The LUGBULK program is a once a year opportunity for LEGO Users Groups (LUGs) to purchase large amounts of pieces (BULK) directly from the LEGO Company (TLC). The program originally started as a twice a year opportunity for purchasing moderate amounts of bulk elements, but has since switched to a once a year ordering system for large amounts of bulk elements.
The purpose of the program is twofold: first to offer a tangible support to LUGs and second to improve the public displays by LUGs by providing access to large quantities of parts useful for building larger MOCs and landscaping.
A LUG has to apply and meet certain requirements (public shows, website, minimum number of members, etc.) to participate in the program. The LUGBULK stipulations include a long list of rules concerning LUG activity, participating member information and element selection.
There are several rules in selecting and ordering parts in LUGBULK:
- Any piece that is licensed (Darth Vader helmets, Gimli beards, etc.) are not allowed.
- All pieces have to be in sets that are currently in production.
- The minimum order per piece is 50. After the first 50, all pieces must be ordered in multiples of 25. There are two exceptions to this rule: baseplates and pieces that cost more than 10 Danish Kroner.
- Each participant is limited to a maximum purchase, in Kroner, which is adjusted each year.
- People are not allowed to resell the pieces that they buy through LUGBULK...ever.
- New in 2015, LEGO supplied a list of available elements along with the price in Kroner.
Once a LUG is approved to participate, there are a series of steps that they have to go through:
- The LUG's members must compile a list of up to 80 elements. An "element" is a particular piece in a particular color. (White 2X4 bricks and black 2X4 bricks are two different elements.)
- TLC will confirm part availability and provide the total invoice.
- The LUG must then place an order that falls within their minimum and maximum limits.
There are other responsibilities for the LUG, such as paying by wire transfer, paying shipping, paying VAT (in some countries) and, of course, sorting the pieces once they arrive.
In 2013 and 2014, U.S. LUGs were responsible for getting their order through U.S. customs, or at least for finding a broker to do this on their behalf.
While participants are not subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) they are prohibited by the rules of participation from publicly discussing certain details of the program. In particular they may not discuss the prices paid.