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How do you know when to jump into selling?

NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
edited June 2014 in Buying & Selling Topics
Cheers all. And to any of you sleeping off your Father's Day celebrations.

On Saturday we went to Toys R Us for the LEGO event, and I stumbled upon some items that were over 50% unopened. The main item of this question is The Lone Ranger Constitution, 79111. I originally just got it, because it was marked down $80 (US) and I like trains, so I thought it would be a fun build. However, my wife and I were talking, and now that this discontinued, I could sit on it and eventually sell it.

I can't decide. I do think it would look good built. I also am not sure that I want to get into the hassle of selling and working about the buyers satisfaction. However, if I could make some money on it, I could spend that money on more brick for specific projects I am working on.

I never, ever, ever, intend to maintain a Bricklink store. I just want to build stuff with my kids. I am really on the fence. For those who decided to start selling, what made you jump in and go for it?

-Nate
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Comments

  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    From someone who read this board a couple of years ago and picked up a few sets that he intended to sell -- don't. I think the time for quick easy money has passed and if you have a demanding job and family obligations, it is just not worth the time, especially with the fees and restrictions that come with selling through eBay and other vendors. There are too many professional vendors out there that enjoy economies of scale and you will have to price yourself beat them. Finally, part of the key to good money came with getting desirable sets at great discount prices, and that is not as easy as it used to be.
    dougtsjamiestOldfansidersddjuggles7
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    Well, that sounds good to me. I'd rather build this than go through the hassle of selling it. :)
    mnbvc
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    I buy and sell secondhand lego. I have time to find good deals and as long as you buy cheap and sell expensive you can make some money.
    Selling on ebay is a hassel but there are free options. You need to look around on the web.
    Prices are lower but it just means you have to hang on to things for longer.
    Good luck
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    edited June 2014
    @Norlego‌ Thanks. I am not that familiar with selling on Ebay. My fear is that it won't sell and then I will be charged another fee to relist it. I will look around.
  • legofanfromleedslegofanfromleeds legoland...England Member Posts: 394
    edited June 2014
    have a go..nothing ventured nothing gained..plus ebay will let you list 20 free items per month, so if your item doesnt sell it hasnt cost you anything..

  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    ^ ebay costs time.... Even 20 listings takes time to list and if they dont sell then it is a waste.
    My stuff stays on ebay forever. But i have time to spare.
    Try other options. There are many ways to rome.... (ebay will get this soon and offer better service for sellers.)
    I use carboot sales for sets under £10. I do use ebay for largere sets only.
    Gumtree is free and good to use if you live in a large city.
    The best way to make money is to buy a very cheap job lot and build up the sets. A good job lot costs £50 and i sell it on for 200. It does take time to build but that is fun.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited June 2014
    Natebw said:

    Cheers all. And to any of you sleeping off your Father's Day celebrations.

    On Saturday we went to Toys R Us for the LEGO event, and I stumbled upon some items that were over 50% unopened. The main item of this question is The Lone Ranger Constitution, 79111. I originally just got it, because it was marked down $80 (US) and I like trains, so I thought it would be a fun build. However, my wife and I were talking, and now that this discontinued, I could sit on it and eventually sell it.

    I can't decide. I do think it would look good built. I also am not sure that I want to get into the hassle of selling and working about the buyers satisfaction. However, if I could make some money on it, I could spend that money on more brick for specific projects I am working on.

    I never, ever, ever, intend to maintain a Bricklink store. I just want to build stuff with my kids. I am really on the fence. For those who decided to start selling, what made you jump in and go for it?

    -Nate

    When you can jump into your DeLorean and travel back to at least 2010.

    Seriously though, there will always be room for hobby resellers that are looking to self-fund the hobby. Rare is the case where you cannot get at least RRP for a set after retirement.
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    Wow. Funny how quickly things change. I had a very long Dark Age and got back into LEGO because of my kids. I recently read Brick by Brick and it pointed out the struggles that LEGO had in the 2000s. I wonder how LEGO's return to profitability has affected the secondary market...

    I am still am on the fence on this. I do not ever plan to make a lot of money, with this, but it seems that if I see a really good deal, it might be worth it. In the meantime, I am watching listings on Ebay to see how they are sellling and will make my decision in a few weeks.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    The alternative, if you aren't looking to make bundles of money from reselling, is getting a few spares and then offer them at cost to other bricksetters etc. Sadly you'll be inundated with requests from people that wont ever reciprocate but if you can find a couple of decent likeminded people, especially nearby you'll be on to a good thing and they'll pick up bargains for you in return.
    alijoezacSirKevbagsPhoneboothLegoboysidersddricho
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,776
    Or instead of selling them, trade them for other sets you want on here instead.
    cheshirecatFarmer_JohnchuckpbobabricksGothamConstructionCoVaderX
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    edited June 2014
    @cheshirecat‌ @CCC‌ I had not thought of that. That sounds like a good plan. Thanks. I am kind of new here, is there an easy way to know what people want? Or do I start by posting on this forum?
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    If you are considering selling just occasionally, I suggest to wait until the Christmas season. Listing and selling several sets at around the same time is actually easier than spreading it out through the year. Also, items sell a lot faster. I make $1000-$2000 profit every Christmas, which then I use to turn back into the hobby, and some other things my regular income won't cover. This means I only have to be busy selling for a month, then the rest of the year I don't have to worry about it.

    And I think this is the most important part; you have to have a clear goal on why you want to get into selling. It could be as simple as making a rule that you are only allowed to spend on LEGO whatever you make by selling, or it could be saving up for a family vacation or something else. You can also involve your kids if they are old enough. They can learn all aspects of running a business.

    Without clear goals selling just becomes a bothersome chore and it is not worth it. So make it fun, interesting and rewarding. Also make sure you keep excellent records on the financial aspect of it. This way it is very clear on how much you spent, how much you made, and if it is worth continuing the venture in the future. It is also going to save you a lot of time and headache at tax-time. A simple Excel spreadsheet will work just fine, the important thing is to update it regularly.
    TheLoneTensor
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    I think ccc is right, post in the marketplace with what you've got and what you might be interested in trading for. Usually match rrps but sets that are retired or hard to get reduced you should expect a premium for. Good luck!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    I've been reselling to offset the cost of the hobby for 14 years. Early on, the clearance opportunities that would arise were exceptional, and it didn't take a lot of acumen to identify the profit potential. That's how I got started.

    I collect almost all themes, and that's only economically feasible by spending a lot of time tracking prices. Since I'm already doing all that work for my personal collection, it's sensible to buy multiples when the deals are good.

    I would agree that it's harder these days to resell, and its due to a myriad of reasons - increased competition, less excess inventory and deep discounting from retailers, rising transaction fees, higher shipping costs impacting value to name a few. Nevertheless I still view it as a safe and worthwhile investment.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^I think reselling has a lot to do with the time/money factor. I don't see how anyone can't make at least enough to fund their hobby. If you feel your time is best spent elsewhere, reselling isn't for you. As in any investment, you must be willing to have your money tied up for some time.
    Natebw
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    Overall, for LEGO, I am skeptical of jumping into reselling as a way to make easy money. My snarky reply to the original question of when do you go into LEGO reselling would be: "Check the calendar. If it is 2007, jump in! Otherwise, skip it."

    But that is clearly a simplistic viewpoint, and purely subjective!

    I think if you want to buy sets to enjoy them, and then offload them one by one to fund your enjoyment of the hobby, that will be fine. Will you make a load of money? Likely not, but you will make a handsome profit on some sets, break even on others, and take a small loss on some. And that can be a very reasonable way to justify the expense of the hobby overall.

    Whatever you decide - it sounds like you are excited about LEGO for all the right reasons, and that's awesome!
    TheLoneTensor
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    I dont resell new lego. For me the joy is buying a joblot for £50-100 and selling it on for £200 and upwards. It is fun to buy a bargain. And after over 30 joblots i have yet to make a loss...
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    My original response was for the generalized question you posed, but here is specific advice about your scenario.

    If you like the Constitution Train and fancy building it, go ahead. Otherwise, you're going to be waiting an awfully long time to turn a modest profit, and it will be awfully anti-climatic since the set personally appeals to you.

    $80 isn't really ~50% off MSRP for the set. MSRP was $100. I recall four instances off the top of my head last year where the set was available for $50-$65:

    1. 50% off at Walmart end of year clearance
    2. 40% off at Disney Store summer 2013
    3. ~40% off at TRU November 2013 ($65 + 10% rewards)
    4. ~35% off at Target.com w/ Target REDcard

    What this means is that other resellers, particularly those that deal in high volume, are working from an entry point $20-$40 lower than you are, and their willingness to take a modest profit in favor of high turnover will keep the aftermarket price from climbing for some time.

    I personally think it's a great set, and compares favorably against sets that have done well in the aftermarket. I like its chances for eventually settling around a $180-$200 valuation. It wouldn't be a bad overall return if it does, but the time it would need means there are better opportunities.
    Farmer_JohnNatebwpharmjodmadforLEGO
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    edited June 2014
    Thanks, all. You have been very helpful.

    @rocao‌
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    edited June 2014
    Thanks, all. You have been very helpful.

    @rocao‌ - It was originally marked as $145 and I paid $67, so it seemed like a good deal. I don't follow prices, but I would not have paid $145 for the set. I seriously doubt if I can wait til the prices reach $180+, because I will be anxious to build it. Which leads me to...

    @Norlego‌ I hadn't thought of that! I could build it and then carefully box it up and sell it used. I might make less than NIB, but I got to build it in the meantime!

    Finally, @brickupdate‌ I think I am in this for the right reasons, which first and foremost to play with my kids. LEGO is the first thing that all three of us have been equally excited about, and we are lucky that we live 1 hour from LegoLand Florida.

    Cheers all!
    brickupdate
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,977
    This set is too fun. I would not bother going into retail with just one set. It makes for a good holiday train set too if you mod it.

    The reality is I probably screwed up when I firmly believed HP would be big after market, but I didn't pick up the multiple sets I found at 1/2 off. I do kick myself, though, for not getting a second Hogwarts. I just have no interest in selling. As it is, I have unopened Monster Fighters Zombies, and have two to three smaller unopened HP sets, and still have no interest in reselling. Looking things up, it looks like I have several others that have gone up in price. I had no idea the Ninjago ship Destiny Bounty was going over $200 these days.

    I think the question is figuring out what you want, and where do you want to put your time. I do put my time into finding good deals, but I have better things to do than the time/effort to put into reselling small amounts.
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    @tamamahm‌ Yeah, I there with you. And I agree, this will be an awesome holiday train! I can fill it snow and santas and snowmen...

    Secretly, I think I really wanted this train and just wanted an excuse so my wife would let me buy it! :)
  • Cosworth3dCosworth3d Member Posts: 42
    I bought 5 complete LR sets see how the prices evolve in two years , thats the trick you have to have patience
    Natebw
  • haakonohaakono Member Posts: 62
    Natebw said:

    ... we are lucky that we live 1 hour from LegoLand Florida.

    If you wanted to just sell one set this season to cover your hobby costs, head over to LLF and pick up a Curiosity Rover. The proceeds from that would more than cover the cost of the train. (see http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/285331#Comment_285331)
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    If you're not really a seller of stuff to begin with, it can be quite alarming when you make the plunge. The supplies cost and time will surprise you. You're likely to feel like "it's just not worth it" once you get into it.

    It's one thing if you have some 1984 LEGOLAND MISB stuff that you can unload for for $600/ea. But if you're buying modern sets and hoping to make 1.5x retail cost, it's a losing battle man. To me, at least.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^You're not the only who see's it that way. I just unloaded $3K worth over the past 3 months. Most have been smooth transactions. But the work and time involved is more than I can handle with a 50hr/wk job plus travels. Now I'm loathing the next $5K of inventory already marked for selling to the point that I wish I never started to begin with.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,144
    When you need to generate more cash to feed the hobby. : (
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    Even if you did sit and wait to sell this set I don't see the value going up extremely just because of how badly past 1 wave Disney themes have done. I mean take a look at Prince of Persia, nobody talks about, the sets are now under retail and the most expensive figure is about $5. This is pretty bad compared to sets from Star Wars where set's prices can go up to 1000% and the most expensive figure is over $500.
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842

    Natebw said:

    Cheers all. And to any of you sleeping off your Father's Day celebrations.

    On Saturday we went to Toys R Us for the LEGO event, and I stumbled upon some items that were over 50% unopened. The main item of this question is The Lone Ranger Constitution, 79111. I originally just got it, because it was marked down $80 (US) and I like trains, so I thought it would be a fun build. However, my wife and I were talking, and now that this discontinued, I could sit on it and eventually sell it.

    I can't decide. I do think it would look good built. I also am not sure that I want to get into the hassle of selling and working about the buyers satisfaction. However, if I could make some money on it, I could spend that money on more brick for specific projects I am working on.

    I never, ever, ever, intend to maintain a Bricklink store. I just want to build stuff with my kids. I am really on the fence. For those who decided to start selling, what made you jump in and go for it?

    -Nate

    When you can jump into your DeLorean and travel back to at least 2010.
    If I was jumping in a Delorean and going backin time I would be going back to 2003 to get some Cloud Cities or maybe the 80's to get some sealed space stuff ;P
    Natebw
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,776
    A good thing about TLR is that the minifigs can be used for fairly generic cowboys or 1800's people, fleshie or yellow skin. And this is a train, which can always have licensed branding taken off and the engine remodelled to something else relatively easy if the style is no good for you.
    pharmjod
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^This is why I thought that some of TLR sets might do well in spite of the movie. I couldn't finish the movie...it was that bad. I thought the Wild West theme was pretty good back in the day.
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    Honestly, I didn't even know there was a TLR movie until I started doing research on this set. That is how far out of the loop I am. I was just interested in the train. And now that we have seen the LEGO movie, I am determined to make that water tower crash and make brickwater! :)
    bobabricks
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited June 2014
    Pitfall69 said:

    ^This is why I thought that some of TLR sets might do well in spite of the movie. I couldn't finish the movie...it was that bad. I thought the Wild West theme was pretty good back in the day.

    The movie's biggest problem is that it staggers along the line between cheesy and serious, not really knowing which way to commit. I wish they would have stayed on the cheesy side the whole thing. You should give it another chance to finish, because after slogging through the middle act, I found the last act to be wonderfully entertaining.

    And yes, this set will be in demand down the road...once Target/Amazon lose their inventories. I mean, how many do they have for cripe's sake?
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    Off topic, but I thought the final 20-30 minutes of TLR to be quite entertaining. Definitely redeemed the earlier moments. I think if they had edited it down to a shorter movie, it would have been a contender.

    As for the set, I bought the set full price right when it came out. So all of these deals, even at 30% off is great compared to me.

    I agree, I doubt it will skyrocket in value like a lot of other train sets, or other licensed sets. I'd think the stagecoach would be more likely to increase in price than the train set.
    Natebw
  • GondorianDotComGondorianDotCom Member Posts: 30
    Buying Lego sets for "investment purposes" can get out of hand quickly. Stick with buying sets to enjoy!
    bobabricksNatebwUKtsumiGoldJono
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited June 2014

    ^You're not the only who see's it that way. I just unloaded $3K worth over the past 3 months. Most have been smooth transactions. But the work and time involved is more than I can handle with a 50hr/wk job plus travels. Now I'm loathing the next $5K of inventory already marked for selling to the point that I wish I never started to begin with.

    Add me to that "loathing" list. I don't know exactly how much I have, but it's probably in the range of $5k at this point as well. I like to make money, but at the hobby-level of reselling, it's just not worth the time in my opinion. Similar to what others have noted, I'd rather hang out with our son, play guitar, get stuff done around the house, etc rather than spend hours listing, packing and shipping sets for a few hundred dollars here and there (if that). I can't wait to unload my stash of sets when they finally EOL. After that, I may still buy sets here and there for resale, but that will be very few and far between, and it will only be higher-priced sets (inexpensive sets are simply not worth the time in my opinion [obviously there are some fluke exceptions]). I used to think reselling was worthwhile as long as I made more than my average hourly pay working, but I sort of enjoy my free time more now.

    Sets like #41999 4x4 Crawler, #10210 Imperial Flagship, #4195 Queen Anne's Revenge and #10194 Emerald Night come to mind as the caliber of sets I might consider in the future for resale (in addition to some modulars, a couple Star Wars sets and a small number of other higher-end sets). The Lone Ranger Constitution is not of that caliber, at least in my opinion.
    bobabricks
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    Reselling is ok if done outside of work hours. Then it is a hobby which can pay little. Even better if you can do it with your offspring.
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    Yes, child labor is great thing! You should try it ;P
    Norlegopharmjodnkx1
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^I thought about that. But the startup costs are daunting. And I heard you won't start recouping on costs for at least 18 years, if you're lucky.
    pharmjodBumblepantsbobabricksnkx1
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    Store the lego in its box when not in use and you can sell it in a few years time. Or list it now with a high list price. Then you can play with it until it sells. I find people will pay more for used lego than new...
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    That blows my mind, Nor. I would assume it would be way lower for used.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,916
    From my experience, people always pay more for new than used, however, once you start talking about retired sets the used prices do appreciate well above what it once was RRP if the set is one in high demand.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Norlego said:

    I find people will pay more for used lego than new...

    Sorry, no.
    bobabricksnkx1
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444

    Norlego said:

    I find people will pay more for used lego than new...

    Sorry, no.
    Yeah, in what "Bizarro World" do you live in?

    bobabricks
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited June 2014
    The only possible way that statement would be true is if you were comparing different sets. E.g. would a used Emerald Night be worth more than a brand spanking new Horizon Express? That answer would be a definite yes.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,776
    Or celeb used and signed.

    Or contains rare part, unknown in sealed set. Eg. Smooth hair Leia.
    bobabricks
  • monkeymonkey Member Posts: 235
    Norlego said:

    I dont resell new lego. For me the joy is buying a joblot for £50-100 and selling it on for £200 and upwards. It is fun to buy a bargain. And after over 30 joblots i have yet to make a loss...

    Out of curiosity, from these joblots do you build MOCs and sell them built (like modular houses), or try to recreate existing sets and sell them "complete without minifigs and box"?

  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    Yeah, sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to have a sealed 2007 set and either run the risk of there being a gold 3P0 or opening it and losing the "sealed" factor.
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    The last few ets i sold i got this:
    10184 town hall. Complete with one manual. £140.
    7998 haulage truck. complete with box and manual. £35.
    6776 strange set. Near complete. £35.
    Indina jones temple xx27. No mini figs, box or manuals. £17.50. (minifigs sold for £15, i think.)

    I am also selling pig farm complete and have had three offers of around £35-40.

    All these prices are better than rrp.all the lego was in good condition.

    I paid around £35 for all 5 sets and prices mention are after fees.my profit is good.

    Of course OPs set might not sell for more than rrp, but you dont know it yet. That is the risk of selling. But even get near rrp is good but only possible if you keep boxes and manuals in good condition.
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