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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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Comments

  • MathBuilderMathBuilder Member Posts: 150
    edited October 2013
    ^^No big bang reference, or at least not intentionally. It simply did not cross my mind that the setters part was as in brick-set-ters, instead I devised the connection that pickers ~ Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers (other board game) and thus us were related to Catan, then I realized that I was being stupid. But now that I think it twice, there is a fair amount of trading going on here, so it was not entirely moot.
    legomatt
  • mdellemanmdelleman Vancouver CanadaMember Posts: 274
    Spent about 3 minutes with the pickers and had to retreat... Just couldn't bring myself to waster anymore of my life.
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 963
    Ill take sheep and any additional card for a wood.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,898
    I can't bring myself to go over to Brickpicker.

    A stock-like ticker with up and down arrows for sets like Islander Catamaran? You've got to be kidding me. (Hands held in face while shaking my head).
    binaryeyeRainstorm26
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,690
    I find their articles can be quite "funny", such as the EOL one. Very little context about set themes, just guessing when the EOL is to make profit.

    The End of Life is the Start of Profits

    As a casual LEGO collector, I always keep an eye out for sets that are worth investing in. Obviously, the intention and goal of LEGO investing is ultimately to make a profit. Therefore, it is crucial for the casual investor to maximize their investment dollar which is usually achieved only after a set is retired, or in LEGO parlance, reached its end of life (EOL). It is no secret that the single biggest factor in LEGO investing and set appreciation is EOL. In simplest terms, no EOL, no profit.


    EOL doesn't guarantee profits. We all know there can be duds. And no EOL doesn't mean no profit. It depends when and how you buy. We all know you can flip current sets very well if you buy them at the right price.

    They really need to use the past performance disclaimer too. Things have changed so much recently.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    I've got nothing at all against the admin there, but I think the site is a sterling example of good intentions gone awry. Willingly or not it purveys the illusion that everybody can be a winner; we can all do the same thing, goad each other on to buy more and more of the same sets, and no matter what the future is rosy. I know this is not Ed's view at all, but even as the chief he's only one voice, and the rest are so much more voluble.

    Somebody here said a while back that things are a-changin' because so many more (new) people are willing to go 5 or 6 figures deep in inventory, because it's such a "sure thing." A site whose reason for being is "Lego investment" can claim it did not let the cat out of the bag, but it sure doused it and set it caterwauling. Once upon a time, one person with 50 #9474 could have expected to do fine, but now there's a perpetually running infomercial explaining in kindergarten tones and easy-to-color pictures how simple it all is. It may not be a bubble by definition, but it's oversupply, and the end is the same.
    prevereFollowsCloselyLegoFanTexasdougtsvitreolumjasor
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 963
    ^ Good post.

    The way I look at it is that not much has changed, other than the timeline. You now have to wait an extra x months to realize your desired profits. It use to be purchase, eol, wait 10-14 months, sell. That is no more for most sets.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379

    I've got nothing at all against the admin there, but I think the site is a sterling example of good intentions gone awry. Willingly or not it purveys the illusion that everybody can be a winner; we can all do the same thing, goad each other on to buy more and more of the same sets, and no matter what the future is rosy. I know this is not Ed's view at all, but even as the chief he's only one voice, and the rest are so much more voluble.

    Somebody here said a while back that things are a-changin' because so many more (new) people are willing to go 5 or 6 figures deep in inventory, because it's such a "sure thing." A site whose reason for being is "Lego investment" can claim it did not let the cat out of the bag, but it sure doused it and set it caterwauling. Once upon a time, one person with 50 #9474 could have expected to do fine, but now there's a perpetually running infomercial explaining in kindergarten tones and easy-to-color pictures how simple it all is. It may not be a bubble by definition, but it's oversupply, and the end is the same.


    The thing that I have found interesting about Brickpicker is how few of the participants seem to have experience selling Lego sets. Buying Lego is easy, selling the sets that you buy is whole different story. There are certainly some folks over there who know what they're doing, but there seems to be a sense among posters there that the secondary market for Lego sets is completely liquid such that any quantity of sets can be turned over at the drop of a hat when they're put up for sale. I think there are going to end up being a lot of folks over there who are going to end up sitting on a lot of sets for much longer than they plan and/or selling them for a lot less than they hope.

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,898
    Lighthouse seems to be doing very well. Even with all the hullabaloo and intensity on re-selling, nice to a set like this performing well.

    Unfortunately, I don't see other current and recently retired Creator buildings doing as well going forward, IMHO.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    ^Funny that you mentioned the Lighthouse Island. I just found 2 copies neatly stashed away. By "doing well", how "well" is that ;) ?
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited October 2013
    Pitfall69 said:

    By "doing well", how "well" is that ;) ?

    $75-100 some with free ship, some not. I would define that as 'doing well' too. I suppose around Christmas this year it should consistently sell for $100 with Free Shipping for a net of $80-85.

    Pitfall69
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Considering that it was obtainable on a regular basis for $35ish, that is doing very well indeed. :)
    Pitfall69maques
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,345
    Boots in the UK sold the Lighthouses off last year at £20. No-brainer at the time for such a unique set. Been selling mine for £70.
    FollowsClosely
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Hmm maybe I should have picked up some lighthouses....I went for 5771.
  • VaderXVaderX Member Posts: 220
    I wonder if this type of discussion was on a beanie baby forum? :)

    The cat was out of the bag long before last Christmas I think.

    4-5 years ago a "retired" sealed Lego set was a lot less frequent on eBay. Amazon etc.

    I'm not saying there is not any money to be made... but this Christmas season will not likely be like the last few in terms of profit.

    Just my thoughts.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    VaderX said:

    I'm not saying there is not any money to be made... but this Christmas season will not likely be like the last few in terms of profit.

    I agree...

    Already I see a difference from last year, and that is taking into account that I'm making, overall, better purchase decisions this year than I did a year ago.

    There are some outliers, some sets like Lighthouse that will double or triple in 1 year, but most sets aren't doing that, in fact, a number of sets are at or near RRP after fees.

    We are a week away from Nov 1, which is what I consider to be the "start" of the holiday shopping season for online sellers. October last year was not great, but it was better than October of this year. I'm down about 20% over last year, and that is with a 20% larger inventory, so really it stinks. :)

    Part of it is that prices just haven't risen to my "sell" point yet, I've been waiting for a lot of stuff to reach the number that I decided I wanted to sell for when I purchased them.

    Of course, starting in about a week, I'll have to start selling for whatever items will bring, for cashflow and for taking what profits can be had. While it is true that I could save some items for another yet, it is a hard case to make to show that they will be more profitable in the second year than they were in the first.

    It has happened of course, but will it keep happening with all the themes and sets being put out?

    I spent an hour going over the latest LEGO catalog with my wife and kids, all were impressed at how many "cool" sets were currently on the market, from Friends to Chima (yea, my 8 year old likes Chima, blah), from Technic to Star Wars, it just never ends.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Changing topics...

    http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-6021886-Minecraft-Original-21102/dp/B007PVHMCG/

    Minecraft, remains one of the best selling toys on Amazon. It is currently #1 in LEGO (and all building toys) and #4 overall among all toys.

    Yet it hasn't gone out of stock for awhile now, and Amazon is now even discounting it, yet it just stays there. I shudder to think of how many of these are being sold! :)

    Clearly TLG got ahead of production on this, finally... thankfully I moved my last units at about cost over the summer while I had a chance. :)

    Anyone else stuck with a bunch of these? Or did everyone else see the writing on the wall and unload?
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited October 2013
    ^ the fact that on Amazon there is "338 new from $xx.xx" for Minecraft shows that a lot of people still have these and most likely they will not be selling them any time soon, unless it's at a loss.

    I have never noticed that many sellers for one item before, #21103 The DeLorean Time Machine is the next highest with 210. Most Lego items are between 30 - 150.
  • VaderXVaderX Member Posts: 220
    Oh and to think people paid 150$ for this dinky little set... man I feel bad for them.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,690
    VaderX said:

    Oh and to think people paid 150$ for this dinky little set... man I feel bad for them.

    Those are probably going to be the same people piling in to buy 10x of each of the new minecraft sets to sell this year at the same profit for each that the seller they bought from got last year. :-)

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,898
    Glad I gave my daughter's classmate a copy for his Minecraft birthday party a year ago. The price on his face was worth it.
    FollowsClosely
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 457
    Man has it been a while since I have looked at this thread! 3.7k comments worth of time! Boy I have some catching up to do! Still pointless arguments here and there? :P
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,898
    There could be a swing in the resellers favor in the years to come, specifically for exclusives, with the limitation of discounts on larger sets. We won't know the impact for awhile yet, but worth mentioning.
    madforLEGO
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    VaderX said:

    I'm not saying there is not any money to be made... but this Christmas season will not likely be like the last few in terms of profit.

    Just my thoughts.

    The market has definitely changed. To be honest 98% of my sales so far this year have gone to resellers overseas buying in bulk. However even the overbought 10193 has doubled its frequent sale price of $75 on the retail side so I guess there is still hope. Obviously resellers piled into FB again this October which I did not want to see so that is going to be another litmus test for the reselling market in 2014. My strategy used to be to purchase retiring sets, hold for the year and then dump at xmas time. This year I don't think I will bother with xmas. Holding for 2 years may be the smarter plan going forward.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    I still have a decent stock of the first Minecraft set but I'm not concerned at all. They really don't take up much space and they are still topping the charts in sales. When it does go out of production, and it will eventually, I see no reason why these do not continue to sell well. I'm not talking crazy $150 numbers here but $75-$100 is not out of the question.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Yes, but if you have to hold for 2 years to earn the same return that 1 year used to provide, then you need twice the capital to return the same annual income.

    There comes a point where it is a poor use of capital, there are other things to do with the money that will provide a better overall return.

    ------------

    Of course, as I've said, the outliers are impressive, there are sets that retired last year that have tripled in price, but those are the exceptions, they don't move huge volume, and they are hard to pick a year in advance.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,360
    I think the key is price you start with. 2x or 3x MSRP are often quoted as goals which is fine, but if you buy in at 50% with a good clearance deal it changes the whole picture for what you need to reach to make a decent return.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    What you say makes sense @Legofantexas however my situation is a little different than others as I am no longer buying any more sets for investment purposes so selling the Minecraft sets to invest in other sets is not an option. Putting that same money into a CD or fund also isn't worth the effort/return to me.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337

    ^ Yes, but if you have to hold for 2 years to earn the same return that 1 year used to provide, then you need twice the capital to return the same annual income.

    There comes a point where it is a poor use of capital, there are other things to do with the money that will provide a better overall return.

    For sure. Actually last years sets I bought (10217, 10219, 10212, 4842, 4184, 8043, 5771) have all doubled their sales prices or more and are still trending upwards. What I am concerned about is 2013 sets.

    If I hold for 2 years and realize 120% returns that is still far greater than any other investment vehicle I currently have access to. Not as glamorous as 100% p.a. but not too shabby. Once we go below 50% p.a. then I start looking for the exits.

    vitreolum
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    From an investment point of view, I agree, but if you are earning half of your income from this, that is another matter. :)

    I have enough capital to make this work as a living so long as annual returns are X, when they become Y I have to go do something else.

    But that's ok, I've done many things in my life, a new thing isn't the end of the world. :)
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406

    If I hold for 2 years and realize 120% returns that is still far greater than any other investment vehicle I currently have access to.

    Indeed, especially if you get them at a proper discount.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    I think the key is price you start with. 2x or 3x MSRP are often quoted as goals which is fine, but if you buy in at 50% with a good clearance deal it changes the whole picture for what you need to reach to make a decent return.

    While that is often true, I can point to many examples where sets at RRP are better deals than sets at 50% off.

    And not old examples either, from last Christmas even. :)
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,360
    ^true, you still have to make smart picks. 90% off Construct-a-Zurgs would still leave you with a loss
    FollowsClosely
  • stevemackstevemack 1567km Drive From BillundMember Posts: 906
    God rid of all my toy story stuff at about £1 profit.... I was made up :)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,707
    I think that sets ending in 2013 are not going to be much different than those from '12. I mean everyone knew those sets were retiring as well, but yet have gone up, at least for now. Heck 8043 was available at TRU for about 1 month after it EOl'd and it still is climbing. Though I would imagine the more people list in the coming month or two the likelihood of prices dipping a bit.

    I think like @prevere said with the clamp down on exclusive discounts I would say prices are going to go way up for those brave souls that horde at retail prices for exclusives of 13 and beyond. And there will be those who buy in bulk, but likely at EOL times.

    In the end I really think this hurts those who want an EOL set for 13 and beyond. If people thought 'evil resellers' were 'gouging' and 'scalping' on LEGO sets prices now wait until half the available stock is out there for future EOL exclusives.
    Heck HH never really went on sale much and even when it did there were limits imposed, same with Arkham Asylum. People complaining that EOL batman sets go for too much.. wait to you see AA or HH once it is gone EOL what that will run you.
    Dougout
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,690
    edited October 2013
    And the other part of that is when will they go and what will replace it? AA to be sold through [email protected] until Batman II retires as a series? If it doesn't retire for another three years or whatever, then resellers are not needed. If it is replaced by BatmanIII it will probably be redone and casual buyers will be after the new one. If they repeat scarecrow in another set like they are penguin, again the price gets chipped a little more.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,707
    edited October 2013
    Joker in a jumpsuit will unlikely be made for another set.
    People are silly sometimes but still will pay dear for a set.
    in any case, I will always defer to laws of supply and demand.
    Less discounts means less hording and therefore less supply likely at EOL which means there will still be plenty of those that 'miss the boat' when something goes discontinued and will want to buy regardless if it is 5 months or 5 years.
    Assumptions are being made sets will be in production 5 years or forever and while that is nice to think, I would say it is unlikely based on previous licensed line history.
    LEGO has also shown that- if DC and Marvel persist as a line like SW- while sets could be redone there will likely see gaps like with AT-TE, Republic gunship and Millennium Falcon.
    And that is just for DC, sets like mods or HH is likely never going to be redone once it goes.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited October 2013
    They rereleased pirate ships with the exact same model. Anything is possible.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379

    I think the key is price you start with. 2x or 3x MSRP are often quoted as goals which is fine, but if you buy in at 50% with a good clearance deal it changes the whole picture for what you need to reach to make a decent return.

    While that is often true, I can point to many examples where sets at RRP are better deals than sets at 50% off.

    And not old examples either, from last Christmas even. :)
    That's why I think that it's always best to buy a mix of both. Besides, the availability of sets on 50% clearance is hit or miss and it can be difficult to amass a good quantity of any one set at clearance prices. Anyone who was waiting to buy all of the Harry Potter sets that were out last year during the x-mas clearance were basically screwed.

  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    ^^The supply will also be smaller as more resellers wait to stock up on the good sets and thus end up competing with each other when the sets go EOL and they all need to load up.
  • legodudelegodude Member Posts: 137
    edited October 2013
    Opinions on Bag End? I can get one for $50 on clearance at Wal-mart.

    Will LOTR be the next Batman I? Once you realize how good it was, they are gone?
    FollowsClosely
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,707
    Nothing will be like Batman I IMO.
    Gone are those days, especially since most of the sets were on some sort of discount at one time or another via Amazon.
    Will they rise? Sure but I think people were fooled once, but not again.
    I think the only set that will be worth it is AA only because they have not been discounted much and they are expensive.
  • CircleKCircleK U.S. - Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 1,055
    ^ It can also be argued that AA is one of the few sets that is better than it's Batman 1 counterpart.

    The minifig updates in the Batman 2 line are great, but the sets aren't nearly as good as the originals imo - AA being the exception. Whenever I see pics of the Batman 1 stuff it really bums me out that I was asleep back then.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,360
    ^interesting, I think the build and design of the current two-face chase Batmobile and Batwing are much better than the original and I have both. But I agree these will never see the meteoric rise Batman 1 did.

    LotR/Hobbit on the other hand seemingly has no chance to ever be done again as there is nothing left to make films for. There will be plenty of Tolkien fans down the road who rediscover Lego, find out their favorite books/movies were done in Lego and be willing to pay a premium for it.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,690

    Joker in a jumpsuit will unlikely be made for another set.

    Yeah, I agree. I doubt Dr. Harleen Quinzel will be redone either. But Penguin is and Scarecrow could be. This slowly chips away at the set price.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,690
    edited October 2013
    roxio said:

    Boots in the UK sold the Lighthouses off last year at £20. No-brainer at the time for such a unique set. Been selling mine for £70.

    It's one of those funny sets. If you want the parts, the six month average on BL is only about £40, which often means you can pick the lot up for less than that.

    I bought one and built it. And I'm pleased I did. I picked up extra bricks for the lighthouse tower too, so it is a bit taller.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 457
    legodude said:

    Opinions on Bag End? I can get one for $50 on clearance at Wal-mart.

    Will LOTR be the next Batman I? Once you realize how good it was, they are gone?

    As @madforLEGO said nothing will be as good as batman. I can see Bag End going up in value but not anything near Batman. Right now Lego is (probably) more popular than ever between K-T-A FOL, where as in 2006 it was still relatively low making a comeback from the early 2000's. I'm sure a lot more people own Bag End than they did Arkham.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited October 2013
    If Batman ends (i.e., the DC license expires), then I can see all the Batman sets going up. The question is whether or not TLG will let Batman expire. Keep in mind that the Batman vs. Superman movie is coming out in a couple years...

    I think Marvel is now going to be safely produced ad infinitum because Disney purchased Marvel...and Disney and TLG need each other...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,707
    edited October 2013
    I do not see the Batman DC and Marvel Licenses causing LEGO to churn out set after set and line after line.
    If they keep making games? Sure but if a JL movie comes out do you think they will keep putting out Batman only sets? I would be surprised if they did, same with Marvel. Unless Avengers is having another movie soon (which I do not think is happening anytime soon) then I'm guessing you are not seeing another Hulk fig for a while, same with Iron man once that line fades away.
    If movies are made then the LEGO lines will reflect those movies.
    So I see more Thor related sets, and probably X-Men: Days of Future past, which will be interesting (then again they did not do an X-Men First Class line)
    So it will be interesting to see what comes out, but judging from the other license lines (Including Harry Potter line) I do not see LEGO bucking from that tradition of 2 lines then it goes away. It does not mean they have lost the license, it just means they may stop lines at times, or shift to another feature of the DC and Marvel universes, and Marvel is just insane they can go in all sorts of directions with Marvel. As for DC? The real bread and butter is really Batman Superman and JL.
    I just do ont see LEGO making line after line of these two lines unless something is in the limelight and even so then the sets will be based on that movie or game.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,113
    Eventually I see two worlds being created here. One with exclusives and hard to find sets that are rare and expensive. The other, the more marketed largely focusing on youth themes. We could see price differential that is significant enough between the two to really make a difference. Call it the upper and lower class.
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