LE : 1000-3999
Society(if it continues?): 5000-5999
Special Edition: 6000-6999
HL001 thru HL100 are still available for limited edition lighthouses..
The above are distinct possibilities. Perhaps a blend of each could be possible. It would be nice to stay with the 3-digit LE designated product number for as long as possible. Perhaps using a few of the 001-100 numbers for a few special LE's each year would be nice followed with some of the 4-digit numbers to cover the rest of the releases.
I think LE's are here to stay as long as there are enough collectors to purchase them all within a reasonable period of time. I believe the CF can and will have a lot to do with it.
The new owners just have to log on to the CF to see what is happening in the HL collecting world. This web site is like a constant customer survey of their products. Many people here speak up about the pros and cons of this collectible. I'm sure their opinions probably fit right in with the thoughts of those who choose not to speak up. We speak up, and Harbour Lights listens. We have been fortunate to experience this in the past and I have no doubt our opinions will matter in the future with the new owners.
Here's some food for thought. Just consider what would happen if only enough LE's were made to satisfy demand. Just imagine if Harbour Lights could definitely depend on "X" amount of each LE being sold. Many of these could be autoships and the others would be purchased through the dealers. This "X" amount would have to sell out within a specific amount of time. After that point, no more will be offered. Hard thing to do? It could be.
HL Dealers will not be forced to take certain amounts of lights not from their region of the country unless they request them. Autoships will remain the same as long as their customer base demands it.
Instead of having dealers from one side of the country sell lights from the other side of the country, they will have the option of passing on certain new releases that they feel will not sell in their area. One would think New England area lights will sell better in New England and west coast lights will sell better on the west coast. Funnel the majority of those lights through the dealers with the best chance of selling them out.
Here's when it starts to get interesting. Research shows that if "X" amount of LE's are made, they will sell out. This means no "dogs" sitting on dealer's shelves or in their stock rooms. This would inspire an "I had better buy it while it is available" attitude. Remember we are talking serious collectors here, not people buying giftware for a relative or friend.
The sooner the latest releases disappear from the dealer at retail the more likely there could be an appreciation in value. I don't think people are going to rush out and buy the latest release at retail to put it right on eBay at half of what they paid for it.
If a dealer can move their stock right out, they will be happy. If a collector gets the feeling his or her new LE is still worth what they paid for it, then their collective juices will once again flow. They will be back at the dealer for the next new release before they miss the opportunity to purchase it at retail.
(X=?)The answer to this problem is something that will have to be determined by Harbour Lights. Will "X" equal 3500 LE's, or perhaps 4000 LE's, or maybe the original number of 5500 LE's? There has to be some figure that will balance the equation of keeping the collectors happy while Harbour Lights can earn a well deserved profit.
If every pieces sells out at retail, then there will be no bargains on eBay. That would be the ultimate dream of HL collectors. That would bring back the demand this collectible once enjoyed.