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Fair Price per Part

I weigh price per part as a crucial factor in deciding whether or not to purchase a set. If you, too, consider price per part to be an important index, I am very interested in what you believe a fair average price is. Tempting though it is for me to define "fair," I won't, because your concept may well differ from mine, and I'm more interested in what others think than in trying to impose my ideas on you.

Obviously, there need to be different indices for System (and perhaps for Technic), Constraction, and Duplo, so it would be helpful to be specific when discussing this.


  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    10c per part.
  • jasorjasor Member Posts: 839
    10 cents per piece or better. Weight is arguably better, but at some point...there has to be design, marketing, and mold maintaining factored in. If a set is "overpriced" in my mind, it's usually because it's over the golden standard.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    By "better," you mean less?

    I agree that weight would be a good index, but the boxes (at least in the U.S., where it is required by law) have the piece count printed on them, so you can in fact do this calculation when examining the item.

    Also, @tensor and @jasor, I assume you're both speaking specifically only about System?
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    edited September 2013
    I use price per part as a starting point, but then adjust based on looking at the part selection - lots of small bits, or more bricks and bigger plates?

    I guess for me it is more of a "I know a good value when I see it." Compare these two sets, exact same RRP:
    #10229 good value
    #10235 overpriced
  • DaraghDaragh Member Posts: 363
    Over the last nearly forty years I have had a number of dark ages, recently coming out into the light again and one thing I notice is how much smaller the parts are getting, price per part would be more useful as price per stud!
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    It's not the only factor I consider, either. But this doesn't actually answer the question of what, on average, you consider fair.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    It doesn't really matter the system, because each has big pieces, each has small pieces. Then, each set within each system has big and small pieces. You honestly have to take each set and consider them individually.

    But again, for face value, 10c per part is what I consider a quick, 5 seconds of thought rule of thumb for whether it's a good deal or not. The next step is to start considering the size, complexity and rarity of pieces (and minifigs).

    So, I see something that is over 10c per piece then I try to justify what kind of special pieces make it worth being above the ratio. If it's got awesome pieces or minifigs, then it's worth it.

    Conversely, if I see something under, like TB for example at < 6c per piece, I try to justify why it's so low. For that example, it's the billions of cheese slopes.

    If I can't justify the variances, then it's either a set with lots of extra plastic or it's lacking plastic. So, I don't necessarily label a set good or bad based on ppp, but instead use that as a starting tee, and from there go off with other analysis to finally determine if it's actually "good deal."
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    @tensor - your method is not too dissimilar from mine. But the subdomain does matter. You simply don't get $.10/part in Constraction or Duplo, that I've ever seen, anyway. Technic is largely priced similarly to System, despite the fact that you end up with bags on end of 32062s.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    edited September 2013
    Ok, something like Duplo, you're absolutely right. But, the system is the same either way, you just figure out the ppp for that system as your baseline and go from there with the same analysis. I haven't thought about Duplo much, but I think it's about 60c per piece or something like that.

    Like analyze #6172 at $2.50 per brick and say "oh, it's got a cool, big truck, I get it."
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited September 2013
    I see what you're saying. But what I was asking in starting this thread wasn't what your system for making a decision is, though that is interesting, but instead, what people consider a fair price, without attempting to define what "fair price means."

    Maybe I should have given my idea of what "fair" means. I think a price is fair when both the vendor and the consumer feel that the transaction has the right balance. The consumer does not feel that they are being gouged, and the vendor has achieved sufficient profit to be satisfied with the sale. I know that's touchy-feely, but that's the nature of fairness to me.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,987
    Anything I would say would be pure speculation.
    It seems lego is going up in price, but I have not done the calculations and comparisons to determine that.

    Over the last few years plastic/fuel price I thought have risen.

    If Lego is not being simply greedy and there are valid price increases, I would expect we are more realistically at 12 cents/piece on average.
  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    Since I don't really MOC, I look at it from the "Does $XX seem like a fair price for the final model?"
  • piratemania7piratemania7 Member Posts: 2,146
    Agreed with the 10c point. Anything under that and I am pretty much sold. But then I look at piece count, interest in set/theme, etc...
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 674
    I'll use 10937 Arkham Asylum as an example.
    $159.99 USD
    1,619 elements
    8 minifigures (actually 10 if you wanna' count the statues)

    $.10/element- Yes.
    1 minifigure/$10- not quite, but this rule only really applies to sets <$80 and varies wildly. I mainly feel cheated by the lack of new characters. 2 new, 4 variants (only 2 of which are new prints), and 2 duplicates available in cheaper sets. <p>
    Size- No. It's dense and a fairly solid build, but the overall small size compared to a modular makes it feel like a ripoff at $160
    Build experience- Yes. There are a lot of interesting techniques and the asymmetrical building makes for a fun build.
    Parts pack value- Yes. Lots of new, rare, or interesting elements that could be harvested for MOCs.
  • sweetness34sweetness34 Member Posts: 404
    ^ another consideration is licensed vs. unlicensed.
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