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Author Topic: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg  (Read 2954 times)

fishfan

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The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« on: December 13, 2014, 08:48:53 AM »

Hey there guys,

It just occurred to me that I haven't brought this up yet and have the opportunity to do so now.  A few years back there was a trooper on here named Darth Keg.  He worked at TRU and was great at providing information regarding timelines and pricepoints of new stuff coming out, ie figures, exclusives, multipacks etc.

Then he got in trouble.  The head of loss prevention and another fellow from head office came by the store (2 Saturdays before  Christmas) to have an unannounced meeting with just him.  The store director didn't even know what was going on and called him to the office, introduced him to the guys from h/o and left.  They asked how long he had been working there (6 weeks), what department he worked in (boys), the work he did (merchandising, restocking, cleaning etc), if he liked the job (he did and was hoping his seasonal position would turn into permanent work). 

They then asked if he had posted anything online about TRU goings on.  He said he had.  They asked if he has posted on a site called snowtroopers.ca.  He had.  They then asked why.  Keg explained it was to provide information to the vast network of collectors out there to get the sales at TRU rather than have them going to Walmart or Zellers etc.  They asked if it was to provide information to those companies to give them an advantage in sales.  Keg laughed and said no.  Then Keg asked how they knew all this and they provided a printout of EVERY SINGLE POST he had made on this site.  EVERY. SINGLE. POST.  Regardless of the topic.  There was at least 200 pages.

They then asked if Keg (or it's me) if I had sold anything on ebay.  I said yes of course.  They asked if I had sold anything I had purchased at TRU online.  I said no, that would be taking advantage of my position and a conflict of interest.  The questions went on for about an hour and a half and it was finally decided that no action would be taken against me so long as I agreed to stop posting "sensitive" information about TRU product here.  I agreed.

I told a couple of troopers on here of the situation, removed myself as a user, made a new account a couple of weeks later and just slide the odd bit of news to others via pm and let them post it. 

I stayed with the company for another 9 years after that, eventually becoming an Express Store manager.  It closed after 2 1/2 years and I was sent back to the store I was at with the promise of promotion.  I got the promotion, but no pay increase.  I said thanks but no thanks and left.  That was 9 months ago.  It just occurred to me this morning that I haven't told my story yet and now I could.  So there you have it.

For those that remember him, Darth Keg is alive and well and still collecting, but now you can call me Fishfan.

Cheers   :u:
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old man ben

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 09:34:24 AM »

Good news!  Glad we didn't lose you.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 01:20:21 PM by old man ben »
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Thirdfloor

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 01:12:20 PM »

So the TRU Gestapo put an end to your helpful tips back in the day, that figures.  How is it that the higher-ups that would have started and conducted the investigation couldn't see that the information you were releasing to collectors would only be helping their bottom line?  It's not like you were telling people to go to the back door at midnight so you could fence the figures yourself.  If anything they should have been thanking you for the free promotion of thier business.  I wonder what tipped them off to begin with?  I'm sure there is no way of knowing but I wonder if they had a person trolling the internet or was there was a member of snowtroopers that let them know?
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napseeker

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 02:05:34 PM »

Whoa, I think I'm having a "Luke, I am your father" type moment here.  Always wondered what happened to that lil' troublemaker  :rollfloorlaffsmiley:

Well it's great that you didn't leave the snowtroopers community after that incident, it felt like an injustice that you'd be sidelined because you actually tried to help collectors give more of their business to TRU... they sure need your help this year without a doubt.  Maybe if you have any contacts left there you can tell them they ought to bring in more of the Black Series 4" and 6" stuff rather than inundating us with Rebels and 5POA junk which will remain there for years AFAIC. 

Honestly the level of incompetence from their boy's buyer in 2014 has been astonishing. I've never bought so little from TRU and so much from ebay and other private sellers.

Long live the Kegger!  :u:
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jjreason

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 05:23:26 PM »

It's a great story, and I too am very glad we've been able to have DK/FF (call him whatever you want, as long as it's not late for dinner hurr hurr hurr) as a member here for as long as we have. Hundreds of good trades & helpful posts later, let me say a resounding THANKS from everyone here who has benefited from you being a member - the list would be a very long one.  :u:
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sinkie

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 06:58:00 PM »

But…why were they going to this site in the first place? Do they really scour sites to see if people are talking about them? I guess that would make some sense. Or was someone higher up at TRU a "lurking" member here!!?

napseeker

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 07:26:50 PM »

Could just have been another TRU employee who was on here and noticing DK was saying too much, then alerted the higher-ups about the situation.

On the one hand, I understand that if you're management you have to investigate any potential leaks of confidential info, but on the consumer side, I remember relying on DK's leaks to get my budget ready to handle the forthcoming product :) 

Right now, this very day, we're back to the same confusion and chaos of not knowing when/if TRU will even get anything in that we want or if we should be turning to ebay or amazon to get our goods.  Let me tell you, I gave up on finding the Ree-Yees wave at retail 2 days ago and just bought the friggin' figures online because I've no clue if TRU is going to get its act together and stock BS 4" this year or even next. 

If TRU management is reading this, I hope they realize I think they're bumbling fools... I used to spend 70% of my toy budget every year at your store. I can't do that if you aren't going to restock with new product and I can't do that if you focus on kiddie 5POA either.
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fishfan

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 08:50:10 AM »

Thanks for the kind words gents.  It felt good to help out fellow collectors as I was just as frustrated by the combination of bad ordering and scalpers always getting the first look at new product.  It also felt good to not give it to them.  I knew who many were for a while.

Believe it or not, they go have people trolling the internet for things like this.  Retail competition, at least 10 years ago, was quite cut throat.  I believe they relaxed a bit when Walmart scaled back their toy dept about 5 years ago.
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napseeker

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 10:12:08 AM »

Darth Fishkegger, I distinctly remember you telling us about how you'd actually rotate old SW figures off the pegs back into the storeroom and then put out the newer figures (that of course you knew collectors would snap up) in order to make life both easier for collectors to find new product when they came in, but also just to keep the sale of product going.

That was enlightened management IMO. I wish staff would do that at all the stores. Instead they just let old stuff pile up at the front at my store while new product is still lingering in the backroom and not being put out until most of the pegwarmers outside are sold off - poor thinking... it just creates a logjam and the sales come to a screeching halt.



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Darth Cujo

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 09:02:44 PM »

This was a nice surprise post. :) I certainly benefitted from FishKeg's generosity as I used to shop at his TRU on a semi-regular basis and we would occasionally chat. I always thought it unfortunate that the TRU senior staff didn't take advantage of the opportunity to create a bridge between collectors and their store. Having a collector in-house, and one that wasn't the money-grubbing stereotypical scalper type could have been a great way for them, and us, to benefit from the situation.

It's interesting now since they seem to be embracing the collector a bit more these days with their "collector's corner". I also wonder how much scalping has changed over the years. Is it still the same as it was 10 years ago, or maybe not quite as bad since there is now sooooo much stuff out there and things rarely hold their initial value anymore.

Anyway, thanks for sharing, both the story and the insights and help over the years.
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Eradicator

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 09:06:29 PM »

How did they figure out you were Darth Keg?
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darthpaul

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2014, 10:28:26 PM »

Yeah - TRU reading posts sounds like what Hasbro tells fans - that they read the boards.  Not sure if they take much of what is said to heart though.

But thanks Fishfan for giving what you could.

Where was the Express store location?
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fishfan

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2014, 10:42:19 PM »

Eradicator.  I honestly have no idea.  Didn't see the point in asking at the time.  I just wanted to keep my job.

darthpaul, the express store was in Keswick.  Initially only supposed to be open for 3 months (a pop up for Christmas) and end up getting two 1 year lease extentions.  I was an assistant manager to begin with and then took over after the first year.  I had been at the Newmarket store for 7 years and had moved to Keswick during that time.  My DM thought it would be a good move for me.  It was, but building repairs that weren't included in the lease agreement and a landlord that didn't want to absorb the cost during negotiations when the lease came up for renewal meant that TRU felt it was time to close last Feb.  The location we were in is still empty.  The landlord should have just fixed the leaky roof and we would have still been there today.
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brianakarobin

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2014, 07:59:23 AM »

Great story!  I have fond memories of Darth Keg, and somehow (maybe one of the other moderators mentioned it) I knew the Fishfan connection, but great to get the whole story.

ambasah

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Re: The demise and rebirth of DarthKeg
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2014, 12:29:18 PM »

I had no idea!

I guess every company has an obligation to investigate potential conflict issues etc etc.

I know my company keeps tabs on Facebook and people have been fired (rightfully so in my opinion) for disparaging remarks made in relation to their employment (not so much about the company but the clients/customers we service).

Fishfan, wishing you nothing but the best for the next chapter...
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