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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    jnscoelho said:
    Imagine this: someone bought a LEGO WALL-E set - LEGO got its share from it, that's it. Time goes buy, set is discontinued, the person sells the set for 3x its RRP.

    What benefits LEGO more? Someone buying a copy of a discontinued set from Lepin, and then buying some current LEGO sets with the remaining money, or someone buying only a LEGO set from the secondary market?

    What benefits them most is that person spending all the money on official current sets and forgetting the set they missed. So part of what LEGO should be doing is bringing out enough sets that interest current buyers, which for the most part they do.

    I would also expect that LEGO benefits more from the person buying the secondary market set more than buying the Lepin set and then other official sets. Not in the short term, but in the long term. If the buyer supports Lepin when it comes to secondary market prices and the product is OK, then chances are they will continue to buy fakes of current sets. There is still a saving to be made for current sets, even if not as much. Plus the fact that the secondary market price is so high means some people are willing to pay that, showing that LEGO is a quality brand worth paying for, which again is good in the long run.
    Fizyxdougts
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    jnscoelho said:
    I'm not talking about buying counterfeit copies of current LEGO sets. That's not an option in my house, hehehe.
    Why not? If you do it to save money on a discontinued set, then why not do it on a current set? You still save money.
    Fizyx
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 348
    tmgm528 said:
    why not buy fake current lego to spend more hypothetically on future lego. 
    You've created a nonsense loop out of the focus of what I said. Through your argument, you'll never buy LEGO.
    And I wasn't arguing about what he's saying, just clarifying my words.

    Also to your point about what does LEGO get from buying used - nothing. But same goes for if you buy it from anywhere except S&H. Targets already bought the product from Lego, you buying it from them doesnt directly support Lego. What buying Lepin over Bricklink does do is incentivize Lepin to continue producing, which will lead to people to continue being able to buy their products new (and old) which will eventually (or already is) hurting Lego's bottom line some.
    Again, you didn't understand what I said.
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 349
    jnscoelho said:
    Things aren't black and white. And I'm not defending Lepin, I'm playing Devil's advocate while still trying to see things from a TLG point of view.
    Intellectual property theft/copyright infringement/etc actually is pretty black and white. As is supporting it.
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,195
    edited January 2018
    @jnscoelho Both @CCC and @jnscoelho are simply taking your argument to its logical conclusion. If you want to play devil's advocate, you have to accept that people will do the same with your arguments.

    So far you have not brought up any new arguments in your justifications for buying counterfeits. These have already been rehashed multiple times over the previous 62 pages in this thread.
    dbrouge
  • zmarkellazmarkella UKMember Posts: 48
    Altair said:
    I have heard and read many complaints from LEPIN buyers about bricks with flaws which did not fit properly with others, or some missing bricks, or some manuals with printing issues. Regarding [email protected], most of the orders I made (and I made a lot) arrived in a perfect status, and for the (rare) cases when the box had a mark, I had it quickly replaced without problem (Lego is expensive yes, but their service is pretty good) - I am not sure you could do that with LEPIN...

    Ok, so I just built my latest Lepin purchase, which was a copy of #10134. No missing bricks, about 50 extra pieces (including big pieces as 2x32531 and 30359). Clutch power fine, maybe even a bit too much. No mis-moulds, no half-moulds. No dirt/foreign material in the package. Colours are exact match to Lego. Manual is more condensed than Lego's (more steps on one page), which uses less paper. Missing/broken bricks are replaces by good sellers on Aliexpress (a service which I have used before).

    The Lepin copy of the Ship in the bottle (the copy of the original Ideas submission) had its trans-clear pieces individually wrapped in tissue paper! Not a single scratch! Compare that to the recently opened #40223, which had massive scratches on all of the round wall elements.

    As for the bad: the colours in the Lepin manual are not always accurate. Sometimes it's hard to tell dark bluish gray and black apart.
    jnscoelho
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 348
    CCC said:

    What benefits them most is that person spending all the money on official current sets and forgetting the set they missed. So part of what LEGO should be doing is bringing out enough sets that interest current buyers, which for the most part they do.
    Well put! But we both know that doesn't happen. And that's why they re-released the Taj Mahal and will probably due the same with some other big sets.
    I would also expect that LEGO benefits more from the person buying the secondary market set more than buying the Lepin set and then other official sets. Not in the short term, but in the long term. If the buyer supports Lepin when it comes to secondary market prices and the product is OK, then chances are they will continue to buy fakes of current sets. There is still a saving to be made for current sets, even if not as much. Plus the fact that the secondary market price is so high means some people are willing to pay that, showing that LEGO is a quality brand worth paying for, which again is good in the long run.

    You do have a point here, but I don't agree with you completely. It is a brand and it has a history associated to it, but it's value in the secondary market doesn't directly reflect its quality (many talk about a secondary market bubble for some reason), nor does its RRP, in my opinion. LEGO is still living from all those decades without true competition, and from the constant attacks from "white knights" not only to the counterfeit copies but also to other licensed brands.

    In my field of work I see exactly the same things when it comes to research laboratory consumables, the brands selling equipments always state that other brands have low quality products and that their 3-5x more expensive products are the best. And then you test both and often their equivalent or the expensive brand one is worst. And, curiously, I'm talking about plastic as well.

    I thank you guys for the discussion, but I can see that their is little open-mindedness around here. It's a sort of "either you only bring official LEGO bricks or you can't play with us!" and that limits the range to which you can open the debate. Almost like talking about eating meat with two vegans.

    mafondougts
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 348
    jnscoelho said:
    Things aren't black and white. And I'm not defending Lepin, I'm playing Devil's advocate while still trying to see things from a TLG point of view.
    Intellectual property theft/copyright infringement/etc actually is pretty black and white. As is supporting it.
    Good thing you've never downloaded any sort of music, movies, etc. from the internet, man, or anything of the likes of this!
  • StaffyStaffy Oxford, UKMember Posts: 14
    CCC said:
    jnscoelho said:
    I'm not talking about buying counterfeit copies of current LEGO sets. That's not an option in my house, hehehe.
    Why not? If you do it to save money on a discontinued set, then why not do it on a current set? You still save money.
    Because that ignores the point.  He's saving money SO he can spend it on current LEGO sets, not saving money for the sake of saving money or getting more knock off sets.  You may not agree with it, but it is perfectly logical.
    jnscoelhoJern92
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 348
    stlux said:
    @jnscoelho Both @CCC and @jnscoelho are simply taking your argument to its logical conclusion. If you want to play devil's advocate, you have to accept that people will do the same with your arguments.

    So far you have not brought up any new arguments in your justifications for buying counterfeits. These have already been rehashed multiple times over the previous 62 pages in this thread.
    When you ignore part of one's argument, and just pick the part that interests you for the sake of your's, there's really no logical conclusion.

    Sorry about that, I really should have spent more time catching up on all the pages from all the threads of the forum. Maybe I should read a counterfeit forum, it probably has the same content but in less words and thus less pages. ;)
    Jern92
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    Staffy said:
    CCC said:
    jnscoelho said:
    I'm not talking about buying counterfeit copies of current LEGO sets. That's not an option in my house, hehehe.
    Why not? If you do it to save money on a discontinued set, then why not do it on a current set? You still save money.
    Because that ignores the point.  He's saving money SO he can spend it on current LEGO sets, not saving money for the sake of saving money or getting more knock off sets.  You may not agree with it, but it is perfectly logical.
    But why spend it on current LEGO sets when there are cheaper fakes of the current ones available, if fakes are acceptable quality (which presumably they are here, as he is buying fakes of secondary market sets).
    stluxFizyxtmgm528
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    jnscoelho said:
    I thank you guys for the discussion, but I can see that their is little open-mindedness around here. It's a sort of "either you only bring official LEGO bricks or you can't play with us!" and that limits the range to which you can open the debate. Almost like talking about eating meat with two vegans.
    Not at all. I have bought fakes (of minifigures rather than sets) in the past, although usually only for my kids where they will be heavily played with and damaged and eventually thrown away. I keep the originals from sets for them for later on. I normally glue their fake figures together too, as it helps identify them as cheap fakes. When it comes to my sets and figures, I prefer the real thing. For me, that justification works. For others, it won't.

    I have also semi-reviewed some knock-offs here on this thread
    (eg Alien on page 60 http://bricksetforum.com/discussion/16099/lego-fight-against-chinese-counterfeit-lego/p60).

  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 348
    CCC said:
    But why spend it on current LEGO sets when there are cheaper fakes of the current ones available, if fakes are acceptable quality (which presumably they are here, as he is buying fakes of secondary market sets).
    Whoa, I'm buying fakes of secondary market sets already? Damn, didn't even realize that would happen just by posting on a forum.

    I already gave the answer to your question 2-3 times already. You simply chose to always ignore it, and now you've even stated I've done something I haven't.
    That is why this conversation is going nowhere, like I said before. But thanks anyway.
    bandit778
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    The way you wrote this makes it sound like you have decided to buy the fake.

    "Exactly! So why shouldn't I save money on that one so I could buy other official LEGO sets?"

    It is really up to you what you do. The justification that you can save money by buying fakes and spend what you saved on real LEGO seems to be more anti-reseller than anything else.
    stluxdatsunrobbietmgm528Fizyx
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,876
    gantarat said:
    lepin improve QC a lot lately they even make Golden Emblem that say you will have high quality product.

    Any chance this is a potential leak for the actual LEGO set it is this just a copy of the winning ideas set?
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,461
    LEGO made more net profit in the first half of 2017 than the total value of all the sets in the Brickset database. Even as a group, our purchases probably don't amount to a rounding error on LEGO's balance sheet. 

    Brickset is primarily a LEGO forum that allows limited discussion of competing brands, but the vast majority of active posters are here to talk about LEGO. Talk of  buying from LEPIN typically gets shat upon because LEPIN has a history of making clones of LEGO sets rather than their own designs. Many of the patents on LEGO bricks have expired, just as the patents on the Kiddicraft bricks expired and opened the door for LEGO.

    LEPIN has been producing sets that are direct copies of LEGO sets, and LEGO has litigation against LEPIN in progress, apparently "for selling exact replicas of existing Lego products (including box-art)" (according to Wikipedia). The LEPIN Wall-E set would certainly be one of the sets covered in that litigation.

    LEGO made a press release in November 2017 concerning trademark litigation that many interpreted as a victory against LEPIN. 
    https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2017/november/lego-trademark-china

    Turns out, that case was actually LEGO suing an eyeglass company  in 2009 that registered the name LEGO.
    https://customizeminifiguresintelligence.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/the-truth-behind-recent-lego-court-case-toys-vs-spectacles/

    catwrangler
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,461
    jnscoelho said:

    Just my two cents (with a short introduction):
    I'm a huge LEGO fan, since I was a kid, and now that I've recently come out of my dark ages, I'm buying LEGO again (got to thank my daughters for that!). I've bought MegaBlocks for the girls (Shimmer and Shine sets, they loved them!) and they've been offered some other non-DUPLO knockoff's, but all of them legit. And I've only bought non-licensed products once, GoT mini-figures (and I'm not even a mini-figure collector).
    Still... I've been searching Brickset for some of the sets I had when I was a kid and most of them came out many years before they were bought - this could be either because they had a bigger shelf life or because they took longer to reach Portugal. And nowadays LEGO has a much higher number of sets per year and their shelf life is shorter (1-2 years, sometimes less, except for those big and/or exclusive sets).
    So... I come out of my dark ages and I realize that I missed several sets that I'd love to have. But, unfortunately, I have other priorities in life and cannot afford to give some scalper 100€ for the official WALL-E set, for example. But today I saw the Lepin version, apparently identical (I compared their photos with the LEGO instructions), for less than 24€. Since the product has been discontinued by LEGO, I can’t buy theirs. So what is the right thing to do, to feed the speculation of someone who has no interest in the set and is only thinking about the money, or to buy from Lepin? With the remaining 76€ I can buy other official, current LEGO sets that I wouldn’t buy if I pay the 100€…

    One of my new year’s resolutions is actually not to feed LEGO scalpers – I don’t view them as true AFOLs and I partially blame them for the rise of non-licensed copies, especially in the mini-figure “world”. And I will not buy knockoffs of currently available LEGO products, but I can’t promise anything about discontinued ones…

    I do think that fighting simultaneously companies like Lepin and the LEGO secondary market is the way to go, but if TLG gets too greedy while doing it it’s going to backfire… 

    As for the Wall-E set, if you're going to feel bad about supporting a company that is infringing on other company's IP rights, or if you are looking for universal approval for the purchase from folks on this forum, don't buy it. If buying it will make you happy, buy it, and rationalize the purchase as needed.
    brickventures
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    They did win another case against a different company BELA.

    https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2017/december/lego-group-wins-case-against-bela/

    Details and some examples are higher up in the thread (on p60).

    Fizyx
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,461
    CCC said:
    They did win another case against a different company BELA.

    https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2017/december/lego-group-wins-case-against-bela/

    Details and some examples are higher up in the thread (on p60).

    This was good news, and I hope to see a similar report concerning their case against LEPIN in the near future. 
    Fizyx
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    edited January 2018
    Yeah, although it is still not clear whether they ruled about copying the sets, or copying the packaging. Given lego wrote the press release, I imagine it was copying the packaging.
  • zmarkellazmarkella UKMember Posts: 48
    pharmjod said:
    Any chance this is a potential leak for the actual LEGO set it is this just a copy of the winning ideas set?
    Probably a copy of the winning Ideas set. The winning 'Ship in the bottle' copy has been on sale since last August... See here.
    Fizyx
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 349
    jnscoelho said:
    jnscoelho said:
    Things aren't black and white. And I'm not defending Lepin, I'm playing Devil's advocate while still trying to see things from a TLG point of view.
    Intellectual property theft/copyright infringement/etc actually is pretty black and white. As is supporting it.
    Good thing you've never downloaded any sort of music, movies, etc. from the internet, man, or anything of the likes of this!
    I have downloaded things illegally, when I was young and entitled. I haven't for many years and have no intent of doing it again.

    But that's irrelevant because I'm not the one trying to claim it's a legally gray act in an attempt to justify my morally poor decisions.
    FizyxMuftak1
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 348
    Oh man, you're so arrogant and confused... 
    Hope you don't fall from that super high moral pedestal from which you judge people based on your preconceptions.
    I posed a question, using a real example instead of a made up one, but NEVER said I was buying or had bought a Lepin counterfeit copy (Lepin also produces it's own sets/MOCs). But still, instead of thinking about a problem and debating ideas people here just like to judge others because they may have a different opinion.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    edited January 2018
    Which Lepin sets are their own work? As the majority of the ones not copied from official Lego sets are copied from other designers / MOCs.

    If you feel that you are doing Lego a favour by buying a fake as it means you can spend more money on real Lego, and you are happy with that justification, then go for it. What is there to discuss?
    Fizyxstlux
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 454
    @jnscoelho Firstly, yes LEPIN does produce original content (often stolen from MOCS) but original content nonetheless. Lego doesnt have a patent on its brick system and Lepin can do what they please. 

    However, secondly - this question you posed was always about the counterfeit part of their market. You asked about the morality of it, and we gave you our honest answers. What did you expect - to pop onto a lego forum and have us justify your purchases? 

    You do you.
    Fizyx
  • letsbuild54letsbuild54 United StatesMember Posts: 1
    jnscoelho said:
    Oh man, you're so arrogant and confused... 
    Hope you don't fall from that super high moral pedestal from which you judge people based on your preconceptions.
    I posed a question, using a real example instead of a made up one, but NEVER said I was buying or had bought a Lepin counterfeit copy (Lepin also produces it's own sets/MOCs). But still, instead of thinking about a problem and debating ideas people here just like to judge others because they may have a different opinion.
    You asked "So what is the right thing to do, to feed the speculation of someone who has no interest in the set and is only thinking about the money, or to buy from Lepin? With the remaining 76€ I can buy other official, current LEGO sets that I wouldn’t buy if I pay the 100€…"

    Various people basically answered that the right thing to do is to not buy stolen property.  That's exactly what Lepin is doing: stealing Wall-E's imagery from Disney/Pixar and stealing the set design from Lego and the IDEAS fan designer.  Whether or not the property owners are willing to sell their property right now is not relevant.  Supporting a company that is engaged in unethical (and in most countries illegal) behavior begets more unethical behavior.  

    You've setup a false dilemma about whether to buy from Lepin or a reseller.  As someone else pointed out, you can buy a used set for not much more than the original RRP.  RRP in the US was $60.  After sales tax, that would be about $65.  Depending on how lucky I am on Ebay, I could have a used set shipped to me for about $71. That's not much of a premium for a set that I really wanted, but missed out on.  Also buying from Lepin rather than buying used suppresses the used Lego market and ensures that one used set is not sold for what it could have.  That set owner may have used that money to buy more official Lego sets. 

    Finally if by "have a different opinion," you mean that in your opinion there's nothing wrong with buying a copied set from Lepin, that's a poor opinion to have.  It's clearly unethical to buy stolen property, and Lepin clearly steals intellectual property.  Whether or not a person is comfortable with that is obviously up to them.  


    tmgm528Fizyxwillobee498stluxLuLegoCCCbuildalotcatwrangler
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278

    *Puts the popcorn away to chime in again for a minute*

    It's fascinating to see how entrenched to combatants in this discussion are. The team "LEGO fanboys/moralists" on the one side, failing to see (or purposely ignoring) the valid parts of the other side's arguments and the team "Lepin's devils advocates" on the other side, failing to see (or purposely ignoring) the valid parts of the arguments of the former team.

    My two cents: what Lepin is doing is morally questionable as well as illegal in many countries. Hence they do what they do in countries where the legal system is more favorable to their cause, to put it diplomatically.

    Did that stop me from buying a few sets from them (as well as one from Decool)? No, it didn't.

    Why? Because I for myself decided that I wanted these sets, and that them being long EOL'ed and highly sought after sets they were very expensive on the secondary market, I decided I wasn't willing to pay these sort of prices. My choice, my conscience.

    As for the Decool set, which was the Technic Porsche GT3 clone, I bought this not because I was too cheap to get the original, but because Decool offered the set in my favorite colour (lime green), which LEGO doesn't even offer at all. If they did, I would have bought the original. As they don't, I didn't. How does that fit in the moral compass of the "Team 1" members?

    ;-)

    datsunrobbieJern92
  • AltairAltair FranceMember Posts: 50
    It is certainly your choice and your conscience, and I don't judge you. But personally I would not feel right exposing a Lepin set within my Lego collection, I would feel like a fraud and that would not make me happy. But that's just me. 
  • StaffyStaffy Oxford, UKMember Posts: 14
    CCC said:
    Staffy said:
    CCC said:
    jnscoelho said:
    I'm not talking about buying counterfeit copies of current LEGO sets. That's not an option in my house, hehehe.
    Why not? If you do it to save money on a discontinued set, then why not do it on a current set? You still save money.
    Because that ignores the point.  He's saving money SO he can spend it on current LEGO sets, not saving money for the sake of saving money or getting more knock off sets.  You may not agree with it, but it is perfectly logical.
    But why spend it on current LEGO sets when there are cheaper fakes of the current ones available, if fakes are acceptable quality (which presumably they are here, as he is buying fakes of secondary market sets).
    Because he/she wants to do the morally/legally correct thing, but is unable to do so because of budget and availability. And it could be argued that he/she has indirectly driven into that position by Lego and exploitative resellers.

    Its easy to take the moral high ground when you have the funding to do so, or the discipline to miss out on stuff you really really want but cant afford to buy from resellers.  Fair play to you, massive respect all round.
  • AltairAltair FranceMember Posts: 50
    Shib said:
    LEGO is a luxury item, it’s not like you need it to live, it’s not going to ruin your life to have an incomplete collection.
    Exactly. When I can't afford a Lego set I just don't buy it, rather than going for a fake one. 
    ShibmonkeyhangerAanchir
  • gantaratgantarat bangkok,thailandMember Posts: 35
    Well since Disneys bought Fox Will Lego make FF4 or X-Men Set ?
  • StaffyStaffy Oxford, UKMember Posts: 14
    Shib said:
    Staffy said:

    Its easy to take the moral high ground when you have the funding to do so, or the discipline to miss out on stuff you really really want but cant afford to buy from resellers.  
    It really doesn’t take much “discipline” if you just focus on the good new stuff that is released each year.

    LEGO is a luxury item, it’s not like you need it to live, it’s not going to ruin your life to have an incomplete collection.
    I agree (not sure I said any different) but thats me and you. 

    If money is tight why would you spend the money on a set you dont want instead?

    Bear in mind also for parents with kids there is a window.  Example (with made up numbers):  Someone has young kids who have just finished watching star wars.  They are obsessed with ewoks and desperately want the lego ewok village.  There isnt another current set that is in any way similar.

    Resellers are selling it for upwards of £400 on the 2nd hand market. You dont have £400, probably wont for some time, and you know that once they've built it they wont look after it anyway, but you cant chuck that sort of money down the drain.  So its not an option, and are expecting just to tell the kids to forget it because its too expensive. 

    You do know that if you dont get the set soon the moment will have passed.  You may go the rest of your life wishing you'd been able to get your kids that set when you could, and share the experience and bonding of building that with them whilst they were still young and into it. 

    Then you see a lepin EV set for £50 new.  You do have £100. You could buy the lepin set, and spend the other £50 on some other genuine Lego Star Wars sets to go with it. 

    Many people will and should pass, and accept that it wasnt meant to be.  Many others will go for it.  Just look at the popularity of illegal TV screening and music downloads, people have different moral compasses and drivers, indeed in many cultures (not just Asia) bending the rules like this is effectively seen as admirable, clever and to be respected. Sticking one over The Man.  We may not agree with it, but it is understandable.  And Lego would be getting £50 that they wouldnt otherwise have got, even if you'd bought the original set from a reseller.

    I personally think clearing the supermarket shelves to scalp and exploit parents with young children is morally objectionable too.  Its legal, obviously, and less wrong than stealing IP, but personally i think its still wrong and has at least some small part to play in the popularity of cloning.  Sometimes what goes around, comes around.  You may not agree. Thats OK too.
    AustinPowersdatsunrobbiejnscoelhoJern92mafoncatwrangler
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    tmgm528 said:
    @jnscoelho Firstly, yes LEPIN does produce original content (often stolen from MOCS) but original content nonetheless. 

    Stealing their content from someone other than LEGO doesn't make it original.
    stluxShibdatsunrobbieCyberdragonFizyxBumblepantsAanchir
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited January 2018
    Staffy said:
    I personally think clearing the supermarket shelves to scalp and exploit parents with young children is morally objectionable too.  Its legal, obviously, and less wrong than stealing IP, but personally i think its still wrong and has at least some small part to play in the popularity of cloning.  Sometimes what goes around, comes around.  You may not agree. Thats OK too.


    Well put.

    I think those scalpers actually are the main reason why Lepin is making any business in western countries at all.

    The main focus of Lepin and the like is the Asian market, where LEGO products are far more expensive in relation to available income than in the west, hence making it even more of a luxury item. That's one of the reasons why even sets in the sub 20 Dollar/Euro/Pound range get cloned over there.

    But for a couple of years now, the prices for popular EOL'ed sets on the western secondary markets have gone through the roof. I remember getting sets of that calibre on ebay some time before the craze started for less money than what LEGO wanted as RRP. Nowadays, there wouldn't be a chance in hell to get any of these sets for reasonable prices thanks to the scalpers.

    Imho Lepin and the other clone-brands would be none existant in the western world, if it weren't for the scalpers. Just my humble opinion of course.

    jnscoelhoJern92
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    Staffy said:

    Bear in mind also for parents with kids there is a window.  Example (with made up numbers):  Someone has young kids who have just finished watching star wars.  They are obsessed with ewoks and desperately want the lego ewok village.  There isnt another current set that is in any way similar.

    Resellers are selling it for upwards of £400 on the 2nd hand market. You dont have £400, probably wont for some time, and you know that once they've built it they wont look after it anyway, but you cant chuck that sort of money down the drain.  So its not an option, and are expecting just to tell the kids to forget it because its too expensive. 

    You do know that if you dont get the set soon the moment will have passed.  You may go the rest of your life wishing you'd been able to get your kids that set when you could, and share the experience and bonding of building that with them whilst they were still young and into it. 

    Then you see a lepin EV set for £50 new.  You do have £100. You could buy the lepin set, and spend the other £50 on some other genuine Lego Star Wars sets to go with it. 

    Apart from teaching your kids some dubious moral and materialist values, there are many holes in your (admittedly made up) example.

    If money is tight then you wouldn't be spending much money on Lego anyway and who buys their kids an expensive LEGO set on the basis of them enjoying a movie? I wouldn't be spending that amount of money on anything that my kids want, Lego or otherwise on that basis.  If the kids are pretty young then a buy a few ewoks from Bricklink and they can make their own ewok village using Lego they've already got or stuff lying around, you can help them build it and you are not losing out on the building or bonding experience (unless they won't speak to you because you didn't buy them them the massive LEGO set they wanted :-) )

    The RRP of ewok village was around £200 anyway, so even if it was available at retail your £100 still wouldn't be enough so your argument would still just boil down to "I want something but can't afford it so I'll buy a counterfeit".


    stluxwillobee498catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    Staffy said:

    Because he/she wants to do the morally/legally correct thing, but is unable to do so because of budget and availability. And it could be argued that he/she has indirectly driven into that position by Lego and exploitative resellers.

    Its easy to take the moral high ground when you have the funding to do so, or the discipline to miss out on stuff you really really want but cant afford to buy from resellers.  Fair play to you, massive respect all round.
    It is laughable that anyone is doing lego a favour by buying fake products.

    Anyone buying fakes does it to save themselves money so that they can use their remaining money to buy other things they want, whether that is lego or not.

    Staffy said:

    Then you see a lepin EV set for £50 new.  You do have £100. You could buy the lepin set, and spend the other £50 on some other genuine Lego Star Wars sets to go with it. 

    ... Sticking one over The Man.  We may not agree with it, but it is understandable.  And Lego would be getting £50 that they wouldnt otherwise have got, even if you'd bought the original set from a reseller.

    Lego would also probably have got £50 (likely much more) from a reseller too if they had bought the genuine one from a reseller. The argument that lego gets more money in the long run if someone purchases fakes of expensive retired ones is false. Again, buying fakes is not helping lego, it is helping the purchaser.

    Staffy said:

    I personally think clearing the supermarket shelves to scalp and exploit parents with young children is morally objectionable too.  Its legal, obviously, and less wrong than stealing IP, but personally i think its still wrong and has at least some small part to play in the popularity of cloning.  Sometimes what goes around, comes around.  You may not agree. Thats OK too.
    This has pretty much been done to death. Very, very few sets are cleared from shelves, and for most sets parents have at least a year to purchase them. During a sale time, it is first come first served. Anyone missing out when products are reduced cannot blame others of greed. If they had wanted it, they would have bought it. If they were gambling on being able to buy it at a cheaper price but miss out, then they are just as greedy.
    dmcc0stluxwillobee498Bumblepantswagnerml2
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,217
    edited January 2018
    ^^to add to this I’ve heard the same kind of scenario used to justify shoplifting too. Stealing toys ain’t the same as stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving family.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    I think those scalpers actually are the main reason why Lepin is making any business in western countries at all.


    But for a couple of years now, the prices for popular EOL'ed sets on the western secondary markets have gone through the roof. I remember getting sets of that calibre on ebay some time before the craze started for less money than what LEGO wanted as RRP. Nowadays, there wouldn't be a chance in hell to get any of these sets for reasonable prices thanks to the scalpers.

    Imho Lepin and the other clone-brands would be none existant in the western world, if it weren't for the scalpers. Just my humble opinion of course.

    Imagine if nobody bought to resell. Everyone that bought a set bought it at RRP and each set eventually sells out and new products are introduced. What happens to the price of an EOL set then? Nobody bought to resell, so there are very few retired sets available. Those that are (because someone bought it and didn't get around to building it) are going to be more expensive than if multiple people had bought for resale and compete on their pricing to get a sale.

    The reason that prices for EOL sets goes through the roof is because not enough people put them away for later resale, then there is demand after they are EOL. More resellers actually drive down EOL prices. Less resellers drive up EOL prices.


    pharmjod
  • gantaratgantarat bangkok,thailandMember Posts: 35
    edited January 2018
    Staffy said:
    I personally think clearing the supermarket shelves to scalp and exploit parents with young children is morally objectionable too.  Its legal, obviously, and less wrong than stealing IP, but personally i think its still wrong and has at least some small part to play in the popularity of cloning.  Sometimes what goes around, comes around.  You may not agree. Thats OK too.


    Well put.

    I think those scalpers actually are the main reason why Lepin is making any business in western countries at all.

    The main focus of Lepin and the like is the Asian market, where LEGO products are far more expensive in relation to available income than in the west, hence making it even more of a luxury item. That's one of the reasons why even sets in the sub 20 Dollar/Euro/Pound range get cloned over there.

    Lego price in thailand cost 2x/double from US price (mostly on larger sets or license theme)

    http://tastythailand.com/where-to-buy-lego-in-bangkok-thailand-its-expensive/

    http://thaibrickclub.com/board/index.php?topic=1404.0

    Probably Thai have most expensive lego price in the world/asian.
  • StaffyStaffy Oxford, UKMember Posts: 14
    Shib said:
    ^^to add to this I’ve heard the same kind of scenario used to justify shoplifting too. Stealing toys ain’t the same as stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving family.
    Buying counterfeit goods is not illegal. Shoplifting is.
  • StaffyStaffy Oxford, UKMember Posts: 14
    @CCC theres too many quotes in that response for me to respond. I dont agree with your interpretation of my points, or some of the points you have made, but thats fine we all have our opinions.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 324
    tmgm528 said:

    Also to your point about what does LEGO get from buying used - nothing. But same goes for if you buy it from anywhere except S&H. Targets already bought the product from Lego, you buying it from them doesnt directly support Lego.

    What?!?  You're kidding, right?  Of course it directly supports Lego!  Yes, Target, or whatever other store, has already purchased the product from the Lego Group.  However, if that product does not sell, then Target, or whatever other store, will not buy more of said product and instead buy product from another company that is selling better.  They only have so much shelf space, so their interest is stocking things that move, not sit as if in a warehouse.  So yes, buying Lego from any store that isn't directly owned by TLG directly benefits Lego.  I know this is a rabbit trail but geesh...

  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,461
    CCC said:
    I think those scalpers actually are the main reason why Lepin is making any business in western countries at all.


    But for a couple of years now, the prices for popular EOL'ed sets on the western secondary markets have gone through the roof. I remember getting sets of that calibre on ebay some time before the craze started for less money than what LEGO wanted as RRP. Nowadays, there wouldn't be a chance in hell to get any of these sets for reasonable prices thanks to the scalpers.

    Imho Lepin and the other clone-brands would be none existant in the western world, if it weren't for the scalpers. Just my humble opinion of course.

    Imagine if nobody bought to resell. Everyone that bought a set bought it at RRP and each set eventually sells out and new products are introduced. What happens to the price of an EOL set then? Nobody bought to resell, so there are very few retired sets available. Those that are (because someone bought it and didn't get around to building it) are going to be more expensive than if multiple people had bought for resale and compete on their pricing to get a sale.

    The reason that prices for EOL sets goes through the roof is because not enough people put them away for later resale, then there is demand after they are EOL. More resellers actually drive down EOL prices. Less resellers drive up EOL prices.


    OR, if nobody was buying to resell, there would be more $80 Death Stars showing up in thrift stores. shopgoodwill.com has over 1100 LEGO auctions running this morning.
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    CCC said:
    Imagine if nobody bought to resell.

    Ah, bliss. ;-)

    But seriously, only a couple of years ago, almost no one bought to resell. Bricklink didn't even exist, or was in its infancy, and on ebay the vast majority of old LEGO was sold by private people selling off old stuff from their childhood. That's where I got a large part of my collection of early Eighties classics that I missed out on during my childhood. There wasn't a large bidding war on many sets either. And EOL sets in the modern sense just were not a "thing" back then. And that isn't even that long ago.
    If I tried to get the same sets now, it would cost a fortune, and I bet you those ultimately winning the auctions don't plan on building and playing with the sets or giving them to their children but on stuffing them in a cupboard in the hope of selling them on for even more money a few years down the line.

    Nowadays, everyone and his uncle seems to want to cash in on selling sought after LEGO sets, hence sets like 75192 that immediately sell out, to name but the most extreme example. And all the crazy prices. And Lepin clones that even people from the western hemisphere start purchasing in ever greater numbers.

    mafon
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    CCC said:
    The reason that prices for EOL sets goes through the roof is because not enough people put them away for later resale, then there is demand after they are EOL. More resellers actually drive down EOL prices. Less resellers drive up EOL prices.

    The opposite seems to be true, unfortunatley. The more resellers join in, the higher the prices go, because newbies see the exorbitant prices and add some more to cash in even more. You can see this daily on ebay. As soon as some hyped set starts to surface from a few sellers at crazy prices, and a few get sold, suddenly loads more crop up at ever higher starting prices in the hopes of a self-fulfilling prophecy most likely.

    No, more resellers don't drive down EOL prices. Reality speaks a different story. Believe me I keep an eye on certain products and have done so for a long time with some of them. I know the market, at least in Germany. By the way, I could have bought the aforementioned sets from Lepin as well, but they are not my A1 priority sets, so I'll rather wait and see if they eventually come down in price some day after all - or get re-released/improved like the Taj Mahal or 75192.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    CCC said:
    Imagine if nobody bought to resell.

    Ah, bliss. ;-)

    But seriously, only a couple of years ago, almost no one bought to resell. Bricklink didn't even exist, or was in its infancy, and on ebay the vast majority of old LEGO was sold by private people selling off old stuff from their childhood.

    Think back to the sets that have rocketed, most of the famous ones (Taj Mahal, UCS MF, Cafe Corner) sets were ~2005-8, reselling existed but wasn't common. The reason they increased in price so much was (i) the expansion of the LEGO fanbase and (ii) the lack of sets on the market. The modulars have gone up, because of their collectability, something that doesn't exist as much for other in-house themes so again this is down to growth in the fan base.

    The opposite seems to be true, unfortunatley. The more resellers join in, the higher the prices go, because newbies see the exorbitant prices and add some more to cash in even more. You can see this daily on ebay. As soon as some hyped set starts to surface from a few sellers at crazy prices, and a few get sold, suddenly loads more crop up at ever higher starting prices in the hopes of a self-fulfilling prophecy most likely.

    No, more resellers don't drive down EOL prices. Reality speaks a different story.

    I disagree. It used to be (2010- 2014ish) that you could buy any SW set and you could guarantee a reasonable return. Whereas now, you really have to think about what to invest in. Look at the number of comments from people in the reseller thread from people that used to invest but no longer do (mainly people into LEGO that sell LEGO).  Sure there are some people that still think that you can buy anything LEGO as it will appreciate, but it is no longer the case. There may well be bubble in markets for individual sets that are hyped, but no serious long term investors would be putting money into, for example, the new UCS MF right now for holding long term.

    The last five years has seen (i) an expansion in the fan base for LEGO and (ii) growth in the number of resellers. I think the expansion in the fan base is slowing down (at least in the West) and the number of resellers going up (but not necessarily people into lego that are reselling, but more general people going on past increases rather than knowledge). Couple that with lego now reproducing similar sets time and time again. It is a bad time to be investing in lego. There will of course be some sets that do well, but there are many others that are not worth investing in these days.

    And if nobody bought to resell, then it wouldn't be possible to get hold of (sealed/new) retired sets. People wanting a Wall-E now simply wouldn't be able to find a sealed one, if it wasn't for resellers. Whether they agree with the prices that resellers want (and other buyers are willing to pay) is another matter. Without the reseller, they cannot get one.
    Bumblepants
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    daewoo said:
    tmgm528 said:

    Also to your point about what does LEGO get from buying used - nothing. But same goes for if you buy it from anywhere except S&H. Targets already bought the product from Lego, you buying it from them doesnt directly support Lego.

    What?!?  You're kidding, right?  Of course it directly supports Lego!  Yes, Target, or whatever other store, has already purchased the product from the Lego Group.  However, if that product does not sell, then Target, or whatever other store, will not buy more of said product and instead buy product from another company that is selling better.  They only have so much shelf space, so their interest is stocking things that move, not sit as if in a warehouse.  So yes, buying Lego from any store that isn't directly owned by TLG directly benefits Lego.  I know this is a rabbit trail but geesh...

    The same is true of buying from a reseller. Just that the time scales are slightly longer.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 454
    daewoo said:
    tmgm528 said:

    Also to your point about what does LEGO get from buying used - nothing. But same goes for if you buy it from anywhere except S&H. Targets already bought the product from Lego, you buying it from them doesnt directly support Lego.

    What?!?  You're kidding, right?  Of course it directly supports Lego!  Yes, Target, or whatever other store, has already purchased the product from the Lego Group.  However, if that product does not sell, then Target, or whatever other store, will not buy more of said product and instead buy product from another company that is selling better.  They only have so much shelf space, so their interest is stocking things that move, not sit as if in a warehouse.  So yes, buying Lego from any store that isn't directly owned by TLG directly benefits Lego.  I know this is a rabbit trail but geesh...

    No more than resellers doing the same. Different scales and time frames sure - but fundamentally no different. Lego's already got their buck out of it technically speaking. If everyone simply decided to start exclusively buying from resellers - resellers would simply buy up the same market share as big box stores now have. All one in the same my friend
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 324
    tmgm528 said:
    daewoo said:
    tmgm528 said:

    Also to your point about what does LEGO get from buying used - nothing. But same goes for if you buy it from anywhere except S&H. Targets already bought the product from Lego, you buying it from them doesnt directly support Lego.

    What?!?  You're kidding, right?  Of course it directly supports Lego!  Yes, Target, or whatever other store, has already purchased the product from the Lego Group.  However, if that product does not sell, then Target, or whatever other store, will not buy more of said product and instead buy product from another company that is selling better.  They only have so much shelf space, so their interest is stocking things that move, not sit as if in a warehouse.  So yes, buying Lego from any store that isn't directly owned by TLG directly benefits Lego.  I know this is a rabbit trail but geesh...

    No more than resellers doing the same. Different scales and time frames sure - but fundamentally no different. Lego's already got their buck out of it technically speaking. If everyone simply decided to start exclusively buying from resellers - resellers would simply buy up the same market share as big box stores now have. All one in the same my friend


    That's a short-sighted way to look at it.  Yes, Lego "got" their buck out if it, but Lego's future depends on getting MORE bucks out of those retailers since a very significant portion of Lego's sales are to companies like Walmart, TRU, Target, etc.  If Lego product sits on those retailer's shelves, taking up space and generating no revenue, those retailors will not order more Lego.  Without volume, Lego's revenue numbers drop precipitously.  That is NOT the case with small-time resellers.  There simply is not enough volume there to have a significant impact to TLG. 

    But the point stands that Lego 100% benefits from companies like those mentioned above because without them, their sales volume crashes and Lego ceases to be a toy powerhouse.  Your claim that TLG does not benefit from them is flat out false.

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