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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    I recently sold a MISB 7255 for $170, for a whopping 750% profit over retail. This got me to thinking, what are the current highest % profit over retail price sets out there right now? The MF may sell for $2000, but that's only a measly 300% profit over retail. And I'm just talking retail price here, not what you might have actually paid for it on sale or whatnot.

    I know Cloud City must be a contender, although it fluctuates a lot, anywhere between 700%-900%. Cafe Corner is up there. Set 4767 may very well be #1?

    So, what are the others? I'd rather not count smaller sets, say under $10, as they're likely to skew the results, but we can keep track of those if there are any extraordinary examples. Maybe even group the contenders in retail price ranges. < $15, $15 - $49, $50 - $99, $100 - $149, etc..., and maybe pre 1995 and post 1995.

    I'm actually most interested in knowing the sets in the $20-$70 price range, as we all already know the biggies.

    Dating back how far? Retired less than 5 years ago? 7255 fits that having retired in what, maybe 2007.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    I sold a Toa Mata Nui 8998 for $175 that I got for $35 in a TRU BOGO. And, I only held it for 18 months, so the ROI was very nice. That was one of my home runs.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited June 2012
    It's not LEGO, but my grand slam was when I was selling MechWarrior figures years ago. I got my hands on 7 limited edition MW figures before they were released for $5 each and had all of them sold in 2 days for $65 each. And, I sold all of them privately. No eBay fees, no PayPal fees.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890

    Dating back how far? Retired less than 5 years ago? 7255 fits that having retired in what, maybe 2007.
    Doesn't matter, I'm just interested in knowing what the sets with the current greatest % appreciation are. We can group them later. I'll make it easy -- given my example, what sets from the last 15 years are you guys selling for over 750% retail price right now?
  • JBricks27JBricks27 Member Posts: 678
    I'm debating whether or not to hold out on the 10188 death star until a possible holiday sale. I spoke with Lego [email protected] over the phone and was given a tip by the representative that production of the set has most likely ended. Can anyone else confirm this? If so, should I not take any chances and buy a death star now, before they disappear?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I doubt the reps on the phone have any more idea than you or I do... why would they? It isn't required to do their job...
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    Sounds to me like someone trying to convince you to part with $400 :).
  • granthgranth Member Posts: 11
    @jvdrummer182 - I was in a UK store last night to buy Monster Fighters sets. Got chatting with one of the staff and he told me that Death Star would be going EOL. What annoys me is that I can't for the life of me remember when he told me that it would be.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited June 2012
    .
    I recently sold a MISB 7255 for $170, for a whopping 750% profit over retail... The MF may sell for $2000, but that's only a measly 300% profit over retail.
    I wanted to address this portion of your post. The 7255 set you sold is quite a good profit margin. However, as some before me have also pointed out, the amount of work put into selling something (your time and energy), and the total dollar amount you make from selling an item, are also obvious things to consider.

    If you can sell a $500 MF for $2000, you've made $1,500 with just one transaction. Very little of your time is wasted, and the profit (total dollar amount) is quite substantial (to the average working stiff like me anyway). You would have to sell many, many 7255's to achieve a $1500 profit, and you would need to spend almost exponentially more time selling them.

    The above rationale is the reason I now only buy the larger sets for resale purposes. To me, the percentage ROI is almost irrelevant; it's the total dollar amount that I'm interested in, with respect to selling Lego anyway. Since I work full time, my spare time is extremely valuable to me.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ This is very worth considering...
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    ^^ yup, the 'which is better to sell, several small sets or one big one?' was discussed in depth earlier. There are so many factors involved. A minifig just has to be put in a padded envelope and put in the mailbox, and you can turn a high profit on some of them. Some medium sets can easily be put in a USPS priority box (which are free) and again have your mail courier take it. You have to list several auctions, but after listing one it is nothing to re-list. You take a big set and you only have one transaction, but for me it requires more time to box and includes a trip to FedEx. I'm not even sure which takes the most time over all, so many factors. Then, there is the storage factor and which items can you get the best deal on. Some smaller sets can be found for 60% off, more difficult on larger sets. Personally, I just sell all sets from minifigs to Death Stars. I put my eggs in lots of baskets, some big, some small.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    ^^ That's great and all, and of course common sense, but I'm not here to have any kind of debate on all that. I'm just trying to figure out what the current top % appreciation sets are. I just thought it would be interesting to figure out. :)
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    There was another thread on resale of small vs. large sets. FYI.

    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/3452/best-for-reselling-large-sets-vs-small-sets#latest
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    Regarding 10188, hasn't everyone been saying this for the last 1 or 2 years ? :p

    Currently in the middle of building mine, i must say that even though this thing has been out for sooo long i can still see this doing very well in the aftermarket no matter how many MISB's there are out there, its such an amazing set in person and im not even half way through building it :), OK so it never will be 10179 but nothing ever will be, past, present or future.
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    This got me to thinking, what are the current highest % profit over retail price sets out there right now?
    I think Market Street takes the cake.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    The UCS Naboo Starfighter would be up there as well I would think % wise.
  • crnkcrnk Member Posts: 6
    If you can sell a $500 MF for $2000, you've made $1,500 with just one transaction. Very little of your time is wasted, and the profit (total dollar amount) is quite substantial (to the average working stiff like me anyway). You would have to sell many, many 7255's to achieve a $1500 profit, and you would need to spend almost exponentially more time selling them.
    You'd have to sell 10. Your initial capital outlay (I'd argue it as a huge consideration) is less than half and if you sell it somewhere like Bricklink, it is a single listing correct? As noted by others and in the other thread mentioned, shipping can be easier in some ways.
    You could have bought 50 for $500 and sold them for earned $3500 profit. Is $2k worth the extra 49 listings and mailings required....does it take $40 of your time to list and package each set?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ What is the total market for that (7255) set? Is there a market for 50 of them at the OP's price point?

    How long will it take to move 50 units at that price?

    How long will it take to move 1 unit of 10179 at $2K?

    All things to consider, no "right" or "wrong" answers, just various options on the table...
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    This got me to thinking, what are the current highest % profit over retail price sets out there right now?
    I think Market Street takes the cake.
    Hmm definitely could be. Only one has sold on eBay recently, for $1400, making it 1455%...
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    $1,400 seems to be at the high end of the spectrum. Somebody must have really wanted it bad. I sold mine for $998 a few months ago on Brickink. I know the fees on Ebay are more.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    Are those prices MISB or open? I got an email from EBay a few weeks ago offering the opportunity to list one item for free -- no listing or sales fee. Wish I had pulled it together enough to sell Market Street.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    How much is your time worth? I don't have time to make alot of runs to the post office or list alot of sets. You have to pay for some packing materials too. I find it easier to just list one large item, sell it, pack it and mail it.
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    ^ Currently the cheapest new/sealed copy on BrickLink is $1450, and there are no sealed sets available in the US.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Crazy. One person sells a set for $1,400 and now everyone thinks that they can get the same or more. Yes, I could have waited to see if I could get more for it, but remember, the longer you "sit" on the item it loses money, unless it keeps up with inflation or better.

  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    CRNK and LFT, both very good points to consider. I actually didn't initially realize the MSRP for 7255 was only $20, so $170 is a pretty good ROI. In my experience recently, packaging things takes a bit of time. Plus, it costs extra for the packaging materials, etc, so packaging costs increase with the more units you sell.

    Like LFT said, there really are no right or wrong answers. There are so many variables, this could be almost be debated forever! I was pretty much just stating my preference for selling in the previous post. With hoarding prevalent now among sellers, including myself to an extent, Lego selling might soon begin to be of questionable benefit...
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    CRNK and LFT, both very good points to consider. I actually didn't initially realize the MSRP for 7255 was only $20, so $170 is a pretty good ROI. In my experience recently, packaging things takes a bit of time. Plus, it costs extra for the packaging materials, etc, so packaging costs increase with the more units you sell.

    Like LFT said, there really are no right or wrong answers. There are so many variables, this could be almost be debated forever! I was pretty much just stating my preference for selling in the previous post. With hoarding prevalent now among sellers, including myself to an extent, Lego selling might soon begin to be of questionable benefit...
    There will always be people that didn't "pull the trigger" on certain sets or haven't come out of their "dark ages" Those people might eventually buy that set they missed out on.

  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    ^Totally agree. The big question is how many people are selling that wanted set? That (supply) will determine how much it can be sold for. Right now, there appear to be an awful lot of sellers.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,759
    Crazy. One person sells a set for $1,400 and now everyone thinks that they can get the same or more.

    It would be great if bricklink had a section for sets where buyers could enter "I'm willing to pay $X for this set" and sellers could chose whether or not to sell at that price. It wouldn't work so well for parts but for sets it would allow buyers to have some say in the what is it worth debate, rather than just either buying or not buying at the price the seller sets.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    On eBay, as with any auction, it only takes 2 potential buyers that really want an item to drive up the selling price. List an item one day and 2 people really want it. It goes to $1400. Sell another one the next day and only 1 of those buyers is left so the price goes for $1000. You see examples like that quite often. And, the day of the week, time of day, and several other factors affect how much an item sells for.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Does anyone have any news on MMV 10193. It is only available online now from Lego and it is backordered in the USA until August.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    ^
    http://www.target.com/p/lego-castle-medieval-market-village-1601/-/A-11186817

    @cloaked7 I've been on the wrong side of a bidding war too often, so somehow luck and timing certainly play an inestimable role in getting the best price. Though best price for buyer and seller are two different animals.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    10193 is the other set that just doesn't want to die... go figure...

    I'm not buying any more of it until it really goes, or it is on sale...
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    Crazy. One person sells a set for $1,400 and now everyone thinks that they can get the same or more.

    It would be great if bricklink had a section for sets where buyers could enter "I'm willing to pay $X for this set" and sellers could chose whether or not to sell at that price. It wouldn't work so well for parts but for sets it would allow buyers to have some say in the what is it worth debate, rather than just either buying or not buying at the price the seller sets.
    You can always email BL sellers and submit an offer. I have some luck in that. More U.S. sellers it seems are willing to deal. The EU ones are less likely I've found.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    Commenting on the Market Street posts, it is interesting to see the ceiling continue to rise for that set.

    I've noticed for other "high end" sets, grand carousel, statue of liberty, eiffel tower, taj and a few others - that their sold prices are increasing at about 10-12% a year on average. I'm talking used without instructions/unverified all the way to new in box.

    This isn't any official metric I'm using (no brickpicker.com or anything like that), but just an observation.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Commenting on the Market Street posts, it is interesting to see the ceiling continue to rise for that set.

    I've noticed for other "high end" sets, grand carousel, statue of liberty, eiffel tower, taj and a few others - that their sold prices are increasing at about 10-12% a year on average. I'm talking used without instructions/unverified all the way to new in box.

    This isn't any official metric I'm using (no brickpicker.com or anything like that), but just an observation.
    It is not suprising. As retired sets get older their supply falls, and prices continue to rise to reflect this. Most folks who spend big $$$ on retired sets do not turn around and sell them, they hold on to them and keep them out of the marketplace.

  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    ^ Exactly. I think the used-but-complete price is a better indicator of "worth" to the builder (and who else buys retired sets?) than the MISB "value". If a set performs strongly in that respect it seems a good candidate to continue the upward creep, slightly outpacing inflation hopefully.
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    edited June 2012
    ^ Exactly. I think the used-but-complete price is a better indicator of "worth" to the builder (and who else buys retired sets?) than the MISB "value". If a set performs strongly in that respect it seems a good candidate to continue the upward creep, slightly outpacing inflation hopefully.
    And it really is amazing just how much collectors are willing to pay for a MISB when theyre probably just gunna open it anyways.

    I know there is nothing like opening a brand new lego set but is it honestly worth the huge price jump?

  • pvancil27pvancil27 Member Posts: 588
    ^ Exactly. I think the used-but-complete price is a better indicator of "worth" to the builder (and who else buys retired sets?) than the MISB "value". If a set performs strongly in that respect it seems a good candidate to continue the upward creep, slightly outpacing inflation hopefully.
    And it really is amazing just how much collectors are willing to pay for a MISB when theyre probably just gunna open it anyways.

    I know there is nothing like opening a brand new lego set but is it honestly worth the huge price jump?

    I think some of it is a willingness to pay a premium for the piece of mind that a new set is 100% complete and unused, where as most resellers dont build or inventory an entire 2000+ piece set.


  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I'll pay more for a new, unopened set that I know I'm going to build...

    Clean parts, that experience of cracking the bags open for the first time...

    That has value... but that value has limits... I recently purchased a used, complete set of Eiffel Tower, including instructions, for $550. I sold my MISB (and boy was it mint) copy for $1,500.

    That is a huge difference, one that I couldn't ignore.

    10179 - UCS Falcon... The used copies aren't much less than the new copies, I'll spend the extra to get a new copy... (and did)

    Anyone holding a MISB copy of 10018 - Darth Maul bust will be happy to know that soon I'll be cracking the seal on a new copy of that set, just got it last week, the price jump from used to new on that was worth paying for...
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    I just don't like buying used sets.. I like to open a new box and know that everything is there.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    So do I. There is nothing like it. Well...there are similar things. Opening up a pack of baseball cards or cracking open a star Wars or G.I. Joe action figure. Im talking about 25-30 years ago :)
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    See... I'd almost never buy a new set after it's retired. If I'm looking for a retired set, I'm going to build it, and the sealed bags are worth absolutely nothing to me so long as the pieces are all present and in good, non-smoked on shape. Granted, I do have to research my purchases, but a few minutes of my time seems a fair trade for the money saved.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Depends on the set...

    To me, a used copy of Green Grocer doesn't make sense, nor does a proper bricklinked copy, the new ones aren't that much more than a used one...

    CC on the other hand, makes no sense "new", when the price is double what a used set can be purchased for, and almost triple what a bricklinked copy goes for...
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^You're looking at at least a $100 difference between new and used on Green Grocer. $200+ if you watch eBay for auctions. Paying $100 or more for plastic bags (that you're going to open and pitch) makes zero sense to me, but to each their own.
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 417
    Yeah, but the sealed sets doesn't have soiled bricks...
  • ViereViere Member Posts: 12
    edited June 2012
    And in addition to soiled bricks I have bought a few sets which were listed as complete, but after building it halfway finding out there are bricks missing is very frustrating.
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    The problem with used sets is you do not know if the sellers are being honest when they say its only been used for display, and of course its 100 percent complete, but ebay is usually always in favour of the buyers so you can easily get your money back if it wasn't.

    I care as much about the boxes as the actual lego so I know that if I ever sold any of the sets I've got I'd be describing them as mint which they are so I'd be always wanting the highest of what an opened set goes for, but not everyone is like me
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    I sell a lot of hard to find vintage sets. These are each re-verified for completeness. And I offer a 100% complete guarantee and a promise to mail any missing parts for free (worldwide).

    I'm not mentioning this to garner sales, but just a note that some used set sellers are reputable and will replace missing parts for free.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    The "new vs. used" preference may deserve a thread in its own right; I definitely see them as separate but equal options. Of course everyone prefers a new set but sometimes--for some people--it's not an option, financially speaking. But when a retired set is selling used well above MSRP it's clearly a winner, for builders, collectors, resellers, anybody.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    I try to always buy new. If I am going to buy used it is only after seeing it in person. A few times in the past I purchased used online and the pieces were either badly worn or missing, or replaced with megablocks, and these were from sellers with high ratings. I'll take a sealed set from a seller with low ratings anyday. If a set is too expensive new I will bricklink it myself with new pieces from my trusted sellers or directly from Lego.
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