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To Sell or Not to Sell...

sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
edited February 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Was about to list a bunch of Harry Potter years 1 and 2 sets on Bricklink. Stuff I bought a couple of years ago off Craigslist from a lady who collected it. She had boxes and instructions for all but one set (Hagrid's Hut), and claimed she took good care of it - only had it on display, everything was 100% complete, yada, yada. I took a look at the Castle set when I bought it and it did indeed look to be in great condition. The stuff has been in a tub since then. Today when I went to finally take a look at the stuff and verify the contents were indeed 100% complete, I realized this stuff was in pristine, like-new condition. For 4711 Flying Lesson, the capes were crisp and couldn't have ever been used. Pieces were shiny as if they had just been opened from polybags. Same with 4695 Knight Bus - the purple was bright, and the clear pieces were indeed transparent and not clouded. For 4731 Dobby's Release, the old light gray and old dark gray were just like they were new old light gray and new old dark gray.

I thought to myself - ugh... I can't sell this... I can use these pieces!

If I'm lucky I could sell 4730 Chamber of Secrets for $170 as a used set. But the condition of the pieces makes the set worth $250 (using 6 month averages on Bricklink for new condition parts + the used box/instructions). Having missed the old grays and old browns (was in dark period then), this seems to me to be an opportunity to now have a fair collection of these elements available to me for MOCing - saving me the time and trouble of ordering them on Bricklink. I may just sell off the figs and special pieces (basilisk, phoenix, etc).

Anyone else encounter this dilemma? Bought a set for reselling, and then later decide you may want to keep it? Just can't convince yourself to sell it?

Comments

  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    Yeah, my nightmare is a NIB UCS MF in my closet when I bought it at $350 on May the 4th clearance it was meant mostly for resale. It will most likely get opened some day with my son. It will hurt to break the seals. I may have to have someone else do it for me otherwise I might cry.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    I don't exactly have a plethora of sets lined up to resell, but I can definitely see how this can happen. It would be different if we were discussing, I don't know... vintage curtains. But LEGO is fun, colorful, pleasing to the eye and it's hard to let go of things like that. A box of bricks can grow on you and make you think twice about letting go of it.

    Hell, I picked up a pair of Batman Funhouses at the BOGO last week just to flip for a few bucks. I had no interest in the Super Heroes theme at all. But once I got home and actually looked at the box, I felt drawn to it. I'm still selling them, but I was a bit startled to realize how close I came to keeping them.

    I'm from the world of men, and my heart is easily corrupted. Elrond pleaded with me to toss that set into the eBay fire, but I was seduced by Batman's power. I wanted it for myself.

    The above almost came to pass...

  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    LOL, I was thinking about making a thread with the exact same title.

    I have a few older sets that I never got around to opening whose value have gone up significantly. I can't justify it to myself to open them up and I can't bring myself to sell them.

    I have other sets that I bought for resale and I end up liking them too much to sell. But I still can't bring myself to open them since the value would go down. So a good portion of my collection just sits in my closet. Sigh....
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    I have very few personal use sets that I would consider selling for any price. I finally broke open my UCS MF this weekend and had absolutely no reservations about it. In my mind, it's not a $2000 set, because that's not what I paid for it.

    The only exception to this I can ever see is if there wind up being five or more corner modulars. I find both of the current corner buildings to be awful, but bought them out of 'necessity' for hopefully creating a block one day. Outside of these, I don't own any 'valuable' sets that I can ever picture getting rid of.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I have very few personal use sets that I would consider selling for any price. I finally broke open my UCS MF this weekend and had absolutely no reservations about it. In my mind, it's not a $2000 set, because that's not what I paid for it.
    I understand, I am trying the same trick on myself, but it isn't working...

    Problem is, it is just a Jedi mind trick, because it does not matter what you paid for something, it only matters what it's worth today. :)
  • legos4everlegos4ever Member Posts: 45
    sell
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    ^ Exactly @LegoFanTexas. Yes, you only paid a couple of hundred dollars for it, so why not, open it!! But in doing so, you've lost out on $2,000!!!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ I think of it like real estate, how many people bought in the over hyped market in 2007? So they go to sell now... What they paid is meaningless, they may never see that again in their life. That $2 million dollar house is now worth $1 million, but they are stuck on their purchase price like it matters.

    We all do this, we go to sell our car and think about what we paid, when that does not really matter.

    Grr.... I kinda wish I had opened it sooner, at $1,000 I didn't mind so much, but there come a point where it is just nuts. :)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    I have mint this and MISB that. I have actually got to the point whereby I am considering buying 'opened' sets with a view to keep what I have sealed, sealed! Daft thing, I'm not sure even then I could part with my MISB stuff. I must be mad! :)
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    @flump6523, what do you collect them for if not to open and build? Just to have a box in your loft? I could understand if you had the boxes on display, but not sure the point if you are never going to open and never going to sell...
    I don't 'think' you are collecting them so you can hand them down to your kids, but maybe.
    But I think you actually should consider your option, maybe you are just mad! ;)
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    @LegoFanTexas, have you only got the one UCS Falcon, if so, however much it pains you, I would suggest you build it, yes you may lose a little value, but to be honest the set is still valuable opened and there is very little that can compare to the completed UCS Falcon, its simply stunning. I think if you love Lego and even so much as like Star Wars it really is a build that can't be missed.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    My sets are all in storage until I get into my new place and furnish my already nominated LEGO room. Once ready, they'll come out of storage and brought into their new 'home'. They've only been in storage for the past year or so, well, half of them.

    The problem will be when it comes to apply the hobby knife to the seal. I had every intention of opening when the time was right. I am really looking forward to the day when my kids get older and they can appreciate them with me. Problem is, who'd have thought a 10184 Town Plan for instance or a 10196 perhaps would ever be worth what they are today? I can't be alone on this one - even @LegoFanTexas is having trouble opening his UCS MF! If he can't then there's not much hope for the rest of us. :o)

    People collect cars and don't drive them? My boss has umpteen cars in his 'museum'. He has because he enjoys. Just because one owns an object, it doesn't mean they have to use it for it's intended purpose. I bought fully intending to utilise their intended purpose, but things change - values change!!

    What I'd like to be able to do is to magically find replacement sets (already opened) at affordable prices to build and enjoy. The fact that they've already depreciated takes the dilemma away, "$2,000 or 'pleasure of building a brand new set'?" It's really tuff.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    If in doubt, sell.
    The fact you're doubting it means that's probably what you should do.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @princedraven - I have two of them, one is sealed and mint, the other is not sealed and not mint, but both are new. The non-sealed one is a numbered collectors edition with a rather low number, I figure that is worth something to a collector (darn it, wish it was mint). The one I was planning to build was the sealed non-collectors edition, but it just is too pretty sitting there in its box, all shiny and new. Grr...

    @flump6523 - I completely understand... I did make a related decision this week, I'm not going to open and build my last Cafe Corner, I'm going to sell it and be without that set, unless I can find a reasonable used one. I had 3 of them originally with the intent to sell 2 and keep the last one, but now that I can get about $1,200 for it, it would be just nuts to open it and build it. So I'm quite comfortable with that decision, to sell it and move on. The money that generates will buy me all of the $150+ sets Lego releases this year, and I'll have plenty of fun with those. (UCS B-Wing & UCS R2-D2, I'm looking at YOU!)

    So will I ever open and build UCS Falcon? I don't know... Thankfully I don't have to decide right now, I can just leave it in the closet and keep building other items, and if by this time next year it is at $3K, then the decision will be easy. :)
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    ^^ I think the cars thing is different, he has a museum, so enjoys his collection visually. I can possibly (at a push) understand that you could get that pleasure by looking at your sealed boxes collection, but with Lego as it is, they are almost certain to be (knowing you!!), double boxed, and in bubble wrap and inside a plastic box :) so you dont even get that.
    There has to be a point where you ask yourself why you collect, if you are never going to enjoy what I know you would consider the crown jewel of Lego sets.
    If you collect for financial profit then of course it makes total sense, if not.....

    @Si funnily enough I would say complete opposite :) If in doubt, keep. Once sold you will NEVER be able to justify buying another... Almost guarentee it!
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    @LFT Strangely I have not noticed a huge difference in price between the numbered and the non collector edition, I thought that weird, maybe that will change.
    If the collector edition is not sealed can you not build it with no fear of change of value? Or do you mean the box isnt sealed but the contents are?
    Wow $1200 for CC, I must admit I had no idea it would command that kind of money. Suppose I see where you are coming from, although judging by other posts surely you have plenty of other items you can sell, are you not tempted to keep it as its the only one you have? I think if I could sell 12 of my 15 EN's and keep my 1 CC, I would do that.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    @Si - No, I didn't say I was contemplating selling. I said it was hard swallowing the loss of opening such valuable sets. I would rather have the $2,000 set in the form of a sealed box in the corner of the room than have the cash in my back pocket. The cash will disappear in a heartbeat, the set might well be worth $3,000 next year.

    I enjoy making sets, I enjoy opening MISB sets, but there comes a point whereby anybody is going to have trouble swallowing that kind of loss within a split second. It's nice to have things 'just to have'. I love the feeling of knowing I have all of that MISB goodness in storage waiting for me. I'm just dreading the day it's all laid out with me stood, arms by my side with a hobby knife in my right hand.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    ^ haha Definately mad! That is the moment you should be salivating over :)
    I understand where you are coming from though.
    Out of interest, just had a quick look to see how much cash roughtly does disappear in that hearbeat?
    New selling for around £950 - £1220
    Used selling for around £845 - £975

    So looks like you would lose £100 - £245 by opening.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    Interesting discussion and probably a dilemma that anyone who collects anything will have to deal with at some stage.

    Maybe its changes in circumstances that drive these decisions. If you start collecting when its just you or with a better half then you have less responsibilities. You buy, open and build without any thought of the money. Kids appear and you still buy but you don't have the time to build and then through no fault of your own its doubled in value. Suddenly you have something that is likely to help your family if times are hard which is particularly prominent in these tough financial times.

    We don't have kids so when I get home I'm going to open (carefully) the 10179 that's been bought for me this week. It will slash the value but its worth it for me to enjoy the building of it.

    Ultimately there is no right and wrong. All of our circumstances are very different. No matter if you build it, keep it or sell it though do it without regret. More money and more sets will always come along.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    edited February 2012
    ^^ Hadn't appreciated the gap was as close as that to be honest, so in that instance it's well worth doing.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    ^^ Very good point @kevbags, circumstances do change, thinking about it I have sold many things that I probably would not have if it were not for my 2 little boys. Not anything unused from what I can recall but that is just me.

    Enjoy your build. Make sure you have a nice large space free and that your other half knows she is unlikely to see you (or at least get your attention) for a week and even longer till she see's her dining room table again :)
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    My advice is to sell the MISB and buy a used one (has been alluded to elsewhere here)..that way you can get over the "investment" aspect and take some profits and also have the set, best of both worlds.

    And if the sets truly continue increasing in value, then your used set should as well (perhaps the curve will not be as steep, but there should still be value increase in the event that you need to liquidate).

    Of course, you have to be willing to potentially accept less than mint used sets, but usually to me unless the condition is really horrible I can live with normal AFOL-cared for used sets, as the display as a whole is more important than a few 1x1s with some scratches, etc. Plus bad pieces can be replaced piecemeal if its really problematic.

    I almost always buy a used set of the current big sets (if I can't find them MISB on a huge sale) and that keeps my "collected" sets apart from resale sets without temptation to open them.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    ^ cbaker1974's idea is great in theory...
    My real concern if you do it that way Sell your minty one and buy used.
    I think every time it took me more than a minute of searching through my 5195 pieces I would be thinking "arrrrggghhhh the git has lost pieces, it's not complete......oh, wait there it is", then 5 mins later "arrrrggghhhhh", dont think I could take the stress of a 3+ day build not 'knowing' that it is complete. And I know its possible that a mint version may not be complete, but the odds on that compared to a used version from some random blokey on the net...
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    ^ It is for that reason I stopped buying used. Coundn't stand the anxiety of the thought of missing a piece from a set that was supposedly complete. It's bad enough with new sets!!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,258
    ^ That is precisely why when I buy a used set I check that it's complete before building it, regardless of its size...
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @LFT Strangely I have not noticed a huge difference in price between the numbered and the non collector edition, I thought that weird, maybe that will change.
    You are correct, I haven't seen anyone care, which surprises me. Oh well...

    Now, if the collectors edition had come with a chrome C-3PO, then people would have cared. ;)
    If the collector edition is not sealed can you not build it with no fear of change of value? Or do you mean the box isnt sealed but the contents are?
    The box is not sealed, the parts are, so they are all in the factory sealed plastic bags, just like new.
    Wow $1200 for CC, I must admit I had no idea it would command that kind of money. Suppose I see where you are coming from, although judging by other posts surely you have plenty of other items you can sell, are you not tempted to keep it as its the only one you have? I think if I could sell 12 of my 15 EN's and keep my 1 CC, I would do that.
    I might get more... Cafe Corner has gotten expensive... You can still get them on Bricklink for a reasonable price, but those sets are drying up quickly. Go look on eBay for the cheapest new in box set, or Amazon...
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    The cash will disappear in a heartbeat, the set might well be worth $3,000 next year.
    Perhaps, but it depends on what you spend it on...

    If I sold my pair of UCS Falcons, I could take my family on a nice vacation... We would have those memories forever, and there is something to be said for that.

    Lego is not a zero sum game... someone suggested if I had 15 EM sets, sell 12 of them and keep the Falcon. That implies that it is an either/or, rather than both. How about I sell all 15 EM sets, plus the Falcon, and take the kids to Disney World? That is another reasonable option, and something they'll remember forever.

    I was lucky, I got to go to Disney World several times as a kid, I remember those vacations very well, so not all of life is about Lego (yes, the shock and horror!!!)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    edited February 2012
    ^ As sad as it might be, if I could afford to blow that kind of money on a holiday, together with suffering the loss of my prize possessions then I think most here would agree with @princedraven's suggestion that I am mad. Not even for another trip to Disneyland! No frickin' way!
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    Once I've built mine which will take me an age you can both build it. Timeshare a 10179 :-P
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    ^ You're on. :-)
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,520
    ^^ ooh me too @kevbags! Not because I have one I don't want to open, but because I'm never going to buy one of ny own!
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    It wouldn't bother me loaning it for another AFOL to build. A kid no chance. I like my instructions to remain good ;-)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ As sad as it might be, if I could afford to blow that kind of money on a holiday, together with suffering the loss of my prize possessions then I think most here would agree with @princedraven's suggestion that I am mad. Not even for another trip to Disneyland! No frickin' way!
    :) You must not have kids... I've got 3 of them... those are my prized possessions...

    My UCS Falcons, by comparison, are just boxes of heavy plastic bricks that take up space. ;P
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Here's my thing... to me, my Falcon is only worth more than $250 if I decide to sell it... which I won't. I'm not looking at it as losing money I didn't have to begin with. I feel like that's silly. And at the end of the day, I find it unlikely that I will regret building it in lieu of selling it... even if it would fetch a handsome sum.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,767
    ^^ and above. I dont have kids but the things i remember with my dad is the time we spend together doing stuff, we made a wellington bomber, a model kit, and race cars from lego (I can still remember how to make them). so I would sit on them and enjoy them with your kids if you have them or enjoy it on your own if you dont. As much as we love money its the wrong hobby if your in it just for that.

    Personally I would keep the sets and enjoy them. Use the bricks and build something epic
  • 111ins111ins Member Posts: 265
    The great thing with LEGO is that yes, the set is worth more sealed, BUT it is still worth more than you paid even if you build it! There are not many kids items that you can say that for, unless of course the silly Pet Shop Animals that I always step on end up being collectible one day
    So, in my opinion, build the set with your kids if they are into it, keep it safe for a few years and then it will likely be worth more than the $2000 that the sealed ones are going for now.
    Plus, years down the road, you would regret not building it if you had the chance.

    $0.02
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    Never understand people in a HOBBY that buy something, then leave it closed for profit. It's not a hobby then, you are an investor.
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,335
    edited March 2012
    ^I would argue that for me it is a free hobby, l sell a lot at profit = l build a lot for free !
  • jagdjhjagdjh Member Posts: 95
    I feel your pain! I bought a Skulls Eye Schooner 6286 from 1993 way back when my son was way too young for such a large set. The plan was to open it when he was old enough but somehow it's now almost 20 years later and it's still sealed in the box. While I never intended to resell it, it's hard to think about opening it after all this time and knowing they go for much more than the $50 I got it on sale for.
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