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$199 is required, it needs to be over 2,000 parts, and detailed.
Like I said, Haunted House level of detail, that can really only be done with 2,000+ parts, and frankly, if you're going to do it, do it right.
They'll sell a million of them... and I'm not just joking, sell it for 4 years like FB, I think they really could sell a million of them... it would be the flagship, must buy set, of the whole Friends line. It could stay year after year while other smaller sets come and go.
LEGO, are you listening??? Here is some money, please take it!!! :)
I also bought her Olivia's House discounted at Amazon for Christmas, so hopefully that will suffice and my various Ghosts, Vampires and other creatures of the night can move back into their rightful home.
I agree that they are missing a flagship set in that line. My daughter, the year Diagon Alley came out, that is the ONLY item she put on her bday list. She loved the size, the detail, and the variety of characters. The girl was turning 7. (Yes, it is true there was only 1 female minfig in that particular set, but the overall line was filled with a variety of characters, so the entire lined appealed to my girls.) She was 6 when she made that list, and she went straight for the flagship set of HP. She wants the fun, large sets. Of course, it was an exclusive, and no discounts would be offered today. We bought every HP set made in that last HP iteration. It really was the one line that appealed to them. Friends has been okay, but nothing like HP was to them.
Today I'd expect that set to be $50 more. :( Boo!
Now things have changed this set is currently available from multiple sources and available most of the time. This seems to be the case with a lot of exclusive sets and as @dougts mentioned free shipping from [email protected] would be having some effect, although I still think that most people do not know that [email protected] exists.
Add to this the exchange rate & more competitive local pricing and It would not surprise me if sales to Australians from third-party OS sellers has declined. So maybe the no discounts on exclusives has been successful if this was part of TLG's plan.
It's all good if you're the only game in town, but it sure does open up the possibility of reduced revenue in the long run. But is this really the kind of POV, customer satisfaction and loyalty that you should strive for as a company?
Up until this recent crackdown, everyone was singing only praises for TLG. But now they get to hear complaints from normal customers about why such & such is excluded on a coupon? Why they had free promos forcibly removed from their order? Why TLG no longer supports the dedicated LUGs in the US that do a good part to promote their products and brand? How many resellers have they really stopped versus how many real customers did they peed off?
It may be hard to quantify the loss with their 'no discount' policy, but it certainly is tangible in the atmosphere.
Target gives me 5% off, which unlike the 5% VIP that I have to save up and use later in even amounts, the 5% off now is 5% off now. Plus I don't get hassled over, "what are you buying this for, you can only have 2 of them, let me see your ID, are you a reseller?"
What a way to treat a customer who has spent over $100K at your place of business over two years...
How many end user customers have they upset? Based on my observations at the local LEGO store and online?
Walmart is offering a $50 gift card with purchase of Mindstorms EV3, which works out to 12.5% off.
Not a huge discount, but not a bad one either.
Many industries already do it.
$275 for EV3, sold... :)
Thanks Walmart! :)
To hurt resellers, Lego only needs to reissue some sets randomly again. We all know those sets which sell for 1000$ +. This will impact the reseller market dramatically, anything less is just bla bla bla *simple as that. And please don't start if or if not an reissue is possible/doable/wantabel ;). As you see if they want something, they'll get it done! No matter how ridicules it is.
So you can cut out the need to reduce reseller argument and look at something else. Maybe they just want to force or rather draw more customers to TLG direct. Or maybe they hit the capacity maximum last year and needed to slow down the production.
Clearly UCS Falcon needs to be redone, there is clear demand for that. Cafe Corner? How about a Mk II version of that with a proper interior? Sell it for $199 and they'll fly off the shelves. Likewise a Mk II version of Green Grocer for $199.
UCS Falcon? How about an updated version with an interior for $599? The last one didn't sell well at $499, but it lacks a play interior. I think that SSD suffers from the same problem.
Make UCS Falcon a play set by putting a full interior in it and I think sales will far exceed the last one.
Lego should give it another whirl with the reissues. I would love to buy old pirates, space and other sets. I'd probably even buy a Millennium Falcon, despite not being a Star Wars fan. Lego is missing out on a ton of money (at least from me)!
I agree that Lego isn't serious about doing anything about the aftermarket. If they are, their efforts (trivial pricing policy on exclusive sets) are laughable.
On one hand they say that LEGOS are for kids and are meant to be played with.
But, on the other hand, they have exclusive sets, limited edition sets, relatively short production runs on some sets, or limited availability. And, as was just stated, they generally don't remake sets. And, let's not get started again on exclusive minifigs, etc. at conventions! Most of what I just listed causes collectibility. Collectibility = reselling. So, if LEGO wants to stop reselling of their product they're going to have to do A LOT more than just restrict some sets from being marked down. Shoot, they even break their own rule on that when they offer an exclusive set and triple reward points on exclusives! :-)
Why do resellers have or had such a huge margin on their goods? They bought the set when it was available (sometimes discounted, sometimes not) and held on to it until it was of the market. Some got lucky and their set is now worth a little fortune. And I don't think a discount in any sort has much effect on it in concern of the high return of investment. Look at those high value aftermarket sets, the discount makes a minimal of the profit maybe 5% if not less. (value 1000$, retail price 150$ - 200$, discount 50$ = 900$ profit)
But what does Lego do. Enforcing it with limited stuff alias Mr. Gold, #41999,... ? And now they want to reduce those resellers? This even attracts more resellers, because it's easy money.
As I said if they want to reduce the reseller market, reissue a set 1:1 and you will see how fast this bubble will burst. But I do have a little feeling this might be a fear of Lego. That discontinued sets get to expensive and Lego as a Brend will get less and less attractive due to the high prices reseller ask for their goods - bubble bursts. We've all seen it at other commodities, why not Lego.
Would you buy a set which costs 100%, 300%,500%,... more on ebay and so on when you can get it in due time from Lego direct again maybe slightly above the original retail price?
And, not even sure if a new and improved UCS MF would diminish the value of the $3,000 UCS MF. They can't just remake the set identically. That would be like a Chevy building an identical 69 Camaro in 2014, same engine, same drum brakes, same leaf suspension, no airbags. Who wants a modern car like that? They couldn't build it today even if they wanted to. So, they would make a modern 69 Camaro. But, it still wouldn't be a 69 Camaro. And, I don't see a 69 Camaro remake affecting the price of a real 69 Camaro at all. One is a classic, one a remake. A true collector knows the difference.
And, they already remake some sets, the X-Wing for example. That does hurt older X-Wing prices some, but it doesn't destroy the market for the older X-Wing sets. I simply don't think the reseller genie can ever be put back in the bottle.
Like LFT alluded to, above, a Café Corner with an improved interior may very well be a hit and make the former Café Corner undesirable except to the absolute purists (of whom there are probably very, very few). A reissued Black Seas Barracuda would probably be an instant hit.
I also don't really buy the argument that old sets will compete with new sets. Obviously, companies want to continually improve. And Lego could do this with new sets released concurrently with reissued sets. However, Lego, to the best of my knowledge, is in business to make money. Who would care if they make money with old sets or new sets, especially if they could possibly make a bit more with the reissues? Probably no one, except many consumers who would love to have some old sets reissued. And for the younger consumers that have never heard of the old sets, then the reissued sets would effectively be new to them.
I could see an exception if they offered a limited edition of something like a run of numbered 1k 10179s or CCs. But then Lego would just be feeding the "problem" they have been trying to fix and you'd have 41999-gate all over again.
A lot of Ford cars are made in Mexico these days, however right here in Dallas they make the Chevy Silverado pickup and Chevy Suburban, so those are mostly American made...
So this fear leads back to my original statement, that the memo wagnerml2 saw there is worth trashing it. The argument of Lego to reduce the reseller market is nonsense but I also assume that they get worried to be too "exclusive" and not in reach for more and more people or let's rather say Lego is already associated as a premium product but it goes more and more towards a luxury product in the mind of people, which diminishes sales. You can sell at a high price point but you can't sell as much.
And to bring back the dark blue arch is just funny nothing more. To indicate "A yeah we do something" but not really want to.
What hurt Lego. And what they wanted to stop was minecraft. You're right Mr gold and 41999 didn't help but both were planned before Minecraft happened.
As for rereleases they did it with legends theme and iirc they didn't do too well. It's understandable they want to try a different path. Rereleases should always be done carefully for a host of reasons, not least because they can be taken as an admittance that the product hasn't improved over the last ten years.
Minecraft didn't happen because resellers did anything fancy, it happened because LEGO way, way, way underestimated demand, and failed to catch up, even with 6 months notice of the crazy demand.
In fact, today, 18 months post launch, it is hard to keep in stock and sells very quickly above RRP, while remaining a current set.
Last year I said on this forum that TLG could sell a million Minecraft sets. I was widely derided and attacked for "daring" to suggest it.
While we don't know the exact number, I would be quite surprised if fewer than a million of that set have now been sold.
It would appear that with the BTTF stock Lego have taken that on board, thats the trouble - some people see the no-discount thing as being in isolation and as such it is a ridiculous way to reduce the negative impact of reselling (which i think is a better way to put it than simply stopping reselling). However, its not on its own. They've added increased supply, more supply channels (at least in the UK, the BTTF set was available from a wide range of shops where as minecraft was exclusively LEGO) and quite possibly increased shelf life. All of which together doesn't stop reselling but does reduce the potential harm it does to Lego (retail and wholesale) and the Lego brand.
One thing with Minecraft, the RRP is clearly too low. If they had bumped it to $44.99, it would still have sold nearly as many units, but far more of that money would be in TLG's pocket.
Too bad Chevy or Ford will never do a remake.
I might cut them a break if they were still offering discounts on exclusives... ;-)
You've got to consider that you'd have to be quite fanatical about your Lego or rich enough not to give a toss to pay £2000 for a UCS MF.
Most people buying Lego for their kids and not themselves will consider £450/$700 daft money for a single set - especially if they haven't seen a built one to visualise the size and detail (the main reason I waited so long to get a UCS IS, I couldn't imagine it being that big). I don't think the is an even scale up that would see 50 people willing to pay £2000 for one, going to 5,000 people who would pay £1000 for one or 200,000 people willing to pay £500 for one.
How many were made (estimated) all in on the original release of #10197?
Lego have the perfect way to control reselling on the exclusives. If they are the only ones selling the item then they can limit how many are sold to anyone (any given credit card or any given address). If they cared that much about resellers then they'd have limited the half price B-wings to one or two per household, they instead stated 5 - what one person (or even a household) needs 5 B-wings, if not to sell most of them on. They really don't care who buys them when they want rid of the stock.
At the time, that was, by far, the most expensive LEGO set and there simply wasn't really a history of sets hitting $1,000+ in the after market. Remember that Cafe Corner and other big sets like Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower really rose in value after UCS Falcon.
The only really big set before the Falcon was UCS ISD, but it was out a long time in more than one version and it didn't take off in value until about 3 years ago, after the Falcon was gone.
So people saw a $500 set on the shelf and laughed, "who would ever buy that". Well, clearly a few people have... Now they sell for over $2K, approaching $3K. Not in huge volumes, but when they were back at $1,000 the volume was much higher.
If they released an update UCS Falcon today with an interior play set, even for $599, I think it would sell much better than the old one ever did.
The new policy of not discounting exclusives just turns me off the brand even more... I have only been into the brand new Lego store twice since it opened close to me 4 months ago. Both trips were for 41999. I really was not too impressed with the store like I thought I would be. PAB selection sucked and the grab bags never exsisted at this store. Amazon, Target and TRU have always got my money for Lego spending because these are the places I can buy product at a price I feel it is actual worth.
The most disruptive reselling is in the quick flip on current sets....abolishing discounts does nothing but hurt perception from the common consumer.
I honestly dont think TLG actually KNOWS how much to supply for demand/shelf life. They are playing it by ear, and the stopgap is to stop the exclusives discounts. All that really hurts is the long term segment, and does really nothing against the "offending" reseller they are trying to stop.