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The Community Perspective on Reselling

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Comments

  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    I'm not talking about Brickset here in any way, my comment was concerning some of the post I've seen in this thread. I'm truly amazed how much conflict this 41999 managed to create really...
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    vitreolum said:

    I'm not talking about Brickset here in any way, my comment was concerning some of the post I've seen in this thread. I'm truly amazed how much conflict this 41999 managed to create really...

    I think it was a brewing situation that came to a head because #41999 epitomized the concept of "flipping reselling," which some (including myself) don't really care for, nor think it does anything to advance the hobby.

    That said, I think between Mr. Gold and the comic con exclusives mishandling, this kind of thing was inevitable to happen, and is likely to happen again. Is this a good thing? I'd say no, because it has gotten somewhat insulting and hurtful in here, and nobody really needs that. But, on the other hand, healthy venting can be a good thing, because it helps you know where people really stand, and you can gain a new respect for someone based on that, even if you don't fully understand their motives.
    caperberryYellowcastlePitfall69
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited August 2013
    The philosophy for buying and selling and just plain observing is simple. I'll just say it again with an addendum to cover potential conflict.

    Buy early. Buy online. Shut the f up.

    No problems if everyone followed this formula. That goes for buyers, for sellers alike. If for some reason you can't do one of the first two, the third is still there and it even covers those who never buy or sell (ie, the great ignorant unwashed masses who prefer the other aisles at the toy store).

    @rocao - you know better
  • LootefiskLootefisk Member Posts: 67
    I always love a good internet argument but this thread has become so circular that if ever a thread was begging to be locked it would be this one. (I know I can ignore this thread I just don't have that much willpower.

    Might I suggest a new thread titled "Ask LFT anything"
    nkx1
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited August 2013
    @Lootefisk I agree. I'm always up for reading arguments on the interwebs and this one sure has been entertaining, but it is getting a little sad now.

    One thing I like about Brickset is that its not normally like other forums which are full of flame wars and pointless meme posts. For a forum about a Toy it is much more grown up and community based than any other I have been a member of and just about everyone acts like the adult they are, which is a rare thing on the Internet.

    Lets try to keep it that way :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    ^ Haven't you missed out the line where you had previously told the meal seller that you would not buy their meals to resell.

    And that you took your family's details along in case they imposed per person limits.

    Ahh, I see the problem.

    You seem pretty stuck on that one point. I did comply with the limits and they banned me anyway. Do you believe the prior agreement to stick with the purchase limits holds at that point?

    Perhaps you think I shouldn't purchase any LEGO from them since they told me my business wasn't welcome?

    -----------

    Consider it from another point of view. I used to use my account and my wife's account to buy LEGO from Amazon. About 6 months ago I received an e-mail from Amazon asking me not to do this, that using another account to circumvent purchase limits was against their policy.

    I have never done it since then and Amazon continues to allow me to purchase the stated weekly limit on my one account. So we have an agreement and I've upheld it.

    [email protected] e-mailed me and asked me to stick to limits, I did, and then got banned anyway.

    There is a very important difference between the [email protected] and Amazon situations, from my point of view. Do you agree or disagree?
    cardgenius
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 898
    edited August 2013
    Round and around we go!

    Whilst I dislike the practice of buying lots of stuff up so some people miss out... as late as the end of last week there was a #41999 happily sitting on the shelves of the Watford store. I'm not really into Technic so it stayed there.

    The whole collector mentality thing is really interesting though - I collect Transformers and you see the worst of the collector mentality there as well. Same issues as Lego - convention exclusives (though a lot more, and equally desirable pieces), also a huge deal of shortpacking some figures in each line so they get swiped up. Generalising a bit, but the scalping activity for TFs is a LOT worse in the USA (judging by what I've read on the boards) than in the UK - this may well be the same case with Lego in the UK too. I have to say that I've never had any trouble getting hold of either a TF or Lego set in the UK that I wanted, so perhaps we're just fortunate for the most part.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    ^^ You also forgot that we don't actually know if there are 50,000 hungry people or just 10,000. All we know is that 20,000 meals have been taken - some by hungry people and some to be stashed away.

    I would submit that given the size of the worldwide LEGO market, it isn't a "guess" as to how much demand there would be for this set, it is as close to a "fact" as we'll ever get that 20,000 copies of #41999 is not enough to meet worldwide demand.

    If you don't believe that it is the case, then we have nowhere to go with this argument, because I don't consider that a debatable point, it is simply a fact.

    If we were having a proper debate I could submit that to the debate moderator and I believe I'd win that point.

    Its entirely possible that all you're doing in your hypothetical is waiting until the 20,000 hungry people are so hungry they're willing to pay any price to get their food. What a truly nice person you are.

    It is an example, taken from @rocao's example... These aren't meals, these are plastic building toys.

    There are laws against doing this in real life with food and basic supplies, for good reason. LEGO isn't a basic life requirement, please don't try and make it a "right".
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    vitreolum said:

    What many of you completely fail to understand is that this is a job like any other (not necessarily a main job, and may involve both business and pleasure, but it's a job nonetheless) whatever your perception of it.

    You keep bringing morality, empathy, little Timmys and other shit into play, but then why don't you start working for free? Why don't you complain about doctors not treating their patients for free? Why can't you get food for free? Or why don't you go directly to LEGO and tell them to give turn their heads to profit and start spreading Lego to all Little Timmys who can't afford it?

    It's all about the profits and it ever will be so.

    This is getting ridiculous, and bringing words like pirates and robbers and whatever into play is downright lame and offensive.

    Thank you... you said bluntly what I've been dancing around but didn't want to come out and say.
  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    Lft, your hungrystan example is a great hypothetical example of pure greed and exploitation. Something I said was an issue the first time around and flatly told I was wrong. The key difference is food is a required commodity and Lego is not. But it is still explotation.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    If you want a real life example instead of pirates ...

    (edit)

    He saw a one-off opportunity, he took it, he profited from it. What a great business man.

    (edit)

    In some places, similar things happened with drinking water distribution after the floods in 2007. Profits and fights.

    In most places that is illegal. Not against some company policy, illegal as in go to jail illegal.

    Many people here toss out the term price gouging, but that has a specific legal meaning and will never apply to LEGO, but it does apply to basics like food during an emergency.

    In an emergency, I wouldn't sell the food, I'd give it away.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920
    edited August 2013


    There is a very important difference between the [email protected] and Amazon situations, from my point of view. Do you agree or disagree?

    From your point of view I agree there is a difference. But I don't have your point of view.

    From lego's point of view, they know you are a large reseller, and they don't want large resellers to buy (from [email protected]) to resell. So it makes sense to ban you. Some people here may feel you were harshly punished for previous purchases when no limits were stated, but you have also now shown that if it suits you then you will circumvent any limits anyway.

    Of course the stupid thing is that lego does not have joined up policy of banning large resellers across its systems or in some cases imposing limits in store when there are limits online and in other stores. It seems there is little point of banning resellers online if their local store still sells to them.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    From lego's point of view, they know you are a large reseller, and they don't want large resellers to buy (from [email protected]) to resell. So it makes sense to ban you. Some people here may feel you were harshly punished for previous purchases when no limits were stated, but you have also now shown that if it suits you then you will circumvent any limits anyway.

    The next question to ask is... if they ban me outright, what happens next?
    CCC said:

    Of course the stupid thing is that lego does not have joined up policy of banning large resellers across its systems. It seems there is little point of banning resellers online if their local store still sells to them.

    The irony is that [email protected] customer service directly told me that I was welcome to purchase from their local brand retail stores, it was only an online ban, not an instore ban. My VIP account continued (and continues) to work in the physical LEGO stores.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920
    ^ This is where the stupidity is all theirs.
    LegoFanTexas
  • BlueMoonUSABlueMoonUSA Member Posts: 116


    Yup, we are not adult fans of cabbages and are unlikely to discuss that here.

    Please do not make blanket statements about forum members here. I have a particular penchant for the crinkled-leaf Savoy.
    LegoFanTexascaperberryYellowcastlejasor
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited August 2013

    This is fun:

    -Rocao FoodCo told you they could only bring 20,000 meals and asked you to limit yourself to 2

    -You got back in line 3 times, taking an extra 4 meals that may have gone to 4 fans of food, 2 combo fans or 1 scalper

    -You rationalize it by saying you could have gotten in line more times but didn't and that it was Roland FoodCo's fault for not having Food Security in place and/or not making enough food

    -You previously were allowed to buy right off the boat but were buying too many and lost that access

    -You bemoaned your loss of water taxi rights with the group here and that you had been fully compliant once warned

    -Anyone who sells their corn on the cob or buys a corn on the cob is a hypocrite if they give you grief for selling full meals during a food shortage (per Crow)

    Or you could buy your corn straight from the source rather than going through a second(or 3rd hand) supplier...

    I am just not afraid to admit that I occasionally resell and also use other resellers to my advantage... ;)
    Yellowcastle
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    vitreolum said:

    I'm not talking about Brickset here in any way, my comment was concerning some of the post I've seen in this thread. I'm truly amazed how much conflict this 41999 managed to create really...

    Just wait for the next "exclusive".....if you thought 10 days was too short a time to sit your tired butt in front of a computer and click a few buttons then it is time to shape up for the next round....you slackers have all been warned.
    pharmjod
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920

    vitreolum said:

    I'm not talking about Brickset here in any way, my comment was concerning some of the post I've seen in this thread. I'm truly amazed how much conflict this 41999 managed to create really...

    Just wait for the next "exclusive".....if you thought 10 days was too short a time to sit your tired butt in front of a computer and click a few buttons then it is time to shape up for the next round....you slackers have all been warned.
    That's probably a given. Especially since if they don't go up by at least 50% within a month the buyer (borrowing from another thread) will just take them back for a refund.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    CCC said:

    ^ This is where the stupidity is all theirs.

    It does seem odd doesn't it..? But if you know that your product is readily available at numerous other locations and there is nothing that you can do to stop someone from buying it, what is the point of telling someone that they cannot buy from you and then in turn you lose some of the profit..?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920
    ^ I understand that, but then you wouldn't stop them buying online too.

    Also they cannot stop anyone buying regular sets from walmart, etc, but can stop them buying exclusives (or forcing them towards over RRP TRU!). So a lego store ban could work.

    But even then, they will just get their family / friend to buy them instead.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @Legofantexas's example is a good one, but it needs to be modified slightly. In Hungrystan, there is plenty of bread and fruit and chicken to eat. Everyone has plenty to eat, but everyone loves Hungarian Goulash. Rocao decided to ship 20,000 plates of Hungarian goulash to Hungrystan (where, remember there are 50,000). LFT shows up before everyone else and buys his 6 and then resells them after the 20,000 goulashes are sold. No one is going to starve in Hungrystan as they all have plenty to eat, some may not get the Goulash, which even under best scenarios they weren't going to get anyway.

    This is much more reflective of this situation. There is plenty of Lego for all of us to buy, some even at a discount. The problem is that a disproportionate number of people want THIS set. And why is that? Its because #41999 was announced to be limited and rare. TLG built the hype and created the market, which was the exact point. Everyone here has all the Lego they want/need, but just not this one. TLG could have done the same thing with Unimog or any other technic set. It's not the set that people care about, its the scarcity. LFT is not preventing ANYONE from getting their lego fix. In fact, if you want #41999, there are currently multiple copies available on Ebay. If you don't want to pay $400-$500, don't blame LFT or anyone else. Blame TLG.
    LegoFanTexasYellowcastledougtsSupersympadragonhawkMatthewpharmjodJP3804
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    It also very clearly works where resellers are effectively diminishing the value of a store exclusive. Over here thats Toys-R-Us and Argos, not sure in the US. Although arent Technic exclusive to TRU over there? If so then thats a whole lot of exclusivity. When a big reseller grabs a whole bunch from TLG and sticks them on ebay/Amazon how do you think that effects the relationship between TLG and the retailer with an exclusive?

    There are plenty of ways where banning a few customers has a much bigger upside for TLG than the loss in sales - especially where the sales will still be met be it through Walmart, Amazon et al.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920
    wagnerml2 said:

    Its because #41999 was announced to be limited and rare. TLG built the hype and created the market, which was the exact point. Everyone here has all the Lego they want/need, but just not this one. TLG could have done the same thing with Unimog or any other technic set. It's not the set that people care about, its the scarcity.

    And isn't that the stupid thing.

    I am still waiting for the "Billund air" box, limited edition, with shiny boxes. Inside, numbered plastic bags filled with air from the factory. If they take off, they could do them for all their factories. Although the one from China will probably not sell as well due to it being inferior quality.
    LegoFanTexaswagnerml2Yellowcastle
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    wagnerml2 said:

    @Legofantexas's example is a good one, but it needs to be modified slightly.... If you don't want to pay $400-$500, don't blame LFT or anyone else. Blame TLG.

    I agree it is a much more useful example. However, as much as TLG are partly to blame (and they clearly are, and are clearly utterly confused between what they do 41999, Mr Gold, SDCC exclusives and what they say) I still don't buy that resellers don't take some of that blame. If it wasn't for resellers its highly likely that there would still be 41999 available now - at RRP rather than $400. the same for minecraft, perhaps less likely that there would have been some left by christmas but many more consumers would have got it at RRP and had more money to spend on other presents.

    Its also not TLG that filled every thread about 41999 with investment and quick profit talk.

  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited August 2013
    Lego's marketing people knew exactly what was going to happen, this isn't the first time that they've done a limited run product.. They should have made a one per household limit or one per person in store limit. I know people would have found ways around it using family and friends, but it would have definitely helped some..

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    .

    It also very clearly works where resellers are effectively diminishing the value of a store exclusive. Over here thats Toys-R-Us and Argos, not sure in the US. Although arent Technic exclusive to TRU over there? If so then thats a whole lot of exclusivity. When a big reseller grabs a whole bunch from TLG and sticks them on ebay/Amazon how do you think that effects the relationship between TLG and the retailer with an exclusive?

    This is a separate issue, but I'll reply anyway. :)

    That is perhaps all true, but I don't have a contractual relationship with either TLG or TRU, so it doesn't really matter to me.

    If TLG wants to have an impact on my business, they need to have a relationship with me. If they choose not to, that is their business, but then they shouldn't be surprised when I act in my own best interest and not theirs.

    I asked for a ITD account, was denied, so I moved on.
    YellowcastleJP3804
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226

    vitreolum said:

    What many of you completely fail to understand is that this is a job like any other (not necessarily a main job, and may involve both business and pleasure, but it's a job nonetheless) whatever your perception of it.

    You keep bringing morality, empathy, little Timmys and other shit into play, but then why don't you start working for free? Why don't you complain about doctors not treating their patients for free? Why can't you get food for free? Or why don't you go directly to LEGO and tell them to give turn their heads to profit and start spreading Lego to all Little Timmys who can't afford it?

    It's all about the profits and it ever will be so.

    This is getting ridiculous, and bringing words like pirates and robbers and whatever into play is downright lame and offensive.

    Thank you... you said bluntly what I've been dancing around but didn't want to come out and say.
    Are you agreeing with @vitreolum that we should not bring emotion into the discussion of "why so much anger towards resellers" ?
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited August 2013
    However, as much as TLG are partly to blame (and they clearly are, and are clearly utterly confused between what they do 41999, Mr Gold, SDCC exclusives and what they say) I still don't buy that resellers don't take some of that blame.
    I don't think Lego is confused at all. They do what is in their best interest to make money, ie. generate hype for their product. They say what they need to placate people who are upset with them for doing that so they can continue to get those people to buy their product.

    People are under this impression that Lego (or any other corporation for that matter) cares about you. They do not. They care about your money. They realize that a happy customer, even if it's delusional happiness based on lies and propaganda, is more likely to buy from them so they do and say things to keep you happy as long as what they do and say doesn't cost them significantly. If they could keep you happy by imposing easily-bypassed limits, they'll do it while letting those who are happy bypassing them do just that.

    Ultimately, it's not Lego who's confused, it's Lego consumers who fail to keep the object of their obsession in perspective for what it is, namely a product produced by a company whose purpose is to make money.
    LegoFanTexasBlueMoonUSAPitfall69dragonhawk
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    wagnerml2 said:

    @Legofantexas's example is a good one, but it needs to be modified slightly. In Hungrystan, there is plenty of bread and fruit and chicken to eat. Everyone has plenty to eat, but everyone loves Hungarian Goulash. Rocao decided to ship 20,000 plates of Hungarian goulash to Hungrystan (where, remember there are 50,000). LFT shows up before everyone else and buys his 6 and then resells them after the 20,000 goulashes are sold. No one is going to starve in Hungrystan as they all have plenty to eat, some may not get the Goulash, which even under best scenarios they weren't going to get anyway.

    Much better example, thanks for fixing it. :)

    So @rocao - what is your excuse for not making more plates of Hungrystan Goulash? :)
    wagnerml2YellowcastlePitfall69
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    @rocao - you know better

    Sorry, forgot to eliminate the vowel and put in a *. My bad.


  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    @LFT I didn't mean to be that blunt either, and I apologize if I offended anyone. But some of the comments I've seen in this thread I found quite offensive and I just said what's on every reseller's mind... it's nothing personal, just business.
    I really don't feel less of a Lego fan that I enjoy building and collecting sets but also selling them. Nor do I feel like a lesser human being. It's a great way to fund my hobbies and still remain in an area I enjoy.

    @CCC That story does not apply very well here, since 41999 is an exclusive, something limited, aimed at collectors and that is bound to be pricey; it's a luxury, not a necessity. Of course what I said about a good businessman does NOT apply in any given situation. No one will starve without 41999, and collectors of exclusives know they have to pay an amount to get what they want. It's the same as with comicon and other exclusives, only with different distribution this time, making it available for everyone... that's fast enough to get it.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    prof1515 said:

    Ultimately, it's not Lego who's confused, it's Lego consumers who fail to keep the object of their obsession in perspective for what it is, namely a product produced by a company whose purpose is to make money.

    :) And the grand irony is that is being said by someone who has cases and cases of MISB copies of said company's products in storage and will likely never build them!

    And more power to you, it sounds like you understand your relationship with TLG perfectly well.

    What is the old Godfather quote?

    It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.
  • pillpodpillpod Member Posts: 273
    ^ So is LFT the Vito of the resellers on this forum? :)
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    Regardless of the fantasy food sales and what does or doesn't make a good scenario I think there is only one question to be answered here.

    Is discussing LEGO investment here at Brickset palatable?

    Personally I would answer yes it is, in the relevant thread (s) Even within those threads if a person declares a practice that others find unacceptable then you have to be prepared to be criticised. If you don't want that then there is a simple solution and thats just don't post what you're doing.

    Yellowcastlejasor
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited August 2013

    Is discussing LEGO investment here at Brickset palatable?

    If you're investing in Lego, yes. If you're not investing in Lego, then yes it still is. Just move on along to a thread about next year's Chima or Star Wars or whatever it is that does interest you.

    And those who are interested in the investment side of Lego, keep it out of topics which are not about the investment side. If they're talking about the difference between a sloped or a stepped hood on a Delorean, don't pipe in with "I just bought eighty-eight of them!" It's not the place for that.
    SirKevbagspillpodYellowcastledougtsPitfall69
  • tedwardtedward CanadaMember Posts: 163
    prof1515 said:


    No, it's not persecution.

    PERSECUTE
    per·se·cute
    transitive verb \ˈpər-si-ˌkyüt\
    1: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief
    2: to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities) : pester
    "Being banned from entering LEGO stores" hardly qualifies as injuring or afflicting a person to cause suffering. You need to get some perspective. Or grow up. Or both.

    Actually you need to work on your reading comprehension as clearly this meets the very criteria you have quoted.

    LFT is being harrassed: witness the prolonged and repeated attacks on his character in this seemingly endless thread. He has answered his critics multiple times and yet they keep pestering him with the same accusations persistently refusing to simply accept that he believes differently than they do.

    The specific post I replied to advocated punishment in the form of posting his picture in LEGO stores and banishing him from said premises.

    As someone who earns a living from reselling LEGO products he would be injured by further restrictions on his livelihood.

    His belief, backed up by the very same poster who advocated persecution, is that he did nothing illegal nor, in fact, against the rules. Of course it is not to the same scale as religious or political persecution. I never suggested any such thing and if you cannot see the distinction then clearly it is you who needs to gain some perspective.
    greenwithenvy
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920
    edited August 2013
    prof1515 said:

    Is discussing LEGO investment here at Brickset palatable?

    If you're investing in Lego, yes. If you're not investing in Lego, then yes it still is. Just move on along to a thread about next year's Chima or Star Wars or whatever it is that does interest you.

    So discussing investment is perfectly fine. The reseller wants to get the best they can for themselves, without doing anything illegal, and it is perfectly fine. It doesn't matter if they beat other people to deals, that is their problem not the reseller's.

    So if someone asks a question then they should not get replies like ...

    Frankly, I believe that ... to be unethical

    as the reader should move along and let the person asking the question discuss this (so long as there is nothing illegal). They may be playing the game to suit themselves, but that is up to them.


    Yet ...

    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/209712#Comment_209712

    Note who the first two people are to say / imply it is unethical.

    EKSampvancil27
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    vitreolum said:


    @CCC That story does not apply very well here, since 41999 is an exclusive, something limited, aimed at collectors and that is bound to be pricey; it's a luxury, not a necessity. Of course what I said about a good businessman does NOT apply in any given situation. No one will starve without 41999, and collectors of exclusives know they have to pay an amount to get what they want.

    I fully agree. The funny thing is if an item is not outrageously expensive I don't want to collect it. Folks talk about people being "made" to purchase 41999 on ebay for twice RRP....if I had missed out and this set was going for $220 on ebay I would not want it...$700 and I will snap it up. People enjoy spending money on expensive collectibles and are not bing "made" to do anything....this is where a builder who does not undertsand the collector mentallity fails to see value being added.

  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @Sirkevbags - I think that the thread was revived partially because of LFT's ongoing saga with Lego Shop at Home. I think I could have posted that I bought 6 #41999's and no one would have quite cared as much.

    The reseller debate is such a hot one because it strikes at the core of many of us. I'm sure that may of us are capitalists at heart and others are more socialist with many falling somewhere in between. I say that not as a judgment, but merely to point out that this topic strikes closer to our core as individuals and causes some more heated discussions. They always say to never talk religion or politics with friends, perhaps we should add reselling to the list?

    I think we are all mature enough to discuss this rationally, I think the better issue is whether there is really anything left to discuss. There are some who have been deeply involved in this debate, and others of us who comment from time to time, but regardless, I think we all have the lay of the land and how many people feel on the issue. I think resellers should be sensitive that there may be some who disagree with their practice and others who need to recognize that reselling is not an evil to be listed amongst the plagues. Then we can let this thread sink back to the bottom of the heap.....
    rocao
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920

    People enjoy spending money on expensive collectibles and are not bing "made" to do anything....this is where a builder who does not undertsand the collector mentallity fails to see value being added.

    I agree that no-one is being made to spend anything ... but I still don't think anyone has actually said what value the reseller flipping a set has added.

  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @cheshirecat - I do not think that there would be any #41999 left today for sale at retail absent resellers. My store in St. Louis got 9 copies total. That was what TLG thought was a fair distribution assuming their limits were enforced. I have no raw data to base that on, but I don't think it it be the case.

    I do understand why you may not want to hear stories about others buying and selling the set for above RRP, but no matter what, when an item is limited and that limit is announced, there will be an aftermarket for that item. It is the norm for collectables, which #41999 is.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @CCC - The value is that the reseller has a copy of what you want and is willing to part with it for a price. They have no emotional attachment to the item. If all 20,000 copies ended up in collectors' hands and you didn;t get one, you'd either never get one, or the price would be even higher because the number of availalbe copies for sale would be even less.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ The US has been well and truly shafted then. I believe Manchester had two delieveries of 24. The second one being today. Although perhaps thats the TRU impact? I'm fairly certain, in fact no, lets say fact like LFT, in the UK it would still be widely available in the UK today without resellers.

    And i get that it goes on, and I'm fine with it up to a point (crying about TLG being mean and then circumventing the rules at the first opportunity for example) but be honest (as many are) its not a service, its just an opportunistic, selfish money grab. And also, keep it within the bounds of buy and sell - something that was agreed a long time ago and has gradually been let slip. 41999 was just ridiculous.

    I'm still curious - why LFT, who as has been stated could run multinationals better than they are being run, bothers flipping toys for a couple of grand?
    Dougout
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    This thread is crazy now. I think it's apparent who views Lego as solely a moneymaker and who views it as an inspiring toy to play with and build. I think it's reasonable to buy 6 Limited Edition sets, but at that point I think it is also the responsibility of the reseller to hold 1 or 2 of those for a desperate fan at cost. That's part of the community, planting a tree when you've cut 6 down.

    Saying TLG only cares about money is ridiculous. Money isn't the only incentive in life, there are plenty more important goals in life and money is only the goal on the business side of things. Surely TLG is a great business and they can be good at making money, but they also care about the fans and their product. It is apparent in their community outreach such as holding a contest on what fans want and then giving it to them.

    Bringing hypothetical examples of Hungrystan is stupid. Of course you seem good feeding 20,000 hungry people. Flawed from the start.
    forumreader
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    edited August 2013
    CCC said:


    I agree that no-one is being made to spend anything ... but I still don't think anyone has actually said what value the reseller flipping a set has added.

    They make sure collectors like me have access to a MISB 41999. If builders got them all I would only have a dust covered blue wreck to buy....not exactly enticing lol.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,920
    edited August 2013
    wagnerml2 said:

    @CCC - The value is that the reseller has a copy of what you want and is willing to part with it for a price. They have no emotional attachment to the item. If all 20,000 copies ended up in collectors' hands and you didn;t get one, you'd either never get one, or the price would be even higher because the number of availalbe copies for sale would be even less.

    That's not actual added value though, is it?

    If a store has two items priced at 100 (whatever currency) and three people in a queue, and the first one doesn't want the items but buys them both anyway. Then tells the people behind him in the queue that the price is now 500. What has he added?

    If he wasn't there, the price would have been 100. He has increased the price, but hasn't actually added any value. He actually blocked the two sales that would have happened to the two people in the queue to make it go out of stock. The reason there are none left is down to the reseller.

    cheshirecat
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited August 2013
    Sometimes I edit down my response for brevity and I end up regretting it because I eventually post it anyway to explain or clarify. Here are the deliberate choices in my example:

    #1: I want to feed people across the ocean, just as TLG intends this to go to end-users.
    Some of you may argue that they didn't explicity say this, but there's enough evidence of this to draw that conclusion: [email protected] has notified people it isn't to be used for reselling, and actually banned some admitted resellers. LEGO stores have carried a quantity limit for some time, but a communication was given to stores last month that clearly states they should not sell to resellers. For the limited edition SDCC giveaways, after a fuss was made about their distribution method, LEGO issued this as part of a statement:
    "Our goal is to offer a limited edition collectible to as many fans as possible in a fair and equitable manner. Given the nature of a limited edition giveaway, we understand that fans may be disappointed with the results. We are equally disappointed that there is an audience who receive limited edition figures and then sell them at a premium online; this is not in our interest, nor is it the intention of our activity at SDCC"
    And you can read information about 41999 from this link: http://www.lego.com/en-us/technic/technicfan/blog/2013-2hy/co-creation-box/
    "So this concludes the final design phase in the biggest Technic Co-Creations competition ever! You can see it here, and hopefully you will get a chance to see it in real life, too. We hope you are as happy with the final model and box as we are. This is YOUR model. The whole package is our tribute to all of you, our amazing builders, fans, and everyone who participated and voted in the competition. We literally couldn’t have done it without you!"
    #2: I know there are pirates in the waters. TLG knows there are resellers.
    If TLG's goal is to get this into the hands of end-users from #1, then resellers are unintended, undesirable interceptors, just as pirates are. They are not other people at the dock and they were not supposed to be in the line. TLG are to blame for not protecting their product better and producing too little extra to account for the inevitable siphoning, but resellers also should have accountability for their actions.

    #3: I didn't state a quantity deliberately.
    For a multitude of reasons, I think TLG knew they were probably never going to make enough for every person to get as many as they wanted. If TLG operates like virtually every other company in the world, when they run these promotions there is a budget. If TLG operates like nearly every other company in the world, there is a limit on their ability to find new capacity to produce these sets. They also generously priced 41999 the same as 9398, and with the higher piece count, extra PF, unique elements, and special packaging, if they produced too many they would be submarining the sales of their existing 9398.

    Despite those limitations, even if TLG wanted to make enough for every person that wanted one, I don't think they knew what that number is. You can see the total votes for the contest here: http://lh5.ggpht.com/-4kjZVuNCXUU/UP_hk_EWTdI/AAAAAAAAF64/8RneYUTi27g/s640/2013_%25201_23_17_11.jpg
    It is approximately 2300 total votes. Some voters obviously will not actually buy the set, and there are people that will buy the set that didn't vote. But let's take a cue from the CUUSOO business model. 10,000 votes = 10,000 initial models made. This was far too few for a $35 Minecraft set based on a video game that has over 20 million sales. It doesn't seem to be too few for all the other CUUSOO sets, though, and here we're talking about a $200 Technic set that not only has no cross-over, its fans are a sub-set of LEGO fans, and it's based on an existing design that many of those fans already have. Even still, they produced 10 times the number of contest votes and comfortably settled on a 20,000 production run that has been used many times in the past. I don't know exactly how the decision went down, but if I was in charge for the logistics of this promotion and operating on a budget, even if I thought there was a chance demand would be greater, I would err on the side of underproduction rather than cost my company money by overproducing.

    That is why I didn't state a number for the people I was trying to get the product to across the ocean. Not only does it require guesswork, but the production may be subject to constraints that render the guesswork pointless. Instead I have this food that I made. If it is fully consumed I'm happy. If people are left wanting more, I trust they'll find other food because there are plenty of different types available. Wasting the food might hinder my ability to justify future food shipments, so I definitely won't rather come up short than overproduce.

    My regret then is using food in my example. I didn't use it to imply a necessity. I used it just because it's the first product that comes to mind when I think of things on ships going across oceans. I'm fine if we say Oriental rugs.

    tl;dr: I take my analogies and metaphors seriously :P
    Yellowcastlecaperberrykhmellymelpharmjod
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @cheshirecat - That is truly possible. Our distribution in the US may have been jacked up somehow. We aren't used to that here :). We assume If we don't have enough, then everyone else must have even less. Typical Americans :)
    LegoFanTexas
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @Rocao - Ruggistan?
    YellowcastleLegoFanTexas
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    When the whole Mr Gold thing started, you could see right from the start that Lego's intention was just to sell more figures because they knew people were going to sell the limited Mr Gold figures for several 100 dollars... Did they really care about collectors who really wanted Mr Gold, but are now stuck with 20 bumblebee girls..?
    LegoFanTexas
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