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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    My thoughts on #21103 are that it only came out in August, 2013, so I would think it would return in 2015. TLG got it right on this one: supply exceeded demand and resellers who stocked up early have either sold at a loss (which TLG would love) or are holding them, hoping for an early retirement. They won't get it. I guess it would be out 2 full years, or a little less. Yes, it's been discounted, and sometimes that can be a sign of an early EOL (Lone Ranger, Monster Fighters, Galaxy Squad), but that's because brick-and-mortar retailers stopped ordering those sets, prompting TLG to cease production. Not so with this set, which seems to only be available online. It will be with us a while longer. And, of course, I could be wrong! I noticed the Ghostbusters movie getting heavy cable airplay, which helped the sales of that set. If the BTTF movie was picked up by Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc., this set could fly, indeed. But that's too iffy for me. Might be a good contrarian play for the courageous, though. Lots of resellers, already burned once by it, probably won't go near it again.
  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 815
    ^ Personally I think this set will do just fine after retirement. I always find that if a set consistently fetches rrp or above whilst still in production then it does just fine post eol. I'm talking UK here...don't know about about the US.
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    In the US it did not "fetch rrp". It's RRP is $35 and it was available at Amazon for months for $27.99, and price-matched at Target. I'm not sure why you would emphasize whether a set holds its RRP, when that's a decision made by retailers. Amazon sometimes offers deep discounts ($16 Skiffs, $82 Epic Dragon Battles), while booksellers like Barnes and Nobles almost never discount anything. No offense, but whether a set is ever put on sale is almost a meaningless metric in determining aftermarket potential.
  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 815
    ^ Sorry, I meant fetches rrp+ consistently on ebay whilst still in production and available at mainstream b&m stores.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,857
    If sets are sought after and they are out of print, it will sell and go up.
    See Fire Brigade.
    Im not saying BTTF will go by leaps and bounds, but I'm sure there will be those that will want it after it is gone.
  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 815
    ^The good thing is the price point and 2 unique minifigures. At 2 x rrp it will still be affordable for most. And if you picked it up in the UK at £15 each when it was on sale then so much the better. I didn't btw, the shelf had been cleared when I got there.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,905
    Just got my first switch-out today ... but through Amazon. Bought a Doc Ock Heist and got instructions (book 2 only) from Castle Cavalry and a small bag of parts. Very surprised.
  • iluvmyelementiluvmyelement Member Posts: 52
    prevere said:

    Just got my first switch-out today ... but through Amazon. Bought a Doc Ock Heist and got instructions (book 2 only) from Castle Cavalry and a small bag of parts. Very surprised.

    Could you tell it had been opened? Was this from Amazon itself or a 3rd party on Amazon?

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,905
    ^No. It came with 4 other sets. All boxes new condition, seals looked good. Directly from Amazon.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,105
    prevere said:

    Just got my first switch-out today ... but through Amazon. Bought a Doc Ock Heist and got instructions (book 2 only) from Castle Cavalry and a small bag of parts. Very surprised.

    I once returned a book to amazon as it had a biro pen line across the front. I complained about getting a second hand book and they said that all returns are sold through the warehouse section, even if the item is still unopened / new.

    So that doesn't seem to be the case.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,912
    I can only trust that @prevere‌'s case is fairly isolated. Otherwise, that is very discouraging for people that often buy things either to build much later or to save and resell. I guess it always pays to at least inspect every box you get from Amazon or some other retailer and look for obvious weight differences or tampering. Sheesh. I'd hate for it to get to where you can't even trust ordering from a company like Amazon.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,348
    ^makes me glad I only buy to build, when anything arrives, no matter where from I open the box to check the contents, even if I'm not going to build it for months.
    Yodalicious
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,912
    I have a 3 year old and not a lot of time to build so most of my stuff goes up for when she is a little older. I've gotten to where I'll build a smaller set here and there and she plays with the figures and whatever pieces catch her eye while we build. Just trying to imprint on her quality and quantity time building with LEGO :)
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    CCC said:

    I once returned a book to amazon as it had a biro pen line across the front. I complained about getting a second hand book and they said that all returns are sold through the warehouse section, even if the item is still unopened / new.

    Was it just a line or was something actually written (i.e. did it look accidental or intentional)? It's entirely possible someone accidentally marked it during processing; whether at Amazon itself, or at the publisher before being distributed to Amazon, or at the printer before being shipped to the publisher. There are a lot of points in the production and distribution of a book where it can be damaged but still be considered "new" (or at least not second-hand).
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,105
    binaryeye said:

    CCC said:

    I once returned a book to amazon as it had a biro pen line across the front. I complained about getting a second hand book and they said that all returns are sold through the warehouse section, even if the item is still unopened / new.

    Was it just a line or was something actually written (i.e. did it look accidental or intentional)? It's entirely possible someone accidentally marked it during processing; whether at Amazon itself, or at the publisher before being distributed to Amazon, or at the printer before being shipped to the publisher. There are a lot of points in the production and distribution of a book where it can be damaged but still be considered "new" (or at least not second-hand).
    It was a squiggle with a blue biro much like you would do when trying to get a pen to work. It may have been an accident, but certainly wasn't acceptable so it went back.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,412
    I thought you weren't supposed to judge a book by its cover ;)
    dougtsBumblepantsscrumperprevereLegoFanTexasspicemindTXLegoguyYodalicious
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    @Pitfall69‌ how have you resisted a joke about the best helmet?
    scrumper
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ *rimshot*
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,412

    @Pitfall69‌ how have you resisted a joke about the best helmet?

    In time.

    @dougts Rimshot or Rim...nevermind.

    RomanticWarrior
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,905
    There was a large silver barcode sticker on the side, that looked unusual for Amazon. I wonder if it was a previous return that no one ever checked? Again though the sealed looked good.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,857
    prevere said:

    There was a large silver barcode sticker on the side, that looked unusual for Amazon. I wonder if it was a previous return that no one ever checked? Again though the sealed looked good.

    No, but seeing those large barcode stickers may be a way to detect you received a 'non-defgect' return and to check to ensure the contents are what they should be as I'm guessing Amazon uses those to get a return to the correct warehouse or location i a warehouse.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    pharmjod said:

    I can only trust that @prevere‌'s case is fairly isolated. Otherwise, that is very discouraging for people that often buy things either to build much later or to save and resell. I guess it always pays to at least inspect every box you get from Amazon or some other retailer and look for obvious weight differences or tampering. Sheesh. I'd hate for it to get to where you can't even trust ordering from a company like Amazon.

    Something to consider is that not everything you buy from Amazon is their own stock.

    Some FBA sellers use commingled inventory, so there is no split between what they send in and what Amazon buys itself.

    Right now, I could send in 10 City Police Stations and they would be mixed in with Amazons own inventory.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200243180

    So you can order a City Police Station right now from the "sold by and ships from Amazon.com" and you may still get my set in the mail.

    And no, there is nothing you can do about this as a customer.
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Wow, that's potentially open to massive abuse
    pharmjod
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    Speaking from personal experience, I have ordered sets from Amazon that had stickers on them indicating that they had been sent in by an FBA seller.

  • BillybrownBillybrown UKMember Posts: 748

    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    Speaking from personal experience, I have ordered sets from Amazon that had stickers on them indicating that they had been sent in by an FBA seller.

    Yes there is the option of having unique stickers which are traceable to the FBA seller. This is a good alternative to avoiding commingle inventory with Amazon.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    Speaking from personal experience, I have ordered sets from Amazon that had stickers on them indicating that they had been sent in by an FBA seller.

    Yes there is the option of having unique stickers which are traceable to the FBA seller. This is a good alternative to avoiding commingle inventory with Amazon.

    Yes, but Amazon sometimes ships other people's inventory anyway, regardless of stickered or commingled.

    Perhaps Amazon ran out of stock, perhaps Amazon's own inventory is in transit or on the other side of the country. Rather than cancel the order or have it ship late, they ship a seller's item and pay the seller for it.

    Anything to provide good customer service (because canceling orders and shipping late is generally not good customer service).
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    "When a customer orders one of these products from you, you are the seller of record, but the unit used to fulfill the order may have been originally sourced from another seller's (or Amazon's own) inventory."

    Yes, they mix their own inventory with third party sellers.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,905

    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    Speaking from personal experience, I have ordered sets from Amazon that had stickers on them indicating that they had been sent in by an FBA seller.

    That might have been what I saw on the package. It's at my front door, if UPS hasn't taken it yet, maybe I'll snap a pic.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,912
    Thanks for the insight @LegoFanTexas‌. Good stuff to know and understand.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,905
    Yeah, glad I brought it up. Completely shocked that third party stuff gets mixed in with "pure" Amazon supply.
  • legogregorslegogregors Member Posts: 402
    In a damaged package situation, is the third party always at fault. Who determines whether the damaged item was the third party or amazon?
  • BillybrownBillybrown UKMember Posts: 748
    edited September 2014

    In a damaged package situation, is the third party always at fault. Who determines whether the damaged item was the third party or amazon?

    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    Speaking from personal experience, I have ordered sets from Amazon that had stickers on them indicating that they had been sent in by an FBA seller.

    Yes there is the option of having unique stickers which are traceable to the FBA seller. This is a good alternative to avoiding commingle inventory with Amazon.

    Yes, but Amazon sometimes ships other people's inventory anyway, regardless of stickered or commingled.

    Perhaps Amazon ran out of stock, perhaps Amazon's own inventory is in transit or on the other side of the country. Rather than cancel the order or have it ship late, they ship a seller's item and pay the seller for it.

    Anything to provide good customer service (because canceling orders and shipping late is generally not good customer service).
    This has got me thinking now and might explain why they (Amazon) rejected a Mint set that I sent. Amazon blamed it on my own courier damaging so I asked for photos of the damage. There was lot of cellotape over the seals and the edges of the box were more rounded than usual (I find they are more rounded from the USA as opposed to the UK/Europe whereby I find edges are more square). Basically I complained to Amazon and stated that this wasn't sent in that condition (with sellotape on). And in fact it didnt look like the box that I had sent. Even the batch number was different! The response? Amazon denied responsibility saying that my courier did in fact cause the damage and MUST have taped and repaired it themselves! It was sent with over a dozen other items in 1 box nicely packaged! I got nowhere with them, even after declaring that the batch codes were different. As you can imagine this infuriated me so it now seems likely that this was someone else's inventory and I got the short straw.

  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Not good...I purchase a lot of sets from Amazon, so it makes me nervous to know that I may be getting some con-man's junk. I shouldn't have to worry about opening sets I purchase as Christmas presents for my kids when they come in the door.
    pharmjodcheshirecat
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,965
  • flyingpigflyingpig Member Posts: 119
    On the other hand, you can return anything you buy from amazon if it is defective like that with no questions asked, so risk is pretty low outside of inconvenience.
  • vaspvasp USAMember Posts: 73

    Wow, that's potentially open to massive abuse


    That's an understatement.

    Buyers abuse the amazon customer service motto a lot.

    The number of lego sets returned as defective or as missing components has no limits. When you recall the product you find the the minifigs have been removed or if remote control sets as in technic, the entire remote set is removed.

    I recently had a buyer buy 2# 8043 and return one stating missing components. When I get the return back from fba the entire remote control components are removed and returned.
  • vaspvasp USAMember Posts: 73

    juggles7 said:

    "When you choose to commingle inventory, your products become interchangeable with the same products from other sellers for both order fulfillment and removals." The question is whether Amazon includes itself in the category of "other sellers". I always thought they kept their own inventory separate from that of FBA sellers.

    Speaking from personal experience, I have ordered sets from Amazon that had stickers on them indicating that they had been sent in by an FBA seller.

    Yes there is the option of having unique stickers which are traceable to the FBA seller. This is a good alternative to avoiding commingle inventory with Amazon.

    Yes, but Amazon sometimes ships other people's inventory anyway, regardless of stickered or commingled.

    Perhaps Amazon ran out of stock, perhaps Amazon's own inventory is in transit or on the other side of the country. Rather than cancel the order or have it ship late, they ship a seller's item and pay the seller for it.

    Anything to provide good customer service (because canceling orders and shipping late is generally not good customer service).
    IMO they do not pay the seller for it.

    They use sellers inventory. If inv page shows reserved with no pending orders, amazon is using sellers inv and will replenish when their inv is received from manufacturer. Depending on which FBA location you will only see a tfr to that warehouse but no physical tfr happens.

    In a second scenario, it will show as lost inv and amazon has 30 days before which they reimburse sellers. They receive their inv and just add it up as inv found within the 30 day period. If you look at warehouse details, it will normally be at a diff warehouse from where it has been lost.

    Happened with me multiple times over the past decade.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    flyingpig said:

    On the other hand, you can return anything you buy from amazon if it is defective like that with no questions asked, so risk is pretty low outside of inconvenience.

    As a buyer yes - although it goes beyond inconvenience if you've bought something as a christmas/birthday present. Particularly here in the UK if you get an item on christmas day you'll be lucky to get a replacement until the 2nd Jan as 4 of the next 7 days are weekends/bank holidays. Buy something from a toys-r-us and you might check it over for tampering, but until now I've always felt safe that anything from Amazon (not FBA) would be straight off the back of a LEGO lorry.

    For sellers, you can now conceivably get lumbered with someone else's stock although I see 'we track which seller shipped the units to our fulfillment centers from the time it enters our warehouse through shipment to the customer, which allows us to know who sourced the item received by the customer and helps us minimize any disruption to customers and other sellers if there is an issue with inventory sourced from a specific seller.' - though I suspect any system that doesn't include an affixed bar code is far from foolproof. But no doubt as has been suggested, the likelihood of that is far less than being scammed by a buyer returning something they didn't receive.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited September 2014
    vasp said:



    They use sellers inventory. If inv page shows reserved with no pending orders, amazon is using sellers inv and will replenish when their inv is received from manufacturer. Depending on which FBA location you will only see a tfr to that warehouse but no physical tfr happens.

    In a second scenario, it will show as lost inv and amazon has 30 days before which they reimburse sellers. They receive their inv and just add it up as inv found within the 30 day period. If you look at warehouse details, it will normally be at a diff warehouse from where it has been lost.

    Happened with me multiple times over the past decade.

    Thats so clever, amazon can hold less stock, knowing that they can sell your stock when theirs runs out and they charge you (I believe) for holding your stock in their warehouse that they then sell as their own - its genius.

    Aside from that, you presumably can't sell stock (as its listed as reserved/lost in your examples above) when amazon might otherwise have run out and your sales would presumably been more likely. Ouch.
  • vaspvasp USAMember Posts: 73
    "'we track which seller shipped the units to our fulfillment centers from the time it enters our warehouse through shipment to the customer, which allows us to know who sourced the item received by the customer and helps us minimize any disruption to customers and other sellers if there is an issue with inventory sourced from a specific seller.'"

    I do not agree with this even though they claim this.

    If they are able to do this they should also be able to make the seller who sent that particular unit liable even though they shipped it as your inventory.

    Doesn't happen. I have been stuck with lots of FBA returns which come back in non-retail white boxes, whereas all my inv is factory sealed retail pkg. If you contact seller support they will conveniently cite the seller T&C.
    End of the game.

    But inspite of this we are suckers for their market power and massive marketplace platform. I guess life goes on.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^Indeed just another cost of doing business and so long as the benefits outweigh the occasional loss you just have to suck it up.
  • vaspvasp USAMember Posts: 73

    ^Indeed just another cost of doing business and so long as the benefits outweigh the occasional loss you just have to suck it up.

    True.

  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,912
    These are all reasons I will likely never sell on Amazon. It really is just a side hobby / source of income for me even with periodically having tens of thousands of dollars tied up in LEGO. Some of these discussions and others I see on other sites make me consider just bowing out for a while until things cool off a bit. I can definitely see a time coming where MANY sellers will be clamoring to get out and forced to take massive losses on their product to do so quickly. Those could be some great times to buy back in on the cheap. Time will tell though.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,857
    edited September 2014
    If I buy from Amazon I want my production to be provided by AMAZON, not some 3rd parties stock that was mingled in.
    This will make me think twice about the cyber monday sales they could have. Low prices maybe, but not worth it if someone is packing garbage into the boxes like at brick and mortar stores.
  • vaspvasp USAMember Posts: 73

    If I buy from Amazon I want my production to be provided by AMAZON, not some 3rd parties stock that was mingled in.
    This will make me think twice about the cyber monday sales they could have. Low prices maybe, but not worth it if someone is packing garbage into the boxes like at brick and mortar stores.


    I have personally bought 7939 from amazon (before EOL) . Was shipped third party stock- non-us market pkg.
    The pkg dimensions are diff on us market and non for 7939 and ofcourse the UPC is diff under the FBA label. US market lego is 67xxxx not 5xxxxx
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    vasp said:



    IMO they do not pay the seller for it.

    They use sellers inventory. If inv page shows reserved with no pending orders, amazon is using sellers inv and will replenish when their inv is received from manufacturer. Depending on which FBA location you will only see a tfr to that warehouse but no physical tfr happens.

    In a second scenario, it will show as lost inv and amazon has 30 days before which they reimburse sellers. They receive their inv and just add it up as inv found within the 30 day period. If you look at warehouse details, it will normally be at a diff warehouse from where it has been lost.

    Happened with me multiple times over the past decade.

    You make a good point. And now that I think about it, I was thinking of lost inventory.

    So yea, I think you're right.

    FBA sounds so nice, but boy it has it's issues.
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,520
    What's a Research Institute worth in the UK at the moment?
  • BillybrownBillybrown UKMember Posts: 748
    edited September 2014

    What's a Research Institute worth in the UK at the moment?

    Around £40 on ebay on a regular basis

  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,520
    That's not too shabby, although i'm not one for selling on ebay itself.
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