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The Community Perspective on Reselling

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Comments

  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    ^^ I agree. Earth Defense is a great set. Lots of playability. I think most people think so as it did not last long on clearance.
  • OrangechefOrangechef Member Posts: 7
    The resellers I don't like are the ones that will read and take full advantage of others posting, but not themselves anywhere post, good deals. I share and seek knowledge, it's not a one way street.

    Also if I'm posting a deal it's because I hope a lot of people will each be able to get some of the consumer surplus, not a couple of people take all of it. The other side of a few "full cart" resellers trying to maximize profit is the near complete shut-out of:

    1) AFOL's trying to spend as little of their hard earned money as possible;
    2) Small time resellers trying to earn some income as well.

    Plus, on the part of the retailer, isn't some of the intent behind a sale to draw in as many customers as possible with the expectation that they will buy non-sale items? If it's alright to think that bypassing that intent is okay because the retailer lets you get away with it, is it also alright to think that it's fine to remove minifigs from a set and return it at full price if the retailer lets you get away with it?
    LegoFanTexasRedbullgivesuwind
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Plus, on the part of the retailer, isn't some of the intent behind a sale to draw in as many customers as possible with the expectation that they will buy non-sale items?
    Yes, which is why there often is qty limits, and that is fine. If there are limits, then hopefully more people get a shot a set. For example, Minecraft recently has been limited to 1 per customer on both [email protected] and Amazon.

    Not really "on sale" per say, but still, that is a good choice on both of their parts given the demand and resellers for a "current set".

    Clearance, is another beast. The whole point of clearance is to make the inventory go away as fast as possible, which is why there is very seldom a limit to clearance prices, even on [email protected] they often lift the 5 or 10 items per customer limits, I've seen them perfectly happy to ship me 50 of something on final clearance.
    If it's alright to think that bypassing that intent is okay because the retailer lets you get away with it, is it also alright to think that it's fine to remove minifigs from a set and return it at full price if the retailer lets you get away with it?
    No, because the former is just annoying, the latter is outright theft and fraud and if caught, the police can be called if the retailer so deems it worth their time.

    One is a criminal act, the other is not.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Out of curiosity, how often does the "full cart" phenomenon actually happen?

    My guess is that for the most part, buying out all the stock of something on clearance ties up a bunch of capital for a lengthy period of time, as most items on clearance are things that haven't been moving, presumably because people didn't want them at RRP, so the reseller is going to be sitting on them quite a while.

    Yes, there are things like the UCS Falcon that were clearanced out, and which have since skyrocketed -- but there are far fewer sets being sold each month. Brickpicker shows a grand total of 9 new and 13 used 10179s sold on eBay in September, for instance.

    Probably more typical of your general clearance is an 8484 (Ultimate Build Lightning McQueen, a Cars set EOL since Jan 2012), which sold 6 new and 1 used on eBay in September, all at RRP or below.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    For me, the "full cart" thing only happened last Dec after Christmas.

    And you're right, I still have a lot of that in stock, including over 100 copies of 8085 Star Wars Freeco Speeder, and many other PQ and Atlantis sets, nearly a year later.

    Almost none of which are even back to RRP, much less "profitable". Sure, I bought them at 50% off, so I can get my money back, but on a lot of them, they were terrible investments and I would have been better off leaving them there.

    Were there hits? You bet, Mace Windu's Jedi Starfighter was a hit, buying all those was smart. Most, but not all, of the Ninjago stuff at 50% off was a winner. However I bought over 50 copies of 2506 Skull Truck, which hasn't budged an inch and is still on the wall at my local Lego store.

    So was it worth it? Meh, kinda sorta... I'm trying to buy smarter, not harder, now... :)
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654

    The resellers I don't like are the ones that will read and take full advantage of others posting, but not themselves anywhere post, good deals. I share and seek knowledge, it's not a one way street.

    Just curious how you know which ones they are?
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,960
    (My son is obsessed with aliens, and that was by far his favorite set. It was not the alien conquest set that he wanted the most, but it became his favorite. It just has a ton of play value and feature. As Amberyl stated, it is far better than it looks.)

  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    I know this all about Lego...but this goes with the full cart discussion. When I go to a clearance sale, I just pick up what I want. However, if I am there in the morning I almost always see full cart people. People that have 1, 2, or 3 carts full of toys. I have gotten very picky....so I don't do that. However, I really don't judge. I figure it could all be going to Toys for Tots. It could be a parent with 5 kids and 30 nieces and nephews that is shopping for Christmas or birthdays on a budget. It could be a total SOB that wants to take everything, but honestly I really don't worry about it. There are always going to be full cart people. I mean really what r you going to do??
    Pitfall69LegoFanTexas
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Although I have seen some despicable behavior at some stores, I have never seen someone fill a cart full of Lego and make for the registers with a grin. Today I saw a lady with a full cart of Barbie because of the 50% off sale today at TRU, but it wasn't completely full :)

    To be honest, I am always beat to the punch when it comes to sales to post on the forums. You guys are too fast for me :) The funny thing is, my mother works for Walmart and I never get to see any of these wonderful sales. Maybe the Lego was already cleaned out or maybe it's up to each store what gets discounted. I read that a lot of people picked up Helms Deep for $89, so I had my mother look and it was still on the shelf for full price. It's not fair ;) I have even asked her if she has seen people with full carts of discounted Lego and she never does. My father used to work in the toy department at Walmart, which he hated and he too never saw it happen either. Maybe it's like the Loch Ness monster or the Chupacabra. Only spotted by a few :) If a reseller falls on a box of Legos in the woods and nobody is around to see it...

    Everyone has had their bad experiences with people from all walks of life and because of those experiences people tend to generalize or stereotype. I'm sure there are some awful resellers, but I'm sure the good far outnumber the bad.

    Peace
    momof2boys99LegoFanTexas
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,183
    I have no problems with reselling freely available sets or parts, but what bugs me are some methods some people use for rare items.

    Take for example Comic Con. Some people were offering $20 to little kids for the exclusive Super Heroes. One could argue that the kids should be informed and that it was their mistake, but I call it stealing candy from a baby. I no doubt that there were people using less than ethical approaches to acquire NY TMNT yesterday.

    The other issue is insider trading among employees. I know there are perks with working at some place, like first dibs or employee discounts. Unfortunately exclusive products sometimes magically appear as extra inventory that finds it way to insiders.

    Obviously stealing is bad. Returning items to get promotions.

    Items on clearance are fair game and have been for months if not years. Not all clearances are made equal.

    I admit I go to Comic Con and have an affinity towards Super Heroes. I even bought several SW Tins to resell with no intention of keeping or building. But I did wait in a long line like everyone else and bought the items free and clear. What I do with them is up to me. I also buy Lego during Lego promotions and sometimes sell the promo to further fund my hobby, but I do it under the conditions that Lego offers.

    My other hobby of collecting action heroes (Marvel UNIVERSE) is in my opinion more dependent on resellers. Unlike Lego the figures can sometimes be very rare and people actively hunt for such items. I love collecting them with a passion, but it is much more frustrating than Lego can ever be since most regular sets can easily be had and usually at a discount.

    Reselling is fine and necessary, most of the time...
    momof2boys99LegoFanTexasjadeirenePitfall69
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    ^ The Comic Con thing would get under my skin. I honestly think I might go up to the kid and tell them what their item is worth. Now that makes me sick.
    Try001
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Agreed, I'd draw the line there, that is just pretty low...
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    A lot of talk about "full carts" of Lego but when you stop to think about it, it's really not that much. In fact, it doesn't even come close to clearing shelves.
  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    The Comic Con stuff is right next to physically ripping something out of someones hands to me. That is the kind of thing I would be willing to say most, if not all of the resellers here do not partake in.

    As @Amberyl said earlier, my argument comes from the fact I tend to put much more weight into social good over economic good, especially when the economic good is much more weighted into a single person. I enjoy my Lego, but if there was a single set, and it was between me having it and a kid having it the kid deserves it every single time in my book. The way I was raised and the way I have chosen to live greed is just this incredibly foreign concept to me. I can understand striving to better yourself, but I cant understand doing it at the expense of others and in a very unilateral way.

    I dont think they are bad people (most at least) but I just think thinking solely of self financial benefit over the concept of trying to share and give more benefit to more people is wrong. One thing is my "lil Jimmy" argument is glossed over as theoretical. Probably 90% of arguments are theoretical. Hell you buy the lego on the theory that you can turn them for a profit. Just because it's theoretical doesn't mean it isnt valid. It's just being used as an excuse to dismiss and ignore an issue.

    Also, @legofantexas I am sorry if my last reply came across bad but the poor us resellers getting attacked by the masses thing just doesnt fly with me. In this thread there are more people that agree with you guys them me or @cheshirecat. You guys are not being picked on by the majority. A post made in dripping amounts of sarcasm was used as an example of the hate. Like I was told with the dead horse and doodad stuff, its funny and a joke, so that means it;s seemingly ok. If it's ok one way, then its ok both ways, if not than that is a hypocrisy.
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    Funny that you're talking about ¨emptying shelves with full carts.¨ It reminded me of this this post on another LEGO board during the January clearance that stuck in my head for days. It's about this guy in Utah, USA, wants to get the City Harbour, and this is what he wrote:


    ¨You guys are lucky to be living where you are. Today I discovered how badly Utah sucks when it comes to Target clearance. I think I just got lucky finding stuff at Wal-Mart because there are so many locations to pick from and I chose wisely. I have uncovered a "ring" of internet dealers that like to hit Utah Targets HARD when clearance hits 50% and 70% off. Moms and Dads and LEGO fans that are just looking to pick up a few deals have almost no chance at anything unless they are willing to be at the store right at opening and RUN back to the toy section. I've mentioned seeing the moms with 1-2 full carts of clearance toys on here before. But it turns out its MUCH worse and more competitive here than I thought. I never saw anything like this when I lived in Washington (I moved down here to Utah not too long ago for work reasons).

    Here is what I saw at the 2 Targets I went to this morning: teams of 2-5 people working together, filling cart after cart with the entire clearance section. Just grabbing everything they could grab. At the first Target, I arrived only 3 minutes after opening and there were already 3 moms each with a full cart and a team of 3 others (later I figured out to be from an internet company - two employees and a boss). This "team" already had 15 carts full, plus Target employees had brought them about 20 more empties to fill. I was at this store 2 days ago and they still had 5 City Harbors. I wanted 1 so thats why I came to this store this morning. Well, this team already had 4 Harbors in their carts, along with all the other clearance LEGOs. I asked the woman if those were all her carts and she said yes, then I asked if I could possibly have one of her Harbors. She says, "ask him" and points towards a guy. So I did and he said "its not up to me, ask him". I assume the third man was the company owner. Before I asked "the boss" I saw a Harbor on the endcap City display, unstickered and apparently unnoticed by this dealer team, so I lucked out. While checking out, I inquired about the craziness back in the toy section. The cashier said "they are internet dealers that come every year and spend like $10000 on toys. That's their trailer out in the parking lot (HUGE trailer). There is nothing we can do about it to limit their quantites, clearance is a free-for-all. The manager doesn't really like their methods of leaving nothing for anyone else, but it clears out alot of stock for the store"
    At the second Target I went to, there were 2 different internet dealer teams working, both also with tons of full carts of identical merchandise, and all the LEGOs of course. I actually asked one of the workers if she was a from an internet company and she said "yeah, we have 4 teams of 2 out working the other Targets today" Their trailer had Idaho plates. So they came all the way to another state just to get cheap toys in bulk? Doesn't the cost of gas eat into their profits? Not to mention having to pay the thuggish "cart guards" they hired. The "team" leaders I saw were all on cell phones, communicating with outside contacts, asking "is ______ (name of toy) good?" as in is this toy profitable enough to buy for resale?

    What I am curious to know is if anyone else in any other state notices this kind of stuff going on at Targets across the country? Or is it just Utah?¨

    End story.

    Efficiency of scale and economy, in full flower.

  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited October 2012
    @Pitfall69

    Apologies, I truly was tired (as in, I went to sleep within seconds after posting) and it was a terrible attempt for me to spew humor onto the topic. It was an exaggerated, sarcastic way to inject my stance into the thread which is that I think resellers are healthy for the hobby and I almost can't believe that any animosity towards them actually exists.

    I guess I could see it if you were in a LEGO aisle and you spied a reseller dumping clearance sets into their cart by the armful and they wouldn't let you have even one of them. That would be most frustrating.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 741
    ^Now there's a sustainable business model right there.

    The only difference between their behaviour and the Tottenham rioters last year is these guys took the trolleys through the checkouts first.

    Maybe clearance sales just bring out the worst in people.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299

    The 9 men beating up the 10th man, is what was happening here, 9 anti-resellers beating up each reseller.

    Are we reading the same thread? You're saying for every 1 reseller post, there are 9 "anti-resellers" attacking? Okay, let's put that to the test.

    As of this post, there are 315 posts in total in this particular thread. A 1:9 ratio would mean 35 reseller posts against 240 anti-reseller posts. Since you're one of the more vocal resellers, I clicked on your profile and started counting how many comments you made in this thread alone - since it would a represent a large part of the reseller's posts. You have 35, maybe I'm off +/- 1, it's early on Sunday morning. Since you're not the only reseller on this thread, I think you may need to revise your ratio. Or is my math off?
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,183
    streeker said:

    Funny that you're talking about ¨emptying shelves with full carts.¨ It reminded me of this this post on another LEGO board during the January clearance that stuck in my head for days. It's about this guy in Utah, USA, wants to get the City Harbour, and this is what he wrote:


    ¨You guys are lucky to be living where you are. Today I discovered how badly Utah sucks when it comes to Target clearance. I think I just got lucky finding stuff at Wal-Mart because there are so many locations to pick from and I chose wisely. I have uncovered a "ring" of internet dealers that like to hit Utah Targets HARD when clearance hits 50% and 70% off. Moms and Dads and LEGO fans that are just looking to pick up a few deals have almost no chance at anything unless they are willing to be at the store right at opening and RUN back to the toy section. I've mentioned seeing the moms with 1-2 full carts of clearance toys on here before. But it turns out its MUCH worse and more competitive here than I thought. I never saw anything like this when I lived in Washington (I moved down here to Utah not too long ago for work reasons).

    Here is what I saw at the 2 Targets I went to this morning: teams of 2-5 people working together, filling cart after cart with the entire clearance section. Just grabbing everything they could grab. At the first Target, I arrived only 3 minutes after opening and there were already 3 moms each with a full cart and a team of 3 others (later I figured out to be from an internet company - two employees and a boss). This "team" already had 15 carts full, plus Target employees had brought them about 20 more empties to fill. I was at this store 2 days ago and they still had 5 City Harbors. I wanted 1 so thats why I came to this store this morning. Well, this team already had 4 Harbors in their carts, along with all the other clearance LEGOs. I asked the woman if those were all her carts and she said yes, then I asked if I could possibly have one of her Harbors. She says, "ask him" and points towards a guy. So I did and he said "its not up to me, ask him". I assume the third man was the company owner. Before I asked "the boss" I saw a Harbor on the endcap City display, unstickered and apparently unnoticed by this dealer team, so I lucked out. While checking out, I inquired about the craziness back in the toy section. The cashier said "they are internet dealers that come every year and spend like $10000 on toys. That's their trailer out in the parking lot (HUGE trailer). There is nothing we can do about it to limit their quantites, clearance is a free-for-all. The manager doesn't really like their methods of leaving nothing for anyone else, but it clears out alot of stock for the store"
    At the second Target I went to, there were 2 different internet dealer teams working, both also with tons of full carts of identical merchandise, and all the LEGOs of course. I actually asked one of the workers if she was a from an internet company and she said "yeah, we have 4 teams of 2 out working the other Targets today" Their trailer had Idaho plates. So they came all the way to another state just to get cheap toys in bulk? Doesn't the cost of gas eat into their profits? Not to mention having to pay the thuggish "cart guards" they hired. The "team" leaders I saw were all on cell phones, communicating with outside contacts, asking "is ______ (name of toy) good?" as in is this toy profitable enough to buy for resale?

    What I am curious to know is if anyone else in any other state notices this kind of stuff going on at Targets across the country? Or is it just Utah?¨

    End story.

    Efficiency of scale and economy, in full flower.

    The story is interesting... I have no problem with this situation as long as there is no insider activity. I would object if the team had early access to the store before store hours or they had someone working from the inside who hid clearanced inventory or scheduled clearance dates around the team. That would not be fair.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    @streeker.....Target is where I see the full cart people too. I also saw a group one time of women. This is the Chicago area. I know on another board Target perimeter shopping is a big deal.
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    Part Two of the guy in Utah's story:

    ¨I was talking to an old friend who happens to be a regional Target rep and was able to obtain more info. on these dealers/hoarders/scalpers whatever you want to call them. Apparently this is a very widespread business for at least one of the dealers. They park one of their huge trailers at every Target in their region on 2 Thursdays per year, one in late July for the summer clearance 50-70% markdown and one in January for the after-Christmas clearance 50-70% markdown. That's right: EVERY Target in their particular region (in my case, Utah/Idaho/?). Their teams spend thousands of dollars buying up as many of the hot and profitable toys and then deliver them all to one giant central warehouse. Then they mark them back up to retail price or higher and re-sell them online. And apparently they are not very nice fellows, often being rude to other customers and shouldering their way through the toy aisles. And yet Target does nothing to stop them or limit their quantities. Some stores even have overflow clearance in the back room that they wheel out on pallets for these dudes. Store employees don't even know what week the final markdowns are happening until that day usually, but somehow these guys know the exact week's Thursday to set up their trailers in the parking lot of every store. Makes me wonder if there is someone on the inside of the Target company who is working with the dealers and tipping them off. Or maybe they are just calling stores everyday and figuring it out, who knows.¨

    End story

    @vwong19, the guy in Utah touches about the insider dealing, that someone at Target is ¨tipping them off.¨ He doesn't know for sure, I don't know for sure, who knows for sure, but I do know this: you don't put out the boatload of money needed to rent a fleet of trailers, hire enough people to work in teams and do guard duty, hit several stores in several counties on the exact days when clearance hits 50%-70% and call it a happy accident.

    Coincidence? I don't know. I don't think I want to know.
    vwong19Redbullgivesuwind
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    Figuring out the Target clearance markdown date is not rocket science. For years my (ex)wife and her friends would take the 2nd Saturday after Christmas and hit 12-15 Targets because that was the day Christmas merchandise got marked to 90% off. They did this for a fun road trip shopping day, not for resale, but they didn't have any insider knowledge.

    I agree with the theme over the recent posts in this thread - insider trading is unfair, but picking up clearance or other deals is perfectly fine even if you fill a train of shopping carts. If I were filling a cart and someone asked, I would give them something out of my cart.

    This thread hasn't touched much on Black Friday. But the same concepts apply. For the past two years IIRC Target had a EOL set that you could pick up with a hefty discount over RRP. These weren't even shelf space sets, they would just roll out a pallet. Those disappeared within hours. Same story with the XXL brick box at Walmart last year. For some reason "hoarding" deals on BF is socially less acceptable than clearing out a clearance section. Even though BF is engineered to create scaricty and competition.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 517
    edited October 2012
    Insider dealing? Hard to say with any certainty but in my Target "Full Cart" experience, a Target supervisor was clearly making some questionable calls.

    Earlier this year, Target was having one of their clearance sales. I was working and had to wait until after 5 pm. I wasn't expecting much and in the 2 local Targets I went to, there were only one or two sets left.

    I decided to drive 40 minutes to one out of the way and as I walked in the store (it was 8 or 9pm at this point), I saw a shopping cart piled high with Lego at the customer service desk. "Yay!" I thought and made a beeline to the cart. It was filled with clearance sets - Ninjago, Star Wars etc. I started to pull a few out that I didn't have and that's when a Target employee stopped me.

    Apparently a reseller had been in the store earlier that day and cleared out the shelves but they didn't have room in their car or all of the funds to pay for all of the carts of Lego. So a Target supervisor agreed to HOLD the cart of clearance items (which were not paid for - this was confirmed) until they came back. For hours.

    They refused to sell it to me. The supervisor came over with a security guard to explain the situation to me and then she had another employee take the cart of Lego into the back room.

    Yup. No collusion there.

    In this particular scenario, most of my ire is at the Target employee. Although, I wouldn't be above giving the finger to the reseller as well. I'm a petty person, what can I say?
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,960
    I have to agree here. Knowing the two big Target clearance dates does not require insider knowledge. I know specifically when the summer clearance date is. That one I have been hitting for three years now to buy a few Christmas presents and bday presents for my kids. The time it hits hasn't changed for at least that long. I haven't paid as much attention to the winter clearance date, but I am generally able to figure it out.

    The interesting phenomenon by me is that Lego are being bought at 15% discount, so there isn't much left when they go lower.

    Tammy

  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Remember that the manager of the Target store is incentivized to clear out his shelves -- that's why the items are on clearance. From his perspective, a reseller coming in and saying, "I'll take it all," is ideal. Even if there is privileged access (i.e., the manager calling the reseller to tell him the sale will be on such-and-such a day), as long as the markdown is standard and the manager isn't taking any bribes, it's essentially a wholesale deal.

    After all, the alternative is that Target could simply officially wholesale to resellers at clearance time, and never make the clearance available to consumers at all. It's probably too inconvenient for Target corporate HQ to do that, so managers who have resellers in their area simply do it unofficially. Or if that behavior is particularly common in Utah, there may be a Target area manager who works with resellers across the multi-store region he oversees.

    It's true that a cartload of Lego isn't as much Lego as you think. During the TRU B2G1, six sets filled my cart.
    LegoFanTexas
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,835
    If you get there first that is fair enough I dont have a problem with people taking what they want. But the people in @Streeker comment had actual guards for the shopping trolleys. They don't strike me as the kind of people who would give you a set if you asked for it. That to me seems to cross a line. The other question is why aren't these people buying the toys from the supplier direct. They would still make profit and clearly wouldn't need as big a work force. I understand little companies doing it. But this seems to be a large one.
    littletoki
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475

    The other question is why aren't these people buying the toys from the supplier direct. They would still make profit and clearly wouldn't need as big a work force. I understand little companies doing it. But this seems to be a large one.

    I think a 50% off clearance is cheaper than you would get from any supplier.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    ^ This is how the manager at my local Lego store handles the clearance after Christmas. He provides a list in advance to 6 big resellers in our area so he knows it will all be purchased that morning and out of the way. They are there every big sale. The resellers always make sure everyone who can be bothered showing up at opening time gets some sets. The resellers are actually the ones in the back storeroom opening the cartons, calling out what is available, and distributing the product for the store lol. It really is quite a bizarre pecking order but it works.

    Of course it is always sad when folks rock up 2 hours later and everything is gone but if you are not going to put forth any effort to show up at opening time then you have to expect you may miss out.
    LegoFanTexas
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    In this case (with the guards for the carts and so on), you're not dealing with an individual. You're dealing with a company that specializes in discount merchandise, probably sold online (though some might run the toy equivalent of a thrift store offline, too). There's a fair chance that the 50%-off merchandise doesn't show back up online at RRP, but rather, is offered at a still-significant discount, especially if there's not a whole lot of demand for it.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    edited October 2012
    ^^This conversation is getting stranger by the minute to me. Resellers in the back room??? Just when I though I heard it all it keeps getting more crazy.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Amberyl said:

    After all, the alternative is that Target could simply officially wholesale to resellers at clearance time, and never make the clearance available to consumers at all.

    This is a point that hasn't been made in the thread yet, but it is worth considering...
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    So, wait, then what's this talk earlier about equal opportunity? Smoke and mirrors? A big fat lie to placate the masses while you're mouthin', "Suckers!" under your breath? The Utah guy came to the store 3 minutes after opening - read that again - 3 minutes! - and luckily, he walks away with one City Harbour.

    Backroom deals between store employees and resellers? Resellers having access to LEGO store stockrooms??? Guards giving you the staredown if you even look at their cart?

    Intimidation? Collusion?

    Equal opportunity, you say? Illusion!

    Even before the word ¨Go¨, the average person never stood a chance.

  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    streeker said:

    So, wait, then what's this talk earlier about equal opportunity? Smoke and mirrors? A big fat lie to placate the masses while you're mouthin', "Suckers!" under your breath? The Utah guy came to the store 3 minutes after opening - read that again - 3 minutes! - and luckily, he walks away with one City Harbour.

    Backroom deals between store employees and resellers? Resellers having access to LEGO store stockrooms??? Guards giving you the staredown if you even look at their cart?

    Intimidation? Collusion?

    Equal opportunity, you say? Illusion!

    Even before the word ¨Go¨, the average person never stood a chance.

    Wel, for starters it's completely unsubstantiated. Without supporting evidence it doesn't have any weight or validity to say nothing of comprising some typical example upon which an argument can be based. After all, if you want to argue that it refutes the premise that everyone has equal opportunity to acquire Lego (which it wouldn't since there's still plenty of other locations including Lego Shop-at-Home itself), then I'll just inform you of a guy who offers Lego to plenty of people, especially children. He goes by the name of Santa Claus and he's very generous so fear not, you do have the opportunity to obtain whatever Lego you want.


    Redbullgivesuwind
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @streeker - Really, should any of that be news? Access isn't equal, never has been never will be...

    If you have $50,000 to spend, you'll get better access than someone who has $500 to spend.

    This is true at all levels, and shouldn't shock anyone. After all, Amazon, Walmart, and Target pay less for LEGO than most of us do, outside of clearance events, because of their volume.

    They have better access, due to the size of their checkbook.

    Watch Shark Tank sometime, people come in there all the time hoping the shark's "better access" can get them distribution into retail. A recent show had a lady talking about wanting to get into Walmart, Daymond commented that last year he did $500 Million with Walmart. I'm willing to bet Daymond has the clothing buyer for Walmart in his phone's speed dial and probably plays golf with him (or her).

    No one walking into the Shark Tank has that kind of access, that is why they are there.
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    Yes, dear old Santa. Another illusion. So disappointed.

    All of the stories shared above are ancedotal, unscientific in scope. But I believe the Utah guy, I believe @littletoki , @doriandsdad, @DadsAFol, and anyone else who cares to share information. And each story creates another layer of data, and then another layer, and another....

    I don't believe in Santa, but I believe in the members of Brickset.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    streeker said:

    So, wait, then what's this talk earlier about equal opportunity? Smoke and mirrors? A big fat lie to placate the masses while you're mouthin', "Suckers!" under your breath? The Utah guy came to the store 3 minutes after opening - read that again - 3 minutes! - and luckily, he walks away with one City Harbour.

    Backroom deals between store employees and resellers? Resellers having access to LEGO store stockrooms??? Guards giving you the staredown if you even look at their cart?

    Intimidation? Collusion?

    Equal opportunity, you say? Illusion!

    Even before the word ¨Go¨, the average person never stood a chance.

    Of course the "average" person does not stand a chance. The "average" person does not put the kind of effort it takes to secure these type of deals. The "average" employee does not get the best pay or preferred hours either. There's nothing wrong with being "average" but don't expect to get the same results or opportunities as people who are more ambitious.

    There is nothing magical or mysterious going on when people are "Johnny on the spot". They talk to people, build relationships and network. Anyone can do this but most do not as its a lot of effort and probably not worth the time for a few purchases.
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    The Utah guy is an AFOL. He's on a LEGO sales/deals board. He's like you and me, no different, looking for some sets to buy while saving money, putting in the extra mileage, crossing his fingers.

    Let's bring it down to practical level. He knows his clearance day? Check. He gets to the store at opening? Check. And yet he walks away with one set, because 3 minutes after opening, 18 carts are already filled with toys.

    Help out here. Give some useful advice. What could he, or I, ¨ the average AFOL¨ have done on that morning to secure a better chance of buying more LEGO?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    .
    streeker said:

    Help out here. Give some useful advice. What could he, or I, ¨ the average AFOL¨ have done on that morning to secure a better chance of buying more LEGO?

    Nothing, because you're not buying 18 shopping carts full of stuff.

    That is the part that makes it unequal, he has developed a prior relationship that took time and effort, to make that happen.

    If you are interested in spending $10,000 and filling 18 shopping carts, I have no doubt you can develop a similar relationship with a store manager.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    The guy got to know the manager, talked about what he wanted to do, and worked out a deal way ahead of time. Its really that simple. Doesn't mean it will happen everywhere or all the time, but that's all there is to it. A regular AFOL is probably not going to get the same deal as he does not come with the same purchasing power. I'm sure people can cite exceptions, but these type of resellers are probably clearing all kinds of different merchandise which is much more appealing to a manager than just clearing Lego. These type of resellers normally sell a wide array of merchandise.

    Honestly though, there are so many deals to be had before any of this stuff ever gets to clearance. Anyone waiting for clearance day to score a good deal is really taking their chances.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    Can we please close this thread on the basis of the fact that the underlying question is why do the Poor hate the Rich, and that this question has little to do with LEGO and will only continue to be invidious? Yes, I understand "everything is connected," but I see the same doggerel coming round and round again: we start talking about an aspect of LEGO (more or less), it undergoes several volatile personalized ideological refurbishings, then it's all government, taxes, world views, "fairness," and ad hominem bickering. Some people look at LEGO from the perspective of capital investment and profit, others see the same shelf from the perspective of wage slavery and how many packets of Ramen noodles they'll have to give up per day to afford it, and these are the frozen antitheses that will NEVER agree, at best barely tolerate each other's presence in the toy aisle. Lord Vampyre for Prez 2012.
    BumblepantsPitfall69LegoFanTexasRedbullgivesuwinddragonhawkLloydZX
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    edited October 2012
    Nothing? Okay, thank you for letting us average, regular AFOLs know.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    After that kind of scenario is presented and defended as justified, there's not much more that can be said. C'est la vie...
    pvancil27
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,960
    edited October 2012
    I mentioned early on that yes, I was frustrated when I walked into a Target on clearance morning and saw two people with 3 carts loaded. (ETA: Part of that frustration was also simply that I had missed out, because it was not feasible for me to make it first thing that morning)

    There is nothing wrong with feeling frustrated. It does not mean I hate resellers, though.

    On the flip side, I sure do not buy into this fallacy of not a chance for the average person.

    I am a stay at home mom now, and I have found plenty of deals over the years. Why? Because I spend the time and effort researching and making sure I find good deals. This applies to Lego or American girl or any high priced toy item.

    If I do not get one deal, I am sure I will find another. I found several this week.
    What I do, most people could.
    Pitfall69
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    After that kind of scenario is presented and defended as justified, there's not much more that can be said. C'est la vie...

    I don't think we're trying to defend it, more just stating the facts on how it works.

    I completely understand that the "average person" doesn't want to hear about it, it probably rubs them the wrong way. No one wants to hear about how someone else paid less.

    If all the cars sold at a car dealership had the prices paid published at the end of each month, imagine how people would feel finding out they paid $2,000 more for the same car as someone else?
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,183
    I realize now Target has no incentive to sell clearance items directly to the consumers when they can strike a deal to unload their junk to another company in one quick swoop. Target or any store does not want to make it easy for the average consumer to expect deals because they will be lowering their own sale price point and compromise their brand. Consumers will become wise to the sales and refuse to purchase at full price. The problem is what sale are people satisfied with. If you gamble at 30% off then there is a good chance it will not be available when it drops down to 50%, let alone 70 or 90%.

    The system will not change, but it interesting to know that my suspicions may be correct about how business really works.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    edited October 2012
    My friend is a store manager at a TRU and in training to be district manager. The crazy things he tells me what people do in his store is amazing, but in no way shape or form is their any "back room" deals between employees and customers. As far as employees getting first crack at store merchandise, it's TRU policy that no employee can buy new merchandise that hits the store and if they do buy anything from their store they cannot sell it on EBay or whatever. He says TRU has gotten $1,000's of complaints all over the US and TRU is starting to listen.

    As far as access to a Walmart. 90% of the US population lives 15 mins from a Walmart. I live 15 mins from 2.
  • ThegoThego UKMember Posts: 262
    To be honest, I was ambivalent at best towards resellers before this thread. But having read a lot of what they have to say in justifying themselves, I am starting to really dislike them. Quite a few come across as solipsists who lack any sort of empathy for others. A really enlightening thread.
    y2joshpvancil27
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    @Thego - I respect and understand your opinion, but please remember that this is at the extreme end of reselling. Most LEGO resellers are small scale hobby sellers who are reselling to fund their own LEGO purchases. And not all resellers will go and clean out the clearance shelves either.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Yeah, I don't think we are talking about any resellers commenting on this thread per se. The people defending resellers, such as myself, are just defending resellers and their role in the community. We are not defending the despicable behavior of some.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    I personally feel that it is a social economic problem and not resellers that are ruining for everyone.
This discussion has been closed.

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