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Buying Limits

bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 717
edited March 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Can you believe this. Wanted to buy 8 of the same set (bundle of 6131 and 5526). Store manager approached me and asked why am I buying so much lego. Its my hobby I said I'm building things with it. He looked at me like I'm an idiot and said that they wont be selling me lego in bulk anymore. Unbelievable.

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Comments

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Are you a member of a LUG?
    A co-ordinated response from the LUG might be a good idea.
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 717
    Well I'm not.
    Their website has something about limits they impose so didn't bother to call them to complain.
    No other company ever asked me about the quantities and reasons for the purchases. Isn't business about moneymaking? They're stupid.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,863
    I guess his concern might be that you are just going to stick them on ebay, especially if you're taking advantage of an offer. But then whether you buy them, or 8 individuals buy them, TRU still gets the same money.
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 717
    Once I pay for something I'm free to do anything with it - put it on ebay, bricklink or even bin it. We all here do some selling to fund our hobby and noone is hiding it.
    If they are concerned why do they offer things for sale in the first place. I understand cases when items are in limited quantities and on very good offer and people are queuing at the door. It isn't like that in this case.
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 717
    edit to the first post: 5529 not 5526

    I wish it was 5526 ;P
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Interestingly, I noticed today that Amazon.fr is limiting purchases of winter village bakery to 2 max. Never seen a limit on Amazon before.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    Amazon.com limits all the time. Lots of Lego on Amazon is limited to 5 per day. Some items are limited to 3 per day.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    Regarding retail stores, I do understand why they might limit you. At the end of the day, long term repeat business from multiple customers is what they want, if you go in and clear their shelves, it removes items they can sell to all the other customers.

    The local Lego store manager told me that she has said no to resellers buying her out of items that are in demand, for just that reason. The bulk sales are not worth upsetting the average customers.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,093
    Interesting as those sets don't seem very sought after. I could understand if it was something like you buying out all their stock of say the Black Pearl right as it comes out. But sets like that? And only 8, doesn't seem too bad, its not like your buying 30 sets. On the other hand, LegoFanTexas does make a good point
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 717
    edited December 2011
    Just went to another store today on the way to work and got 4 and pulled boxes from the back to the front to make sure I don't leave gaps on the shelves. Will do the same on the way home. Simple.

    I think I'm just got to used to "no limits" treatment. I'm picking up 50 of pink boxes and 240 CMF5 from John Lewis today - they don't mind bulk buys. They will even carry the stuff to my car.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    edited December 2011
    Regarding retail stores, I do understand why they might limit you. At the end of the day, long term repeat business from multiple customers is what they want, if you go in and clear their shelves, it removes items they can sell to all the other customers.

    The local Lego store manager told me that she has said no to resellers buying her out of items that are in demand, for just that reason. The bulk sales are not worth upsetting the average customers.
    That's exactly how I see it. I recall one or two Bricksetters couldn't even get a look-in for a single XXL tub just a couple of weeks ago. If dedicated AFOLs can't hold of them, the targeted general public don't stand a chance - completely defeats the objective of the promotion in LEGO's eyes.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    Regarding walking to the car, I will say that my local Lego store is in a shopping mall and if you're buying enough, they will put it on a flatbed card and take it out the back to the loading dock for you. I've done that a few times. You can only carry so many sets before walking around in the mall with them just doesn't work. :)
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    I have mixed feelings about this. I do hate it when I miss out on something simply because the resellers bought them all. But were all are hobbyists and my guess is that, like me, most of us keep the bulk of what we buy. But I have purchased multiples on several occassions during BOGOs to resell one and make back some of my money. TRU should be careful to balance the equasion. I am in my local TRU at least 4 times per week. I have NEVER had an issue with buying bulk if I like. I'm sure the managers understand that keeping me happy is much more lucrative for the store than the random soccer mom who may come in two or three times per year. My argument comes when TRU lets people search the CMF packs thus leaving a mountain of the more undesirable figures in a process that is supposed to be random.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I don't care as long as the retailer is clear on what the rules are and sticks to them consistently. I don't like arbitrary rules or arbitrarily applied rules.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    @brickmatic - I couldn't agree more. I *hate* when places arbitratily change the rules.
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    @brickmatic I could not agree with you more. My favorite is when TRU gets the CMF's in. Someone will put a limit on how many you can purchase. If you come back a hour later to the same store a different person lets you buy as many as you want.
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 717
    edited December 2011
    ... long term repeat business from multiple customers is what they want, if you go in and clear their shelves, it removes items they can sell to all the other customers....The bulk sales are not worth upsetting the average customers.
    and then in other thread you write how you placed order for 5 "investment" Imperial Flagships on Amazon
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    I won't deny I haven't picked up one or two to resell, of course I have, but never have I cleared a shelf leaving others without - despite having the means to.

    What bugs me, is as @wagnerml2 said, there isn't ANY stock on the shelf by the time I can break away from work commitments at lunchtime because a reseller has cleared them out - I want one or two!?

    I welcome a store that upholds this rule, but agree it needs to be consistent.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited December 2011
    I agree, I think they should set a limit of 5 or 10, so AFOLs and brick-collectors are OK, but serious resellers dont steal the opportunity from everyone else. Selfish behaviour at its worst.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 819
    No telling who is a reseller or collector in the eyes of the store employee. I recently purchased 4 of the Forest Police HQ set from TRU so that I LUG NY could do a parts draft of this set. I am a regular at this store so the employee knows my sickness. She even listened to me babble on about what a parts draft is but had I not been able to buy these sets I would have been upset to say the least. They were brand new and on sale at the time so they could have limited me if they wanted.

    On a related note, I went to a KMart several years ago on Black Friday and got there minutes after they opened hoping to take advantage of a BOGO 50% off sale. As I walked to the toy section 2 grown men had 2 shopping carts each filled with the entire non-Bionicle LEGO stock this store had. I could not believe these guys weren't limited in any way. I left the store empty handed as these guys were packing their SUV up with their resell haul.

  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited December 2011
    ... long term repeat business from multiple customers is what they want, if you go in and clear their shelves, it removes items they can sell to all the other customers....The bulk sales are not worth upsetting the average customers.
    and then in other thread you write how you placed order for 5 "investment" Imperial Flagships on Amazon

    I'm sure LFT can reply to this, but I would like to make a differentation between online and B&M. I think B&M could be that much more important to limit amounts to "X" sets (can't be arbitrary though, as has already mentioned) because if all the "good" sets are always bought out in the first day by resellers, eventually the general public will ignore that store's sales because they've been burned too many times by driving to the store and coming home empty handed. The stores will lose the benefits of the sales and advertising and the extra money they would have gained when the general public buys other toys in addition to Lego when coming into the store for the sale. Lego resellers come in for one thing and one thing only...Lego sets on sale.

    Online, you can simply go to the site and check it out. If they are out, it's little time wasted and just as important, no gas used on the drive to the store. So it's not as painful as compared to going to the store to find out they are sold out, especially if it's the first day or two of a sale.

    By the way, what's up with the forum making it look like I've double posted? I always want to jump back in and delete my comment because it looks like I've posted twice. Anyone else have that problem?

  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,572
    ^ Yes - Matthew and I were talking about it in the UK Hermione minifig thread.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    ... long term repeat business from multiple customers is what they want, if you go in and clear their shelves, it removes items they can sell to all the other customers....The bulk sales are not worth upsetting the average customers.
    and then in other thread you write how you placed order for 5 "investment" Imperial Flagships on Amazon
    That is true, but Amazon has over a thousand in stock, I am not hurting their regular business.

    If I wanted them all, you'd have a good point. ;)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,717
    @bricknation: I think that TRU can do this at a manager's discretion.. of course they have to catch you doing it unless they put your name and photo somewhere.. which would be hilarious.. not, for you but for the fact they would do something like that.. In which case wear it like a badge of honor, man! lol

    I think some store managers have received complaints about items like CMFs and other sought after sets that are always gone because one person goes into the store to clean them out. Managers are also not dummies (well some of them at least), they know about eBay and the secondary market.. they have to by now. I think they are tired of the complaints. They would rather have 1 AFOL complaining than people standing there reading the the 'riot act' to them with 4 kids in tow....

  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    ^^ In with the community spirit we try to promote within Brickset, how many members are without an Emerald Night?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,717
    Also if LFT keeps buying like this, LEGO is going to declare him a Store...lol
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,717
    ^^ In with the community spirit we try to promote within Brickset, how many members are without an Emerald Night?

    I'm guessing with all the reports of ENs being discontinued but were available.. there should not be many.
    Although I do like the 'countdowns' :-)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    edited December 2011
    ^ So given the very few of them there are, they won't have any trouble picking one up at the reduced rate from LFT?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,717
    ^--- I do not want to speak for LFT, but I think he just fell off of his chair reading that.....

    To be honest when I read the thread title I through it was LFT starting the thread :-)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    edited December 2011
    To be honest when I read the thread title I through it was LFT starting the thread :-)
    Me too! :o)
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I don't have an EN yet. However, I only have myself and my budget to blame :(
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    you guys crack me up... ;)
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    *lol* I know all too well the feeling of being looked at by others in a store for buying bulk amounts of Lego! Luckily my local TRU is very generous and many employees are familiar with the fact that I'm just some collector with a screw loose.

    The only time I recal store employees actually "blocking" bulk quantities was with the Collectible Minifigures (more specifically series 1 and 2). To be fair they were under very strict supply and equally high demand. It was kind of obvious that an adult didn't need to be buying one of the only two cases remaining in the store. Those things, at least for awhile, were one hot ticket item on ebay!
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I'm glad you find my lack of an EN funny, LFT. You think this a laughing matter? You think this is funny? You going and buying pallets of LEGO product and laughing at the rest of us. We are the 99% and you're like the 1%! Of AFOLs!
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    Occupy...Legoland?
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    J/k :p

    Although, I'm curious if we had a ranking with a distribution curve, would we see any parallels to the income distribution inequalities touted by OWS.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,572
    I've been reading this and other threads with interest (not the countdowns; those I find über-boring), and for what it's worth, here's my two cents (or penn'orth, depending on where you are...)

    Any limit set by stores cannot help but be arbitrary. What constitutes an acceptable number of copies of a single Lego set that one person can/should be able to buy? Most people (note: the general populace, not just AFOLs) would probably say one or two. Besides, wherever you choose to draw the line, someone will always want to cross it.

    I don't think there should be a distinction between B&M and online. If a store's out of stock, what do you do? Check online, only to find stock (or promotional stock at least) is sold out there too. Little time and money wasted, sure, but same disappointment. The principle's the same... scaling up your purchasing just because they have more stock online is no different in my opinion. That said, I'm now just imagining the look on kids' faces when they go shopping for a weekend Lego treat and find their local store has already been "hit" and stripped of stock... Actually no, I take it back, limits are definitely required to a greater extent in B&M. At this time of the year, it's especially hard to hear these stories of "cleaning out" a store, because you know there are so many families on low incomes who, newsflash!, also have kids that love Lego and who need to take advantage of sales if they can ever hope to get some special sets for those kids to open on Christmas Day. We all know Lego ain't cheap. But they can't do this if an AFOL has bought multiples of sets that will proceed to sit in their closet accumulating dust (and value, they hope), rather than being played with and "fulfilling their Christmas destiny", as t'were.

    I personally am not cut out for moonlighting as a Lego reseller. I was going to give it a go, but my heart's not in it. The 2 spare Hogwarts Expresses I bought last week in an unusually generous promotion from a UK retailer are getting returned to the store at the weekend, for someone else to buy and enjoy. I can understand buying maybe two or three for resale but when you hit double figures, hasn't it become a job rather than a hobby? Or, as some joke, an addiction (I think there is a lot of truth in the usage of that word btw).

    Maybe I'm in the minority here and being incredibly naive, but I'd rather have some fun, build some of my backlog or get creative and make a start on one of my MOC ideas rather than spend my precious free time getting stressed trying to flog surplus stock at maximum profit. I'm on a much, much more modest budget that most on here, and, I freely admit it, I can't afford to get everything I want, so I'd prefer to prioritise buying those sets I know I want the pleasure of building, rather than those I think will make me a profit. And if I miss out on something I want because it gets discontinued (which I undoubtedly will), I'm telling you now for free, I won't be prepared to bankrupt myself paying the secondary market prices y'all are hoping to achieve...

    I hope I'm not alone in wanting to keep my Lego as a fun leisure activity and creative outlet, rather than assessing every set for what its future resale value might be, not taking into consideration whether I actually *like* it, until all the joy is sucked out of the product itself... I think it's sad that there are loads of threads in this forum devoted to (bulk) buying and (re-)selling but relatively few for building and MOCs (the one started by @supersympa is a notable, and wonderful, exception, as well as striking a lovely seasonal note). I'm increasingly feeling like I have little in common with a lot of the people on here, but fortunately I am in daily contact with a great core of collectors who know how to balance their commercial interest in Lego with the sheer delight in, for example, the simple idea of a custom minifig recreation of their favourite footy team. I hope we're not the exception, and that the majority of this community hasn't lost sight of the fundamental idea of Lego: "Play well".

    I know I've wandered quite a way off-topic, for which I apologise. And I'm not usually so long-winded either, but I guess I needed to get that off my chest...sorry...
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 935
    ^ What she said!
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,764
    ^^ here here
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    ^^^ Christ, remind me not to p*ss you off within swinging distance!

    Here here.
  • pantboypantboy EnglandMember Posts: 211
    ^^^ couldn't agree more.

    I would love some custom football team minifigs, if someone knows where i can get some Aston Villa ones PM me.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    @LostInTranslation - your thoughts are shared by many, and are understood.

    Do keep in mind that TLG is not a non-profit, if you go look in the back stock room of a Lego Store, it isn't filled with "wonderful toys for the kids", it is filled with inventory, boxes of cardboard and plastic.

    Truth is, it is just a business, like any other. GE makes lightbulbs (among other things), The Lego Group makes plastic toys, they are widgets, doesn't really matter what for, so long as someone buys them.

    Sad, in a way, to think of it like that, but all things in life work out that way when money gets involved.

    So do I have multiple copies of many sets? Yes? Has it ruined my joy of Lego? Not one bit! I'm super excited about the sets I'm going to build, and happy for the sets that I'm going to resell to pay for the sets I'm going to build.

    I easily have over $10K worth of Lego to "keep" in the house, might be approaching $20K. I have made myself a deal that I only did that because I was going to make this a self-funding hobby.

    Keep in mind that Lego is only discontinued once a year, so I can only "stock up" once a year. I don't expect to keep buying like this come January.
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    edited December 2011
    Can we give LostInTranslation's post a pedestal, a bullhorn, an echo chamber, something???? Her post resounds.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    [gives Lucy a hug] Much more eloquent than anything I could have written, but I agree with whot you wrote ;-)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,717
    When I do buy more than 1 set, I try to spread it out over the year, not all at once.. well this Christmas kind of trashed that notion (at least with the EN) but I do agree with what @LostInTranslation said.

    I would like to see more threads devoted to building techniques and MOC and whatnot....
  • nodnarb162nodnarb162 Member Posts: 58
    @LostInTranslation, well said.

    ^ Yeah I agree you and LIT :P I tried to make a post asking for advice on a MOC I was trying to do...it never even got one comment :(
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    Regarding retail stores, I do understand why they might limit you. At the end of the day, long term repeat business from multiple customers is what they want, if you go in and clear their shelves, it removes items they can sell to all the other customers.

    The local Lego store manager told me that she has said no to resellers buying her out of items that are in demand, for just that reason. The bulk sales are not worth upsetting the average customers.
    Exactly it LegoFanTexas and I'm with you LostInTranslation.
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 714
    Wholeheartedly agree with what @LostInTranslation has said.

    The commercial aspect of buying for resale with visions of profit ruins it for those of us that just wanna have fun... too many people only have $ in their eyes ($_$).

  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    GE makes lightbulbs (among other things), The Lego Group makes plastic toys, they are widgets, doesn't really matter what for, so long as someone buys them.
    Hey. You make a valid point. However, if the hardware store decides to sell off their entire stock of lightbulbs at 50% off, does that mean the entire nation has to eat their supper in darkness because half a dozen FALs (Fans of lightbulbs) have camped outside and bought them all up the second the shutter went up?

    Promotions are negotiated and arranged between the supplier (LEGO in this case) and the retailers. LEGO is a company, a very lucrative one at that. Nobody is saying that TRU or LEGO are missing out financially by buying in bulk, of course they're not, but when a child can't wake up on Boxing Day to rush to the store to spend his Christmas money on his favourite LEGO set, the one he's wanted for the past eighteen months and has just about got the cash together, but can't because selfish bulk buying has cleared the shelves, well, there's something up with that! It's not the companies we're concerned about, it's the consumers.

    When I read a couple of weeks ago about vast quantities of XXL tubs being bought up the way they were, do you recall there was one member of Brickset who couldn't find one for their child (I think that's what it was for). Anyway, they wanted ONE. Not one person from this forum offered to provide it at cost (unless it was done by PM). Instead, they were directed to Amazon to go and buy one at a more expensive rate. WTF?? I 'hang' with a number of members within the Brickset community. It's about helping each other out - not "Let me see how much I can score today and how much I'll make tomorrow!"
    I have made myself a deal that I only did that because I was going to make this a self-funding hobby.
    Again, I hear you, but I refuse to believe that the vast amounts of profits that will be made from the ridiculous purchases you've made over the past few weeks won't far surpass the amount required to keep your hobby going for the year.

    Finally, like Lost touched on, the number of 'bulk purchasing' threads have increased dramatically recently. I accept that it is going to be natural that there are more deals chat about at this time of year, but not every other thread needs to be turned into a 'brag' thread. Let's not lose sight of what Brickset is about and get back to sharing thoughts and ideas about collecting and enjoy our hobby.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    I can see both sides. You can't fault a reseller for trying to make a buck on the products. That is precisely what TLG inherently does by selling products. If a reseller can find a good enough deal and wants to take advantage of it, more power to them.

    That being said, retail stores do not typically cater to resellers. They have every right to limit purchases. When stores choose to do this, I feel that they need to apply the policy univerally and stick to it. They can't have it both ways.

    I also think there is a difference between "sales" and "clearance." A sale is designed to get as many people into a store as possible to buy merchandise. Clearance is designed to get rid of inventory. If I find a good clearance deal, I don't feel bad clearing a shelf, although I've done this only a time or two, as by the time an item is to the clearance stage, inventory is usually limited.

    I don't consider myself a "reseller." If I find a great deal, sure I might grab a couple, hold onto them for a while, and try to resell them down the road, but that's not my goal with this hobby.

    Brent

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