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Second hand finds (good and bad)

NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
edited June 2011 in Buying & Selling Topics
What good or bad deals have you found at garage/yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores like Goodwill, etc.?

Last weekend I got Duplo set 2317 for my kids for $.50 at a garage sale. The box also contained some old Lego 2x4 bricks (old style with thicker font on the studs) and a 10x20 brickplate.

Yesterday I stopped in Goodwill and found a Duplo table with baseplate for $6.00, and set 4100 for $3.00 (open box but complete with unopened bags). Also bought a Duplo bucket for $3.00, but when I opened it at home I found it only had one Duplo 2x2 and 2 Lego plates. It was mostly filled with 2 different sizes of MegaBloks (neither is Duplo scale) and also had random items including a doll shoe, My Little Pony shoe, ring with skull & crossbones, tape measure, heart eraser, and two small balls.


  • MarkeyMarkey Member Posts: 69
    Last year, on a boot sale, I bought 7865 (a 12V train motor) brand new in box for only 5€.
  • clowndiscuslegoclowndiscuslego Member Posts: 97
    last weekend i boght a ziplock full of midstorm 2.0 for $15 and the battery box thing, 3 motors, 6 cables, the usb thing, remote, 2 sensors, and a few other things
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited June 2011
    Being one of the first AFOLs.... I used to plunder the small toy stores of continental Europe between 1979-93 (my last visit when my last uncle died). I used to buy old sets such as wooden box sets from the 60s, spare parts packs from the 50s and 60s, and hundreds of other rare older sets (small toy stores never had clearance sales!). I think I must have spent about $500 shipping old items back to the USA back then (when cheap 6 weeks shipping via boat was still available). Although I sold off a lot of the rare stuff (ran out of room for it), I still have about 8,000 classic LEGO windows/doors from 1956-86 (you used to be able to buy them individually back then), as well as a large collection of vintage specialty Town Plan parts from the 50s and 60s.
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    7637 and 7641 for £50 shipped from Gumtree, and MMV, with all parts and both instruction books for £40 shipped, also from Gumtree, it's been an expensive week...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,788
    Got a lot off of eBay from a guy who lived in FL but had lived in HK.. about 400 bucks after shipping, but about a thousand dollars in sets.. some nice sets that I did not see much in the US either.... Those were the days (most of the sets I kept for myself and he had old 80's intact lego boxes which helped my collection greatly)

    But with the stupid prices people (weekend warrior and 'soccer mom sellers') are paying for Lego lots on eBay it is really not worth it for me to buy any more lots to invest the time to sort, and rebuild sets for only a 100-200 dollar profit( yes I know it sounds elitist I guess)... Especially if the lot has ANYTHING Star wars or Trains in it, it immediately prices the price up another 25%.. I mean it takes one piece of 9volt track (which looks like the only piece), or ONE SW fig (may not even be a rare one) to spike a lot's price up...

    Sadly I have also heard from a friend that garage sales around the area by me are now trying to sell their Legos at 'eBay' prices, if they do not sell them there they simply list them on Craigslist or eBay...And that is not if someone else is stalking garage sales on Friday mornings to cherry pick all the collectable stuff to sell on eBay, or craigslist...
    So I think that while you may find a good deal here or there... The people that have bought into the 'buy on the weekend and sell on eBay and make a whole 10 dollar profit' crowd have diluted the market for buying cheap Lego Lots.
  • emilewskiemilewski Member Posts: 482
    edited June 2011
    Well, two weekends ago I was running errands with my daughter and saw a sign for a tag sale. I have been stopping if they were convenient just to see if they have Lego (with no luck). After getting a bit lost I found the place and did not see anything of interest and was about to leave. But then a 12 year old boy came up to me and asked "are you looking for anything in particular?" Half jokingly I responded "hey, do you have any Lego?" He said "sure, do you like Star Wars? I am selling my collection. Come up to my room".

    So I went up and saw all these sets. I asked him how much for the Jabba's Sail Barge and he said $5 and $7 for the Republic Cruiser. Sets ran $40 for an Imperial Star Destroyer at the high end, but I came back and spent $300 on all I had room for. Then I came back the next weekend and he said I could have everything else for $20.

    I sold the Star Destroyer on ebay for $150 (I already had one) and will keep what I want and sell the rest so that I can get the sets I really want (Green Grocer and the modulars, etc). I priced up all the sets and they were worth $2115 MSP. Most had no box or instructions and some pieces/minifigs are missing here and there, but what a deal for $320!

    So it can happen. I feel bad that he is entering his dark ages and in 10-15 years he is really going to regret it, but he felt he did not have the space (they are moving to a smaller condo, etc).
  • NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
    I would have felt guilty knowingly getting that many great sets for so cheap from a kid that didn't know better. It's one thing to find gems in a big box of Lego at a yard sale, but I'm sure you knew that kid should have got more for those sets when you were buying them.
  • NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
    Went back to the same Goodwill store today and found another Duplo bucket, #3029, for $5.00. I could see through this one or else I would have opened it at the counter to make sure it was real Duplo (the store tapes them shut, I assume to keep kids from getting into them and dumping pieces on the floor/shelves). Haven't inventoried it yet but I know some pieces are missing. However, the silver 2x4 is in there along with pieces from another Duplo set. They must have actually checked and cleaned this one since it still had water in the bottom of the bucket.

    They also had the Ninjago Battle Arena, #2520, in a beat up open box for $30.00, which seems really high for a set that may not be complete, and for being at a thrift store. Passed on that one.
  • PepperPepper Member Posts: 91
    I once found 9735 Robotics Discovery Set for around $3 US and a garage sale. It was missing some pieces, but all of the electronic parts were there!
  • daswootendaswooten Member Posts: 9
    I found a sealed 7255 General Grievous Chase set at a thrift store for $8 recently (although I will admit that it was not in "mint condition").
  • JjfanJjfan Member Posts: 30
    I picked up set # 4165 - Mickey Mouse: Minnie's Birthday Party at a garage sale for $2.00. Luckily it was 100% complete and to my surprise there were also 3 different sets inside.
  • HuskerDontHuskerDont Member Posts: 32
    Around 15 years ago, I saw a bin (about 1' X 2' X 6") at a charity thrift store and pointed it out to my parents. It must have been really cheap because they didn't protest the purchase at all. I don't know what sets could have been made, all I know is that a majority of the Futuron Monorail (6990) and many Space Police parts were in there, as well as a lot of minifigs. Ten year old me was pretty pumped by this find (24 year old me would be as well).
  • achillespdxachillespdx Member Posts: 106
    Snagged a 99% complete with manual 7263 Tie Fighter for $10 and a 6207 A-Wing for $9 at a yard sale this morning. Haven't checked which pieces may be missing from the 6207, but it looks like it's all there. The Tie Fighter even had the light-up Darth Vader minifig with it. *happy dance*
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    7637 and 7641 for £50 shipped from Gumtree
    Well they arrived, and it's time for the 'and bad' bit... Loads of parts missing from complete sets, but only some bags in each set are open, like the actual 'Farm' bit' is sealed, but the tractor is opened and missing about 20 pieces...
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    It always amazes me the mix of things you get second hand.
    Sometimes I've got collections that span 20-30 years from ebay, that have maybe 0.5% of pieces missing. Amazing! and others, that are only a couple of years old (recent sets) and 15% or so are missing. I totally admire the people who have cared for their lego for so long, and with such care.
    Shame I don't really appreciate the 70's stuff (any one want some homemaker and legoland stuff? as an 80's child I'm all about the town and fabuland sets!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    ^ If any of your 70's stuff (LEGOLand/Homemaker) is boxed I might be interested - feel free to drop me a PM and let me know what you're looking to sell/trade.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Sorry, the only thing boxed is 376 - and the box is a little tatty.
  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Member Posts: 141
    My father just bought me two "Guarded Inns (6067) this weekend for £15 each, both in perfect condition complete with original boxes and instructions!! I feel so blessed, this was my very favourite set growing up, and was the 1st set LEGO re-released in the "Legends" line.
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    Wifey scored my son some really good Duplo Train parts. It had majority of the pieces for #5554 Thomas Load and Carry (did not include Thomas, but had all the track), 2 Duplo Track Switches, and 1/2 of a Duplo Train Bridge. In total for train cars there were 3.

    My son is only 14 months, but I'm sure he will enjoy the Duplo Train, he is already fascinated with my passenger train #7838 going around.

    Forgot to mention it was only $5 for the Duplos.

    On a side not to this deal, we found a Mickey Mouse and Pluto Duplo from $10 and it came with a car.
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    2nd hand isn't always cool deals. There's a surprising number of lots which contain poorly kept Lego. I've had things (which appeared okay in photographs) arrive cracked/broken or caked with dust. I had tons of Lego loose bricks in my younger days, but all my pieces look mint compared to some of the lots I've seen/bought. I don't know what some of these sellers do to their lego... feed Lego to their dog?

    I'm a little scared of second hand buys, although I'm not afraid to take the risk if the asking price is worth it.
  • RavenhookRavenhook Member Posts: 70
    The worst eBay experiences for me is buying secondhand LEGO that comes from a smoker.

    On display, LEGO seems to absorb the foul stench.

    In fact, if I detect a whiff when I'm unpacking, I've been known to empty it straight into a bucket of vinegar and bicarb soda and leave it to soak overnight!
  • JezzatheshedJezzatheshed Member Posts: 164
    This morning I spotted a large IKea bag full of lego/Megabloks with a complete Ron Weasely sitting on top, I then found a Harry and a Lupin. I asked the lady seller if she new which set(s) were possibly in the bag..she couldnt remember wether it was a house or a train and that she had three such bags at the start of the day and two had already sold. When she told me the whole bag was a fiver I grabbed it!
    Get home and check the figures and I have got Harry,Ron,Lupin and half a dementor from 10132 the motorised Hogwarts express..I'm well pleased to have the figures but of the train and track not a sign! I then spent two hours on the floor sifting elements and Ive got about 70% of Hogsmead Station including all the signage, ticket machine, luggage, windows etc and about 5 KILOS of Power Ranger Mega Bloks arrrrrrrggggghhhhhh.

    So if you got one of the other bags do you want to swap the train for some Mega Bloks?,,,I guess not...Charity shop here I come!
  • johnsbricksjohnsbricks Member Posts: 210
    I bought a pile of bricks and instructions off ebay for around £23. It was advertised as having a few small sets e.g. 6707/1284, 6034, 6903, 6800/6816 and a fireboat....but within it were the bricks to make up a snowspeeder - 7130 (would have been even more chuffed if I were into starwars), fuel truck 6459, thunder blazer 7420, and loads more random bricks which are parts of other sets but incomplete. What a bargin.
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,940
    I recently spent about £10 (inc postage) for an ebay lot of:
    Boba Fett Key ring, 2 large lego man key ring torches, a dwarf key ring, a power miner monster key ring, a chrome gold lego man key ring (new), a chrome silver storm trooper magnet, and some sort of lego head phone charm (??).

    Also got for £1 BNIB!! (not inc postage)

    Ebay is rich pickings at the moment :P
  • AlHazredAlHazred Member Posts: 14
    Good: Picked up a POTC Street Chase box at Goodwill for USD24.95, which I thought was a great deal.

    Bad:... until I got it home and realized someone'd apparently resealed the box without one bag inside - the one with the minifigs!

    Well, I still think it's a decent haul, but not nearly as good as I thought it was.
  • mrfootballmrfootball Member Posts: 84
    I've never seen any Lego here at the Goodwill's in my city. I know they get a lot of them, just don't know where they go...I have however found some great finds at other area Thrift Stores. Picked up a Republic Assault Tank for $5, a Rogue Shadow for $4 and many other great finds!
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva Member Posts: 542
    I recently picked up a couple of PoP Ostrich Race for $4 MISB each and a SW Separatist Shuttle for $12, also MISB at the local thrifts.
  • teal93mr2teal93mr2 Member Posts: 1,009
    I think this is the right place to post this: I know somebody who is selling the following star wars sets: 7662 trade federation mtt, 7675 AT-TE Walker, 7679 Republic Fighter Tank, 7676 Republic Attack Ship, and 8014 Clone Walker Battle Pack. What do you think a fair price would be for all of these sets? No instructions or boxes included, but supposedly every piece/minifig is included.
  • malachirobertsonmalachirobertson Member Posts: 268
    edited August 2011
    I've never seen any Lego here at the Goodwill's in my city. I know they get a lot of them, just don't know where they go...
    Maybe they get absorbed in Goodwill's online auction site,

    I haven't found anything at my local goodwills either (Northern Indiana).
  • mrfootballmrfootball Member Posts: 84
    I'm in Houston and I never see any Legos in-store nor does it look like Houston Goodwill sells on I know they get a ton of Lego...curious as to where it goes...
  • NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
    Recently found a bunch of set #6918 Blacksmith Attack at a local Goodwill for $4.99 each. The boxes were beat up, but still unopened so I bought a couple.
  • NealybealyNealybealy Member Posts: 6
    $10 is what I spent on all these.
    6991: Monorail Transport Base
    6959: Lunar Launch Site
    7029: Skeleton Ship Attack
    4768: The Drumstrang Ship
    7621: Indiana Jones and the Lost Tomb
    A good deal, I would say! It was from a yard sale, and I'm just so happy I got them! But the only bad part was that there was a dead beetle in the Drumstrang Ship! :O
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