So far in 2018 we have seen numerous new sets released as was previously outlined by the LEGO group's quarterly product release cycle. All the usual retailers as expected either have the latest released sets available in stock or are, bit by bit adding these new sets from the Match quarter to their stock inventories.
As most people in Ireland will be aware it is very common for sets to be marked down in a certain store but when you go to purchase this product or reserve it the product is out of stock. Now this could be the genuine case of the product selling out due to the reduced price people can get it for. But further on from that it has always looked very strange the way a retired set is reduced on the retailer's website, becomes out of stock but is still showing on their website for at least a month or two if not longer with no new stock available in any of the retailers store.
Now this is common knowledge among most AFOL's, but of recent we've been seeing this trend spreading to other retailers, at present we're aware of two additional retailers that seem to be working this way and in some cases a LEGO set was out of stock in all stores for 3+ months, still showing as reduced and was eventually taken off their website never to return.
Is this a marketing ploy to get a potential customers attention with an offer that seems to good to be true and once your on the site you get to settling and purchase another set for full price. Or is it a genuine mistake and the set should have been removed once the item is unavailable. It wouldn't be that difficult for a product to be automatically hidden or removed from a website once all stores are showing as out of stock, it would be especially useful if the set is an old set or even a retired set.
Lets hope whatever the cause of these out of stock LEGO product listings on retailers websites doesn't spread and become normal practise for every retialer.