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That said, TLG has done a fantastic job of alienating the AFOL.
"What is good for me , the reseller, is good for the overall LEGO economy, because I am an essential cog in the machine, where value is created. For me."
I'm not sure you realize it, but you just made a flippant, unsubstantiated and arguably wrong comment.
I suppose where I was coming from is that my entire life, I have been close to reselling communities of various sorts. And I'm familiar with the ebb and flow of it; of the individual resellers' reliance on larger marketplaces (ebay and amazon); and the complaints that come along with that. That there can be a euphoria when markets are good, and blame when markets are bad. Also, with what pulls people into the market to become resellers, and what often pushes people out.
Is it JUST my experience observing this for several decades? Yep.
Sorry if I offended, the moderator can feel free to remove the comment if it wasn't in the spirit of the forum
@brickupdate This thread is hopelessly off-topic most of the time. A bit more noise can't hurt.
For you to come in to what is the only true reseller thread and a) laugh and b) oversimplify, implying that there isn't anything good for Lego that comes from the reseller market (there certainly is), is a bit off-putting.
I'm sorry that I feel the way I do. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but it's really true that I do, indeed take that kind of thing seriously.
I see double standards by LEGO too. Like you can only get an Iron Patriot by buying the LEGO Marvel game via Walmart, but some guy mysteriously having like 50 of them on eBay (and by all accounts, not selling any of the games).
Same with other such 'exclusive' figures where it is supposed to be one per household and yet there are people out there with 30-50 of them. I doubt they are really buying THAT much to get 30-50 of them if the stores they are going to adhere to what the rules are supposed to be. If so, you would think LEGO would crack down on it. I'm sure you will see people out there with 50 Darth Revans (if they are not out there already).
You cannot compete against guys that have access to the backdoor of a LEGO factory, or access to loopholes.
I think Darth Revan is the first time I have seen LEGO actually 'restrict' a minifigure give away (though only to SW purchases over 75 dollars), and even then NO consistency with enforcement as I have seen people make comments that they got a Revan with a little bit of SW LEGO and the rest regular LEGO at a store, or got two figures because they spent 150.. Be consistent LEGO!
As for the exclusive sales ban, I have heard it was done to stop overseas buyers from buying cheaper here instead of in their countries. Hence punish the market where it occurs. I dunno if that is true or not but smacks cutting off ones nose to spite their face. It seems LEGO is doing that a lot lately. If this really is the case, how about making sets cheaper overseas and not punishing the US for being able to have sales or allow other retailers to put sets on sale? I guess LEGO thinks that people will magically start over-paying for their LEGO in other countries again, instead of just stopping their buying of those sets altogether. Again that is if this is the reason for only the US (apparently) to have these restrictions
Which begs the question, if casual resellers leave, and discounts are gone, does that lead to another renaissance of lego (insane prices for sets that people didn't stock up on) (Parisian café, Town Hall, Ewok Village, etc), or is the multitude of sets and rehashes enough to keep people from scooping up older sets in the future.
I resell plenty of lego, but not a lot of older sets. Does anybody suspect who buys these? Who buys a series 1 Harry Potter castle, when there are better ones available? Completists? People that don't know better? Or investors? Once you get past all the major iconic investor sets (Taj Mahal, Falcon, Carousel, Trains), is the average old set doing well?
I guess it really will not matter until you get the shipping notifications to see if you are really getting more than one Revan. I do not think that just because it appears in the cart you are guaranteed to get one.
Maybe that is what LEGO ultimately wants. That is to say if you miss out that is on you. You should have always been a fan of LEGO and bought the set, apparently even if you cannot afford it, were not born yet or too young to buy it yourself, and should have never stopped buying LEGO for a time.
(I think again the exclusive ban is due to other reasons where LEGO is basically punishing the US market. I also say you bite the biggest hand that feeds you will regret it, but that is another rant altogether.)
In the end there will ALWAYS be people that will want the old sets as long as they are exclusives or set people want of course (like trains/mods/ Death Stars/ etc). And with Demand and lesser supply comes greater prices.
What this policy does is just make it easier for people to stash a couple away and turn around and make possible mad money on it relatively quickly. So there will be a brief delay in prices as you will likely have people move them to move them, but I think you are looking at higher prices in a quicker time frame. The question is will you be able to meet eBay requirements to sell on their precious site by then?
Now, I may have just found a loophole in the system because how does TLG know if I received the Hans or not? I guess they just took my word for it.
There are exceptions, to be sure. For example, I think I'm happier with the motorized AT-AT, even though a new one is on its way. But there would have to be a functional difference like that for me to go backwards.
You say that nobody is buying older sets because the new ones are "better". While this may be true, I'm always selling older Star Wars sets and minifigures. I also sell a lot of older Classic System sets. If nobody is buying older sets, who are these strange people giving me money for mine?
The only advantage of being in the UK/EU from a TLG point of view seems to be release schedules. We're quite often a few weeks ahead of the US for new stuff (didn't the DS troopers battle pack take an age to get through to the US?).
Why are low aftermarket prices for retired sets good for TLG? I assume this is the service you say resellers provide. I posit that high prices would encourage more sales of things that are in stock.
TLG seems to have clearly decided resellers are not good for their business and followed through with reseller bans and eliminating online-only distributors. Why would they want to do this?
In any event. it's been discussed in this thread a few times. Suffice to say:
1) people exit dark ages
2) people then have money
3) people buy sets they missed to catch up, or that they couldn't afford before
4) people get hooked
5) people buy the new sets
The key step there is 3, because that's all about the passion, with budding afols reliving what they felt as a kid with the freedom to finally be able to buy the things they always wanted to as a kid (and not have it look weird, given that afols are socially acceptable). I hypothesize that if 3 didn't happen, then neither would 4 or 5. The Death Star may look sweet to Bob the proto-afol, but if Bob didn't have some other "Rosebud*" set to prime the pump, Bob probably would just simply pass.
Ergo, when 4 and 5 eventually do happen, it's good for Lego.
* Citizen Kane, look it up.
Under this theory, how long is the typical dark age? 5+ years? 10+ years? Would resellers be expected to carry stock for that long? Do they? Is this your reselling strategy?
Testing this theory, take a look at ebay/amazon/brickpicker and compare the sales volume for sets that retired 5+ years ago to sets that retired 1-2 years ago. Unless I'm missing something there is a whole lot more LEGO (and money) changing hands on recent sets...
This whole idea that no discounts on exclusives is some kind of game changer is preposterous. Profit on exclusives isn't made on the discount, it is made on the post-EOL appreciation. Anyone thinking there are fewer resellers putting away exclusives since the discount ban is deluding themselves. There just as many, if not more, resellers now as there were before the ban.
I don't like being used as a scapegoat or at least blended in with people labeled as the cause for action. I don't like that the service many of us provide is neglected by TLG now. I know I'm not a bad person even if TLG says reselling is bad. It's the right of sale, and I honestly wouldn't be doing it if TLG provided a better service for getting retired sets. Maybe if they told me they were going to remake #10179 in 3 years when I e-mailed them oh so long ago instead of trying to sell me a #7965 I wouldn't have even bothered reselling a single set, but they proved to me what I should be doing that day.
There are more people in the game, sets are staying on the market longer, and LEGO appears to be producing more of them...
This is one of the reasons I've left the business, the return on investment is no longer attractive, I would have to invest two to three times the money into inventory to get the same total dollar return each year. That much money is better used elsewhere.
TLG made several business decisions, one of which was to try and edge out larger resellers. Another was to produce sets for longer periods of time to push out more inventory to the market and to keep aftermarket prices down a bit. Finally, they have produced so many different sets in the past 2 years, the reason to go back and buy the older sets is almost gone now.
When I got back into LEGO, the "big sets" were fairly new and sets like UCS Falcon, TM, and GC had just retired. I missed a lot of big stuff by just a few months without knowing I had missed it, but most of it was the first or second run of "big stuff".
Now we've had several runs of big stuff, TM came and went, before that we had ET, now we have TB, and finally SOH. At some point, the idea of collecting them all is just not reasonable, there is enough "good stuff" out there that few people will spend big buys buying up retired stuff.
No one is running around paying premium prices for a 1993 used Honda Civic. :) Frankly, that is likely to be true in 20 years from now as well.
We look at classic cars and think they were all classic, but actually most are not, most classic cars are scrap metal, junk that no one cares about. You can buy a lot of older cars, even in running condition, for next to nothing.
Yes, a 1977 Corvette is going to be expensive in nice condition, but what about a 1977 Toyota Chaser?
How about a 1977 Lincoln Versailles?
1977 Chrysler Sunbeam anyone?
1977 Chrysler LeBaron?
Yea, all scrap metal, no one cares... :) In fairness, you can always find a buyer for just about anything, if you have limited supply.
The total dollars being put into 1980s sets is likely quite small compared to the total dollars put into sets retired in the past 3 years. I have no numbers or facts to back that up, but I believe it.
Profit is made on the difference between purchase price and the sale price after fees.
I assure you that my Fire Brigades that were purchased for 25% off have made me far more profit than my copies purchased at full price. :)
BTW, I just sold my last 3 copies of FB this week, I'm completely out of them now. Also empty of DS and SSD, sold my last SSD this week as well.
It might well turn out that holding those for another 6 months might have made sense, time will tell.
So for me the steps were
1. Get given a SW advent calendar
2. Buy a couple of CMFs and smaller sets
3. Get hooked
4. Go mad trying to get as many current CMFs/Minifigures from buying current sets as possible.
5. Realise I was going a bit mad
6. Focus collection on stuff that I really want but accepting that stuff that's missed is likely to beyond my price point on the aftermarket.
The route for all collectors, budgets, biting points on prices is different for everyone. But I felt that building with any bricks was what bought back the childhood joy for me so I didn't need to go for childhood sets, and the only really significant sets I can really remember were an x-wing and a tie fighter which I'd much more likely buy newer versions (although I haven't felt the need to) than figure out exactly what sets they were and pay the inflated price. Some people would love to regain old sets like that but it's not for me.
Lego reincarnations are generally getting better too - who's going to pay daft money for the old one when the new one coming soon will be better?
An instant 30% profit on current/very recently retired sets may be the way things go, when said sets can be got 1/2 price, but you've got to work a lot harder for the same money.
Out of intetest would a rerelease of 10179 have a triple impact?
1 Obviously what it would do to the 10179 prices.
2 Create a long term suspicion that anything could be rereleased, removing investment potential and so lowering all top end prices.
3 Temporarily dent almost all after market prices because everyone would be saving up / spending their budget on buying the new MF as a priority over everything else.
1. 1997, Bought a small SW set from Target (7667 Imperial Dropship).
2. Bought more SW sets that were available.
3. 1998, Ebay a couple of SW used retired sets. (For some reason I had to have Darth Maul).
4. Discovered Brickset.
5. 1999, Dug up my old Castle collection from the 80s.
6. 2010, Bought Collectible Minifigures series 1.
7. Discovered Bricklink.
8. Bought and sold Collectible Minifigures series 1 from Bricklink to trade efficiently.
9. Sold my old Castle Lego through Bricklink.
10. Now, buy and sell Lego...
For me, I was never interested in buying any of the sets from my childhood (i.e. Castle or Classic Space). The modern version were far more appealing. When I started collecting Lego SW in 1997, I decided I didn't want to collect the early pre-2005 sets because of the yellow skin.
Now I'm going through my collection and selling off my SW pre-2010 because of all the rehashes and change in minifigure appearance (i.e. white pupils). Many of these used sets are worth less than retail. I remember a few years back, when you could at least get your money back...
Obviously, the higher the price of a Lego set, the less people out there willing to fork over money for it. I was fortunate enough to come out of my dark ages before Lego started with licenced sets, Modulars and CMF's. I am a completist and I am the type of person that would buy all the past CMF's, Modulars and so forth if I didn't have them.
Since you guys are using Star Wars in most of your examples; I will too. Not too long ago, I bought a #6211 from a certain @LegoFanTexas. The set was released in 2006 and he happened to still have one laying around. I needed it to complete my OT collection. Yes, a new one is coming out, but it doesn't have Tarkin, R2-D5 and the Imperial Officer (I can't remember his name). I also collect exclusive Star Wars minifigures and I'm currently working on completing my collection. Without resellers or people willing to trade or sell their minifigures, how am I supposed to aquire these?