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Will sets sell without minifgs?

romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
edited June 2011 in Buying & Selling Topics
Just wondering if it's better to buy new sets retail and sell them without the figures or buy the figures off BL? Some newer sets figures are kind of expensive on ebay/BL and was wondering the best way as I collect only the figures out of new sets.
Post edited by @Matthew -24/06/11 22.38 BST - Reason for Edit: Please remember to post in the right category Moved to Buying and Selling

Comments

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    Probably depends on the sets and the quantities involved.

    People almost assuredly will NOT buy "complete" sets that are missing minifigs. Set collectors want them to be complete, and minifig collectors want... the minifigs! The only people that would buy them would be people after the parts-- but if they're after the parts, then they'll just go buying the parts they want! ... So ... if you sell them, it's probably a bad idea to sell them as "sets" without minifigs, unless they're very rare or old (like 1593 or 1100 or something)

    If you want to sell the rest of the elements, you could try the BrickLink route, but that'll only work if you sell the parts really dirt cheap or in high quantity. Otherwise, there's nothing really to attract buyers to your store, so your inventory will probably just sit there for a long time.

    Unfortunately, you're after the minifigs... like everyone else.

    To illustrate the point, a while back, The Brothers Brick had an article about doing just the OPPOSITE. That is, funding your LEGO hobby by purchasing sets, keeping the parts, and selling the minifigs. Often, you can make a good chunk of your money back by selling the figures. The original Millennium Falcon was a great example, with Leia being something like $60 just for the ONE figure (not so much anymore). With the other 5 figures at a few dollars a pop, you just paid $20 or so for more than 600 pieces!

    Anyway, a hefty portion of the value of the set is the minifigs.

    DaveE
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Just to add to @davee123's point, I have a friend who bought 7 x 4842 (Like me, he is making Hogwarts), sold the figures and ended up paying just over £200 for 7 castle's worth of bricks!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,480
    edited June 2011
    Just to add to @davee123's point, I have a friend who bought 7 x 4842 (Like me, he is making Hogwarts), sold the figures and ended up paying just over £200 for 7 castle's worth of bricks!
    It works.. until everybody does it.. the more out there means less profit, or breakeven on the itesm you are trying to sell. Someone stated in an article somewhere that it is a good idea to buy sets and sell the figures to help recoup the cost of the sets... the problem was that EVERYONE started to do that with the Lego SW sets (which makes it real baffling as to why they are gluing figs together for the magnet sets.. some people only want the figs).
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    edited June 2011
    (which makes it real baffling as to why they are gluing figs together for the magnet sets.. some people only want the figs).
    It's due to a licencing agreement, TLG have a licence to make and sell construction sets, not figures, as Hasbro (?) have that licence, so evidently someone high up got wind that people were just buying the magnet sets for the figures, and decided to make it stop.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    It's due to a licencing agreement, TLG have a licence to make and sell construction sets, not figures, as Hasbro (?) have that licence, so evidently someone high up got wind that people were just buying the magnet sets for the figures, and decided to make it stop.
    Is that actually true or just speculation? I've heard that rumor cycling around, but I've never seen anything from an official LEGO rep to that effect (unless it was a LBR employee or someone equally not really in-the-know).

    It just seems actually counter-intuitive to me. If Hasbro has the license to make figures, and LEGO has the license to make construction figures, then it doesn't make sense for LEGO to go out of their way to PREVENT you from actually constructing the figures they produce. In essence, it seems like it's more likely to VIOLATE the license with the change in policy rather than the other way around.

    Additionally, there's no reason that it would affect things like Pharaoh's Quest magnet sets (which were known to be affected), since they're not licensed.

    DaveE
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    ^My assumption on the magnet sets were that Lego wants you to buy the whole kit with figures. If you're just interested in some sets and mostly figures, you'll forgo, say Pharaoh's Quest kits and just get the Mummy's offa' the magnets. They want the kits to be the main seller and thus make you spend more to get more figures. I'm assuming this though.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    ^That I would believe. Or that LEGO wanted to make the magnets more solid since they're occasionally knocked off the little holders if placed on your typical fridge.

    DaveE
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    As for the OP's question...like DaveE said...the figs. are the bigger seller so if you're just a minifig collector, you gotta' shop around and do ALL to get the best bargain.
    Buy some kit's for the fig's. and sell the rest of the kit w/box to recoup some monies...look around eBay for bargain's on figs or used collections with the figs you want...look to set up a Flickr. account and put stuff up for trade...etc.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Also back to the OPs question; I've bought quite a few sets without minifigs, particualrly Potter; the only reason I buy Potter is cos I love the architecture, and like to use them to MoC from, especially castles, and tend to use Kingdoms minifigs with them.

    It's also the most cost-effective way of buying new bricks to merge into your loose bricks collection.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ So what do you think is a fair price for 4867 Hogwarts without minifigs?
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ Hard to say, as it seems like a v overpriced set to start with IMO - As a set I reckon its only worth £40 max to start with (not the £50 RRP) and without figs £25 max. Taking into account the fact its a new set, you may get up to 35 for it maybe.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ That seems about right. I agree the set is over priced to begin with. Relatively speaking. It's $50 here in the U.S. Which is about £30 I believe.
  • war44lockwar44lock Member Posts: 75
    As Madforlegos said it will work until others catch on. Im doing this right now with POTC and they do sell. You gotta get in quick with new sets and get it done before others do the same and bring the prices down. I buy a few sets at a time and do this. I just sold a Blackbeard from 4192 for $20.00 NZ today. The whole set only cost me $40.00. Captain Jack Sparrow will go for $15.00 and I keep Hector and the rest of the set for $5.00. With the second set I keep Blackbeard and sell Hector, Captain Jack and the parts. I basically get a whole set for free in the end. This works best if you get sets on sale of course. You can't get results like that with all sets though, usually the medium size sets with at least four figures works best for me. I made a killing on Lukes Landspeeder that set was made for this : )
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ Dont see why it should be a time-limited phenomenon; you make an investment, you go through a load of hassle, you take your cut, seems sustainable to me. Not everyone wants the hassle of set splitting.

    I usually buy from US-based set splitters as it seems to work out cheaper and there are clearly some people who do it as a business; Just about to build the fountain from the fountain of youth; its the only thing I liked from the set so why buy the whole thing?!
  • war44lockwar44lock Member Posts: 75
    ^ Yeah it may be the small market here, 4 million people in this country and I have noticed you can't just keep at it with the same sets here, I used to get $30 $35 for C3PO and R2-D2 as a pair, now you can't get $20 for them. So I moved on to the next thing. I think magnet figures are providing alot of competition for proper set figures too. I watch what others are doing and I know they watch me too and there are a few of us doing this. I'm only a hobbyist but I know some people do this as a business and they are cheaper than I can go. So I try to be faster.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Thanks for the interesting read. I'm really trying to find the best way (in the UK) to self fund my lego obsession with lego sales.

    So far I've not done great. I've bought big bulk unsorted sets and put as many sets together as possible, and sold a few, but of course it's summer and harder to do. (ps give me a shout for old space sets - happy to trade for creator/city/town sets) I'm doing well in finding nice sets that I want to keep (a couple of castles, which aren't worth selling as mostly lacking 2-3 figures/plumes/shields or instructions, but are ace sets)

    I like modern sets mostly, and would happily sell the minifigs and keep the sets, this seems to make sense with things like toy story, where I can't see the need to have multiples of each fig, as cute as they are, they're so distinctive, and the sets 'belong' together, so having multiple woody's running around seems odd to me.

    Are there other themes like this do you think? where collecting the set, would give you many mulitples of each fig? POTC springs to mind, but the sets are so over priced, I'm not sure I can be bothered, are they're any others?

    I had considered BL - but I'm still in my early days, so keep most loose pieces as spares so far. And most sets I have are complete but lacking instructions, or are tatty.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,347
    It's due to a licencing agreement, TLG have a licence to make and sell construction sets, not figures, as Hasbro (?) have that licence, so evidently someone high up got wind that people were just buying the magnet sets for the figures, and decided to make it stop.
    Is that actually true or just speculation? I've heard that rumor cycling around, but I've never seen anything from an official LEGO rep to that effect (unless it was a LBR employee or someone equally not really in-the-know)....
    DaveE
    I've heard that this is indeed a licensing issue, from a reliable source with connections within the LEGO organisation.
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