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Selling Sets "As-Is"

Son1shineSon1shine Member Posts: 29
edited May 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Hello,

I posted in another post, but I wanted to get specific advice about 10182. I got it at a yard sale, and it is about 90 - 95% complete. It is missing the very top roof (not the whole third level, just the roof), the minifigures, part of the cafe tables and the hotel sign.

I almost did not realize what this was, and almost sold it in a large lot to someone else. I feel very fortunate that I figured out what it is, and very blessed to have come across it at a yard sale!!! =) I am trying to figure out the best way to sell it. As I have been researching I have found that it is worth quite a bit of money, and that the parts individually are worth quite a bit too. I am thinking about "bricklinking" it, but I am thinking I would probably be getting in over my head as a newbie. The good thing is that all of the missing pieces seem to be pretty common and easy to get a hold of.

So, I am wondering, what would you advise? Should I list it here? Should I list it on Ebay, or Bricklink? Should I just take pictures and sell it "as is"? It does not have the box or the instructions. Should I sell it in levels? Or just sell the dark blue arches, the doors etc separate?

I truly appreciate your advice. I have been spending hours on this whole project (and having a lot of fun), but I feel like the learning curve is really steep, and I could really use some advice from some seasoned LEGO builders and sellers.

Thank you!!

Heather

Comments

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Welcome...

    First, no matter how much you *research* this, after it is done you'll learn something else that makes you go "Doh!". :)

    Welcome to the fun!

    As for your situation, the answer is, "it depends..."

    What is your time worth? How much do you want to spend to make it 100%? Are the parts really clean?

    Have you considered keeping it, finishing it off, and just adding to it?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    The lack of manual is going to hurt it a bit, but it's probably not worth shelling out the money to buy one just to 'complete' it. The bricks may a different story. Cafe Corner is probably one of a handful of sets that isn't worth the effort to part out, as you'll likely get less that way and only end up making more work for yourself. I don't know that I'd bother replacing the minifigs, either, as they aren't the big draw on this set. Still, if you can complete the model itself cheaply enough, I'd be surprised if you couldn't get over $800 for it. I've seen the model with no box and no instructions (though the minifigs were included) go for $900, so $800+ for a model in the same condition with no minifigs doesn't seem like a stretch. This, of course, assumes the bricks are clean and in good condition.
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    Yes, it depends of course. What I would do would be to download the instructions in PDF format from Brickset and figure out what specific pieces are missing, and I would then obtain them from Bricklink. Then once complete (I would not bother with the minifigs) take pictures, disassemble, clean the pieces in the dishwasher (I put them in colanders or strainers) if needed, and then post on Ebay or Bricklink.

    I would only sell individual pieces (arch, doors, etc) if the set was just a fragment of being complete. But it sounds like it is close to complete so would not do that. Do not sell by floor.

    Or...complete it as above, and then keep it. Put it on display. Then buy the Fire Brigade, Grand Emporium, Pet Shop and Town Hall and make a fabulous street display. :) I am working on piecing together my Cafe Corner from scratch now and am envious of you. =)
  • Son1shineSon1shine Member Posts: 29
    Thank you LegoFanTexas for your reply!

    Well, I have already spent countless hours, and it has been a lot of fun, but I don't think I have the "gas" in me to keep going to do the research and order all of the extra bricks to complete it. I know that completing it would probably make it sell for a lot more, but realistically it would probably take me a good 10 hours to do??? (Ordering all the parts etc). If it fetched an extra 150$, that would only be worth $15 an hour, and my time is worth more than that.

    No, I don't think we will keep it, although it is gorgeous and I am tempted to. We are just not big time LEGO collector's - we just build with our kids for fun. My son is 6 and he comes up with the best multicolored tanks you have ever seen! The only exception to keeping it would be if it we thought it would go up considerably in price over the years, but it already seems to be at an insane price!!! =)

    The parts do seem to be really clean. They do not seem to be dusty or scratched or anything.

    I see there are more replies, but I haven't read them yet, I will respond.

    Thank you!

    Heather
  • Son1shineSon1shine Member Posts: 29
    Thank you so much for the replies.

    Maybe I will look into completing it! I will ask my husband if he would want to do it with me. We completed the Christmas Train 10173 together the other night, and it was a lot of fun. The part of ordering all of the parts is what seems overwhelming to me. Do you think Bricklink is the best way to do that? Or I read somewhere about getting some of the parts directly from LEGO.

    You guys mentioned not replacing the minifigures... what about the birds? The very top piece is missing, along with the top birds. I think I remember reading you could get a different color bird for way cheaper.

    Thanks again!

    Heather
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    I'm not really sure about the birds, to be honest. If you decide to replace them, I'd replace them with the correct birds (unless you're keeping it for yourself and it won't bug you). From the standpoint of reselling it, 'substitute' birds aren't really going to add to the value, so you'd be better off leaving them out altogether at that point.
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    ^The dark bluish gray birds are fairly expensive and hard to find. If you replace them with the regular dark gray birds (the cheaper kind), the set will still be incomplete since you used color substitutions. IMHO, you should go all out and complete it with the correct parts or just sell it off as it is.

    You can order parts from either BrickLink or LEGO. BrickLink is usually cheaper is you can find one or two sellers who have all the parts you need, but LEGO can be cheaper for certain parts. It sometimes takes a bit of research to figure out which is cheaper.

    Good luck with selling it. I'm glad you're having fun putting things together. Sounds like a fantastic yard sale find.
  • seonadancingseonadancing Member Posts: 92
    I'd sell it as is and buy the kid some starwars and cars sets, I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy those more than that. I'm not sure if that's an easy sell at $500 or $600, but even for $500 you can buy your kid a lot more stuff that he likes.
  • fyrmedhattfyrmedhatt Member Posts: 128
    Complete the set before selling it. From what it sounds like, you are only lacking a few of the really hard to find pieces, but you have the correct white panels, the right doors, the dark red slopes, all the dark blue parts.

    If all you miss are some plates and a few of the dark bley birds, buy those in order to be able to sell the set. Make sure you put emphasis on having the correct parts in the listing and you should be able to fetch a great price in the $700's, eve without the manuals (which at this point are so expensive that I agree with the above posters that it isn't worth it).
  • redheaded_jokerredheaded_joker Member Posts: 18
    edited August 2012
    Do you think it is worth it to purchase instructions and a box for a set/several sets so you can sell them complete? Obviously it would raise the price, but is it worth it?
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    edited August 2012
    It definitely raises the value for resale but, as cliche as it sounds, it all depends on the set and how much you are paying for the box/manuals. What sets did you have in mind?
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    edited August 2012
    There are so many variables involved, for example getting a good condition box for a good price then turning around and selling it for a price that is good enough to draw bidders (assuming you're selling on ebay) but still giving you a profit. As Renny said it depends on the set and of course the desirability of that set. It won't take very many times of paying a high price for a box described as mint but receiving a box that looks like it was pulled out of the garbage to destroy a lot of profit.
  • redheaded_jokerredheaded_joker Member Posts: 18
    I've been organizing two large bins of mixed Legos into sets for the past week, I'm almost done. Once I am finished, I will post the sets.
  • redheaded_jokerredheaded_joker Member Posts: 18
    edited August 2012
    These are all the sets I'm looking to sell. I have instructions for some, no boxes for any except the Halloween Bucket (in which I have the actual bucket).

    3429-Ultimate Defense
    3431-Street Ball 2 vs 2
    3564-NBA Collectors # 5
    4711-Flying Lesson
    6738-Skateboard Challenge
    10039-Black Falcon's Fortress
    4705-Snape's Class
    4706-Forbidden Corridor
    4707-Hagrid's Hut
    6771-Ogel Command Striker
    3401-Shoot 'n' Score
    6032-Catapault Crusher
    6094-Guarded Treasure
    6575-Polar Base
    6602-Scorpion Buggy
    7124-Flash Speeder
    5936-Spider's Secret
    6433-Coast Watch
    3047-Halloween Bucket
    5988-The Temple of Anubis
    6107-Recon Ray
    1492-Battle Cove
    6086-Black Knight's Castle
    6277-Imperial Trading Post
    4021-Police Patrol
  • redheaded_jokerredheaded_joker Member Posts: 18
    @Renny See above post
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145

    These are all the sets I'm looking to sell. I have instructions for some, no boxes for any except the Halloween Bucket (in which I have the actual bucket).

    3429-Ultimate Defense
    3431-Street Ball 2 vs 2 (Yes)
    3564-NBA Collectors # 5
    4711-Flying Lesson
    6738-Skateboard Challenge
    10039-Black Falcon's Fortress (Yes)
    4705-Snape's Class (Maybe)
    4706-Forbidden Corridor (Maybe)
    4707-Hagrid's Hut (Maybe)
    6771-Ogel Command Striker
    3401-Shoot 'n' Score
    6032-Catapault Crusher
    6094-Guarded Treasure
    6575-Polar Base (Yes)
    6602-Scorpion Buggy
    7124-Flash Speeder
    5936-Spider's Secret
    6433-Coast Watch
    3047-Halloween Bucket
    5988-The Temple of Anubis (Yes)
    6107-Recon Ray
    1492-Battle Cove
    6086-Black Knight's Castle (Yes)
    6277-Imperial Trading Post (Yes)
    4021-Police Patrol


    Okay did a quick review on BrickLink for values and I put a "Yes' next to the sets which would make it worth your while to find the instructions. Getting the box would also boost your sale price but usually they can be very difficult to find for older sets and not worth the hassle (depending on price). The ones listed as "Maybe" you should get the instructions for only if the price is something less than $5. Your most valuable set is the 6086 Black Knight's Castle but Bricklink has no manual/box in it's inventory.

    As for the rest you are probably best off selling as a lot.

    Hope that helps a bit. It's just my opinion so if anyone else wants to chime in feel free.
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    edited August 2012
    I picked up a quite a few city sets and some of the stickers have been incorrectly placed or missing. It is worth buying the sticker sets from LEGO or just sell as is? I'm thinking they will make more money when I sell them on if I remove all stickers and just include a fresh new sheet. I have called LEGO and they have some of the sets costing around 95p each.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,459
    Depends on the set, but for that price, probably yes.

    It might also have the psychological effect that they have not had much play and so command a better price, much like having a box seems to help used sets.
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    Well I wasn't going to bother with the smaller sets but thinking for the fire station, police station and garage its probably worth it. I guess its always nice to add your own stickers as it will feel "cleaner"
  • Son1shineSon1shine Member Posts: 29
    Just wanted to let you know I finally got around to selling this set on Ebay - I didn't bricklink any extra parts, just sold it as is. It fetched $405 - I was pretty happy with that. Thanks for all your help!!!
    Son1shine said:

    Hello,

    I posted in another post, but I wanted to get specific advice about 10182. I got it at a yard sale, and it is about 90 - 95% complete. It is missing the very top roof (not the whole third level, just the roof), the minifigures, part of the cafe tables and the hotel sign.

    I almost did not realize what this was, and almost sold it in a large lot to someone else. I feel very fortunate that I figured out what it is, and very blessed to have come across it at a yard sale!!! =) I am trying to figure out the best way to sell it. As I have been researching I have found that it is worth quite a bit of money, and that the parts individually are worth quite a bit too. I am thinking about "bricklinking" it, but I am thinking I would probably be getting in over my head as a newbie. The good thing is that all of the missing pieces seem to be pretty common and easy to get a hold of.

    So, I am wondering, what would you advise? Should I list it here? Should I list it on Ebay, or Bricklink? Should I just take pictures and sell it "as is"? It does not have the box or the instructions. Should I sell it in levels? Or just sell the dark blue arches, the doors etc separate?

    I truly appreciate your advice. I have been spending hours on this whole project (and having a lot of fun), but I feel like the learning curve is really steep, and I could really use some advice from some seasoned LEGO builders and sellers.

    Thank you!!

    Heather

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