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If the person serving was genuinely rude though it's always worth remembering names and a basic description of them if you want to file any grievances with management etc though.
You can always refuse to purchase at the till point if they refuse to give a promo.
That said, I think it is good they are starting to enforce this rule, when you consider that some (but not all) promos end early and the number of promo items that appear on ebay and bricklink.
I'd wager that TLG simply always under-produce because they don't want to be left with freebies in the month they already have a new promo running. If the amount they have to hand out shrinks because they're limiting to one per household I'd wager they'll just start producing less. I imagine they run out on purpose intentionally as it's impossible to predict the amount they'll need, so better to call it short and not have any left over when the new promo starts.
So I can't really see it being a good thing, I suspect this is merely about cutting costs in an attempt to boost profits. Though depending on how people react it may end up being a method of cutting profits to try and cut costs. I'd wager even if they reduce the amount they hand out there still wont be any end of month.
I too only really go buy at the Lego store because I like their free polys, there wouldn't be any point otherwise as it's always markedly more expensive than elsewhere.
I don't believe that they are trying to wipe out all reselling here (as that is impossible), but to just stop people reselling many multiples. Anyone can get one and sell it, but hopefully people cannot get 10s or 100s.
But let's face it, whatever they do there are ways around it that extreme resellers will use to make money.
As CCC says, LEGO use these promos to encourage consumers, the last thing they want to do is encourage resellers if that has a knock on effect of discouraging consumers - either because its run out or it can be got cheaply from ebay.
Its entirely possible that the shop assistant was just using their brain, between the ghostbusters release and the very popular balloon poly (which hasn't been out for a few weeks in the US like the UK) he may have figured that the promo wasn't going to last long. It seems to be that its the popular promos (christmas ones, VW, balloon (hotdog stand?) that both run out and seem to get stricter handling from [email protected] and Lego employees. Tie that in with a big new release like the ghostbusters set and limiting handouts in line with the T&C makes sense.
Not only do they wipe out the promo sets, but to do so, they purchase all the highly popular sets at the moment to flip on ebay. It's a double whammy for other customers - no promos and no popular sets in stock, so they need to resort to ebay.
I could understand it if they relaxed the rules towards the end of a promo if they still had lots left, and the initial rush for them has died down.
I can't remember do you need a VIP card for these promos or no? If so then even shop to shop should be easy to track and prevent as they get scanned and listed on your card. If you don't then maybe they need to start necessitating a VIP card for the freebies if that's the problem.
As I say I'm still not sure it is the problem though, they're going to avoid overstocking regardless.
Do we even know this has anything to do with resellers anyway though? do we know that TLG is actively trying to change it's business to impact them or is it all just speculation? If it was really about reselling there seem to be much better way of dealing with the problem, but the things they're doing mostly just impact honest consumers with little to no effect on the reseller market. That's why I get the impression it's really just about trying to squeeze profit margins higher than anything.
Or to put a less cynical spin on it, limit the distribution to people who have already obviously just had one, (ie no formal tracking system in place just the nature of the one after the other situation as we have here). It could be that this still has them drop off the stock system, or to have number tally with qualifying transactions. This would them leave you with bags in hand to give out they you see fit to entice new customers? e.g. screeming kid.. "here you are, don't tell anyone but here's a free toy"... parents then thinking wow what a store.... next time they're there, spend big?
Ok so imagination may have started to wander now....
On the other hand, one time I tried to get an extra set of #41999 and the staff said Limited 1 per customer, and I have a friend around the area and had him to pick one up for me, but if i got near, the staff think my friend was getting it for me, so I had to stay far away from the store!
Btw, most evidence we've seen so far is anecdotal. I would be nice to see a larger sample to see what people are experiencing. I believe we have only seen two people chime in with actual experiences so far.
For the record, I'm not saying that circumventing limits is ok (hell, I'll circumvent them for two lousy polys also), but I am saying that a limit of one per household is just too restrictive. Why not make it 5 like any other set?
The store guy may have given you one and retained the other for another customer, who would have been equally upset if the store had no poly to give them?