Buy A Cheap Blu-Ray Player, Get A Box Of Useless Remotes Instead

If you pick up an electronics box and notice that it has been resealed and is suspiciously…. rattley….you might want to just leave it on the shelf, no matter how good a deal it might be. Unless you need some random remote controls, cables, and manuals to other devices. At least, that’s the lesson we’re taking away from William’s e-mail about what he found inside a Blu-Ray player box at his local Walmart.

Today I went to my local Wal-Mart. I needed a box fan due to the total lack of ventilation in my attic. I was walking around and noticed a blu-ray player on special. It appeared that the box had been opened and resealed, but for $30 I thought i’d take a chance. By the time I got to the car I decided that I better go ahead and open the box while I was still at the store (just in case). Turns out I was right. Someone had resealed the box and filled it with remote controls and booklets from other tv’s. I took a picture and took it back inside. Luckily for me they didn’t make a fuss and promptly refunded my money.

Intentionally or not, William followed the advice in our classic post, “What To Do When A Store Sells You Box Of Crap And Won’t Take It Back.” He opened the suspicious package while still in the parking lot.


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  1. jivesukka says:

    Grats on them taking it back without a fuss, I think most retailers would (and maybe should) be a bit skeptical about these things.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Wal-Mart takes back pretty much anything, even things it doesn’t even sell.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        They take back stuff from other Walmarts, too, without making you return it to the same store. I bought a cheapo bathroom cabinet once at a store south of me and when I started to put it together, it literally crumbled in my hands. I know that cheap stuff is pretty bad, but this was REALLY bad, not even salvageable. I put it back in the box and took it to the Walmart closest to me and they refunded my money with no trouble.

      • danmac says:

        There are definitely exceptions to this generalization. A few years ago, my sister purchased a new CD at Walmart. When she opened it, there was no disc inside the jewel case. When she returned to Walmart with the empty case, they refused to take it back, telling her that their policy prevented them from accepting returns on open CDs/computer software. When my sister pointed out that she could not have known that the case would be empty until she opened it, the returns person refused to see her logic, so she asked for a manager.

        Upon hearing the situation, the manager actually had the balls to tell my sister, “How do we know you didn’t buy it, remove the CD, then try to return it?” She had never returned anything at that Walmart location, so this was just pure speculation. Nevertheless, my sister persisted until the manager “generously” allowed her to exchange the empty case for the same item.

        Only they were now out of stock. With no replacements ordered. Would they refund her money now? No. Store credit? No. When would they get more in? They didn’t know. They told her they would call her when they got their next shipment (they never did).

        So while some Walmarts may have progressive return policies, it only takes one dick manager to throw a wrench into things.

  2. sufreak says:

    Shopping at Walmart is like getting surgery in Mexico.

  3. Datruth says:

    They do have Walmarts in Mexico, btw. Just sayin…

  4. E. Zachary Knight says:

    He was close on the advice. he should have opened it in the store in the presence of a store employee.

    • ITDEFX says:

      I am surprised that the OP didn’t notice the rattling of the remotes and stuff while moving it around. 30 dollars for a blu ray player way too much of a deal to be true. Also not many people opens the product in store mind you.

  5. Big Ant says:

    “Luckily for me they didn’t make a fuss and promptly refunded my money.”

    Is this what its coming to? I think its sad that it is news when stores actually do what they should do in the first place.

    • TehQ says:

      While they shouldn’t make a fuss he could have easily gone out to his car filled it up with crap and tried to return it. It was only $30 so that why they didn’t hassle him. If it was like $300 then it might be a different story.

    • mikec041 says:

      I purchased a GPS from Walmart and when i got it home i found parts missing and some families Christmas holiday travel routes to and around Ohio stored in it’s memory. I took it back to Walmart and actually had to fight to return it. Several “Members of Management” actually told me they couldn’t refund it because parts were missing (DUH that’s why i’m returning it). Escalated it all the way up to the Store manager, who told them to refund the money and stop bothering him.

  6. DanRydell says:

    Usually stuff like this is intentional fraud by a previous customer (or an employee), but in this case I wonder if someone was moving and packed all that stuff in there, and then someone else decided to return it to Wal-mart thinking it was actually an unused Blu-Ray player (since Walmart takes returns without a receipt).

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      I was thinking that too – who has that many extra remotes laying around?

      • Bunnies Attack! says:

        I just bought a display model TV from walmart, they had a big box with all the assorted remotes, instructions and bases from all the other tv’s in it. Its possible they just reused a bluray box they had lying around to store remotes then someone accidentally sealed it and put it on the shelf on clearance.

  7. hoi-polloi says:

    Could those be the remote controls, cables, and manuals for display televisions in the store? Half of them are still wrapped in plastic or twist-tied.

  8. KarbonKopy says:

    I always open it right at the counter after paying for it ….. every time.

  9. wjstone says:

    Woot! thanks for posting. I couldn’t actually believe all the crap that was in that box when I opened it.

  10. swarrior216 says:

    People still shop at Walmart?

  11. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Yay for William remembering to check the box! And for the employees for not making a big deal out of it

    • hoi-polloi says:

      If this is what I think, they were probably overjoyed to get it back. As a couple of us posted earlier, this is likely the remotes and cables for their display televisions, DVD players, etc. Good luck trying to sell a display model without a remote.

  12. Natrix says:

    The stores that I have worked at typically keep the boxes and remotes for all displays that are in the electronics area. More often than not, the remotes are kept in an old display box from one of the displays. I can see someone mistakenly taping up a box and it ending up back on a shelf. Odds are with nearly 4000 stores, it could happen here and there.

  13. Link_Shinigami says:

    It sounds like he may have gotten the box to a display model that they used to fill all their other display model books/cables/remotes from and that is probably why they were so willing to refund his money

  14. MrTreoZ says:

    I wish I shopped at your Walmart. I bought a Kodak Digital Picture Frame from our local store and all was well until it stopped working after about 4 weeks. Since they have a 90 day return policy I took my time with the return – waiting until I was headed out that way again. During that time I found a nicer frame elsewhere and purchased it. Once I decided I wanted that one I went off to return the Kodak to Walmart. I was shocked when returns wouldn’t take it because it was over 15 days. When I pointed to the sign and said it’s 90 days they argued that this Digital Frame was a CAMERA! What?! I argued til I was blue in the face and asked for a manager who fought the same fight. I eventually took my frame and walked out fuming.

    A couple of days later I thought of a way to win. I headed back and waited in line to rub their noses in my victory. When my turn came I went right for the manager card. Same guy – Ugh. After a quick reminder of my situation (he remembered me) I said, “Since this is a camera, would you please show me how to take a picture with it?”. Oh man, that felt good. Checkmate! He says something like, you can’t take a picture with this, it’s only a frame. I said you just told me that it’s a camera! We went back and forth for a bit and I eventually walked out again just short of a heart attack. I ended up sending the frame to Kodak (another story) – who replaced it with an older version, but at least it showed pictures now.

    We all know about the shrink ray, but this was a Transformation Ray. You buy it as one product (Digital Frame) but when you try to return it it converts to another product al together (a friggin camera)! What will they come up with next?

  15. gman863 says:

    Having worked in electronics stores, this is a no-brainer: ALWAYS open ANY box that appears to have been opened or tampered with in the presence of a store employee before you leave. For that matter, it’s a good idea to open EVERY expensive item in the presence of an employee, even if the box appears to be new.

    — Returns desk employees are often clueless or lazy on checking for accessories when an item is returned. Look at the parts list in the owner’s manual and verify everything is there.

    — If an item is “open box”, refurebished or appears opened, also be sure the store will take it back for a full refund if defective. I’ve seen plenty of truly defective items “accidentally” returned to store stock.

    — Verify the model and serial #s match on the box and the item. If they don’t, you may not be able to return it.

    — Dishonest customers, employees and stores can be very good at making a box look like it’s never been opened. I don’t care if its banded, shrink wrapped or appears to have the factory seal intact. I still want to see it before I leave with it. I remember a high-end camcorder that was sold at Circuit City years ago when I was a sales manager. The box was in perfect condition and appeared unopened. Two hours later, the customer came back and shared the tape loaded in the camcorder when they opened it – topless women at a biker rally held a few weeks earlier. Humiliating.

  16. dirtyblueshirt says:

    That was my conclusion. When I worked retail for both Kmart and Target (back at the turn of the century!) that was common practice, to have all the display model remotes and paraphernalia in one box for easy retrieval when whey would eventually sell the display model at clearance.

  17. CaptCaveman says:

    Looks like an inside job. Strange that they still follow me around and I pay for every item I take out of the store.
    Like I told a lady working the register at a K-Mart years ago while buying a DVD while she was deactivating the anti-theft on the item. I asked her why they would go through the trouble. She responded that I would be surprised at how many items come up missing. I told her she would be surprised at how many of her co-workers were the ones stealing the items vs the customers that are actually buying.

  18. allie2590 says:

    While it’s very unfortunate for the customer, I don’t blame stores for being skeptical and maybe not even giving refunds when something like this happens. I’ve worked at the returns desk at another large department store, and I have had many customers try to screw us over with the “old switcharoo.”

    Unfortunately, people are dishonest, and businesses have to protect themselves. Sometimes honest customers face a loss because of that. It shouldn’t happen, but it does.

    As both a customer service representative and a customer, I urge people to open up boxes in front of an employee BEFORE they leave the store. That way, if something like this happens, you will have a witness to back you up.

  19. soxfantoo says:

    Even with a “sealed” box you need to turn the box over and inspect the bottom of the box.

    I bought audio equipment from Circuit City….and when I open the box….I found a 10 yr old piece of junk.
    The previous person had opened the box from the bottom and switched items

    Until then , I only thought to check the top of the box to make sure it hadn’t been opened.