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I would like to know how Ebay sellers are getting so many monthly build polybags

happyskunkyhappyskunky Michigan Member Posts: 133
edited December 2016 in Buying & Selling Topics
There are ebay sellers selling hundreds of monthly build polybags from the USA.

How do they get their hands on 200 , 300  December 2016 monthly build polybags?    It's not like I can walk into a Lego store and say hey I'd like to buy 200 of your December 2016 Polybags. 

So HOW is this possible?


  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,008
    I know the LEGOLAND Discovery Center by me had the monthly builds for sale in the food court if you paid to go inside. This was before the new system of having to register for the store build. Maybe they're buying them from the same supplier, or they work at a discovery center and they are taking them from there.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,318
    Could also be someone figured out it was easy enough to source the small amount of parts and turn a profit selling it as the mmb
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,159
    During double points days using PAB wall then making their own copies of the instructions plus using their own bag?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,376
    Could also be someone figured out it was easy enough to source the small amount of parts and turn a profit selling it as the mmb
    I'm guessing it is this. Unless the eBayer specifically states these are in bags, they likely are piecing them together with parts and selling them as the set.
    Check the seller 'fine print'. I would not be surprised if they say the parts are 'loose' and the instructions are printed out or something like that.
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,039
    I'm not accusing anyone specifically, but as someone who worked in retail, I would say quite a few are probably 'disappearing' out the back door. (I never did any naughty things like this but I knew of it happening)
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,195
    ^I've worked in retail quite recently but wouldn't have a clue as to how one could manage this - even the break rooms and offices have cameras now (in addition to all the obvious spots)!  It really made you feel watched when you were at work, and even if you aren't doing anything wrong it was sometimes a bit stressful. But, we were quoted some stats during training and apparently some 33% of UK item loss is due to internal theft, which is much higher than external theft and write offs (damages). I'd guess that smaller shops in particular have fewer failsafes against internal theft maybe?
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 908
    also add in the UPS/Fedex truck hounders...cases may never make it to the cameras on those trucks watching for lost packages
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,376
    I doubt this is a case of theft or packages 'lost' . It makes absolutely no sense to get into legal trouble, or jail time (or, in the least, having that on your work record) for a bunch of toy models that are not going to earn you much (at least likely not to earn you a lot quickly). Especially since LEGO could always go to eBay and ask for the seller info and then cross reference that with a list of employees at their stores. Package handlers are the same, why lose your job for what essentially are trinkets?

    I could see 5-10, maybe 20 'mysteriously' disappearing only to wind up on eBay, but the OP reported 200-300. If that is really the case, I doubt those would get overlooked by LEGO -especially given how tightly they account for their promos in store having to scan each one given out to a customer (store management or corp management), or -if a loss by the delivery company-LEGO reporting the loss to the delivery company (who then presumably investigate their drivers/handlers in the warehouse).

    IMO if it far more likely what @Bumblepants said, it is an enterprising person who BL'ed these and are selling them as the 'models'. A telling sign would be if the eBay seller is selling these with printed copies instructions and being loose; not in a factory bag.

    Then there is what @gmonkey76 says about LEGO Discovery centers getting these sometimes and someone going to 'buy out' the store. I know for a fact LDC have no problems allowing someone to come in and buy out their supply of a set.
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,039
    Way back when the Wyldstyle poly bag was given away free from the mail, I wanted one. I wasn't able to get to Smiths to get one, so I asked my sister. She refused point blank to buy the mail and went straight to eBay, found one and bought it. This was all on the same day that it was with the paper. This seems far too quick for someone to have just got it that day and gone to the effort of putting it on eBay. Somewhere from factory - distribution centre - retailers, some must be 'going for a wander'. 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,039
    Oh and @khmellymel I remember when ever newbies started at the shop I was at the second thing you do (the first being fire procedures) is watch the 'how to prevent shoplifting' film. Which is quite frankly a manual on How To Be A Shoplifter! Shows you all the tricks of the trade! And as quite a lot of retail workers quit after their first lunch break... well...!! 
    PS most retail workers are good honest lovely people who work too many hours for too little wages. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,685
    Not necessarily so. Quite a few sellers put items on eBay before they have them. It always happened with Daily Mail polys.
  • cmrt1014cmrt1014 Member Posts: 375
    edited January 2017
    I recall wondering how someone could get a "box" of the monthly models to sell - pictured were a Lego brown box of the mini models.  I saw them for a couple of months - 100 sets I seem to recall.  Haven't seen them recently.  Maybe they got shut down?
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,039
    I would like to add that I am not accusing every retail worker and eBay seller of being dishonest. I expect 99% are well behaved people! At least I hope they are... 
  • GrimlockGrimlock Liverpool, UKMember Posts: 7
    I end up with a lot because I spend a lot in the Lego store. I had 3 A-Wing pilots, all obtained by spending over £25 on SW kits on three different occasions.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,864
    I remember seeing hundreds of sealed mmmb polybags being sold by someone in Russia. Maybe they're acquired closer to source than the stores?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,832
    Yeah. I think this is a factory issue.
  • RidzDesignRidzDesign Member Posts: 29
    I just bought the last 3 months from Ebay because we missed them.
  • ggfileggfile CanadaMember Posts: 19
    It would not surprise me if LEGO has a small quantity of "extra" stock that they liquidate. These then get sold retail, and someone buys up stock. I recently found some non LEGO merchandise being sold this way and I bought the entire case. The clerk was surprised, but rung them in and then said, $29.45 please. If an AFOL found the exclusive polypacks this way, it's entirely possible, he/she just picked up a few cases to resell.
  • ggfileggfile CanadaMember Posts: 19
    ^ one other possibility. When you buy on bricklink, ebay etc., you are buying from a reseller. They may very well have made 200 qualifying purchases, picked parts for resell, and are making money on every thing they buy and resell, making themselves a small fortune over a short time.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,685
    Grimlock said:
    I end up with a lot because I spend a lot in the Lego store. I had 3 A-Wing pilots, all obtained by spending over £25 on SW kits on three different occasions.
    Three isn't a lot. 50 A-wing pilots would be.
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 268
    edited January 2017

    I have wondered the same thing when I saw sellers on ebay or BL offering dozens if not hundreds of new and "sealed" MMB's. At our Lego store they told me they have to cut open all the bags and put the pieces in PAB cups before they are allowed to hand them over to the kids. I once asked the day after the event whether I could get one or two for our girls who couldn't attend the event, and after a bit of discussion they gave me two sets of parts plus instruction sheets, but loose in one of their normal shopping bags.

    I am sure this is some factory issue.

  • caterham7caterham7 UkMember Posts: 316

    I've seen people post (on hukd?) that they've been given whole boxes of polys free in the days after the whsmith promotions have ended.

  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 142
    I can reference this thread tonight when people ask why they need to build the minibuild in-store. It's to prevent exactly this. I can practically guarantee that these aren't coming straight out of LBR shops. There are either 25 or 30 builds per case, can't remember which number off the top of my head. No way someone can get hundreds. And since spots are now registered for that means they are pretty strictly counted, and no extras allowed: we CANNOT have a scenario where a customer that has registered for a spot drives to the store with their kids only to find there are not enough available. I'll mention something to my ASM tonight.
  • William_TownsleyWilliam_Townsley Perth, Scotland Member Posts: 878
    caterham7 said:

    I've seen people post (on hukd?) that they've been given whole boxes of polys free in the days after the whsmith promotions have ended.

    WH Smith aren't supposed to. There now supposed to be sent back 
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 395
    I was chatting to a seller at a car boot who had a whole bunch of polybags, apparently they were from WHSmiths, and they just throw them in the skip at the end of the promotion!
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,039
    Throwing them in a skip? They are stupid. Stick a price on them and sell them! And people wonder why retailers are struggling... 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,039
    Then again.. who do the poly bags belong to? Whsmith or the paper they are being given away with? Hmm. I'm curious now. 
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 395
    It was pretty shocking to hear that, yeah. Don't know that it's a nationwide practice, it could well be down to the store manager. There may be reasons behind why they couldn't just price them, but throwing them away is terrible! Why not give them to a charity shop down the road?
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 142
    Most polybags actually scan at a sales price. If they're old enough polys (no longer considered GWPs) we can ring them out. There are never entire cases of minibuilds left over tho, and certainly not enough where someone can buy 200 of them.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,864
    I stumbled upon several boxes of 50x Daily Mail polybags a few years ago that someone stuck on eBay for cheaper than it would have been to buy 50 newspapers. Seemed rude not to get them for the parts alone...
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