Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Uncover More Retail Antiquities

They are always searching. The Raiders of the Lost Walmart never stop their quest for the most ridiculous, most outdated items still on the shelves of their local Walmart stores. Here are their latest discoveries: a game that you can download for free, and a decade-old digital camera.

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“Walmart is still selling games you can’t play for full price,” notes Derek. APB’s servers were taken offline, and now it’s free to download and play. But not, as far as I could tell, compatible with this boxed version.

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Will noticed this Sony Mavica on the clearance shelf at an upstate New York Walmart. It wouldn’t have been out of place ten years ago, but not today, and certainly not for a “clearance” price of $269.

I looked it up and that model (FD200) and it was originally introduced in 2002. This has to be the oldest thing in the store, and it was remodeled into a Super Walmart at like 5 years ago. I would guess this was a return that got lost in the store based on the condition of the package.

I loved the Mavica. I would totally still use one if I owned any computers that still had a floppy disk drive.

Finally, reader The Comedian found some outdated non-electronic product on clearance. A product that has an even shorter shelf life than digital cameras, as it turns out.

I was looking for some Diesel Exhaust Fluid for my car and spotted some gallons of it lingering on a clearance shelf at the back of the automotive section of my local Walmart in [redacted], Connecticut.

Hoping it might have been finally been discounted for clearance from the ridiculously high marked price of $15.99 per gallon, I scanned it at one of the “Find a Price” scanners in the store. For reference, last time I bought DEF at NAPA I paid under $8.00 a gallon for it.

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Turns out the scanned price matched the marked price of $15.99, more than twice what it should be, despite being on the clearance shelf. Oh, FWIW, they’ve been on the clearance shelf for over half a year now. Did I mention that DEF only has a shelf life of 12-24 months.

For comparison I found a 2.5 gallon container of DEF at the same Walmart for just $11.37 ($4.55 per gallon!) that appeared to be in a container that hadn’t sat around aging out on the shelf for a year.

Maybe you can work some of the Walmart contact magic and help clear this aged (possibly ineffective) DEF from store shelves.

Comments

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  1. Thaddeus says:

    Well, at least the camera has a red tag, making it a mark down… so you know, it’s a deal.

    • Captain Walker says:

      Looks like it was marked down from $269 to $269!

      • HomerSimpson says:

        Par for the course…quite often they’ll slap a red sticker on the item with the same price. Guess it’s supposed to denote a clearance item, but not necessarily one they’re trying to unload.

        • JedediahJ says:

          Its not policy to do so but Store Managers have instructed their workers to red label any item thats simply deleted, not traded, or inactive. Not because its marked down for clearance.

          The idea behind it is simple enough. People are use to red tags representing a marked down price for a discontinued item. So maybe they’ll look at the products no one ever wants if they now contain a magic color red on their price tags.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      But not a GOOD deal.

    • layton59 says:

      Red tags got me thinking. Many years ago Wal-Mart started to have some stores called BUD. It stood for Broken Used and Damaged. Bud was also Sam Walton’s nickname. So it was a two-fer if you think about it. They had just a few of them to open. I think I went into a BUD in Knoxville Tennessee back in the 1980’s. Sadly or thankfully the concept was dropped. Sam Walton also had a beloved hunting dog named Roy. That is from where the Wal-Mart brand of dog food “Ol’ Roy” gets it’s name. I have always been a sucker for clearance red-tag items. This story makes ne wonder how old some of the stuff I have bought over the years has been? Thanks for opening my eyes.

      • Brenell says:

        Bud was the nickname of Sam’s brother and the stores were named after him. the Broken Used and Damaged meaning is urban legend. Though it did tend to reflect the quality of items that were sold.

  2. penuspenuspenus says:

    I had a similar model with a ridiculous optical zoom lens. Man I miss that thing. The only downside other than size was having floppies go bad and losing pics.

  3. kobresia says:

    The Nikon camera next to the Sony is pretty f-ing old, too.

  4. fsnuffer says:

    My 72 year old father still uses his Mavica. Had to buy him a USB floppy for his Mac Mini.

    • kiltedbrandon says:

      I got my mom a replacement for her DVD Mavica this Christmas. It was embarrassing waiting on her camera to spin up for her to take pictures.

  5. dush says:

    It’s price tagged with the same tag on the shelf below it and it’s faced to the front of the shelf.
    It’s not lost, they are trying to sell it.

  6. Cream Of Meat says:

    No, that’s wrong. The receipt checkers are the oldest thing in the store.

  7. Scuba Steve says:

    Walmart is one of the worst places when it comes to getting rid of old inventory. Mine still has a shelf full of throwaway PS2, and Xbox games for around $40 each. I’ve heard of some people even finding PS1 games for $20.

  8. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I still have an FD-95 Mavica with a 20x zoom lens and paid nearly $1,000 for it when it first came out. Was offered $10 as a trade-in on a new Canon. Bought the Canon but also kept the Mavica because it’s an incredibley fine portrait/still-life camera. I have the floppy adapter and a few years ago bought a handful of memory sticks on eBay before they all disappeared. I’ll probably be able to use it for the next 10 years.

  9. Cat says:

    I’m sure they’re justified in asking $269 for the Mavica. It *IS* an antique, after all.

  10. and_another_thing says:

    Sony introduced the floppy adapter for memory sticks shortly after I purchased my floppy disk-only model. They refused to retrofit my camera, so that was the end of Sony camera purchases for me.

  11. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    That’s a good price for the camera!

    It’s $599.99 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/SONMVCFD200-Mavica%C2%AE-MVC-FD200-Megapixel-Digital/dp/B000A6V3VY

  12. xspook says:

    The Mavica was my first digital camera. It took the crappiest pictures I could imagine. They weren’t even 1 megapixel. I bought it on sale for $150 and sold it used for $200 (back in 2002).

  13. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    I’m really starting to like Walmart because of incidents such as these.

    Stay gold, Wally-Mart !

  14. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    I’m really starting to like Walmart because of incidents such as these.

    Stay gold, Wally-Mart !

  15. Robofish says:

    Someone needs to setup a specific blog called raidersofthelostwalmart or something and post stuff like this. Could be endlessly entertaining

  16. Portlandia says:

    WOW, I had that Mavica….like 10 years ago. I think it actually runs on 3.5″ floppies!

  17. pulsar0510 says:

    Walmart has the weirdest clearance policy of any store I have ever seen. They would rather let stuff get broken, or the packaging destroyed (and thereby no longer sellable), or become (as in the examples) hopelessly outdated than mark stuff down and get it out the door. I can’t understand it.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Probably write them off at the full price rather than having to settle for whatever pittance the customer would be willing to pay for it.

  18. Rick Sphinx says:

    Like some old book stores, thrift stores, selling Windows 95 for Dummies, or worse, Windows 3.0. Why bother taking up shelf space, through them out. Is their an antique value in these type of items? Curious.

  19. Kuri says:

    Funny thing is the game APB is still out there. I downloaded it off of Steam and played it come.

  20. Gregory says:

    I had to look up what exhaust fluid is. It’s “automotive grade urea”, or basically pee. Helps diesels produce cleaner exhaust. Who knew.

    • shepd says:

      Yep, it’s entire purpose is to keep Diesel engines on the road under the ridiculous US requirements for said vehicles. IIRC, it prevents soot clouds from heavy acceleration.

      Soot being that horribly dangerous stuff that others would called “carbon ashes”. You know, the same crap your body is made of when it isn’t ash. :-D

      Save money, pee in a bottle and let it evaporate until you have the right concentration! ;)

      • MrEvil says:

        DEF does nothing to prevent Diesel soot. DEF is used to reduce NOx emissions that are much higher in Diesel exhaust than they are in Gasoline Exhaust. Diesels still need a Diesel Particulate filter to clean any soot from the exhaust.

    • OSAM says:

      Someone should call Mercedes: Their blue system is prohibitively expensive to refill.

  21. mearow says:

    I got my Mavica from a yard sale, from the Free box.

  22. raytube says:

    I always shake my head at the video cards and PC parts still on ‘clearance’ for only 10% off retail price of 5 years ago. Cameras and MP3 players are especially not clearanced either. On the other hand, I’ve picked some great Target electronics clearance items that were 70%, but still full price at other stores.

  23. mister_roboto says:

    DUDE! A Mavica! I’d buy that in a heart beat. Although… not at that price.

  24. kc2idf says:

    I still have one of the CD Mavicas from that same era. It’s actually a damn good camera, even though it is only 2 MPx. A couple of years ago, I bought several spindles of the 8cm CDs it uses, and they read just fine on all of the computers I own. I knew FD was a dead ticket at the time, and I didn’t yet feel that flash was reliable enough or cheap enough. I still have it because I tend to buy decent electronics and run them until they drop dead or stop meeting my needs.

  25. 10,000 Hours says:

    The Super Walmart in Elk River MN still has a copy of Madden 2002 for the Playstation ONE on the shelf, marked at $29.98. Funny thing, that game came out in 2001, yet this Walmart didn’t open until 2006 or so.

    • kiwihead says:

      Wal-Mart accepts returns on items that the specific store does not or never did carry. Somone most likely returned it there and they threw it on the shelf.

    • MNGirl says:

      Hey! I am from Elk RIver, MN! Crazy how small of a world it is.

  26. moonunitrappa says:

    I still have my sony mavica. It had the best lens ever. Better than the camera on my smart phone now. Granted the resolution wasn’t that great (640 max I think), but the photos were crystal clear. That camera got me through several indie film shoots, saving hundreds of dollars and waste on Polaroids. If only someone would make a sd card mod in the shape of a 3.5″ floppy. Someone did at some point, but I can’t find it.

  27. do-it-myself says:
  28. RyanK80 says:

    This is an accounting scheme on the part of the manufacturers. The post a couple weeks ago – the 256k flash drive for $25 or whatever – was the same deal.

    When companies send these products to Walmart, they show the full price of the product on their own books as an account receivable. Then, when the item sells, they reduce the A/R and increase cash.

    Obviously, the problem is that no one is going to buy these products. but the financial statements of the manufacturers look good. Like they have a lot going on – a lot of revenue pending to come in. And on the flash drive article, the person asked Walmart if they would reduce the price, and Walmart said it wasn’t permitted by the manufacturer.

    Why? Because the manufacturer doesn’t want to take it off their books! They like showing that they have inventory outstanding to be sold at $25 a pop, even though it’s worth ~$0.25. If they had to go back and reduce the price to sell it, their financials would look a lot different.

    So, as sad as it is, this is nothing but an accounting scheme to fluff their own books. And Walmart, for what it’s worth, doesn’t really care. This really only becomes a problem for Walmart when they start running out of display space.

    • BensFlare says:

      Sure, the inflated inventory initially makes the balance sheet & Gross profit look good , but the eventual writedowns of unsalable goods would eventually crush most stores. This has the same logic as the Producers’ Bialystock & Bloom!

  29. AllanG54 says:

    I still have a bunch of floppies with pics taken from my Mavica back in 2001. Got 10 or so pics to the disc. Have an external drive so I can still watch them if I want. Paid nearly $800 for the camera when I bought it in 1999 at Comp USA. Boy do times change.

  30. bomber991 says:

    That’s the problem with walmart. Each store is so huge and has so much inventory, that some stuff just gets ‘lost’ within their system. Inventory management has to be a nightmare with all those stores.

  31. gedster314 says:

    I am kind of thankful that some stores don’t dump old inventory. My old computer had an Intel Quad core 9450. Although I built a new I7 system, the 9450 processor was just too powerful of a processor to just throw away and not really worth selling. I decided to build a media PC but I did not want an ugly ATX case under the TV. I was able to find a circa 2010 mini itx board that took DDR3 memory, which I happen to be swimming in. DDR3, LGA775, mini itx boards were a rare item back then, imagine my surprise when I found an unused new one for a reasonable price.

    Now I have a small, stylish case under the TV with a powerful processor that has no problems playing anything I throw at it and also has no issues converting media in a timely manner. I love it. The 9450 processor is awesome under clocked and under volted. Runs really cool and the fans never speed up and remain quiet.

    I learned a lesson here. When building a computer don’t go cheap on the processor. I bought the 9450 in 2008 and now in 2012, the processor still offers very competitive performance and I probably could have lived for another 2 years without a new computer. That damn upgrade itch will be the end of us all.

  32. TimelessFinanceCom says:

    The only organization less efficient than a government is a private corporation with more than 100 employees.