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To wait or not to wait

Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Member Posts: 1,011
edited April 2012 in Collecting
Typically sets are pre-announced with pictures with a fair amount of lead time before release. This can generate a lot of buzz and pique my interest in a set. However, my approach to deciding whether to buy a set or not is typically a conservative approach where I will wait for a fair bit and read reviews of interesting sets before jumping in and buying them even if there is a reasonable sale on near the release. The only trouble is sometimes this process can take some time and there is always a risk that I may wait too long before deciding to buy and miss out. I was curious if others have a similar approach and if there is a better way to approach this.


  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,987

    Because I buy for my kids, usually, things are fairly straight forward. My 5 year knows almost immediately what lines/sets he is drawn to. The same occurs with my older kids.

    With certain sets where there is the potential for a long backorder, I buy. I know that I have a reasonable return window at places. I did this with Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. I bought both almost immediately. Hogwarts was a Christmas present, so I needed to avoided the sell-out risk.

    On some other items, I do wait.

    Because of the backorder time these days, I often buy earlier than I normally might. On the flip, I carefully read a number of reviews. Unless we are talking about Ninjago spinners or minifigs, most items will stick around more than three months, so there really is time to read reviews. You just may need to get on a waitlist by waiting.

  • yys4uyys4u Member Posts: 1,093
    Personally I can relate to the anticipation with leaked images and early news of sets and themes. What I do when there's an entire theme about to be released is usually buy one or two of the smallest sets as soon as they are released. This is just so I can get a feel for the theme as a whole and get a sense of the minifigures. If they meet my expectations and more, then I'll decide to get the rest of the theme or at least a few more sets. Now is when I start to read reviews and watch review videos to see if the larger sets are actually worth it, and with the more expensive sets I always wait for a sale or promo. For example, I loved the news of marvel super hero sets being released, but wasn't sold on prelims and the pics. So as soon as my local Lego store got them in I got the 6866 Wlverine's Chopper Showdown. I definitely like it so I'll probably get one more small set (the one with Ironman) and then get a larger one during the Hulk minifigure promo.
  • weinnerweinner Banned Posts: 148
    @yys4u, that makes total sense.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Some sets, I buy on release day, most can wait...

    I bought Town Hall on the day it was released, there is zero doubt that I'll build it and double VIP points were going on, so why not?

    Other sets, like Dino and Friends, I waited to pickup on sale (BOGO at TRU mostly), those were not going to sell out.

    Another good example is UCS SSD - 10221, I waited to pick that up for 10% off, it will be around for years, no need to buy it on release day.

    However, UCS R2-D2 I'll pickup on May 4th to get the TC-14 minifig, but the only reason there is I have enough VIP points to pay for it, otherwise I'd wait until Brick Friday to get it for 10% off.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Member Posts: 873
    In the past, I have tended to buy the Modulars immediately / when I happened to be at the LEGO store. Now that I am a little more versed in LEGO's patterns, I try to make sure I hold out for either a 10% off coupon or double VIP points, or both, and make a special trip to take advantage of the deal.

    Now that I am mostly "caught up" with Star Wars sets, I'm going to try to do the same thing there as well -- at least for the larger sets. I'll have to use a lot of willpower to do the same for the LOTR sets when they come out. I have learned, however, that you don't want to wait too long . . . .

    For smaller sets, I'm learning that it can be frugal to be patient and wait for sales. Walmart, Target and so on often discount these by a few bucks, and Amazon will match, so I am learning that it is worth it to pounce when they are available at Amazon (Prime, so free 2-day shipping and no sales tax). TRU does BOGO sales and other discounts all the time as well -- they often don't work on the licensed sets, and they run out of stock on the big sets, but if you're patient and lucky you can make those work for you.

    My two cents. Still new at this, and the experts can probably tell you what's really worthwhile.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    edited April 2012
    If you wait, I absolutely believe you can be assured to find most every set on sale at some point or another. Not knowing the release dates, you'll still have to, at some point, guess at when to buy.

    That being said, you will miss very likely miss the occasional set that ends up with a shorter release window. This happened to a lot of us with the Limo/Helo, Family Home, Castle Battlepacks, etc.

    It simply comes down to risk/reward. I was willing to risk missing the Family Home and did. I wasn't willing to risk missing the Limo/Helo so I paid full price and am lucky to have done so. I also almost missed Mace Windu's Starfighter but fortunately picked one up on Black Friday.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Sometimes it can work out if you buy sets when they very first come out. The latest SW sets were very attractively priced on Amazon when first released. Those prices only lasted a day or so. Also, sometimes TRU will not mark up sets above retail initially.

    Course, some popular sets can be had at a discount earlier. Where less popular sets are the opposite. And, some popular sets end up not being available later at all. Again, the opposite for less popular sets.

    Personally, if it is a set that I really want and it appears to be popular I get it early after shopping and getting it at a good price. Less popular sets? I do just the opposite. I wait to see if they will be discounted or put on clearance. And, even after EOL there is a good chance of getting them below retail.
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