Thursday, September 11, 2014

Will Disney Limit Your Expo Purchases?

Welcome to another version on Thursday Thought!

Sometimes we read blogs that inspire us, sometimes we read blogs that give us good ideas, and sometimes we read blogs that make us want to dig a little deeper into a particular topic. That's what happened this week when I was reading Jen's blog The Final Forty. Jen and her boyfriend completed the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend.   On her blog Jen talks about her experience at the expo. She arrived at opening ( they were allowed in in at 11:30 am). She admitted that the expo was more calm then last year. She made it to the official Disney merchandise area at 12:15 and had found out that the commemorative 10K pin that she had wanted was SOLD OUT. How could that be? The expo hadn't even been open for an hour.  Jen had been collecting these pins from each Run Disney race she has done. Don't worry though, she later found one on e-bay and no doubtably had to pay a bit more for it.


So this brings up two issues.

1. We all know it has been a problem with Run Disney not ordering enough merchandise. My sister and I discussed this issue at length yesterday ( yes, maybe we have too much time on our hands), and don't understand why Run Disney can't get a handle on this.

Hear us out: Every person that runs a run Disney race has to register. By their registration, Run Disney knows which race each person is doing and even what size shirts they wear.  For Example: Chances are, if you have 10,000 people that are running the 10K, wouldn't you want to make sure that you have enough 10K merchandise to support that?  Also, if you know that 5,000 people who registered for said race (again just picking numbers out of the blue) registered for a size small race shirt, then chances are they will be purchasing size small souvenir shirts and jackets as well. So why not make sure you have enough stock in said size!   (We understand that this does not account for any of the non-runners that plan to buy merchandise. And there are some folks who wear a different size race shirt then they would jacket, or t-shirt, etc... But at least it's a start)

2. It really irritated me to read that Jen had to go on e-bay to find the race pin to complete her collection. Not only did she have to pay more than retail price for the pin but I'm sure she had to pay for shipping too. We find it crazy that after each Disney race tons of Run Disney merchandise magically appear on e-bay. You mean to tell us that all these people decided they didn't want these souvenirs once they returned home?  Maybe there should be a limit on how many of the same item one person can purchase? This may prevent someone from buying a whole stack of size large zip up jackets and then selling them a week later on e-bay. Or taking all of the 10K pins.  I did not run the Dumbo Double Dare this year so I have no intentions of buying any of that merchandise on e-bay, but just for research sake, I took a look at what people were selling this week.  I saw the Dumbo Double Dare car magnet selling for $15.99 plus shipping.  I'm not sure how much more expensive things are on the West Coast than they are here on the East Coast, but I only paid $8.99 for my Princess Half Marathon Magnet back in February!

Of course putting a limit on how many of each item each person can buy sounds good in theory but it would be hard to track down how many times that person came back to the expo to buy.  But I'm pretty sure that a person buying 10 pins at a time or 10 t-shirts at a time is a pretty good indication that some of those items are going to show up on e-bay?  But then again, Why would Disney want to limited someone's purchases. They are in the business to make money and it really doesn't matter to them what someone does with all 25 of their car magnets once they leave the expo!

Of course it is easy to sit hear and come up with solutions to the problem but I am sure there are drawbacks to each and every one and that there will never be a fool proof plan to ensure that each runner gets the merchandise he or she wants, unless perhaps they make it that you have to pre-order all your official Disney merchandises months in advance. There would surely be no excuse for items selling out then!

What do you think about putting limits on how much official merchandise one can buy at the expo? 
 ( we mean of one particular item of course).  Don't they do this already with the Disney Dooney Bags? Do they do it with the Run Disney Shoes too?




38 comments:

  1. I think there should definitely be a way to limit purchases! Or, don't let non-runners in until the last day of the expo, or even the last half of the last day of the expo. Something like that. Of course, runners could always be paid by non-runners to get eBay stuff, but I think it would help a LOT.

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    1. Would that mean having to show a bib to get into the expo?

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    2. Or your confirmation maybe? I know I always pick up my bib *after* scouring the shopping but if it would help have more goods available then I could change :)

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    3. One of the two. I think it would be easy enough so you could funnel people to bib pick up before shopping. But if not, confirmation + ID might work too, but would probably be slower.

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    4. While I was waiting in line at the disney marathon I saw the one and only new balance shoes on ebay for 400.00 dollars just 2 hours after the expo. I was mad.

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  2. I could not agree more with all of your thoughts. Most people are starting to feel the pressure to arrive at Disney in order to be at the expo on opening day in order to have the best chance of getting the merchandise that they want. For Marathon Weekend, for example, many are now feeling the pressure to go to the expo on Wednesday, even if they are only running the marathon on Sunday. There has to be a better system than the current one in order to ensure that all runners have a fair chance of getting the official merchandise that they want, especially on the first day of the expo.

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    1. Maybe that is Disney's Master Plan all along! Make people stay longer!!!!!

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  3. I'm sure they're making as much stuff as they think they can sell...like you said, they're in the business to make money. I don't think there's a limit on people's greed, though, so if there were more a particular item, that would probably get snapped up by eBayers, too.
    The problem with the pre-orders is that there are already pre-orders (pins, necklace, jacket, Mickey ears - is that new this year?), but they don't have any pictures posted, and I'm not someone who will pre-order something I haven't seen...and then pay Active fees on top of that, especially when I expect to be able to pick it up at the expo without having pre-ordered it.
    They probably don't post pics because the designs aren't finished until right beforehand...so that would mean needing much more time built into their business model. Plus, the more items they offer as a pre-order, the more space they'd need to designate at the expo for pick-up (and staff/volunteers to work it), reducing the space they could sell to other vendors. So more money lost for them!
    What would be great is if the pre-orders came with pictures (and accurate sizing charts for anything wearable), and if they shipped them out 4-6 weeks before the event. The expo itself is open to the public, so it shouldn't matter if some of the people weren't actually participating. Then they could wear their stuff before and to the event, and be excited, or folks who didn't want to wear their stuff before the event (for superstition, or whatever) could pack them and be able to bring shorts/etc. to match.
    Plus, they would be more likely to spend more money at the expo because they wouldn't be including the shirt or jacket they got a month before into their mental tally of how much money they spent. ;)

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    1. I would love it if pre-orders all came with pictures so we knew what we were getting. We ordered the Marathon Jacket for next year without seeing it. I hope it is nice!

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    2. I totally agree with this. I signed up for Star Wars and they're offering a pre-sale on that jacket. I would like to know what it looks like first, especially considering it's not cheap. I'm fine with not seeing the pins first, but clothing is another story... I guess if I ordered it and didn't like it I could sell it on eBay!! Lol

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  4. I got the commemorative 10k pin around 5pm on the first day of the expo. They were restocking the displays as fast as they could with people grabbing stuff as the lady put it on the hooks. I worked in a small tourist store for 3 summers that had a high throughput like runDisney has, they may not be sold out, but its just a space issue and you have to restock almost the entire store 30 minutes after opening.

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    1. Hmm, I wonder if my friend asked if they would be bringing more pins out from the back?

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    2. Yep, I asked not one, but at least 3-4 different staff, and they all said, "sorry, we ran out -- crazy right?" I even said to one, "are you SURE there aren't any in the back?!" because it seemed so unbelievable to me. I always ask for certain items in certain sizes at the expo if they aren't on the floor, and I've never had a problem with someone gladly going to the back to retrieve it for me. So maybe they were lying/misinformed -- who knows, right? I didn't want to take time away from the parks/our trip to keep coming back and dealing with crowds at the expo, but I suppose I could have checked back!

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    3. I was actually going to mention the same thing. Back in January as the WDW Marathon weekend, they would restock periodically. My friend running dopey wanted the magnet and when the guy brought them out, half of them were gone before they hit the hook on the wall, but they would eventually bring more out. Sounds like a poor customer service experience with "they're out".

      Like it's said, they are a business. They're also not inexperienced. There was no way they would under order something that it would be sold out in an hour, especially a pin. Lazy, misinformed, something, but bad service.

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  5. I think it was marathon weekend where there were way too many pins....many I have my weekends mixed up. In any case, not everyone wants race merchandise and there are others that want every item in every color. There should be a limit on certain items, but I think that they have to go by prior sales. I always pre order the pins....not something I started, but at our first Princess race in 2011, my sister bought Christine and me a pin. So now I have to have a pin for every race. Crazy right?

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    1. I'm glad I didn't start collecting any of the merchandise!

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  6. I am so tired of people whining about not being about to get their merchandise. Either pay the money for the extra nights in the hotel, hire a personal shopper (which I do every race), or pay the extra money on ebay. That is the way it is. We all know it and we have to accept it. Disney gives you a chance to order the pins, the hats, and a few other things before we get there. You can always go to Design a tee and make a race shirt too. I mean seriously if you do not have the extra money to pay $100 a day for the hotel room, pay the extra 10-20% and hire a shopper. Just stop whining, after all we are paying to run - an activity that is free - so if you really need to whine about a few dollars on ebay maybe you need to just save all your money and not run Disney races at all.

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    1. This post was not meant to be whiney at all. In fact we HAVE always arrived at the expo on the first day ( yes, paying the extra money for the room), and we have never had a problem getting the things we want from the expo, but then we don't "collect" anything or have any must have items. If it's there, its there, if it's not, we don't worry about it. Its one less thing we have to shell out money for. We would never hire a personal shopper because we are there for the EXPERIENCE not the MERCHANDISE.

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    2. Wow, really? If I want a $9 magnet I should pay an extra $100 for a hotel room (and take an extra day off of work...maybe pull my kids out of school) or pay a personal shopper? I've personally seen people with huge bags of merchandise clearly meant to be sold on e-bay clearing out the expo on day one. I'm not that interested in race merchandise but I know it means a lot to some runners, especially if it is their first race and it would be nice if you had to have a bib to buy the official race merchandise, at least on the first day or two of the expo.

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  7. Honestly...I feel like the consumers are to blame, and I'm tired of it. If they weren't so grabby about the merchandise in the first place, there would be zero benefit to the resellers. Those people are trying to make a buck just like Disney is. Disney runners have no problem shelling out $200 for a race - twice as much as anything else in the market. Then they get miffed about paying extra for merchandise through ebay? There seems to be a bit of a disconnect there. The hypocrisy just seems to be growing and growing after each race. Is the important thing to do the run or wear the shirt bragging about it? Sorry, but this issue just pushes buttons for me.

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  8. Going to preface by saying, I don't collect collect Disney pins or vinylmation. But I absolutely LOVE the race pins and the little rD Mickey. I learned at my very first runDisney event that if I don't pre-order pins, I just may not get them period. I thought I had pre-ordered the Inaugural Enchanted 10K pin this year as I usually do, but apparently I forgot to do so. I arrived at the expo right when it opened AND on the first day - and it was already sold out. This is just how it is. It is the one pin missing from my collection, but I won't pay ebay prices. For me it was a lesson learned.

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  9. I think that just ordering more merchandise would solve the problem. I understand that Disney does not want to be stuck with a large number of left over shirts with a race year on them but, they should know what items are popular and order more of them for people.

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  10. I think you provided some good solutions to the issue. Maybe Disney will listen.

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  11. This post needs to go viral and runDisney has to read it. They NEED to fix this issue. Not everyone can get to the expo hours before opening. It just really angers and frustrates me...I absolutely support limiting purchases!

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  12. I got stuck in the inaugural DDD expo mess (waited over 2 hrs in line to pay). I understand that it's just part of it. I'm disappointed there are things I wasn't able to buy because they were sold out and generally I get to the expo on the first day. In the end though, my most prized souvenir is my race medal. :)
    I think putting a limit on how many of the same item people purchase would be nice. Does the same person really need 10 of the same pin? Probably not. In theory it's a good idea to track bibs, like they do for the New Balance shoe queue, but I think it'd be hard to track as some people get their bibs after. And if they tried to track it by bib # at the register, that'd be a huge interface to program. Lol. Can you tell I'm related to a programmer? ;)

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  13. At Princess this year, I was buying one of the coveted purses and there was a guy there buying like 10 of them. We all knew right away that he was just going to turn around and sell on eBay. I have also seen some of the shirts being sold on Disney's website after the race. With them doing that, I don't see any issue with them over buying, since they can just turn around and sell the items left over online.
    @heatherlas

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  14. You'd think with the fees you have to pay for Disney races, it shouldn't be a problem to not run out of merchandise. That's just ridiculous really. Supply & demand must be Disney's game. But even if they had left overs - its not like it wouldn't sell!

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  15. You make some valid points. Also, if everyone gets to the expo on day 1 right when it opens, it's going to cause even more madness than there already is. Generally, I imagine they sell out of most things, so having more in stock would be helpful. Anything they don't sell winds up in their stores for people to purchase later, so there's that. I really like being able to pre-purchase items and just pick up when I'm there (like pins or jackets). It'd be more work, but maybe they could send out surveys to gauge interest on items to know how much to order? Just a thought.

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  16. The expo official race merch area was open early Thursday morning to everyone who paid for the Welcome Event. You did not need to be a race registrant to attend the Welcome Event. Also, I went to the expo on Saturday afternoon and saw plenty of pins, magnets, "I Did It!" shirts, etc. I'm pretty sure your friend ran into a restocking issue, not a supply issue.

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    1. I don't think we should have to pay for a "Welcome Event" for the chance to buy race merch. I know Disney loves our money, but, it's getting a little insane, no? They did have plenty of stuff, but no Stitch pins whatsoever...I asked several staff members and they all said the same thing: sold out. It was definitely not a restocking issue, believe me.

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  17. So, I'm kind of glad my rage was able to spur some discussion! Haha. Thanks for sharing all of this! My thoughts:

    1.) Yes, I was pretty POed about the pin. And I was not the only one asking for it -- some poor cast member was being hounded by a bunch of runners asking if they were putting more Stitch pins out, and she kept having to tell them that they were sold out, but if you did the pre-order (which, of course, I did not, because I use my AP and/or Visa discount when I buy at the expo) then you'd still be able to get one.

    2.) I did pay twice what the pin was worth, and a few bucks to ship it. There are several other pins still selling on eBay, all for over $30. Not to mention the other expo merch from pretty much every runDisney race ever! A waste of money? Probably. But when you start collecting these things, you just HAVE to have it, you know?

    3.) I don't know how/if they can do this, but if there was some way to just limit the same person buying multiple items -- like, who needs 10 pins, for example? -- kind of like they do with the purses and sneakers, as you mentioned. I've totally seen people with armloads of the same shirt, magnets, etc., and I highly doubt it's for their own personal use! Of course, like you said, they could theoretically keep coming back, but it might deter people from any shady business knowing they'd have to keep getting in that line to get into the merch area and check out again!

    4.) I often wonder if runDisney purposely limits the items to make people want them more? Just a thought. Because why WOULDN'T they have this down by now? Take the number of registered runners and supply accordingly, right? This is the first time I arrived at an expo right on time and had to deal with something selling out -- does not make sense at all!

    5.) Not that I don't mind flying in early, but it does kind of stink that we came in on Thursday just to get to the expo first, even though the race wasn't until Saturday. Same thing with the WDW Marathon in January -- we plan to come in early just for the expo, even though I'm not running Dopey next year! I just don't see why basic merch like shirts and pins have to sell out so quickly when Disney has such a handle on planning and executing these races for thousands upon thousands of people, right?

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  18. If the Disney Store is going to be selling shirts now before the race, why not have all the official merchandise on the website? People can avoid the Active fees, and if the stuff isn't going to be available until the expo, have a special booth at the expo where people can pick up their stuff that they've already paid for.

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  19. You have great points-I think all of the "important" items such as pins, purses, jackets should be pre-ordered as they are now but the also need to provide a picture! I dont want to pre-order a jacket if I don't like how it looks

    I also think they should limit for the first 1-2 days the merchandise to runners and have a limit on the amount you can buy. That way it is more fair to everyone and on the last day, they can have people (anyone that wants) buy as many as they want.

    Also, i went to the Dumbo expo on both Friday and Saturday. Yes they had more merchandise than in the past but they were severely lacking sizes in most shirts I looked at. For example, I wanted to buy a pink coast to coast shirt and they had a lot on the rack but only had L, XL, XXL and when I asked, they said they were sold out of other sizes.

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  20. I also collect the pins, but I ALWAYS pre-order! That way I'm guaranteed my pins. They seem to be adding more to the pre-order and this year at Dumbo, you could even order your I Did It shirt online. I went to the expo on Friday morning, the day after it opened, and I have to say, I got everything! I Did It shirts for both me and hubby, jackets for both me and hubby, sweaty bands, shorts...yep, I spent WAY too much! My honest opinion is runDisney did MORE than make up for the disaster that was last year, and my credit card rewarded them greatly :) I also didn't wait in line and got two pairs of the New Balance shoes. I had the best time at the expo this year--I can't criticize them on anything--it went smashingly! Kudos to runDisney for actually listening to fans and problem solving!

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  21. I couldn't agree I couldn't agree with you more! The idea of those purchasing merchandise for eBay sales is really irritating to me.

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  22. I went to the expo several times over the weekend and there was always plenty of merchandise. The only day that there was nothing left was the final day and they had no more wine glasses. Otherwise there was plenty of merchandise and I saw a few CMs walking around and eyeing the merchandise and calling someone to come and restock when things were getting low

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  23. I think Disney should have this issue under control by now with the number of race weekend they've put on. I never go into the expo with something I want in mind so I'm never disappointed if they are out of something. I also can't believe people are selling the items on eBay! So ridiculous.

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  24. Oh the official merchandise issues always upset me! I usually don't make it into town until the second day of the expo. And yes usually everything is almost if not sold out! The year I ran the marathon I couldn't even buy an I Did It shirt because they were sold out! So upsetting! I really wish runDisney would fix this!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.