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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

Here's a question for you...

Postby Solo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:10 am

With the recent brief reprisal of everyone's favorite hot button issue [what?], it was suggested by a member to start a poll to actually gauge the community's approval rating of the controversial business of aftermarket reselling of sets and figures for a profit. Seems like reasonably good idea to me, so here we are!

Here are some pros and cons to consider before tossing in your two cents: resellers (or whatever your preferred name for them may be) do help you to buy minifigures without having to buy complete sets if that's all you're interested in, and they do make these figures and sets available after Lego has discontinued them & they're no longer available at retail. On the other hand, they make deals (like limited time sales and clearanced sets) and exclusives harder to find in some areas, and their prices are hardly comparable to MSRP. Some of them do this occasionally for a little extra spending money, some put a significant amount of effort into it and make quite a bit of cash on a regular basis, and others can be obsessive to the point of paying store employees to tip them off to new stock or deep clearance items. Maybe. That's not uncommon for other collectibles but it's not exactly a conformable scenario for Lego.

So what are you waiting for? Vote already!
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Diaaabo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:20 am

I voted somewhat favorable; although I don't agree with the extreme inflation the price suffers after a set is discontinued, we can really get some bargains on 2nd hand markets. BL has some great prices and others not so great, and I think everyone can see that for themselves.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby bigospedros » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:20 am

These people are providing a service so fair play to them for wanting to make a profit. It's not like they're a major corporation that can afford to take losses as well as profits. Also, they are taking on a risk ... some sets they buy will sell big, some won't. No-one is forcing the buyer to pay the prices they set, so if an individual choose to pay their prices, even if they think they're high, then only the buyer is to blame.

I personally care more about the actual bricks rather than any box or whatever, so if I want to buy an old set that I don't have, I am happy to buy out of box and also wait for a good price, so I don't really need to go near these resellers. I watch the ebay market for sets I want and if one is in my set price range, I buy.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Crusader » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:46 am

Personally, I've never had any difficulty in getting my hands on set during its normal release. Some sets like the yearly Target exclusives I've had to get there early for, that's all. As far as after-market goes, I'm glad it exists to fill in any gaps that I've come to regret. If I want it I'll pay for it. That's how capitalism works.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby deco_droid » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:05 am

dude, what is the point of doing this poll if it's hidden under "comments" -- i almost missed it. polls on eurobricks are very easy to spot...
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby vynsane » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:15 am

i voted 'somewhat negative' mainly because of the effect it can have on the true target demographic: kids. an AFOL can spend money the way they want, but a kid is fettered by their parents (if they're not AFOL's themselves). the issue of making exclusives even MORE exclusive is a pressing matter as well. the benefits of keeping out-of-production sets in the marketplace and buying individual pieces/figures is over-weighed by the drawbacks of price gouging and increasing rarity.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby ThatGuyWithTheBricks » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:16 am

Yeah, somewhat favorable. It's good that I can get the minifig I want without having to spend $50 for a crappy set. but then again, sometimes they just bring up the prices to absurd amounts. $75 for a minifig that was in a $100 set?! WTF!?
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby banthafodder » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:39 am

I view them favorably but don't love them. I think they do provide a good service especially if you're looking for something that has been discontinued for some time. However, there are quite a few sellers on bricklink that do not keep up with the current market values and seem to wish it was still 2007. A good barometer for me has been ebay for more up-to-date market values. If the two are reasonably similar then I will usually buy. Again, if people are willing to buy then I see no reason why people should not try to profit. They stand to lose also if the market collapses also.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby eggypop » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:53 am

This is an interesting subject. Recently there's been a disturbing trend of buying out sets with popular minifigs for profit. Two examples are Luke's Landspeeder and the Christmas Market which have never had the "Available Now" status on shopLego. Stepping back though, this is likely only a small percentage of the entire sales, and appears more that Lego is just not keeping up with the vastly growing demand. I'm a big fan of bricklink, this practice aside.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Tohst » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:09 am

So, I voted somewhat negatively even though some would consider me one.

But thats partially because I think negative feelings towards them is good. Follow along with me here.

Back in the day, shaming was a great control method to ensure good bahavior. In a small or medium size town, you treat your customers bad, you stop making a living. You cheat on your spouse, you get expelled from the community and eaten by wolves. Notice I didn't say the good ole days. But there is something to be said for community standards and there being consequences for not living up to them.

Now, we live in a world where those consequences are vastly minimized. In some ways this is great as it helps fight things like racism and homophobia. In some ways it means people can be jerks and get away with it.

And here is where it all circles around. I want resellers to think the community is going to hate them, shun them, whatever if they are obnoxious and drive around to every TRU in a 200 mile radious and buy all the chrome stormtroopers. I want them to think twice before buying 100 power miner sets at 60% off. I am fine with buying an extra copy or two of a set to part out and make money or just in case you want to build it later and then you decide to sell it.

Basically, I want resellers to want to not act like jerks to the community. To understand they are a part of it and it incorporates AFOLS and kids and talking bears.

In short, I want to to understand its okay to grab a PoP set and ebay it when you find it at TRU early but its not okay to grab ALL 40 PoP sets. And if it takes a general negative feeling about them to keep everyone playing friendly, I'm okay with it.

-Tohst

Really this is the short version
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Daz Hoo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:42 am

I like Tohst point of view on this and I share it on many levels. Like him, I do think that reselling a few sets from time to time is okay, but with what happened recently in some areas regarding the Chrome Stormtrooper, I do think that some resellers should fell ashamed and be thought off negatively.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Gooker1 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:10 am

It's tough b/c I've bought my fair share of sets via ebay, and I've sold a handful too.

If I ever sell a set, it's b/c I'm tired of it or I just need the money.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby UOldPirate » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:26 am

I've got no problem with resellers, but I had to vote somewhat negative for one reason: the hoarders. If someone wants to resell discontinued sets, minifigs, parts or exclusives, that's cool, they are providing a service. Even if the price is inflated, still cool, they're the ones taking the risk. The item may never sell at their inflated price.

It's more about how some resellers go about obtaining their product. I'm talking about the guys who go in and pick the local Walmart or Target clean after the holidays. The guys who bought 99 chrome stormtroopers from TRU.com for the sole purpose of putting them up on Ebay. They are not providing a service, they are just screwing people over. As vnysane mentioned this stuff is intended for kids. If someone buys 99 chrome stormtroopers for resale, that's 99 kids who didn't get a free one with their Lego purchase. If someone picks over the Walmart, then some kid won't be able to get in on that bigger set that was discounted into their price range.

So hoarders, don't be scummy, leave some for the kids and the rest of us.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Andi » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:31 am

Tohst said it very well.
And I think, that the poll is not meant for the general Lego fan who sells unwanted sets or parts on ebay, but for the guy who buys sets and stuff solely for the purpose to sell them later for *a lot* more.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Septemris » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:37 am

Food for thought from Thost.

I'm not against people making a living off the reselling of LEGO, but it does piss me off to not be able to pick at least one copy of a set, even at retail price. I remember this happening with the Hoth Base set at my local TRU. But most of the time, the sets can be bought at retail for a long enough period through S@H so if you didn't buy them then, you only have yourself (or your wallet) to blame.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby fredjh » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:13 am

It seems most of the negative feelings about resellers could be solved simply by LEGO having longer production periods of popular sets, which devalues the after market value. The problem is that even products that enjoy a very long production time eventually still go out of production and the after market value increases... what can you possibly do to avoid that? Nothing, short of selling enough pick-a-brick parts at reasonable prices to make the "set" less worthwhile.

Part of the blame, IMO, falls on TLG. Chrome polybag give-aways? Are you going to tell me they didn't know what was going to happen?

eggypop wrote:Two examples are Luke's Landspeeder and the Christmas Market which have never had the "Available Now" status on shopLego. Stepping back though, this is likely only a small percentage of the entire sales, and appears more that Lego is just not keeping up with the vastly growing demand.


Exactly. Thing is, I've got three Land Speeders... and I'm not a hoarder/reseller. They were a good value; I gave one to my son, I built one, and I have one extra... it might make a good present some day (I work with a lot of Star Wars fans, but it could equally apply to one of my son's friends), or maybe, some day, 10 years from now, I'll sell it for ten times the original price. I really don't know.

I guess I lucked out on the Christmas shop... never did get an advent calendar. It's another thing; I know they have to go for reduced prices after Christmas, but when they sold out so far before Christmas you have to realize one simple fact... they didn't make enough to satisfy demand.

If LEGO would stop treating [at least some of] it's products like Beanie Babies, maybe the community would, too.

LEGO was one of the most popular toys this past Christmas, selling out a number of sets just about everywhere... I realize they had a problem 10 years ago with over production, but maybe it's time to start stepping it up again.

EDIT: I need to add that I also buy sets on clearance just to have them. I do intend to sell some day. But am I supposed to feel guilty when a product has been out for six to 18 months or so, and LEGO is dumping them on clearance, so I buy a few? And buy a few, I really mean a few... like 1 to 3.
Last edited by fredjh on Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby thepatient » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:16 am

I voted neutral. In a way its a necessary evil. It has been a way to get older sets I didn't get earlier for what ever reason.

I have however learned a little bit more about dealing with the resales on e-bay. It may not work for everyone, but it has helped me on buying sets from a second party.

First, I've bought some collector's books. Some don't give prices, but state if a set is rare or not. The Star Wars Super Collectible Wishbook by Geoffery T. Carlton is an exellent guide, because it does give values. It deals with all the Star Wars collectibles, but does have a SW LEGO section. A fifth edition just came out this last November, so the opportunity to get the latest values is out there. The values are based on MISB, but still can give you an idea what to pay or what maximum to bid. Do your homework.

Second: I look for sets that are complete piece wise, but maybe missing the instructions and/or the box. That's where I tend to find the deals. We all know you can go to peeron to get instructions, and then I also don't have the guilt of opening a box that ends up being an inflated price on a set.

Third: Search and keep searching, they aren't as common as the MISBs, but they are out there.

I've only bought sets on e-bay a couple of times, but its worked out well. I've been pleased when I can tell the seller does a great job of cleaning the peices. So since it's only been a couple of times, I haven't hit a "bad" sale, but its the method I use, and its worked thus far.
Last edited by thepatient on Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Darth's Daddy » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:17 am

I think some of the controversey could be avoided if stores limited the number of same item sets you could buy in one trip. Stop the hoarders from creating their own shortage of sets.

As someone who re-sells sets from time to time I voted neutral. Just as others have said, it's not the selling or the inflated prices, but the hoarding that is the real problem. I can't stand to see people buying the entire store inventory out. If there is an exclusive I think may be rare one day, I usually buy 2 or sometimes even 3 copies of that set. Often I end up keeping them, but sometimes I will sell the extra. For the real exclusives, I will only buy one for myself as my internal sense of fairness tells me to leave chances for others to get one.
The real issues come up when you see people buying 10 + copies of rare sets just to lock in the market. Not only does it ensure you get enough to sell, but it also helps create the rarity of the set. I saw a guy in TRU with 2 carts of Home One sets piled up neck high. I gave him a dirty look, but since there were several kids around, I did not want to verbalize what I really thought. This kind of hoarding situation that creates frustration for parents and the AFOL community and is what really needs to change to make the aftermarket work the way it should.
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Re: Here's a question for you...

Postby Andi » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:29 am

Darth's Daddy wrote:I think some of the controversey could be avoided if stores limited the number of same item sets you could buy in one trip.


YES!!

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

Postby Solo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:45 am

deco_droid wrote:dude, what is the point of doing this poll if it's hidden under "comments" -- i almost missed it. polls on eurobricks are very easy to spot...

Good point, I'll add a link in the post text itself.
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