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That said, I think between Mr. Gold and the comic con exclusives mishandling, this kind of thing was inevitable to happen, and is likely to happen again. Is this a good thing? I'd say no, because it has gotten somewhat insulting and hurtful in here, and nobody really needs that. But, on the other hand, healthy venting can be a good thing, because it helps you know where people really stand, and you can gain a new respect for someone based on that, even if you don't fully understand their motives.
Buy early. Buy online. Shut the f up.
No problems if everyone followed this formula. That goes for buyers, for sellers alike. If for some reason you can't do one of the first two, the third is still there and it even covers those who never buy or sell (ie, the great ignorant unwashed masses who prefer the other aisles at the toy store).
@rocao - you know better
Might I suggest a new thread titled "Ask LFT anything"
One thing I like about Brickset is that its not normally like other forums which are full of flame wars and pointless meme posts. For a forum about a Toy it is much more grown up and community based than any other I have been a member of and just about everyone acts like the adult they are, which is a rare thing on the Internet.
Lets try to keep it that way :)
You seem pretty stuck on that one point. I did comply with the limits and they banned me anyway. Do you believe the prior agreement to stick with the purchase limits holds at that point?
Perhaps you think I shouldn't purchase any LEGO from them since they told me my business wasn't welcome?
Consider it from another point of view. I used to use my account and my wife's account to buy LEGO from Amazon. About 6 months ago I received an e-mail from Amazon asking me not to do this, that using another account to circumvent purchase limits was against their policy.
I have never done it since then and Amazon continues to allow me to purchase the stated weekly limit on my one account. So we have an agreement and I've upheld it.
[email protected] e-mailed me and asked me to stick to limits, I did, and then got banned anyway.
There is a very important difference between the [email protected] and Amazon situations, from my point of view. Do you agree or disagree?
Whilst I dislike the practice of buying lots of stuff up so some people miss out... as late as the end of last week there was a #41999 happily sitting on the shelves of the Watford store. I'm not really into Technic so it stayed there.
The whole collector mentality thing is really interesting though - I collect Transformers and you see the worst of the collector mentality there as well. Same issues as Lego - convention exclusives (though a lot more, and equally desirable pieces), also a huge deal of shortpacking some figures in each line so they get swiped up. Generalising a bit, but the scalping activity for TFs is a LOT worse in the USA (judging by what I've read on the boards) than in the UK - this may well be the same case with Lego in the UK too. I have to say that I've never had any trouble getting hold of either a TF or Lego set in the UK that I wanted, so perhaps we're just fortunate for the most part.
If you don't believe that it is the case, then we have nowhere to go with this argument, because I don't consider that a debatable point, it is simply a fact.
If we were having a proper debate I could submit that to the debate moderator and I believe I'd win that point. It is an example, taken from @rocao's example... These aren't meals, these are plastic building toys.
There are laws against doing this in real life with food and basic supplies, for good reason. LEGO isn't a basic life requirement, please don't try and make it a "right".
Many people here toss out the term price gouging, but that has a specific legal meaning and will never apply to LEGO, but it does apply to basics like food during an emergency.
In an emergency, I wouldn't sell the food, I'd give it away.
From lego's point of view, they know you are a large reseller, and they don't want large resellers to buy (from [email protected]) to resell. So it makes sense to ban you. Some people here may feel you were harshly punished for previous purchases when no limits were stated, but you have also now shown that if it suits you then you will circumvent any limits anyway.
Of course the stupid thing is that lego does not have joined up policy of banning large resellers across its systems or in some cases imposing limits in store when there are limits online and in other stores. It seems there is little point of banning resellers online if their local store still sells to them.
I am just not afraid to admit that I occasionally resell and also use other resellers to my advantage... ;)
Also they cannot stop anyone buying regular sets from walmart, etc, but can stop them buying exclusives (or forcing them towards over RRP TRU!). So a lego store ban could work.
But even then, they will just get their family / friend to buy them instead.
This is much more reflective of this situation. There is plenty of Lego for all of us to buy, some even at a discount. The problem is that a disproportionate number of people want THIS set. And why is that? Its because #41999 was announced to be limited and rare. TLG built the hype and created the market, which was the exact point. Everyone here has all the Lego they want/need, but just not this one. TLG could have done the same thing with Unimog or any other technic set. It's not the set that people care about, its the scarcity. LFT is not preventing ANYONE from getting their lego fix. In fact, if you want #41999, there are currently multiple copies available on Ebay. If you don't want to pay $400-$500, don't blame LFT or anyone else. Blame TLG.
There are plenty of ways where banning a few customers has a much bigger upside for TLG than the loss in sales - especially where the sales will still be met be it through Walmart, Amazon et al.
I am still waiting for the "Billund air" box, limited edition, with shiny boxes. Inside, numbered plastic bags filled with air from the factory. If they take off, they could do them for all their factories. Although the one from China will probably not sell as well due to it being inferior quality.
Its also not TLG that filled every thread about 41999 with investment and quick profit talk.
That is perhaps all true, but I don't have a contractual relationship with either TLG or TRU, so it doesn't really matter to me.
If TLG wants to have an impact on my business, they need to have a relationship with me. If they choose not to, that is their business, but then they shouldn't be surprised when I act in my own best interest and not theirs.
I asked for a ITD account, was denied, so I moved on.
People are under this impression that Lego (or any other corporation for that matter) cares about you. They do not. They care about your money. They realize that a happy customer, even if it's delusional happiness based on lies and propaganda, is more likely to buy from them so they do and say things to keep you happy as long as what they do and say doesn't cost them significantly. If they could keep you happy by imposing easily-bypassed limits, they'll do it while letting those who are happy bypassing them do just that.
Ultimately, it's not Lego who's confused, it's Lego consumers who fail to keep the object of their obsession in perspective for what it is, namely a product produced by a company whose purpose is to make money.
So @rocao - what is your excuse for not making more plates of Hungrystan Goulash? :)
Sorry, forgot to eliminate the vowel and put in a *. My bad.
I really don't feel less of a Lego fan that I enjoy building and collecting sets but also selling them. Nor do I feel like a lesser human being. It's a great way to fund my hobbies and still remain in an area I enjoy.
@CCC That story does not apply very well here, since 41999 is an exclusive, something limited, aimed at collectors and that is bound to be pricey; it's a luxury, not a necessity. Of course what I said about a good businessman does NOT apply in any given situation. No one will starve without 41999, and collectors of exclusives know they have to pay an amount to get what they want. It's the same as with comicon and other exclusives, only with different distribution this time, making it available for everyone... that's fast enough to get it.
And more power to you, it sounds like you understand your relationship with TLG perfectly well.
What is the old Godfather quote?
It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.
Is discussing LEGO investment here at Brickset palatable?
Personally I would answer yes it is, in the relevant thread (s) Even within those threads if a person declares a practice that others find unacceptable then you have to be prepared to be criticised. If you don't want that then there is a simple solution and thats just don't post what you're doing.
And those who are interested in the investment side of Lego, keep it out of topics which are not about the investment side. If they're talking about the difference between a sloped or a stepped hood on a Delorean, don't pipe in with "I just bought eighty-eight of them!" It's not the place for that.
Actually you need to work on your reading comprehension as clearly this meets the very criteria you have quoted.
LFT is being harrassed: witness the prolonged and repeated attacks on his character in this seemingly endless thread. He has answered his critics multiple times and yet they keep pestering him with the same accusations persistently refusing to simply accept that he believes differently than they do.
The specific post I replied to advocated punishment in the form of posting his picture in LEGO stores and banishing him from said premises.
As someone who earns a living from reselling LEGO products he would be injured by further restrictions on his livelihood.
His belief, backed up by the very same poster who advocated persecution, is that he did nothing illegal nor, in fact, against the rules. Of course it is not to the same scale as religious or political persecution. I never suggested any such thing and if you cannot see the distinction then clearly it is you who needs to gain some perspective.
So if someone asks a question then they should not get replies like ...
Frankly, I believe that ... to be unethical
as the reader should move along and let the person asking the question discuss this (so long as there is nothing illegal). They may be playing the game to suit themselves, but that is up to them.
Note who the first two people are to say / imply it is unethical.
The reseller debate is such a hot one because it strikes at the core of many of us. I'm sure that may of us are capitalists at heart and others are more socialist with many falling somewhere in between. I say that not as a judgment, but merely to point out that this topic strikes closer to our core as individuals and causes some more heated discussions. They always say to never talk religion or politics with friends, perhaps we should add reselling to the list?
I think we are all mature enough to discuss this rationally, I think the better issue is whether there is really anything left to discuss. There are some who have been deeply involved in this debate, and others of us who comment from time to time, but regardless, I think we all have the lay of the land and how many people feel on the issue. I think resellers should be sensitive that there may be some who disagree with their practice and others who need to recognize that reselling is not an evil to be listed amongst the plagues. Then we can let this thread sink back to the bottom of the heap.....
I do understand why you may not want to hear stories about others buying and selling the set for above RRP, but no matter what, when an item is limited and that limit is announced, there will be an aftermarket for that item. It is the norm for collectables, which #41999 is.
And i get that it goes on, and I'm fine with it up to a point (crying about TLG being mean and then circumventing the rules at the first opportunity for example) but be honest (as many are) its not a service, its just an opportunistic, selfish money grab. And also, keep it within the bounds of buy and sell - something that was agreed a long time ago and has gradually been let slip. 41999 was just ridiculous.
I'm still curious - why LFT, who as has been stated could run multinationals better than they are being run, bothers flipping toys for a couple of grand?
Saying TLG only cares about money is ridiculous. Money isn't the only incentive in life, there are plenty more important goals in life and money is only the goal on the business side of things. Surely TLG is a great business and they can be good at making money, but they also care about the fans and their product. It is apparent in their community outreach such as holding a contest on what fans want and then giving it to them.
Bringing hypothetical examples of Hungrystan is stupid. Of course you seem good feeding 20,000 hungry people. Flawed from the start.
If a store has two items priced at 100 (whatever currency) and three people in a queue, and the first one doesn't want the items but buys them both anyway. Then tells the people behind him in the queue that the price is now 500. What has he added?
If he wasn't there, the price would have been 100. He has increased the price, but hasn't actually added any value. He actually blocked the two sales that would have happened to the two people in the queue to make it go out of stock. The reason there are none left is down to the reseller.
#1: I want to feed people across the ocean, just as TLG intends this to go to end-users.
Some of you may argue that they didn't explicity say this, but there's enough evidence of this to draw that conclusion: [email protected] has notified people it isn't to be used for reselling, and actually banned some admitted resellers. LEGO stores have carried a quantity limit for some time, but a communication was given to stores last month that clearly states they should not sell to resellers. For the limited edition SDCC giveaways, after a fuss was made about their distribution method, LEGO issued this as part of a statement: And you can read information about 41999 from this link: http://www.lego.com/en-us/technic/technicfan/blog/2013-2hy/co-creation-box/ #2: I know there are pirates in the waters. TLG knows there are resellers.
If TLG's goal is to get this into the hands of end-users from #1, then resellers are unintended, undesirable interceptors, just as pirates are. They are not other people at the dock and they were not supposed to be in the line. TLG are to blame for not protecting their product better and producing too little extra to account for the inevitable siphoning, but resellers also should have accountability for their actions.
#3: I didn't state a quantity deliberately.
For a multitude of reasons, I think TLG knew they were probably never going to make enough for every person to get as many as they wanted. If TLG operates like virtually every other company in the world, when they run these promotions there is a budget. If TLG operates like nearly every other company in the world, there is a limit on their ability to find new capacity to produce these sets. They also generously priced 41999 the same as 9398, and with the higher piece count, extra PF, unique elements, and special packaging, if they produced too many they would be submarining the sales of their existing 9398.
Despite those limitations, even if TLG wanted to make enough for every person that wanted one, I don't think they knew what that number is. You can see the total votes for the contest here: http://lh5.ggpht.com/-4kjZVuNCXUU/UP_hk_EWTdI/AAAAAAAAF64/8RneYUTi27g/s640/2013_%25201_23_17_11.jpg
It is approximately 2300 total votes. Some voters obviously will not actually buy the set, and there are people that will buy the set that didn't vote. But let's take a cue from the CUUSOO business model. 10,000 votes = 10,000 initial models made. This was far too few for a $35 Minecraft set based on a video game that has over 20 million sales. It doesn't seem to be too few for all the other CUUSOO sets, though, and here we're talking about a $200 Technic set that not only has no cross-over, its fans are a sub-set of LEGO fans, and it's based on an existing design that many of those fans already have. Even still, they produced 10 times the number of contest votes and comfortably settled on a 20,000 production run that has been used many times in the past. I don't know exactly how the decision went down, but if I was in charge for the logistics of this promotion and operating on a budget, even if I thought there was a chance demand would be greater, I would err on the side of underproduction rather than cost my company money by overproducing.
That is why I didn't state a number for the people I was trying to get the product to across the ocean. Not only does it require guesswork, but the production may be subject to constraints that render the guesswork pointless. Instead I have this food that I made. If it is fully consumed I'm happy. If people are left wanting more, I trust they'll find other food because there are plenty of different types available. Wasting the food might hinder my ability to justify future food shipments, so I definitely won't rather come up short than overproduce.
My regret then is using food in my example. I didn't use it to imply a necessity. I used it just because it's the first product that comes to mind when I think of things on ships going across oceans. I'm fine if we say Oriental rugs.
tl;dr: I take my analogies and metaphors seriously :P