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Banned from buying from LEGO [email protected] :(

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Comments

  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    edited May 2013
    1st comment page 10. Is this the new monster thread?
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888



    BTW, just another thought... How much would I need to spend at once to get TLG to change their mind? Clearly Amazon and Walmart get special treatment, if I had $100 Million to spend, would that change TLG's mind? There must be some number that would cause a change of heart.

    For that matter, for $100 Million, could I get my own store exclusive? Hmm... :)

    Of course you could, money changes everything. However, you would be required to have a chain of retail fronts to market to people.......and $100,000,000.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,934
    edited May 2013


    TLG identified LFT as a reselling business and asked him to follow the same rules as the other businesses. He refused.

    Not quite, Amazon.com doesn't have a brick and mortar store...

    2. Do you want to sell LEGO via a website without a bricks and mortar store front?

    Yes, just like Amazon.

    You are not as influential as amazon though. Although I note that even amazon carries whole ranges of lego, even the dogs in a series.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Hothgar said:

    Walmart pays more than u think for Lego. 4204 mine they pay 64.xx and 8092 they paid 17.xx

    You might think so, but there are ways to make those numbers lower.

    Promo copies, volume rebates, pay for placement, advertising co-op dollars, etc.

    Walmart likely pays about 50% of RRP for the LEGO they buy due to those various things.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096

    But here again, market and aftermarket are two different animals: Little Timmy can't have his Emerald Night because it has ceased production; Little Timmy can't have his Lloyd because...?

    I think most of the people here, including myself, have picked up hard to find items including Lego and re-sold them for a profit. It's a fine line, but I personally don't see a problem with doing this to fund the hobby. However, there is a point when it becomes abuse of the system. And Lego apparently felt that LFT was abusing that system.
    Brickarmor
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    You are not as influential as amazon though. Although I note that even amazon carries whole ranges of lego, even the dogs in a series.

    Quite right...

    But if I had my own web site and TLG was willing to deal with me on reasonable terms, I'd be willing to carry the full range, including the less desirable sets.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,934

    CCC said:

    You are not as influential as amazon though. Although I note that even amazon carries whole ranges of lego, even the dogs in a series.

    Quite right...

    But if I had my own web site and TLG was willing to deal with me on reasonable terms, I'd be willing to carry the full range, including the less desirable sets.
    And so would everyone else and their dog.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030

    CCC said:

    You are not as influential as amazon though. Although I note that even amazon carries whole ranges of lego, even the dogs in a series.

    Quite right...

    But if I had my own web site and TLG was willing to deal with me on reasonable terms, I'd be willing to carry the full range, including the less desirable sets.
    Is it likely they want another mouth in that that trough though?

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    But if I had my own web site and TLG was willing to deal with me on reasonable terms, I'd be willing to carry the full range, including the less desirable sets.

    And so would everyone else and their dog.
    Would they? Really? How many people really want to go to the effort to market and develop an ecommerce web site and invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not a million or more, into inventory?

    I suspect there are quite few people actually who would do that...
  • PhoneboothPhonebooth USMember Posts: 1,430

    2. Do you want to sell LEGO via a website without a bricks and mortar store front?

    Yes, just like Amazon.
    )

    Did you just seriously ask for the same rights as Amazon? Delusional might be an understatement.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,934
    OK, not everyone. But many people would want an agreement on reasonable terms for them. What is reasonable for you is not reasonable for someone else. If they do it for one at $100000 a year, then why not someone else at $50000 and someone else at $10000? No doubt you would want lego to not deal direct with smaller fry, but just someone of your size or bigger, so you don't have to compete with smaller outfits with less overheads getting the same deal as you.
    LegoFanTexas
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    Did you just seriously ask for the same rights as Amazon? Delusional might be an understatement.

    Be nice, name calling isn't required...

    As for Amazon, it isn't delusional to think that there is some dollar amount of sales that would get TLG interested. I'm well below that of course, but as a prior poster commented, money changes everything.

    My comment was also related to the fact that several people have said that if I just "played by the rules" and had a brick and mortar store, then everything would be fine, and I was pointing out that Amazon doesn't have such a store.

    Yes, granted, they get the exception due to size and volume, but it does mean that exceptions are possible.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    Is it beyond the realms of possibility that current deals with the big boys prevent TLG supplying other much smaller exclusively online operators even if they wanted to?
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    edited May 2013



    In Europe, TLG does sell the big sets to ITDs (including DS and the modulars), they just don't do it in the USA.

    The rest of Europe maybe, but in the UK even amazon.co.uk doesn't get the exclusives.
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    This whole ban resellers from buying bulk at [email protected] was an attempt by TLG to control the price and supply of current sets. Any effects to the aftermarket is of no concern to them since, as many have pointed out, that is not the market that TLG is in.
    Remember, TLG is a business first. The ban quite easily solved 2 problems.
    1. Protecting their biggest clients. The big stores like Walmart, Target, TRU, etc. In the Minecraft debacle, the ones getting shfted the most are these resellers. They played by rules agreed upon with TLG, yet they did not receive enough supply to please their customers. These stores has the big money, so when they complain, TLG is more likely to take actions. Hence the ban
    2. Protecting the ITD sellers. Again TLG's rules, yet these ITDs did not reap the benefit of getting popular sets.

    Of course one of the causes for the inflated price of sets in production (Minecraft, Lloyd to a degree last year) was TLG itself. They had limited run for sets based on popular game/show. Plus, they were unable to meet the demand when consumer demands skyrocketed. I would argue that resellers would not have stocked up on these sets had they not been so popular. There are so many internal changes that TLG can do to fight this that we are just not privvy of.

    TLG already has a program for resellers so of course they want @LFT and other big resellers to join that program and buy the stock via the program. Whether the ITD program is good fit for @LFT or not is not of TLG's concern. They are the big supplier and they set the terms for the volume of sales. Money talks so TLG are willing to work out better terms once the resellers can prove their ability to move sales over $ amounts. This can be seen in the cases of big resellers like Walmart, Target, TRU, and Amazon.
    So, if @LegoFanTexas can show that he can move similar numbers as the big stores, than it is rather silly for TLG not to work out some kind of special arrangements for him. However, if @LFT's volume is smaller than the the top 5% of ITD accounts, there is no reason he should get preferential treatments over the other ITD accounts.
    Any discussions regarding special treatments to Amazon is pointless unless any one reseller can show s/he is able to move volumes rivaling Amazon.

    The above is my attempt to present the business perspective on this topic as objective as possible.

  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @princedraven - the aftermarket has always been there, but it has NEVER been as raging/inflated as it is right now. As an example, I can buy a complete #6066 Camouflaged Outpost on Ebay right now for $75. This set was produced in 1987 and is one of my favorite sets of all time. This set could have been had a bit cheaper 5-6 years ago and has seen a slight increase in value. On the other hand, #9465 - the Zombies is going for 2-3x rrp 6 months after it was discontinued. These sets are about the same size and adjusting for inflation were about the same price point at the time. I would argue that there is nothing particularly outstanding about the #9465 as it would pertain to unique pieces or building techniques. Heck, even the minifigs aren't that hard to come by. So why the dramatic inflation of the Zombies set?

    I'll tell you why, its because there has been a bubble created in the aftermarket that has raised the perceived value of these more recent sets (anyone here remember the baseball card market of the 90's?). That bubble has grown and has attracted the attention of many people who, a year or two ago, were not interested in Lego products. People are purchasing for the purpose of speculation. This increased aftermarket has contributed to the increased profits for TLG, just as it contributed to Topps, Fleer, Donruss and Upper Deck's profits in the 90's. People always collected baseball cards, but the steep increase in perceived value over newly issued sets in the 90's caused an influx of new collectors and short term profit increases for the manufacturers due to speculation. It ended badly for the baseball card companies when the market crashed.

    Now, I'm not saying that the lego bubble will burst, but I am saying that TLG needs to take a lesson. The Collectible aftermarket can be a fickle mistress. People like @legofantexas are major players in that aftermarket that help drive the value of the retired sets thus helping TLG sell its current products. This leads to profitability for everyone. By ignoring that part of the equation and by punishing customers like LFT (not just him, but people like him), TLG is making a mistake. And it is a mistake, the collectors' marketplace is strewn with the remnants of old manufacturers who are shells of what they were in their heydays, Topps (sports cards) and Ty (Beanie Babies) comes to mind.

    Many AFOLs may not care about this as a crash in the lego aftermarket would mean cheap bricks/sets for them, but TLG should care. If the value of their product is deemed diminished over time, then those profits will also be diminished. And don't give me that there will always be little Timmy there to buy the product. Little Timmy was there for Lego in the 90's and the company almost went bankrupt.
    JP3804
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    I want LEGO to directly sell me only sets I want 50% off with any volume I want so I can sell to whoever I want. I only want to do about $100,000 a year and I don't want a store front. I'm only going to sell online and to random family/friends that come in my room and check out my models. If TLG can make suitable agreements for everyone, then they can make this arrangement too. Oh yea, and I can charge whatever I feel like. Mainly raise my price to wealthier areas and lower it for poorer people so I can hit large demographics at maximum profit. That's my idea of capitalism, no regulation.

    I could actually do this too, I have the time and money, so why won't TLG let me. I'm being reasonable, aren't I?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    OK, not everyone. But many people would want an agreement on reasonable terms for them. What is reasonable for you is not reasonable for someone else. If they do it for one at $100000 a year, then why not someone else at $50000 and someone else at $10000? No doubt you would want lego to not deal direct with smaller fry, but just someone of your size or bigger, so you don't have to compete with smaller outfits with less overheads getting the same deal as you.

    Yes, all of the above is true and a reasonable point.

    I don't really have a good answer to that, because yes... I'd want the cutoff to be somewhere right around where I'm at, of course... And yes, I totally get that is a self-interested position...

    That being said, as to the question of why would TLG want to have anything to do with me? Maybe they don't, and that is fine, but it isn't going to have an impact since I already am doing fine without them.

    So the question becomes, are they happy with things as they are, or would they like to have some say in how I conduct business? If the answer is no, they don't care, then I suppose things the way they are make perfect sense.

    All I'm saying is that if TLG wants to have influence over my business as a LEGO reseller, then they have to offer me something. If they don't, then they get no say. It seems to me that they want to have some control over the reselling of their product, if they didn't care, they would not have cut me off.

    If they care, then they should talk to me, otherwise they actually are doing more harm than good, since I'm less inclined to care about them or the brand after being treated this way.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @brickarmor - I agree with your analysis on the aftermarket. But it doesn't change the fact that the value of the aftermarket is something that TLG should recognize and, to a certain extent, embrace. If they want to punish people who abuse their system with multiple accounts or dishonest dealings, then fine. But @Legofantexas operated within the rules. To strike out against him and others like him makes no sense at all and is extremely short sighted.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    @wagnerml2 Unless I am missreading it (I'm at work!), you seemed to argue against yourself there.
    2 years ago before the big resellers came on board, the resale market was alive and well.
    Now the big guys have shown up trying to make it a business, the market has boomed and a bubble has been created.
    Surely banning the big resellers would possibly take it back to how it was, rather than let it get to the point where the bubble bursts!?!?

    There was ZERO talk of bubbles/investment etc just over 2 years ago, just collectors who may put one or two aside to fund their hobby.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    edited May 2013
    The whole Lego nearly went bankrupt in the 90's has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with big resellers! Not sure why you brought Timmy into things at all!?!
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    ^ Prince makes a good point. Perhaps Lego is protecting against a possible bubble bursting. The baseball card market crash was partially created by the abundance of resellers over investing in product and then flooding it when prices declined. The same thing could happen to Lego.
    Brickarmor
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    wagnerml2 said:

    People like @legofantexas are major players in that aftermarket that help drive the value of the retired sets thus helping TLG sell its current products

    Sorry, but that is just your opinion and IMO a very inaccurate or incomplete statement.
    However much hero-worship @LFT gets on here, he is a guy who flogs Lego, nothing more, he does not 'drive the value of the retired sets'.
    @LegoFanTexas would you mind informing people of the price of the #10179 before you ever got into the market? I can assure you the market was driven WELL before any of the big resellers turned up. Why on earth do you think they are here??

    collect_that
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    edited May 2013
    Yes, @princedraven is right, as others who have been collecting lego for 10+ years, the price in the aftermarket has been going down on sets overall. They are not becoming valuable as of recently and big resellers certainly don't help the aftermarket on average.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @princedraven I too am at work, but stuck on an eternal conference call :). Perhaps I am not making myself clear. There has always been an aftermarket. That aftermarket was healthy, but steady. There was a finite number of AFOLs who purchased sets from time to time. The inflation rate of retired sets was not such that people other than AFOLs were attracted to the market. Let's use the analogy of a gently flowing river.

    As the bubble grew over the past 3-4 years, the market saw recent sets dramatically increase in value over short periods of time. The river began to flow much more rapidly. This lead to many more people being attracted to the Lego aftermarket. These people started to buy on the aftermarket and speculate that sets would continue to rise and then they begin to purchase current products to do some speculation of their own. This increase in TLG's market share is what is translating to their current bottom line. If/when that bubble bursts and the inflated values of the sets crashes, then those people who were attracted to the rapidly expanding market go away, and so do the additional profits.

    I am not saying that is the only reason for TLG healthy balance sheet. Certainly licenses, better set design and better minifigs help as well, but no one can deny that it is a contributing factor. And I maintain that TLG is making a mistake. As LFT has stated on many occasions in this thread, it's their company and they can do whatever they want. But any time Lego makes a decision like this, it could impact the hobby for all of us, and in this instance, I don't think it will be for the better.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376

    @wagnerml2 Unless I am missreading it (I'm at work!), you seemed to argue against yourself there.
    2 years ago before the big resellers came on board, the resale market was alive and well.
    Now the big guys have shown up trying to make it a business, the market has boomed and a bubble has been created.
    Surely banning the big resellers would possibly take it back to how it was, rather than let it get to the point where the bubble bursts!?!?

    There was ZERO talk of bubbles/investment etc just over 2 years ago, just collectors who may put one or two aside to fund their hobby.

    The bubble will burst on its own. It always does. When that happens my guess is that TLG will come back to @legofantexas and tell him that they will work with him to buy as much product as he wants.

    kylejohnson11
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    No more analogies please :)
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    edited May 2013
    ^^^ But again, don't you think this option is likely to temper the aftermarket and potentially reduce risk of a bubble burst scenario?

    You seem to be arguing for TLG profits, not for a stable market
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,934
    edited May 2013


    All I'm saying is that if TLG wants to have influence over my business as a LEGO reseller, then they have to offer me something. If they don't, then they get no say. It seems to me that they want to have some control over the reselling of their product, if they didn't care, they would not have cut me off.

    They clearly cannot have control over you if you buy items from elsewhere, unless they impose sales restrictions on their retailers. For example, setting prices below which Walmart cannot sell it's lego, or how much it can sell to one person. I somehow doubt that they will have much luck there.


    If they care, then they should talk to me, otherwise they actually are doing more harm than good, since I'm less inclined to care about them or the brand after being treated this way.

    Lego doesn't talk to the small guy individually. No matter how big he is.

    Do they care if you don't care? If you stop reselling completely, then there is no loss to them (as you don't buy from them anymore). If you don't promote your wares, no loss to them (general public don't find out about lego from you). If you don't buy from them for personal use and give up lego completely? It's one loss in millions of people. If you are no longer there as a reseller? No loss to them, others resell anyway, and they don't really care about reseller market either.

    If you (or me or him or her) don't like it, they don't care.

    I know they don't care about me. I'm p****d off at lego as they didn't send me a valentine's keychain. They lost my custom at [email protected] because of that. I had about 20 orders with [email protected] last year, probably £2500 worth. But I know they value other people more than me, and that they don't think I deserve a cheap keychain. Would I go back? For regular items, no, I'll shop elsewhere. Of course, if they had a decent promo I would, and exploit just the promo and then not shop with them again until it's good for me. But they haven't had a good promotion since then, so I have purchased exactly nothing from them this year. The keychain was badly thought out (from my point of view) and it has cost them way more than what the chain was worth.

    Have they noticed?

    No.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @princedraven - I am assuming that TLG made their decision to ban customers like LFT to protect their bottom line. I am stating that it seems they view a healthy aftermarket as a threat to that bottom line. I think that is wrong.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    This whole ban resellers from buying bulk at [email protected] was an attempt by TLG to control the price and supply of current sets. Any effects to the aftermarket is of no concern to them since, as many have pointed out, that is not the market that TLG is in.

    I believe that... I have no doubt that LEGO customer service received hundreds, if not thousands of complaints during Christmas about Minecraft and Lloyd...

    That is ultimately what TLG cares about, the end customer, and if they are complaining, then they have TLG's ear.

    The problem, as you noted, is that TLG failed to meet consumer demand, supply was tight and thus the actual value of these sets turned out to be several times RRP.

    That is where resellers come in, any time I can buy something for $35 and sell it for $100 a week later, I'm going to do it, absent any reason not to. The only reason I can think of not to do it is if I had an existing relationship with the manufacture of the item and I didn't want to risk that relationship.

    The price didn't hit $100 because I bought up hundreds of copies, it hit $100 because supply was limited and there were plenty of people who "had to have it" and were willing to pay $100.

    Given the supply, TLG could have raised the price to $100 and still sold all of them. That would of course make them look bad which is why they don't do it. They don't want me doing it either, because it makes LEGO in general look bad.

    This point comes back to the original point of the thread. TLG wants to stop people from doing what I do. Ok, fine... then the question becomes, how to go about doing that?

    Banning me from [email protected] isn't going to stop it, having a relationship with me is much more likely to. So to answer the question that has been asked so many times, "why does TLG want to do business with me, what does it get out of it?" The answer is that it gets me less interested in exploiting their products for maximum profit and thus risk my relationship with them.

    Not every business relationship is always about the money, in this case, it is getting the larger resellers to not exploit the brand and to care a more about the company and image of LEGO as a whole.

    ------

    Note: Would such a relationship have prevented Minecraft and Lloyd? No, because TLG missed production by an order of magnitude, or more... Nothing was going to help there. Same thing with Mr. Gold CMF, nothing short of making 50,000 more of them is going to have any impact on the price.

    Again, I was simply offering one possible solution, and for some reason that has morphed into something else in many replies.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    @LegoFanTexas it might not just be about the money, although it's a major part. Lego can't afford not to deal (and deal nicely) with amazon. They are the go to website when wanting a toy present and if lego weren't there they'd miss out massively and help their competition at the same time. Lego can afford to not play with you.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    @wagnerml2 Unless I am missreading it (I'm at work!), you seemed to argue against yourself there.
    2 years ago before the big resellers came on board, the resale market was alive and well.
    Now the big guys have shown up trying to make it a business, the market has boomed and a bubble has been created.
    Surely banning the big resellers would possibly take it back to how it was, rather than let it get to the point where the bubble bursts!?!?

    Sure, if banning the big resellers from [email protected] would actually stop them from doing anything.

    But since it won't, it is just tilting at windmills.

    What I've been trying to do is offer suggestions and ideas on what actually would have an impact. Several ideas I've tossed out have had some issues and people have rightly pointed out some flaws in them.

    I'm open to other ideas... What do you all think would actually work? What would get resellers to be more interested in the long term future of LEGO and not just profits this month?

    My suggestion was that TLG should have relationships with the large resellers, give them something to care about besides just short term profit, but many people here don't think that is a good idea.

    What are some other ideas then?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,934


    I'm open to other ideas... What do you all think would actually work? What would get resellers to be more interested in the long term future of LEGO and not just profits this month?

    What are some other ideas then?

    The other you have already said. Get resellers less interested but cutting down their long term profits, by re-releasing popular sets for sale online at [email protected] only.

    It still won't help with quick-profit flipping at christmas though.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    What are some other ideas then?

    The other you have already said. Get resellers less interested but cutting down their long term profits, by re-releasing popular sets for sale online at [email protected] only.

    It still won't help with quick-profit flipping at christmas though.
    Yes, that suggestion didn't seem to go over very well, multiple people thought it was pretty dumb to suggest that Cafe Corner get a limited rerelease.

    But I do think that would have a sharp impact on long term reselling, however as you say, it wouldn't do a thing to stop Minecraft since that is a short term problem caused due to a lack of supply on TLG's end for a hot product.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    edited May 2013
    LFT, I think you realize why Lego banned you. I think you're just bitter about it. To sum things up: If you're a small time reseller or hobbiest trying to make a few extra bucks to fund the hobby then you can probably still fly under the radar and get away with it. If you're a large scale reseller then watch out. That's Lego way of looking at it too. I don't see the problem with it.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Have a new section on [email protected] where they keep their old retired stock rather than reducing it, have enough stock of the premium sets to keep going for a couple of years more (kind of like they've inadvertently done with FB). Make it clear these products aren't available in store. They may need lots of extra stock at first as resellers would see an opportunity to profit but once they had to stockpile for a few years with it still in stock they'd soon stop.
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    edited May 2013



    All I'm saying is that if TLG wants to have influence over my business as a LEGO reseller, then they have to offer me something. If they don't, then they get no say. It seems to me that they want to have some control over the reselling of their product, if they didn't care, they would not have cut me off.

    If they care, then they should talk to me, otherwise they actually are doing more harm than good, since I'm less inclined to care about them or the brand after being treated this way.

    Bottom line is TLG cares about Lego resellers, but only the ones buying from them wholesale like Walmart, TRU etc or the ones in the ITD program. There is no reason they should care about a reseller like you who is not playing by their rules (as in ITD requirements or some mutual agreement in the case of big retailers).
    They have every reason to listen to and react to the complains made by Targets, etc when the supply of popular sets like Minecraft was not there to meet increasing demand.

    TLG has enough resources to calculate the risk/rewards of their actions and apparently it is more rewarding for them to cut you off.
    They already decided the resellers who buy in bulk from [email protected] like you do more harm to them than good. Hence the ban.
    The efficiency of the ban is yet to be seen, so for now, from their POV they are currently effectively solving their problem.


  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:


    All I'm saying is that if TLG wants to have influence over my business as a LEGO reseller, then they have to offer me something. If they don't, then they get no say. It seems to me that they want to have some control over the reselling of their product, if they didn't care, they would not have cut me off.

    They clearly cannot have control over you if you buy items from elsewhere, unless they impose sales restrictions on their retailers. For example, setting prices below which Walmart cannot sell it's lego, or how much it can sell to one person. I somehow doubt that they will have much luck there.
    Actually, they can't control what I do with stuff I buy from them, much less elsewhere.

    However if a reasonable percentage of my supply and business comes directly from TLG, am I going to worry so much about making a few thousand dollars during Christmas flipping high demand sets and pissing on the brand, or am I going to be thinking about my business relationship that makes me hundreds of thousands of dollars all year?

    As for Walmart, TLG legally can't tell Walmart what to sell LEGO sets for, nor can they tell them who they can sell to or how many. There are some very strict laws in the US about that and really the only thing TLG can do is no longer sell to Walmart, which clearly isn't going to happen. The most TLG could do is set a MAP (minimum advertised price), which doesn't control the sale price, just the price Walmart can put into advertising.

    It is why they have no real power over Walmart, because of those laws, and because TLG must do business with Walmart, it is too large of a segment of the toy market.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    TLG has enough resources to calculate the risk/rewards of their actions and apparently it is more rewarding for them to cut you off.
    Maybe the discussion comes down to this belief. I don't see any evidence that Lego have done a proper risk analysis. With these bans and the change to AFOL programs, I see more of a kneejerk reaction, rather than a strategic risk managed, planned process.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but Lego's troubles of the 90s, and countless case studies suggest you can't make the presumption you've made just because a company is well-resourced.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    edited May 2013
    @LegoFanTexas As you stated, what some resellers have been doing with flipping sets for big profit has been "pissing on their brand".
    To then say "well banning me from [email protected] doesn't stop me doing that, you should have a relationship with me, then you can control me", is kind of like trying to blackmail them into a deal.
    Lets be honest if they see the situation as you say, you have been pissing on their brand, then that bridge is well and truly burnt.
    As you have stated, you have been in business many years, how would you react if someone "pissed on your brand" and then came to you and said "hey, I will stop if you change the way you do business with resellers and treat me like a king".

    Again my suggestion:
    @LegoFanTexas is dead, long live @AmericanDollFanTexas
    LostInTranslationYellowcastle
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    edited May 2013


    Banning me from [email protected] isn't going to stop it, having a relationship with me is much more likely to. So to answer the question that has been asked so many times, "why does TLG want to do business with me, what does it get out of it?" The answer is that it gets me less interested in exploiting their products for maximum profit and thus risk my relationship with them.
    ...
    My suggestion was that TLG should have relationships with the large resellers, give them something to care about besides just short term profit, but many people here don't think that is a good idea.
    ...

    From TLG's POV they already have a relationship with the medium sized resellers via the ITD program. If TLG alters the ITD requirements to sooth your needs, how is that fair to the other ITDs who have been playing by the rules ?
    I am pretty sure the ITDs already have very good interest in the long term viability of TLG.

    I am agreeing with your suggestion on building the relationship. I think we are disagreeing over the details of that relationship ;)
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    Little Timmy can't have his Emerald Night because it has ceased production;

    But wait! Little Timmy can have his Emerald Night! http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/138298

    I wonder if that dream came true as a result of TLG having a secret stash, or if they utilized the evil aftermarket.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ well, the almost certainly have a small secret stash. Whether they tapped into it in this case is unknown of course.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited May 2013

    They clearly cannot have control over you if you buy items from elsewhere, unless they impose sales restrictions on their retailers. For example, setting prices below which Walmart cannot sell it's lego, or how much it can sell to one person. I somehow doubt that they will have much luck there.

    That's not precisely true, because the Walmart distribution of TLG products is governed by a contract, one that can have any number of stipulations for both sides. Such is the case for manufacturers like Apple, Bose, Weber, etc. Those companies are ultra-restrictive when it comes to product pricing through their official distribution streams, and have heavy rules concerning when, where and in what form any discounts or rebates can apply to the sale of their items.

    Of course, once it reaches the end user (which most every reseller is), all bets are off, because there's no contract for that person.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,378
    prof1515 said:

    Replace the word "reseller" with "customer" because the former are always the latter. Now, read the thread again and ask yourself how it makes sense for Lego to ban, oppose, restrict sales to and otherwise discourage them.

    Because I think it makes LEGO look like they are ignoring that a select few are buying stocks out of hard to find sets for the sole purpose of making a profit on a set in production, and even in some eyes condoning it.
    So I'm guessing LEGO probably had MANY calls and complaints asking how LEGO could sell out of Minecraft at their site an stores and allow for people to buy a 100 of them to sell for $100 per on another site?
    When people are also seeing limits of 5 per order and deciding they are going to order multiple orders and basically ignore the rules LEGO implemented, then people are just asking for LEGO to ignore the infractions?

    It is an image thing, like anything else. LEGO is trying to end what they see is an issue. I'm sure there is more than one reason, but truth be told if it is the only reason then what are you going to do?
    Go try to inflate the Megablocks secondary market?
    Or not buy LEGO?
    Like others have said, it is not a complete ban from LEGO, if you want to go to a LEGO store to buy one set, you can. (though it does hurt for anyone not near a LEGO store)

    Although, if LEGO is really trying to stop those buying their product to turn around and raise the prices on to sell then maybe they should ban TRU too.
    TheLoneTensordragonhawk
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    Although, if LEGO is really trying to stop those buying their product to turn around and raise the prices on to sell then maybe they should ban TRU too.

    Heh, how did we get this far in this discussion before this was pointed out? Brilliant.

    YellowcastlePitfall69Brickarmorpharmjod
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ i think I recall it coming up one other time in the thread, but don't hold me to it.
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    tensor said:

    Although, if LEGO is really trying to stop those buying their product to turn around and raise the prices on to sell then maybe they should ban TRU too.

    Heh, how did we get this far in this discussion before this was pointed out? Brilliant.

    TRU has distribution systems that move high volume of LEGO sets. Basically they have enough cloud to negotiate their terms for their reselling contracts with TLG which include the ability to jack the price up.

    Plus, isn't TRU's high price points a deterrent to resellers ;p
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    tensor said:

    Although, if LEGO is really trying to stop those buying their product to turn around and raise the prices on to sell then maybe they should ban TRU too.

    Heh, how did we get this far in this discussion before this was pointed out? Brilliant.

    TRU has distribution systems that move high volume of LEGO sets. Basically they have enough cloud to negotiate their terms for their reselling contracts with TLG which include the ability to jack the price up.

    Plus, isn't TRU's high price points a deterrent to resellers ;p
    Without clouding the issue, I was kidding really. One would have to have their head in the clouds to think I was serious.
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