So I didn't intend to write a blog follow up to The Wal-Mart Side Effect, part 1 just yet, but this is related...
Here's something I think is funny... so I'm on eBay this morning, and one of the new features is displaying items similar to what I've searched for in the past... when I see the following mixed in with the results:
I also suspect, LEGO Retail is waging a war with BrickLink sellers -- seeing the amount of money being spent on after market LEGO -- LBR is using this to justify reducing discounts and many policy changes -- damaged sets use to be on discount at 20%, now it's 10%; opened & returned sets use to go into grab bags, to which many LUG used to help bulk up collections; etc. But honestly, I think LEGO is losing the war -- the amount of money they're losing through discounts to North Americans vs. outsourcing to China, has got to be comparing a trickle of water to a tsunami.
You can't use the quality argument for not buying any of the above -- I suspect the makers of the above make the same quality of parts for LEGO. Unless I do a side-by-side comparison, would there be any differences? If it's minor, would it matter in a large fan display, considering if I bought some of the above at 50% of LEGO's price or better? I makes you think if TLG & LBR has their priorities a little backwards.