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Difference In Price Between LDD And PAB


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#1 legoboy3998

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:53 AM

I had broght this up on other forums back when there was the big price issue with a release of LDD.  In LDD they charge you $10 US to start with for any set, and the individual pieces are higher in price (with a few exceptions) than PAB.

Since then, I never ever order direct through LDD, rather I use LDD Manager to print out a parts list and order the parts through PAB on LEGOs website.  on my last order (in March 2011), I was able to save 25%, that was enough to buy 2 of the new PF train motors and pay for shipping and still save about $20 US.

I e-mailed LEGO about this back when I first discovered this and their response was.

"...The reason for the difference between the Factory and the Pick a Brick section is that the Factory has special considerations such as packaging and the extra time that it takes to package the custom sets..."

I get the $10 US dollar charge for the box, but is it not the same amout of labor as picking the parts ordered through PAB?

Sal
WFB, WI

#2 Aanchir

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

View Postlegoboy3998, on 01 May 2011 - 03:53 AM, said:

I had broght this up on other forums back when there was the big price issue with a release of LDD.  In LDD they charge you $10 US to start with for any set, and the individual pieces are higher in price (with a few exceptions) than PAB.

Since then, I never ever order direct through LDD, rather I use LDD Manager to print out a parts list and order the parts through PAB on LEGOs website.  on my last order (in March 2011), I was able to save 25%, that was enough to buy 2 of the new PF train motors and pay for shipping and still save about $20 US.

I e-mailed LEGO about this back when I first discovered this and their response was.

"...The reason for the difference between the Factory and the Pick a Brick section is that the Factory has special considerations such as packaging and the extra time that it takes to package the custom sets..."

I get the $10 US dollar charge for the box, but is it not the same amout of labor as picking the parts ordered through PAB?

Sal
WFB, WI
Well, DesignByMe/Factory sets as you mentioned have custom building instructions and packaging. This accounts for the ten-dollar price difference.

As for the individual differences in the price per piece, you are right, these can be significant. Element 4593555 (part 90609 in black) costs $.24 on Pick-A-Brick and $.30 through DesignByMe, meaning the DesignByMe price is 25% more expensive (not including the $10 price difference). I imagine the cost difference is one of efficiency-- Pick-A-Brick orders tend to be bulk orders of particular pieces, whereas DesignByMe orders have parts in hugely variable quantities. To compensate for the expected difference in efficiency, TLG may have resorted to having a higher flat rate for each piece ordered in DesignByMe-- even if someone orders a model made of just one type of piece through DesignByMe, or if they order hundreds of individual elements on Pick-A-Brick.

It's also possible that the higher price for DesignByMe mode helps pay for continued improvements and developments to the LEGO Digital Designer interface. Since LEGO Digital Designer is free software, it can't pay for itself. Of course, this doesn't explain much since TLG could just as easily charge the same amount and just distribute their profits differently, but I'm just brainstorming possible explanations right now.

EDIT: Here's another idea. It's possible the increased price is a way of compensating for the larger packaging that a higher piece count necessitates. After all, the packaging for a five-pound monstrosity of a set would have to be larger (and consequently more expensive) than the packaging for a purchase consisting of a single minifigure. True, the same applies to Pick-A-Brick, but since Pick-A-Brick packaging doesn't need to be custom-printed for each individual order, it could be significantly less costly.

Something to keep in mind is that the "on-demand" nature of PaB and DesignByMe alike raises their cost higher than a mass-produced set with the same parts. But this also means that individual facets of that cost, such as the cost of packing the set or printing the packaging, will also be inflated beyond what it would be for a mass-produced set.

Edited by Aanchir, 02 May 2011 - 02:39 PM.

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#3 legoboy3998

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:00 AM

Aanchir, if thats the case it should be one or the other.  Im fine with the flat fee.  As far as packaging the only difference between PAB and DBM, is the DBM set is put in a generic DBM box (white and a kinda puke green color lettering and trim), I dont belive they print pictures anymore and I believe instructions are extra.  Which brings up another point, there is an option when ordering DBM sets for customized pacakgin and instructions, IIRC, otherwise its the generic DBM box with a PAB bag filled with the parts inside.  Id be happy if they would by default would be just like PAB (no DBM box) and have the DBM box be extra also.

Your thinking about the guantity af parts being an issue and the cost of the program should be covered by the flat fee, otherwise you shouldnt have it.  Your charging me a flat fee plus up-charging the parts why not one or the other.  Id even be happier with a tiered flat fee, $10 for 0-100 pieces 20 100-200 etc, something like that would cover all the issues and wouldnt be such a rip-off.

I just placed another order last night, 487 pieces, DBM $105, PAB $66, total with shipping $73.  With shipping i still save +25%.

Sal
WFB, WI

#4 Legoist

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:31 PM

It may also be because DesignByMe/Factory is not really supposed to be used by a customer regularly, i.e. to order parts for his own MOCs.

I've always seen it intended as a option for a KFOL to design & order ONE SMALL creation just to have it packed (almost) like a retail LEGO set, then bring it over to school and show all your friends how "kewl" you are, you're like a real LEGO designer, whee...! And then never ever order from DesignByMe/Factory again. In such a scenario, who cares if you're overpaying for the actual box content.

Regular LEGO MOCers (including KFOLs of course) don't need the box (which they would need to open anyway) and neither the instructions (they designed the model, why the hell would they need instructions for that?), and just go straight to PAB.



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