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I'm pretty surprised about #4431, #4434, #4435, etc all being sold out already. I've been buying a few of these up in the BOGO50's, mainly for personal use.
And I agree 4206's jump is holiday-driven solely.
I have sold a lot of this set over the past 3 months, the price hasn't budged an inch in that time and there is still a lot of supply.
I think Ninjago will retire before it has a chance to move higher, at which point demand will slaken.
It seems that the exclusive sets do hold a nice chance of going up, but they also seem to sell more slowly than everything else.
Public Transport was a good pick only because TRU put them on sale and BOGO so often, that my average cost for them is about 40% off. Otherwise, not that impressive.
City Garage surprised me, #7642 as a set that I didn't see going up as much as it did.
For large, expensive items, UPS and FedEx are better, if only because the tracking and insurance are actually useful. I actually have never had USPS pay a claim, and I've filed several. I'm still waiting, 3 months later, for them to pay for a damaged box.
When shipping something for $1,000+, you'd be nuts to use USPS in my personal opinion. I've had a $1,500 claim with Fedex, they paid me in 2 weeks, no hassles.
And, yes. I have heard from a lot of people, some business owners, that FedEx is kinder to packages than UPS. A friend who is a business owner calls UPS 'a bunch of gorillas'. :-)
I don't know how deep FedEx goes, but I can tell you UPS is amazing... :)
Lets just say... from Texas to California, I can send a 10lb box for $7.89 to a commercial address and $11.65 to a residential address. USPS can't touch that, even more so considering those prices include $100 worth of insurance, real tracking and a 3 day transit time.
USPS would charge $14.48 for Parcel Post or $25.70 for Priority Mail, neither price includes insurance.
How do you think Amazon offers free shipping? :) (they get even better rates)
So yes, casual customers are paying through the nose...
I think it is a matter of how many they sell. I honestly believe they do not sell as many as people think they do. It is still after all a 400 dollar set, BUT that also means that if they are not losing much by making it it can stay out until they decide to pull the plug.
I don't know what FedEx requires, I have a daily pickup with UPS and ship many thousands of boxes a year with them.
To be honest, I ship a few things here and there with FedEx, mostly to keep my UPS rep on his toes. If he doesn't keep my discounts up, I point out that FedEx is just a phone call away. :)
Frankly, I think that using the two of them to play off each other for discounts works better than anything else, but you do have to be nice about it, and the volume has to be there to be interesting.
I would argue that these comments are not off topic. This thread often posts of issues relevant to reselling. In fact, a more appropriate title to this thread could be labeled: "The Art Of Reselling", as pretty much anyone could read this thread in it's entirety and get a 101 on the reselling of Lego.
As for the shipping discussions, they ARE off topic. Open another thread for shipping information. This thread has to do with Predicting sets and their value, not the value of shipping or supplies and how much they go up or down. While the thread can deviate it should not be taking up this much space in this thread IMO.
I also saw the blurbs about UPS going away in March 2013 IIRC. I can't find it anywhere anymore though
One last question I have regarding shipping USPS verse FedEx/UPS. I ship a lot more parts / part lots and minifigures than I do boxed sets. Does FedEx/UPS have anything that rivals USPS First Class? As I ship a hundred or more first class packets a week.
For example, I could get the business rates through UPS if I shipped with them throughout the year and save quite a bit on the handful of large LEGO sets I sell in December, but I'd also have to pay a ton more, even at discounted rates, over what I pay USPS to ship the other 99% of my normal, lightweight packages. I'm not sure if the same is true of FedEx, but as I mentioned earlier, they've proven themselves time and again to be the absolute worst carrier in my area, so I have no real interest in giving them any of my business.