Driving for Uber yesterday took me to the nearby city of Frederick. While there, I thought I’d stop by the newer Walmart on the north part of town. I checked out the diecast car section. I’ve gotten back into collecting Hot Wheels. Not the cheap mainline cars like I did before, but the premium cars. They have Real Riders wheels and a metal base. Continue Reading
I was perusing the clearance section of Hagerstown’s original Walmart store (not the new store) when I stumbled upon this gem. It’s a Callaway golf hat on clearance for only $5. Even though I like golf hats and things on clearance, I passed on this hat. The reason? Because it’s obviously used and extremely disgusting. It looks like it spent the last 11 months on the head of a homeless man training for a 10K fun run.Continue Reading
Toys R Us has declared bankruptcy and will close all of its retail establishments. Everything still on the shelves has been marked on clearance for easy liquidation. Or has it?
When I go into the Hagerstown Toys R Us, I feel like they aren’t truly committed to going out of business. They haven’t committed to the bit. The signage on the front windows says the entire store is “up to” 30 percent off, but I don’t think that’s true. I’ve gone in and walked around and I haven’t seen anything that was 30 percent off.
The entire line of Lego toys is marked down only five percent. I don’t buy Legos, so I don’t even know if that is any cheaper than what Walmart, Target, or any other retailer sells Lego toys for.
Their entire line of Funko Pops! is marked down ten percent. Even with the discount, they are still charging more than Walmart, Target, and every other brick and mortar retailer. When I buy Funko Pops!, I buy them at Target for $8.99 each or I order them on Amazon for even less.
All their Marvel Comics toys and related paraphernalia is only discounted ten percent. I did want to buy a Diamond Select Gallery Classic Iron Man PVC figure statue. The last time I checked, they have only one left and at ten percent off, it’s going for $35.99.
That’s more then what the statue is going for on eBay and Amazon.
I’m thinking if I truly want the PVC Iron Man statue, I should just go into Toys R Us and buy it. It’s not like it costs more than it costs anywhere else. It’s the last one and I can make it the last thing I ever buy at a Toys R Us.
One thing I noticed as soon as Toys R Us announced it was going out of business, they removed all of their Magic: The Gathering cards from the shelves.
I don’t know if they were able to return them to their distributor or to Wizards of the Coast, the manufacturer of Magic: The Gathering. I only know the Hagerstown and Frederick stores didn’t have any Magic: The Gathering product. It didn’t really make any difference since Toys R Us actually charged more for Magic: The Gathering product than the standard MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). That way they could run gimmick sales such as “buy one, get another at 40 percent off ” and not lose any money.
How did that work for Toys R Us?
I went and bought the Iron Man statue and it cost me $38.15. The receipt says I saved a whopping $4.00.
Toys R Us is going out of business. They owe more money to creditors than what they have and have declared bankruptcy. I keep reading that Toys R Us will be liquidating their current inventory with massive sales. The science fiction blog io9 said that sale was to begin yesterday. That didn’t happen.
I went to the Hagerstown Toys R Us yesterday and although the shelves were looking quite bare, there wasn’t a massive sale going on.
I’ve got my eyes on an Iron Man statue that normally costs $39.99. I have a Spider-Man statue from the same line that I was able to get for only $6.99 earlier at Toys R Us.
One of the byproducts of paying only $6.99 for a statue that normally costs $39.99 is that you don’t want to pay for retail for one ever again. You get spoiled.
The Hagerstown Toys R Us has one of the Iron Man statues in stock, but it’s $39.99 with a buy one, buy another at 40 percent off. Since they only have one, it makes that gimmick sale even worse than normal.
I have a lot of good memories associated with Toys R Us. Not as a child, but as an adult who has collected a lot of stupid stuff over the years.
It began with Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures. I was in the Air Force stationed in upstate New York and my boss was collecting them. He asked me to be on the lookout for a Deanna Troi for him. Since she was a girl, toy companies made less of them since it was a toy line for boys.
It got to be fun looking for her. I finally got her for him at a KB Toys in a “black” mall in Los Angeles when I was home on leave. My ex-wife and I were the only white people in the entire mall. I didn’t even notice until my ex-wife pointed it out. If memory serves, she cared about things like that.
I gave my boss the Deanna Troi figure when I got back and he was able to then finish his collection. I missed looking for her, so I started collecting them myself.
From collecting Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures, I moved over to collecting Star Wars: The Power of the Force figures when they were released in 1995.
I then got into collecting sports-related Kenner Starting Lineup figures. I was into collecting those in a very serious way. I made many a trip to Toys R Us, KB Toys, Kmart, Walmart, and anywhere else I thought would stock them. Once they hit the pegs, they usually went pretty quickly.
I even started and maintained a Majordomo message email list for fellow collectors of Kenner Starting Lineup figures. It resulted in my very first online death threat. A member of the list got mad about something and decided to show his frustration by threatening me with death.
I still collect Hot Wheels cars off and on. I take a look at die-cast cars when we go to Walmart or Target. Sometimes I’ll pick up a car I like, but my interest in the toy cars is nothing too serious. They’re usually less than a dollar each, so it’s easy to pick one up if I see something I like.
I think I’ll miss Toys R Us, not for anything it can provide today, but for what it was able to provide before.
On January 14, 2018, I purchased a 2-ounce spray bottle of DetraPel. It’s a product that you apply to white athletic shoes that keeps them white.
I learned about the product from Shark Tank. The founders pitched the product to the sharks and Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks agreed to go into business with DetraPel’s founders.
After watching the episode, I went to the Nike outlet store at the Hagerstown Prime Outlets and bought a pair of white on white Jordan 1 shoes I had my eyes on, but passed on because I knew I would have zero success keeping them stain-free. With DetraPel, I would be able to keep them looking like they looked when I first bought them.
As soon as I got home with my new shoes, I found the DetraPel website and ordered the spray bottle. It’s been 53 days since I paid DetraPel $19.06 on PayPal and I still haven’t received it.
I don’t understand why it’s taking so long to get my bottle of DetraPel. Supposedly they received funding from Mark Cuban, so they should have the ability to fulfill orders. Unless of course Shark Tank is a fraud and when one of the sharks agrees to partner up with an entrepreneur, it’s just a lie.
I don’t know if this is the case. What I do know is that I have a pair of shoes I cannot wear because I don’t want them to get any stains.
I don’t care what your business is. I don’t care if you’ve been on Shark Tank or not. I don’t care what you’re selling. If you can’t deliver the product you’re selling, you shouldn’t be in business. This is one of the reasons “entrepreneurs” have such a poor reputation.
I sold a Mitchel & Ness NFL jersey on eBay the other day and decided the cheapest way to get it to the buyer was to ship it in a Priority Mail flat rate envelope. I ordered some of these envelopes on the USPS website a while back. This is what they look like:
They say FLAT RATE ENVELOPE on the front and they’re made of a soft, bubble poly plastic.
When it came time to print a shipping label for the jersey, I selected the following:
When I took the package to my local Post Office, problems ensued. The reason? Because I selected Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope when I printed the shipping label. You know, the very thing is said on the front of the envelope.
Not all flat rate envelopes are the same
Unbeknownst to me, I was supposed to keep scrolling down after seeing Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope from the options of services I was choosing and select Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope instead of Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope.
My bad. Silly me.
If I had kept scrolling down and selected Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope, I would have paid $6.50 instead of the $5.95 I paid through eBay. Because of this error, I had to pay an extra $1.25 at my local Post Office.
The last time I checked, the difference between $5.95 and $6.50 is only 55 cents. Why then did I have to pony up another $1.25? Believe me, I didn’t ask, but I was told it was because I wasn’t getting my eBay discount. The difference between $7.20, the non-eBay cost of sending a Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope, and the $5.95 I already paid through eBay is $1.25.
When printing labels, always display the postage amount
Good thing I selected Display postage value on label when I printed the damn thing or I would’ve probably have been told to go home and try again.
The problem was that I didn’t have any cash on me. I don’t carry cash or change. It’s 2017 and I try to live a cashless lifestyle. I use my Capital One Venture card for everything.
Cash is dirty. I have it on good authority people use cash to wipe their noses and snort cocaine. We get travel points with the Venture card. Not only do I not have to handle paper money laden with stranger’s spent mucus and cocaine residue, we get to go on vacations for free. We’ve already booked a free week in a condo at Myrtle Beach. The condo is right on the beach and our room overlooks the ocean.
Back to the Post Office. I had to pay $1.25 with my credit card. As much as I love using my credit card and racking up those sweet travel points, I don’t like using it for really small amounts. Because I didn’t want to feel like a jerk and pay $1.25 with my credit card, I also bought a pack of Forever stamps.
I walked out of the Post Office a better person. I left knowing there’s two types of Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes when printing an eBay label and I was the proud owner of some patriotic looking stamps that will never expire. Now, if I only had a reason to own stamps that never expire.