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How to de-hoard

margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
So, it's time to seriously cull my Lego collection. Any tips on how to go about doing this? I'm not a reseller but I've been buying like one, so I have way too much stuff.
Thanos75CircleK
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Comments

  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,294
    I have been doing this some just by offering some sets I need gone on Bricklink at bargain prices. Usually when trying to get rid of stuff on the forum I end up trading and not solving the hoarding problem.
    AndormargotCircleK
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    Have you been opening them like a builder, or keeping sealed like a reseller? Either way, you're likely to find a buyer here.
  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
    ^Really?, i find i don't get any messages or when i do i find they are proper low ball offers.

    Put the same item on ebay and its gone within hours.
    oldtodd33
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 3,060
    Well, I have just started my collection 6 months ago and have found that quite a lot of LOTR sets/harry potter have sold out so if you got some and want to get rid of some of those, let me know! (although I did promise husband not to buy to much lego in the next month ;-))
    Andor
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 3,060
    Just realised you are in US and I am in Europe /UK so might make things more difficult, sorry, just got excited :-)
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    Accepting that you have too much is half the battle. I have started to thin out my toy collection too as I can't walk around my toy room anymore.

    So many outlets for a Lego collection.
    0. Reorganize - perhaps a little shuffling can free up some space for more hoarding...
    1. Sell. Bricklink, Amazon, eBay. I don't get the stigma against selling when trading is accepted. Avoid Craiglist.
    2. Gift away - I don't shop for birthday parties or Christmas... I look within.
    3. Donate - some sets are just better given away and not worth it to sell and not cool enough as a gift.
    madforLEGO
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,985
    Find a kid you know.
    Give the kid some Lego.
    :-)
    RevBluesJern92Crownie
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    tamamahm said:

    Find a kid you know.
    Give the kid some Lego.
    :-)

    But not your own kid.

    The "I'm saving these for our daughter" excuse is not working on my husband any more.
    RevBluesGurooo
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    I keep my collection parted out in plastic containers. Last year I sold a load of sets on Bricklink, I listed about a set a day, parting each one out as I went along. I find selling on Bricklink to be much less stressful than on Ebay - less scammers, and the buyers are much more understanding if there's a mixup or a missing piece or something. I sold about 5 sets on Ebay, and had problems with nearly every transaction. I've heard it's a better experience for higher volume sellers. But that's my opinion of course.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    @natro220‌ ebay is an odd place. I've been selling on there since the late 90s and almost never had problems until recently. Most of those have been tied to abuses of the buyer protection system.

    Selling on BL is a much slower process. I agree that's it's less stressful though, which is fine if you are not looking to move stuff too fast.
  • RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117
    edited January 2015
    Depending on what you have and how much, you should definitely think about donating to a good cause. I've given away toys and things to a local special school, a disabled children's group, and the paediatric hospital unit who saved my boy.
    LegoKipcarlqPitfall69RonyarTufted_duckGothamConstructionCogivmellis
  • LegoKipLegoKip A cottage by the sea, California, US Member Posts: 259
    @RevBlues‌ That's a terrific way to help those who give so much, and many times have scarce resources. Certainly giving hope through a small distraction (Lego) is something any of us can do. What a thoughtful way to give back to those who healed your son, too!

    Concerning charities, Brickset hosts one dear to many hearts here called "Fairy Bricks" which our own @SirKevbags‌ founded not too long ago: fairybricks.org
    I've witnessed the authoress of this thread donate generously to FB during past fundraisers. (That doesn't preclude giving more, of course!)
    RevBluescarlqRonyarSirKevbags
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    If you're looking to donate, check with local elementary schools. If they are like our area, they may have after school LEGO Clubs that would probably welcome the infusion of new parts.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Lots of great answers here.
    @SuperTramp, I agree that the marketplace here usually gets you trade or lowball offers.
    @snowhitie, I probably would have emailed you about some LOTR sets but yes, I am in the US. I have Harry Potter sets too but still want to build them, particularly Diagon Alley. SO many sets, so little time.
    Regarding giving to kids and using for birthdays... been doing that for years!!! Love not having to shop for kid birthday gifts!
    Bricklink- thinking about it, but scared as my experiences trying to navigate that site as a buyer have been really poor.
    Donating- I've donated in the past and I'm sure I will give some away, but really not looking to lose money here. It's a good option for sets that don't have great resale value. Wow, if I wanted to give it all away I wouldn't be posting here, I know I would get inundated with pm's!. :-)
    CCC
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    We donate money and time to several causes. I really need to go to the children's hospital and donate some Lego. I give a lot of spare Lego to a few friends that are not well off. Lego is quite expensive as we all know.

    Don't feel obligated to donate or just give away Lego. Just a few months ago we got hit with some expenses that we just didn't have the money for, so I sold quite of few sets to make some money to pay the bills. Sometimes when life is good and money is good, we tend to over indulge. Fortunately, Lego allows most of us to make our money back and then some in case we fall on hard times :)
    Thanos75RonyarpharmjodsnowhitieSirKevbagsCCCRevBlues
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Pitfall69 said:


    Don't feel obligated to donate or just give away Lego.

    No, I don't at all. I sort of got a chuckle about how easy it is for other people to recommend you giving your stuff/money away. :-)
    BumblepantsThanos75pharmjodBuriedinBricksTheBigLegoski1265
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298

    ^Really?, i find i don't get any messages or when i do i find they are proper low ball offers.

    Put the same item on ebay and its gone within hours.

    Yes, so long as the set was not purchased in a sale that was advertised here. If it was, then you'll get complaints about profiteering and so on and / or very low offers.
  • squarebear47squarebear47 Ohio - USAMember Posts: 29
    @margot‌ I am in the U.S. and would be potentially interested in some LOTR or HP sets you are trying to get rid of. I can't promise I won't lowball you though ;)
    shoot me a PM if you are interested.

    Also, are you having issues with storage/display space for your collection? Or is it simply a realization that you've sunk too much money into it?
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,477
    margot said:


    No, I don't at all. I sort of got a chuckle about how easy it is for other people to recommend you giving your stuff/money away. :-)

    I'm a little surprised there was't a "You can give all the sets you don't want to me!" type comment!
    I don't think twice about giving away stuff that I bought for under £5, especially to kids.
    I'd say your best bet moving forwards (not just for clearing stuff out now) is to think about what you're buying too. I think everyone goes a little off the rails at one point of another, I know I have quite a stash of Mixels that I don't really need. If you want to pick stuff up to sell/trade later it's not something to be ashamed of, but you just have to think in terms of "I have X amount of space to keep this stuff, is it really worth holding onto for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years etc until I can sell/trade it in a deal I'm happy with."
    pharmjod
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    I've had a few requests of interest in LOTR, Hobbit stuff so my first task is to get together all of those sets and see what I have to get rid of.
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 373
    ^since you are well know on the message boards here, I'm sure anything you put up will garner interest. I know my kids are just growing into Harry Potter so the sets interest me, but the prices tend to be prohibitive. That being said, cleaning out stuff you don't want/need could be quite profitable for you. That might be the only reason my wife keeps letting me buy stuff. She sees how much some of it increases in value, and is looking forward to the day she can declutter our house!
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    We moved into a new house last year and my man cave was reduced to a 10x10 spare bedroom. Honestly, I look at all of the Star Wars and LotR/Hobbits sets that I've purchased and don't really care for a lot of them. Personally I enjoy older sets than new licensed ones.
    margotchuckp
  • red237red237 Member Posts: 311
    I recently resold a bunch of my clearance hoard to a fellow LEGO mom. This worked out well as I passed the discount on and her child got a ton of sets too. It freed up space for - cough - more LEGO.

    I spent so much time shopping a few years ago and simply over buy for deals. I try to buy only what I really want but Brickset fever gets me going. Also I find I just can't say no to the polys.

    Just today in fact did I buy a Ninjago Dragon at a great deal because I just couldn't say no....but honappendagitisestly, do I really want it? Kind of pathetic confession here.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,985
    Another idea.... Schools can often use Lego for msth and science activities.
  • sklambsklamb speaker of American EnglishMember Posts: 512
    I don't think I have too much Lego but my father (who's ninety) does. At some point I suppose I'll get tired of arguing. Until then I suspect I'll go on buying what I like...and hoping to find some HP sets that aren't too much over what RRP was...hint, hint...(just being hopeful :-) ).
    margot
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    tamamahm said:

    Another idea.... Schools can often use Lego for msth and science activities.

    Seriously? LOL. Hey @tamamahm, you can also donate several thousand dollars to schools too, they would really like it.

    1265snowhitieGalactusGurooo
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,418
    @margot‌ - A problem I have to honestly. Although sometimes (I think this may be your case too), it isn't hoarding but rather accumulation over several years time. Which I consider two different things. Hoarding is buying everything you see, accumulation is slowly building up (pun intended) your collection...

    Unfortunately, the accumulation has caught up to me. I didn't really notice it until recently when I had to "display" my UCS B-Wing on the floor because I didn't have enough shelving space. I find myself in a similar situation to you, and will probably look to off load some of my collection in the coming months.

    Although, the thread I just posted about wanting to collect the entire CMF line doesn't give much credence to the previous statement...
    margotLegoKippharmjod
  • KiwiLegoMeisterKiwiLegoMeister New ZealandMember Posts: 212
    I'd like to help you all de-hoard.

    Never have loose Lego lying around again!
    That's right! No more 'find-a-brick' with your bare feet in the dark of the night!.
    No more irritating clink-clink up the vacuum hose!

    Send your Lego to me - free of charge, I'll take it all.
    No questions asked! No parcel too big!
    Send your excess Lego today and wake up tomorrow ready to start a new chapter in your life, knowing you have successfully de-hoarded and de-cluttered!

    DO IT! NOW!!!!
    chuckp
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 1,091
    margot said:

    So, it's time to seriously cull my Lego collection. Any tips on how to go about doing this? I'm not a reseller but I've been buying like one, so I have way too much stuff.

    Got any pictures? Somethings what you thing is a lot.....might not be.

    I do understand where you are coming from. I can relate, as I do have a large collection in my standards - not a reseller - but still try to manage my space to keep what I have.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,985
    edited January 2015
    margot said:

    tamamahm said:

    Another idea.... Schools can often use Lego for msth and science activities.

    Seriously? LOL. Hey @tamamahm, you can also donate several thousand dollars to schools too, they would really like it.

    Schools have many needs from the very basics of just needing paper and scissors to needing items that are more elaborate and people would not think of. I once picked up every pair of scissors I could find after the back to school clearance and manage to supply two classrooms with scissors. The previous scissors in our classrooms...I watched kids try to use them, and they would not even cut paper, and another pair just fell apart in a kids hand. How cheap do they have to be to not even cut paper.... Basic supplies are often needed. That does not mean that cool and more elaborate supplies do not have a place.
    Lego can make an amazing manipulative for math. I have read plenty of activities that use lego for chemistry or basic biology, where the Lego can represent different type of atoms. Some schools do have Lego after school clubs, or Lego robotics clubs in higher grade levels, where donations can be especially appreciated. A donation of an intact set AA set is probably not as useful, but schools may have specific needs, so no, I am not kidding.

    Nobody here is suggesting going out and spending thousands in Lego and then donating to a school as opposed to a monetary donation, but if someone has Lego about that they may not use, then yes... Some schools may find such an item useful.

    ETA: The Walmart lego Black Friday boxes....I actually did buy those with the intention to use for a school activity because of the more generic blocks in them. The activity and the time are what I will be donating in this case as opposed to the actual blocks themselves...
    AndyPoldmcc0
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    margot said:

    So, it's time to seriously cull my Lego collection. Any tips on how to go about doing this? I'm not a reseller but I've been buying like one, so I have way too much stuff.

    Just remember everyday is a good day to de-hoard and then when you do, de-hoard with a vengeance. De-hoard and de-hoard 2 are clearly the best de-hoards but harder to get into context.
    pharmjodGalactusbendybadgerBumblepantsjadeireneprevereLostInTranslation
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    1265 said:

    < Somethings what you thing is a lot.....might not be.

    I've got a 12x12 storage locker in addition to a house full of sets... I don't know, I think that's a lot.

    chuckpLostInTranslation
  • mnbvcmnbvc Member Posts: 142
    Not aimed at the threadstarter, as de-hoard to me generally means to try and recoup some of the value of the Lego...but if anyone is looking for a good cause to donate overstocks of Lego to, see if your local library has a Lego club.

    We all know that Lego can be cost prohibitive, and Lego clubs give children the opportunity to build with good quality materials (not knock offs) and a massive range of bricks (which you can't get from owning one or two sets). You'd genuinely be helping some of the poorest kids in your local area. :)
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 1,091
    margot said:

    1265 said:

    < Somethings what you thing is a lot.....might not be.

    I've got a 12x12 storage locker in addition to a house full of sets... I don't know, I think that's a lot.

    That's a lot. Sounds as though you bought inventory (hoarded) waiting for the time to sell. Now onto the next phase, resell for a profit. Sounds like a reseller to me.
    VaderX
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    edited January 2015
    margot said:

    1265 said:

    < Somethings what you thing is a lot.....might not be.

    I've got a 12x12 storage locker in addition to a house full of sets... I don't know, I think that's a lot.

    Raise your hand if you read that and thought "Party at Margot's house!".

    And yes, that is a lot of LEGO. I believe the exact, scientific term would be a $#!%-ton of LEGO.

  • LegoKipLegoKip A cottage by the sea, California, US Member Posts: 259
    @chuckp‌
    Raise your hand if you read that and thought "Party at Margot's house!".
    Flailing my arms I am. Better duck.
    chuckpRonyar
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    ^ No, no arm flailing, you might break something. :smiley:
  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,120
    Once or twice a year when I want to make some room or have a bunch of stuff I'm not feeling the love for anymore , I will put up an ad on Craigslist. I will put up some pics and a list of what I have. I have had really good luck doing it that way. I have more control over the deal. I don't have to ship or deal with a bunch of fees. No fear of getting ripped off. Because of all that I can sell the sets cheaper. Anyone who has ever done a deal with me knows I'm not the type out to squeeze every penny out of a deal or to gouge anyone. A fair deal where everyone is happy. I leave the ad up for a week or so and then take it down. Super easy if your not in a hurry or feel the need to rip every cent out of a set. I usually end up selling most stuff for the retail price and still make profit and the buyer happy.
    SirBen
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    1265 said:

    Sounds as though you bought inventory (hoarded) waiting for the time to sell.

    Well, it's not. I don't have multiples of sets, I bought what I liked. And I give stuff away all of the time. You're one of those people that's a lot of fun at a party, aren't you?
    plasmodiumCircleKdougts
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 1,091
    margot said:

    1265 said:

    Sounds as though you bought inventory (hoarded) waiting for the time to sell.

    Well, it's not. I don't have multiples of sets, I bought what I liked. And I give stuff away all of the time. You're one of those people that's a lot of fun at a party, aren't you?
    So you have a 12x12 storage unit and a house full of Lego sets and none are multiples?
    You must have the largest single Lego sets out there. Pictures please.

    I'm more than happy to give you my address if you want to give away your stuff. Please PM me. BTW, I'm usually the talk of the party. :)
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,750
    Do you keep boxes? If not, you could probably save a lot of space by de-boxing everything and putting it in labeled Ziplocs, then putting all of that in storage boxes. This is assuming you plan to eventually build the sets, of course.
    margotGalactussnowhitie
  • CircleKCircleK U.S. - Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 1,055
    margot said:

    I'm not a reseller but I've been buying like one, so I have way too much stuff.

    You and me both...

    My only advice would be to offer bulk purchase deals where you can. The shipping savings will help you move smaller sets or those that just don't sell as well and you will see progress much faster. Steady progress is the key to tackling any big job.

    Once you get moving you may find that it's just as exciting clearing your space out as it was filling it up. This was the case for me anyways. I even sold sets that I originally planned on keeping. I think it just gave me a new perspective on what collecting means to me. What I found was that my "collection" was mostly made up of sets that I wouldn't miss at all. I own a lot less Lego now than I did two months ago, but it's actually a great feeling looking at those sets that remain. At the end of the day, they were the only ones I really cared about anyways.
    margot
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    edited January 2015
    My house is full of LEGO and although the children don't complain, my wife does! Christmas 2013, I ended up with quite a few sets that I had bought over the year that were either deals on Amazon or at Smyths. I am not a reseller as such (I occasionally have an annual clear out on ebay of bits and pieces, not just LEGO) but instead I was inspired by the Fairy Bricks collection of sets for local children's hospitals.

    I drove to a local children's hospice in Kent and dropped off a bag of new, unopened sets at the reception. They were very grateful and I got a nice letter from them afterwards.

    It may sound like a cliché, but it was quite humbling, yet inspiring to go into such a lovely place, especially as the children that would have received my sets probably are not around anymore to enjoy them.

    It was perfect, I cleared some LEGO from the house, my wife was happier and I actually felt like I had done something worthwhile.

    I'd recommend it, if you are lucky enough to be able to afford lots of LEGO like me, then my personal view is that you are able to give some away and do some good.
    cheshirecatsidersddChubblesLegoKip
  • jlbbluejlbblue Member Posts: 54
    @margot‌ can just let me take everything off her hands. I attempted to get rid of my stuff, but kept turning into Golem with his precious. Good luck margot, and remember I am just down the road.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Guys, I did the Fairy Bricks drop off at my local children's hospital. I know about donations. It getting beat to death here.
    BumblepantsThanos75
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 3,060
    I think it's a bit annoying most tips range in the direction of ' you can give it away '. I am sure she knows that, it's like, if you can afford to buy to much lego, hey, you better give some to charity... Jeez... I agree charity is important but don't push it onto someone else!

    Now, trying to sell off things in bulk does sound like a plan. I have never sold lego, but used to be a bit of a hoarder of dvds and art materials and I always find that the first thing to do is make some lists: what do I really want to keep - what do I really need to build - what would I like to build - what will I never build - what did I build but was a bit meuh...

    Then include price you bought it for, retail price and the average bricklink price or something. You can then also put a minimum in you want to let it go for, depending on the previous items and your feelings towards the set. Sets that have not got a good resale value but got good bricks can always be broken up and put in the MOC-brick pile.

    Maybe this sounds silly and to straightforward to mention but writing it down does help, and you can see how much money you stand to make!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    I'd say two routes. If you are willing to do a bricklink store, then decide which sets are not for you at list them there. If you want a quick sale, put them at the low price end for your country. If you don't need a quick sale, then price how you want but have a few cheaper price sets to help get people in.

    Otherwise, list a few here and see if you get any interest. If not, then stick them on eBay or craigslist.
    sklamb
  • ChubblesChubbles USAMember Posts: 459
    I'm always in the market for stuff if you wanna list some things
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    margot said:

    Guys, I did the Fairy Bricks drop off at my local children's hospital. I know about donations. It getting beat to death here.

    Sorry, but you asked for thoughts and I gave mine?
    snowhitie said:

    I think it's a bit annoying most tips range in the direction of ' you can give it away '. I am sure she knows that, it's like, if you can afford to buy to much lego, hey, you better give some to charity... Jeez... I agree charity is important but don't push it onto someone else!

    It might be annoying, so why post the question if you don't want to hear "obvious" answers? Anyway, I did say it was my personal view, not one that everyone needs to follow, and it certainly wasn't critical of anyone. There are several options as I see it, sell it, donate it, trade it, store it, keep it or throw it away (the last one isn't an option in my opinion but in the interest of equality, it is included!).

    Selling is good, but the fees can be expensive depending on how you sell, and in the UK, the HMRC might spot you are running a business, if in their opinion, you sell too much for too long (I think if it is a one-off "clear-out" then it would be fine).

    Store it, can be good if you are breaking up sets and putting them back into storage (really-useful-boxes are quite good and smaller than keeping sets in the original boxes). But if you have lots of sets unopened, then storing won't really help.

    Trading/swapping defeats the object IMO as you simply replace one set with another.

    Keep it, again defeats the object.

    Donate it, I couldn't possibily comment.

    Throw it away, no-one is that mad!

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this post are solely those of AndyPol and do not represent those of anyone else, nor are forcing or pushing anyone else to do what AndyPol suggests. :wink:

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,298
    edited January 2015
    Another thing is that if you are not sure, put a set into "deep storage" for three months. If you don't miss it, then it is time to get rid of it. If you miss it, thank me that you didn't sell it! :smile:
    Bumblepantstamamahmmargotmathewsklamb
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