Parting Out BNIB Sets: Is it Worth It?

ChompersChompers Member Posts: 650
Hi all,

Just wondered if anybody does this for resell purposes? There are quite a few sellers on eBay that seem to do this and I am thinking of doing the same with a couple of sets I have. I have had a little success with SW sets but this has been done by separating out the vehicles from the individual Minifigures. I am more interested in what people do with City sets and such like.

Look forward to your thoughts.
«13

Comments

  • ThezoofoxThezoofox Member Posts: 185
    I've not done it with any town sets. Had varied success with SW sets, although with buyers on ebay at the moment i'm not sure if it's worth the hassle.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I buy sets at 50% or greater discount for part out purposes. Normally I'll run a part out on BrickLink, then remove from the upload any parts I'd like, and the rest get added to my store's inventory. I haven't tried the idea of selling a set as several components (ie: 8404, 2 bus stops, tram, shop and bus), and I doubt there would be many sales, although there is probably a bigger profit margin.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 650
    edited January 2012
    ^ & ^^ thanks to both of you @Matthew Have just done similar to what you describe above with 2506 on bricklink. The set I'm considering is 4645 to sell the boat separately to the harbour. For some reason this set seems to be struggling to sell at anywhere near its retail so little or no margin in it. Hence why I'm considering splitting it.
  • DavidRod8DavidRod8 Member Posts: 143
    I'm considering doing this with the advent calendar... shipping eats out all of the profit so if I sell them separate I can make more money, but it's a lot more hassle... if you have the time, it might be worth it to you...
    rocao
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    Yeah, but if you start up a Bricklink store, aren't you stuck after all the good/rare/unusual parts are gone?
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    Only in large volume does this make the time investment worth it

    Unless you don't value time ;)
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited January 2012
    splitting into seperate bags/ minifigs is a good idea, e.g. pulling the tram from 8404 or the minifigs from whitecap bay etc.
    Allows people to get just the bit they want at an affordable price.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 650
    Well after parting out a couple of sets at the weekend I have had a couple of BL orders today :) no greta sums but enough to get the ball rolling. I think I am going to have a go at seperating #4645 in to the harbour and boat and see what happens. If I have no luck selling my son can have it at some stage and at least I can enjoy the build :)

    Thanks again for all you replies.
  • StutterBrickStutterBrick Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2012
    I have always wondered how people manage to sell minifigs for new lines as soon as they're released. Do those people possibly buy brand new sets and just part out the pieces along with selling the figures? Is this method even profitable?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,789
    Yes. Yes.
  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142
    Sure it can be profitable, even more so if your getting the sets on clearance. Take MMV, go to bricklink and part out the whole set at the last 6 months average sale price, the set will bring you $190ish once everything is sold
  • kufkuf Member Posts: 66
    woah!
  • StutterBrickStutterBrick Member Posts: 8
    So it would be a long term investment profit instead of a quick turn around then. Makes sense.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,416
    ^^ How long before you can reasonably expect to sell every part and how much are the BL fees after you have sold all of it?
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Yes, you will not make any money off those new Marvel and LotR figs when they come out. Nobody is interested in paying crazy prices for them. You won't be able to get the remaining pieces for free. It won't happen. I've never been able to do this, so listen to me when I say don't bother listing them when they come out. ;)
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    Haven't done it myself, but I've heard AFOL brag it is a good way to subsidize their hobby. If you can buy a new set and part out the minifigs for close to the price of the set, you've bought yourself a bunch of bricks at a good discount.

    Supposedly there are two times that this works out well; immediately after release when the minifigs are hard to come by and in high demand, or when the line is being shutdown and the sets can be bought at deep discount.

    YMMV.
  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142
    edited March 2012
    BL fee's are only like 2 or 3%
    Yea it probably will be hard to sell the minifigs for the full price of the set you bought. One set that comes to mind that you can recoup most or all of your money on the minifigs is 9446 Ninjago Destiny's Bounty. Heck I sold 2 loose common Ninjago figures from the poly bags for $12 each on ebay earlier this week. Its crazy what parents are paying for those figs right now
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,174
    I would argue that it is just as profitable to part out sets as soon as they are released than when they are on clearance because of the lack of supply and high demand. It is good way to build up your library of bricks for free by selling off the valuable parts of sets (ie minifgs, animals, rare parts, etc).
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Sure it can be profitable, even more so if your getting the sets on clearance. Take MMV, go to bricklink and part out the whole set at the last 6 months average sale price, the set will bring you $190ish once everything is sold
    I was not aware of that...

    How do you do this in Bricklink? Does it have a "value of set in parts" button that I've missed?
  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142
    LFT, look up the set in the catalog, then on the sell part on the left hand side, click part out. Then select how you want to price and submit for edit or whatever, hope these awful instructions help you
  • StutterBrickStutterBrick Member Posts: 8
    From the BL homepage, click Catalog. The next screen has another row of tabs at the top, click Price Guide. On the right is the part out option just enter the set number.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Thank you both of you...

    So, right now the average last 6 months on MMV is $211.16 including the box and instructions, the current value of items for sale is $256.61.

    10188 (Death Star) has a current value of $901.89 parted out.

    Interesting, was unaware of this tool, thanks... :)

    Now I just have to figure out a way to part out sets without making a ton of work for myself.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Hmm, just did Fire Brigade... $380.67 current value including box and instructions...

    The question is, do any of those parts actually sell. :)
  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142

    Now I just have to figure out a way to part out sets without making a ton of work for myself.
    Good luck there :)
  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142
    I would say yes, I am not sure if that's a quantity average price though. follow this link and see what it comes to with quantity last 6 months average http://www.bricklink.com/invSet.asp?itemType=S&itemNo=10197-1
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,174
    Parting out leads to other things to consider, such as sorting and storing. It is kind of fun and relaxing starting off, but becomes challenging as the piece counts increase.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    yeah, it's not like all $XXX worth is just going to sell right away. it's $XXX at current market value, but half that might never actually sell. All told on a set like FB those pieces might eventually get sold to 100 different buyers spread out over months or even years of time.

    on the flipside, the "buy set, sell off choice parts (minifigs), keep the rest" strategy is open and closed much quicker.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Now I just have to figure out a way to part out sets without making a ton of work for myself.
    Its the best way to make money off some of that inventory. Do them as a batch while watching a movie and it's quite relaxing.

  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142
    edited March 2012
    Exactly, I bought 50 Freeing Dobby's sets for $3 from Walmart. I am listing a one day auction every day on ebay for the minifigs and I am getting around $4.50 after shipping and fee's, but I am really just doing it to keep the pieces. I am sure I could get more for the figs later on but I just don't want to have to store them or worry about them later.

    Considering I am needing around 15000 pieces for the custom modulars I am building, all free pieces are good pieces
  • StutterBrickStutterBrick Member Posts: 8
    I wish my Walmart's were like that, the closest two rarely ever have even 30% or more sales on Lego, much less 75%. Target has a little better but even those are few and far between for sales. Thus the reason for asking about new full price sets. The best sale (besides Black Friday) in the last 5 months has been at Fry's food store, they had a buy 2 get 1 free but they have a very small stock.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Another thing to consider when parting out sets is the percentage of flakey bidders goes up significantly. Many zero feedback bidders too.

    Its best to sell the items from the parted set all at once but eventually you wind up with a bunch of odds and ends. I get people who bid up multiple auctions at once and then you never hear from them. Makes me wonder if they are competing sellers just trying to bid up the prices and knock me out of the running at the same time.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    One thing to think about as well with this strategy is that you have to build a critical mass of parts to be able to reliably attract sufficient buyers on Bricklink to sell all of the parts from a single set. If you bought one or two or three MMVs and parted them out on BL, you might sell some of the parts, but you are more likely to have the majority sit unsold for a long time. I buy a fair amount of loose parts on BL and there are maybe a dozen sellers who I buy most of my parts from. Other sellers may have some of the same parts at a better price, but it is much easier for me to buy as much as possible from two sellers than to buy the same parts from four or five different sellers. Point being...if you're going to try to make money selling parts on BL, IMHO you have to be prepared to really commit to selling parts and building up a huge stock. I have tried selling parts from time to time and it has never worked well because I didn't have a sufficient number or variety of parts.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Personally, I don't think its worth the time to go the Bricklink route unless its your main job or maybe if you work a "simple" 9 to 5. If I were 16 again, I would be all over this :P

    For most of us here, I think the easiest thing to do is Ebay the minifigs and the buildings/vehicles separately.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Personally, I don't think its worth the time to go the Bricklink route unless its your main job or maybe if you work a "simple" 9 to 5. If I were 16 again, I would be all over this :P
    That is much the same conclusion I've come to. Unless you obtain some real storage or warehouse space and commit to having a bit of everything, I have a hard time seeing it make any sense, and even then I'm not sure it makes sense, the labor is just too darn expensive.

    I've thought about it, but the value of parts and the number of parts likely to sell at once, just doesn't make it seem worthwhile. You will sell stuff, to be sure, but will you make any money and will you end up with hundreds of thousands of extra parts over time that you can't sell?

    I guess you sell those by the lb on eBay, but still...
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    yeah, I dabbled in parts selling and quickly realized that unless you have an enormously large variety of SKUs, you have to have best price on the smaller number that you do have. In either case, the labor costs (sorting, picking), and space requirements get pretty big pretty fast.

    I know there are people making money at it, but it isn't for me.
  • omgitsrenzoomgitsrenzo Member Posts: 46
    edited March 2012
    Will someone enlighten a young mind on the process of parting out sets? Will someone explain like uses , the process , pros and cons of the activity?
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited March 2012
    In my eyes, its you buy the set, take out the minifigs, vehicles, and pieces. Then you put them on BrickLink. The pros are that you get a nice profit, IF everything goes well and people buy the pieces. Cons are that people may not buy the pieces (taking a risk), and its VERY time consuming. It also takes up a lot of space. I'm no reseller, so I'm sure someone can give you a better explanation.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    ^^ I think this thread already explains??
  • forumreaderforumreader Member Posts: 97
    The fellow a few above posted his own thread that got merged into this one. It makes him look a little dense out of context; perhaps merges could be denoted?
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    edited July 2012
    Is it really worth the time and hassle of parting out a new set? When running through my sets on bricklink I "could" make over 3 times as much as selling them as whole sets. It is obviously based on selling every single piece of lego though. Should I start off with trying one set at a time and see how I manage it?
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,143
    If you have the patience and organizational skills (and physical capacity to do so) I say go for it. Start small and get a feel for it. I'm sure that you will get a lot more smaller, frequent orders than just selling sets alone. It's something I have thought of doing as well but I don't think I would be able to turnaround orders fast enough as I can with sets.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,258
    What @Renny said. If you are looking for some small sets to start with, I'd suggest the Marvel Avengers $20 sets. The minifigures alone, if you are lucky, sell for the retail cost of the set. The pieces are then just extra money in your wallet. Best of luck!
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Unless you make it your full time profession I do not see it being worth anyone's time compared to getting a second job or working more hours at your current. If its what you enjoy doing with your free time great! But it's really not a viable money making venture otherwise.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    edited July 2012
    I have to say, the idea of doing this would fill me with dread.
    Having to find space and a system to file every part and be able to get it again in a quick time period, cataloging it all on BL including condition, taking tiny orders, coming home from work to have to find 2 of xxxx and 1 of xxxx and 3 of xxxx, then package and then find time to get to post office, dealing with mistakes, unhappy customers, etc, etc and at the end of it, make.... 40p
    Different if you are making £20 each sale, but without being flippant my time outside of work is worth more to me than the money I believe can be made (unless it's taken very seriously).
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Of course one could make the same argument against sets as well. When you consider the time involved, there are better investments and uses of time. I really enjoy the hobby and selling sets, hence I do that. Completely parting out sets is just a whole other ball of wax.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,789
    If you have a small number of sets only, then keep the pieces in their original boxes. Add the set as a reference number when you list. That way, pieces are relatively easy to find, and you don't physically have to part them out.

    Minifigs - for popular ones I'd put them on eBay. Even with their fees, you are likely to do better than bricklink and it is over and done with quickly. The Hulk set for example you can get £30+ for the figs.

    Also check if there are a few expensive bricks in any sets - if so, you might do OK just listing these. Eg. in the SW/CW Bounty Hunter, I listed just two of the bricks, they sold for over a quid a piece.

    Finally remember that last six month averages can be quite high compared to cheapest available. So if you want a quick sale, 1/2 x average is more likely to get you a sale.
  • luckyrussluckyruss UKMember Posts: 872
    ^ this last point can work in reverse though, whereby for some parts / figures, perhaps where there has been good demand, the 6-month average is at about the lowest price.

    I have a fairly small store but generally do it for parts - if I want to make a 2,000 piece model I often find I already have 500 or 1,000 parts in my store, which reduces the overall cost / hassle of putting together the rest (I don't charge myself to buy from my own store!)

    I would reckon I generally get back the cost of the set from the figures and a few dozen other parts, the rest is free bricks that might either sell over time or that I might decide I need at some point in the future. It does take up some space, and an hour or two here and there, but for me it helps keep a bit of cash flowing back in as well as going out.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    at the end of it, make.... 40p
    Different if you are making £20 each sale, but without being flippant my time outside of work is worth more to me than the money I believe can be made (unless it's taken very seriously).
    ^ This right here is why I don't bother... there are a few people out there running a business doing this, having huge parts inventories, but I don't think they have much more than a poorly paid job with lots of hours attached to it.

    I could be wrong, but I've run the numbers, I've been offered a large parts inventory by a Bricklink seller who wanted out, about $10,000 worth of sorted parts (at retail prices) and another 1,000lbs of unsorted Lego.

    I sat down and did the math on it, it simply makes no sense at all. Even if I sold all of it for $10,000, after having the space for that many sorted parts, paying someone to keep up with it, ship out thousands of orders, the whole thing is simply not worth the trouble. Thanks to those on Bricklink who do it, I've bought a few misc parts there and they have all arrived as promised, but I don't see any money in it.
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    It can be worth it if you plan to have at least 10.000 thousand parts. Buyers want quantity first of all. So it is of course better to buy multiple of any given sets, and you should inquire on which ones contain parts that are useful for "popular" DIY sets (such as the UCS MF or modulars).

    You also have to account for an initial investment in bulk packaging supplies such as envelopes or bags.. Storage solutions such as boxes or raaco-like cabinets for the smaller parts. Once you have everything set up, finding parts for orders doesn't take that much time. And if does take time it will be because of a bigger order and thus more money :)

    Clearly when parting out I mostly trust Lego and the guys who made the inventory.. Counting every part to make sure they are all there would indeed be too much time consuming. Clearly sometimes it can happen that you don't have all parts asked.. maybe because one was missing in a set or maybe you put into another bag. But it has only ever happened one time.

    After my first two months of selling I am still a couple of hundreds ££ in the red but if I counted only an average "per part" cost, there is indeed a profit. According to my math, the buying point I have used so far is at around £0.035 per part. The average "retail price" is twice that (minifigs excluded).

    The advantage is that you can look at sets "in a new light". Maybe you just want one guy from a set.. You can buy it and part everything else, knowing that sooner or later (later) it will be sold. I found that even the most absurdly useless pieces will be sold at some point (several times I am left wondering what will they be doing with them :) ).

    But yes, it takes dedication and it is not a "get rich quick" scheme. Also, you have to enjoy this kind of commerce.
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 416
    edited July 2012
    No. I still have a few sets sitting around with only a few pieces bought from each. Only worthwhile if you a have a tub of random pieces.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy