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Experience with Goodwill's Online Auction site?

Anyone have any experience in dealing with Goodwill's online auction site? It seems like a good place to buy legos; I just put in an order for some bulk legos. Is there anything I need to watch out for, like cat pee or bedbugs?

Comments

  • haakonohaakono Member Posts: 62
    edited May 2014
    I find used lego there to be hit or miss. It's very random, as most used bulk lots are donations from individuals [ I suspect usually kids, entering their dark ages :-( ]. Most used lots I've won did need a thorough cleaning.

    The new-in-package bulk lots that regularly show up are much better, but they can be hard to win.

    I find it's very fun to watch what shows up, though. I've discovered some great older sets by watching the auctions regularly.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 863
    edited May 2014
    First rule about shop goodwill, never talk about shop goodwill.
    haakonopreverejuggles7krklintminicoopers11
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383
    Every time I have checked the goodwill auction site they have what appears to be large LEGO lots broken up into smaller lots for sale, and all go for WAYYY too much.
  • Bluefairy_56Bluefairy_56 Member Posts: 320
    Anyone got a link to this place please?
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,642
    Some lots may have large amount of other brands, I never had any items shipped, I only bid on the local store but lately prices have really been on the top end. As @madforLEGO , I sometimes see eigth/ten 10lbs lots and with single sets spread across multiple lots. They also usually remove all minifigs from the lots and sell them separately.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    The link to Goodwill's online auction.
    I found it kind of funny how one of the lots had a mention of "Millenium Falcon" parts, and the price for that lot went through the roof.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    I do a fair amount of bidding and buying on Goodwill. I am skeptical on the bidding and what stuff goes for. I'm not saying there is shilling going on, but I do the same lots relisted over and over that are supposed to be sold. A good deal is hard to find on there, especially with the shipping charges. You need to really work the site hard for any deals.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    I'm currently watching three auctions for some older sets, and so far the prices seem pretty good for IOB sets, and the auctions are ending today/tomorrow.

    Lego Mindstorms Robotic Invention System 2.0 $66.17
    Huge LEGOLAND Pirate System 6285 IOB $60.00
    LEGOLAND Pirate System 6274 IOB, & 6451 IOB $31.00

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    ^Double-check the shipping, and prices mean nothing until about 10 seconds left. I don't bid until the bitter end. Good luck!
  • haakonohaakono Member Posts: 62
    @ArtfulDodger‌ : I concur with prevere's comments. Factor shipping into the total cost, as GW shipping tends to be high.

    You can search finished auctions to get a feel for the place. e.g. here is a pirate ship that sold back in Feb:
    http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/LEGO-Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-15605905.html
    If you check the bidding, you'll see there were 5 'snipers' that bid within the last 60 sec. And, it almost doubled in price in the last 30 min.

    As for deals, I seem to often find good ones. But they are of the 'crap shoot' variety rather than obvious deals. I took a risk on one box that was beat up and taped back together. The set inside turned out to be new and complete---well, except for the box---a $90 set for $25, shipped, was a great deal. The last bulk auction I won looked like a nondescript pile of bricks from the pictures, but it had 16 super hero, advent calendar, and harry potter minifigs in it---still new and in the original plastic. I bid on it for the Technic pieces that were visible, but was very happy with the whole package. That said, I've also bombed a few times, and ended up with a box of dirty unremarkable used bricks (and hot wheels cars, megabloks, etc, included) that I thought were real gems in the pictures.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    I think there was a thread a while back about ways to clean bricks; I need to find that thread again. I think it was something like soak them in hydrogen peroxide in a clear glass jar in the sun. Not sure how that will work with several pounds of Legos though.

    I've just recently emerged from my Dark Ages (thanks to the Lego Movie), and I've been bonding with my son by playing Legos with him (he is 3, about to turn 4 in a couple weeks). So I've been trying to build up my supply of Legos, including a bunch of the basic blocks. Goodwill is seeming like a better source for bulk Legos, especially with recent eBay horror stories I've read in another thread. And if I spend a little more than eBay, at least the money goes to a good cause.

    I guess I still don't know what a good rate of Legos per lb is though; I just won an auction where I'm spending about $8 per lb (which includes shipping). I don't know if that is high or not.

    Searching finished auctions does help in establishing a good baseline, and gives me a good idea of the "sniper" vulnerabilities. Thanks for the advice @haakono !


  • haakonohaakono Member Posts: 62
    Ahhh.... back from the Dark Ages. Welcome back.

    My advice would be to pace yourself. Over the course of a year, there are plenty of opportunities to acquire bricks on the cheap. June/summer clearance is coming up soon and there will be sales, although Fall/Winter is usually the best time for bulk brick deals. If you follow sites like brickset, toysnbricks, and fbtb, you'll be sure to catch the best deals. The older sets are attractive, but if they are to build+play with kids, they'll enjoy new sets you find on clearance just as much.

    And, if its a pirate ship you want, there are strong hints that one will be released next year (http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/14630/pirates-2015/)

    I like shopgoodwill because it's mostly a known risk. There are no returns, so you need to be willing to accept whatever they send. Knowing that, I tend to fix a low max-bid price in my head and bid at the last possible moment (at least as my work schedule allows). Once the set/batch on offer approaches 75% of what I could get it for on bricklink/brickowl, I pass. I've found that used sets are rarely complete on SGW, so if you want it to be complete expect to fill it out with bricklink/pick-a-brick orders.

    My price/lb metric is $3-$5/used, $8-$10/new, but it also depends on which partial sets are recognizable in the lot---the lot with Technic parts I mentioned above was $12/lb shipped.

    Good luck!
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    Good idea, I do need to pace myself a bit more. I like the guidelines of $3-5 per lb. That is much less than what I was paying.

    Eventually I will want to get some more Technic parts as I try to put together a GBC, so its good to know what the going rate for it is.

    I have been having fun with the bulk legos I got a while back. My son and I are finding creative uses for all these parts that I have in abundance. This evening, we were trying to design a foundation for a tower using about 80 socket partss of the ball/socket combinations. I don't have any of the ball portions, just the sockets. Which makes things interesting.

    I also had a reminder tonight that bidding in an online auction can get crazy. I was tracking a Bat Cave that was $35 earlier in the day (with $10 shipping), only to see it jump to $71 an hour before concluding. This is more than RRP (unless they're doing store pickup). Which doesn't bode well for the Temple of Doom set I've been eyeing :(
  • BeardedCastleGuyBeardedCastleGuy Member Posts: 127
    The buying experience for Shop Goodwill can be inconsistent overall. One thing to consider about it is this, each location will vary in the amount knowledge and effort that's put into dealing with Lego they sell. So some locations have folks that are savvy and are knowledgeable about some of the details we AFOL's pay attention to. So some locations will just pile stuff that arrives in a selected time frame into boxes and bulk lots, others make an effort to keep whole sets intact and pull out the minifig's into separate lots. Each location also selects their own parcel shipper so the costs and speed can vary as well.
    You can find some relative deals there or gets sucked into a bidding war, just like any other auction site.
    Overall in a lot of ways there's an rough overall consistency and common UI and payment system but the specifics of how the lots are generated and how well they are labeled/pictured varies greatly from location to location. Generally the locations that have figured out how to generate the most income from the Lego they list generally will try and keep sorted/boxed sets together and use the most photo's. These locations also tend to be the ones that will pick out the minifigs and related specialty items from any bulk or unsorted lots and list them as separate lots (which can be good or bad depending upon how much you are looking for minifig lots versus sets of of unsorted lots).
    You do not normally have the issue of the seller taking the money and running etc, I've gotten what was pictured in every purchase from a variety of locations. That's how they list the lots as well, they don't guarantee sets or whatever they are listing what's pictured (or described by a weight listing).

    Bottom line shop goodwill can be a good place to keep an eye on if you are shopping for used Lego, as long as you pay attention to the shipping cost add-on and include it into the price you are willing to pay.
    haakono
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    ...and the more their site is referenced in this forum, the more traffic is driven to the site, the more bidders there are, and the less good deals will be found there...
  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,117
    A good trick while shopping on goodwill.com is to not only search for "LEGO" but also search for " legos" ..."lagos" and any other form of the work LEGO that you can think of. Also search for building blocks. I have found some great deals simply because they spell it wrong or put them in a genaric header.
  • legofanfromleedslegofanfromleeds legoland...England Member Posts: 368
    juggles7 said:

    ...and the more their site is referenced in this forum, the more traffic is driven to the site, the more bidders there are, and the less good deals will be found there...

    Where one big happy lego family on this forum .everyone benefits from this kind of information. .its all about give and take
    Thanos75
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    Oh, really? If you found a wonderful Ebay bargain would you alert other people to it, so they could bid against you, and make you have to pay more for it? That's just what was done by the person who started this thread. Everyone benefits? No, my groovy friend, there are winners (who score bargains) and losers (who overpay). Just keeping it real!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383

    I think there was a thread a while back about ways to clean bricks; I need to find that thread again. I think it was something like soak them in hydrogen peroxide in a clear glass jar in the sun. Not sure how that will work with several pounds of Legos though.

    I've just recently emerged from my Dark Ages (thanks to the Lego Movie), and I've been bonding with my son by playing Legos with him (he is 3, about to turn 4 in a couple weeks). So I've been trying to build up my supply of Legos, including a bunch of the basic blocks. Goodwill is seeming like a better source for bulk Legos, especially with recent eBay horror stories I've read in another thread. And if I spend a little more than eBay, at least the money goes to a good cause.

    I guess I still don't know what a good rate of Legos per lb is though; I just won an auction where I'm spending about $8 per lb (which includes shipping). I don't know if that is high or not.

    Searching finished auctions does help in establishing a good baseline, and gives me a good idea of the "sniper" vulnerabilities. Thanks for the advice @haakono !


    There are threads. Be careful when saying 'cleaning brick'. If you mean just washing them, then soap and water and toothbrush or possible a laundry bag and washer (separate out the stickers parts of course). If you mean trying to remove sun damage (ie yellowed brick) then I would say just replace what is really damaged via a site like Bricklink or Brickowl. That trick with Peroxide works, but you really need to be good with it IMO. Or you can make the LEGO brittle, brighten it too much (over expose it to the peroxide) and 'bleach' the parts (look lightened beyond LEGO shades) or under expose it and you can still tell there is damage on them. I think in any case, you can make the brick more brittle and for things like plates that would be bad.


    As for GW auction site: It sounds to me like really your best bet is to go after lots that no one else would and hope you get a good deal ( like what @haakono‌ reported)
    Also listing the 'good deal auctions' you see on a thread that probably has many snipers patrolling GW's site is really not the best idea.
    I will not bid on anything on Goodwill's site. Most goes for way too much to be a good deal to me and it is not really worth my time when competing against those who work out price per brick estimates as most people that buy from GW appear to be part sellers, which renders such purchases worthless to me as If I buy any lot it is to rebuild the sets out of it.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    I'm not that worried about "competitors" at the Goodwill site; I'm more in this for the fun/social aspect. Yeah, its a bummer I was outbid on Temple of Doom (don't know if it was anyone here ;) ), but I was mainly looking to obtain some tracks and a downward sloping track so I could start making a roller coaster setup for my son. I'm thinking it may just be best to acquire them from BrickLink, which would be my first time going through them for parts.

    It is kind of fun to play "guess the set" with some of these pictures. Right now I'm bidding on a set that I think contains a Harry Potter Hogwarts, based on the green towers I'm seeing. Does anyone here buy bulk legos and try to resell reassembled sets?

    I know that before my Dark Ages, my Lego setup was always in the sun, and I think its gotten fairly brittle over time. I think once I've built up a good quantity of bricks, I'll start sorting out the old bricks. I guess I need to acclimate myself that its ok to replace bricks in a set with identical, newer bricks.

    Thanos75
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    Ugh, I need to resist the urge to bid on some of these items. There is a Rock Raiders #4980 + two other items for $10. Even though the shipping/handling is murder ($30 for me), that is still a good deal. However, I need to force myself to wait.
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,839

    Is there anything I need to watch out for, like cat pee

    Now I'm scared to buy Lego from pet homes... O_O
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383
    edited May 2014

    Is there anything I need to watch out for, like cat pee

    Now I'm scared to buy Lego from pet homes... O_O
    Please... After some off the lots I have bought from ebay, I think pet pee is the least of your issues.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    I like to think that Goodwill probably has a higher standard for reselling stuff than many eBay sellers.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383
    Goodwill accepts what is donated. My guess is if it is better than those on eBay or Garage sales, it is not by much.
    I doubt Goodwill is dumping all parts into a wash bins and tooth-brushing each part separately
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    True, but I imagine that if something reeks of cat piss, Goodwill will refuse it or pitch it.
    What puzzles me is how some Goodwill locations have tons of Legos still in their original bags. Do people receive them as gifts and then just never open them? And some of these unopened sets are fairly recent.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105

    Is there anything I need to watch out for, like cat pee

    Now I'm scared to buy Lego from pet homes... O_O
    Please... After some off the lots I have bought from ebay, I think pet pee is the least of your issues.
    What could be worse than cat piss? Getting bricked or bed bugs I suppose, though I would imagine the shipping conditions (confined hot place) would kill most of the bed bugs.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383
    edited May 2014
    I have had what I hope was chocolate over parts before. Tons of hair, dingleberry-like pieces of again what I hope was lint, spilled juice,melted hard candy (that looks used) sucker sticks, LEGO that looked like it sat in a garage for about 5 years (judging by the grime) cat turds, used gum, Im sure over the years there are tons of saliva residue on chewed pieces etc etc.
    Mind you not from good will, but I seriously doubt they are spilling out the boxes they receive or looking that closely, let alone washing them.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    Sorry I asked :(. I just received 25lbs in random legos today, and you've just inspired me to wait until I can get them run through the washer before I integrate them.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    Does anyone know why some Goodwill locations are habitually selling unopened, very recent Lego sets? I've been noticing this most with regards to two locations: Hillsboro, OR, and Santa Ana, CA.
    Here are some examples:
    Millenium Falcon
    Rancor Pit + Lego Movie Police Chase
    Jabba's Sail Barge
    I'm not heavily into Star Wars, so I'm not too worried about other forumers swooping in. My concern is that something shady is going on, like maybe these locations are being used to "launder" stolen Legos. I'm not sure how that would work, but it just seems very unusual. I'm having difficulty imagining why these Goodwill stores would be receiving brand new sets.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 863
    If I recall, Hillsboro OR also has had a lot of loose SW minifigs including rare ones. It was definitely an OR goodwill site.
  • haakonohaakono Member Posts: 62
    ^^ Many Target stores, and a few local independents, donate their 'unsellable' merchandise to goodwill. i.e. sets that are returned with the minifigs missing will be salvaged to goodwill. Someone at the Hillsboro, OR, store must figure that they get a better price for them online rather than in the retail shop. If you happen to win one of these lots, you'll likely find price tags, Target's red 'clearance' stickers, or a white NCF/salvage sticker on the polybags.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    Here's a bizarre shopgoodwill auction that just ended. A nice incomplete TIE Interceptor UCS with box (includes rare windscreen, but definitely missing a lot of parts). Shipping weight marked as 90 pounds...?!? and it goes for $257. Shipping to my location in the States would have been $125.

    http://www.shopgoodwill.com/viewItem.asp?ItemID=16884437
  • haakonohaakono Member Posts: 62
    The high bidder must have chosen local pickup. That's the only way that 'win' would have been competitive with bricklink.
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    The California and Oregon sites seem to consistently have good sets; almost makes me want to live on the West Coast.
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