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Australian LEGO Pricing


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#1 WetWired

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:21 AM

Ok this has been a hot issue for us Australians for a while, it was somewhat understandable when our dollar was weaker but our local dollar has remained strong for some time now.

So the recent pricing of the marvel superheroes sets was actually offensive. The DC super heroes sets were bad enough (double USD RRP in most cases) that I imported the few I wanted, the marvel sets pricing is even worse and actually more than double in some cases, the below images demonstrates this easier than I can explain it.

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I would recommend any Australians (and even other concerned citizens of the world) to email Lego at shop@home directly to voice your complaints, I am for one sick of being milked for cash and will take my money overseas via importing.

Their contact form is available on their website here
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#2 WhiteFang

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

It's the same on our end as well. There is nothing much we can do and we could only resort to overseas buying instead of local purchasing.

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#3 LEGO Family

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:44 AM

Wooow .... Those are high prices ... And i thought LEGO was expensive in Denmark. Its by average 30-40 % more expensive than in the UK / States, and thats even though we are the country producing it. But those Australien prices are insane. Good luck getting the prices down, ill have my fingers crossed. :)

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#4 AndyC

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:30 AM

The world is just more complicated than that. Do the AUS prices include tax, for example? US prices generally don't include sales tax, wheras here in the UK prices pretty much always include VAT. Then there are shipping costs and import duties, also the size of the US audience combined with the fact there are factories in Mexico make it cheaper than delivering elsewhere. Then there are issues like variations in typical household incomes to consider, not to mention the placement of a product in relation to it's competitors.

Now, if you could demonstrate that the price difference was substantially different to similar products like Playmobil and so on, you'd have a more interesting argument. Just doing a straight cost conversion rarely reveals much.
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#5 I Scream Clone

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:50 AM

View PostAndyC, on 07 May 2012 - 09:30 AM, said:

The world is just more complicated than that. Do the AUS prices include tax, for example? US prices generally don't include sales tax, wheras here in the UK prices pretty much always include VAT. Then there are shipping costs and import duties, also the size of the US audience combined with the fact there are factories in Mexico make it cheaper than delivering elsewhere. Then there are issues like variations in typical household incomes to consider, not to mention the placement of a product in relation to it's competitors.

Now, if you could demonstrate that the price difference was substantially different to similar products like Playmobil and so on, you'd have a more interesting argument. Just doing a straight cost conversion rarely reveals much.
There are of course even more things to consider. Size of the market, market share, how aggressive LEGO is marketing to US vs Aus, no LEGO brand retail outlet in Australia to combat price rises (The big retail chains work together on what they feel is the current Aus retail price, allowing them to set profits and factor in %off sales etc).

All this adds up to higher prices for Aus customers. It would be nice if they were cheaper, and yes it may be worth stampeding TLG with complaints, time may tell if we get the slated LEGO brand store in Australia or not.

Check out the Town Hall, I think it was only $50 more for the Aus version to US version.

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#6 WetWired

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

View PostAndyC, on 07 May 2012 - 09:30 AM, said:

The world is just more complicated than that. Do the AUS prices include tax, for example? US prices generally don't include sales tax, wheras here in the UK prices pretty much always include VAT. Then there are shipping costs and import duties, also the size of the US audience combined with the fact there are factories in Mexico make it cheaper than delivering elsewhere. Then there are issues like variations in typical household incomes to consider, not to mention the placement of a product in relation to it's competitors.

Now, if you could demonstrate that the price difference was substantially different to similar products like Playmobil and so on, you'd have a more interesting argument. Just doing a straight cost conversion rarely reveals much.

I wouldn't expect 1-1 parity with USD prices, I understand there is sales tax (10% GST here) plus other unknown to us costs, but the recent Town Hall for example is actually a very well priced set compared to the difference between previous modulars USD and AUD. The town hall is AUD$250 or US$200 which is actually quite reasonable, compared to previous modulars like the pet store which was AUD$270 or US$150.
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#7 JopieK

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

Dutch pricing:

6865 14,99€ = 19.55
6866 29,99€ = 39.10
6867 29,99€ = 39.10
6868 69,99€ = 91,26
6869 89,99€ = 117,33

So it seems US is just much cheaper. Even Europe, the birth ground of LEGO, is not that cheap.

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#8 Big Cam

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:47 PM

Wow, I would expect the price to be a little higher due to market size and how far away the Aussies are, and I assume there is no distribution center there.

This is just highway robbery though. Almost double on some sets and the fact that the Aussie dollar is actually worth a tad less. Very unfair.

#9 Sinner

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:05 PM

View PostBig Cam, on 07 May 2012 - 03:47 PM, said:

Wow, I would expect the price to be a little higher due to market size and how far away the Aussies are, and I assume there is no distribution center there.
Sure we do.

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View PostBig Cam, on 07 May 2012 - 03:47 PM, said:

This is just highway robbery though. Almost double on some sets and the fact that the Aussie dollar is actually worth a tad less. Very unfair.
Tad more actually.





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#10 Meatman

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:17 PM

Those prices are shocking! *oh2*

#11 caperberry

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:16 PM

OK, I know US is always cheapest but yeah that's pretty scary. Especially 6686 & 6687. With the global supermarket of the internet available to us, LEGO need to consider more than just local factors when setting prices. If it was me, I'd do exactly what you're doing and buy overseas whilst complaining to LEGO.


Maybe you can team up with other AustFOLs to bulk buy and save on postage?
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#12 Legocrazy81

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:30 PM

Those prices are crazy. $30 more in some cases...wow.  :wacko: I think you definitely should contact LEGO about this. Get as many AFOLs as you can. Maybe if enough of you say you won't be buying it locally. Of course, you may need to get in touch with the local distributor or something. Either way, good luck!

Edited by Legocrazy81, 07 May 2012 - 05:32 PM.

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#13 Sam892

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:18 AM

The only place to get LEGO for a good price is the States. Here in England although the numbers are the same we still pay more on most sets, Sometimes it can be double. Although thats nothing compared to what you pay. I think its a testament to how much you love LEGO if you buy it at that price. In recent years I struggle to be able justify buying some sets due to the rising prices and the declining quality control. Rest assured that I will send a message to LEGO about the price of LEGO and ask why the States get the best deals.

#14 L@go

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:35 AM

While I definitely do agree that Australian prices generally are way too high, it's worth noticing that it's not just you who are being "milked for cash". Before you look at the prices below, you should know that VAT is included in Norwegian prices, so this is what the sets would actually cost you if you buy the sets from S@H in Norway. And yes, the standard of living and the level of income is high up here. But the differences are still quite wild compared to the US - and even the UK.

I've converted the AUD to USD by multiplying the prices with 1.01. The exchange rates are correct here in Norway as of today's date - so all these prices are USD. I also added UK for a European comparison:

6865: US price $12.99; Australian price $25.24; UK price $19.30; Norwegian price $25.42.
6866 & 6867: US price $19.99; Australian price $50.49; UK price $32.18; Norwegian price $50.92.
6868: US price $49.99; Australian price $100.99; UK price $80.48; Norwegian price $118.83.
6869: US price $69.99; Australian price $131.29; UK price $112.68; Norwegian price $135.83.

The 6868 example is particularly crazy.

I'm not saying this to complain about Lego prices. I'm just saying that Australians aren't alone in being "milked" :)

Edited by L@go, 08 May 2012 - 12:37 AM.

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#15 Xyver

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:14 AM

It seems to be even worse on licenced sets. The City sets, although high, are reasonable to me given all economic factors, but the licenced products are a joke.

Take for example the new vehicle sets and 9490-Droid Escape, they retail for US$19.99. Here in Australia, the vehicles are AU$29.99 and Droid Escape is AU$39.99, why the extra 33% markup?

I stay away from licenced sets because of these extra markups, they just aren't worth it.

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#16 Tony Almeida

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:54 AM

I suppose we can complain about it to TLG but they obviously wouldn't have much incentive to change anything. The AUD has been trading at or above parity with the USD for a good couple of years now, and pricing's remained unchanged. More importantly, however, there are enough casual customers (e.g. mums and dads) who'll just assume that such prices would be the norm for Lego and are just going to unwittingly tolerate the markups.

#17 Brickus

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:30 PM

Also for some reason, LEGO also thinks the current price of the Town Hall is too cheap, it is now $299 instead of $249 on S@H.

#18 WetWired

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:05 PM

View PostBrickus, on 08 May 2012 - 12:30 PM, said:

Also for some reason, LEGO also thinks the current price of the Town Hall is too cheap, it is now $299 instead of $249 on S@H.

I guess they saw my post mentioning $250 was a reasonable markup for the AU market and decided to "fix" that for us.
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#19 J.V.D.

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:05 PM

View PostXyver, on 08 May 2012 - 01:14 AM, said:

It seems to be even worse on licenced sets. The City sets, although high, are reasonable to me given all economic factors, but the licenced products are a joke.

Take for example the new vehicle sets and 9490-Droid Escape, they retail for US$19.99. Here in Australia, the vehicles are AU$29.99 and Droid Escape is AU$39.99, why the extra 33% markup?

I stay away from licenced sets because of these extra markups, they just aren't worth it.

...mmm I did notice this kind of funny mark ups here in Belgium/Europe too. It isnt consistent. I can eventually accept, with some buts and question marks, the economical arguments that some people post (big market, bigger competition, lower distribution costs etc..) for explaining price differences.
But I would expect it to be with a fixed factor. If all those reasons make a set 50% more expensive, I would expect that all of them costed about 50% extra..
So, last time I compared, US prices were about 40% cheaper on most sets. But then suddenly, there are sets, mostly the lower midrange licensed sets, the ones that cost 25-30 US, that cost about the double here: 40 euro.. Is marketing and distribution of those then that much more expensive??? I realy dont see a rational argument for this..

Besides, all this chitchat about market size etc.. I understand the US are a huge market, with all its distribution advantages etc.. but last time I read about this topic, I understood Germany was still Legos biggest market. Besides, Germany is a neighbour country of Denmark, so can somebody explain me that story about transport and distribution costs again??? Still, Germany pays the same prices like us..

I did mention this price differences a couple of times when Lego asked to fill in another survey (and left room for comments), but I guess we'll just have to live with it. Or look for sollutions like being patient and wait for sales, import or search the internet for sellers who bulk import and sell at inbetween prices...
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#20 lightningtiger

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

I know for a fact that the mark up the Marvel sets is not as good as city or creator, just like SW, etc., perhaps it's not just Lego but the original license holders....the movie companies that hold some extra cards and have a great say in the cost/sell price of these sets ?
We can think Lego is just being greedy, but other external factors might be effecting the price of Lego. :wink:

#21 natelite

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:59 PM

i think you guys are too hung up by the USD prices. If AUD were weaker at 0.60 would you have had the same reaction? About 4 years ago back in Sept 2008, AUD was that weak, and I kinda doubt you would make the kind of fuss "Oh...the Australian prices were just right compared to US prices"....

If anything, I think you should be thankful that AUD - through excellent political policy or stroke of good fortune that Australia has natural resources that China buys - appreciated as much as it did. Because of the stronger currency, you can now import from the US through Barnes & Nobles for much cheaper prices than MSRP prices.

All TLC is trying to do is to make prices as stable as possible. Sometimes a country is just doing so much better that the currency naturally appreciates and it just gives you more buying option. How is that a bad thing that you need to complain about it? Would you rather AUD were weaker?

#22 jonwil

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:07 PM

Does anyone know what the typical retail markup here in Australia is? (i.e. the %difference between wholesale and RRP)

#23 kaykay

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:41 AM

View Postnatelite, on 12 May 2012 - 04:59 PM, said:

i think you guys are too hung up by the USD prices. If AUD were weaker at 0.60 would you have had the same reaction? About 4 years ago back in Sept 2008, AUD was that weak, and I kinda doubt you would make the kind of fuss "Oh...the Australian prices were just right compared to US prices"....

Finally, a logical response to the pricing of LEGO in Australia. I understand the pricing of LEGO in Australia but its not something I would complain to TLG. Should LEGO (or any other business) change their business pricing structure according to the fluctuating currency rates for each country LEGO is sold on a yearly or monthly basis?

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#24 TeufelHund

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:07 AM

Yes Lego sets are cheaper in the US, but would you really want to live in the US just so you could enjoy cheap Lego?  :wink:

Edited by TeufelHund, 14 May 2012 - 02:08 AM.


#25 kaykay

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:35 AM

View PostTeufelHund, on 14 May 2012 - 02:07 AM, said:

Yes Lego sets are cheaper in the US, but would you really want to live in the US just so you could enjoy cheap Lego?  :wink:

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