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Retailers should be free to charge what they want, and if TLG doesn't like that they can just not supply them.
Say a retailer buys a bunch of Sydney Opera houses off of Lego and finds after a year it can't shift them because it's too expensive for people at the price Lego wants, the retailer should have the right to discount them to get shot and free up their storage space.
It's not setting their wholesale prices anyone takes issue with, it's not even setting recommend prices, and it's not even deciding who they do and don't supply. It's telling other retailers what they must charge that's the problem- if retailers are allowed to buy stock at a specific wholesale rate it should then be up to them what margins they want to make on that.
IIRC Apple did already get in trouble for this in one instance because a retailer did want to get rid of all their old model iPhones at a lower discounted rate than Apple allowed and not have them sat around now the new one was out which is the one that made more profit relative to the storage and display space it took.
Effectively it's like with consumers, once a retailer has sold you something they should have no say as to what you do with it or how much you sell it on for. Similarly wholesalers once they've sold something should have no say what the retailers sell it on for.
But for what it's worth I suspect Lego is saying to retailers "We'll supply you if you sell at this price" and the retailers are saying okay to that because they'd rather do that that not have it supplied at all. This doesn't mean that if retailers do find a product sticks around too long that they wont still discount it if it becomes a problem- it just means they're playing ball right now with Lego because there's no issue with them doing so currently. I guarantee though if this hurts other retailers they'll be the first to tell Lego to do one.
Certainly TLG would have no leg to stand on if a retailer did decide to discount, Lego would have no legal recourse to enforce that. It all depends on how it works or doesn't work out for the retailers though.
It doesn't matter that Lego manufactures the product. They still have a wholesale division for distribution to retailers, in fact, that's precisely what some resellers have been told to buy from rather than [email protected] The fact they manufacture has no relevance or causes no difference to the wholesale rules they must follow when selling wholesale. I don't think even that would matter as I can't see how it would really be enforceable given that at least in some states it's arguably not even legal in the first place. A retailer would almost certainly win a case of claiming unfair contract terms in not being able to set pricing on products they've bought at wholesale.
I agree I doubt there would be much legal recourse for LEGO if a retailer decided to underprice, but they would just cease delivery of that set/all exclusives to the retailer.
A sale or return agreement would make all this much more sensible. Not sure if LEGO would as it opens them up to a sizeable risk; but then if their new approach is, as some have suggested, to leave product available at [email protected] for much longer than its available on the shelves perhaps its not so bad? Certainly it makes it very nice for the retailers - they maximise their profit on those sets knowing they won't be undersold at any other retailer and knowing that they have no risk from unsold stock as it can just be sent back to LEGO.
As someone who regularly purchases both small and large Lego sets, I ALWAYS look for discounts of some sort. The 10% off coupon negated the 10% tax we have where I live, so I can seldom purchase a Lego set for less than RRP anyway. In the past, I could justify a purchase based on a discount. Take that way and I will more often than not just take a pass. This just seems like a bad time in the economy to play games trying to sell an expensive toy...pardon the pun.
What you spend your money on is your business but Im sure Lego are aware that a very small percentage of buyers require the 10% off to make the sale.
Walmart dictates terms to suppliers, not the other way around. This is very well documented. Walmart pays on-time, it is one of the few nice things about doing business with them, otherwise they are ruthless.
It is quite possible that because the "restricted" sets are more or less all "online" for Walmart, they don't care so much. The stuff in the stores, they are free to price as they like, so the online stock such as DS, FB, etc. might not be all that important.
If LEGO came in and tried to price fix everything, that I'm quite sure wouldn't work, at least with Walmart.
You dont really tell the largest retailer in the world you'll cut off their supply. It'll be on to the next one.
I posted this a few pages back... If Walmart went to Hasbro and said, "hey, want to create an entire product line of building toys, you can have LEGO's shelf space if you do"...
Any chance they'd say yes? :)
Also, I liked that 1.49 in savings on a 10% tax with double vip points. Just that alone was effectively 21% off a modular.
Wonder how it'll pan out with Double ViP going on right now.
It is hard to sustain the type of growth Walmart has shown and they have been struggling to grow in the US. They don't have anywhere else to expand and when a company fails to grow it scares the investors and can cause many problems. Americans have enjoyed the low price benefits at the expense of job exportation and its time to pay the piper. Jobs must be created in the US and it is not going to be from Walmart. They can't pay their workers a living wage already and regularly suggest employees sign up for walfare. Then there's those bribery and discrimination allegations and all the other bad stuff associated with the world's number one retailer. No thanks, I'll invest somewhere else.
@cheshirecat - Perhaps you are correct on smaller sets in general (not in my case though), but I choose to disagree with you on the larger sets. Have you ever noticed how much (at least in the States) people look forward to Black Friday sales? The discussion boards light up more than a month ahead of time and continue on after the sale is complete. People want to purchase their expensive toys on sale...and Lego is a very expensive toy! If TLG was aware that a "very small percentage" want coupons, then why would they bother getting rid of them? Seems like a waste of time...unless they're trying to increase their margin on the larger sets.
Furthermore, my post was a "single data point" for lego, and apparently I'm not the only one with the sentiment of wanting less than RRP on big sets (see the post by @jasor above). Just saying...
However, I can at least attest that my local Walmart superstore has indeed expanded their Lego aisle rather than shrinking it. That leads me to believe Walmart wants more money and believes it will get more by expanding their Lego rather than attempting a pointless crusade in promoting a Hasbro product.
What would they expand.....
Barbie? Kreo? Lincoln Logs? GI-Joe? Lite-Brite? Sesame Street? Mr. Potatoe Head? Play-doh? Tinkertoys? Pokemon? NERF? Transformers? Magic cards? Battlship? Board games? Bop it?
None of those are relevant, I can't recall seeing an advertisement for any of them save for maybe Nerf or Barbie. They are more niche products to hit niche markets that aren't really that big but not bad when combined. It has to run nearly 10 subsidiary companies with more than 50 products to compete with Lego's number one selling product.
Lego sells just Lego and it has the number one toy company sweating.
What other toy do kids never throw away and save for ages? What other toy do kids play with for years and years until they grow older into adults and then still continue to buy? What other toy is like Lego?
Honestly, it's a phenomenon
What if Hasbro figures all that out and decides that KREO can be as big as LEGO, they just have to invest a billion dollars in product development and set design?
If they ask China to make quality, China can do it, they just have to be paid for it.
Now they just need quality set designs, and a lot more than a few licensed themes, they need City, Creator, and brick buckets, among other things.
It could be done, the question is, do they want to?
As far as other toys go, Nerf seems to be doing pretty well and if you look at their advertising, the actors in the commercials are of the late teenage years and not little children. So maybe they are going after an older audience. I don't know about anyone else, but I do like a good game of Battleship or Risk:)
That said it does seem like ages since an exclusive set has been discounted at amazon.com. The SSD is sitting their at $399.95 not budging, I have been waiting to see it at $320 or less, but at this stage it seems unlikely.
They still let me add 999 to my cart so I think Amazon will be selling these for the next 100 years if they never get discounted :P
Strange,two of the four Walmart superstores by me cut their lego aisles in half after the last rest.
They are filled with Kreo now.
I'll have to check the others.
Maybe their experimenting.
Also slightly related how many of you who go there to grab stuff when on amazing deals also buy other stuff not discounted at the same time?
It may not be the best comparison but on the occasions I've gone to ASDA to do well from a big reduction I've never thought while I'm here I'll do the weekly shop and spend £100 on food. I grab the Lego and walk out. It can't be good business selling stock cheap and not getting any fringe benefit and these deals don't seem to last long enough for many 'normal' shoppers to benefit. It's not that I hate ASDA or think I'm too posh for it, just that the two aren't linked and the deals not regular enough to make me change my shopping habbits.
Note that I said, "known for", that doesn't mean they do.
On common items that people tend to remember the prices on, they are indeed usually the lowest price. The stuff in the big stacks in the middle of the isles, usually rock bottom prices.
But they sell a ton of stuff that actually isn't all that cheap, because once people mentally decide they are cheap, they stop comparing.
Much better LEGO deals can usually be had from Amazon than Walmart, but I'm willing to bet Walmart moves a huge amount of LEGO, mostly the $50 and under sets, but that is a lot of volume.
Most of the time, LEGO is full RRP at Walmart, while Amazon tends to always have stuff on sale.
1) Amazon (by far)
2) Lego.com or B&M Store
3) eBay (individuals)
6) Kids Scandinavian Shop (used to have great prices...not so much anymore)
I didn't necessarily want to start another thread and thought a list like this would fit nicely into this thread...since the justification for my list's order IS the discounts. I am definitely expecting a change in the order based on TLG's recent actions. Additionally, I will likely be purchasing less sets and purchasing smarter (less spontaneously) than in the past.
Fixed now and back to normal. Phew! Thought Amazon was throwing a fit, good to know all is swell.
I can't recall seeing so many sets at 20% off all at the same time on Amazon. Yes, they always have sales, but more sets than not seem to be heavily discounted.
Maybe Amazon is sending a message back to TLG saying, "ok, two can play at this game, watch what happens when customers come to expect discounts on LEGO.
I would say it would be
2)LEGO online or B&M store
6) other stores
7) staring at wall, wishing for a LEGO set
I do not shop often anymore at TRU, it is fairly useless IMO. Once in a while I happen to get a 20% coupon and the set I want is only 10% higher than retail and if it is exclusive to TRU. So I could go there and buy, but between their prices and getting burned by thieves repacking boxes, I pass on most TRUs (unless I am looking for a polybag). There is a nice little train store by me that would have EOL LEGO at a slight discount none-the-less, but since they have gone online they either immediately run out of stock, or they rise to eBay prices.
I would say these top 5 are my complete LEGO buying experience at the moment, with maybe 5 Below for polybags, but I was just at the one near me and it was devoid of CMF or polybags.
I shop at BL mainly for Parts and whatnot, and have not really tried out BO yet. I have an account but I need to try buying. But I only use these sites for buying parts, not sets.
It just seems like many LEGO sets are not going to go over the 25% off much anymore on Amazon. I guess we will see if this continues during the holiday shopping season.
I should not complain, I think my wallet is the happiest of all when there is no temptation to get sets that are on sale.