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Toys R Us...R U For Real?

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Comments

  • trypticontrypticon Member Posts: 61
    Of late I have employed a new strategy when I'm in TRU. Anyone I find looking at something in the LEGO aisles I calmly and firmly inform them that they can get the item 2 blocks away at he official LEGO store for less, and tell them the exact LEGO price.
    I find this funny, because I do the same thing at the same Toys R Us as you, referring to the same Lego store outlet. I'm giving you a digital high five here.

  • canuhandle23canuhandle23 Member Posts: 104
    simply put stay away from tru. there really is zero reason to go there minus black friday etc. Everything is crazy the bogo stuff is stupid. There might be less then 4 lego sets at standard prices. I mean just buy your legos at walmart atleast they have prices cheaper from time to time. They have 50% off sales atleast twice a year. When they bring on the waves of the new sets
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,398
    There IS a solution. Don't shop at TRU for Lego. I don't.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    @canuhandle23 - That's simply not true (or at least it wasn't true until the great TRU markup of 2011 (I think it happened December 1st, 2011)...

    Before that, I could regularly find sets at MSRP, as long as it wasn't a licensed theme. (Alien Conquest, Atlantis, Ninjago, City, Creator) were all for the most part, free of markups. As long as you stayed away from the licensed stuff, you were OK. In fact, I got the whole line of AC and 2011 Atlantis from TRU for 25% off.

    Now the situation has changed, 25% markups are the norm. Some markups, like the Catwoman set, are above 50%!

    2011 was a great year for buying LEGO from TRU, if you were careful.

    If you're into licensed themes, you might as well not even set foot in a TRU. Buy from [email protected] if you don't have a local LEGO store. The 5% rewards from the VIP program will cover your shipping expenses.
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    I wonder if TLG will ever express any concern to TRU about their mark-up policies? Lego is already expensive and if you have one of the largest Lego retailers price gouging the average consumer who doesn't know any better, it could become a case where customers just get turned off to the brand.

    I know if I were a parent and thought that TRU prices were the norm, I might buy less and less Lego going forward, or might even skip the brand all together.

    I would think TLG would recognize that the outrageous pricing policies at TRU might hurt TLG's business and the size of its customer base into the future.
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,301
    ^ That's why alot of naive parents buy Megabloks instead.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,286
    Hi folks,

    I've been reading the site for quite a while. Finally decided to create an account and join in the discussion :)

    I'm in the US, and get most of my lego from Toys R Us. I've noticed recently that Toys R Us prices for some sets is a bit higher than the RRP from Lego. I'd buy directly from Lego but they charge for shipping. Is this a new trend from Toys R Us? Are there any good alternatives?

    Play Well :)
    Serious question - why do you pay RRP or more for most of the sets you buy rather than getting them at a discount from the likes of Amazon ?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,377
    edited January 2012
    ^--- because not all sets at TRU are at Amazon.
    But I would say if you are going to buy a set at RRP, then I would buy from LEGO to at least get VIP points.

  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    edited January 2012
    I'm with @jwsmart here. Most all of my sets these past 15 years have been bought through TRU and on average 25% under MSRP. This uber craziness of theirs is really a new phenomenon.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,377
    ^--- not really, this all started after FAO Schwartz (who did the same thing with toys and then wondered why Walmart and Amazon were kicking their tails) 'merged' (or bought out, whichever you prefer) TRU.. Since then you can see their practices carrying over to TRU.
    I am hoping the insanity stops after those who got massive rewards rebates for the holidays cash out their coupons (or they expire at 2/28 I believe) then prices should be back to normal.. if not then they will just keep losing money to Walmart and Amzon and the silly thing is they probably be oblivious to this fact...
  • DavidBrickleyDavidBrickley Richmond, VAMember Posts: 338
    I think the rewards from the holiday shopping expire today. I think it likely they'll run sales again before dropping their prices.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^^ I beg to differ. I have bought most of my sets through TRU over the years and their gouging tendency is indeed a recent trend.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    It may vary from store to store... but Toys R Us's ridiculous markup on at least the Star Wars sets has been around since 2007. It's just gotten a lot worse lately.
  • canuhandle23canuhandle23 Member Posts: 104
    You guys might be right. I dont but sets like atlantis and the other non licensed stuff because you can find that stuff for 50% off or more easily once its discounted.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,377
    ^^ I beg to differ. I have bought most of my sets through TRU over the years and their gouging tendency is indeed a recent trend.
    I have bought ALOT of my sets via BOGOs too, but if I am not mistaken FAO has always had higher than normal RRP, and once the dust settled with the merger then prices started to creep up.. At first just around big sales and SW sets, but then this winter they got the bright idea to start hosing people on everything. Not sure if it has because their Idea to pump prices up and then sell every week on a 'sale' so people think they are getting a good deal or what, but it is just crazy out of hand at this point.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    I do recall some minor price gouging last year (December 2010) as well - the $5, $10 and $20 2011 Atlantis sets got marked up for the holiday season, then returned to normal price over the course of 2011... I know they were back to normal by the time Alien Conquest came out, I just don't remember when.

    Hopefully, sanity will return to TRU in time.
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,301
    It's definetly not only on Lego but on everything. I can walk through a TRU and 75% of their toys are marked up.
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    ^Yep...I noticed that too the past couple months. Everything they have especially popluar is way up.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,420
    edited January 2012
    ^ That's not completely true. I was in the one closest to me yesterday looking for series 6 and didn't find any. So I walked around and found the stuffed pokemon characters my kids like and they had them on clearance for $4 each, so I bought 3 of them. Kmart wants $9 each for them.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,774
    I just dislike TRU in general my gf sister works their and they treat her and the rest of their staff badly. She is often lucky to get a lunch break despite it being in her contract. And of course the marks up are a joke. But then this is my opinion and i wont stop people shopping their. I prefer my local independant toy shop its small has a mark up. But the guy is amazing and i know the profit goes to him so i dont mind nad he helps me out with the occasional free gift
  • popnfreshpopnfresh Member Posts: 9
    I noticed that they marked up the megabloks sets, I feel bad for the person who buys marked up megabloks.
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    Back in 2009, TRU went on a huge buying spree. They bought out FAO Schwarz, etoys.com and its affiliate babyuniverse.com, KB Toys and its webstore, and bought the doman name toys.com at auction for $5.1 million. If you go to any one of these sites, you are either seeing a copy exact of TRU (etoys, FAO), a shell of its former venerable self (FAO), redirected to TRU or BRU (babyuniverse.com) or just an empty signage (KBtoys.com). All the B&M KBtoys were closed, and only the NYC Store for FAO is in business (not that they had that many stores in the first place, but man, what a store was their "flagship").

    I think they were trying to leverage a monopoly against the big department retailers like Target and Walmart by taking over all their toystore competitors. So if you wonder why there are no other exclusive medium-size toy shops left, this is part of the answer.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ Werent these other Toy stores already in various states of bankruptcy? And did the FAO in Las Vegas also shutter?
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    edited January 2012
    KBtoys was definitely on a lifeline. FAO, too. I'm not so sure about the other toystores but I bought from both etoys and babyuniverse right before they got taken over. FAO Las Vegas is done. All of these stores had amazing sales, yes, FAO, also.

    Seeing that their former competitors are either clones are shuttered, TRU had no intention of investing in these stores to continue their separate and distinct identities (notably with FAO), and more importantly bought at a high enough price to discourage other investors who might have done so.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 767
    S6 spotted at TRU for $3.49 2 weeks ago. They usually are put out at LEGO Retail for the first shipment but TRU upped the price .50 so I passed.

    I have never had so much trouble finding things to buy when the store is paying me to shop there as when I am trying to use rewards dollars. I have left numerous times empty handed when trying to spend these rewards. I do feel like I am missing out on the newest sets to hit shelves by not going to TRU but I can wait because I'd rather not waste my time shopping there.

    Now that my rewards are spent I'm done there for a while.
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    ^--- not really, this all started after FAO Schwartz (who did the same thing with toys and then wondered why Walmart and Amazon were kicking their tails) 'merged' (or bought out, whichever you prefer) TRU.. Since then you can see their practices carrying over to TRU.
    I am hoping the insanity stops after those who got massive rewards rebates for the holidays cash out their coupons (or they expire at 2/28 I believe) then prices should be back to normal.. if not then they will just keep losing money to Walmart and Amzon and the silly thing is they probably be oblivious to this fact...
    TRU bought the FAO name and NYC store. Absolutely none of FAO's management team nor practices came to TRU. It was essentially a purchase of FAO's IP.

    The prices at TRU are bad, but it's not gouging. Gouging implies that TRU is taking advantage of one by reason of its monopoly or scarcity of product. None of this applies - LEGO isn't scarce, and TRU has zero monopoly power. It can do what it wants because it operates in a free market. Obviously the pricing works, because people shop at TRU and the shelves were bare after Christmas.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    ^^ Agree. I don't care for their pricing/rewards/sales practices as I find them purposefully deceiving, but its not gouging by general definition.

    As long as its a free market we are all free to choose where to shop. Those who shop blindly do so at their own peril.
  • VorpalVorpal Member Posts: 11
    My WM put the series 5 CMF at 1.50 each long ago. They sold out quite quickly.

    Meanwhile, TRU has two separate bins of series 5 CMF: one says 2.99 the other says 3.49. They don't seem to be moving.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Question: Are TRU stores able to thrive in areas where Lego Stores are located? Lego stores have better prices, better selections (including POB), and are better run.

    We will have our first Lego store in the state of TN within a few months, and I'm wondering what that does to the local TRUs business. TRU does have some advantages (other toys besides Legos), but I can't see too much patronage from Lego shoppers at TRUs if there is a better option that is closer.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited January 2012
    well, the TRU store nearest me is within sight of the mall that houses the LEGO store. It seems to sell LEGO just fine - the shelves were completely bare late December through mid January, even at ripoff prices. I think this is due to a variety of factors including: one-stop (toy) shopping, stand-alone location versus mall, BOGO and other sales, and certainly a lack of knowledge that the LEGO store even exists.

    Obviously saavy buyers and LEGO enthusiasts (and their parents) know about the LEGO store and generally about their pricing being better. But the average parent of a kid who gets only an occassional set, or for a birthday party, or a grandparent or something mostly don't even know the LEGO store exists.
  • cosmiclego79cosmiclego79 Member Posts: 2
    I'm in Stamford, CT. So no Lego store close by. There is a Lego store in NYC but that charges more for sets than the TRU in Times Square :( I'm mainly into Technic sets. I have had some good experiences with Amazon. But for a number of sets, I see price gouging going on.

    I tried both Target and Walmart in my locality. Technic sets are hard to find at both :(
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    edited January 2012
    None of this applies - LEGO isn't scarce, and TRU has zero monopoly power. It can do what it wants because it operates in a free market. Obviously the pricing works, because people shop at TRU and the shelves were bare after Christmas. </blockquote

    I used monoploy. It was the wrong word, granted. But I dare you to name one other nation-wide toy store still in business today. I remember shopping at KB Toys in Milpitas, CA a few years ago; and that was about the only other exclusive toy store alternative. And we know who bought them out.

    We can all pat ourselves on the back for knowing when TRU is pulling a fast one with their LEGO prices. But how about other people who aren't as aware? I'm thinking of the two set of grandparents who bought Duplo/LEGO for my kids for Christmas. One set is still working, the other is on a fixed pension. Pensioners and loving grandparents who want to spoil their grandkids paying 20% or more on a set out of their fixed income? That's jarring to me.

    And as for pricing, what would stop other retailers like Target and Amazon from taking a cue from TRU and going "Hey, if TRU can get away with that, we should do it, too." Hey, it is a free market. Well, it looks like those two are doing exactly that, as reports are trickling in that they are artificially raising the MSRP on, so far, a few sets. If that trickle becomes an inundation, will the hue and cry be louder?
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,301
    That's when I would go to the Lego store or Barnes and Noble or Walmart.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    We can all pat ourselves on the back for knowing when TRU is pulling a fast one with their LEGO prices. But how about other people who aren't as aware? I'm thinking of the two set of grandparents who bought Duplo/LEGO for my kids for Christmas. One set is still working, the other is on a fixed pension. Pensioners and loving grandparents who want to spoil their grandkids paying 20% or more on a set out of their fixed income? That's jarring to me.
    This isn't a problem unique to TRU or LEGO or toys in general. Anyone not doing their price-shopping homework in this day and age doesn't get much sympathy from me. the information is everywhere and easy to come by very quickly without even leaving your own home. Anyone who pays inflated prices either doesn't care, or hasn't educated themselves.
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    None of this applies - LEGO isn't scarce, and TRU has zero monopoly power. It can do what it wants because it operates in a free market. Obviously the pricing works, because people shop at TRU and the shelves were bare after Christmas.
    The fact that Barnes & Nobles, Target, Wal Mart and K Mart are not "exclusive" toy stores does not cancel out the fact that they are direct competitors to Toys R Us. And in terms of exclusive toy chains that are nationwide - The LEGO Store and U.S. Toy.
    We can all pat ourselves on the back for knowing when TRU is pulling a fast one with their LEGO prices. But how about other people who aren't as aware? I'm thinking of the two set of grandparents who bought Duplo/LEGO for my kids for Christmas. One set is still working, the other is on a fixed pension. Pensioners and loving grandparents who want to spoil their grandkids paying 20% or more on a set out of their fixed income? That's jarring to me.
    No sympathy. They need to do a better job price comparing. Extreme price differences in products are not limited to toys. In fact, they are most prevalent in basic goods like food, cleaning supplies and toothpaste, not toys.
    And as for pricing, what would stop other retailers like Target and Amazon from taking a cue from TRU and going "Hey, if TRU can get away with that, we should do it, too." Hey, it is a free market. Well, it looks like those two are doing exactly that, as reports are trickling in that they are artificially raising the MSRP on, so far, a few sets. If that trickle becomes an inundation, will the hue and cry be louder?
    Nothing is stopping them, but the free market will keep prices in check, as they are today.

    How about small independent toy shops that have to raise prices on LEGO because they don't have the business volume to charge retail? Are they evil? When a grandma on a pension shops there, is it jarring to you when she's overcharged because the store essentially has to charge more to remain in business? Is it okay because it's not some "big and evil" company like Toys R Us?
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    edited February 2012

    How about small independent toy shops that have to raise prices on LEGO because they don't have the business volume to charge retail? Are they evil? When a grandma on a pension shops there, is it jarring to you when she's overcharged because the store essentially has to charge more to remain in business? Is it okay because it's not some "big and evil" company like Toys R Us?
    Well I think there's a difference. TRU obviously buys in volume and should be able to charge retail. The fact that they don't seems to point towards them wanting to increase profit, not attempting to stay in business like independent shops do.

    I agree with @streeker grandparents and parents don't necessarily know what their kids want, so price checking is kind of hard. I figure its something like "oh Timmys birthday is coming up, lets go to the Toy store to get him something" So off to TRU they go, pick out a LEGO set, and inadvertently pay 20% more than its worth. That's what I have a problem with.

    But as many have stated the way to fix this is stop shopping at TRU. So I have. Didn't even use my TRU rewards coupon cause I couldn't find any way to pay less than retail for any set I wanted other than CMFs..
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    ^ Thats what they were counting on. I used my $25.00 worth on the space shuttle. I already had one but it was the only set that wasn't maked up. I will use it as a gift or for parts.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Is there something wrong with trying to increase one's profit? What difference does it make whether it is a single person on Ebay, a small business or a large chain? If your boss offered to double your salary would you tell him you only need enough to pay your bills?

    People constantly bid up items on Ebay higher than current "Buy it Now" prices. There are examples of people overpaying in every industry. "Buyers" set the market -- not sellers. TRU cannot get their higher prices unless "buyers" are willing to pay it. I imagine for a lot of people the convenience of a greater selection and quantities on hand is worth the higher prices. When my relatives ask what my kids want for birthdays and Christmas I always tell them to avoid TRU because of the higher prices. But, some of them would rather not go to the mall or somewhere out of the way to save a few dollars. Its just not worth it to them.

    I've stated before that I think TRU's sales/price practices are deceptive much of the time. But I have no problem with their higher prices in general. I just shop elsewhere.
  • choob99choob99 Member Posts: 147
    I used my rewards during the BOGO last month and got a TRU exclusive SW set and an RRP city set, so it worked out, but without the BOGO I probably wouldn't have used my rewards on lego
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    edited February 2012


    The fact that Barnes & Nobles, Target, Wal Mart and K Mart are not "exclusive" toy stores does not cancel out the fact that they are direct competitors to Toys R Us. And in terms of exclusive toy chains that are nationwide - The LEGO Store and U.S. Toy.
    US Toy has 8 stores in the entire USA. TRU has 873 stores. The LEGO store only sells LEGO.

    I have bought plenty from TRU. In fact, the best deal I ever had was from TRU. But as you noted in an earlier post, their customer service is pretty poor, combine that with their mark-up on many toys-not just LEGO, an underwhelming reward program rife with restrictions, it seems a very customer-unfriendly way to do business.

    It goes back to my original point that to consolidate its position against department retailers like the ones you mentioned, TRU expressively bought out their remaining, struggling toy store competitiors, like KB Toys, etoys. com, etc. Of course Walmart et al are competitiors, but by snuffing out the other toy chains, now they only have to fight on one front, so to speak. And dealing exclusively in toys, TRU can leverage a lot more pressure with manufacturers and toy companies, especially new and upcoming ones, with pricing, type of product and selection than the department stores's fuller and more seasonal menu.
    No sympathy. They need to do a better job price comparing.
    That's cold. On the one hand, one might think, "Too bad for you, Grandpa. You should have known better. The store can set which price it wants." On the other, "It's too bad that the store marked up their prices, and you bought it, thinking it was the going price. Any store that makes a customer feel like they've been had, perhaps don't mind not having a repeat customer base."

    And price comparison? Half of the content on this forum is price comparison, and I wonder if we don't doubt how good of a deal we got (or not). How many times has someone seen a good deal on-line and rush out to the store thinking to save on shipping only to discover that prices are not the same (Target)? Or Store A has a set for $50 so rush out to Store B only to see set is still $100 (Walmart)? Or a promotion on-line doesn't apply in-store because "we're separate entities?" (TRU)? How much time, gas, sweat have we rabid LEGO fans spent trolling for the best prices and still get nowhere? How can we expect other (normal) people to do better?
    How about small independent toy shops that have to raise prices on LEGO because they don't have the business volume to charge retail? Are they evil? When a grandma on a pension shops there, is it jarring to you when she's overcharged because the store essentially has to charge more to remain in business? Is it okay because it's not some "big and evil" company like Toys R Us?
    @yys4u said it much better than I could.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    Is there something wrong with trying to increase one's profit? What difference does it make whether it is a single person on Ebay, a small business or a large chain? If your boss offered to double your salary would you tell him you only need enough to pay your bills?
    The difference is single people, small business, etc don't get stuff at wholesale price. So no there's nothing wrong with increasing profit, but ETHICALLY I think for a store like TRU, it is. I think that's why many people hear "corporation" and assume "big greedy evil corporation" It's practices like selling items above RRP that labels them as such.

    (I realize single people and small business don't have as much overhead, but I left that part out cause my argument sounds better without it :D )

    I've stated before that I think TRU's sales/price practices are deceptive much of the time. But I have no problem with their higher prices in general. I just shop elsewhere.
    Well said, as I mentioned before, I don't shop there either. To point out something I think we've overlooked, is that for ME they cross the lines when many of the HOLIDAY prices didn't go down. I don't mind a 10% increase or a couple bucks here and there. I still bought stuff because of convenience, but now that the increases are up to 20-25% I think it's getting ridiculous.
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    I just go back to my belief that it is not in TLG's interest in the long run to allow these large mark-ups. I do think it ultimately runs the risk of turning off certain consumers to the brand who don't know any better. Short-term gain for TRU at the expense of long-term pain for TLG.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited February 2012
    Can a toy manufacturer even dictate a maximum cost that a retailer can sell their product for? I've never heard of this. My uneducated brain on this matter tells me that if LEGO has a problem with TRU selling their stuff for way above retail and, then their only recourse would be to refuse to continue to supply TRU.

    I think in the end the current, insane TRU pricing reflects way more poorly on TRU than the LEGO brand. People will catch on. "WTF I saw this LEGO boat at Target for $30 less!"
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693


    The difference is single people, small business, etc don't get stuff at wholesale price. So no there's nothing wrong with increasing profit, but ETHICALLY I think for a store like TRU, it is. I think that's why many people hear "corporation" and assume "big greedy evil corporation" It's practices like selling items above RRP that labels them as such.
    Absolutely not. Small, independent toy stores also purchase toys from LEGO at wholesale. The MSRP is set by the manufacturer as a suggested price that all stores - big and small - should be able to profit off of.
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 539
    This is not an issue for TRU, in my opinion. Fairly or not, these prices may compound the notion of LEGO sets being expensive, as @Odindusk mentioned.
    But there are plenty of other places to buy from, with just a few exclusive exceptions, and even then there is shop.Lego.com. The problem with the prices is not the company:

    It is the consumers. Some grandmas get duped here and there to be sure, but many are just people too lazy to even check the Amazon prices on their phone while they are standing there. And as mentioned by others, even when it is pointed out to them, many will just pay for what is right in front of them at crazy prices rather than go a half mile for rrp or less.
    Ultimately, the old rule is still the right one: Caveat emptor!
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Back to TRU. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Hate them because they do mark up prices, so you have to be careful and always check how much, if any, they have marked up LEGOS. Love them because when they have a BOGO I have gotten LEGOS at really good prices. Hate them because of their return policy. Love them because they offer a slight discount if you have a TRU CC and/or TRU Rewards card. Hate them because the Rewards coupons will come at the same time but have different expiration dates, and often for only 2-3 weeks. (The TRU CC coupons are not like that.) Love them because they have the largest LEGO selection in town. Hate them because their ads will said 'All', then have an exclusion when you get to the store. I have learned that I just have to be a smart consumer when dealing with TRU, and if I am I can get some really good deals. Recently they had a BOGO Half Off sale and my store had 2 Unimogs. They were marked up to $210 (a small mark up), but I had a $10 Reward coupon, so I got them one for $205, one for $105. I was pleased. Also, they will have a on line sale and limit quantities or run out of some sets, but if you get there first you can maybe get a Fire Brigade and a Grand Emporium and get one half off. Course, they won't let you get two of either of them at the same time, but if you mix and match for an equivalent item you can get a good deal.

    It is difficult for me blast them too much, because Amazon and Target will mark up LEGO prices above retail at times. I figure it simply has to do with supply and demand. Just like it is on eBay.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 623
    For us, I imagine its a good thing they only sell to select volume customers. If they sold to anyone at the same cost we would not enjoy the aftermarket like we do ;)

    There's a collectable I used to be into. As a side thing, I used to buy out inventory from businesses going under or those just trying to trim down. The collectable company had restrictions on who could buy, minimum orders, set the prices (influenced I should say as its not really legal), did not allow internet retailers without a big b&m store presence. Then one day they changed their policies, became more open and the bottom fell out of the market. If Lego did the same we could probably all enjoy our hobby more cheaply, but we certainly would not be reselling it.

    So, through their chosen methods of distribution and in partnership with their business partners e.g. TRU, TLG is forcing "artificial" scarcity in order to influence the supply/demand relationship and thus drive up prices?

    How many of us are interested in LEGO because of its high prices rather than the endless play/display possibilities? As a non-reseller, I for one will always be willing to pay a little more for quality (vs. Megablox or whatever), but these companies are fooling themselves if they believe ever-increasing prices will make me want to buy higher volumes of these toys. Maybe all the resellers welcome this strategy though, as it helps them make a living this way...assuming that the public can still afford to pay secondary market prices!
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    Ugh I hate the secondary market. I've only recently started buying extra sets. Probably only have like 5 sets I'm willing to sell and already feel guilty! LOL. I for one am always stuck buying secondary market stuff because either I don't have money for it when its out, or didn't realize how nice the set was till it's gone. I hate "watching" something on ebay for a month and being out bid, then the next month the price goes up, then again, then again, till the point where I can't afford it anymore and never get the set...
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    There's nothing "artificial" about it. The supply is what it is. Do they purposefully limit supply? I don't know. Seems to me there is plenty to be had for all who wants them. They've created a great product that people want. So when a set goes out of production and the demand is still there, the price goes up.

    In any case, I will say it again. Lego, TRU, or any other company, can only charge for a product what the consumer is willing to spend. They cannot "artificially" raise prices. They cannot simply charge what they want and get it.
  • giraffefrecklesgiraffefreckles Member Posts: 100
    @cloaked7. Hey, I've never seen before a succinct explanation of TRU's pros and cons. This is a useful summary for me, thanks. I just remember my last experience with them, before I knew they had jacked-up base prices and I felt deflated when I got home to check other prices. If I ever end up at one of their Saturday build-a-free-LEGO-thingamabob, there are probably pros and cons for those too.
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