(Written by William)
Buying enough LEGO to satisfy a group of Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOL) can be a rather expensive process. After all, building life-size snowmen out of white bricks is hard when you don’t have an official LEGO Store anywhere near your club. Fortunately, LEGO is aware of this problem. The thing is that there’s not much LEGO can do when AFOLs make up roughly 5% of the money that LEGO makes. Never fear, there is a little known secret called the LUGBULK Program.
➡ WHAT IS LUGBULK?
The LUGBULK program debuted in 2009 and still operates as a pilot program for LEGO. LEGO realizes that AFOLs are the ones that make communities aware of LEGO in a wide range of venues that LEGO does not have the time or resources to reach. Therefore, supplying these AFOLs with an affordable supply of bulk pieces seems like a really good idea.
The logistics of this project are a nightmare though if you think about it. There is no way to offer this discount to every AFOL who wants cheap LEGO bricks. Therefore, the first organization level is that AFOLs must be part of a LEGO User Group (LUG). This LUG must then register every year if they want to participate.
➡ WHAT MAKES A LUG QUALIFY FOR REGISTRATION?
LEGO wants to make sure that their interests are furthered by a LUG. Therefore, LEGO has set up some criteria that will qualify a LUG. First, the LUG must be large enough. LEGO believes that ten members are sufficient for this. Second, a LUG must participate in public displays. This can be met by having at least two public displays a year. Make sure to take pictures. Also, these displays are based on the previous year so if the LUG is applying in 2011 then they must have participated in two displays in 2010. When you have all these requirements, you can move on to proving it.
LEGO still does not have the resources to verify the claims a LUG makes without some help. Therefore, your LUG will need to have its own website. This should be accessible to the public, have a one page description of the goals of your group, and link to pictures of the events.
➡ NEXT STEP IN THE PROCESS
Once you believe your LUG is fully qualified, you can now contact LEGO. Currently, the person handling the LUGBULK Program is Jan Beyer. He can be reached here.
The best time to contact Jan is in early December. LEGO likes to get LUGs registered before January 31st each year. Once registered, Jan will send you the information you need to place your LUG’s order.
➡ OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Each year LEGO may change the rules of the program. The maximum a single person can order, the max number of elements, the minimum order amount, etc. Make sure to follow the rules carefully.
This program is based in Denmark which has to serve a world population. Some of the information like currency may be represented as DKK. This is the abbreviation for the Danish Krone.
Shipping is another concern that needs to be kept in mind when ordering. A good rule of thumb is that shipping will be roughly 5% of whatever your order amount is. This way everyone can pay their fair share when it comes time for money collection.
It is very important to follow the rules of this program since there is no time to make special exceptions or babysit someone who needs help. Make sure everyone in the group knows and understands what the program is before your LUG decides to participate. Here are the rules that were used for the 2011 round of the LUGBULK Program to give you an idea what to expect: Rules for LEGO LUGBULK Program
If you would like to participate in this program, I would encourage you to check with your nearest LUG, and below are some other tips for LEGO Users Groups you might like:
- Your LEGO Users Group Online Presence
- Secret LEGO: The LUG Showcase Program
- LEGO User Group Activity: Drafting
- Preparing Your LEGO Users Group for a Show