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seriously, there are many collectors, and I am one of them, who never got around to buyng this set at the time, and the appreciation in second hand prices has caught everybody by surprise. As Cloud says, you can buy brick by brick, but I think this has some drawbacks, as unless you buy all new items (nearly impossible), you will almost certainly have a few colour consistency issues, not to mention some bricks you will probably have to write off. (simple law of averages when buying 4k+ used bricks)
My advice?, don't make the same mistake with other UCS sets. i.e. if you havn't done so already, buy the Death Star before it is discontinued.
$1,700 including shipping within the US, complete in all respects.
It is hard to find one for less than that new in box, never opened or built. That is just what they are now worth.
1000.00 is still a nice profit for those that bought for the original price but there were still way too many produced and sold for this to continue to rise in price. Also the market will not support it at that price point either, as people are pointing out, you can piece it out for less money. And if you really want you can print your own stickers. Again, just my opinion but to the original poster, if you can I would wait a while and I think you will be pleased you did.
I had 3 of these, sold one for $1799 on eBay about a month ago, have another one for sale on there right now, but would do lower for a buyer here, both because it saves eBay fees and because, well, this is brickset! :)
The last I'm probably keeping to build myself, depends on what happens to the price over the next 6 months. No major deal either way, if it sells... or not... won't affect my ability to eat.
As for the other comments here, I too consider if there is a ceiling to the price of this set and also sets such as Cafe Corner. There definitely seems to be a bubble. There are hundreds of other "retired" sets that you can still pick up at or near their original retail price. But there are a few that have just jumped 300% or more in value.
In the end, it's like any bubble. As long as there are those willing to pay these prices, they will continue to remain and increase.
For me: I too am looking for this set at a more reasonable price. But mostly, I am just making sure to buy sets I really want while they are still in production. EG: I could buy one Cafe Corner on aftermarket - or - for the same price, buy Fire Brigade, Grand Emporium, Pet Shop, and even the retired Green Grocer. Funny that.
Not that I care that much because I will probably not sell mine and build it at some point.
I keep hoping for the Blue Batman minifigs to come down in price. Even with the announcement of the new Batman line, they still are really high ~$80.
I suspect that 10188 won't rise in price as fast as 10179 did, if simply because everyone and their brother has seen the rise in price of the UCS Falcon, so everyone is buying 3 or 4 sets of 10188 to put in the closet, there will probably be 10s of thousands of these things dumped on eBay 6 months after it really is discontinued, then it will stay low for a long time.
Then again, 10221 is no replacement for the Death Star, I expect to see it discounted in the future as well, perhaps after Christmas, once the newness wears off. Perhaps Lego will keep the Death Star around for another 2 or 3 years to come, until they have a proper replacement for it. They need a "playable" UCS, something with tons of Minifigs and such that you can actually have fun with. The SSD is just a display model, nothing else.
Just consider that I recently sold a 9/10 condition 10030 set on Amazon for $1399, even after Amazon's terrible fees I netted $1,200 on a set that I paid $650 for last Christmas from eBay.
I'm not getting rich off this mind you, it just helps support my Lego habit. Nothing more or less. I figure if a few good deals like the above pay for the Legos that I keep, I'm happy. :)
Easier to sell the stocks on demand of course, harder to move the Lego quickly if you need the cash.
I don't sell sets every week, maybe 1 per month. Just a way to make this a somewhat reasonable addiction, rather than an unhealthy one. :) I must own hundreds of Lego sets, I really don't want to know what they all cost... :)