VERIFY: How Do Toy Stores Prevent Online Resale & Markups?
In the midst of checking off lists in the bustle of Christmas and holiday shopping, Good Morning Show editor Christy Williams asked a question that could help her and other parents save money and hassle.
Christy said, "Every year, it seems like more people are running out and buying the hottest Christmas toy items and then selling them on the web for twice the price. That leaves parents like me scrambling to find toy items for Christmas that are usually much cheaper in stores."
So, she asked, "I know toy companies limit their inventory to stores to increase demand, but what are stores doing to prevent people from re-selling their products at a markup value?"
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (US Dept. of Commerce)
- Matt Peel - Toys & Co. (Greensboro - Friendly Center)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology says North Carolina is one of several states without standard retail pricing laws. So, it's usually up to individual stores to make their own policies.
Therefore, we talked to Matt Peel, the store manager at Greensboro's Toys & Co.
"While it's tough to prevent after-market markup of certain hot items, we take steps to prevent it and limit it as much as we can. When hot toys come in, we limit items to one per customer. That way, no one customer can come in and swipe up armloads of items. We also have a toy 'want book' to make sure we can order enough to meet the needs of the list (and) to make sure every customer gets one when they come in," Peel explained.
Individual companies and stores in North Carolina take their own measures to prevent product buy-out and online markups.
If Christy wants a specific hot toy, she should go ahead and call around, get some pricing information and see if a store -- like Toys & Co. will reserve it for her.