Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Buying Power

Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
edited April 2011 in Buying & Selling Topics
Is there anyway that the Brickset community could leverage the large numbers of people buying Lego and high purchasing power to drive some discounts from TLG by buying in bulk. Maybe something similar to Groupon? I know there are some TLG ambassadors who are part of the Brickset community, maybe they could find out if this is something feasible?

Comments

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    This exists in the form of LUGBULK for individual LEGO elements (check your local LUG to see if they're a part of the program). As for sets, I'm not sure we've seen anything like that-- dunno if LEGO would be open to it or not (probably not, would be my guess though).

    DaveE
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    I wonder if an independent toy shop or even a distributor would be open to it? I've actually seen this done with new cars, with one individual acting to aggregate 8 peoples orders* and negotiate a higher discount for all parties - in that case the manufacturer gave the dealer a better discount for volume too so everyone was happy!

    * They were placed individually to avoid tax and resale issues but agreed to all be placed on the same day and then the dealer placed one order on the manufacturer.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited April 2011
    The LEGO Group's revenue was ~3 billion USD for 2010. While not all of that is purely LEGO set sales, the point is that we are but a drop in the bucket. Let's say for the sake of argument we could round up 1000 people willing to spend $1000 each (no small feat, and certainly a logistical nightmare). That would still only translate to 1 million USD of sales, that -- aside from it being a small drop in the bucket -- isn't even a new revenue stream since many of us would still otherwise spend that money on LEGO through traditional means.

    One possibility could be the establishment of a LEGO independent retailer that is willing to pass some of the savings on to the customer. And while I confess to not knowing the details about the cost of buying LEGO as an independent retailer, I imagine that the big retailers (WalMart, Target, TRU, Amazon, etc) will still be buying cheaper and will still present sale opportunities that are greater than the independent route.
  • zumazuma Member Posts: 17
    Here in the UK I buy food from wholesale (Infinity foods in Brighton), and it is much much cheaper, and have previously thought about the opportunity to do the same with Lego.
    @ rocao, yes it would have to be an independent retailer that sells it at a discount. However, if the retailer would not be able sell the Lego exclusives - such as modular buildings, maersk train, and UCS sets etc, then unfortunately, from my buying point of view, I would still have to buy these from Lego.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    Keep in mind that LEGO also has to keep its retailers happy. WalMart might get angry if they found out that Toys R Us was able to sell its LEGO for less than they could (for instance). It's quite likely that LEGO has rules about what you can do and what you can sell for if you set yourself up as an independent retailer. Sure, you could do it all behind closed doors, and never tell LEGO what was going on, but that's sketchy territory.

    Anyway, if the idea is to set up shop as a LEGO re-seller (IE, as though you were a store), there are some hoops you'd need to jump through that might make this a difficult undertaking.

    If the idea is to set up something similar to LUGBULK, but for sets, I have no idea what LEGO's stance on that would be. Best to talk to LEGO reps (via Ambassadors) to see what LEGO's stance on it would be. My offhand guess is that they'd say "nah, it's not worth the trouble". But who knows.

    The bigger likelihood (IMHO) would be LEGO giving us "extra good" deals on warehouse cleanouts. Here in the USA, when everything from [email protected] was sourced from Enfield (2004 and before?), LEGO would have an annual "tent sale" where they cleaned house on their warehouse leftovers. They let AFOLs buy from them for the last 2 years, but then wound up moving the warehouse later on, so I don't know if it's been done since. That seems like it could be a more likely possibility-- IE, offering AFOLs awesome deals on older stock.

    DaveE
  • mrfootballmrfootball Member Posts: 84
    As I understand it, the minimum beginning order for retailers who want to carry Lego is $25,000.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ That's only 25 people spending $1000 each. Much more feasible.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    ...and that I assume is the minimum initial order. I suspect subsequent minimum re-stocking orders for a single retail outlet are at the most $10K, if not $5K or less.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    I'm in for $1,000. Seriously...
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    ^ I wish I could say that I was in. $1000 is a bit steep for me. However, the discount on the sets and the ability to sell sets online might actually make this very worthwhile. Hmm....
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    well, if the discount is right I could be in. I am completely against buying LEGO to resell but under special circumstances I could make an exception. Especially since I am about to place a very large order and it could help offset some cost for that. If this ever goes to the "serious" phase and details are revealed about actual costs of sets and sorts I would be happy to throw in 1 or 2k.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Well considering we'd be making the bulk purchase as a *retailer* I see nothing wrong with reselling the LEGO, right?
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    Not at all, and I just meant I dont sell LEGO simply because once I have it I cannot let it go. But if I went into as a business venture then I think I could do it. And also since the profits would just be reinvested back into more personal kits.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    I am definitely in if it gets to the serious phase. We should putvsomething together. I'm gonna spend it on sets anyway!
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    From customer service on the LEGO website:

    Where can I obtain information on selling LEGO products at my Retail store?

    Please Contact Us:
    Independent Toy Dealer Sales Department
    Call 1.800.673.0360 to speak to a sales representative
    Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00 est.

    (Note: Contact information for Toy Dealers only; consumers can call 800-453-4652)

    Anyone want to volunteer to make an inquiry? Perhaps get the requisite paperwork from LEGO?
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    edited April 2011
    I can't say what the situation is like outside the UK, but I know that you need to have a bricks and mortar store here before you will even be be considered for a retail account. It then may take a long time (i.e. months or more, not days/weeks) to get off the ground. And your first year spend is likely to be capped.

    @mrfootball, no idea whether $25k is the minimum order in the US, but I know a UK store that has had a cap on their total annual trade of less than that.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    The "requisite paperwork" is for "Toy Dealers only". A group of people buying for their own purposes are not toy dealers. The term implies an actual business adhering to all the laws and meeting all the characteristics which pertain to such entities. This would legally constitute the crime of fraud. You would be engaging in fraud because you're orchestrating in the distribution of these sets without sales taxation that a business would be required to carry out. You would also have to present yourself falsely as a business while carrying out this scheme. That's still aside from the potential for mistaking your activities for a wider range of criminal activities.

    So, here's some advice. Suck it up on the costs or quit the hobby. The rise in prices is a result of your demand for the sets. If it costs too much, you have only yourself to blame and if you don't like it you always have the option of quitting.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    edited April 2011
    ^^ Prof, lighten up a bit. I don't think anyone is talking about fraud here. I don't think it was anyone's intention to misrepresent who or what we were. I have never dealt directly with TLG, but I have dealt with manuafacturers like Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, Kenner, and others. These retailers sold to national box stores as well as individual dealers, of which I was one. All I had initially was an FEIN number. Eventually, I had a bricks and motar store, but before that, I only sold at flea markets and sport memoribilia shows. They wholesaled product to me just the same.

    If TLG paperwork requires you to be a toy reseller, then I would doubt any of us would qualify. However, if anyone filled out the paperwork honestly, then no fraud would occur and NOTHING here would ever rise to the level of a criminal act. Trust me, I charged felonies in St. Louis MIssouri for 3 years. There is nothing criminal here. If someone did misrepresent, they might have some civil liability under whatever contract TLG would require, although after TLG's lawyers got done with you, you might wish you were just charged with a crime :).

    At any rate, this is just some enthusiastic people just wanting to maximize their dollars for the hobby they love, no harm in that. I thought your final statement was a bit harsh, but maybe it just didn't translate well through text. Let's all go have some fun!
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    edited April 2011
    Yeah, I agree Prof.....sorry. And for the record I can afford this hobby and then some. Thanks.

    edited by rocao 4/17/2011 - reason: language
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited April 2011
    If they're merely talking about working together to found a business then no it is not fraud. However, if they're engaging in such an endeavor as a cheap way to obtain the Lego for themselves via the guise of a business (ie, buying from their own business) then they are committing fraud because Lego's interface for consumer purchases is Shop-at-Home.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    ^^ Yikes, I was not suggesting fraud either!

    I was merely suggesting that a bunch of AFOLs got together and said to a local toy store "Hey if we bring you an order for say £10K or £20K, or whatever it takes, worth of LEGO will you share some of (extra?) discount with us?" The store will still have to pay their taxes and charge us any applicable taxes (VAT in the UK) but the overall price would be reduced through the volume discount. I expect this will only be appealing on sets that you cannot otherwise find on discount from the national retailers.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    No one was suggesting fraud. I was suggesting calling up and getting information. I never intended anyone to lie. There nothing criminal, illegal, unethical, or wrong about calling up a phone number and asking questions.

    The idea presented here is simple: try to collaborate to purchase LEGO in bulk to get bulk rates. If you prefer to purchase your LEGO at your favorite retail establishment at the RRP, whether in the primary or secondary market, that is cool too.

    Also, I think there is some misunderstanding what constitutes a business. A business is an organization designed to provide goods, services, or both to consumers. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumers_cooperative for one type of business, which may be pretty applicable to what we are discussing here.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.