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Price per piece ratio - Do you believe it is a factor for buying?

sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
edited August 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I've noticed in some discussion that people talk about price per piece ratio and a golden number of .10 per piece is a factor to consider when buying a set. How many people really believe in that? I don't really take that into account in or have an interest in it since the numbers can be very skewed based on the pieces that are actually contained in a set but some people think buying a set with that in mind is a great deal if you can get it under .10 a piece. Is .10 a piece really the average cost of lego pieces when all the pieces lego has produced are calculated?


  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    Only ever look at it carefully if am going to part out for mocs, so looking for value. Come to accept that with licensed stuff, its all skewed based on licence costs, minfigs, new moulds etc. Take in to account size of parts as well though if looking at piece counts.
    MMV is still just about the best value set out there in my view in terms of pieces and type of pieces.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Do I look at it? Yes.
    Do I purchase based on it? No.

    You have to use common sense. Technic kits with loads of pins are not going to be 10c per piece. Sets with a high minifig count to pieces are going to be over 10c per piece.
  • ChoochChooch Member Posts: 148
    I learned about the $.10/piece or better formula from reading this forum. If it's not a good formula, I haven't noticed because ever since then, all of my purchases have been below that level. Granted I don't buy any Technic sets and just a few licensed sets but it has been working so far... YMMV though.
  • caperberrycaperberry Member Posts: 2,226
    I look at BL part-out value in combination with piece price. Not for reselling - it just gives a better indication that there are good pieces in the set.

    At the end of the day, I buy if I like the set and/or the pieces. But I have swayed myself to buy some sets because of great price per piece/ part out value :O) Sometimes any excuse will do...
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks Member Posts: 1,367
    I look at it, but I don't think it's ever been a determining factor for a purchase. I mainly just take it into consideration when evaluating if something is worth getting at RRP or if I can wait for a sale to pick it up.
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    Not a factor at all for me, but I am not parting out or reselling.
  • weaselkingweaselking Member Posts: 61
    It's an interesting number at the surface only. When you are averaging out a window pane or plate with a 1x1, it loses meaning.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    richo said:

    MMV is still just about the best value set out there in my view in terms of pieces and type of pieces.

    Interesting that you should use MMV as an example...

    It is indeed a good deal on a part per piece basis, but I did an interesting comparison with Death Star.

    4 MMV cost the same price as 1 DS

    4 MMV have a total of 6404 parts
    1 DS has a total of 3803 parts

    4 MMV weigh 17.1 lbs
    1 DS weighs 17.8 lbs

    Very, very close in weight

    What does that mean? Not much, if you're trying to decide what would be more fun to build, but from a plastic point of view, those extra parts in MMV don't actually give you more Lego plastic, just the same amount broken down into smaller parts.

    So MMV may be 6.2 cents per part, and DS might be 10.5 cents per part, but are they really THAT far apart when you consider the amount of plastic in each one?
  • cloud0cloud0 Member Posts: 101
    Feel that comparsion by weight & whether its a licensed or non-licensed theme would be more accurate
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    cloud0 said:

    Feel that comparsion by weight & whether its a licensed or non-licensed theme would be more accurate

    But then that doesn't work either for many pieces. A set with a lot of light (in weight) 1x1 tiles and plates is worth more parted out than a set with the same number of heavier 2x1 plates. Sometimes that small light pieces are more sought after and cost more than the larger heavier pieces. Which is why "value" of a set is difficult to determine. Value depends on the person buying it. I often don't build sets as they come. I split them for MOCs, selling off stuff I don't want. The value of a set to me is in the parts. The value of the same set to someone else may be totally different - more minfigs, a specific theme, a specific ship or scene, etc. Even play value might come into it. If you can't play with it, then it is unlikely to be seen as valuable from a kids point of view.

  • EricEric Member Posts: 376
    edited August 2012
    Ha, very cool. Your full of interesting stuff aren't you LegoFanTexas?
  • StuBoyStuBoy Member Posts: 623
    Also colour comes into it for me as well. If there is a good piece/price ratio with desirable colours (as well as desirable parts) it helps in my decision whether or not to buy. As others have said, you really need to look at all the info before deciding - amount of large or small parts, rare parts/colours, rare minifigs. I also look up the inventory on BL to see exactly what parts are in the set.
  • Silber334Silber334 Member Posts: 147
    Hey, long time no see guys.
    It may be something to look into if you're using these parts to build something original and require a lot of bricks.

    Otherwise, it's really not somthing I would take into account.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,161
    Weight and piece variety are important to me when determining value for money on a set I might buy. Quite a few poeple banged on about what good value UCS R2 was based purely on piece count, but most of the pieces are tint and the technicolour innards mean the pieces aren't much use elsewhere unless again they're going to be hidden internal pieces.
  • caperberrycaperberry Member Posts: 2,226
    If someone can come up with a formula that factors PPP, part out value and weight, that would be cool. To assist decisions, rather than wholly making them.
  • tvihtvih Member Posts: 92
    Piece count, size and weight in relation to price are all factors for me, but not decisive ones each on their own. Like if you consider the per piece thing, what LFT said is a good example. In the end I still buy what I like, but if it seems too pricey for the size or amount of pieces in the set, I might hold off until I find a better price... or even skip altogether if it's a "borderline" (in terms of interest) set.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    On fairly generic sets that I don't actually want but might get for parts, I usually part out the set based on bricklink past six month quantity prices, without the instructions and box. These prices are usually over optimistic, so if the set is over 50% of the total part-out price, I leave it. Most decent sale items are under 50%, whereas RRP items are over.

    Even then, I still look at the contents and decide do I actually want what is in the set.
  • berniebondberniebond Member Posts: 137
    PPP plays a big role when I buy a set for MOCing, but then it has to be a good bit below .10 - rather .07 ! I recently jumped on 20 Minotaurus games for 10€ each, because it has nice lime and green pieces as well as a green 32x32 baseplate. It'd be good value even without the baseplate. Workin on a green MS now....

    PPP plays also a role WHEN To buy a desired set. I found Anakins and Sebulbas Podracer for 99€ to 67€ too expensive in that regard but now at 60 € its time to buy me thinks...

    As for reselling, it cannot hurt to have a reasonable PPP even after EOL. I bought a 10181 ET for .135 Cents pp (and that is expensive airmail shipping included).

    And lets take the 10214 TB for example:
    4287pcs - 500cheese :) = 3787 x .10 =378€
    It will be quite easy to sell TB at 400 € at 10cents a piece, i reckon.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    ^ Tower Bridge, 18 months after retirement, shouldn't have any problem at 10 cents per part, really I expect closer to 20 cents per part, given it is iconic and will never be done again. Taj Mahal is now about 18 months retired, it is also about 20 cents per part, new. (maybe a bit under right now because it is August, it was a few months ago, will be more this Christmas)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Eric said:

    Ha, very cool. Your full of interesting stuff aren't you LegoFanTexas?

    You're welcome. :)

    It was just a thought I had an an interesting way to look at it differently than price per part.

    At the end of the day, it really comes down to what *you* like of course, if SW does not interest you, then DS isn't a good buy, and so on.

    As for play value, both MMV and DS are great, but somehow I just have to give the edge to DS. Sets like MMV will be done again, they have been done before (Joust is similar in play value).

    I think DS is unique, it will be very hard to produce such a majestic set again.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,099
    edited August 2012

    I think DS is unique, it will be very hard to produce such a majestic set again.

    I would love to own the Death Star, but it's still $400. You can buy a large variety of sets with that $400.

    I don't think price per piece is really as important as play value. For example a lot of older sets from the 80's were less brick heavy than today's sets. A good example is the classic 928-1: Space Cruiser And Moonbase. At 383 pcs. there's a lot going on and it's actually larger than Star Wars Sith Fury 9500 which is around 750 pcs. Granted the Sith Fury is much more detailed but does it necessarily offer more play value to a 8 year old boy?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    ^ Fair enough... Do consider the huge play value of Death Star, the options are nearly endless, it has almost all the rooms from both films and tons of minifigs.

    Its part count is heavy on the gray to build the thing, but the rooms aren't empty, there are many "oh cool they put that detail in" features.

    As for 9500 Sith Fury, I actually just finished that yesterday. That set is clearly aimed at older kids (like me!) who are playing SWTOR. I don't think the average boy really cares about the detail, that is what the normal TIE Fighter is for. :)
  • sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
    I've heard of it mentioned before but does anyone consider a price per minifigure or creature ie dinosaurs or a particular hutt?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    ^ Yes, the Dinos and Jabba are indeed worth more, and are worth considering.

    Jabba's Palace is still way overpriced at 17 cents a part however... :)
  • sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
    ^I suppose I'll wait until they come out with a Jabba's palace battlepack to make it more cost effective. Not sure how they will fit more than one battling hutt in such a small box though, lol.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    sadowsk1 said:

    I've heard of it mentioned before but does anyone consider a price per minifigure or creature ie dinosaurs or a particular hutt?

    Of course, but there is not a flat rate per figure. Thor or a policeman? Han Solo or a roadsweeper? You only need to look at the recent Hulk heli-carrier set to see different pricing. Loki cheap, Hawkeye medium, Thor expensive (relatively) and Hulk very expensive. All down to availability in other sets and desirability of the particular character.

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