Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Reseller volume figures Xmas 2012

roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,352
edited December 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I'm interested in what figures resellers have done in the run-up to Xmas 2012 ?
I know there are many on here (and probably some lurkers) who will do far and above what I do - but lots of threads have comments like "every man and his dog has some of these stashed in the closet" - but do they really ??

I got into reselling the way many do - as a sideline to my Lego hobby. I have a regular 9 to 5 job so reselling is by no means my main income. This was my first Xmas on ebay as a registered business seller.

My best sellers this Xmas have been POTC ships, Diagon Alley and Minecraft but I shifted lots of smaller sets as well:

UK eBay figures for last 30 days:
Sales: 177
Total : £7,765
Average sale £44
«1

Comments

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Interesting, so what was the profit on the above figures?
  • SiESiE Member Posts: 238
    I think some might want to hold back information like that =D
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,352
    ^yes, I figured some might.
    ^^gross profit just over £4k
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    edited December 2012
    ^ ...and after taxes are deducted?
    andhe
  • BalloonistBalloonist Member Posts: 55
    Average item sale £44
    Average postal cost? Assume £4
    Ebay/ paypal fees minimum 10% so assume £4

    Is average item sale more like £36 after deductions.
    £4k profit, is your margin greater than 100%?

    Can I ask what you have invested in for 2013 as you seem to have the Midas touch.

    Seriously well done.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited December 2012
    roxio said:

    ^yes, I figured some might.
    ^^gross profit just over £4k

    That will buy you quite a few bricks :)

    Not sure exactly what I did as I am using my phone atm, but it was some where in the region of $2000 in sales, profit % would be a lot less than yours as I only sell current sets and I'm paying shipping from the US and Europe for my inventory.

    Probably $450- $500 profit, which would have all been spent on Lego sets for my self :p
  • BalloonistBalloonist Member Posts: 55
    Legoboy said:

    ^ ...and after taxes are deducted?

    And watch out for your VAT declaration too!

    andhe
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,352
    When I declare in April , net profit for the year 12/13 will be apprx £5k.
    ^not VAT registered.
    ^^^buyers pay postage, not me.
    Ebay fees are 10% of sales but I currently get a 20% discount due to DSR ratings.

    I'm sat on a lot of SW, mainly battlepacks which easily sell for £20-25 once EOL, during 3for2s etc they can be got for £5-7.
    Only got 2 Shuttles 10231, wish I went for more. Got quite a few maersk trains and VW Campers waiting for EOL.....
    Still got a few POTC ships, they seemed no-brainers when tesco shifted them at £66, as were their HP castles.
    £77 Diagons from amazon.de (which I put on here) were my buy of the year. Held a few back for 2013.
    Still haven't really entered the UCS/modular market very heavily, it still scares me!! Have got 1 DS, 2 IS, 1 GE, 1 PS and 1 FB.
    Not forgetting the well discussed £3.50 Atlantis Portals x 15 from Tesco lol.

    Most of it seems common sense, until I look at my stock of PQ, AC and PoP and wonder what was I thinking ???!!!


  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    People, especially those that sell a low quantity, grossly overestimate their profit without knowing it. Not saying it is done on purpose, but many of the "little fees" are ignored but add up: ie gas money, returns/paypal complaints, fees for unpaid items/refunds (that weren't returned by ebay/paypal), inflation, etc. Plus, as Roxio pointed out, that is for the items they sold and not the items they are sitting on that may be less than desirable.

    Ebay fees in the UK are really only 10%? Listing fees, final value fees, paypal fees?

    I only say this because I encourage those that sell small volume or those who are considering selling to think about all the overhead that can cut into your margins. By doing so, you can develop a better business plan/sense on where and how you acquire the stock and sell it as well as look at better book-keeping to maximize your tax write offs (at least in the US, unsure about worldwide).
    Yodalicious
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    I think you did well! Personally I don't take the 20% discount as I cannot bring myself to offer a 14 day return policy. Maybe I come out behind but not having to deal with moronic buyers 2 weeks after a sale is very satisfying.
    chrisdojoSi_UKNZ
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,558
    I found minecraft didn't sell all that well (in the UK) when you consider the profit. I bought half a dozen, and sold them easily enough on ebay with a 99p start, no reserve, including free postage. They all sold for about RRP+£10 including postage. If I had paid full price, I would have just about broken even after postage and ebay and paypal fees. Of course, I bought them at 10% discount (black friday) and got the free christmas set with each lot of three sets. So I probably made £20 selling six of them down to the discount and got two free christmas sets. It was probably just about worth doing. £20 profit on £200 stock is not what I would normally want, but I was after the Christmas sets and lego had nothing else available that I wanted at a price I would have paid during the promo. I didn't want to do any larger volumes though - as I wouldn't want to end up with multiple minecrafts unsold. It's not a set I'd enjoy if stuck with it.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,913
    Its interesting to see actually how little profit, aside from some big items, there is in lego. You would think for all the hatred for resellers and the coverage lego is getting at the moment it would be a gold mine. Doesnt really seem worth it.
    Si_UKNZ
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,558
    ^ I think that is true if buying at RRP (or smaller discounts such as 20% off) - but only for current sets. I'm sure most toy buyers in the UK know how many times there have been discounts over the last year or so at TRU, tesco, JL, sainsburys, Argos, ... . I would never pay RRP for any non-exclusive set. In fact, if I don't get at least 30% off, I rarely consider it - since this is the standard 3for2 discount done by so many stores. Only when it gets to 50% off do I feel like I am actually getting a real discount. And by then, it usually means the set is a dud.

    The hatred for resellers seems to be confined to those ones who have EOL sets stored away that have increased in value, since people now want them. There is of course money in those sets.

    The other place there is money is when stores (notably tesco or JL on a price match) let items go for way below RRP by mistake.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    CCC said:

    The hatred for resellers seems to be confined to those ones who have EOL sets stored away that have increased in value, since people now want them.

    Nope! Just those that clear the shelves and are too selfish to help out other members in need - for me anyway.

    I'm fortunate enough to own just about everything released I could ever want. Most of those sets that had EOL'd I could not have sourced had it not been for resellers. Fortunately however, having made an outstanding number friends here in Brickset, I know longer have to worry about whether I'm about for this sale or that as I know someone will have my back.
    cheshirecatYodaliciousrichoRedbullgivesuwindy2josh
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    edited December 2012
    What's more, it would be interesting for me to run up a total of all of the sets I've bought through the community to see how many hundreds/thousands I've saved and compare with what I could have made. No fees, no taxes, no chasing Tesco for refunds, no refunds to awkward buyers or the worry........just £££s I've saved with no aggro. Just lots of cheap LEGO and a cheeky smile.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    SiE said:

    I think some might want to hold back information like that =D

    ^ this...

    I am unlikely to ever post such information, it really isn't helpful without a lot of other details, which people will then just ask for. I already get one or two PMs a week asking for my secrets, no need to encourage it. :)

    To @Legoboy
    As for clearing shelves, consider that some of us do this for a living. I support my three kids with this money. You don't send forum members part of your paycheck, do you? This is my livelihood, so when I keep all the discounted sets that I find, it isn't personal, it is how I keep a roof over my family's head.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815

    .......it is how I keep a roof over my family's head.

    Just choked on my turkey and pickle sandwich.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    :). Turkey and pickle?

    If there was a joke in there, it went right over my head.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    edited December 2012
    ^ No joke. :-) I was eating cold turkey leftovers from Christmas Day a moment ago. Finished now, although did drop a pickle chunk down my Air Jordan tee when I choked.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,913
    Right before this heads into the reseller post :-). Thats true @CCC. Obviously that is how buisness works buy low then sell high. But as you experienced yourself only £20 profit on sets seems low. And someone else only made £500in total for the year.

    While not prying too much into @LFT business how many sets has he bought and then not made a profit or cant shift? The point I meant by talking of resellers is that these people are swimming in cash and laughing manically to the bank. However the figures dont seem to support that. Is there better things to invest in than lego?
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    Here's my sales for December.

    Purchased 3 Epic Dragon battles for resale from Amazon UK for a total of $264. Sold 3 Epic Dragon battles for Canadian retail price (actually 12% less than retail as that's the local sales tax) on the local classifieds the day after they arrived for $390 fee free. Made $126 profit and made three little timmy's happy and three sets of parents very happy they were able to get a set that was sold out. And made an excellent Christmas present to me as now I can stretch those dollars using this website and buy a set for myself.

    Billy

    Legoboy
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,993
    There is the other side of reselling: making almost no tangible profit by splitting sets for minifig sales and amassing parts as a result. I did this with a fair few Cosmic cube sets when Iron man was fetching £12-£16 on his own, but Loki and Hawkeye were relatively worthless. It allowed me to accrue parts very cheaply, which was a great starter towards my UCS MF, and has made me consider knocking up a few MOCs.

    I see this thread stirring up the hornets nest which (generally) is evil resellers vs self entitled individuals who expect others to run around for bargains and them to reap the reward of a single discounted set for little or no action on their part. I think that this sharing of deals may be entirely possible when it is mutual, or between a few "close" forum friends but a lot of the time it is one way traffic.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,993
    I do think this thread has highlighted the effort required to make a profit on Lego, tying up of capital, many cost considerations - being a reseller is not a license to print money, it requires something that the reseller haters don't have the motivation to do generally.
    LegoboySi_UKNZRedbullgivesuwindpharmjod
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ indeed. It sounds easy, but start factoring in all the time and hidden expenses, plus risking losses due to scammers/shipping issues/chargebacks, tying up capital for months or years at a time - honestly, in any kind of scale it's not something someone just does on a whim. I probably spend 20 hours a week, and it was double that in December.

    If you broke down my reselling profits into an hourly rate - it would not look good. But the time I spend I actually enjoy for the most part. By far the most time goes into research and price shopping, which both benefit my personal hobby side as well as the reselling. I would otherwise use that time for doing other non-productive hobbies, so it's still more money/hour than the alternative of $0.00 (or less, if I spent the time instead on pursuits that cost money)
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited December 2012
    Before this takes a wrong turn, just a friendly reminder to not turn this into another round of resellers vs. the rest of the world, man have we done that one to death in 2012!
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    ^ For me, I'm just surprised, based on the OP's figures, how small the reward was versus the amount of effort required versus other the options available to him to make/save a quick buck.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    atkinsar said:

    Before this takes a wrong turn, just a friendly reminder to not turn this into another round of resellers vs. the rest of the world, man have we done that one to death in 2012!

    Amen to that! :)

    For what it is worth, while I did make money this holiday season, I have to admit that reselling in large volumes has taken a lot of the fun out of LEGO for me.

    I have been discussing with my wife about getting out of the LEGO business, if only to preserve my sanity, to reignite my love for the brick, and because if I grow any further, I'll need a larger warehouse space.

    I haven't built a new LEGO set in 2 months. How sad is that? :(

    I wouldn't be considering walking away from the business if I was swimming in money. Actually, as other posters said above, the question becomes "what else could I do to make money that is easier than shifting thousands of LEGO sets?"

    Besides, I really do love LEGO, but moving the volume I have in the past 2 months, really makes me not want to look at another LEGO box for awhile.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    I'm getting out of reselling, way too time consuming and as a job it's way too under-appreciated considering the effort.
  • forumreaderforumreader Member Posts: 97
    edited December 2012

    as a job it's way too under-appreciated.

    That's what the money is for. /dondraper :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ The money is good, but not great. You have to move tens of thousands of sets before it becomes interesting, then you have to move hundreds of thousands of sets before it becomes *great*.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    ^ For me, I'm just surprised, based on the OP's figures, how small the reward was versus the amount of effort required versus other the options available to him to make/save a quick buck.
    177 sales in Dec grossing around 4k. Assuming 14 days of sales, that's 13 sales a day. Allowing 10 mins per order, that's around 2 hours a day. Even at 8 hours a day as a full time job, 4K a month is a decent wage. That's the equivalent to almost 50K/year.

    There will be some people of here who earn a lot more than that. There'll be some who earn maybe as much and do significantly less work. But seriously, 4K for one month on 177 sales is over double the national wage.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    Sorry, it's sales in past 30 days and not Dec. The final result is still the same.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Except that you can't repeat December's sales all year long. :)

    If you could, I'd be swimming in money and not posting here as much!

    December was amazing, but it isn't repeatable until next December.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited December 2012
    If you include the whole process it'll be much more than 10 mins per order. And of course there's the sets you don't sell which is where the losses are hidden if you just look at those figures. Do the numbers/ time accounting properly and it's way under minimum wage unless you get all industrial about it and do it in very high volumes.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    Yes, but we are working on a single month. It's still 4K for a single months work. It may take more than 10 mins per order but if one was to do it full time, it's still a good wage. Yes you will have the odd loss here and there but I believe the OP only does it on a small scale with sets that he's confident are going to be winners.

    Let's assume he worked 16 hours a day for the 30 days. That's still over £8 an hour. Or another way is he spent around 2.7 hours per sale.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,913
    ^Don't forget though as @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK says that doesn't include losses, nor taxes, the cost of re-investing into other sets, postage, transport etc. That isnt pure profit.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,558
    edited December 2012
    I really wonder if you can ever stop being a reseller. If you find a set you love and it's cheap, I dare you (anyone, not just @LFT) to buy just one for your personal use. I know for sure I could not - I would always pick up as many as I could afford or carry to either trade for other sets, sell off the minifigs and keep the bricks or just sell on.
    pharmjod
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    ^ Am not going to go through all of the finer calculations, but the OP did reveal that is figures were gross. As a full time job, he would have to pay himself a wage. Taking himself into the UK higher tax bracket, take 40% and NI contributions off and all of a sudden it doesn't look as appealing. Even at 20%.....no thank you.

    And like @LFT points out, I wonder what the figures might look like in February or March for example if he was to make it a full time job. This is why I questioned if it was really worthwhile given the amount effort the OP would have had to have put in - far more than you are estimating I'd suggest. I agree with @LFT, keeping it small hardly makes it hardly worth the effort to me given the route I have chosen to take (sharing), and so to go big would be the only way to go. But then even to resell at the rate @LFT has claimed to previously (purchasing 60k of stock in a year), given he's not over the moon with his results, I question how much further one needs to go.
    RedbullgivesuwindSi_UKNZ
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    morezone said:


    177 sales in Dec grossing around 4k. Assuming 14 days of sales, that's 13 sales a day. Allowing 10 mins per order, that's around 2 hours a day. Even at 8 hours a day as a full time job, 4K a month is a decent wage. That's the equivalent to almost 50K/year.

    There will be some people of here who earn a lot more than that. There'll be some who earn maybe as much and do significantly less work. But seriously, 4K for one month on 177 sales is over double the national wage.
    When you are tying up capital, that is not a good wage for anyone. Go work a regular 9 to 5 and invest your "capital" in a more traditional asset. You will come out far ahead -- especially considering time spent.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    Taxes are applicable to all wages not just Lego earnings. He had capital to invest in the original sets which he sold. He can re-invest the same capital or if he chooses he can add or reduce it. His earnings are seperate from his capital.

    His earning are just an approximation. Based on his figures, he did very well. Even allowing for 50% expenses and other sundries, he still walks away with 2K. He then has to pay tax on that 2K but that also applies to any job. Now based on his new net profit before tax, his wages are still the equivalent of £8.33 an hour with an 8 hour day for the 30 days. Obviosuly on a 16 hour day, it would be half of that which would be well below the minimum wage. Now someone is going to pull up the loses and for the sake of arguement, let's say it's been factored into the 50% expenses. Now with the new 8 hour day, his time spent on each order is now 1.5 hours. This includes reasearch, buying, listing, packing and posting.

    I am adjusting the figures and hours based on feedback but it still shows that based on the OPs figures, he has done well.

  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    edited December 2012
    ^ You've lost me if I'm being completely honest. I've read it twice and it doesn't sound appealing at all let alone "done well". Maybe I'm just getting lazy with age. :-)
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    This is a numbers game. Get into high volume, get some "affordable" warehouse space and then it starts to make sense. Otherwise we are just kidding ourselves.

    For some, its just a "fun", profitable hobby on the side which makes sense. This is their "free" time that they enjoy. No one can argue with you from this viewpoint.
    Si_UKNZpharmjod
  • jasonord69ajasonord69a UKMember Posts: 432
    Last 31 days sales:

    Sold 325 items
    Value £9249
    Profit after all fees approx £1000

    4 hours per day (7 day week) spent buying, researching prices, listing items, packing and posting.

    28 hours x 4 = 112 hrs
    £1000 / 112 hrs = £9 per hour.

    Not bad as a sideline but certainly not enough to pay all the household bills!

    I'm glad every other month is not as busy otherwise the VAT inspector would be knocking down my door and taking another 20% of my profits.
    Si_UKNZ
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    ^ This sounds far more realistic. Thank you for sharing.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    It does get very complicated once you factor in investment time, possible higher tax bracket and all that stuff. But based on the 30 days to Xmas with a 9-5, it's still a decent wage. If his profits were lower, then it may be a different story. If he was selling 177 different sets, then it would have been a waste of time.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    These new figures are a differnt story. His profits are significantly lower and tells a whole new story.
    Legoboy
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Just 1k profit on 9k in sales? Ouch.
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    These December days have been good for me. Net profit of almost 40€/Day. Pr so says my spreadsheet.

    Not bad counting I haven't spent much time, and most of the time was online looking for sales. I'm really happy in general. Also, I do this for the pure enjoyment of having my little business running apart from the real work, and for doing it with Lego.


  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    Just 1k profit on 9k in sales? Ouch.

    sounds like the difference between selling current sets and EOL sets. not a huge percentage turnaround, but he probably flipped the inventory in days or weeks, not months/years.

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    CCC said:

    I really wonder if you can ever stop being a reseller.

    It's betting on futures - guessing what will happen and making a stake on the future outcome. Essentially it's gambling, which is why it's addictive.

    CCCUKtsumi
This discussion has been closed.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.