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Warehouse Clearances?

MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
edited June 2011 in Buying & Selling Topics
I came across these photos a while back, and have been drooling over them ever since ;-)
Does anyone have any info on dates/locations/existence of this sort of sale?



  • ThisIsMyCupThisIsMyCup Member Posts: 156
    from looking at the pictures, it looks like some sort of LUG event. I too would love the chance to attend something like this.
  • EnbricEnbric Member Posts: 64
    From what I can gather about these tent sales in the US (very little) it appears like NELUG was invited to an event that would usually be for employees only. In late 2005, probably around a year before (the Millyard project was finished in late 2006) varsitygamer posted this on this thread:
    When I worked at LEGO headquarters as customer service, we could get any lego set for 50% off. Or if the box was damaged, we would get 75% off. I got a Rebel Blockade runner for 50$ since there was a puncture hole in the box (and may or may not have sold it on ebay shortly after).

    That was nothing compared to the tent sale they would have once a year though. There was a series of huge canopies set up in the employee parking lot, and basically everything was 80-90% off... stuff that has been sitting in the warehouse forever... including ancient star wars sets, fort legorado, king leo's castle, etc. Man, I miss that aspect of working there.
    It's anyone's guess as to how credible he is, but cross-referencing his description of old SW sets for 90% off to this picture from your link:


    Where 7204 Jedi Defense II is selling for 50 cents (90% off retail would be 70 cents) it seems accurate enough.

    My guess is it's an employee thing that may or may not still be happening. I'm also guessing that it would be very difficult to get invited as a LUG to one of these things, the Millyard Project (if you don't know what it is) sounds like a gigantic project. This article provided by NELUG indicates that it took two years and Kjeld Kristiansen flew in to be at the opening ceremony, so no wonder the LUG got a little something out of it.

    Outside the USA, it appears that these things happen(ed) more publicly. In 2005 HyRax1 posted this in an Australian PC forum...
    For those who like doing their Xmas shopping early, or just need an excuse to buy toys, the main Sydney Lego warehouse at Lane Cove (near Mars Road in the industrial estate) is having a 50%-80% off sale of most of their stock starting today and finishing Saturday. They are opening paletts of stock and letting people loose on it.
    Similarly, LEGO_KNIGHT started this thread at Classic-Castle and wrote this about a sale in Singapore in 2004...
    Went to a LEGO sale a week ago and got myself a few sets. The BFF #10039 was selling at $11 and the pirate ship #10040 at $43. Lots of small HP set selling at $2-$5.

    From what I can piece together, this all seemed to be going down in 2004-2005, sometimes privately, sometimes publicly. I can't find anything about warehouse sales in the past few years. Which makes sense, I guess, because of all that junk Lego was putting out when they were doing poorly in the early 2000s compared to now.

    And just for fun, if the guy pictured here bought all of those 7119 Cloud Cars (at least 14 visible) for 90% off, $1, and sold them now for the average going rate for MISB on Bricklink he would have made over $400 just in Cloud Cars. And I'm not counting what looks to be dozens of similar aged SW sets behind those. I wonder if Lego made a deal with NELUG to prevent them from reselling, like I've heard they do with employees.
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    Wouldn't it be nice.
    But you make a good point Enbric, the poor sales of the early 2000's probably heavily contributed to the number of these sales.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    I recall @davee123 recounting how he was at the tent sale and filled up his whole car. I'm sure he'll chime in so we can all be envious.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    Yep, that's from the 2004 tent sale in Enfield, CT.

    NELUG was invited to the tent sale in 2003 and 2004, and the the best of my knowledge, there hasn't been another tent sale in Enfield since, because they moved the warehouse away from Enfield. Before then, they supposedly had tent sales every year, clearing out old stock from the warehouse for mostly 75%-90% off retail price. NOTHING was for less than 75% off, but I'm not sure how much beyond 90% it got. One person was charged $0.00 for one small set he got (100% off!), but I'm not sure if that was a rounding issue or some other mistake.

    The tent sale was by far the most mind-altering event I've ever had in my LEGO buying habits. Before then, I would always just buy whatever I could afford. But at the tent sale, I was forced to ask the question "Ok, seriously, how many is the most I would ever NEED of this particular set?" Because, hey, when they're only $1.50 per set or something, you can just keep piling them on-- but at some point you really DON'T need more.

    We weren't really invited thanks to the Millyard, though. Jake McKee invited us (both years) as a friendly offer to the hobbyist community. It wasn't done publicly through LUGNET, but it was done privately through email.

    Prior to 2003, it was an "employee only" event, that a few people in the community knew about (I had heard about it once from someone that worked the phones at [email protected]). At the time, Brad and Jake were JUST starting to get it through the company's collective heads that by being nice to the hobbyist community, we could work together (we were cheap labor) for things like the 2003 road show, the Millyard, and other things like free publicity at train shows (other offers were extended in that time frame too, like via ILTCO).

    So Jake invited us along to the 2003 tent sale, and I guess it went well enough that they decided to invite us back for 2004. Sadly, though, before one could happen in 2005, LEGO moved its US distribution elsewhere, so this sort of thing doesn't happen anymore. If it did, chances are we would probably be encouraged NOT to talk about it publicly. At the time, we weren't asked to keep it a SECRET per se, but they didn't want it publicized, and we were EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN from re-selling anything.

    Anyway, they were great sales, and I was thankful to get to go to 2 of them. Don't count on having any offers like this again, but if they DO come your way-- take advantage of them while you can!

  • EnbricEnbric Member Posts: 64
    Thanks very much for your insight davee123, it's appreciated. Glad to know I wasn't too far off in my brief research.
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