Ask a LEGO Fan

Set Prices in Neighbor Countries

Posted in Marketplace by lfanquestions on October 15, 2009

KAZ writes:

Hello,

i just want to know how the Lego Group determines their exclusivities policies. I’m living in France and here many sets are exclusive Shop@home like the 10197 Fire brigade. But in Germany or Belgium (our neighbours) it’s not an exclusive item and then the price was lower… (169.99E vs 149.99E) it’s not fair !
I could buy these sets from them but the shipping rates raise the cost and it’s no more valuable.I can’t see any explanation. A guy who owns a shop tells me “These ref are even not in the French list of authorized sets” so they can’t ask about get some.

Thanks for all

Dear KAZ,

Part of the problem is how LEGO set up marketing and distribution channels for their products in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Many countries have their own team that determines which products will be available and how to price these products.  Unfortunately this leads to price differences between neighboring countries.  It also prevents customers in a country to purchase any set they want directly from TLG.  Construction toys in general may be more costly in your market and this will lead to higher set prices.  LEGO sets are usually priced at what consumers will pay for the items.

On the other hand, the prices in France are still much more reasonable than many other places in the world.  Numerous countries do not have a direct presence by the company and must rely on one or two distributors.  These distributors have the market cornered and often charge three to four times the normal manufacturers suggested retail price.  In addition, the LEGO selection is much more limited than in Western Europe.

Sincerely,

LFan

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