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Series 10 - getting more than 16 at a time

RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
What are your thoughts on the recently-imposed limitation of allowing customers to purchase 16 minifigs per customer per day?

I know that online, at shop.lego.com, they have limited it to 16 for quite a while, but I used to go to the store, buy 2-3 boxes, find sets of 16, and return the rest.
Any advice on how I could still do that? (buy 2,3,4 boxes at a time)?

Thanks.

-Ronny
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Comments

  • PhoneboothPhonebooth USMember Posts: 1,430
    wow - you used to return that many? I can understand 1 or 2, but that seems a bit excessive and also totally circumventing the 16-per limit.

    The strategizing for the golden fig begins...
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    LOL. The most I did was buy 2 buy at a time, but I would sometimes follow up and buy another box.

    There's a store really close to me, so spending $180/box is really not an issue if I know that I'll be returning the ones I don't want.

    Last time, I bought 2 boxes for $360. Went home, comfortably and on my own time find the ones I want, then go back and return the rest. I ended up getting 3 sets of 16 and 12 extras, so exactly 60. I essentially returned one full box.

    I'm trying to find a way to that again.

    The store limitation simply means that I'll have to visit it every single day, to get 16 at a time. I'm trying to avoid that.
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    Well, my point is that I will get the ones I want, and the exact number of sets I want. I'm not going to buy more or less as a result of this policy. The only thing I'm trying to avoid is the waste of time they have just added for me. It makes no sense to me. It's not like they'll get any more or less business from me (or you, I assume) as a result of this...

    Just looking for alternatives, if there are any.
  • PhoneboothPhonebooth USMember Posts: 1,430
    I haven't seen Willy Wonka in a while, but I don't remember people returning bars of chocolate.... Perhaps their "feel technique" wasn't as good.

    To be fair, I'm all for buying as many as you like, just mass returning doesn't sit right with me.
    madforLEGOUKtsumiJohnnyfinlandialeppg
  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224

    If this is indeed the case, I'm 100% for it. If you want a specific fig, then I say you stand there and feel the bags like the rest of us embarrassed folks.

    Well, I asked the staff at a LEGO store if they had a the specific figure that I want, and we both started to feel the minifigure packets to see who gets it first!

  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    I appreciate your opinion. Thank you. However, if there was no limitation on the number you could purchase, is there really a difference between:

    1) Go to the store. Spend 4 hours finding the ones you want, and buying only the ones you want (let's say it's a total of 4x16 = 64 figs)

    And:

    2) Go to the store, buy 180 figs (3 boxes), sort them at home, and return the ones you don't want.

    In any case, you'll only buy the 64 you wanted (let's assume you could find them in the 180 you bought).

    What's the difference for LEGO? How did they make more or less money?
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    I'm actually against buying boxes. You are effectively removing product from sale, and abusing a return policy. It is pretty much against the spirit of LEGO in general.

    I have a CFOL that would have words for someone that did that on our trip to the store for "hunt and feel."
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    Jasor,
    Could you please explain how is this abusing the return policy, and why it is against the spirit of LEGO in general?

    I don't see it that way, and want to understand your opinion better.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,550
    A return policy is for items purchased which were defective or not what you wanted. You DELIBERATELY bought items you didn't want in order to secure the ones you did. It's not the case of buying a TIE Fighter thinking it was a TIE Interceptor or buying a handful of Series 8 thinking that they were Series 9.
    FurrysaurusbricksanmadforLEGOleppgSi_UKNZ
  • legogregorslegogregors Member Posts: 402
    It stinks for the next customer who goes in thinking he/she has a chance of getting any of the 16 figures from the box you have returned but is really limited to someone's discards. But that can happen anywhere. If Lego wanted to solve this they could always box instead of bag the individuals.
    madforLEGO
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    Prof1515, thanks.
    LEGO's return policy is not as verbose as your statement. It doesn't mention anything you've said. In their words: "If for any reason you need to return your order, it’s easy!". Any reason. http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Return-Policy

    What I'm doing may not sit well with you and others, however, it's not in any way a policy violation.
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    Anyway,
    Thank you all for your feedback. I don't think I'll find an answer to my question here, so I'll have to find a different way. What I do know for a fact is that I won't be going to the store every day to get 16 figs at a time. I'll probably get full boxes on eBay, Amazon, or TRU.

    Thanks again.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 502
    Return policy is anything a store wants it to be. It does not need to be limited to items which were defective or items bought by "mistake." This is a personal view of return policies - and one that speaks to someone's belief in proper/improper within society. Good thing our planet is filled with so many different visions of society.

    TLG is redefining how one can purchase minifigs at their stores, to cut down on a specific type of product purchase-return. Here, TLG is attempting to stop people from leaving with product, searching, and then returning what they did not want. That is all.

    I am personally against leaving with boxes of CMF only to return them after "feeling" them up in the comfort of my recliner. I'd much rather deal with social stigma while I stand in the store, feeling through the CMF, and knowing that the sound I am making can be heard from one end of Target to the other :p I actually had a manager (Series 5, I believe... about 2 months after series release) at a Target walk up to me and tell me the noise could be heard everywhere. Tried to get me to leave without telling me to. I just smiled and kept searching for the one minifigure that eluded me. That day I found my Graduate, too!

    So I'm not for buying/returning. I'm more for standing and helping others find the minifigs their kids keep asking for (usually end result when I'm searching at Target).
    Ronnyteal93mr2
  • jockosjunglejockosjungle Member Posts: 701
    LOL at some of you, its clear you are the reason for these policies. The point of the minifigures is its a lucky dip like football stickers, having people buy a load and return them after they've x-rayed them is actually quite costly to Lego and they clearly should discourage it
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    Buying and returning is essentially the same as groping in store; the only difference is that there is a mediating step. Different means, same end. I know some collectors bear their stigma with an ironic sense of shame and duty, but I fail to see anything wrong with doing the same thing at home. I think saying that sorting at home abuses return policies is a bit exaggerated. Of course, my mother is locally notorious for buying several pairs of shoes or shirts at once and returning what doesn't "work," so... Same principle.
    Ronnykrklint
  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224
    Try John Lewis, i was just messing around and added 999 series 8 to my basket, no problem.
    Ronny
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    Ronny said:

    LOL. Last time, I bought 2 boxes for $360. Went home, comfortably and on my own time find the ones I want, then go back and return the rest. I ended up getting 3 sets of 16 and 12 extras, so exactly 60. I essentially returned one full box.

    If I was the store manager, I'd refuse such a return from you.

    You may not like it, but you're abusing the system. I get that you don't think you are, but your opinion isn't the one that counts.
    madforLEGOteal93mr2indigoboxleppgSi_UKNZ
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    "your opinion isn't the one that counts."
    I guess yours does?
    Thanks for adding so much to the discussion...
  • tom4086tom4086 Member Posts: 689
    I don't see a problem with it to be honest. You're buying a product that's for sale, then returning a product you no longer want.

    If the store had a problem with it, they wouldn't sell the box. It's not as if you're opening the packs, you're returning a product that is saleable but you, personally, do not want. It doesn't mean someone else won't want it.

    You're stumping up the initial cash to start with, thus increasing the days sales on that particular day.

    Bottom line, the store will sell the minifigures you need and make a bigger sale than they would if you were under pressure feeling up packs in store with instore security stood a metre away.
    Ronny
  • tom4086tom4086 Member Posts: 689
    It's the same principle in clothes shops without fitting rooms. You may buy a range of sizes, knowing you will return all but the one you want, encouraged to do so by the store itself.
    Ronny
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,937
    Ronny said:

    "your opinion isn't the one that counts."
    I guess yours does?
    Thanks for adding so much to the discussion...

    The point is that it's actions like that (buying a ton & returning the dregs) which end up causing the purchase limits to come about in the first place. And he was talking about the store manager's opinion, not his own.

    @Yellowcastle said it best, feel like the rest of us creeps. Oh, and don't ruing the packaging either. I've seen boxes that look like a gorilla went through them.
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    @tensor, I can go to the store for 10 days in a row, get 160, and do the exact same thing. My point is that the policy they put in place can't stop me from getting any number of minifigs I want. The limit is per day, not per customer. All they did, was add hassle to the customer. So what's the point?

    My original question was based on that assumption (that I can get whatever number I want, only in "increments" rather than one big purchase).
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    I don't see a problem with returning portions of complete boxes since it is allowable under the return policy. Obviously the store agreed because they allowed it.

    I also don't see a problem with the enforcement of a purchase limit if they no longer want to facilitate this process.
  • FurrysaurusFurrysaurus Hiding in the kitchen.Member Posts: 156
    technically you may not be able to go 10 days in a row getting 160 figs. my local store ran out of series 9 within 2 days (they've had a 16 fig limit since series 1).
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    So...my initial question was what are you guys doing when you need to buy a set of 16, and I think that the consensus is to try and feel the ones you want in the store, then buy. Cool.

    I may do that, but I think I'm more likely to buy a large quantity online via Amazon or eBay, and then return the ones I don't want to the store. I don't see any issue with returning sealed items to the store.

    Buying online is better for me anyway, now that I think about it. It's usually cheaper, and there's no added tax.

    Thanks for the great discussion, folks.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    @Rocao Eminently reasonable, as always. One can buy and return because it is allowed, and a store can put a stop to it because they don't like the fluctuating stock.
  • Renegade007cjhRenegade007cjh Essex, UKMember Posts: 695
    Might have missed the beginning of this one - but who is imposing this "max 16 per customer" rule? Is this in *all*shops everywhere, or just Lego bricks-and-mortar stores (and [email protected])?
  • forumreaderforumreader Member Posts: 97
    Lego stores and [email protected], it sounds like.
  • Renegade007cjhRenegade007cjh Essex, UKMember Posts: 695
    Okay, cool, thanks...
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,937
    edited February 2013
    Ronny said:

    @tensor, I can go to the store for 10 days in a row, get 160, and do the exact same thing. My point is that the policy they put in place can't stop me from getting any number of minifigs I want. The limit is per day, not per customer. All they did, was add hassle to the customer. So what's the point?

    The point is twofold:

    1) The purchase limit causes a hassle for doing the bulk buy-feel-return, meaning it'll prevent casual people from gaming the system. It's obviously not going to put the brakes on everyone, e.g. going 10 days in a row, etc.

    2) Like I said, actions like this, allowed by current policy or not, are what cause purchase limits to appear in the first place, causing hindrance for those that aren't buying hundreds.

    I'm not trying to judge you or anyone. I'm just pointing out that all actions result in a reaction. The more blatant and obvious the action, the more visible and impacting the reaction will be.
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    I understand the entire action/reaction situation. I disagree with a reaction.
    How about stocking the stores with more minifigs instead?

    By the way, I pretty much found a solution to my problem. There are plenty of online sellers offering sealed minifig boxes with free shipping!
    I'll end up buying from them, doing the same thing, and returning to the store.

    The only difference is that I won't have a receipt, so I'll get a pre-loaded money card instead. Still works for me.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,937
    Ronny said:

    So...my initial question was what are you guys doing when you need to buy a set of 16, and I think that the consensus is to try and feel the ones you want in the store, then buy. Cool.

    I may do that, but I think I'm more likely to buy a large quantity online via Amazon or eBay, and then return the ones I don't want to the store. I don't see any issue with returning sealed items to the store.

    Buying online is better for me anyway, now that I think about it. It's usually cheaper, and there's no added tax.

    Thanks for the great discussion, folks.

    Return what ones to the store? The ones you bought on Amazon or Ebay? I hope you're not suggesting returning those to Target or whatever.

  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    @tensor, return them to the LEGO store, which is within their return policy guidelines, actually.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    Ronny said:

    @tensor, return them to the LEGO store, which is within their return policy guidelines, actually.

    Until the store manager says no. Your general attitude is pretty lousy in general, but I know such people exist in the world, but most aren't so open and flagrant about their selfish "I don't give a darn about anyone but me" attitude.

    To each their own. Like I said, if I was the store manager, I would not allow such use of the return policy, that isn't what it is for.
    madforLEGOSi_UKNZdougts
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    rocao said:

    I don't see a problem with returning portions of complete boxes since it is allowable under the return policy. Obviously the store agreed because they allowed it.

    To a point, yes... but when I bought 5 sealed boxes of Series 8 from my local LEGO store on Black Friday last year, in my view there was an implied agreement between the store manager who allowed it and myself to not return any of it, much less sort and feel the packets and only return the leftovers.

    It would be... rude to say the least...
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    My attitude is lousy, yet what I do is within the guidelines. Interesting.
    The store manager can't overrule LEGO's corporate policy, which allows anyone to return any model that's currently being sold.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited February 2013
    Ronny said:

    By the way, I pretty much found a solution to my problem. There are plenty of online sellers offering sealed minifig boxes with free shipping!
    I'll end up buying from them, doing the same thing, and returning to the store.

    The only difference is that I won't have a receipt, so I'll get a pre-loaded money card instead. Still works for me.

    Returns without receipts are also allowable under policy, and merchandise returned that was not bought from the store is not expressly prohibited. You probably just opened up another can of worms because there are many that disapprove of this practice.

    FYI, deviating from the return policy can be done at a store's discretion and they can and will suspend receiptless returns for people that make a habit of it.

    Honest question: there are also places to source complete sets of 16 minifigures online at nominal markups. Since you mention valuing your time, have you considered that paying the markup might be worth it for the time savings rather than buying, feeling, and returning?

  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    I think the best 2 options are 1)Grope in Public or 2)Buy a box and sell the unwanteds.

    I will freely admit that I returned 20 S2 to TRU back in the day but it felt wrong to me and I haven't done it since.
    RonnyPitfall69MathBuilderRomanticWarriorUKtsumiindigoboxPhonebooth
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    Ronny said:

    The store manager can't overrule LEGO's corporate policy, which allows anyone to return any model that's currently being sold.

    You will be shocked to discover that is not correct. The store manager has the power to refuse returns from anyone at his/her discretion. All retail stores have similar rules, and you are the person for whom such rules had to be written.
    princedravenSi_UKNZ
  • MCNwakeboardMCNwakeboard UtahMember Posts: 320
    I've never had a problem feeling out complete sets at the Lego stores. With earlier series, I've bought a box from Amazon Europe, found the ones I wanted, and sold the rest as a bulk lot on ebay and always came out ahead of the $2.99 retail price.
    Ronny
  • TinKnockerHimesTinKnockerHimes Member Posts: 76

    If this is indeed the case, I'm 100% for it. If you want a specific fig, then I say you stand there and feel the bags like the rest of us embarrassed folks.

    The trick to this is I take my daughter with me (5yrs old) and she helps me feel them cause she wants certain ones as well, and it makes you not feel so embarrassed feeling up minifigures :P

    plus the last time we bought random packs without feeling, she ended up with 5 policeman and was not to happy.

    Ronny
  • RonnyRonny USAMember Posts: 86
    edited February 2013
    rocao said:

    Honest question: there are also places to source complete sets of 16 minifigures online at nominal markups. Since you mention valuing your time, have you considered that paying the markup might be worth it for the time savings rather than buying, feeling, and returning?

    I didn't know about that. It's definitely worth a shot.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited February 2013

    I will freely admit that I returned 20 S2 to TRU back in the day but it felt wrong to me and I haven't done it since.

    I think I know why you're a terrible poker player ;)
    Ronnykrklint
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,477
    edited February 2013
    Ronny said:

    @tensor, I can go to the store for 10 days in a row, get 160, and do the exact same thing.

    Doing 16 per day over 10 days is not actually exactly the same. You cannot absolutely guarantee one complete set, let alone three, if you do 16 per day over 10 days, whereas you can be sure of one set (well two) if you do just one box per day. After you have selected some, that box is available for others to select from. They may be taking the ones you want. They may have been in and taken all of one specific minifig from every box.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,454
    ^You are almost forced to buy a box and feel for the rest to get 3 full sets starting with Series 9. Yes, it is embarrassing to stand there and feel, but it is what it is.

    I think the best 2 options are 1)Grope in Public or 2)Buy a box and sell the unwanteds.

    I will freely admit that I returned 20 S2 to TRU back in the day but it felt wrong to me and I haven't done it since.

    That's what I have been doing since Series 3. I also returned a bunch that year because my wife found a bunch at Target and I just told her to buy them all because I wasn't there the feel them all. I returned about 20 or so as well, but I didn't feel that bad because once I got my 3 sets I stopped feeling I didn't feel anymore and I more than likely returned desired ones as well :)

  • pillpodpillpod Member Posts: 273
    I'll take a shot. Though all of these actions are within guidelines, you are still gaming a system, on purpose. If a store only had 5 full boxes of Series 9 and two guys like OP come in and buy them up immediately with the intent to return them at their own leisure, casual customers miss out and that hurts the store.

    Ya, they can stock more next time; but who's to say you wouldn't just buy everything they had? If someone wants to get their kid a nice little present, they can't because you'll be happily feeling the packs in the comfort of your house.

    It's not that it's wrong, technically. But you should be able to see why a store wouldn't want you to do this. You are preventing multiple customers from having a pleasant experience at the store; they might not come back because they know there's some guy who buys up all the stock. If I ran a store, I'd rather have 15 consistent and paying customers than 1 who buys a lot with the intent to return the following week.
    teal93mr2princedravendougts
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 417
    Why do you suppose they implemented the 16 limit? Think hard.
    teal93mr2
  • CurvedRoadPlateCurvedRoadPlate Member Posts: 257
    Returning a lot of product without a receipt sends up red flags that a person is shoplifting and returning the product to make some cash. The policy of accepting returns benefits customers who got a gift and want to return it for something else, or get cash to buy something at another store. This past year I got a Star Wars set as a gift I already had and exchanged it for a different set without a receipt. I know it was bought at the store I exchanged it at.

    Be aware that retail is not a democracy. They have the right to refuse any customer and change policy at any time. I worked in retail for years and we banned certain customers that brought in business, but where more trouble than they were worth. Abusing return policies can result in changes to those policies that can hurt us all. See grab bags for details.

    One of the biggest things the Lego stores have going for them over the discount stores or online after selection is customer service. I appreciate the knowledgable, friendly staff I have found at every Lego store I have been in. I don't want to see the reputation of AFOLS tarnished by folks trying to game the system.

    In order to get the minifigs I wanted for the last several series I have been buying a case and splitting it with 2 other friends. I end up with a few spares but it's less shenanigans and less time wasted pinching packets.
    TheLoneTensor
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