Legos You Can Rent

5

Buy or rent? It’s an old issue faced by consumers, usually when buying high-priced items such as cars, boats, furniture, and housing. But rental is also a good option for items that will not get a lot of use or ones consumers tire of quickly, such as fashion, books, electronic games, and DVD movies. We even rent power tools, trucks, and other necessary household items. But are there other potential rental businesses? It seems so.

Enter the Lego renting business. Using a similar model to the Netflix movie rental business, Pleygo is a service that lets customers “rent” Lego sets for a fee as low as $15/month for 250 pieces (Fan), $25/month for 500 pieces (Super Fan), and $39/month for 5,400 pieces (Mega Fan).

The consumer builds a wish list, orders, receives the pieces along with instructions (and extra pieces), and builds the Lego creation. When the building has been completed and the kids are tired of it, the Legos are returned in the provided zip-lock bag and the next set ships. All pieces are cleaned and sanitized between rentals, and there is no charge for the normal loss of the tiny pieces. Shipping is free for members.

The service works primarily because Lego continually releases new sets, creating demand for the latest and greatest creation. Let the building begin!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are all the rental businesses that they can think of?
  2. Show the Lego rental site: http://www.pleygo.com/
  3. Discuss with students. What are the basics of the plan? Who is the target market?
  4. Divide students into teams.
  5. Have each team develop a Web-based rental business for a product(s) of their choice.
  6. What is the marketing mix to be used? Product, pricing, promotion? What are the key messages?

Source:  Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/5/13

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