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I live in Israel where Lego are available but for insane prices. Generally 5X the price of a Lego set online. I have called Lego asking to have a Lego set shipped to me, and they have told me that they will not ship directly. When purchasing from online sites, they tell me they can not ship to Israel.

Is this common practice internationally?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The LEGO Online Store states that it can deliver to:

Your LEGO® order can be shipped direct to you or a friend/relative in select countries within Europe and even to North America and Asia/Pacific.

The list of shipping locations includes:Shipping Destinations and Languages

I guess they have their reasons for not including Israel in that list - presumably it's either because of excessive handling/customs fees or shipping reliability - I'm guessing that's more the issue rather than other sites being told they can't send LEGO (specifically) to Israel.

I found a guide for eBay sellers planning on shipping to Israel written by a user here which talks more about the customs issues.

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That's actually a VERY short list. Doesn't even have Japan , or South Africa, or any country in Africa/ Middle East etc. I'm guessing this is more than just a customs issue. Because as I said, Legos are sold here, and online stores will sell other goods to Israel. – avi Apr 25 '14 at 6:45
It is a short list - and you're right, it's probably more than a customs issue, it's probably a logistics issue as well (although it does have South Korea on there which is interesting). – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Apr 25 '14 at 12:56
I wonder if those are countries that Denmark has Free Trade laws for, and must ship to them directly, as apposed to being able to sell the rights to sell legos to a specific supplier. I also just noticed that the screenshot implies, that not all lego products will be shipped to all those countries. – avi Apr 25 '14 at 13:37

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