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Set Rental UK

SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
We have seen this in the US so it was only a matter of time. I doubt it's one for many here but worth a look.

http://welovebricks.com/

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    You send the set to the next address.

    That's going to cause some arguments about who stole the expensive parts or the set gets lost in the post or takes ages to show up. Also I'm not so sure I'd want a company giving my name and address to other customers.
    Pitfall69SuperTrampdougtssidersdd
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    That business model is doomed to fail.
    SuperTrampdougts
  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
    Pitfall69 said:

    That business model is doomed to fail.

    This.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,014
    edited January 2015
    As you all say, the 'Tell us you've finished with it and we’ll tell you who to send it to next. ' bit is totally flawed. People will nick pieces and it won't be easy to find out who, or more importantly, prove who has.

    Plus, they don't send out the instructions, but point you at LEGO customer services. Building off a computer with low-res facsimiles will sap the fun right out of building them.

    The chap that runs it lives close to me and we were going to arrange to meet but I didn't hear from him again.
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,525
    edited January 2015
    Its not really going to work is it.

    No cleaning of the bricks inbetween people for a start.

    The data protection act will be interesting, giving out customer names.

    Expensive bits missing. Do you pay for shipping to the next person yourself? Que the cheapest, slowest postage being used.

    No quality control of what the 2nd+ person receives.

    Etc, etc...
  • LeonCLeonC United KingdomMember Posts: 364
    Plus it looks like their "catalogue" only has a couple of dozen sets (all quite small and probably not many of each). Think I'll save my £8 a month to the end of the year and buy a nice £100 set instead.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    I'm not surprised by any of the comments as if we look back to when the US service launched there was similar criticism.

    Regardless of the business model I think it's pretty clear that the majority of us here are not the target market and I include myself in that. Is there a market outside of us? Only time will tell but good luck to them for having a go.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,477
    It's nice to see people trying these things, but ultimately for this kind of service they need the more impressive sets. For example the only Lord of the Rings set they have on there is Gandalf arrives. Seeing as the retail price on that wasn't much more than a months membership, and it was regularly discounted it's a bit of a faff for nothing. If it was Tower of Orthanc or Battle of Helms Deep it would be more interesting.
    If they had a library of modulars etc then I could see the appeal, I might sign up for a couple of months to try some of the larger sets that I can't afford, but definitely not for small sets and having to be responsible for sending it on to the next person.

    Nice idea, but as Kev said, the way it is at the minute we aren't the target audience and in all honesty I struggle to see who is. Would any parents rent small Lego sets for their kids when they can buy a big box of used random Lego for a similar price? I suspect not.
  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    Stepping outside being an AFOL, and looking at this purely as being a parent I just can't see why you would want to rent a toy. It doesn't matter how high your cleanliness standards small children are mucky and amusingly disgusting sometimes. You would need some kind of cleaning procedure in place and depending on how that was implemented could affect the quality of the set and pieces.

    Then you have potentially 2 major disappointment factors to consider first you look forward to receiving the set and as pointed out there are pieces missing ( plain theft or child loss) so you can't complete the build to a standard to actually play with, would most parents have parts to draw from to complete to an acceptable play standard if possible?

    And secondly your child enjoys the model so much it doesn't want to part company with it, so you either buy it or a replacement. A child will not understand why you have given them something to then take away.

    As an AFOL I only see the idea as someone who doesn't quite understand LEGO sets (or children) and is purely looking at a angle to make some easy money.
  • LeonCLeonC United KingdomMember Posts: 364
    My son may not be a typical 6YO, but he is the idea target for this - he loves building sets but doesn't really play with them much or take them apart to MOC. In fact I remember when I first saw the US service I though it sounded ideal. But for most of the above reasons I wouldn't consider this one. If they were taking the sets back each time to clean/check, and had more in stock, then I almost certainly would try it out.

    As it is, I buy used on Ebay, clean/check them myself, we build, then sell on to fund the next one. Its more effort but I know what to expect and he never sees a set that isn't in reasonable condition.
    Legoboysklambandhe
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    @LeonC‌ I've met hundreds of parents this year and your lad does in fact sound quite typical. It's been a common theme of frustration that sets are built and then just left on a shelf. The build is the play.
    Legoboy
  • LeonCLeonC United KingdomMember Posts: 364
    Thanks @SirKevBags, its nice to know he's 'normal' :smile:
    SirKevbagsLegoboyandhe
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    When my kids want a lego set, I always let them have the choice of (i) a set or (ii) me buying a collection of parts of similar value on BL. They choose sets probably 40-50% of the time. I'm quite proud of them, it means they do quite a bit of building themselves, with no instructions and (sometimes) no apparent goals. But then mine also play quite a bit with the sets too, although they tend to go for more playable sets rather than display ones.

    Back to the scheme, you really have to hope you don't follow someone like Neil out of the Inbetweeners. Dirty lego, grim.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited January 2015
    The big set little set thing is tricky, sure big sets would be great but they'd also be insanely popular, people would hold on to them for a long time, you'd wait months even years for your turn to come around.

    DVD rentals by post worked, they would cost what £10 to buy at most yet people were happy to subscribe to monthly rentals. Sure the likes of netflix etc has probably largely killed them off now, but thats not a current risk for rental LEGO sets. If you can get through 3 or 4 smallish (~£20) sets a month it seems a good deal and I could see it being popular.

    The posting thing needs rethinking to me, its very easy for a parcel to be 'forgotten' about for a few days before posting, if you're waiting for a third party to send you something it could easily take a long time with an expectant child waiting patiently (or not) for a new set to appear - for DVD rentals turnaround was key to getting reasonable value and I can see this being a major issue.

    It also gets a bit messy. if there isn't someone immediately waiting for the set you've just finished with what happens? You just tell them you've finished and then get sent your next set? So you have two? Do you queue if the sets on your list are all out? But theres no idea how long anyone person will keep any one set. There needs to be a backup, reserve, but without sending sets back to the HQ that can't happen.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,477
    ^The other thing with the DVD rentals was post of them had a return envelope included so it deals with the postage issue. Could you imagine the response they'd get for telling someone that they have to foot the bill to return/send on a modular sized set.
    My response to these Lego rental businesses is similar to the Lego themed Loot Crate type services. Nice idea in theory but too many holes for me to give them any money.
  • RailsRails Brierley Hill, UKMember Posts: 153
    How will it work with STAMP? I can't see the stickers lasting very long with repeat removals and reapplication. Though the whole scheme probably has more serious issues than that one.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    edited January 2015
    If you are doing 3-4 sets a month, that's £85 + £120 in postage costs (assuming £2.80 per set postage), so about £200 a year. At the end you have nothing but memories.

    For the same price I think I'd rather buy a few big bucket sets for bulk, plus a number of other themed sets for specific parts.

    Factoring in postage times and build / deconstruct times, I reckon 2-3 £20ish sets per month is more realistic. So then you are looking at £170 a year to build 30 smallish £20 sets. So you are paying about 1/3 of the price. Again a better option is probably buying used sets on ebay, then selling them once bored with them. Even buying new then selling can work out about the same and at least you get the option of keeping sets you like and you get to build with nice clean lego.
  • LeonCLeonC United KingdomMember Posts: 364
    edited January 2015
    ^ This. If you can pick stuff up on sale when it's nearing retirement, then you get to build a new set and sell it for more than you payed for it :smile:
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^^ and ^ indeed, although don't forget you're still posting the same number of sets, you're loosing %13 in paypal and ebay fees etc etc. But lets be honest, people that do this probably aren't going to be thinking about reselling new or used sets from ebay or checking brickset every day for sale prices. Also factor in, £7.99 isn't much for people spending £40 on Sky per month, £80 on gym membership, £50 on a night out every friday.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    It's the headline price of £7.99 that may get people in, but when they realise it is more like £14-15 a month, they'll probably realise it is better to have one set sitting on the shelf than building two sets and having them for a week only before giving them to someone else.

    £8 isn't much if your spending £100s on entertainment, but then neither is £20.

    You also get better choice if you buy. Their selections are really limited. And you have to have 10 on a list, so chances are you'll keep getting the ones you don't really want but if you only put the one you want on the list, then you get nothing. That is what I used to hate about lovefilm.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Of course its only £15 if you have 3 sets in a month, and then it still seems pretty good value - its quite clever really, they loose the risk of people flying through sets (and postage costs > subscription income) yet for the customer the increased costs still manage to increase perceived value. 1 set a month would cost about £10, 2 sets £12.50, 3 sets £15.

    I notice that they don't send the instructions or the boxes. I wonder if they keep them nice and mint so that they can sell the sets on ebay after 12 months or so?

    Its not something i would do, but I can see there being a market.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298


    I notice that they don't send the instructions or the boxes. I wonder if they keep them nice and mint so that they can sell the sets on ebay after 12 months or so?

    Instructions for the sets available aren't very expensive on BL, so I doubt keeping them mint to sell is the reason. It is probably because (i) minor - it reduces the weight for postage and (ii) major - they will get ripped to shreds and customers will complain they cannot build the sets, and the company would then need to spend more on postage sending out new ones.

    I guess we'll see in a year or two if the business model works here.
  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
    edited January 2015
    Aimed at kids but they have to sit at a desk or sit there with a £400 ipad to read the instructions, No thanks.

    I don't even do that so i know for a fact my kids wouldn't.

    If i really had to and i couldn't afford every set my kids wanted. i would rather buy them a small £20 set, build the hell out of it for a month then sell it and buy another set with the money.

    You have to post the rented set anyway so why not just sell and post your own set.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,967
    They're not far away from me. Interesting concept, but I was left wondering what happens when you've finished with a set but nobody else wants it yet? Do you have to hang on to it until someone does? Can you still receive a replacement set in the meantime?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited January 2015
    That's what I was wondering, but on reading the FAQ it seems you can have more than one set if there's no one to send the original to yet.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,967
    It's obviously small right now, but the potential for scalability is interesting. The customers are your stock room!
  • chaz13chaz13 UK/London,EssexMember Posts: 74
    LeonC said:

    Thanks @SirKevBags, its nice to know he's 'normal' :smile:

    My sons 7 and he's exactly the same. He's finished all his sets he got for Christmas , he loved building them and its great to see the time and concentration he puts in to them. After they are all more or less intact even some sets he had since he was 4 + or - a few inter theme minifigure battles . The flip side to that I'm much more inclined to buy him sets as I know he's not going to smash them to pieces after 5 mins .

    andhe
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837

    Also factor in, £7.99 isn't much for people spending £40 on Sky per month, £80 on gym membership, £50 on a night out every friday.

    £50 on a night out? Geez, I'm coming out with you next time.
    Pitfall69andhe
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    I haven't been on a night out in ages. Can I come along as well?
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    Reading the T&C's it is not clear on who pays postage, but no doubt it is the person sending on the set?

    I don't think this would work in Australia as you would, at a minimum double your costs with postage. That's assuming you do 1 set a week, and that's if you can keep the set packaged small enough to be classed as a letter (I.e. Less than 2cm thick). If it's thicker then it's a parcel and costs jump up by more than double again.

    I think realistically most people are only going to get a couple of sets a month. With the small size of the sets on offer it doesn't really scream great value to me.

    I'd rather buy one of the sets a month for my son then pay close to the same amount for two second hand sets that he only keeps for 2 weeks. The problem with adding larger sets is that postage costs blow out.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,967
    ^ The person sending the set has to pay. I'd be worried about what might happen if it goes missing in the post or gets delivered to the wrong address (although I do have neat writing apparently!).
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,703
    I think I heard an interview with the company on Radio 2 before Christmas. I could see this working as a library service, where you go and rent a set for a month then return it or extend your rental for another month. This way the 'library' could check/clean the sets. It would also avoid any postage charge.

    But customers posting to customers...

    And what do you do if a customer cancels their subscription and doesn't send the sets back?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ the same as a library if someone doesn't return a book, or lovefilm if they dont return a dvd?

    I just had a google ad for this service show when viewing the internets.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    Although if you have already cancelled the direct debit, then they'll have to take it to small claims court. Lovefilm used to keep the account open until you had returned everything.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,703

    ^ the same as a library if someone doesn't return a book, or lovefilm if they dont return a dvd?

    Which is what? I've never heard or the library sending the boys round to collect an overdue copy.

  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
    ^Nothing really, they just pretty much flag youur account so you cant take out anymore books until you pay.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    Ours doesn't even do that. They just let the fines mount up, even if you don't pay them.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,967
    Probably depends where you live. I know someone who got taken to court a couple of years ago for failing to return library books, and the magistrates issued a collection order for the value of the books (about £200), a fine of £100, plus an extra £150 to cover the library fines, court costs and victim surcharge.

    Anyway, back on the topic of Lego - £7.99/month for a steady stream of new sets sounds tempting, but I will always prefer to buy my own sets outrights. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that a big part of the fun is hunting for bargains :)
    andhe
  • WeLoveBricksWeLoveBricks Member Posts: 2
    This is great, I’m really enjoying reading all your views on the business, both the good stuff and from those who are not so keen on the WeLoveBricks idea! You’ve done a great job of dissecting the business model and the potential issues with it. Spares may yet prove to be a major problem, but so far that’s certainly not the case. Incidentally, we send out free replacement parts for reasonable loss (5 pieces).

    The service is aimed at people who just love building sets and don’t really want to play with them. We know there are lots of young Lego fans who got masses of Lego for Christmas which they’ve already built, but now it’s gathering dust. So we are giving them a chance to still enjoy the build, but without the cost of buying.

    Like any Club, we have some strong core values, including honesty, mutual respect and sharing with others, and the importance of taking care with the Lego set so the next member gets it in decent condition.

    We started the club in Nov so it’s still early days, but people are signing up far faster than we anticipated. We believe there’s a market for renting Lego and if you want to know more, please do get in touch. www.welovebricks.com
    andhe
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,014
    Thanks for pitching in. We all think it flawed but maybe you'll prove us wrong. Please let us know how it goes.
  • msandersmsanders Member Posts: 1,017
    That's great that the creators are on here because I'd be interested in how it goes. The idea sounds plausible - there are lots of kids that build and don't play so this subscription offers them a chance to build and build again.

    I'd be interested to know how quickly the items can get turned over? Two models a week, three? The customer is at the mercy of the previous person. What if they go away when they are asked to forward the set on? I would like to see some more set choices but I appreciate that its just started up so please please please keep us updated.

  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited January 2015
    Another factor in favour of it, whilst we all think having rooms full of sorted bricks and displays of LEGO sets is great I know a lot of parents (well to be honest, mums) who keep their homes like a show home. The ability to send the lego back so they don't have built sets sitting on every window sill or piece of furniture is probably quite appealing. In fact I suspect my wife would think it a great idea.
    andhe
  • WeLoveBricksWeLoveBricks Member Posts: 2
    There are loads of questions in the discussion above about WeLoveBricks, so I thought I’d clarify a few points about the catalogue and how the service works.

    We’ve got nearly 70 sets on the catalogue with an average price of over £25, this is increasing every week as we add more expensive sets. We may have Gandalf at the smallest end of the catalogue, but Trevi Fountain, the White House and the Golden Dragon are amongst the more expensive sets. We are looking to cater for a range of members.

    We are always looking to refresh the catalogue and we are about to add a range of the new 2015 sets – we are just waiting for them to arrive.

    As the business grows we can see which sets are appearing most often on people’s Wishlists, so are buying multiple versions of the most popular sets. That means that that members don’t have to wait for the sets they most want to build.

    Also, there is more than 1 Lego set per member in the system, so most of the time members have a set with them ready to build. Right now nearly half the members have 2 sets either with them.

    ...and msanders, you can have as many as you like every week - Unlimited Lego!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    So will you be doing any £60+ sets, or even more expensive ones?
  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    Obviously you are making savings by passing on the postage costs to the customer base, but you may want to consider having the expensive sets returned to yourself before another member receives it. Especially those which contain a lot of exclusive/desirable elements.

    Or have some kind of (private) feedback system in place to track members activity to then pass judgement on if a member is considered worthy enough to pass on themselves or even indeed what value sets they receive at any one time.

    This maybe looking at things quite negative towards your customer base, but may save you hassle in the long run....
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 141
    I simply don't get this at all??

    When I was a kid I was very attached to my LEGO/toys in general. I know my son is too, so are every kid I know. Renting a set would not fly here. "The building experience" for my son is to build the set, tear it a apart and MOC away .. can't do that if you're suppose to return it in a month

    "Building experience" for teens? Nah, 127% of them are in their DA

    Must be for them AFOLs? You know them ultra fuzzy OCD miss a brick=heart attack types with 15 GGs under the sofa? Yeah, they'd spring for filthy, parts missing, no instruction deal any momemt :/

    Good luck, you're gonna need it ;)



  • yuffieyuffie Member Posts: 91
    The issue of using an ipad/computer for the instructions seems fine but one thing I don't get is it says you can keep a set for as long as you like. How does that affect the next person who wants that set. They just have to wait?
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    ^ No, I assume it's like the old movie DVD in the mail. You had to select at least 10 (or there abouts) choices, this was so you should always get one.

    The problem with this can be that the new/popular sets may take ages to get to you as so many people have it requested and you have to wait for it to go through multiple other members. In the mean time you get sets you don't want as much.
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