I don't mind you asking at all - I paid $239 in a Buy-it-now from a seller with good reputation. There are some sellers that have it for cheaper Buy-it-now - but their feedback was either non-existent or had some blemishes, so I am okay with paying a bit more.
Oh nice! Sounds like a good deal. I had read reports that the set was being sold for over $500, and that the minimalist Hoth poster some LEGO Stores gave out
was going for as much as $800! At that point, it would cost less than $50 to just buy the parts online and build the set yourself.
I am curious as to what the criteria was for getting the invite, not that I feel that I should have been entitled to one or anything, but if there is something I could do, purchasing behavior-wise, to put myself higher up in the running, that would be great to know. For example, when I buy from Lego it is a mix between going to the nearest store and ordering online, was this based purely on frequency of purchasing from my nearest store? If so, maybe I need to make the trek over to that store more often.
I have no idea, and I don't believe anyone does. All I know is that you have to be a VIP member and rumor is that you have to spend thousands in the actual LEGO Store. Which is possible if your store has a great selection (mine rotates select sets in and out; right now they only have TFA sets in the SW section) or you don't care about discounts (Amazon and Target frequently run sales... LEGO doesn't). They do these special events pretty often too, like at Black Friday (opening up an hour early so VIP invites can have early access to sets) but despite usually making a monthly trek to my store, I've never gotten an invite.