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How much have you spent?

LambringoLambringo Member Posts: 104
edited November 2011 in Collecting
I noticed today that it is exactly one year since I purchased the first set which dragged me back into LEGO. Being the accountant I am, I keep a spreadsheet of all sets I purchase including the price I paid, retail price, and approximate market value.

It was quite the shock when I saw that I had spent AUD$8,305 in 12 months. I feel better once I examine the detail, and overall I have saved AUD$4135 off RRP (33.2%). I know it is a lot of money, but I have a decent job, do not really have many other cash hungry hobbies, only spend what I can afford while trying to restrict impulse purchases and obviously I justify to my partner that it will only be worth more in the future. She doesn't seem to understand this each time I perform a show and tell when I get a new set.

I have quite a decent collection now and it has slowed down of late, but when I read about other members collections, how long they have been collecting, and the items/condition that they prefer I wonder how much they have spent over time.

So my questions are, what type of collection do you have, how much have you spent, over what period of time, and what how do you justify your spending?

Finally, I am only asking for people to respond who are comfortable to put this out there. If you do not want to disclose the info, please don't.

Comments

  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    guessing you dont have a w.i.f.e. who also reads this site ;-)

  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited November 2011
    LEGO is my only hobby. I have spent about $4500 in the past 2 years. I only collect LEGO City and some Star Wars sets (10188, 10198, 6211, 7965, 8092, and a 120- minifig army). Starting from about September, 2011, I spend $400 a month. I also have too renovate my basement and purchase more tables for my LEGO City! :(
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    There are probably several people here who have over $100K invested in their collections...

    I know that mine is well north of $10K at this point, probably getting close to $20K.

    How do I justify it? Partly because some of it will go up in value, partly because I sell some duplicate sets and make money to help pay for this hobby (addiction).

    Partly because it is cheaper than drinking or drugs. ;)

    Partly because I have 3 young kids and this keeps them off TV and video games.
  • pendy1pendy1 Member Posts: 5
    I'm coming up to a year now since i started collecting as well and have been wondering the same thing. I haven't kept a list of purchase prices, but I never pay retail on big sets and would guess my average saving is about 20-25%. I would speculate that in the last year I've spent almost $3000AUD on sets, which is a lot considering i only work part time due to university.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this figure is more like $4000AUD by the end of the year after christmas sales begin. In the last 3 weeks I've already bought the millennium falcon, grand emporium, pet store and earth defense hq. I also have my eye on the ucs imperial shuttle.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    The UCS Shuttle is impressive, but it will be out for awhile longer...

    Make sure you get the Death Star, it will be going away and it is perhaps one of the best sets Lego has EVER made...

    (in my opinion of course)
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    Its been about 1 year since I got back into buying more than just the occasional set. In the past year we've probably spent 8-10,000 just with TRU and the LEGO store. I would say about 50-60% of that has been for the Bricklink store my wife runs. I've probably also spent several thousand on Bricklink buying bulk. I guess I would say I've got around 4-6,000 invested in my own collection right now. Next year is going to get VERY expensive with the Marvel and DC lines coming out!
  • pendy1pendy1 Member Posts: 5
    edited November 2011
    The UCS Shuttle is impressive, but it will be out for awhile longer...

    Make sure you get the Death Star, it will be going away and it is perhaps one of the best sets Lego has EVER made...

    (in my opinion of course)
    I know, all I've heard is praise for the set, but unfortunately in australia the only place to find the death star is [email protected] where the retail price is $700+about $100 for shipping. Even if I had the money, it would be hard to justify spending $800 on a single set, even if it is something as impressive as the death star.
  • andystarandystar Member Posts: 275
    Two words: Too much!!

    I would estimate I've spend around around $1500-$2000 since Sept 1st, but I've picked up a lot of large sets (Death Star, 2 Fire Brigades, Shuttle Expedition, 2 Pet Shops, Medieval Market Village, etc) for future builds once my kids get older plus a lot of smaller sets (like Ninjago and Alien Conquest) they can build now.

    I just started getting back into Lego this fall, my oldest is 5 years old now and I find Legos are one of the best toys my kids can play with, not to mention I love building them also. I'm realizing my Lego habit is more like an addiction now, I just can't resist buying larger sets when I can get them for more then %30 off retail.
  • mnbvcmnbvc Member Posts: 136
    I didn't think I'd spent that much, but when I've just done a quick tally up of the obvious purchases, I've spent in the £800 - £1k region. Which is slightly terrifying; I thought it was nowhere near that amount!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    edited November 2011
    I know, all I've heard is praise for the set, but unfortunately in australia the only place to find the death star is [email protected] where the retail price is $700+about $100 for shipping. Even if I had the money, it would be hard to justify spending $800 on a single set, even if it is something as impressive as the death star.
    It costs me $433 including sales tax to buy one here... I'd be happy to buy one and ship it to you if you want, I'd earn the Lego VIP points, that would make me happy. :)

    The AUS$ is pretty close to the US$ these days.
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    Yes pendy1, getting stuff shipped from the US does save yourself a considerable amount. The trouble is, when you start buying this way, you never want to buy anything from stores ever again... :/
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 532
    Shoot, after reading some of these responses, I feel like I'm not spending enough! Especially considering I have a full-time job now, I should've AT LEAST ordered something from [email protected] I haven't. I don't have the time to build or enjoy the sets since I'm away from home all the time. However, I think that I will order a couple of Super Star Destroyers for Christmas: one for me and one for my best friend. I told him about it and now he's obsessing over getting one. His wife sort of objects, but only on the basis of cost (she'll gladly get him a X-wing).
  • jlbbluejlbblue Member Posts: 54
    My wife looked at the amount I have spent just the other day. According to her I have spent approximately $16,000 in the last 16 months. It is an addiction that I cannot quit. Find items for about 30% off and I have to buy them. It has taken over my house. The basement, my kids' toy room, a spare bedroom, dining room and several closets are occupied.

    I love it though and wish I had more time to get the older sets.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ You need to open more boxes then :)
    I reckon that a box opened and stored as parts takes up a third of the space, and a box opened and stored assembled takes up half the space (unless its a really huge set like the death star). E.g. I can fit about 4x built modulars into a 64L box, but can only fit 3x MSIB modulars into a 148L box.

    In the last year I've spent £12.5k / $20k, because I've been playing catchup and clearing the 'backlog' of things I want. I think a lot of AFOLs go through this at the point where they step up a gear, and want to 'get up to speed', and from this point it's then about looking at what comes out that year, so the spending goes down to about $2-3k a year just to keep up with each year's sets.
  • pendy1pendy1 Member Posts: 5
    It costs me $433 including sales tax to buy one here... I'd be happy to buy one and ship it to you if you want, I'd earn the Lego VIP points, that would make me happy. :)

    The AUS$ is pretty close to the US$ these days.
    Thats a very generous offer LegoFanTexas, but as impressive as the death star is, that money could go towards my dream star wars set, the ucs falcon. If a death star comes up locally for a decent price, and one did a few weeks ago, I'll make sure to snap it up.

    I also added up roughly how much I've spent over the last year, and its about $2650AUD. I estimated the retail price of everything is about $3500AUD, so im quite happy with my savings.
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    edited November 2011
    LEGO is the only hobby I have, excluding travelling, so I do spend a lot. Upwards of $5,000 a year. My collection is mostly Town sets dating back over thirty years and approaching 900 sets. I don't want to know how much I've spent in total, although I never went through a "dark ages," so it's going back continuously to the early 1990s, and, of course, my parents and grandparents were the ones doing the spending back then.
  • Silber334Silber334 Member Posts: 147
    Gee, after reading this thread, I feel more tempted to buy more Lego items! I purchase about 110,000 yen, or US$1400 worth of Lego sets within an 6 month period.
    I have no partner or wife, meaning I can spend my money relatively freely, although I should be saving up for my pension :P

    Most of my collections are the Lego City sets, like many people here. There's one Pharaoh's Quest and a couple of Creator sets to add to the jumble.
  • MrBerreMrBerre Member Posts: 246
    I wish I could justify spending €400+ on http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=10188-1 (10188: Death Star). But I am very, very tempted. I do think I'd keep it MISB with the intent on either selling it for a sizable profit later, or to give to my godchild a crazy ass present in a dozen years or so.
  • DuchessaDuchessa Member Posts: 287
    edited November 2011
    .....although I should be saving up for my pension :P
    Well, I can honestly say that my Lego collection is the best investment I've ever made, besides buying a house a couple of years ago.

    Money saved for retirement/the stockmarket are down the drain right now. And if you save money on a regular bank account, the interest you get barely makes up for the inflation.

    The core of my collection is SW-Lego. I also have all/most of the Wild West, Ninja, Paradisa, Adventure Egypt, old Pirates and old castle stuff, new castle, PotC and lots of other odds and bits. If I should sell them in 30 years, I think that I will get quite a lot of money for them. You might even say that they are my extra pension fund :)

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Thats a very generous offer LegoFanTexas, but as impressive as the death star is, that money could go towards my dream star wars set, the ucs falcon. If a death star comes up locally for a decent price, and one did a few weeks ago, I'll make sure to snap it up.

    I also added up roughly how much I've spent over the last year, and its about $2650AUD. I estimated the retail price of everything is about $3500AUD, so im quite happy with my savings.
    I have one UCS Falcon left to sell if you want one of those... Just a tad more expensive than the Death Star however. You can have a 10/10 mint perfect box for a premium price, or a 8/10 really good box for a medium price. :). (I have two sitting here, I'll sell either one, the last one is for me to keep long term)

    If you are interested, make me an offer. If not, no worries...
  • dimefielddimefield Edmonton Alberta CanadaMember Posts: 314
    I figured ive spent about $4000 cdn in the last year playing catch up and I am finding now that the sets i really want are getting further and farther between. I could have bought another really nice guitar with that money but both Lego and guitars seem to generally hold thier worth. Guitars are the same as lego tho..they get taken out and played with!
  • bellybutton290bellybutton290 Member Posts: 453
    According to brickset I am upto £1200, which with a wife, young son, no payrise for 4yrs and a bad economy out there, is not half bad (though scary) luckily wife has no clue what the real cost is of this wonderful hobby. Been collecting a year and now at the stage where I am just focusing on city and SW and only then on new releases, which is a relief!
  • DuchessaDuchessa Member Posts: 287
    edited November 2011

    In the last year I've spent £12.5k / $20k, because I've been playing catchup and clearing the 'backlog' of things I want. I think a lot of AFOLs go through this at the point where they step up a gear, and want to 'get up to speed', and from this point it's then about looking at what comes out that year, so the spending goes down to about $2-3k a year just to keep up with each year's sets.
    I think you're on to something here, with the backlog. I've been into Lego for 10 years now. The last 18 months I've spent lots of money trying to catch up on older sets. That of course means that I can't afford to buy all the new sets that I want. But still, my wanted list is down from roughly 100 sets to 61 (including 12 sets from this year).

    I've also tried to focus my collection, so I've sold off some items that I could live without, and used that money to catch up. As an example, I sold two MISBcopies of 4032 and a 1100 to bluemoose, and bought 6085 for the money. A good deal :-)

  • Silber334Silber334 Member Posts: 147
    Money saved for retirement/the stockmarket are down the drain right now. And if you save money on a regular bank account, the interest you get barely makes up for the inflation.

    The core of my collection is SW-Lego. I also have all/most of the Wild West, Ninja, Paradisa, Adventure Egypt, old Pirates and old castle stuff, new castle, PotC and lots of other odds and bits. If I should sell them in 30 years, I think that I will get quite a lot of money for them. You might even say that they are my extra pension fund :)

    Well, you sure have a point there with inflation and such. But with a lack of inflation here, it'll take time for the yen's domestic value to drop. Sometimes I wish we can invest in Legos just as we can with stocks and gold, that is as a more popularly traded commodity. Get your hands on a well sought after classic Lego set and see how much it'll fetch in the future.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,384
    The core of my collection is SW-Lego. I also have all/most of the Wild West, Ninja, Paradisa, Adventure Egypt, old Pirates and old castle stuff, new castle, PotC and lots of other odds and bits. If I should sell them in 30 years, I think that I will get quite a lot of money for them. You might even say that they are my extra pension fund :)
    The LEGO 'market' is clearly buoyant right now, with huge profits to be made by anyone with the foresight/luck to have stockpiled certain sets over the past decade or longer.

    I do however wonder whether the current bubble will burst; even a few years ago used LEGO was worth so little that some (who will remain nameless - you know who you are !) poured loose bricks under their floorboards to help insulate their houses.... There's no guarantee that the current explosion in popularity will continue, and the fact that thousands upon thousands of people are as we speak stockpiling large numbers of sets in order to make a future profit will also drive prices down IMHO.

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    even a few years ago used LEGO was worth so little that some (who will remain nameless - you know who you are !) poured loose bricks under their floorboards to help insulate their houses....
    ^ they most certainly will not remain nameless, pm me now!

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,384
    ^ You'll meet him in a couple of weeks !
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,727
    ^ That doesn't really narrow it down.
  • CountryboyCountryboy Member Posts: 36
    edited November 2011
    Very interesting.... I now no longer feel bad about my spending erummmm indescretions :)

    Based on brickset, i've got around $3700Cdn so far into sets that i have bought, starting in around the December2010 timeframe. I have also got around $400 or so in bulk buys... Like others have echoed, it's those darn sales that get me :) I am somewhat concerned about the impending Black Friday and Xmas sales coming up!!!!
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 282
    I haven't kept track, but I know I have spent enough of Lego in one month to get 30 dollars in VIP Credit. November will probably be worse.

    The cool part is some of what I purchase is tax deductible because I use it in my classroom!!
  • DuchessaDuchessa Member Posts: 287
    edited November 2011
    Well, you sure have a point there with inflation and such. But with a lack of inflation here, it'll take time for the yen's domestic value to drop. Sometimes I wish we can invest in Legos just as we can with stocks and gold, that is as a more popularly traded commodity. Get your hands on a well sought after classic Lego set and see how much it'll fetch in the future.
    The LEGO 'market' is clearly buoyant right now, with huge profits to be made by anyone with the foresight/luck to have stockpiled certain sets over the past decade or longer.

    I do however wonder whether the current bubble will burst; even a few years ago used LEGO was worth so little that some (who will remain nameless - you know who you are !) poured loose bricks under their floorboards to help insulate their houses.... There's no guarantee that the current explosion in popularity will continue, and the fact that thousands upon thousands of people are as we speak stockpiling large numbers of sets in order to make a future profit will also drive prices down IMHO.
    I have to admit that I have a pension fund (along with the healthy general pension you get here in Sweden) as well as other savings. But it's still true that my Lego collection is a great investment. At least so far. And since the core of my collection is Star Wars, I think it will be worth a lot of money later on as well. But I really hate the thought of selling it....
  • Rollo_TomassiRollo_Tomassi Member Posts: 113
    I started keeping track when I got back into collecting back in the fall of 2009 and I was buying all the vintage Space sets I never had as a kid. But I stopped after about two months. The short answer is a lot. And I seem to be spending more as time goes by. I was starting small, and now I'm routinely buying $100+ sets.
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    VIP Points 21645
    Reward $1080.00
  • streekerstreeker FranceMember Posts: 299
    VIP points 67
    Reward $0

    Despite that pithy figure, I still overspent my budget of €100 a month since September by about double. I miss buying 75% off at Target. It's near impossible to get even 50% off here in France. Plus TRU is having a super rare 3 for 2 offer through Saturday, but the thing I really need is diapers.

    I'm going with the good drdavewatford; there is a definite bubble. Just look at the forum here. We're each others' target customer, but if so many people are stockpiling sets, I wonder how strong demand will be, especially coupled with the stark economic reality.

  • Rollo_TomassiRollo_Tomassi Member Posts: 113
    I'm not stockpiling, but I'd be happy with the bubble bursting. Sorry, but I don't feel like paying $800 for a Green Grocer or Town Plan. ;-)
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