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Why buy from LEGO S@H?

LambringoLambringo Member Posts: 104
edited October 2011 in Shopping Elsewhere
This may sound like a silly question, but why do so many AFOLs from UK and USA go on about purchasing their LEGO directly from S@H? The reason I ask is that the price is nearly always at full RRP and the shipping cost is not cheap. I know you can get VIP points, a free poly bag or key ring, but surely purchasing from another retailer, be it online or in store when its BOGO free or a percentage off makes more sense.

I sometimes go on S@H just to confirm Australian RRP compared to an advertised special, and have even attempted to place a couple of orders a couple for the LEGO exclusives, but the shipping cost made me empty the cart ASAP.


  • andheandhe Member Posts: 4,002
    edited October 2011
    Thanks for raising this. I tend to buy elsewhere as figure the savings I make on price and postage more than make up for the 'freebies' I can get through points. I guess if you are buying A LOT of lego then the points would stack up more.

    Also it's the only place to get exclusives without paying over the odds. But would be interested to see other peoples reasons.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    To get hold of exclusives not sold elsewhere and when you want the best possible chance of getting a true MISB set delivered. Add to that the opportunity to get hold of the occasional exclusive promo item. One final reason is the world class customer service offered, you know, just in case something does go wrong.

    I always shop around and constantly weigh up the factors above vs. a (normally) cheaper price elsewhere. These days, I only ever buy from S@H when there is a promotion going on, either free shipping, extra VIP points or an exclusive poly etc.

  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    @Lambringo, in the UK postage is £3.95 for whatever you order so its not too bad, especially if you order multi items.
    I order a fair amount from S@H, my reasons are:
    -Exclusives - its really not easy to get hold of things like the Modulars, UCS, Tower Bridge etc other than from Lego stores, TRU etc dont sell most of them.
    -Packaging - S@H packaging is 95% of the time first class so the item gets to you in mint condition, I can't say the same for many online retailers.
    -Customer Service - TLG Customer Service is second to none (IMO), in the rare times I have had any issue they went over and above to resolve and assist, you would not get that from a lot of other places.
    -VIP Points - They are only worth 5% (10% when you get double VIP points, like now), but that adds up pretty quickly and make for a nice discount on a fairly regular basis.
    -Promos - Quite regularly you can get free postage (which I think should be the norm over say £40) and other little incentives which are often quite nice.

    This is not to say I wouldnt buy from other retailers, I do, often, but I would probably not buy any of the larger sets from anywhere other than S@H now, as I like these to be MISB when they get to me. I recently bought Diagon Alley from Tesco when they had a sale, when it got to store it had been sent in a plastic bag, so it arrived fairly scuffed up and with a hole in the box, in hindsight i would rather have paid the extra £'s to get it MISB from S@H.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,827
    edited October 2011
    Like you say, the only time I now buy from S@H is to buy exclusives or at Christmas when we're climbing over each other to get to the sale items (if there's any left before the sale starts)!

    Although not a given, with the exception of one delivery all others have been delivered in good time and in one piece. I don't buy for the VIP points - they're an added bonus but not enough to persuade me to buy from them over Amazon at two thirds of the price or using a 3for2 elsewhere. It did make me cross to find that Diagon Alley could be bought at Tescos at 20% off having just bought at S&H for full price thinking it was an 'exclusive'! Still, I did get my headless Black Arf!
  • akunthitaakunthita Member Posts: 1,038
    The exclusives are that draws me to S@H as well. Also, I don't know if this is going to be a trend from now on, but this year free shipping over $75 was almost always available. They finished one promotion, and started the next right after. So, now (at least in the US), you can pretty much always expect free shipping over $75. Which is a really good deal.

    I still shop at Amazon though when I can because I don't have to pay taxes. With S@H I do have to as I live in a state with a LEGO store (and soon LEGOLAND! Yay!)....(c:
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    I would say I buy 80% of my stuff from S@H.
    Mostly I buy when the VIP points offers are on or the free shipping, but not exclusively. The exclusive elements certainly play a factor but mostly, the shipping speed and quality and the customer service keep me coming back. I have bought a few things from Play recently and while the price is good (very good sometimes) 50% of stuff come shipped in bags and is bust up and just trying to sort out a new item in the correct quality is a bit of a nightmare (they do help, but when the replacement is shipped in a bag and you have to pay to ship the first one back...).
    At the end of the day S@H is easy, reliable and seems to have a good range of offers on a regular basis.
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 811
    i buy from shop @ home in the US and have my cousin ship it over, spare parts and bits that are cheaper than bricklink i go to uk s@h.
  • BustinBustin Member Posts: 286
    Being new here I have yet to find a topic that says what S@H is...if someone could explain I would be grateful thanks!
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,827
    edited October 2011
    Welcome Bustin.

    Shop at Home - LEGO's method of selling online.
  • aaronptrckaaronptrck Member Posts: 15
    I'd like to challenge the definition of 'Exclusive'. It seems as if most sets that are initially 'Lego Exclusives' end up on Amazon, Walmart, or TRU. Of course such would be the case for a TRU Exclusive Set (Ex. 2010 Trains). However, a couple examples of truly Lego exclusives that ended up on Amazon/Walmart/Etc.

    -Both 2009/2010 Winter Toy sets
    -Tower Bridge
    -Maresk Train
    -Diagon Alley
    -Pet Shop

    Buying from Lego makes next to no sense for me. Amazon rarely charges for shipping, rarely charges the full price, and doesn't charge TAX! (I'd also like to emphasize that the shipping is FREE and gets herr in a quarter of the time).

    The only time that buying from Lego makes sense is when they have merchandise that I can't live without, or are giving away a cute little goodie.

    Furthermore, I'd just like to add that while the VIP program is a nice little come on (with promotions like xxx additional points when you buy this set, or double points when you buy xxxx set.... It never equates to the savings on Amazon.
  • BustinBustin Member Posts: 286
    Welcome Bustin.

    Shop at Home - LEGO's method of selling online.
    Thanks it makes sense now. I was under the impression that this was an online store like Amazon.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,827
    edited October 2011
    @aaronptrck - I think this is the differece between the US and certainly the UK. I understood up until a few months back that the 10*** were indeed exclusives and one had to order through LEGO themeselves. Then, Tower Bridge popped up at Argos and Diagon Alley at Tescos...? In the US however, it appears that exclusives are LEGO only for just a few months before stocked by other retailers such as those you mention.

    In the US, I think it's fairly clear that just about all 10*** at some point will become available through other retailers whereas within the UK I'm not so sure it's as easy to predict.
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    This is one of the big differences with Amazon UK, as far as I am aware NONE of the items you mention have been for sale on Amazon UK (other than from resellers), therefore 'Exclusives' are slighly more elusive over here!
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    it also depends on how soon you want/need the set. Here in the US, Maersk Train was only available from LEGO for almost a year, and just now is showing up at TRU. Pet Shop had about 4-5 months of exclusivity. Time will tell how long things like the new SSD, Post Office, VW Van, January's Joust set, etc. remain "exclusive", but the fact remains that if you want it right away, you really have to go through LEGO. Otherwise, you are going to have to wait awhile for it to show up at other retailers, and then wait for a sale on top of that.
  • veritas313veritas313 Member Posts: 80
    S@H do have some exclusives like MMV and shuttle adventure that I've not seen anywhere else - and in the UK I've not seen Emerald Night anywhere else for less than RRP. I no longer buy exclusives as soon as they are released as I never seem to build them straight away - instead I'm about 6 months behind and can wait to see if other retailers will sell them. I just recently snapped up 3 x tower bridges from John Lewis for £156 each with 25% partner discount - hence the benefit in biding your time.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,827
    ^ I'm not sure how long we wait.....I don't think many of us are ever going to benefit from an employee only discount.
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Member Posts: 380
    edited October 2011
    I like the Lego S&H but for me the postage is too restrictive and they never offer free postage to Ireland. if I recall for anything under 75 euro, they charge 7.50 and then it jumps up to 15 euro I think. I tend to use amazon as they do free shipping and are usually cheaper, not always but usually, than sourcing locally. Also, usually the wait is only 2 business days once it actually is shipped since they truck it over to dublin before posting.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Another point is that some items are hard to find anywhere else...

    6118 - Wheels
    6117 - Doors & Windows
    7280-7281 - Road Plates

    Those are very hard to find anywhere else. Even on Amazon they are more expensive than Lego S@H.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    As an Amazon Prime member (free 2-day shipping on pretty much everything), the only time it makes sense for me to shop @Lego is when they also have free shipping and double VIP points.

  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    ^ Like now :) And a gift with purchase too.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Yep, right now there is free shipping @ S@H, can't figure out why, but it shows free shipping, a free gift, and double VIP points.

    Now THAT is a reason to shop there. :)
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    edited October 2011
    That S&H promotion hasn't started yet has it, thought it was tomorrow. Waiting to order Diagon Alley and hoping to get the mini hogwarts, double VIP points, free delivery and the Christmas set part 1.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    ^ The free gift does start tmrw, I was just anticipating it :) Trying to decide whether I should take the plunge and get Fire Brigade during this offer...
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    yes of course you should get the fire brigade! silly question!
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    I know I want it, its just a question of how much more the credit card can take this month! i can almost hear it whimpering at the thought of more abuse...
  • FattehFatteh Member Posts: 21
    The shipping charges to NZ (and no doubt Australia judging by Lambringo's post) make buying from S@H stupidly expensive and, I imagine, rarely done in the Southern hemisphere. NZ$40 (US$32) for a minifig? Pass.
  • RavenhookRavenhook Member Posts: 70
    ^ The typical price in Australia is $35 ($36 USD) for slow shipping (18 days) or $80 for week shipping, and free shipping is only 1 day per year (Star Wars Day = May the 4th). This, though, is insignificant against the inflated prices for Australia, where the markup is at least 50% higher than US prices and often more.

    But S@H is more popular than you'd think here, and while it is neither pricing situation is going to get better. The "problem" is that LEGO is a kids' toys, and prosperous parents like to indulge their little geniuses!
  • FattehFatteh Member Posts: 21
    ^I think the inflated prices apply everywhere. Actually, they're the normal prices. It's just that the US prices are deflated for market penetration, blaa blaa.

    Ah, yes, the prosperous parents. I consider myself immune to status anxiety most of the time: flash cars, houses, boats, etc, whatever; but watching a well-heeled mother stuff a trolley at whim with full-priced boxes of LEGO really pulverises my sense of achievement in life.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Well,when you really think about it, these are very expensive plastic bricks... :)

    As nice as they are, $400 for a box of plastic is absurd, no matter how pretty it is once built.

    Yet we keep buying... :)
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,142
    It is the bizzare way we get pleasure I love having the sets. I like shop @ Home. Unlike ebay you dont need feed back to be considered to buy (three people didnt leave me buyer feed back grrrrrr). They take care with packing it and think about it hard. you are garanteed it to be as described as well and its often priced at what it cost where as Amazon in my experience fail to pack it properly and if its private sellers its over over over priced and not always as described
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