BrickLink CEO Marvin Park has explained why the secondary marketplace’s Designer Program sets can’t be delivered to LEGO fans in certain countries.
At the moment, the BrickLink Designer Program sets are only available to fans in 30 different countries, largely because the platform uses LEGO.com to take pre-orders for its crowdfunded models – but a quick glance through the official online store’s list of regions will tell you that there’s actually a pretty significant difference between each platform’s shipping destinations.
For instance, while LEGO.com caters for customers in China and Japan, LEGO fans in those territories hoping to order BrickLink Designer Program sets are flat out of luck. And according to BrickLink CEO Marvin Park, there’s a very specific reason for that.
“It has a different tax situation, basically,” he told LEGO Fan Media (including Brick Fanatics) during a recent call. “We need to be compliant to local regulations, and this is our first attempt to sell directly to a country.
“BrickLink is a registered entity and governed by the marketplace facilitator’s regulations, so we are trying to be fully compliant to that. But unfortunately, this BrickLink Designer Program is not using the marketplace – we are selling directly to customers, and a different set of tax regulations apply.
“We chose the countries where we can be fully compliant. That’s why we had to exclude some of the countries, even though they have a local [LEGO.com]. We want to expand this country list for the next program, but unfortunately, we cannot yet ship to all countries.”
Marvin also explained that the LEGO Group and BrickLink had envisaged a way for the Designer Program’s sets to reach customers in those territories – but it didn’t quite work out as intended.
“To be honest, in a very naive way, we expected that BrickLink sellers and some resellers could fill in the gap,” he said. “But after looking at the scalpers and resellers situation, we realised that that is something we cannot rely on. So the best way is to expand the list of countries so that we can actually ship the product directly to the customers, and we’re working on it.”
While it’s unlikely that anything will change for subsequent rounds of this BrickLink Designer Program, fans in countries not currently served by the crowdfunding scheme will hopefully at least be able to take part in future versions of the program.