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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 UOldPirate » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:36 pm

onions wrote:...you will never know with 100% certainty what the intent is unless you meet the buyer face to face and he tells you truthfully what his/her intent is. EVEN THEN, if the intent is to resell, what are the motivations behind that? to have a little extra cash flow, breathing room between paychecks? what's wrong with that? ...

i guess my point is you can never really be "right" in your assumptions behind other's actions, especially if you're just witnessing the aftermath i.e. staring at empty shelf space. i think labeling people and making assumptions about intent is to just make one feel better about missing out. this goes for 99.9% of the time.


I completely agree with you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to make extra cash. And true, I am making some assumptions on intent. I guess I'm just not a big fan of scalping a hard to find product to make a quick buck.
For example, I had the ability to purchase 2 PS2s and 2 Wiis on their respective release dates. I didn't, but I could have bought the extra ones and posted them on Ebay to cover the cost of my Wii or PS2. Passing the cost of my Wii or PS2 on to some other person in the form of a markup just because I was at the right place at the right time doesn't seem right to me.

This goes for Lego as well. I just view Lego purely as a fun hobby and not as "every man for themselves" or "must sell to survive, eat or collect". Ace, I believe you said you missed out on the Tumbler and if I found some in a store today, I could not in good conscience turn around and sell one at a markup to you just because I was again at the right place at the right time. Nothing personal against anyone who does and I'm definitely not telling anyone they can't, just not my thing.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby onions » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:03 pm

i know what you mean. it surprises me sometimes the lengths people go to to resell toys. i used to be a pretty avid action figure collector. and seeing some of the practices resellers go through now with LEGO is really surprising to me.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby UOldPirate » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:27 pm

onions wrote:i know what you mean. it surprises me sometimes the lengths people go to to resell toys. i used to be a pretty avid action figure collector. and seeing some of the practices resellers go through now with LEGO is really surprising to me.


For better or worse, I think my view of Lego resellers is somewhat tainted by my experiences as action figure collector and my dealings with resellers in that area. I finally gave up on it primarily because of Lego, but also because it was too hard to compete with guys trying to get that Tapestry Picard or Redemption Data for sale on ebay. Try to sell that Star Trek stuff now, punks! :)
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby GrayMattR » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:52 pm

UOldPirate wrote:In my mind hoarding is a combination of quantity and frequency of purchase and intent, but mostly intent.

Wow, that sums it up for me as well. I buy 90% of my stuff when it's on sale or clearance. Mostly clearance so that's after waiting and waiting while anyone can buy the set as they wish. (The other 10% is for gifts or to buy a set I know will sell out too fast to be a clearance item.) I'll often buy one set when it goes on clearance and then buy more copies of it if it's discounted again in the clearance sale. Plenty of times I've waited for a set to go to the "second round" of discounts before buying it only to find them all gone when I come back.

My method of getting extra sets doesn't count as hoarding. Even if they're the last two sets on the shelf, I don't think it's hoarding because everyone had 14 to 18 months to buy them. There was a time when a local K-Mart put the Final Duel sets on clearance for $1 and later 50 cents, I bought a bunch with the Stormies but I didn't buy them all. I did buy the last two 7143 Jedi Starfighters on a shelf from a WalMart that had them marked at $1 each after they had been out for a year and a half.

Another time at a WalMart, they had the 32x32 green baseplates in the clearance aisle. I asked out loud how much they were and a woman standing next to me grabbed one, swiped it under the price scanner and said they were $1 each. She said there were six and asked how many I wanted. I sheepishly said "can we each take three?" because I didn't want to come across as a hoarder. She said, "Oh, I don't want any. I work here so I'm trying to be helpful."

While I have sold sets and figs, I've only done it with the ones I didn't want any more. I agree with everyone else that said it's hoarding when someone buys up the entire stock just to resell them. I don't think any store should allow that on the basis that it's not good customer service to help one individual and annoy everyone else when the advertised item is gone.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby jonutah » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:26 pm

What is interesting to me is that in our society people tend to give all the power away to the "man" whether he/she be the corporation, the government or the seller/scalper. For example, people are upset because the secondary market prices get jacked up, but (a) you don't have to buy and (b) if people didn't have this need to have everything, the prices would come down. The buyers have the power, not the sellers.

The other thing is that companies are hoarders and resellers. They get a lot of product at a discounted price and then resell at a markup. They are making profit. Why do we not have a problem with a company like Target doing this, but with individuals doing this?

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

Postby Darth's Daddy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:11 am

jonutah wrote:The other thing is that companies are hoarders and resellers. They get a lot of product at a discounted price and then resell at a markup. They are making profit. Why do we not have a problem with a company like Target doing this, but with individuals doing this?


The big difference there is that their wholesale items are not available to the general public. Only to other stores. And it typically is a fair practice in that many stores have the opportunity to order whatever quantitiy they think they can sell in a reasonable amount of time. The only time this is in conflict is when Lego makes an exclusive that goes only to one store chain (Walmrt, TRU, etc...). Even then there are different exclusives for competing chains, so most of the larger stores get a limited set as a reward for being a good customer.

Buying something on sale and reselling is something that most here have no issue with. It's the depletion of a very limited or one time stock (ex: Chrome stormtrooper) in order to sell later at inflated prices that is the issue.

And just to clarify... No issue with the guy who buys the last 2 or 3 on the shelf. That's not really it. Its more like the guy who wants to buy the entire alotment of a limited item.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby onions » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:13 pm

thats still one and the same thing isn't it? whether it be the last 2 or last 20 of whatever limited exclusive it is. and it goes back to my original question: what's the magic number where buying out the remaining limited stock is acceptable and unacceptable?
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby BrickSith206 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:46 pm

To further muddy the water....what if that exclusive set is on sale/clearance?
Do something.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Darth's Daddy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:28 pm

onions wrote: what's the magic number where buying out the remaining limited stock is acceptable and unacceptable?


Can you give me an example of what someone would use 20 sets for, aside from selling them?
20 battlepacks? Yes I can see that someone may try to build an army with them. 20 Ultimate Space Battle sets or 90 Chrome Stormtroopers? They are likely 99.9% intent on selling them for profit.

It's about whether or not someone is buying things mostly for their personal use, or simply trying to prevent others from getting a set in order to profit later on. There is no magic number that can be applied across the board. It is all subjective to the set and the conditions under which it's purchased. If someone purchased 20 Freeco Speeders from Target, I wouldn't have a second thought (as they would most likely restock). But when I hear someone brag about cleaning out TRU by buying 90 chrome stoormtroopers, it doesn't make me think very highly of that person.
Its just my opinion. It doesn't mean others have to agree, but there are probably several that do.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby fredjh » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:45 pm

...or simply trying to prevent others from getting a set in order to profit later on.

I disagree (to date, I haven't sold a gorram thing, and I haven't bought 90, or even 20 or 10 of anything), but if I were buying 90 Chrome Stormtroopers, I wouldn't be doing it to prevent others from getting them, I'd be doing it because I know, in the future, they will probably be worth something.

Again, it comes down to the stupidity of making these special sets that gets people at each others throats instead of just making products generally available to everybody. The way you look at it, no matter how FEW I buy, I'm still "preventing" someone else from buying it.

If LEGO is going to treat products like Beanie Babies, people are going to treat them that way.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Andi » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:02 pm

Maybe people should just stopping to brag about how many they buy. Especially when it is well-known that they are ebay or Bricklink seller.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby onions » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:48 pm

Darth's Daddy wrote:
onions wrote: what's the magic number where buying out the remaining limited stock is acceptable and unacceptable?


Can you give me an example of what someone would use 20 sets for, aside from selling them?
20 battlepacks? Yes I can see that someone may try to build an army with them. 20 Ultimate Space Battle sets or 90 Chrome Stormtroopers? They are likely 99.9% intent on selling them for profit.

It's about whether or not someone is buying things mostly for their personal use, or simply trying to prevent others from getting a set in order to profit later on. There is no magic number that can be applied across the board. It is all subjective to the set and the conditions under which it's purchased. If someone purchased 20 Freeco Speeders from Target, I wouldn't have a second thought (as they would most likely restock). But when I hear someone brag about cleaning out TRU by buying 90 chrome stoormtroopers, it doesn't make me think very highly of that person.
Its just my opinion. It doesn't mean others have to agree, but there are probably several that do.


i feel like im talking in circles here. i don't suppose you've even read the thread up to this point, did you?

onions wrote:
UOldPirate wrote:In my mind hoarding is a combination of quantity and frequency of purchase and intent, but mostly intent.



many others will probably agree with you too, but there in lies the rub. you will never know with 100% certainty what the intent is unless you meet the buyer face to face and he tells you truthfully what his/her intent is. EVEN THEN, if the intent is to resell, what are the motivations behind that? to have a little extra cash flow, breathing room between paychecks? what's wrong with that? i think this is as far as one can dig when questioning the implications and reasoning behind hoarding and reselling.

i guess my point is you can never really be "right" in your assumptions behind other's actions, especially if you're just witnessing the aftermath i.e. staring at empty shelf space. i think labeling people and making assumptions about intent is to just make one feel better about missing out. this goes for 99.9% of the time.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Voice of Reason » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:58 pm

It is better to have access to retired sets/parts/figures than none at all. Therefore I see aftermarket resellers as a positive factor to LEGO collecting.

For kids there is what is now on the toy shelves. Many kids are satisfied with that outside wanting a few older figures or sets.

For an adult seeking a complete collection, aftermarket sellers are their collection's lifeline.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Darth's Daddy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:38 pm

onions wrote:
i feel like im talking in circles here. i don't suppose you've even read the thread up to this point, did you?


Nope, I've been skimming to save time. :lol: Sorry for being repetitive. Party on!
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Nannan » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:42 pm

Resellers give more options to the buyer, thus they are favorable to me as long as they don't clean house before I do :)
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Am I the only one that sees the parallel to the housing mark

Postby JPCJedi » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:05 pm

Am I the only one that sees the parallel to the housing market?
UOldPirate wrote:
onions wrote:it surprises me sometimes the lengths people go to to resell toys.


For better or worse, I think my view of Lego resellers is somewhat tainted by my experiences as action figure collector and my dealings with resellers in that area.
Nobody's said yet: these situations are unique because few other used items appreciate in value.

What about the other used item that [traditionally] appreciates in value: real estate? "Flipping" has been around for ages, and while that market has fallen on its face, are we really going to sit here and say it's wrong just to buy something on the hopes of turning a profit, to simply ride favorable economic tide?

To make that argument you'd have to say that:
1. flipped real estate artificially inflated the housing market--the way flipped LEGOs inflate the price of chrome troopers,
2. artificially high home prices prevented some people from buying their first home--the way flipped LEGOs depletes shelf inventory for children.

So I stand by my original statement: Yeah, I'd leave a some on the shelves for the kids and get myself more on the internet, provided a reasonable price.
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Re: Am I the only one that sees the parallel to the housing mark

Postby UOldPirate » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:29 pm

JPCJedi wrote:What about the other used item that [traditionally] appreciates in value: real estate? "Flipping" has been around for ages, and while that market has fallen on its face, are we really going to sit here and say it's wrong just to buy something on the hopes of turning a profit, to simply ride favorable economic tide? ....


This thread is getting a bit long and I could have missed it, but I don't think anyone is saying flipping is wrong. However, what I think some don't care for isn't just flipping. In terms of your real estate analogy, it would be like if all the homes in one neighborhood all went on sale at once and some guy, who got out just a bit earlier than the rest of us, ran out and bought them all up. Then, turned around right away to sell those homes to us at a markup, just because he got there first. There's nothing wrong with that case either, just not scenario that everyone would be in favor of.

Just like we saw in 2009's "digression on scalping" thread, this topic will never be settled. It's our very own Lego capitalism Kobayashi Maru. Some people are for flipping/hoarding/scalping or whatever you want to call it, others aren't. It doesn't mean they are anti-reseller, maybe just not in favor of this more "agressive" form of reselling. Can't wait for the 2011 version of this thread! ;)
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby ThinkingImpaired » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:06 pm

I didn't read the 4 pages of responses but I think everyone is confusing two very different things.

Reselling is simply buying something and selling it again later. What people are confusing this with is people who go to black friday sales and limited promotions and buy out everything before anyone behind them has a chance to grab anything. This is entirely different. It doesn't matter if they plan on reselling them later or giving them all to homeless kids on christmas....this is considered selfish because people waiting behind them wanted one too and this person bought them all up. I think 99% of the people here can agree that going to some promotion like this (black friday, the recent TRU chrome storm trooper event, etc) and buying everything up is selfish and morally wrong.This is not reselling.


Reselling is simply buying and then selling later. Everyone against reselling is either confusing it with the mode of buying things up like previously stated (which may or may not lead to reselling....it's independent of it. Reselling can and does exist without this) or isn't old enough to even know what the word economics means. It's not even worth debating this part......common sense says that low supply and high demand (which usually occurs whenever a set production is over) equals high price. If everyone who blames this on resellers had their way and there were no more resellers....well, price just went up another 10 fold because you just eliminated the entire supply. (I'm assuming the only ones who blamed prices on resellers are around the age of 13....hopefully no one older)

The whole reason this is even an issue is because people confuse two very different things.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby bigkid24 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:47 pm

Regarding the original poll topic, I'm neutral. I don't give the guys a second thought...actually sometimes I just laugh at the prices they try charging because they are ridiculous especially when the sets are still available at retail.

As for people that scalp, hoard, whatever...I don't care what they do either. Living in Southern California I deal with a large population of collectors and resellers so there's plenty of competition but also a fairly large number of stores that I can go to find something. If someone beats me to a stash of something and buys out the store...fine. Just like no one can tell me how to spend my money or how to collect, I don't think I'm in the right to tell someone else how to do that stuff either. If I see a full cart of exclusives being driven by someone then yeah I'm a little bummed if I don't have one yet but he has the right to do that especially if the store doesn't have any kind of limiting how many he buys. To be realistic, whether one guy buys 10 of them or 10 different people buy 1 it's all the same to the store.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby twentythree » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:18 pm

bigkid24 wrote:To be realistic, whether one guy buys 10 of them or 10 different people buy 1 it's all the same to the store.


Exactly.

I found a TRU exclusive action figure that just came out and it was the only one in the store. Unfortunately, TRU decided to order this figure in a one-per-case ratio. This made me feel conflicted because, while I was definitely there to get it, I realized that others would not have a chance to update their collections and TRU might only be getting one case per average store. A severely low quantity isn't something that I caused but my purchase would still impact others in a negative way. It can't be helped and there is nothing that I can do to change that unless I want to go without the figure. This problem was caused by TRU's decision to order so few of a highly sought after item that is ultimately needed because of the central importance of the character in the collection and also because of a somewhat idiotic manufacturer that has been milking the product's lineup for a few years now. The bottom line is that TRU wouldn't have cared if my purchase was that one figure or a large quantity (if available) because they just want to make sales.

Also, I've wanted a certain action figure for months but could only find one online that cost $100 which was not acceptable to my level of demand. I patiently waited and searched for months until a week ago when another one became available online for the retail price of $15. It doesn't always happen this way but sometimes patience and perseverance pays off if you just hold on a little while longer.

Finally, I've started buying doubles of sets that I consider to be worthwhile investments that may either be sold (or traded) to get the sets I missed out on earlier. As long as both parties agree that the transaction is mutually acceptable, I don't see how an outside observer could think this is morally wrong or bad for collectors.
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