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Black Friday 2010

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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:38 pm

Those are some good ideas, Mofo. I've pondered some variations on this these ideas myself. However, there are a some factors that make the situation a bit less clear cut than you've surmised.

For one thing, as already noted above, the 10% discount can be obtained at lego.com. So it would be great to know upfront whether it is even worth taking the time to go to the store to begin with. A big part of the Black Friday marketing strategy is convincing people to get out of bed and shop. A savvy consumer will carefully choose which stores to hit and in what order.

Also, I could bring any number of relatives or friends with me to the Lego store in order to increase the odds of at least one person in the group getting a discount better than 10%. Knowing the chances of getting a 20% off discount would obviously help in determining how many people to include. Of course, this strategy also assumes that it would somehow be feasible to get everyone's purchases merged into one bill. Most likely that won't be easy based on the information being shared here. But failing that, it would still theoretically be possible for everyone to purchase the same exact sets and then just keep only the ones with the greatest discount while returning the rest. Now would I really spend the energy to do that? Probably not. But my I am just brainstorming here. I suppose some folks might take offense to me sharing my thoughts but I doubt I am the only thinking along these lines.

Regarding the notion that Lego will be willing to allow a shopper to grab more sets after finding out the discount percentage because they are going to make more money anyway, that's not necessarily a valid assumption. The business is run based on maximizing profit. If they weren't concerned with that then they'd just give us all a 50% discount and everyone would be very happy (YAY!). But clearly they've taken the time to strategize and come up with this lottery system under the assumption that folks will poor into the store hoping to get 50% but will ultimately settle for 10%. Allowing the 50% winner to go grab more sets at the deep discount surely flies in the face of their intended business model. I understand that you are suggesting to ask for just one or two more large items, but it still seems an unlikely value proposition for the store..

Mofo Jones wrote:mkoesel, here's a suggestion for you: Instead of trying to figure out a way to quasi-quasi-quasi-legally* weasel a bigger discount out of your local LEGO store, why don't you just go down there on Friday, take the amount of money that you are willing to or can afford to spend, pick out what you want, get in line, take whatever discount they offer, and then, if you happen to be a lucky person who gets a 50% discount, ask very nicely if you could pick up another couple of sets.

Have those sets in mind, don't step out of line or anything, just ask nicely. Example: "I'd really love to add a UCS Imperial Shuttle and a Tower Bridge to my order, may I do that?" That puts the ball in the LEGO store's court as to say no or not. They're still going to make money, so I can't see why they wouldn't let you get a few more sets. Going in with the attitude that they need to tell everybody how many of each % level of discount is pointless. I mean, you get one shot unless you're willing to stand in line again. You'll get at least 10% off. Call it "luck of the draw", enjoy the discount on what you get, move on with your life. :)

*not a typo.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:49 pm

I never said nor meant to imply that the two were equivalent. I was merely trying to establish a moral measuring stick, if you will.

I can see that I've touched a nerve here, and since you are the forum moderator and/or owner I obviously have no intention of engaging in what will surely be a losing battle of wits for me. I have nothing but respect for you and FBTB.

I will say this: I always play by the rules. And I mean that in whatever context one could dream up. In situations where the rules are vague, inconsistent or simply don't exist, I do my best to pencil them while guided by what I consider a pretty finely crafted moral compass. It's not perfect, but it works pretty darn well. It definitely doesn't cheat.

onions wrote:there's a huge difference between the scenario you propsed for yourself:

mkoesel wrote:I would be very tempted to hang around in the store and wait for a lucky 50% winner to be found and then offer to pay them $100 in exchange for checking my purchases out with their discount.


and what you proposed to lady_bricker:

mkoesel wrote:And, if you were in the store and the 50% winner happened to mention their good forture in passing and then offered to share it with you,


don't try and twist things around to bring everyone down to your level. if you want to be that guy who has nothing better to do than to hang around a hot crowded busy cash register on a black friday waiting to pounce on a 50% scratcher winner, then that's your prerogative. i wouldn't be surprised if LEGO asks you to leave for harassing customers if they see what you're trying to do.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby Zeus » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:54 pm

vman100 wrote:Just saw on another forum several people say their Targets are adopting a policy of price matching all but the Door Buster sales on BF - which would exclude Troll Mountain Fortress as it is a door buster. Probably doesn't hurt to try though! I mean, can they stop you from returning it and then asking to buy it again?


@VMan100 - I'm confused... what other forum was this? Maybe I can clear it up at the source.

My confusion is... "Price matching" usually refers to matching competitor's prices. But the TMF is their (Target's) promo so I'm not following something... :S
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby indelible » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:59 pm

Zeus wrote:
vman100 wrote:Just saw on another forum several people say their Targets are adopting a policy of price matching all but the Door Buster sales on BF - which would exclude Troll Mountain Fortress as it is a door buster. Probably doesn't hurt to try though! I mean, can they stop you from returning it and then asking to buy it again?


@VMan100 - I'm confused... what other forum was this? Maybe I can clear it up at the source.

My confusion is... "Price matching" usually refers to matching competitor's prices. But the TMF is their (Target's) promo so I'm not following something... :S



it's called price adjustment when they match their own price. i think it'll be YMMV on getting them to match the bf price. if you want to return-rebuy, you have to wait for the item to come back on the floor after you return it.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby lady_bricker » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:06 pm

mkoesel wrote:And, if you were in the store and the 50% winner happened to mention their good forture in passing and then offered to share it with you, you would immediatly refuse the idea without so much as second thought. After all, while it is true that in this case you'd escape this proverbial mercenary label for which you've acquired a distinct distate, you'd nevertheless be taking advantage of a system that as it turns out was ripe for exploitation.

True, yes?


i have a distaste for someone who turns a gift freely offered into an opportunity to exploit the giver.

from a practical point of view, it seems like a good way to sour the giver into not offering such gifts in the future.

i would decline, because i am a card-carrying fine citizen and certified goody two-shoes. i hope if i win the 50%-off coupon and decline your bribe, you don't follow me to the parking lot and pelt me with megablocks.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby vman100 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:14 pm

Zeus wrote:
vman100 wrote:Just saw on another forum several people say their Targets are adopting a policy of price matching all but the Door Buster sales on BF - which would exclude Troll Mountain Fortress as it is a door buster. Probably doesn't hurt to try though! I mean, can they stop you from returning it and then asking to buy it again?


@VMan100 - I'm confused... what other forum was this? Maybe I can clear it up at the source.

My confusion is... "Price matching" usually refers to matching competitor's prices. But the TMF is their (Target's) promo so I'm not following something... :S


I saw it on toysnbricks, at the following link:
http://toysnbricks.com/forums/viewtopic ... 2&start=20
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby Mister Ed » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:27 pm

mkoesel wrote:Regarding the notion that Lego will be willing to allow a shopper to grab more sets after finding out the discount percentage because they are going to make more money anyway, that's not necessarily a valid assumption. The business is run based on maximizing profit. If they weren't concerned with that then they'd just give us all a 50% discount and everyone would be very happy (YAY!). But clearly they've taken the time to strategize and come up with this lottery system under the assumption that folks will poor into the store hoping to get 50% but will ultimately settle for 10%. Allowing the 50% winner to go grab more sets at the deep discount surely flies in the face of their intended business model. I understand that you are suggesting to ask for just one or two more large items, but it still seems an unlikely value proposition for the store..


I dunno. I mean, the whole point of this promotion is to bring more people into the store, making more money THAT way, right? I know I, for one, will not be drawn into the store, especially on Black Friday, by such a rigidly restricted promotion.

10% is a piddling discount, especially when practically every other store in the area is, or will be, offering bigger sales on LEGO products over the course of this shopping season, WITHOUT needing to fight Black Friday crowds.

Why would I care about a POSSIBLE 50% off if it wouldn't allow me to purchase anything except what I could already afford and was planning to buy? Not much of a promotion on those terms. Chintzy is the term that leaps to mind, and few people will go in thinking that's how it works, since EVERY OTHER scratch-off promotion I have ever seen at any other store was designed to get you in the store, then let you shop with the KNOWN discount in mind.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby Zeus » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:41 pm

vman100 wrote:I saw it on toysnbricks, at the following link:
http://toysnbricks.com/forums/viewtopic ... 2&start=20


Thank you kindly!
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:17 pm

lady_bricker wrote:i have a distaste for someone who turns a gift freely offered into an opportunity to exploit the giver.


Well how very altruistic of you. Quite quaint really, and I do mean that genuinely assuming you too are being sincere. :) :D

So anyway, I googled "define: gift" and the first item in the list read thusly:

"something acquired without compensation"

Sure there's a whole slew of other meanings there, but the same idea applies throughout. Here's another one:

"the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return"

On the basis of these denotations, I can't agree that the discounts that Lego is providing are genuine gifts. Instead they are perhaps best classified as incentives. Lego absolutely does expect and absolutely will receive compensation for offering these incentives - cold hard cash. And while they will be receiving less cash per unit sale on this particular day than a typical day, we all know that both revenue and profit will be much higher than it otherwise would without the promotion in effect. The secret is that they know people go nutso on Black Friday so they figure they only need to offer a something mildly enticing to bring out the crowds. A promotion like this on some other arbitrary day of the year might not make it past the business case phase. The risk is that the sales volume might not be high enough to overcome the lower pricing.

This is a business we are talking about, remember. Businesses exist to make money and for that reason alone. They don't give gifts (well aside from some tax-deductible charitable contributions). What they do is give incentives. They adjust their pricing models in a carefully calculated manner in hopes to see a distinct spike in sales which then leads to a revenue increase. Its really that simple. You and I win a small victory, but they win much bigger.

from a practical point of view, it seems like a good way to sour the giver into not offering such gifts in the future.


If we are speaking purely on a practical level, the worst thing that could happen here would actually be for everyone to thumb their nose up at Lego's little game and simply stay away. That would most surely have a direct effect on their bottom line. Now of course from the consumer's point of view, that could ultimately be a good thing (at least in the short term) since it may force them to come up with more straightforward promotions in the future. But since you are championing Lego and their thinnly-veiled "gifting" scheme here, this would represent a loss for that cause, not a win.

i would decline, because i am a card-carrying fine citizen and certified goody two-shoes.


I suspect you've been taken advantage of for that on more than one occasion, and for that I sympathize. Don't change though. We need people like you to make us think and keep the rest of us honest. Unfortunately some people will be unscrupulous and use your naivete against you because you might make an easy target. Of course even the most savviest among us get taken once in awhile. That's why I feel that it is so important to discuss things an open, forthright fashion. Get it all out on the table so there are not surprises.

i hope if i win the 50%-off coupon and decline your bribe, you don't follow me to the parking lot and pelt me with megablocks.


Now see, you're really limiting yourself here. Taking advantage of an opportunity does not readily imply that someone is violent or wicked by nature. How many good people have you passed by in your life because you've falacially linked the these two unrelated traits. Just something to think about.

Besides, I would never waste perfectly good Megablocks like that. Someone will probably pay good money for those. ;)
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby DarthMC » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:23 pm

I have a feeling that if you did get the %50 off coupon and they did let you get more, they would watch you very closely. If they saw you letting other people get in on the deal, they could very easily say no any extra sets you wanted to get. From what I have seen so far, they are under no obligation to let you use it on anything you did not bring to the register but may do it just to be nice. You might get away with adding a Death Star to the order but 10 may alter their generosity.

Just my thoughts

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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby MisterFubar » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:41 pm

This whole thread makes me very glad I don't work in the retail world.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby Zeus » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:48 pm

DarthMC wrote:I have a feeling that if you did get the %50 off coupon and they did let you get more, they would watch you very closely. If they saw you letting other people get in on the deal, they could very easily say no any extra sets you wanted to get. From what I have seen so far, they are under no obligation to let you use it on anything you did not bring to the register but may do it just to be nice. You might get away with adding a Death Star to the order but 10 may alter their generosity.

Just my thoughts

DarthMC


My thoughts are... each store may have policies or maybe all the stores have a set policy but, at the end of the day, it's human beings running the store and the registers. They may, or may not, allow you to go back and get more regardless or not of some policy. Depending on the individual in the store, they may, or may not, respond in your favor if you raise a stink. They may, or may not, respond in your favor if you act nicely and ask to go back in the store for another item.

Human nature = hard to predict.

Either way, I've always been taught that it's not how others act that reflect on us, it's how we act and re-act. So if it's your thing to be spoiled and petulant if you can't go back and grab another item, that's your choice. :)

It's wouldn't be my choice but to each their own.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby lady_bricker » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:54 pm

mkoesel wrote:Lego absolutely does expect and absolutely will receive compensation for offering these incentives - cold hard cash.


not exactly. the scratch cards are free, and they are therefore a gift .. a gift that may also function as an incentive, but a gift nonetheless.

mkoesel wrote:I suspect you've been taken advantage of for that on more than one occasion, and for that I sympathize. Don't change though. We need people like you to make us think and keep the rest of us honest. Unfortunately some people will be unscrupulous and use your naivete against you because you might make an easy target. Of course even the most savviest among us get taken once in awhile.


now, shame on you for equating ethical with naive. i would classify myself as a quite savvy business person but i am also in the subset of honest. we are not just an urban legend, you know. ;)
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:16 am

Ah but lady_bricker, you've mistunderstood. I am not suggesting that you are naive because of your squeaking clean ethical record. I am suggesting that you are naive because you're comments in this discussion clearly demostrate that you have a very basic misunderstanding of how the business world works. :)

Just remember, plenty of stores will offer some of the same products that TLG will be offering on Black Friday, but for more than the 10% off most people we see from Lego stores and lego.com. Some will be up to 25% off or perhaps even more. Ethically speaking, do we owe it to people about to pay more for a purchase than necessary that they could find a better deal elsewhere? Or ought we give these sales to TLG, Lego stores, and employees thereof and just keep our mouths shut? Maybe its best to just stay silent. Silence, after all, is golden, right?
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:17 am

Zeus wrote:Human nature = hard to predict.


Too true. This, of course, is a big reason that we need and have clear rules. People do tend to act in their own best interests by default. We must regulate the means by which and the extent to which people are able to do so. It's the hinge-pin of civility.

Depending on the individual in the store, they may, or may not, respond in your favor if you raise a stink. They may, or may not, respond in your favor if you act nicely and ask to go back in the store for another item.


I would say that raising a stink would be a one way ticket to failure-ville in this case and, in fact, in most other cases where customer service is involved.

Now, the part about politely asking is really interesting. Things get dicey here from an ethics point of view, though some folks will laugh at this notion, especially when juxtaposed against earlier comments I've made. But let me explain further. If there is indeed a hard and fast rule that says that the items that qualify for discount are only to be those that the customer has at the register at the time of checkout, then being polite in order to sway the clerk would be manipulative. After all, you are putting this person is a very difficult position. The key here is that they have a predefined role with a predetermined set of priorities. You would effectively be leveraging their duty to keep you happy as a customer, and using it to coax them into making a decision that betrays the goals of the business and instead benefits you. Resolutions for such discrepancies should never fall on the shoulders of the rule-enforcers. They should fall only on the folks who designed the promotion to begin with and approved the rules that govern it.

Either way, I've always been taught that it's not how others act that reflect on us, it's how we act and re-act. So if it's your thing to be spoiled and petulant if you can't go back and grab another item, that's your choice. :)


Absolutely agree that there's no reason for bitterness here. It's a game after all, Lego has sent that message quite clearly by introducing the element of chance. If you don't win the game, you handle the loss with class and dignity.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby lady_bricker » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:22 am

mkoesel wrote:Maybe its best to just stay silent.


you finally said something i agree with! :D
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:36 am

lady_bricker wrote:
mkoesel wrote:Maybe its best to just stay silent.


you finally said something i agree with! :D


Then why are you still talking? :shock: XD
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby onions » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:45 am

man you're annoying. if you're going to "stay silent" then stay silent. no need to get the last word in.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby ThatGuyWithTheBricks » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:34 am

I am so confused, what are they talking about?
I build it so you don't have to!
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For the record, if you want to refer to me but don't want to type my name, call me TGWTB.
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Re: Black Friday 2010

Postby mkoesel » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:18 am

onions wrote:man you're annoying. if you're going to "stay silent" then stay silent. no need to get the last word in.


Wait, what? Now I am confused. It wasn't me that said I was going to stay silent in the first place. But you are the forum owner and if you want me to stop I will.
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