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It's interesting that they're not sold online through retailers. Is that because (the theory goes) that they're "left over" or extra pieces that TLG wants to get rid of? Or is the margin so low on selling those little things online that nobody does it?
So the reason you don't generally see these for sale online is that the retailer doesn't want you to spend ONLY $5 when you make a purchase. They want you to buy a $20-$40 set. Same reason LBR stores usually only carry holiday polys - if they had Star Wars polys, then some customers would tell their kids that "that's all we can afford today" and not buy that $20 SW set. It seems greedy, but capitalism is all about maximizing profit from every customer.
Of course this is based on factual reporting, actually predicting where the things are going to turn up next is akin to trying to predict the stock market.
They are still at the TRU near me but I am in the US Of A.
The other trick I use is to know when the merchendise comes in. I know that the shipping trucks generally hit my TRU on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I try to coordinate my visits with those days. My TRU employees also know me as a huge lego collector. As long as you are not being greedy and buying a bunch for resale, the employees would likely give you some "inside" info (to the extent they have it.) Finally, Each TRU has a lego rep that visits the stores to check the shelves. If you are fortunate enough to run into them, they can be a wealth of information as well.
I also have a network of traders in different countries. We routinely send polys back and forth.