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Here's a question for you...

Want to talk about how the LEGO company is doing, your recent visit to LEGOland, your local LEGO club, other resources in the online LEGO community, or about LEGO software and games? Come in here and join us!

What is your opinion of unlicensed Lego resellers?

XD I love them!
47
19%
:) somewhat favorable
84
35%
:| neutral
58
24%
:( somewhat negative
38
16%
>:( I hate them!
16
7%
 
Total votes : 243

Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby MrCRskater » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:11 am

As everyone around here seems to be commenting on this, I'll throw in my 2 cents. The notion of an aftermarket is not entirely offensive, as it does offer an opportunity to acquire discontinued product. To those folks who buy an extra copy (or 2 or 3) of any given set to sell off or trade later is doing a service to the hobbiest and collector communities. However, those folks who exhaust inventories for the sake of being able to make a substantial profit are parasites on the hobbiest/collector communities, and ultimately are robbing LEGO's target audience (young children) of the joy and experience of having whatever it is they hoarded (which could someday hinder the LEGO brand image). This kind of activity also affects the price-point for everyone (negatively, in my opinion), effectively narrowing everyone's options to buying something at MSRP or [severely] inflated after-market prices.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby brandobond » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:22 am

I'm with the general consensus that reselling can be a useful service but it is despicable to buy out all the stock and try to drive up the value for resale. A couple years ago, on the day the Wii launched, my local walmart had a lottery for who would get to purchase a Wii. My whole family got tickets to the draw and we ended up winning with 4 of our tickets! I was tempted to just buy all four and put 3 on ebay to make a couple grand but instead I noticed a couple families that didn't win. There was a single mom with her son and a dad with his daughters. I gave them each one of the winning tickets and of course they were ecstatic. That felt good and I also got to go home and play Wii all day rather than sitting around nervously watching ebay auctions.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby UOldPirate » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:27 am

MrCRskater, nice! I was wondering how long it would take for the chromemini post to be used to prove everyone's point in this thread. Talk about a coincidence! Admins / Mods, this isn't some sort of early April Fool's joke, is it?
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby kyphur » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:30 am

Andi wrote:Last year, there was a hard to find set on sale in the Lego Store. Of course they sold out very quick, but with coincidence I learned that they just got another delivery.
When I asked if I could get 1 (ONE) of these, they said "No, sorry, one guy reserved all 100 (HUNDRED!) which were in this delivery"
Well, and then I met this guy and he bragged about that he would make a nice profit with these sets.

Guess who was angry ;)


Wow! My local LEGO Store won't reserve something for you that isn't currently in stock.

A few years ago (when Boba Fett's Slave I was released and in short supply) I happened to find what day the deliveries are received at the local store as was there when they "cracked the seals". I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase 1 of each new set (about 7 of them) but never could have brought myself to purchase multiples as there were kids there who wanted some also.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Solo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:44 am

UOldPirate wrote:Admins / Mods, this isn't some sort of early April Fool's joke, is it?

Not one we're pulling at least. But since that guy only posted a picture of 9, I'm thinking it might be a troll.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Tyrant » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:56 am

I put somewhat favorable. I have no problem with the actual practice, but there are aspects of it and certain mentalities that I don't enjoy. The best example is the one above about the Winter Toy Shop. I don't like things like that happening, but at the same time it is allowed by the rules. I think a lot of the problems (real or imagined) would be eliiminated (or brought under control) by either reducing "promo" type sets or by putting some type of control on how many can be purchased. If this doesn't happen, there will always be people that clean out a store here and there. Unfortunately, unless either TLG or the stores put some type of controls in place, the people who do that aren't breaking any rules doing that. Personally I don't like that practice and I wouldn't do it on a huge scale. I would like to believe I wouldn't do it on a small scale (if there were 3 to a store for instance) but I would honestly have to weight my options at the time. The only sets I have bought more than 10 of were for me.

I think the promos are where the problems really show up. With regular sets it's near impossible to have a serious effect on inventory in anything but a small, local area. Using the chrome stormtrooper as an example, it was only meant to last a week and there were mixed signals on if it was supposed to be sold by itself or not. This was a recipe for people to get left out and feel bad about it. I understand people disliking resellers, but I think most of the time the feelings are misplaced because the resellers are only able to have real effect when there is an intentionally limited supply (which they don't cause). When a set is clearanced, or at the end of it's production run, then I think it's every man for himself because everyone has had the rest of the normal production run to get it. The Black Friday sale gives me mixed feelings. I think most of the high end items on sale that day have limits in place (I think). The low end items are understood to be first come, first served. I've been in stores 15 minutes after they opened and they are out of what I am after. So, while I wouldn't buy the whole lot (but I would buy more than one if I thought I could sell it, to be honest) I'm not sure if I can really be upset at someone who does since it amounts to an advertised clearance sale.

Honestly, I get most of the sets I buy to resell (or to part out and sell) during the buy 2 get 1 free sales and I usually stock up quite a bit. If I clear out a store of certain sets it is because they had limited amounts by the time I get there. As a tip to anyone else, watch for the KMart sale if you want to get Star Wars sets using this sale because they don't exclude Star Wars.

Tl;Dr i approve of the practice but I have a few reservations about certain aspects of it (though I see no easy way to change it). My main problem is people that clear out large inventories in one go.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby SWATminifigGUY » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:51 pm

I agree with the general consensus that reselling is fine, but hoarding is not. If reselling didn;t exist, we wouldn't have our beloved Cracklink. However, hoarding is a no-no. At my local zellers, some guy bought the last 10 Rebel BPs, just when I was going to pick some up. So, go ahead, resell! But leave some for the rest of us.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby meeotch » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:54 pm

I put neutral for pretty much the same reasons as others. How I feel really depends on the details of the situation. There are always classy ways of going about things and scummy ways of going about things.
"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby yellowcastle » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:51 pm

I think we all agree that there's a difference in buying extra discontinuing sets for potential future resale and the practice of hoarding/scalping items currently still available so you can immediately price gouge people online. I was able to get 4 chrome troopers last Sunday but I bought my 4 battlepacks so it was a win-win in my book. I did feel bad, though, as I held up the line as she had to ring up each one separately. :o) But I could not be a bigger fan of the secondary market for discontinued sets. I missed many a great set in my youth and am glad there are still avenues available for me to make up for that oversight, even at a premium. If someone didn't have the foresight back then to grab an extra Imperial Trading Post or Fort Legorado, then I would be out of luck these days. I thank them for the service they provide and for holding on to these items all these years while I returned to my Lego roots. I look forward to trying to find a good deal for each set and maybe even that fantastic Lego Airport Monorail! :o)
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Tyrant » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:34 pm

yellowcastle wrote:I think we all agree that there's a difference in buying extra discontinuing sets for potential future resale and the practice of hoarding/scalping items currently still available so you can immediately price gouge people online.

Not to derail (seriously), but is this a common occurance for most people? I honestly don't see how it could work with something in full production because there should be too many of them for a single person to have an impact (and I have my doubts that enough people are doing it to have an effect on overall supply because it just doesn't make much sense, though I admit I could be mistaken on this). More to the point, who would pay more for a set that is currently in production? If someone out there is willing to pay a ridiculous price, then I can't fault someone for filling that void. If people weren't willing to pay an absurd price for something they can get for retail then this wouldn't happen. If I had to guess I would say there are some Prince of Persia sets for sale for some ridiculous amount on ebay or bricklink right now. I could buy one of them, or I could just buy them through S@H since they also have them for a not-absurd price. Even exclusives are available through S@H (most of the time). Promos are different and there is an issue with their availability though. If LEGO was sold like action figures or other things that have variable production rates, different case alotments, etc, I could see this being a real issue but I just don't see how it could be with a regular production set.

I do understand the anti horder sentiment though.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Mofo Jones » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:42 pm

I chose neutral, agreeing with meeotch and others. Personally, I've sold only on BL, and only 5-6 sets, total. However, 2 of those were Batman sets which shelf-warmed like crazy when they were originally out. I bought them because I'm a sucker for clearance sales, and I only sold them because I realized I was never going to get to building them. I made money on those, but only because the price for Batman LEGO is high right now. Still, I would have made money on them if I sold them for MSRP. I don't think hoarding current hot items and gouging others is correct in the least. I don't have a tiny collection, but the most I've ever bought of a set is 3 - and we're talking battlepacks, A-wings, and TIE Interceptors, not Star Destroyers. And, with most sets, 1 is enough for me. We'll see how my future selling goes, but I imagine my opinions won't change much.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby meeotch » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Tyrant wrote:If LEGO was sold like action figures or other things that have variable production rates, different case alotments, etc, I could see this being a real issue but I just don't see how it could be with a regular production set.


I have one example with LEGO that actually kind of fits in this category, although I won't say that the shortage was due to horders, since there's no way for me to know. But with the 2009 BPs (Clone Walker and Assassin Droid) they used to come in an overpack that had 4 of each in them. For a while in the beginning of 09, it was really hard to find the Clone pack, and I'm sure it was because it's much better to have an army of Clones than Assassin Droids. But I'm sure that a lot of those were bought to end up in Bricklink stores too. After a little bit, LEGO realized that there were masses of AD packs sitting on shelves and no CW packs, and the stores weren't reordering because they still had stock, so LEGO adjusted the overpack quantities to 6 Clones and 2 ADs.
"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Artoo-Detour » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:50 pm

I voted somewhat negative, because as an AFOL, I do on occasion turn to 2nd hand sellers to obtain harder-to-get items.

But, as someone who works at a Brand Retail store, my real issue is with the hoarders who buy up all the rarer sets and leave nothing behind for Lego's main customers: the children. Don't get me wrong, I'm always extremely thrilled to have a fellow AFOL come in and chat about projects. And if someone buys an extra set or two to save and sell later, I'm fine with that. But when there's someone in to buy an excess of sets for the purpose of reselling I find it frustrating. I've seen cases where people have bought 8 to 10 of Luke's Landspeeder and X-wings, and that's hard to have happen because for every one of those items that is hoarded we have one child who is disappointed; sometimes to tears. And that doesn't sit right with me.

It's one thing for an AFOL to buy rarer sets online at inflated prices, because we have the budget and resources to seek out these items if they aren't in stores. But for a child it's a whole different world; their only real resources are places that their parents are willing to take them to; like ToysRUs, Target, Wal Mart and Lego Stores. And in my experience, the average family isn't even aware of Bricklink or fan communities, so they don't realize that there is a whole different world of Lego outside of the sets they build, much less how to find rarer items.

It just seems to me that when it comes to the hoarders, the only people who benefit are themselves. Children get extremely disappointed when they can't the set they saved up for, and after all, they are what Lego is geared towards. Their parents will most likely have to pay inflated prices to get one that is being resold and it turns some off to getting Legos for their kids if they constantly can't find sets. And as an employee of Lego, I interact with kids every day, and it's extremely tough to be the one who disappoints them when a hoarder has just cleaned out the last of the set they desire.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby onions » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:54 pm

if i am reading everyone's sentiment here, it seems that hoarding is defined as buying up all available stock on a discontinued or clearance product. is that right?

the next sentiment that nearly always that is "leave some for others to buy". what if there's only 2 or 3 sets left and some joe buys them all? still hoarding?

if tru clearance prices swamp speeders at half off, like heck they would but let's just pretend here, and you walk in and see the last two sitting on the shelf, would you honestly leave one behind so another person has a chance to buy it? i seriously doubt it. if it's 2 left, or 20 left on the shelf, where do you draw the line between acceptable purchasing and unacceptable hoarding?
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Solo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Well, for starters, if you're the one buying it Ace: it's morally wrong and deplorable.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby onions » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:16 pm

i hate you
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Athos » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:30 pm

I don't use them, so I don't really care.

I've been fortunate enough to have been into Lego since the early 80s. And I didn't have a dark age. So I've got most every Lego part I could want (the pony being the big exception). So I don't use resellers, for rare/expensive parts, much at all. Though I did several years ago, before the prices got high.

Philosophically, I don't have a problem with people buying sets and then reselling them for a profit. I've done it a bit myself, but have never made a lot of money. Stuff, especially unnecessary stuff like toys, is only worth what people will pay for it. And if someone is willing to pay the premium prices, then the item must be worth it. And if the prices are too high, the sellers will either have to lower the prices or have their money tied up in over priced parts waiting for the wealthy buyer.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who complain about the high prices. If you really wanted that particular item, then you should have bought it at the market price while it was readily available and cheaper. If you "couldn't afford" it at that time, then it obviously wasn't worth that price to you at that time. And, if you really want that set later, you're essentially paying someone to hold it for you until you can afford it. We all have to prioritize. And, sure there are people who buy multiple copies of sets and promotions, but we all know that, so you have to act quickly.

And then, luck places a certain role in it too. If you're lucky enough to find 20 swamp speeders on clearance, then buy them. Though at the same time, you are gambling a bit. They went on clearance for a reason...

On the other hand, I love bricklink, which allows me to buy lots of non-rare parts for my MOCs.

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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Tyrant » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:42 pm

onions wrote:if i am reading everyone's sentiment here, it seems that hoarding is defined as buying up all available stock on a discontinued or clearance product. is that right?

I get the impression that some are including sets currently in production and not just discontinued or clearance products.
onions wrote:the next sentiment that nearly always that is "leave some for others to buy". what if there's only 2 or 3 sets left and some joe buys them all? still hoarding?

if tru clearance prices swamp speeders at half off, like heck they would but let's just pretend here, and you walk in and see the last two sitting on the shelf, would you honestly leave one behind so another person has a chance to buy it? i seriously doubt it. if it's 2 left, or 20 left on the shelf, where do you draw the line between acceptable purchasing and unacceptable hoarding?

I'm in agreement in your doubt that most people would leave one behind in that situation. Then again, as I said I believe that if it's a sale or clearance it's every man for himself (just like with any other product on sale). The questionable line that seperates acceptable from unacceptable has always been one of my issues with the whole situation. I know I've never bought more than 2 or 3 sets to sell, but I have bought more than 10 of some sets toy myself (more than 20 of one set). Does that qualify as hoarding? The sets are still out of circulation at retail so the end result (someone other than me misses a chance to buy that set) is essentially the same.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby JamesBenjamin » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:44 pm

Here's my take on it, as an occasional re-seller. Like many others, I may occasionally buy multiples on clearance to sell, but I do it only to pay for my "habit," and I never clear out a store unless its a major money maker (say you found 4 copies of a 5 year old set that had obviously been in a backroom for years).

For example, the 2 new target minis: I saw them in my target last week, and bought 4 sets of two (one for me, one for the GF, and two to sell). My logic is: if I sell the other two sets for $10-12 online (my cost being $8), to someone in Europe or somewhere that doesn't have a target that can't get them, I make my money back and end up zero'd out (for the ones i kept for myself). I also allow someone who can't go into a Target and buy them a chance to get them at a decent price.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby MrCRskater » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:32 pm

Tyrant wrote:I know I've never bought more than 2 or 3 sets to sell, but I have bought more than 10 of some sets toy myself (more than 20 of one set). Does that qualify as hoarding? The sets are still out of circulation at retail so the end result (someone other than me misses a chance to buy that set) is essentially the same.


Probably still qualifies as "hoarding", but in my book this scenario is okay because you are at home enjoying your LEGO. Sure, others miss out, but in this case you're not depriving kids (and other collectors) simply for the sake of preying upon their wallets later. The bottom line for me: LEGO is meant to be enjoyed by whoever wants it, be it kids, AFOLs, whoever. So if you buy 20 battle packs and have a blast building a "scha-weet!" battle diorama, I can appreciate that. I can't appreciate someone buying up stock of something only to fill their bathtub with Washingtons (and deprive others, mainly kids, in the process).
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