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[US] Walmart Black Friday

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  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited December 2014
    eggshen said:

    Paraphrase: People sucking down the entire stock of something is a bad thing...

    I agree completely, but at the end of the day, people are operating within the limits Lego and the retailers place upon them, and not much more than that. The "little Timmy" discussion notwithstanding, setting reasonable purchase limits greatly prevents this sort of thing (see: Amazon). Walmart is more at fault than anything for your particular example. Target is equally at fault with the Minifigure cube (you are limited to buying 2, but you can have as many orders as you want). That, and if Lego truly did care about such, they would put the brakes on it just as they did with discounts on exclusive sets.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,933
    edited December 2014
    eggshen said:

    @pcirone, I know I really shouldn't open this can of worms, but have you ever thought about how TLG feels about people buying out the special deals they are selling to retailers?

    Here is the scenario as I see it. TLG wants as many people as possible buying LEGO sets. A lot of parents that are not AFOL's or that don't do their research feel that LEGO is expensive, so they don't buy sets for their kids. They also feel that LEGO pieces are too specialized, etc, so again, another reason why they don't buy sets for their kids. So these kids don't get the opportunity to play with their own LEGO, which makes them not buy (or ask their parents to buy) LEGO sets.

    This particular sale was a great opportunity for TLG to get some new customers. The set was inexpensive (counters argument #1 above about LEGO) and the pieces can be used in a much more free-form way of building (counters argument #2 above). A lot of parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc would have purchases one of these sets, exposing a child/family to LEGO and creating a new set of consumers for LEGO. In the long run, this would have made TLG a lot more money (due to future sales on LEGO sets over the course of a kids life), which in turn would have helped the LEGO community because the better TLG is doing the better we all are doing (more profit = more variety for us and the more willing TLG would be to make more risky sets).

    Again, I know I shouldn't open this can of worms, you are free to make money as you see fit, live the American dream, etc, but realistically I feel that people buying up all of these really impacted TLG negatively.

    Just my two cents.

    I think you are barking up the wrong tree in regards to certain forum members, at least based on past comments regarding buying large quantities of product at sale then talking about selling them at a higher price throughout the year.
    All that will do is have them come back with one of their rationalizations about how it must be OK because 'x or y', then someone goes 'well what about A or B?', and it goes on and on. You are likely not going to convert those that enjoy not only buying large quantities to sell later for profit, but then purposefully going into threads to boast they did this when they know it will provoke this type of reaction.
    Best to try to tune them out (even though I will try to note to such individuals the more appropriate place to boast is the 'brag' thread that they insist on not using)

    I will say one thing though. The problem is ultimately at the store, not the buyer. Some people just apparently do not care about others outside their bubble, only their bottom line. So be it, but then it is up to the stores to limit these purchases so people cannot go clean out a store on a whim.
    A good example were the LEGO door busters last year for TRU. I wound up going at 10 am (5 hours after their door buster started I believe) and still got what I wanted at a good price. Why? They were limiting people to 1 set per.
    Natebwlego007
  • DavidBrickleyDavidBrickley Richmond, VAMember Posts: 344
    I agree that it's ultimately the responsibility of the store to enforce a purchase limit IF they so choose to set one (totally up to the store to decide this, not Lego). No one wants to hear "yeah, we were supposed to have a limit, but we made an exception because " At that point, to the next person, it doesn't matter what the reason was for the exception, the store is in the wrong.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    I will say one thing though. The problem is ultimately at the store, not the buyer. Some people just apparently do not care about others outside their bubble, only their bottom line. So be it, but then it is up to the stores to limit these purchases so people cannot go clean out a store on a whim.
    A good example were the LEGO door busters last year for TRU. I wound up going at 10 am (5 hours after their door buster started I believe) and still got what I wanted at a good price. Why? They were limiting people to 1 set per.

    This. Most retailers want to move product. the more product they move and the faster they move it, the more money they make. If they have a buyer standing there willing to buy up a whole shelf, most would LOVE that transaction.

    If they and/or the manufacturer's care about spreading around limited release items, then they have ways to do that. But until they care enough to do so, third parties with no financial stake in the game really don't have a leg to stand on in their complaints.

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Case in point - the clerk at Target who got some Minifigure gift sets out of the back for me today was willing to sell me all 36 they had left. Happily. That's instant profit in the bank on inventory they never even had to put on the shelf. That's retailer gold

    (I didn't buy them all FYI)
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    I agree that it's ultimately the responsibility of the store to enforce a purchase limit IF they so choose to set one (totally up to the store to decide this, not Lego).

    What are you basing the info in parentheses on? It has been established that Lego can dictate pricing structures to retailers. Why not limits?
  • DavidBrickleyDavidBrickley Richmond, VAMember Posts: 344
    I'm basing the comment in parenthesis on the fact that it would be a cost-prohibitive control for Lego to try to force a store to enforce a limit. How would Lego validate compliance? With pricing, sure, each lego set has a unique UPC code from them, and a unique SKU number/product code/DPCI# or whatever at the merchant level. But to tell a merchant they have to limit quantity, and then try to enforce it?

    So "could" Lego put in a contract with a Merchant that the Merchant can only sell one of a given item to a customer? Sure. Could they enforce it, especially if the Merchant itself decided not to enforce it? Don't know how, or what benefit, perceived or actual, Lego would get from such a stance.
  • NeilJamNeilJam USAMember Posts: 272
    dougts said:


    This. Most retailers want to move product. the more product they move and the faster they move it, the more money they make. If they have a buyer standing there willing to buy up a whole shelf, most would LOVE that transaction.

    If they and/or the manufacturer's care about spreading around limited release items, then they have ways to do that. But until they care enough to do so, third parties with no financial stake in the game really don't have a leg to stand on in their complaints.


    Yes, stores want to sell the items they have without worrying about having them linger on the shelves, but they also have to deal with many customers looking for particular items. If a store lets one customer buy all the stock of an item known to be limited they will have to deal with other customers later that will be upset if they don't have what they are looking for. This is why a smart store manager will not one customer buy everything before others have a chance to. More satisfied customers can result in more sales later.
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 571
    I work part time at a toy store and I have an excellent example that is not LEGO but related to my comments here. There is a product last year that took the toy world by storm that involves rubber bands. We had multiple instances of people coming into our store offering to buy our entire stock of everything. That would have been thousands of dollars of merchandise in one sale. We did not do that. The reason is that we knew that for every kid that bought one we would have 3 more coming in to get one. And for every one we sold there was going to be continuous sales on additional supplies. If we had sold to one person, our store would not have had the benefit of additional sales to more people. The company that sold us the product also would not have been as successful (he product line was launched at our stores nation wide, and other retailers were added after its initial success).

    Exact same thing here with this basic LEGO set. The stores will miss out on future sales, TLG will miss out as well. WE all know how awesome LEGO is, TLG wants everyone to see it too. This isn't a 'little Timmy' argument. Did I want one for my kids, sure. But I think it also hurt the brand in the long run.
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 571
    Also, this item is also vastly different from the Target minifigure cube or Rocket Raccoon polybag. Those are for collectors. This item was for making more collectors.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Maybe you guys could take the debate to the OT section?
    Brickarmor
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited December 2014
    eggshen said:

    Also, this item is also vastly different from the Target minifigure cube or Rocket Raccoon polybag. Those are for collectors. This item was for making more collectors.

    Are you referring to the rubber band thing or the Brick Tower? If it's the rubber band thing, I'll trust your opinion on it's intent. If you were meaning the brick tower, I vehemently disagree that that was the intent of the product.

    the comparison to the rubber band thing you speak of (which I bought my daughter), and the LEGO brick tower is really not very applicable at all. The brick tower was not intended to introduce people to a new product they knew nothing about, and to generate future sales on refill bricks. It was intended to get people who are into a store at 6pm on Thanksgiving day to buy things they already know they want. And it was famously successfull at doing so
  • Chang405Chang405 Member Posts: 81
    eggshen said:

    ........realistically I feel that people buying up all of these really impacted TLG negatively.

    Just my two cents.

    It may well have impacted TLG negatively. But I would argue that the average customer has no obligation to look out for the interests of TLG. TLG is a billion dollar company and it can take care of itself. TLG sure didn't have any problems forcing B&N and Fredmeyers to stop offering discounted LEGO. If TLG thinks forcing Walmart to limit the number of towers sold to each customers during BF will positively impact TLG, its up to TLG to force Walmart to do so.

    I bought two towers online. I did so because they were cheap and seemed like a good deal. However, I am not sure I will ever open them and use them. So, one could argue that my two towers could have gone to two different people and helped them become new LEGO fans. But I don't feel I have any obligation not to buy those two towers for the "greater good". In my eyes, there is no difference between me binge buying two towers that I will not likely use or someone else buying 30 towers for resell purposes.

    dougts
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    NeilJam said:

    Yes, stores want to sell the items they have without worrying about having them linger on the shelves, but they also have to deal with many customers looking for particular items. If a store lets one customer buy all the stock of an item known to be limited they will have to deal with other customers later that will be upset if they don't have what they are looking for. This is why a smart store manager will not one customer buy everything before others have a chance to. More satisfied customers can result in more sales later.

    this was a black Friday doorbuster. Everyone knows they are going to sell out in 15 minutes - that is the entire point. Whether 1 person bought them all or 30 people standing there each bought 1 - there wasn't going to be any left for "later shoppers". Unless you are at that mythical WalMart in anti-LEGOland that somehow still has some

    Thanos75
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    Pardon my ignorance, but what was the "rubber band thing" mentioned earlier? Sorry, just curious.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    Pardon my ignorance, but what was the "rubber band thing" mentioned earlier? Sorry, just curious.

    make your own rubber band bracelet things. You kind of weave em together. basically the latest fad. jUst give it a year or so and it'll be the latest PAST fad just like silly bandz are
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Cra-Z-loom
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651

    Pardon my ignorance, but what was the "rubber band thing" mentioned earlier? Sorry, just curious.

    make your own rubber band bracelet things. You kind of weave em together. basically the latest fad. jUst give it a year or so and it'll be the latest PAST fad just like silly bandz are
    Oh of course. I misread the comment and thought it was something LEGO related. I remember those.
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 867
    Rats. I missed this set #10664 for $35. Is there anyone in Phoenix that has one to sell me?
  • JedijonJedijon Member Posts: 19
    I've seen WalMart employees taking the limited availability items for themselves IN FRONT of customers before sales while they stock the aisles.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    Jedijon said:

    I've seen WalMart employees taking the limited availability items for themselves IN FRONT of customers before sales while they stock the aisles.

    taking into account its Walmart, is that really a surprise?

  • lordzaraklordzarak OH, United StatesMember Posts: 329
    edited December 2014
    I just got a backorder notice for my creative towers ordered on Cyber Monday. If they do not get more stock in 10 days, the order will be cancelled.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,967
    Mine actually arrived yesterday. I had no idea how big the boxes were, but they are big.
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    All of my orders placed Monday shipped today (12/3) from VA and are due to arrive in NY on Friday (12/5).
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    I received one box and got the same email as @lordzarak‌ about the other 2. I really hope they don't cancel.
  • JedijonJedijon Member Posts: 19
    Orders placed at 04:30 PST for cyber Monday creative tower half off at new retail price of $70 have shipped. Email notification afternoon of 12/3. Sched arrival 12/9.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    I ordered 2 on Monday, and they are set to arrive to me tomorrow.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259

    I agree that it's ultimately the responsibility of the store to enforce a purchase limit IF they so choose to set one (totally up to the store to decide this, not Lego).

    What are you basing the info in parentheses on? It has been established that Lego can dictate pricing structures to retailers. Why not limits?
    But I don't think that has been established, I'd almost garuntee there was no dictating, more likley some kind of negotiation where Walmart, Amazon & Target all benifited (at the consumers expense I might add).
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,933
    Apparently the Creative tower was the 3rd best seller for Cyber Monday at Walmart. Just wish I could have gotten 2 of them for gifts
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Benny's spaceship is back at $80 in case anyone missed it.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited December 2014

    Apparently the Creative tower was the 3rd best seller for Cyber Monday at Walmart. Just wish I could have gotten 2 of them for gifts

    I'm not surprised by this, but I'm curious how you found out this information.

    I don't live in the LEGO availability paradise that @thanos75 or @pcirone do, but this is the 3rd consecutive year where I was able to purchase as much as my shopping cart would hold without denying anyone else that was in line with me. That's not to say that I think they wouldn't sell out briskly had I left them, and I didn't even bother driving to other stores in the area because I'm pretty confident they would be gone by the time I got there.

    The point of doorbusters is to arrive early, in most cases before the store opens. As long as I'm not denying someone that fits that criteria and not violating purchase limits, I sleep well at night (except for Black Friday eve).
    dougtsGoldfreek
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,933
    edited December 2014
    rocao said:

    I'm not surprised by this, but I'm curious how you found out this information.

    It was reported on multiple news outlets in my area. It also was present and sold out in about 20 minutes online on Cyber Monday (Cyber Monday, not talking about BF) I believe the ones in my area stores were long gone.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ I see. I was just curious if it was best-selling by units, revenue, etc. but if you're saying it was news outlets, I'll take it with a grain of salt as I'd be surprised if Walmart already analyzed and published their sales data. Moreover, most people were reporting at most half a palette at each store, which isn't a lot given the size of one box.

    If your local news is anything like mine, it could be a polling sample of three people exiting Walmart that leads to this claim :P
  • GoldfreekGoldfreek USA, California, SacramentoMember Posts: 96
    edited December 2014
    rocao said:

    I don't live in the LEGO availability paradise that @thanos75 or @pcirone do, but this is the 3rd consecutive year where I was able to purchase as much as my shopping cart would hold without denying anyone else that was in line with me. That's not to say that I think they wouldn't sell out briskly had I left them, and I didn't even bother driving to other stores in the area because I'm pretty confident they would be gone by the time I got there.

    Well I am glad I did not go to the Walmart by your house, I was sure you had hit it up by the time I was driving by. Last year I was able to fill my cart at a few Walmarts but this year I went to 5 different ones from Martinez through Folsom and only found 8 buckets. 3 of the stores had none and the Martinez store was horribly crowded. Only the Dixon and West Sac stores had any by the time I got there.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    My online orders just shipped.
  • lordzaraklordzarak OH, United StatesMember Posts: 329
    I got a shipping notice overnight as well. In fact, it's scheduled to be delivered today. *whew*
    margot
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Yup, and I'm on the phone getting them to price adjust. She gave me $29.75 for each. :-) It's about 10-15 minutes on hold to get through right now.
  • InfinitymanInfinityman United StatesMember Posts: 118
    I ordered from Walmart and toysrus on cyber Monday and got both shipping confirmations this morning!
  • JedijonJedijon Member Posts: 19
    What's the price adjustment for?
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2014
    @Jedijon, The second online wave was sold for $35 instead of $30. She price adjusted them back to $30 for me.
  • JedijonJedijon Member Posts: 19
    Cool. You did this over email? And the rationale was, "this price was a mistake". I'm going to try w/mine if I can figure out how you did this. Having a m
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    No, email does not work. This is the online response "Thank you for contacting us, we are glad to assist you. Unfortunately due to system policies we are not able to price match items in promotions of Holiday season."
    Just call customer service. I told them that right before and right after I ordered it, it was $30. I got someone really nice on the phone so I may have gotten lucky.
  • JedijonJedijon Member Posts: 19
    I follow you. I didn't bother to check back after my order. They're in stock as of now at the $30 price again. My adjustment was similarly successful for items purchased at the $35 price.
    margot
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Let's not get everyone's hopes up, they are not in stock. They are priced back at $30 though.
  • JedijonJedijon Member Posts: 19
    I said "call" should've been "called".

    They're not marked - 'out of stock' (hence my confusion, and possibly also our mutual success in achieving price adj) - but once you click the "add to cart" button...you're told they're unavailable.
  • enotogaenotoga Member Posts: 133
    If your from the Northeast US, you have to tread lightly around here. The st*nkers have thin skin. It's not personal.....it's a cultural thing.
  • luckie_reubsluckie_reubs Member Posts: 299
    Hey, look what I found. I ordered it on Tuesday, and it arrived today.

    image
    SirBen
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