Have you tried Wal*Mart's "Site to Store" shipping option? It's a handy little service where you can order something online and have it dropped off at your local Wal*Mart for no charge. Which, yeah, is cool and all, but who cares, right?
Well, here's the thing: you don't have to have it dropped off at your Wal*Mart; you can have it dropped off at any Wal*Mart. See where I'm going with this?
I was recently involved in a trade with someone who wanted the Transformers Classic Devastator. After a few tries to find something of matching value to trade, I hit on an idea: one of the things on my trade list (everybody go buy me something and I'll love you forever) was the Leader Class movie Brawl, which was more expensive than Devastator. Rather than me trying to find some random other toy that would fill the price gap, we could use Site to Store.
He'd order Brawl, and have it delivered to my Wal*Mart. I'd ship his Constructicons through regular means. That way, the money he saved by not having to pay shipping would even out with the extra I did have to pay to mail the box. He agreed, and the test was on!
Neither of us had ever used Site to Store before, so we didn't know for sure if it would work. I gave him my name, email address and the store number of my local WM. He put my name and email with his on the order form, so we both got updates from WM as the order was processed. When the package arrived, I just printed out the email, took it to the pickup area in the back of the store, and signed for my box. They even opened the shipping box to make sure nothing was damaged.
That's right, even though the store had Brawl on the shelf, they didn't just go pull that one to fill the order - it was really shipped from a distribution center. So if there's a toy you want at your local Wal*Mart but the packaging is bad, you can order from their site and get a fresh one.
Wal*Mart's Site to Store shipping is a really cool process, and I hope more stores follow suit. This is a really helpful trick for collectors looking to trade, and it's totally easy. You should give it a try...
now go buy me something!