKYWARPED_128 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:04 pm

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The local hobby stores provide for my every TF need.

The added cost of shipping makes it not worth it, sometimes. Plus, getting a defective item replaced can be a bit of a hassle. As a rule, I only buy online if I can't find what I want at a hobby store.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Mykltron » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:08 am

Motto: "If I win again I'm still the champion. If you win HAH! that's just impossible.

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When I resumed my collecting about six years ago I went hunting down past figures like Alt/Bin so I had to make most of my purchases online. Now, thanks to no improvements in distribution I have to make most of my purchases online.

No change.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby UltraMason » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:12 pm

My habits changed in the last year. I dont think Ill ever buy from retail again. The KO G1 reissues are a dream come true (even with the imperfections). I'm too old to be buying toys from a cute cashier. I'll leave the current toys to the new generation of collectors.

Also, I swore off 3rd party stuff. No Uranus, I'd be happy with the G1 (I know, I have problems) Superion. As cool as they are, they always leave me feeling like it's not quite what I want on the shelf/boxed in the closet.

Lastly, my granny recently let me use her to set up an ebay card. She is wonderful. I haven't used it recently, but no more than 5 minutes ago, I just won a Rock/Jewell Lords Solitaire complete in great condition for 125. I had to jump on it!! I cant believe I found her (with the weapon too :) )!!! Thank you so much granny!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of her favorite card games was always solitaire , I'm so blessed to have someone helpin me :saint:
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby RodimalToyota » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:58 pm

I went from no online orders to 250-300$ a month POLs at BBTS.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby MGrotusque » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:56 pm

I'm 95% online. It was the other way around about 5 years ago though.

But as stated before, distribution is the shits and i honestly don't really like what has been coming out from Hasbro for some time now. The only figures i've purchased at retail or from Hasbro this year are Prime WHeeljack (retail) and Dead End (online, Ebay). I KNOW i'll never see Dead End in my neck of the woods at a retail store.

Plus i don't feel comfortable going into stores and buying figures from a cute half my age cashier anymore either. I'm getting a little long in the tooth for it.

So as it stands. Either i'm buying vintage or 3rd party and all of that is done online or if something new from Hasbro comes out that i actually like, I'll go too Ebay rather than prowl around B&M stores wasting valuable time and ultimately getting disappointed.

Does Hasbro even have an online store? I think i tried looking once eons ago but it was non existent or just really pathetic. I can't remember.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby NTESHFT » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:26 am

Motto: "60% of the time, it works every time!"
Weapon: Black Magic
monstergrotusque wrote:I'm 95% online. It was the other way around about 5 years ago though.

But as stated before, distribution is the shits and i honestly don't really like what has been coming out from Hasbro for some time now. The only figures i've purchased at retail or from Hasbro this year are Prime WHeeljack (retail) and Dead End (online, Ebay). I KNOW i'll never see Dead End in my neck of the woods at a retail store.

Plus i don't feel comfortable going into stores and buying figures from a cute half my age cashier anymore either. I'm getting a little long in the tooth for it.

So as it stands. Either i'm buying vintage or 3rd party and all of that is done online or if something new from Hasbro comes out that i actually like, I'll go too Ebay rather than prowl around B&M stores wasting valuable time and ultimately getting disappointed.

Does Hasbro even have an online store? I think i tried looking once eons ago but it was non existent or just really pathetic. I can't remember.



hasbrotoyshop.com. That site does me no good, though. By the time I get there, the campers already got what I was looking for. Besides, as you said, I'm not really liking what they are putting out (giggity) anymore. I'm just getting old G1 reissues, third party. and MP stuff now. Hey, at least I can get the Takara Mp stuff now.....
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby Rhinox23 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:19 am

I completely agree. A few years ago I would have never really thought about buying online for any new US releases. Why do that when you can just buy it in the store, right? Well, since then it seems harder and harder to find the new waves. Add this to all of the driving and frustration from hunting and buying online just makes more sense.

Recently, I went ahead and bought all 3 figures from the FOC first wave from BBTS. With shipping they cost me about $1.25 more than I would have paid at a brick and mortar store with tax. The gas I saved more than made up for this.

Now, I've been searching for Dreadwing with no luck. So, the other main reason buying online is now a good option is because should you miss the wave in stores (which could be very short lived from some of the stores I've seen) you'll still have to end up buying it for even more later on if you really want it.

Needless to say, I am buying more and more online.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:24 am

Motto: ""I am a warrior. Let the battle be joined.""
Weapon: Electron Gun
I used to buy one or two online. Now it's pretty much all online. Nothing on the shelves, not to mention I'm cutting back overall on my TF spending.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby RAcast » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:11 pm

Motto: "Can't stop, so what! That's how I like it!"
Weapon: Rocket Launcher
The past month or three has had me spending pretty minimally. Haven't been having much luck with ebay and the price bump in the deluxes and commanders has me totally turned off. I really REALLY like FoC Shockwave and Prime FRumble...but there's no way I'm paying 15+ for either of them, small as they are. I'm really excited for Voyager Ultra Magnus though, and I spend right about $22 on Kre-O MegaBee and Sideswipe, both of which I'm quite happy with! :grin:
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby quickmixed » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:49 pm

When was Solar Storm Grapple released? 18 months ago? That was my last purchase at retail.

Its not even worth going to the stores that are around me in Australia. There's next to no distribution so now I just stack it or POL it. The prices are cheaper too, so as long as I let it build up for a month or two, the shipping evens out and I'm guaranteed my figures without the hassle of searching.

Sad really. I actually used to enjoy trawling the stores for new figs. Sometimes there would be a nice surprise. RTS windcharger was one of those.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby MGrotusque » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:54 pm

quickmixed wrote:
Sad really. I actually used to enjoy trawling the stores for new figs. Sometimes there would be a nice surprise. RTS windcharger was one of those.


Yeah... i miss those "surprise" figs that you didn't expect too see and scooped up,paid for at the till and went home with a restrained frenzy of excitement to open up when ya got back home.

But i get the same excitement now waiting for that wrapped up present at my front door to open up like as if i was a kid again. It's the same vibe just different execution.
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Re: Evolving purchasing habits?

Postby PrymeStriker » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:59 pm

Motto: "Brilliant"
Weapon: Augmented Quark Disruptor
monstergrotusque wrote:
quickmixed wrote:
Sad really. I actually used to enjoy trawling the stores for new figs. Sometimes there would be a nice surprise. RTS windcharger was one of those.


Yeah... i miss those "surprise" figs that you didn't expect too see and scooped up,paid for at the till and went home with a restrained frenzy of excitement to open up when ya got back home.


It's the same thing for some of us now, except we're doing it with figures that should be common. It really is sad.
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