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Advice selling huge collection

SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
edited February 4 in Buying & Selling Topics
Hi all,

I have decided to sell off a large part of my huge collection, I'm looking for advice in the best ways to sell both here on Brickset and on other sites such as eBay.

Any advice selling on here, how to price stuff and how to keep everything safe but keeping costs down.

Advice about ebay and how to minimise fees, best postage and boxing options.

Am I going to run into problems with the tax man or ebay over the large amount that will be coming in.

Based in UK, at the moment I will be selling new boxed sets, boxes not all sealed condition varies (all bags sealed)

I will post in marketplace when ready and link here so you can see what I mean by huge.



  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 886
    edited February 4
    Having just sold a whole heap of stuff on Ebay (about 40 odd reasonably valuable MISB sets) , I can be slightly helpful!

    For me selling MISB stuff, I found that the BEST packaging by far was the boxes that fruit (particularly grapes) come in supermarkets - Sainsburys certainly usually has these boxes out somewhere past the checkouts available to take.  They're basically about 60x40x15cm, and are mostly open on top but are 'boxed out' on both sides which protects the edges.  They are SUPER sturdy - they get grapes across Europe without stuff being squished - and by using a box cutter to take the ends off, you can cut one up to make a lid that fits perfectly on top of another.  I've found these boxes to be excellent for most mid-to-large sized sets.  Once packed with packing paper and bubblewrap inside, this gets taped closed, then the whole lot covered in shrinkwrap for extra security in postage.  The other BRILLIANT thing about these boxes is that they are 60cm long - and RM medium parcel maximum is 61cm so postage is usually about £7 for a decent set (other mail carriers are available, I've just used Royal Mail because it's easy to get to the sorting office). 

    General experience is don't pay for postage through the annoying Ebay system, do it yourself.  Always send tracked, always get proof of postage - it's saved me a couple of times.  The extra cost is totally worth it, especially when you're considering high value sets as you can set the insurance value on the package.

    Regarding pricing, consider both Bricklink pricing but mainly Ebay sold/completed listings, and then take a look at what the same set is currently selling for from other people too.  If you're not in a hurry, hold your nerve a little bit more rather than dropping your prices!  I've always done set Buy It Now prices on Ebay as not really willing to take the gamble of the auctions.  Ebay will take 10% in fees - worth remembering if you're using Ebay to set your prices but then come selling somewhere like this forum - and these fees are inclusive of P&P so no lowballing the BIN and a massively high P&P cost.  

    If you're not selling via Ebay but via perhaps Facebook marketplaces, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ALWAYS have people pay via Paypal Goods and Services.  The fees are tiny (2.9% + fees) and the amount of people I've seen get ripped off because they paid by friends and family and then stuff didn't work out is surprising.  Obviously on the whole the people on this forum are all pretty good, but we've still seen the occasional less scrupulous individual here.  

    This article here: is useful when it comes to HMRC stuff.  Basically if you're selling a whole heap of used Lego then that will be interpreted as you not buying with an intention to sell.  If you're selling MISB this is a little bit more blurry, but actually you need to be making quite a lot of profit before it's problematic.
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 994

    Just to add to the helpful advice above:

    • Ebay have been running £1 FVF offers regularly but these have been limited to specific private accounts.  If you've received the invites they're well worth it; if you're happy to wait set at fixed price - the listings last 30 days, but be aware that they'll re-list automatically after that and you'll be subject to a 10% fee! 
    • Please also note that the standard 10% is payable on both the sale price + postage and when you factor in Paypal fees it can get quite significant!
    • Take at least a couple of decent photos for each set (especially if they're higher value); I've often sold items at a higher price than others who've used stock photos.
    • If you've not sold much on Ebay before, I'd recommend listing a few lower value items first and then gradually migrate upwards once you've got some decent feedback.  Most potential buyers may be willing to take a 'risk' on a £25 set, but you'll get far less interest if you start with high value first.
    • Paypal used to have a maximum account limit for transactions; above that you'd need to get it fully 'confirmed' - I did that several years ago but I'm not certain of the current limits or rules but it may be something you need to be aware of
    • If you're selling high-value sets it might be worth buying some decent boxes/bubble wrap/air pillows - they're actually not that expensive if you buy a decent volume (I can recommend a few suppliers if that's helpful)
    • You'll need to do some research on the potential tax implications, but the general rule is that if you've  purchased any items with the intention of re-selling it, then tax is applicable.  If you've only 1of each set you should be ok, but if you're selling multiples of the same that could be different. 
  • colaycolay OxfordshireMember Posts: 539

    As a possible seller (may do the same this year) and a potential buyer (depends on what you're selling) I'm in two minds here:

    Having sold a few things on eBay, you can get annoying buyers (my goods havent arrived, this is damaged reduce the price or Im leaving bad feedback) and eBay have now started to side with buyers more than sellers and I find that hard to stomach. Most transactions though do work out, but, Tracked P&P is a must, as well as photographing an item pre-packed and packed, so there is evidence should you need it

    FB marketplace (local selling pages) appears to be mainly locals and scammers trying to get the lowest price to then sell on themselves as well as silly trolls commenting on prices when they know nothing about it. Main FB marketplace can be better and I sold my PS5 for charity on it before Xmas, no hassle, but they guy came ans paid cash, so no Paypal etc to worry about.

    Selling here, chances are its going to a fan and someone who will appreciate what a item might sell for on BL etc, you may also find someone to bulk buy

    That is also a consideration. Shipping boxes here and there is time consuming. Also, if you do use eBay, don't list 20 items at the same time, as if they all sell, you could ship 20 items to 20 diff people and that is a nuisance in itself.

    Try first with maybe lower value sets, and build up some confidence in packing, selling and dealing with people (if you havent used eBay before)

    Any others questions, ask away :)
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,715
    Has anyone had success selling on Brickpicker or other AFOL sites?

    (Asking for a friend...)
  • ShropshireShropshire UKMember Posts: 476

    My top Ebay tips, some a repeat of other advice above.....

    [1] Try to list something that's more than £10 when it's a £1 final value fee weekend. You can amend the listing during the period i.e. change price etc. Either remove automation rules to stop it relisting or end it at the end of the promotion period (30 days)

    [2] Whilst rare, try to list "fill your boots" when there's a rare 1%/2% offer on fees i.e. for small items it means you pay under £1 in fees. Either remove automation rules to stop it relisting or end it at the end of the promotion period (30 days). Good for poly's / minifigs etc.

    [3] If you list something on say a Friday over a promotion weekend, if you still have some spaces left in the promotion come Sunday/Monday night (check carefully when the period ends, some run Fri to Mon, some Sat to Sun).. and end/sell similar any high value as it buys you a few more days. You can do it in a couple of mouse clicks.... select multiples, other action, end... then go to unsold, select multiples and click sell similar.

    [4] for no [3] above and/or selling another item same as one you sold.. do not use "relist", always use "sell similar". if you do it from app on a phone it asks if want to keep photo's, if on web it doesn't.

    [5] Packing... an extra layer of cardboard underneath and on top of the item inside the box is so worthwhile i.e. extra protection. Remember sets are largely air in a thin cardboard box so where can think about how it would squash i.e. bridge a piece of cardboard over the top of some items.

    [6] Do not underestimate how badly Hermes can treat a parcel, it's not their fault, you just need to pack on the specific basis it's Hermes i.e. duty is on you to make it Hermes proof. You can't protect from them running it over in a van (yes, real) but just think about it being in a pile 6 boxes high with yours at the bottom.

    [7] Ebay self-insures, when it shows the option to add additional cover, this is a fee calculated by Ebay, sometimes (especially with UPS) it can be cheaper to book your postage direct with the courier i.e. not through Ebay - just if do that add the tracking number into Ebay to mark as dispatched. Anything over £100 I tend to look at courier prices direct, anything under I tend to go with Ebay... 

    [8] Who are they... when you want all details of a buyer, go to items awaiting dispatch, and click on "sales record", this gives email and phone number for you to put into courier sites.

    [9] Watch out for size limits... UPS via Ebay (180cm limit, which is circumference of the end plus one times the length.. a standard lego box is too large !!) if go to UPS direct for example you put in the exact measurements so all good. Hermes via Ebay 240cm (same calc method)... for smaller parcels the limits are smaller for some couriers, sometimes cheaper to just pretend it's heavier than it actually is which moves you up a size allowance band i.e. if 0-1Kg if max 16cm height, pick 1-2Kg and it's now based on 180cm overall... get it wrong, a couple of months later you will get a £4/£5 surcharge for being oversized... no such fine for being undersized hence walk up the weight/size to find a match.

    [10] if using Buy it Now, put an auto reject limit... or you will get 1am, 2am offers for 10% to 20% of your items price.

  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    edited February 4
    Thanks all for the ebay help, some really good and detailed replies.

    I also saw people talking about this on hotdeals too:

    If your using the £1 FVF offers this is a big saving because that's all you pay or so Iv been told.

    How about using brickset, is there an easy way to just flag sets I am willing to sell and linked to that flag rather than listing 100s of sets.

    Is there much market on here and once Iv sold a few sets and got peoples feedback is it ok to ask for other payments like bank transfer.

    98% of the time I only have one of each set so I shouldn't look too much like a reseller on ebay/tax man but I am just worried about the amount I would be selling.

  • ShropshireShropshire UKMember Posts: 476
    edited February 4
    Just bear in mind the change coming is about switching money from Paypal and giving it to by Ebay instead.. i.e. what you save from paypal you'll give to Ebay in their new higher fee structure which they are hiking to 12.8% + 30p.. whilst we can assume that it means you'll win even more on a £1 offer, they may not run £1 offers or may run £2 offers instead etc or run them less often.

    Also worth considering that if the Ebay fee hike applies even if you DO still use Paypal then it's double whammy....
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    Think I have found what I was looking for thanks to the how to page. Found a way to share a link to flag to sell sets in my collection.

    Does this link work for people, just a test at the moment?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,805
    Yes that works

  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    edited February 7
    Huw said:
    Yes that works
    Thanks Huw. I was going to ask you how to do it but then I thought I would be a big boy and look at the help pages you must have spent hours writing and there it was. Cheers for the great site again.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,390
    @SMC - just pm'd you.
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    lol lots of pm's, I was going to start a thread in buying and selling once I was ready. Still going though sets and am taking them in and out of that list as I change my mine on what I want to keep. I shouldn't have put the real list up yet. But I will give all of you helpful people and long term members first go don't worry. But yes when I said huge I meant it lol

    I don't think your meant to start and end a paragraph with "lol" but never mind.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 2,278
    SMC said:
    lol lots of pm's, I was going to start a thread in buying and selling once I was ready. Still going though sets and am taking them in and out of that list as I change my mine on what I want to keep. I shouldn't have put the real list up yet. But I will give all of you helpful people and long term members first go don't worry. But yes when I said huge I meant it lol

    I don't think your meant to start and end a paragraph with "lol" but never mind.
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,748
    @SMC - just pm'd you.
    Me as well! :-)

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,003
    I had a good look but there was nothing I wanted I'm afraid!
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 987
    Some nice sets.  Far from calling it a huge collection.  GL on the sale.
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    ^ ^^ Im not done adding sets yet.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,390
    Maybe you could do a feature for Brickset?  I'm sure there are plenty of people who'd like to understand the pitfalls of trying to sell a large collection - what works, what doesn't, etc.  I know there will be a certain amount of 'what works for someone might not work for someone else' but even so.

    I'd be interested.  
  • bricktuarybricktuary Krakozhia (temporarily stuck in London)Member Posts: 609
    I'd be interested too, I suspect a lot of us have got decent collections that realistically need whittling down and there are a lot of pros and cons with different solutions especially these days when opportunities for face to face selling is limited. I've bought and sold sets at the Steam Lego show before for example, including with people from here.

    Personally I've always found ebay fine as a buyer and an absolute nightmare as a seller!

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,805
    I'd be happy to publish if anyone writes it!
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,003
    Well that'd be an article to hide from my other half! ;)
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    Sorry all, I should have replied to you all now and the sale is live.
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    I think my main problem Iv found so far is pricing, because of the number of sets I have I am not going to price them all up but people want to know so that's all I am going to get asked.

    Any thoughts on general prices, ebay -10% ?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    Yeah, ebay/BL sold prices minus whatever percentage. 
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    And sales ended, I will have to do that write up for @Huw at the end of this.

    The problem I found was that I am not selling that many of my super large/rare sets so these were in high demand. Looking at sold prices I found these are going for silly money and I don't don't have the heart to keep asking for what they could be worth. Also people rightfuly except this kind of sale to be cheaper. The smaller sets were also problematic because there were so many of them I spent far too much time pricing these up for people one by one.

    I think rather than list everything I should have listed one group of sets at a time with prices: Large sets, Ninjago, Star Wars and so on. I have listen one set on ebay as a dummy run, thanks for the advice on that I think I might have jumped in head first like with the sale on here and got in trouble trying to get them all out. I will then wait for the next £1 offer and try and be ready so sell a handful, then the time after hit the big sets.

    Thanks for all the help so far, sorry for those that contacted me and did get anywhere.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,715
    You have to do what works for you!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    edited February 10
    SMC said:

    Looking at sold prices I found these are going for silly money and I don't don't have the heart to keep asking for what they could be worth. Also people rightfuly except this kind of sale to be cheaper. 
    For that sort of set, it might be better to go for ebay than trying here. You get what it is worth and you don't have to say no to lower offers here. And the buyers set the price, so you don't need to ask crazy prices.
  • lamina89lamina89 UKMember Posts: 1
    If you want a good way to line any boxes I recommend this packing foam. You get a good amount for the cost and it really does protect well. Easy to cut to size, also.
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,990
    edited April 7
    ^ Thanks, I have sold a lot of the large high value stuff on the £1 weekends on ebay. So now I am moving on from the very well packed stuff to more everyday sets.

    I found Costco really good for boxes, they keep loads down one end ready for people to take, so most of the time I am able to use good boxes.

    I found that with insurance the postage was high whoever you use but now I am onto normal sets I need to find the cheapest option.

    Happy with what I got for the high value stuff but its like starting over again and seeing what works. I had sold all of these with bids starting at .99p and because they were all sought after sets it wasn't a problem as they all ended up being high.

    I will find out if it works as well on the more normal sets or if a few go too low. I am not going to bother with insurance going forward as I am better off just excepting that sooner or later I will have a problem but because of the amount of sets I am selling one loss won't make a big difference and the amount I will save will cover a few sets anyway. Will still get tracked as its ebay after all.
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