Recently a number of AFOL's were discussing LEGO prices in Ireland on an Irish AFOL forum, it was sparked by the announcement that 75222 was being priced at £299.99 in the UK and €399.99 in Ireland. Even with the more expensive exchange rates at present from pounds to euro you're still looking at a much lower price of approximately €335.
If we take the LEGO online store as the example for this article, the prices are £299.99 and €399.99 for the UK and Ireland respectively. In both cases you get free delivery because the set is over the limit for free delivery in both countries.
So where does the extra increase come from, the sets, are most likely made in the same factory, shipped from the same location and up until the item is sent out for delivery by the local postal service in each country will have been in the same or very similar supply chains in both countries.
We decided to reach out to the LEGO Group about pricing of sets in the UK and Ireland and this is what we heard back.
"Finding the right price for a toy isn't easy and depends on a lot of considerations. To name a few, our marketing team looks at statistical data about a country's population, transportation costs, currency exchange rates, local laws and taxes and the prices of other toys. No two countries are exactly the same, so the price may be different from country to country."
At a quick glance, this looks to be a generic, scripted response as it's very vague and doesn't answer the question, if anything it raises more questions as to how can population make a difference in the case of the UK and Ireland as due to how a lot of companies work they consider the UK and Ireland as one entity and sell and ship to the retailers in these countries under this same assumption.
With this said, we can understand why retailers might charge more in Ireland then the UK as over the years due to exchange rates and shipping it was common practise for UK companies trading in Ireland to put a markup on products, and some continue to, for example Argos still have generally speaking a 20% mark up on most LEGO sold in Ireland compared to their UK prices.
The response we received also stated that they would send the feedback onto their team that looks after pricing sets, time will tell if anything changes, but in the case of 75222, an almost oddly exact 10% increase on the Irish price compared to the UK will put off a lot of people purchasing this set.