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Is there such a thing as too much?

LTL_AFoLLTL_AFoL Member Posts: 7
edited September 2012 in Collecting
I didn't find anything via a search and hope this topic hasn't been discussed already.

Here is a question that I have been wrestling with recently. When you find Lego on sale, is there such a thing as buying too much? Here is my dilemna.

I buy Lego strictly for personal use and thought my focus would be on items that were city related. I have no intentions of ever selling anything I buy. I have been lucky on some recent shopping trips to Kmart and Walmart where I have found some decent markdowns. Some examples of this have been:

- #4644 Marina for $18
- #4184 Black Pearl for $50
- #4183 The Mill for $8
- #3366 Satellite launch pad for $7

I ended up buying 13 #4644s, 4 #4184s, 12 #4183s, and 7 #3366s. I have no idea why I got so many copies of the same set other than the fact that I felt the prices were too good to pass up, especially since I had no interest in the PoTC line. I thought I could use the parts eventually for MOCing purposes.

For those that have been doing this for a while now, have I been buying irrationally or does it makes sense to get as many sets as possible when the markdown is fairly large? Do you buy sets you had no interest in but the discount was too large to pass up? Does the actual dollar amount or percentage off influence your decision? What would you guys have done if you were me? :)

Sorry for the lengthy post. Just wanted to see what others thoughts were.



  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    At those prices, I would have bought them all. They are all good sets for parts, if you are into making your own models. You could probably make a huge marina with that many, although the excess ones might be better used as swaps for other sets you want.

    With PotC you can always sell off / trade away the minifigs for city ones.
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    @LTL_AFoL Any chance you selling me one of those Black Pearls for $50 plus shipping?
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,341
    For me there are 3 factors: Can I afford it? Do I have room for it/want to build it? and how far will my wife's eyes roll back into her head? Usually a great deal will compel me to get something I might otherwise not but I did pass on several POTC sets at ridiculous prices just because I have no interest and the resale value is nil
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,744
    $8... sheesh. Why does the UK never see (authentic, non-internet error) discounts like this! Asda is Wal*Mart isn't it! But yes, that is TOO much, seek help :P
  • LTL_AFoLLTL_AFoL Member Posts: 7
    ^ @bricksan Sorry, but I have issues with selling anything at the moment, just strictly a buyer. :) I will let you know if that ever changes to see if you're still interested.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    edited September 2012
    pm sent.

    I'd like to trade for some Pirate Crew figs if you don't want them so much?
    (My PotC ship looks too bare, and i'd like to see a bit more 'battle' going on).

    But on topic, that's a great find. I'm not sure what i'd do, having never seen this kind of discount. But I have started to ignore a lot of store sales (argos 3 for 2's etc), if i couldn't find anything that I really want for my collection.
  • FizzlemesexyFizzlemesexy Member Posts: 123
    If you have the resources (space, $, time to build, etc..) then it totally is awesome. Nothing wrong with it. It makes you happy. Most of what I pick up is for personal use too. The only set with intent to sell at markup was the motorized AT-AT at a percent that would make @LegoFanTexas proud.

    It doesn't seem the case but If you find yourself with untouched sets, lack of space, and trouble paying bills - it's irrational.

    I have purchased sets that I had no initial interest until I saw how large the markdown was. Already had Ramses Pyramid (the board game) but could not pass a second on clearance for $3. Tan baseplate, bricks, LOTS of microfigures... Absurdly discounted. Kind of like the PoTC Mill you picked up.

    Of course if you're buying out my stores, save some for me ;)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366

    I have purchased sets that I had no initial interest until I saw how large the markdown was. Already had Ramses Pyramid (the board game) but could not pass a second on clearance for $3. Tan baseplate, bricks, LOTS of microfigures... Absurdly discounted.

    Some sets I don't think of as sets from day one. Ramses Pyramid is a classic example. To me, that is a MOC set with tan baseplate and loads of tan bricks. It just happens to have Ramses Pyramid written on the storage box, which is an ideal size and strength for storing parts. I think I have 7 or 8 of them. I don't think we ever played the game.
  • FizzlemesexyFizzlemesexy Member Posts: 123
    I've never played it either. I only refer to it as a set out of formality in case of a microfigure uprising.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    With discounts like that you can't go wrong - if you have a plan. And if you have the money and space to store them. Even though you are not planning to sell them, unless you are working on a MOC and you need the parts, I would still treat the sets as an investment and make all endeavor to keep them in good shape in sealed boxes in case you decide to sell. Again; only if you are not planning to build with them. If you do, then you might as well enjoy them....(c:

    Personally I only buy extra sets when I know the parts will be useful to me. Since I mainly build in the castle/fantasy line, for me the Mill would be a great set to buy in quantity when it is on sale. I would pass on the Satellite Launch set as the parts are less useful to me. Maybe I would pick up one, or buy it if I know the parts sell well on BrickLink.

    LEGO can take over your vallet and your living-space very fast, so it is best to have a plan before going shopping, no matter what is the discount. Have an end-game in mind (be that parts for yourself, investing, collecting, or buying to sell) and you will have a clear plan every time you walk by the LEGO isle....(c;
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    akunthita said:

    LEGO can take over your vallet and your living-space very fast, so it is best to have a plan before going shopping, no matter what is the discount. Have an end-game in mind (be that parts for yourself, investing, collecting, or buying to sell) and you will have a clear plan every time you walk by the LEGO isle....(c;

    ^ This!
    I totally agree. I've been seriously collecting for only the past 5 years now (but actually collecting since 1989), and I'm still trying to figure out my plan . I am at the point where I must beginning making tough decissions about my LEGO hobby. Have to ask myself, when does my passion become an obsession. It is all too easy to be swayed over by so many great sets and themes. Lately I've tried to stick to City only, but I keep getting sidetracked. "Must have that other set, my precious."
    For the most part, I can afford it, but the downside for me is where to put it all. The quantity on-hand has begun to exceed the space where I store it. This came very apparent when I had to make room in the guest room, so it could be used as such... I love building the sets, but don't have much time to actually sit down and do them, so most of mine are still boxed up with visions of a proper place to eventually display and play with them. Somewhere down the road there is a LEGO room planned, but the when and where remains to be determined. My spouse is tolerant and understanding, but I don't want to test her limits. I want to limit myself to Modulars, but the other sets always beckon to me, and tell me they would make nice additions to my future LEGO city.... a port would be nice..... and some tall ships to add flavor.... oh, and an old village along the wharf.... and some aliens attacking .... and some monsters and zombies to wreck havoc....
    Oh, the wonders of collecting LEGO. ;oP
  • LTL_AFoLLTL_AFoL Member Posts: 7
    @Fizzlemesexy - If you notice me in your store with a cart full of Legos, feel free to stop me and I will be more than happy to least I think I could do it. :)

    @akunthita and @Legogeek - I have gone to the store with a plan in mind. Now sticking to the plan is a different discussion altogether.

    @Legogeek - Your thought process regarding additions to your future Lego city sounds too familiar. :)
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    I just wish i had known about a sale like that at walmart. Every time I go onto amazon i feel the need to buy something new. The past couple of days there have been huge markdowns and if i didn't have any restraint i'd max out my credit card.....LEGO products are too tempting.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited September 2012
    Is there such a thing as too much?

    Short answer: Yes.

    Long technical answer: Yes. In economics, diminishing returns (also called diminishing marginal returns) is the decrease in the marginal (per-unit) output of a production process as the amount of a single factor of production is increased, while the amounts of all other factors of production stay constant. The law of diminishing returns (also law of diminishing marginal returns or law of increasing relative cost) states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant ("ceteris paribus"), will at some point yield lower per-unit returns. The law of diminishing returns does not imply that adding more of a factor will decrease the total production, a condition known as negative returns, though in fact this is common. A consequence of diminishing marginal returns is that as total investment increases, the total return on investment as a proportion of the total investment (the average product or return) decreases. Although this economic principle generally refers to production processes, we can extend this principle to the scenario of purchasing LEGO by analogy. In this scenario, purchasing of LEGO is analogous to the production of utility or happiness and the only factor of production being increased is LEGO. Note others factors, such as storage or display space, are not being increased. Since other factors remain limited, the principle remains the same and we see diminishing returns, possibly to the point of negative returns.

    AFOL answer: No.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    there is defiinitely such a thing as too much because
    - if theres a special offer and you buy three times as much stuff which you dont want you dont get the benefit of the special offer as you actually lose money (unless you sell it)
    - space and money are finite so even if you have enough of each its still a waste to use these resources on things u dont need

    id either split them for parts, sell or trade them or give them away as presents. the goal being that somebody (you or someone else) gets to enjoy them.
  • mnbvcmnbvc Member Posts: 142
    I know some of you guys think I'm a bit weak for this but I still struggle when buying multiples when they're on a great offer.

    The bottom line is, if you're a reseller then yeah, I can understand you getting them and flipping them. If you build MOCs and the parts are useful to you/good part and price ratio, I can understand you getting them and splitting the sets. But if you're an average Lego builder who wants 1 to build or maybe 2 so you have a duplicate, I don't understand buying 10 or 15 of something.

    Maybe it's because I work with kids in quite a deprived area and there have been several occasions where I could've cleaned up off the shelves locally, but I've only taken what I really needed so that there's some sets left for someone else. Maybe kids never end up with them...but I feel a bit better about the idea of sharing it.

    I think it's easy to get caught up in the moment, and then you end up with multiples of a set that you didn't really want in the first place. It's hard to walk away from a good deal, but sometimes I've forced myself to turn away and save that money for a bigger set instead and left the 'bargain' (usually a set that I wouldn't mind having, but wasn't overly excited about) for someone else.
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    I think there is definitely a point where you can buy too much. When you have bought so much that you spend all of your time sorting instead of building, you've bought too much.

    I hate to admit it, but I think I'm bordering on that point myself... but it's just so darn hard to pass up a great deal... or a nice selection of parts on the pick-a-brick wall.

    In the first post, I'd probably pick up a couple of the Marina and the Mill at those prices, but thirteen marinas and twelve mills? Probably not. The Marina has some very large special pieces (how many identical boats do you need?) and a bunch of pieces in the Mill are devoted to the water wheel and aren't terribly interesting to me. The only reason I'd buy the Mill is because I'm a castle builder too, not just City. As a City builder, even at a great price I'd struggle to find a reason to buy the Mill. If I can't envision a use for the pieces, I don't buy it. Even if it's a great deal. I bought two Marinas, but have passed up many more at decent prices because I just can't see a use for most of the pieces. The few pieces I want more of, I can buy cheaper on Bricklink.
  • CrownieCrownie WA StateMember Posts: 228
    I thought about posting this question in the Collecting section of the forum, but ended up here.

    I was actually organizing my LEGO closet this evening and was a bit overwhelmed. Not so much "Where do I start?", but more along the lines of "Why the heck do I have all of this? Do I really need it all?" Obviously, this is a huge can of worms and everyone's going to have different opinions (which is awesome,and exactly what I'm looking for - hence the post), but it got me thinking:

    Where do you draw the line? Many of us may not be financially able to buy every piece of LEGO we could ever want, but we can certainly buy a fair amount. So how does everyone keep from going overboard? Do you restrict yourself to certain themes? Only what you can fit in a certain area / closet / room? Or do you just keep collecting without a specific plan in mind?

    (I'm already seeing a plethora of Hoarders related comments, lol.) ;-)
  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651
    edited March 2013
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 1,101
    By saying you have "too much" is subjective. Post some photos and we'll judge.
  • CrownieCrownie WA StateMember Posts: 228
    edited March 2013
    @Joseph - I vaguely remembered reading that thread but couldn't find it. Thanks! (I didn't just make up that discussion after all...)

    You are the thread Guru.

    @1265 - very true, though I was hoping to get some others' perspective regarding their own situation - in order to relate. I guess. Does that make sense? I'm not concerned with what someone else might think of my LEGO stash, just the nature of the thought.

    (I was just going to suggest merging this with the above mentioned, but someone went ahead and did it already! You mods are a quick and meticulous bunch. Thanks!)
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    I try to limit myself to a select few themes. Right now it's modulars, LotR, SW (mostly OT), and Marvel SH.
    I caught hell the other day for spending $500 at the Lego Store.
    My wife doesn't mind having the bigger, more detailed models (UCS and such) out and about, but 95% of it is banished to the computer room/dork hoard. I'm very worried about that room filling up. It's even worse when I have about 70 Bionicle sets, and 8 years worth of other Lego still stashed in my dad's basement.
  • VaderXVaderX Member Posts: 220
    Wheres the fun in stashing your sealed boxes in the closet?

    Lego is for building. Not just something to purchase because it may have been a bargain.

    If your are not building the sets you are buying or using the parts for MOC's. Whats the point?

    Hoarding is the first word that comes to mind if your are not actually using them or wanting to "give" anything up.

    Just my 2 cents. :)
  • Chang405Chang405 Member Posts: 88
    If you are buying cheap for resale, there is never too much as you will seldom lose money selling those sets later on.

    For the general collector, at first money is a constraint but as the collection becomes bigger, space becomes the worst enemy. So one has to be more selective about the sets they buy. For me, just being cheap is no longer a reason to grab a set. I always think about whether I will use it or whether I have space for it.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    Even as a small seller, space is a big issue. Sometimes I have to pass on a good deal just because I don't have the room to spare for storage.
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 542
    edited March 2013
    And don't forget, there is usually a 60-90 day return window! Leave them out somewhere, all of them, in a giant heap and feel the anxiety mount on just how much you really bought. Then, think of what other set, or other purchase in life you could make instead of extra LEGO you won't use. Finally, delve into the pile and separate out what you really want from the impulse buy. Tally up the price of the return as money toward the other object, and then return and feel the anxiety diminish. Works for me!
  • dejavudejavu USAMember Posts: 235
    My dad was a collector of antique cameras. He started out small and eventually started buying them by the carton. He had a lot of interesting and rare cameras, and he had a lot of junk, too. He ended up with over 1,600 cameras, many still in the cartons he found them in, and when we tried to sell them after he died, we basically flooded the market and didn't get good prices. So I'm a bit cautious about getting too large a collection, especially since I've only been building LEGO for eight months and already have over 2 dozen sets (just a little hooked). Definitely enough that I've used up all the spare storage space in the house.

    For ME, it's too much if I find I'm buying things only to stash them somewhere and not get any enjoyment from them. Your results may vary.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    ^ Don't flood the market. Sell a few per week and you will get more.

    It's the same with lego. If every reseller insists on selling all their stock at the same time, prices will drop. If on reseller tries to sell 100 sets (all the same) in a week, prices will be lower than if he drip feeds them into the market.
  • dejavudejavu USAMember Posts: 235
    Yes, live and learn. Dad also had other antiques and we 'drip fed' those. Unfortunately learned the hard way.
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    ^^ @dejavu ... haha, I got back into Lego, and have amassed 90+ sets (just single copies), all CMF series except 1 and 2 (well, and GB), and about 15-20 polys. I was on a major binge for the better part of the year, but I will say i wasnt bitten by "Lego fever" buying up just everything I could get my hands on. It was all stuff on my list. This is from Christmas 2011 to now....
  • CrownieCrownie WA StateMember Posts: 228
    My primary issue is that I keep coming up with these great ideas for MOC's, but I've got no place to display and or build them. Being that the average LEGO set is only 'around' for a couple of years before being discontinued (after which prices skyrocket), I end up "buying now to build later."

    I just hope the 'later' actually comes. :-{
  • dejavudejavu USAMember Posts: 235
    I have some random minifigs - zombies, Lex Luthor, an alien from Toy Story, a couple of Series 8 CMF - but mostly am into buildings - modular, Creator, winter village, haunted house, medieval village, Harry Potter. I'm so bummed that they've discontinued HP. My son had a HP castle and the Forbidden corridor - they formed the start of my collection (hey, he didn't want them anymore) - and I added Diagon Alley and the Burrow. I'd like to customize the Medieval Village a bit to make it serve as Hogsmeade, but I haven't gotten much into customizing or MOCs yet. Chomping at the bit.

    What are your favorite themes? What are 'polys'?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    Polys are small sets in poly bags rather than boxes. They are often promotional giveaways or sold as teasers for new sets.
  • dejavudejavu USAMember Posts: 235
    I have a few polys, in that case. That's how I got the zombies.
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