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S@H Prices

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S@H Prices

Postby Athos » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:44 pm

Dear Lego,

I've noticed an issue with shop-at-home pricing. Specifically, once you've factored in the shipping costs, on an average size order, the price the customer pays is significantly more expensive than if they bought it in a store.

S@H prices are comparable, if not identical, to the prices seen in normal stores. Assuming an a sales tax, at said store, of 7%, the customer in the store would pay the MSRP plus 7%. When buying from shop-at-home, however, the customer will pay, MSRP plus up to 40%.

Using the most recent Indiana Jones sets as an example:

Ambush in Cairo: MSRP $10.99
-Total cost from S@H: $15.94
-Total cost from store (with 7% tax rate): $11.76
-Premium paid through S@H: $4.18 (38% more than shopping at a store)

Chauchalla Cemetary: MSRP: $19.99
-Total cost from S@H: $24.94
-Total cost from store: $21.34
-Premium paid through S@H: $3.60 (18% more than shopping at a store)

Venice Canal Chase: MSRP $39.99
-Total cost from S@H: $46.94
-Total cost from store: $42.78
-Premium paid through S@H: $4.16 (10% more than shopping at a store)

Fighter Plane Attack: MSRP $49.99
-Total cost from S@H: $56.94
-Total cost from store: $53.48
-Premium paid through S@H: $3.46 (7% more than shopping at a store)

Temple of Doom: MSRP: $89.99
-Total cost from S@H: $100.94
-Total cost from store: $96.29
-Premium paid through S@H: $4.65 (5% more than shopping at a store)

Its notable that as the order size goes up the premium goes down. However, it is not until one orders approximately $250 worth of Lego that the shipping prices become comparable to a sales tax rate of 7%. Thus, unless one is going to purchase $250 or more of Lego, foregoing S@H and shopping at your local store is the more economical option.

Further, S@H rarely offers anything at a discount, while stores will. Thus, further increasing the price disparity. Additionally, several states have no sales tax or a tax rate significantly less than 7%. This only further inflates S@H prices. When you couple all of this with the option to buy from, which offers free shipping on many orders over $25, it is astonishing that anyone would purchase from S@H.

I noticed this issue while attempting to use my brickmaster coupon ($5 off a $20 order). Even using that coupon there was no incentive to purchase from S@H. Every thing I intended to buy, even with the coupon, would have cost me more than purchasing it in a store. This makes no sense. What good is the BM coupon then? In fact, the best arrangement I could come up with was the Hoth Battle, which would have, in the end, cost me the MSRP and left me paying the same as I would in the stores.

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Re: S@H Prices

Postby Merlin of Lego » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:42 pm

For some states, I would imagine that WA is not alone in this, because there is a Lego Store within the state I get to pay sales tax for the order also. So for me figure in another 9%. The other disadvantage to Shop-at-Home is that there is no shopper reward program. If I purchase at the Lego Store, Fred Meyer, or Toys R Us, there is some form of reward program allowing me to get free stuff later. At Fred Meyer I can even earn fuel discounts.

I only use Shop at Home for Pick a Brick or if I am in a Lego Store and they are out of something I can order from Shop-at-Home through the store and get free shipping and use the shopper reward program. Unfortunately you must be present in the store to do this.
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Re: S@H Prices

Postby Username » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:10 pm

Last time I order from S@H, I paid tax as well as s/h charges.
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Re: S@H Prices

Postby davee123 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:49 pm

Athos wrote:the price the customer pays is significantly more expensive than if they bought it in a store.

It's most likely quite intentional to avoid competing with retail stores. Retailers wouldn't like it very much if Lego undercut all their prices, and delivered straight to the consumer's home on top of that.

The main reason to buy through S@H is if there's something that you can't get at your local retailer. And if you don't live in reasonable proximity to a Lego store, that might be quite a bit of stuff that you can't get without ordering through S@H.

The other reasons might be convenience-related. They ship directly to your house, so you don't have to drive out to your local store. That might be convenient for you if your local stores are mobbed (Christmas time), are far away from you, or if you want to guarantee that they'll have the set you're looking for when you get there (if they can't or won't put something aside for you).

Anyway, I expect it's largely due to competition with retailers-- since they're the cash cow for Lego, Lego can't very well go annoying them!

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Re: S@H Prices

Postby RichardAM » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:32 pm

You have a S@H store. Use it, and feel grateful that you have it.

Some of us don't have any option other than the online counterpart, and either way, i'm pretty sure the US pricing is still pretty good compared to what some fans elsewhere have to pay.
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Re: S@H Prices

Postby Thor » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:21 am

Yeah, AZ gets the sales tax too, so I stopped buying online and now just make the hour journey to the store. What sucks is that I like to use PAB online, because you can't get hairpieces, headgear from the Lego Stores, and that Tax + $6 shipping for a little plastic bag really does bite megabloxs!!!!!
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Re: S@H Prices

Postby SavaTheAggie » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:37 pm

I just order from S@H through my local LEGO store. If you do that, they waive the shipping fee, assuming you're buying something they don't carry or is out of stock.


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Re: S@H Prices

Postby Baites » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:34 am

Due to S@H pricing, I only buy from them when there is an exclusive offer, such as the Star Wars Minifig poster or to purchase exclusives since there are no Lego Stores in my area. To win with the shipping prices, try to wait until Christmas when free shipping is offered.
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