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Lego Wholesale?

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I have been researching opening up a vintage/current toy store, and I was wondering if anyone who how to go about getting newer sets in bulk? Can you go through Lego or is there a wholesaler you can go through? Still waiting on a response from Lego themselves, just wondering if anyone had any thought or input on this.

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While I`m not sure on all of the specifics, I know that you can get a wholesale license/catalog through TLG, but they have several requirements. One is that you must own a B&M store location, and another is that you have to carry a major percentage of the themes, you can`t just pick and choose. Almost all or nothing kind of deal. 

 

For investing, this really isn`t a great way to go about it, as I`ve heard from others some of the prices that wholesalers pay, and you can regularly buy sets at those prices or cheaper through clearance/coupons/etc. I applaud you for considering a venture like this, into vintage toys, and Lego would no doubt sell well in addition, but there is a lot to consider in this respect. Quite a few members here know more in-depth details about wholesaling, and hopefully someone else comment and can assist as well. 

 

Emazers use to be a wholesaler and he said lego removed that capability

 

That rings a bell, but what I think, at least what I understand, is that they have increased the requires and made it much more difficult to become a wholesaler. Plenty of mom and pop stores still sell the product, so they could not have entirely eliminated this capacity. 

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I've thought of opening up a hobby/game store and getting a license from lego to be a retailer. There's other games/collectibles that I sell and could see a benefit having a B+M location for. However from what I've read you have to carry something like 75% or more of the sets lego releases and you only start with a 30% off retail discount. So I'm not sure there's any real benefit in working with lego on being a licensed retailer. The exception maybe would be if you could purchase a very limited quantity of the required sets and could still purchase larger amounts of the sets you want (ex larger modulars). You could sell the crap sets and hopefully break even and make money off the units that are on the do-not-discount lists you otherwise wouldn't be able to get at such low prices.

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Guest TabbyBoy

As far as I know, you have to purchase across 75% of the themes.  I wonder if you can say, get away with this:

 

Purchase just one each of the very cheapest set from each of the unpopular themes like Chima, Ninjago, Duplo, TMNT, etc.

Purchase huge multiples of large sets from the better themes like Advanced, large CITY sets, Lego Movie, Friends, etc

 

So if you have to spend say, 20k how about 1k on rubbish from unpopular themes and 19K on the best sets out there?

 

I have no problem dropping 20k right now if I can have 30% discount on 99% of the 75% of sets if you get my drift.

 

I'm going to bite the bullet and call the UK wholesale team to get a definitive answer.

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As far as I know, you have to purchase across 75% of the themes.  I wonder if you can say, get away with this:

 

Purchase just one each of the very cheapest set from each of the unpopular themes like Chima, Ninjago, Duplo, TMNT, etc.

Purchase huge multiples of large sets from the better themes like Advanced, large CITY sets, Lego Movie, Friends, etc

 

So if you have to spend say, 20k how about 1k on rubbish from unpopular themes and 19K on the best sets out there?

 

I have no problem dropping 20k right now if I can have 30% discount on 99% of the 75% of sets if you get my drift.

 

I'm going to bite the bullet and call the UK wholesale team to get a definitive answer.

 

Sounds good in theory, but wouldn't almost every wholesaler attempt this?  (at least after the first couple of orders...)  In addition to carrying 75% of the themes I'd guess that you can't buy just one of each Chima set from the line and call it a day.

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additionally, the wholesale discounts aren't that great the last time i looked into it and spoke w/ my Enterprise Earth rep and a few mom and pop stores. Buying from amazon and target during slight sales) can be actually cheaper than buying directly from Lego.

 

granted, i'm looking at this from the US standpoint.

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So has all this cleared things up for you? Regardless of the details, which have been posted on the site before and will probably be sent to you directly from TLG, the wholesale program is definitely available still.

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Here is the straight scoop from Charlie at LEGO...

 

  • Brick and Mortar store
  • Must be a Toy Store with 2 other major toy brands(LEGO can only make up about 33% of total store inventory)
  • $5000 initial buy in
  • NO EXCLUSIVES

They do not discuss discounts until you are approved.

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Here is the straight scoop from Charlie at LEGO...

 

  • Brick and Mortar store
  • Must be a Toy Store with 2 other major toy brands(LEGO can only make up about 33% of total store inventory)
  • $5000 initial buy in
  • NO EXCLUSIVES

They do not discuss discounts until you are approved.

 

Is Wham-O still a major toy brand?

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Wonder what they consider 2 other major toy brands...  I've a friend that owns and runs a Comic and Games shop.  He's a Games Workshop "premiere" independent retailer (I think that just means he carries at least one of everything) and he carries a whole host of games and other miniatures from a number of distributors along side all the comics, statues and misc stuff from Diamond Comics (I think the largest or only major comic distributor in North America.)

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Does anyone know what it takes to get a LEGO store opened up? Can you as a person ask for a franchise or ask to be a manager or something? Or does LEGO just control all that and then bring in people?

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Cons:

No exclusives and probably crap discounts. /barf

What two other major toy brands can you sell to make up that 66% other inventory

Pros:

5000 minimum order is cheaper than I expected

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Here is the straight scoop from Charlie at LEGO...

 

  • Brick and Mortar store
  • Must be a Toy Store with 2 other major toy brands(LEGO can only make up about 33% of total store inventory)
  • $5000 initial buy in
  • NO EXCLUSIVES

They do not discuss discounts until you are approved.

 

I also recall that you needed to have had the Brick and Mortar store open for either 1 or 2 years before qualifying.

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I mentioned it before, a couple months ago I stumbled upon a local Pharmacy that must have a LEGO wholesale license.  They still had 2 Helm's Deep, 2 Jabba's Palace and one EV3 Mindstorms still on the shelf at MSRP just a couple weeks ago.

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Does anyone know what it takes to get a LEGO store opened up? Can you as a person ask for a franchise or ask to be a manager or something? Or does LEGO just control all that and then bring in people?

LEGO Brand retail stores are not franchises. TLG decided where they want to put them. They also handle all aspects of staffing them, and it takes a little bit more than just asking if you can be a manager for one ?

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Thanks for all the replies. Definately learned a lot and gave me some food for thought. Definately sounds cheaper to build an inventory via Amazon, Target, Ebay, etc. I got some semi-hard numbers I can plus into a business plan and actually estimate what I would need for a profit. Thanks to everyone who posted here or who messaged me!

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I also recall that you needed to have had the Brick and Mortar store open for either 1 or 2 years before qualifying.

Correct...It has to be open so they can check it out.  I don't know if there was a time limit.  Charlie was very helpful and he seemed willing to work with you.  LEGO does not want you to be solely dependent upon selling LEGO sets to support your store, that's why they ask for other brands to be involved.  I also asked if I could sell older LEGO sets and he said yes, they were mine to do whatever I wanted with.  But you were not allowed to buy "new exclusives" from a LEGO store to resell at your Toy Shop.  A collectibles store would be acceptable.

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Just want to state something that hasn't been covered yet.  Keep in mind that even crappy sets will retire one day, and have a shot at appreciating.  So if you need to buy some sets you don't necessarily want, it could still work it.

 

That being said though, I still wouldn't do wholesale.  I have enough other tricks by this point to stay well stocked with only the stuff I want.  And the stuff I want is the stuff that has proven to be what others want.  That's why I want it.  :D

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It is funny that Lego has so many insane reselling requirements yet wont let you opt for reselling their stuff if you buy it at MSRP (they ban you). It would make sense if they have reseller requirements and they want to push you to that. But those are somewhat unreasonable so you get stuck in the middle of no-mans land.

 

I guess I am curious why they think its better for their brand to have less people selling it? I can see no competition with the actual Lego B&M stores, but what does that have to do with letting people sell online?

 

Its not that I don't think there are answers to these questions. I just feel like most of the time with strict reseller requirements, you would see them making you buy to resell from them at MSRP. But Lego doesn't want you to do that either.

 

Maybe they haven't figured it out yet either.

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It is funny that Lego has so many insane reselling requirements yet wont let you opt for reselling their stuff if you buy it at MSRP (they ban you). It would make sense if they have reseller requirements and they want to push you to that. But those are somewhat unreasonable so you get stuck in the middle of no-mans land.

 

I guess I am curious why they think its better for their brand to have less people selling it? I can see no competition with the actual Lego B&M stores, but what does that have to do with letting people sell online?

 

Its not that I don't think there are answers to these questions. I just feel like most of the time with strict reseller requirements, you would see them making you buy to resell from them at MSRP. But Lego doesn't want you to do that either.

 

Maybe they haven't figured it out yet either.

 

 

Because more people selling it potentially harms the brand more........and they don't exactly need the assistance of unchecked or loosely monitored "mom and pop" LEGO sellers as they are doing fine on their own.  Brand exclusivity is a good marketing gimmick all its own. 

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Guest TabbyBoy

All LEGO has to do is to tell eBay to NOT allow their products to be resold by a 3rd party.  Either that or keep thousands of sets behind post-EOL and simply undercut all of us!.  I used to sell Claber gardening equipment on eBay until they told eBay that it won't allow it's new products to be sold by a 3rd party.  They had to be sold as "used" which made it not worthwhile.  I tried and a listing was removed within the hour with a warning.  However, I sold the lot at a boot sale for over 2x what I paid and sent a sh**ty letter to the CEO of Claber telling him what I had done and to shove his company up his arse.

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Guest TabbyBoy

Due to the huge hikes in selling fees, I'm wondering if it's just a matter of time before a B&M store has lower overheads?  On a small scale, I find boot sales and Gumtree a good way to offload small/medium sets before Xmas with no fees.

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