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The Dark Side of Collecting... Reselling?
It happened to me back when Series 1 Minifigures came out in 2010. All the hype of getting these cheap $2 packets and no one sold them. I found a box at my local TRU finally and grabbed a bought about 8 and got a bunch of duplicates. The hunt was on...
Like any diligent shopper I went online to find sources for buying and that was when I found Bricklink. I had been collecting for about 1-2 years so I only new of EBay as an after market. On Bricklink I was able to complete my Series 1 collection from what appeared like a safe buying environment. Unfortunately I still had a bunch of duplicates from my previous hunt. I wasn't into eBay so I decided for the first time in my life to try unloading my extras on Bricklink. To my surprise I was able to sell them at low market at the time fairly quickly.
I suppose that is when I joined the Dark Side... Selling my collection to others. I have since used selling to manage my unwanted and tired old sets, plus a few speculation sets.
Would anyone like to add how and when they became a reseller?
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I'm a reseller myself on occasion. As I mostly build MOCs, I will buy sets then resell the minifigs and part I don't need. I never felt guilty about this or that I somehow joined dark side. I know how happy I am when I shop on BrickLink or eBay, and find something I want, and as a seller I'm happy to make other people happy like that too. So don't feel guilty - you are not on the dark side, you are spreading light, happiness, rainbows and unicorns! ;)
I'm the same as you guys, I sell off parts or vehicles of sets I don't want, but only want the figures. Sometimes buy things on sale like BOGO and sell the other, or sell the figures. The first time I really started to resell complete sets was one Christmas when I realized I was rapidly running out of space, so I prioritized and sold off some Christmas seasonal sets and other small things. Since then I sometimes buy sets that are going to be discontinued and sell them later, but sometimes I hold onto them indefinitely because I like seeing a pile of unbuilt LEGO boxes in my room lol.
im not sure where the light, happiness, rainbows and unicorns were with those flipping minecraft sets to parents at christmas. ;)
^ You are not taking advantage of someone that has no obligation whatsoever to purchase whatever it is you're selling. Sorry, but you aren't. The people that paid $1500 for a Nintendo Wii on the secondary market because they NEEDED their kids to have it under the tree on Xmas morning made that decision completely on their own. That was their choice. They also had the choice to wait for a few weeks to get it at retail price. You can't take advantage of someone that has a choice in the matter.
That may just be my opinion, but it bugs me when people who sell something are blamed, but those that chose to purchase it are deemed acceptable. And I'm not even a reseller...of anything, ever. The secondary market isn't how much someone prices something for, it's how much someone is willing to pay for it. That's why for years sports card price guides were just that...A GUIDE. Unless you actually get someone to pay $50 for your card, it isn't actually worth $50. The buyer that chose to pay $50 made that choice.
We are talking about a toy and/or a collectible. Not the ability to buy food for our families.
the buyers create the existence of the market to begin with. If idiots stopped paying above retail and just waited, quick flippers would cease to exist
And yes you need an idiot who's willing to pay 3xRRP and you also need an arsehole wanting to take advantage of them. Well done, you used all your wit and cunning to take advantage of an idiot. Give yourself a cookie.
And that's all related to exploitative reselling along the lines of minecraft sets rather than the others pitfall mentioned.
Every time I see this type of thread and read the hateful comments some people have for those reselling a high demand toy, my blood boils a bit. In a very personal way it's as if those bashing on people who resell would have me feel guilty or ashamed of using the means which were accessible to me to lift my family up in a very real way which will last for generations to come. Well, I wont.
And you know, the funny thing is- those who complain the loudest often feed into inflating the secondary market more than anyone else. Which is why they complain in the first place as its directly impacting their liquid assets. But nobody is "making" you pay more for something. You can always choose to wait for a cheaper price or, and I know this is going to sound absurd, pass on it all together because it doesn't fit within your fiscal budget.
$6,000 a piece?!?!?!
I sold two for 300 each and thought I was a rockstar. Dammit.
also, I don't think you could describe the action as in any way "taking advantage of". The idiot walked into the deal eyes wide open. They aren't such an idiot as to not know the RRP
$6000 is ridiculous!
I think another point often lost in the quick flip debate is inventory reallocation. Often times certain areas or stores or regions they have enough supply and others have a large demand with no supply available Flippers are able to acquire product in one market and move it individually to buyers in other markets
so in a sense they are fulfilling a market need that the retail supply chain isn't really set up to handle. I'm not saying this outweighs or even lessens the downsides to the practice but it is another angle that isn't often discussed
I still have one stored in my basement that I bought after Christmas the following year. (Along with Tickle Me Cookie Monster.)
They make that joke in Toy Story 2 about the supply deficiencies of Buzz Lightyear toys in 1995.
I think I have a Tamagouchi still floating aroundy house.
But some resellers or "investors" aren't exactly immune to this concept either.....
I think that sooner or later there WILL be a LEGO bubble bursting.... especially when CMFs are being cranked out by the millions in 3 shifts in factories in China. But a lot of LEGO "builders" won't care....
I'm definitely not a chinese jet pilot.
lol. they had way too much money to spend anyway.
and wait, 100,000$ wasn't enough for their kids to attend college?
Let's take your Ghostbusters example. If you buy one at full price with 5% tax, that's $52.49. Assuming a few things: you hold it for a year, shipping is a wash, your time, storage and shipping materials are negligible and 30% overall income tax. If it sells for $70, with 15% fees, you net $59.50, minus $2.85 tax = $56.65. That equates to a 19% annual pre-tax return, and 13% after tax, which is...good, to say the least.
Yes, there are MANY sliders there. I really think I set the sell price too low (it likely will be higher). The taxes might be too high. The hold time might be more than a year. Play with it all you want. For my personal situation, after EVERYTHING (including all the negligible things I mentioned earlier) in real-life, accounting for all the sets that are diamonds and all the ones that are dogs, I have seen an after-tax revenue of about 40% APR for the past 4 years. I put in $1 into the machine and I get $1.40 out that goes right into my pocket.
At the end of the day, you need to be intelligent, choosy and able to know how much is too much. This Game of Lego does not suffer fools. If your wife would choke on hypothetical Ghostbusters sets in your basement, you're not doing a very good job of showing her the numbers.