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Advice for 10123 Cloud City

NikaliptusNikaliptus AustraliaMember Posts: 27
Hi,

I’m kind of new around here (I lurk a lot more that I post), and am only fairly recently out of my latest dark age – yes, I’ve had several, where other things end up taking priority over LEGO for a while, but I always come back. ;-)

Anyway, after using Brickset to inventory my collection, I was very surprised to discover that I have a MISB 10123 Cloud City, and that it’s apparently worth quite a bit these days!

As much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve come to the realisation that I’ve outgrown my interest in Star Wars and SW LEGO (ducks for cover as SW fans starting throwing things at me, haha), so after a lot of soul searching, I’m pretty sure I’ve reached the point where I’m ready to let go of the Cloud City set.

I have no interest in becoming a reseller, and in fact have never sold anything at all on the likes of eBay/Gumtree, etc. so TBH, I’m a bit intimidated by it all, and somewhat put off selling it at all because of the hassle. Alternatively, does anyone know of any Aussie specialist LEGO shops that buy collectable sets to on-sell themselves, or would I be looking at significantly sacrificing on the price I could get for it in my attempt to avoid the hassle of privately selling it?

I’m also quite confused over whether a MISB set is more valuable than parting it out, as some of the minifigs and rarer pieces seem to have a pretty high asking price in their own right, and would certainly be a lot cheaper/easier to ship than the set as a whole.

I guess another option might be to try to trade it for something else that is more in line with my current interests in LEGO, but that would probably only work if I could find someone locally so that the trade could be done in person, to minimise the risk (and to save postage costs). I’m not really sure what set/s it would compare to in terms of value; I would be interested in tracking down a MISB 10185 Green Grocer, but would this be considered a fair trade for both parties, or would one side or the other need to add more value with other items/cash?

Sorry for all the rambling; I’m just really not sure of the best way approach this, so any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Nik

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    I would definitely post your set in the Marketplace thread and put where you are from in the title. See how that goes first. I'm sure you will get plenty of bites. A resell shop will surely not give you as much as selling or trading here.

    Good Luck :-)
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    I would say if you going to part out maybe do it by bags, I've seen bag #1 go for over $1000on eBay and you could probably sell the rest of the set in bags for $500~ but if the box is in really good condition keep it sealed.
  • LuccideLuccide Member Posts: 42
    I very much doubt it would be worth aiming for a resale store here in australia they would deffinatly be lacking in value

    I would very much love to say i would take it off your hands (brisbane , aus) but i dont have those sort of funds at the moment.

    If you can find a buyer for it i think you could get enough to buy yourself a green grocer and have some left over for other things so probably not the best trade for you but that depends on how nice you want to be to other collecters
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    I haven't researched prices for individual bags and there's probably not a lot of hard data to draw conclusions with confidence, but I think selling it MISB suits your situation. It's hard for me to believe you'll make much more parting it out, and doing so takes on the trouble of having to find different buyers.

    As @pitfall69 said, once you establish a fair price, you can try posting it here and avoid the work of registering as a seller and being charged the fees on online marketplace platforms.

    I'd actually be interested to hear the price on offer because it's the only significant Star Wars set I'm missing.
  • joel4motionjoel4motion United KingdomMember Posts: 959
    Consider using an established Brickset member as an escrow account as you are likely to get more interest due to your relatively low post count. Not to suggest you are going to pull a fast one but for the sake of an extra bit of shipping it would open up your audience.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,418

    I would say if you going to part out maybe do it by bags, I've seen bag #1 go for over $1000on eBay and you could probably sell the rest of the set in bags for $500~ but if the box is in really good condition keep it sealed.

    @bobabricks‌ - A kind thought but I'm afraid that is a vast, vast over-estimation. Why would someone purchase Bag #1 for $1,000 when they can buy all the bags in a NIB Cloud City for $800? Best not to give false hope :o)

    I've sold lots of complete Cloud City sets, cloud city minifigure sets (all 8 figures), individual cloud city minifigures, and Cloud City sets without minifigures. Your best option is to keep it NIB, don't break the seals, and sell it that way.

    If you do part it out, you'll either have two guaranteed scenarios. It will take longer to sell, take more work to sell all the separate bits and pieces (the figures, instructions, set, etc..), and your liable to not get as much if you had just sold it MISB. Seal it MISB and you only have the single item to sell and a better audience. Lots of buyers are not interested in just the single set. The minifigures themselves might sell quickly, but just the bricks is more than likely to stay on eBay for some time.

    Just my thoughts.
    Pitfall69
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    @samiam391 Let me rephrase the whole "part out" thing. I know that you would get more money for a sealed set just because of the rarity of a sealed #10123 I was just talking about IF you were to open it those are prices that I have just seen around while browsing. I was just thinking you would open it if it is not in good condition, maybe water damage, dented/punctured box etc.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,147
    If the set is MISB I see no other reason than to attempt to sell it as such. Why ruin something that currently is likely nothing short of a piece of art?
    bobabricks
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    I would call Cloud City a piece of art. The set itself is underwhelming. The reason this set is sought after is because of the minifigures. The versions of Luke, Leia, Lando and Boba Fett are are only available in this set.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,418
    edited June 2014

    @samiam391 Let me rephrase the whole "part out" thing. I know that you would get more money for a sealed set just because of the rarity of a sealed #10123 I was just talking about IF you were to open it those are prices that I have just seen around while browsing. I was just thinking you would open it if it is not in good condition, maybe water damage, dented/punctured box etc.

    @bobabricks‌ -That makes perfect sense, and I would agree with your thoughts. However I still believe that your price estimations of $1,500 for just the bags is still a vast over-estimate. If such was the case, everyone would be opening their Cloud Citys and just selling the bags. It doesn't make much sense for just the bags to be going for $1,500 and a sealed in box Cloud City going for $800 ;o)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    ^Yeah, at first I thought there was a currency issue but $800 USD = $853 in CA dollars. So, no way bags are selling more than a sealed Cloud City.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,147
    If the minifigures are what "make" the set then maybe it would be fine to open and sell by the bag?
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,418

    If the minifigures are what "make" the set then maybe it would be fine to open and sell by the bag?

    Not for a set that's 10+ years old. It makes sense to part out a lot of "newer" sets. Sorry, you all, but it does not make sense to part out an $800 Cloud City gem.

    You would get maybe 450 (at near best) for the figures, 250 and maybe 300 for the set w/ instructions and box. That totals $700 or $750 best case scenario. That does not factor in the fact that you will have to put a lot more work into selling the set separately. It will take more time to list each individually, plus there is no guaranteed sale here. Figures may fly off the shelves, but that doesn't mean the set will.

    With the single NIB set there is only one item to list and one item to sell. Less variables, easier, and at the very least you should be looking at $800.

    It's your decision @Nikaliptus‌, but it is my very strong opinion (as a person that has handled many Cloud City sets) to NOT part it out and to keep it sealed.

    Pitfall69
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    edited June 2014
    Okay, well this was a while ago and at that time a sealed Cloud City was going for $2000 sealed so part out wasn't cheaper then either. Also, the cheapest sealed #10123 I could find on BrickLink was $1,045 CAD, $980 USD.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    ^Did it sell for that much or was that the asking price? I have never seen Cloud City go for that much; even on Bricklink.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,625
    According to Ebay, the last sealed #10123 went for $1065.95. Now, I'm kind of surprised no one here has told @nikaliptus that there are plenty of people out there who would happily scam him/her out of that set. Something else to consider, you are in Australia, stay away from a guy named MrTonyTJ.
    Pitfall69
  • NikaliptusNikaliptus AustraliaMember Posts: 27
    Wow! Lots to digest there, thanks everyone for taking the time to respond, and apologies for taking so long to pop back in to read it all...the weekend suddenly got a lot busier than I had planned.

    I have to confess though, I'm probably just as confused as ever, haha.

    So the consensus seems to be unless the box is severely damaged, it's better to sell it as MISB, rather than parting it out, and TBH, I'm not sure I could bring myself to break the seals anyway. So I guess that’s one decision made, yay! :-) Given it's age, the box is in good nick; after another quick inspection today, there just seems to be a little bit of shelf wear, and the very corner tips are not razor sharp, but definitely no water damage, punctures, or notable dents - not even those creases that can lead in from the corners along the surface of the box, if that makes sense (I'm not up with any technical terms). Being sealed, I obviously have no way to check the condition of the contents (e.g. whether the instructions have gotten bent, and of course trusting that TLG actually packed the correct pieces, etc.), so would it be fair to say that side of things is an assumed risk by any potential buyer that they would need to take up directly with TLG?

    I'm confused about how to establish a fair price for the set though, as the current eBay (and Bricklink) asking prices seem to vary wildly, and most appear to be in conflict to the suggestions on here of circa $800.00. I know I’m probably dreaming, but is there some sort of guide or algorithm for helping to value retired LEGO sets? I don't want to be greedy or rip anyone off, but I also don't want to undervalue it and then throw away the opportunity to turn my blind luck into getting a set I want with the proceeds. e.g. a NISB #10185 Green Grocer seems to be going for more than $800.00 on eBay/Bricklink, so perhaps it’s a bit optimistic to go in thinking I’ll be able to buy myself a green grocer and have some left over for other things, as @Luccide has suggested?

    @joel4motion I completely understand what you’re saying regarding my low post count working against me in attracting buyers, but I’m not really sure how I’d go about finding an established Brickset member to use as an escrow account. Is that a common practice on here? No offense to anyone, and certainly not accusing anyone of being dodgy, but just as the prospective buyer doesn’t know me, I don’t know any Bricksetters that I would blindly ship the set to, to sell on my behalf. I guess if I could meet up with someone in person to eyeball the set and in some way vouch for me, it might work, but if it’s that much trouble to sell through here (or in turn, eBay), when I have no selling history or feedback, maybe I am better to just try to find a re-seller to take it off my hands and save the hassle of it all?

    @oldtodd33 Do you have any suggestions or examples of the sorts of scams I should be on the look-out for? Would it be more to do with working out a trade, and then not having the other party ship their item (the main reason I would prefer to do a trade in person), or is there a possibility of getting scammed with a straightforward sale as well?

    @rocao I don’t know whether it’s acceptable to mention this here, or if it would need wait until I have decided whether to go ahead with composing another thread in the Marketplace, but if it’s not overstepping boundaries, and you’re genuinely interested, feel free to PM me.

    Thanks again everyone, and I’m definitely still open to any other suggestions or advice if you’d like to weigh in with any. :-)
  • LuccideLuccide Member Posts: 42
    i will admit i only had a very quick glance when i responded most new in sealed box cloud city sets seem to be around 1k + but no idea if it would sell at that price i think at 800 you would probably get a pretty quick sale out of it
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,625
    Just make sure that if you do sell it or trade it, insure it for it's full value and get a signature confirmation from the receiving party.
    samiam391
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,418

    Being sealed, I obviously have no way to check the condition of the contents (e.g. whether the instructions have gotten bent, and of course trusting that TLG actually packed the correct pieces, etc.), so would it be fair to say that side of things is an assumed risk by any potential buyer that they would need to take up directly with TLG?

    No, they wouldn't. It's a 10+ year old set, TLG doesn't have any legal obligation to help someone if such an old set has wear. The potential buyer also wouldn't take it up with you either. It's a non-issue that you don't need to worry about.

    I guess if I could meet up with someone in person to eyeball the set and in some way vouch for me, it might work, but if it’s that much trouble to sell through here (or in turn, eBay), when I have no selling history or feedback, maybe I am better to just try to find a re-seller to take it off my hands and save the hassle of it all?

    Meeting up with someone to eyeball the set either. No offense, but just because you actually have the item doesn't mean you won't scam someone. All the time people take pictures of items they have, but end up not sending said item and in turn scamming someone else. Happened to me just a month ago with a trade and I was out $500. It certainly wouldn't hurt your case to have someone eyeball it, but I don't think it completely eliminates suspicion.

    If you really want to do a trade, your best bet is to setup a trade with a very established Brickset member that has done lots of trades/sales on the forums. Then you will have to go by trust and ship your item first. They will then ship their item to you once they have received yours. You can even setup a thread with the sole purpose of making it a "contract" for everyone to see that you and said buyer have agreed to a trade. If the brickset member is established, they won't want to ruin their reputation over a set worth $800. Just make sure that when you do such a trade you really do find someone that is established... we've already had a few distrustful people be on the forums for a few months and then suddenly turn around and scam a few people in one go... and then disappear forever. Namely MrTonyJ.

    You are less likely to be scammed with a straightforward sale.
    oldtodd33 said:

    Just make sure that if you do sell it or trade it, insure it for it's full value and get a signature confirmation from the receiving party.

    This is good advice, take it to heart and do this once you sell it.


    All this being said, I don't have a MISB Green Grocer, but I do have one with box, instructions, and is about 99.5-100% complete. If you're interested in that, shoot me a PM.
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