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USA Today article on LEGO investing and Brickpicker.com

2

Comments

  • itsnotmeitsnotme Member Posts: 111
    prevere said:

    On your point LFT ... also for them to mention the UCS MF is very unfair. To dangle that type of profit like a carrot in front of new bunnies is uncalled for.

    Absolutely and totally unrealistic to compare that to any single Lego product available now to invest in. (Not the % of increase, but any sets hitting north of $2,000).


    Agreed. The article is just chock full of facile get-rich-quick jargon.

    "These things are gold" Classic line. Made me chuckle.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    I doubt this is going to bring a huge influx of investors/resellers into the fold. Some to be sure, but the burden of having to actually acquire/store/pack/ship the items is going to turn most investors off right quick. Much easier to just move electrons around rather than tangible goods.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,300
    prevere said:

    I think it's funny that this article had no mention of Bricklink or the concept of "parting out" sets.

    They also completely disregarded the minifigure aspect of LEGO! I wasn't expecting to see it in the first place though when I read the title...

    Either way, at least at the end of the day, whether the prices go up or down and reselling LEGO becomes a thing of the past... we all have a pile of bricks that we love to play with!

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Yes, UCS Falcon is an outlier, and is unlikely to be repeated.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337

    Yes, UCS Falcon is an outlier, and is unlikely to be repeated.

    No love for Taj?

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Taj, Eiffel, Carousel, etc. are also outliers, but for whatever reason, not talked about as much.

    Those were amazing models, done during a time when LEGO wasn't known for amazing models.

    Now they are, now everyone is buying Tower Bridge waiting for it to reproduce Taj's history, which it won't.

    UCS Falcon just seems to sit right up on top of that pile for some reason, perhaps it is size, perhaps it is part count, perhaps it is because so few sets have passed $2K in price...

    And it does help that everyone and their mother knows what the Falcon is. :)
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    edited December 2012

    If USAToday called me, I would not call them back.

    Why are you so paranoid? All markets have their ups and downs. If you haven't prepared yourself for this then you shouldn't be playing the game.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    It isn't about being paranoid, rather it is about not drawing attention to something that does not require it.

    Nothing said here on Brickset is going to reach much of an audience, at least not one that isn't already into LEGO.

    USAToday will bring out every "get rich quick" fool out there, and cause those of us who love the Brick no end of headaches.

    It won't cause TLG too many problems, since their product is already consumed for the most part, but it will affect resale values for awhile.

    The only plus side is that 6 months from now, I'll probably buy out more "resellers" inventory when they find out that it is actual work to sell off dozens if not hundreds of sets.

    The reason I called them idiots is because they are, when you know of a way to make money, you don't shout it from the rooftops, you march on quietly doing your thing. Otherwise, no one ends up making any money, this is what makes them idiots, because they are resellers as well, so they are just shooting themselves in the foot for their 15 minutes of fame.
    itsnotmedragonhawkRedbullgivesuwindmadforLEGOpharmjodbricknation
  • itsnotmeitsnotme Member Posts: 111
    mathew said:

    If USAToday called me, I would not call them back.

    Why are you so paranoid? All markets have their ups and downs. If you haven't prepared yourself for this then you shouldn't be playing the game.

    Meow!

    Not all markets have their ups and downs. Several markets near and dear to resellers have had exactly one up and one down, and that was it. Beanie babies. Tulips. To a lesser degree, baseball cards. As has been correctly stated a few times on this thread, when you bring in outside resellers that have no love for the product the resulting supply/demand imbalance can kill the aftermarket for years if not forever.

    Stocks and bonds have ups and downs. The same isn't true for collectibles.
  • fred_furyfred_fury Member Posts: 1
    Hi there,

    Long time lurker, big time seller, felt compelled to reply because there have been some interesting points made about the future of Lego secondary market values in this thread and as an expert, I would like to share some of my authoritative knowledge on the matter.

    I've been selling Lego's for over 5 years now, as a supplement to my disability income, and to feed my nasty Asian massage parlor habit. Last year, I raked in close to $15K, this year, it's almost double that. Half of the inventory I had was purchased at full retail price, where I cherry picked my way to see the dolla, dolla, bills rain down. The other half of my inventory was acquired through deals with the type of people you wouldn't want within 10 feet of your daughter, I call them the dirt dogs, as it's what they are. I'm not going to disclose specifics on a public forum board but let's just say it's very shady, but extremely beneficial.

    For you new time sellers, understand that there is no such thing as an end, only beginnings. If the end of reselling Lego's for a substantial amount of money is coming to an end (remember there is no end), it means the beginning of a new cycle of making money making opportunities. Where there is failure, there is room for success.

    This is key in developing in a solid scalping plan.

    Second.

    Do not go with the trends, be the trend maker.

    How do you set the trends?

    It's it's hard to get people to think how you want them to think, however if you play your cards right, and you follow through in a genuine manner, you'll have all of the collectors following your every move. Please note that the tactic I'm about to disclose has a far greater chance of working in the Hot Wheel community rather than among Lego, because generally speaking, Hot Wheel collectors are scumbags with half the mental capacity of my inbred dog, while Lego collectors are usually come from affluent backgrounds, and are well educated people.

    Basically, you rile up all the collectors on the forum boards, make up stories about prices and how much you've been getting for such and such. Hell, you can even make your own exclusive stickers (gold colored seems to work best) and plaster them all over the product, to make it seem like you've found a gem of a find. I tried this tactic on several occasions, first you need to set the mood though. You go start a thread on a popular forum, inquiring whether or not this piece exists, as you've heard stories about it.. obviously it doesn't yet because you haven't made it. Secondly, you set up an auction with this exclusive item with the gold exclusive sticker and put that baby up on ebay. Get your friends and family to bid that baby up to the sky. Then, you unleash 10 more, slowly, but steadily, the bidders will come, and they'll pay top dollar for your item.

  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,894
    mathew said:

    Lego should be about the building aspect and when the bubble bursts it will open up the hobby to those who haven't been able to afford it.

    I didn't think the resellers had bought up all sets to strangle the supply of Lego to the masses who just want to build at RRP.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    edited December 2012

    The reason I called them idiots is because they are, when you know of a way to make money, you don't shout it from the rooftops, you march on quietly doing your thing. Otherwise, no one ends up making any money, this is what makes them idiots, because they are resellers as well, so they are just shooting themselves in the foot for their 15 minutes of fame.

    What they are really selling is a resource for resellers. It's actually in their best interest to promote reselling because it will drive traffic to their website. It bothers you because outside of being a reseller you don't derive any other source of income from the hobby. You need to diversify if you want to continue trying to profit from Lego.
    evileddie1313
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097

    mathew said:

    Lego should be about the building aspect and when the bubble bursts it will open up the hobby to those who haven't been able to afford it.

    I didn't think the resellers had bought up all sets to strangle the supply of Lego to the masses who just want to build at RRP.
    Everyone now thinks their box of loose Lego/Megablocks is worth gold. When the bubble bursts, prices will drop which in turn allows those who previously couldn't afford the hobby.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,894
    Mathew: I have seen that happening on some pretty poor lots on ebay etc. Not sure if the bubble will burst on genuinely desireable complete sets though. If Lego sales are driven to a greater extent by speculators then it may prompt TLG to keep a set going longer than we're used to. That would be a beyond retirement resale killer- not only would there be more sets in the aftermarket causing competition to drive those prices down, but also more people would be able to buy during their extended shelf life. Just look at DS, lots out there squirrelled away for the aftermarket, but it is still available, and in 4 years TLG hasn't upped the RRP, so it looks a bargain compared to recent sets as a price per part/minfigs per set comparison.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    mathew said:

    What they are really selling is a resource for resellers. It's actually in their best interest to promote reselling because it will drive traffic to their website. It bothers you because outside of being a reseller you don't derive any other source of income from the hobby. You need to diversify if you want to continue trying to profit from Lego.

    And if they are making money at that, then good for them.

    They were resellers first and they seem to be making money at that. If they are ok to hang up their reseller hat, then fine, I can understand why they would do it.

    I just get the impression from the video that they think they can have their cake and eat it too. Be resellers, and have a reseller web site.

    You can have one or the other, I don't think you can have both, because a very popular reseller web site, will harm the resale business.
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126

    mathew said:

    What they are really selling is a resource for resellers. It's actually in their best interest to promote reselling because it will drive traffic to their website. It bothers you because outside of being a reseller you don't derive any other source of income from the hobby. You need to diversify if you want to continue trying to profit from Lego.

    And if they are making money at that, then good for them.

    They were resellers first and they seem to be making money at that. If they are ok to hang up their reseller hat, then fine, I can understand why they would do it.

    I just get the impression from the video that they think they can have their cake and eat it too. Be resellers, and have a reseller web site.

    You can have one or the other, I don't think you can have both, because a very popular reseller web site, will harm the resale business.
    Sorry for this idiotic question, but maybe you can help me clarify matters with your infinite LEGO wisdom...If a person never sold a LEGO set, can they be considered a "reseller"? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    comicblast
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,314
    ^ The best time to sell business secrets is when the business idea is no longer profitable or you are getting out of the business.
    FollowsClosely
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126
    edited December 2012
    Who is selling business secrets? Where can I buy some?
  • Brick_ObsessionBrick_Obsession in a "Brick" house - Calgary, AlbertaMember Posts: 654
    Ed,

    Perhaps this is the perfect venue for you to answer any questions or perceptions people may have about Brickpicker.
    LegoFanTexasGothamConstructionCo
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Once this venture stops paying off I will start my own Lego investing website complete with affiliate links. Hopefully that day does not come but the above article certainly is not a happy indicator.
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126

    Ed,

    Perhaps this is the perfect venue for you to answer any questions or perceptions people may have about Brickpicker.

    Thanks for your idea, Graham. First, I would like to thank Huw for letting this thread get posted on this wonderful site. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Ed Mack and along with my brother Jeff, we are the co-founders of www.Brickpicker.com. There has been a lot happening as of late, most with this article about LEGO investing. I've been entertained by some of the posts here and want to clarify some things. First off, we have never sold a LEGO set, nor do we want to destroy the secondary LEGO market. Quite the contrary. We are huge promoters of LEGO bricks and want more people involved with the hobby and/or business, if that's your preference. We offer free information from the eBay Terapeak program and use it to create a price guide for used and new sets. While there is an investment portion of the site, we are more about saving the LEGO fan money when buying sets. We post specials, sales and deals and show less experienced LEGO fans what they should spend on sets.

    While many of you may know a lot that is on our site, there is plenty of data that could be helpful. We try to give the LEGO fan some quality data and information. While there might be some incorrect data, sifting through hundreds of thousands of listings to get proper price data for 9000+ LEGO sets is not easy. Please feel free to ask questions or visit the site. Jeff and I will help in anyway possible. Thanks for your time.

    timinchicago
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126

    Once this venture stops paying off I will start my own Lego investing website complete with affiliate links. Hopefully that day does not come but the above article certainly is not a happy indicator.

    As we all know, affiliate links keeps these sites free. Good luck with your venture.

  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Thanks for posting Ed! I have never visited your site so thankyou for the quick summary. I am not suggesting you or your site are going to destroy an entire collectors market, but rather the article is a good indicator for me the end of this market is closer than I first anticipated.....your site is just the first of many that will begin to appear. Of course the title of your news story certainly does not help your cause lol....maybe saving money brick by brick would have been better for your image?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,887
    edited December 2012
    ^As a former newspaper guy, I can tell you that Ed didn't get to pick the headline for the article (at least he shouldn't have). That would have come from the reporter or copy editor at USA Today.

    That said, the article is what it is, like Toto is pulling the curtain back on the wizard. We had the BBC and NPR reports recently, and CNN Money (I think) and other outlets have been propping up Lego as a golden investment opportunity. Kids getting Lego sets stolen and returned, and the usual giant sculpture stories, it goes on and on.

    On the media forces at work here...1) Other collectible toy markets have had bubbles pop (and people dumping collections because of hard times), driving those interested to collect to look elsewhere; 2) There are less "physical" toys of interest these days, driving those who want collections of stuff to look elsewhere, and; 3) Lego has been in hyper expansion mode with new stores all over the globe, the Friends series created a media uproar, new theme park, new Super Heroes and LOTR series; new video games, the movie coming out, yada, yada, yada. Lego is a lot more in the media conscious than ever before.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    prevere said:

    We had the BBC and NPR reports recently, and CNN Money (I think) and other outlets have been propping up Lego as a golden investment opportunity.

    Missed those .. got links?

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,887
    The Dec BBC Lego references are fluffy stuff. You can google that.

    Here are the other references:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19342121

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/12/13/167055503/why-legos-are-so-expensive-and-so-popular
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,550
    fred_fury said:

    '..........The other half of my inventory was acquired through deals with the type of people you wouldn't want within 10 feet of your daughter, I call them the dirt dogs, as it's what they are. I'm not going to disclose specifics on a public forum board but let's just say it's very shady, but extremely beneficial.

    For you new time sellers, understand that there is no such thing as an end, only beginnings. If the end of reselling Lego's for a substantial amount of money is coming to an end (remember there is no end), it means the beginning of a new cycle of making money making opportunities. Where there is failure, there is room for success.

    This is key in developing in a solid scalping plan.

    Second.

    Do not go with the trends, be the trend maker.

    How do you set the trends?

    It's it's hard to get people to think how you want them to think, however if you play your cards right, and you follow through in a genuine manner, you'll have all of the collectors following your every move. Please note that the tactic I'm about to disclose has a far greater chance of working in the Hot Wheel community rather than among Lego, because generally speaking, Hot Wheel collectors are scumbags with half the mental capacity of my inbred dog, while Lego collectors are usually come from affluent backgrounds, and are well educated people.

    Basically, you rile up all the collectors on the forum boards, make up stories about prices and how much you've been getting for such and such. Hell, you can even make your own exclusive stickers (gold colored seems to work best) and plaster them all over the product, to make it seem like you've found a gem of a find. I tried this tactic on several occasions, first you need to set the mood though. You go start a thread on a popular forum, inquiring whether or not this piece exists, as you've heard stories about it.. obviously it doesn't yet because you haven't made it. Secondly, you set up an auction with this exclusive item with the gold exclusive sticker and put that baby up on ebay. Get your friends and family to bid that baby up to the sky. Then, you unleash 10 more, slowly, but steadily, the bidders will come, and they'll pay top dollar for your item.

    Sorry, and maybe I am misunderstanding, but it appears you are implying you deal with those outside of the law and also reporting some, what I perceive as, unethical behavior (such as misleading buyers into believing something is what it is not) should not be a blueprint for 'success'.

    Now I'm not sure you if are being sarcastic in reporting you deal with those that are implied to be doing outside of the law (drop-shipping with stolen credit card information perhaps?)and to purposely mislead buyers but I for one do not believe such info as this is appropriate.
    pharmjodlittletokiGothamConstructionCogivemeabrickknoose
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,899
    edited December 2012
    ^^Not sure if he/she is being flip or not, but if they are serious, sounds like a real class act all around. Oh, and for those not sure, THAT was sarcasm.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 517
    edited December 2012
    Yup, definite class act. Let's see, your steps to success include the following:

    1. Buy from extremely shady people i.e. stolen goods.
    2. Lie about exclusivity on forums and then have friends/family shill your auctions.

    Awesome advice.
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    I think it best to ignore fred_fury and continue with our discussions. Reading his post left me feeling "unclean" and it was so "off" in tone and content from everything else I have ever read on this forum...even when it devolved into bickering.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    edited December 2012

    fred_fury said:

    '..........The other half of my inventory was acquired through deals with the type of people you wouldn't want within 10 feet of your daughter, I call them the dirt dogs, as it's what they are. I'm not going to disclose specifics on a public forum board but let's just say it's very shady, but extremely beneficial.

    For you new time sellers, understand that there is no such thing as an end, only beginnings. If the end of reselling Lego's for a substantial amount of money is coming to an end (remember there is no end), it means the beginning of a new cycle of making money making opportunities. Where there is failure, there is room for success.

    This is key in developing in a solid scalping plan.

    Second.

    Do not go with the trends, be the trend maker.

    How do you set the trends?

    It's it's hard to get people to think how you want them to think, however if you play your cards right, and you follow through in a genuine manner, you'll have all of the collectors following your every move. Please note that the tactic I'm about to disclose has a far greater chance of working in the Hot Wheel community rather than among Lego, because generally speaking, Hot Wheel collectors are scumbags with half the mental capacity of my inbred dog, while Lego collectors are usually come from affluent backgrounds, and are well educated people.

    Basically, you rile up all the collectors on the forum boards, make up stories about prices and how much you've been getting for such and such. Hell, you can even make your own exclusive stickers (gold colored seems to work best) and plaster them all over the product, to make it seem like you've found a gem of a find. I tried this tactic on several occasions, first you need to set the mood though. You go start a thread on a popular forum, inquiring whether or not this piece exists, as you've heard stories about it.. obviously it doesn't yet because you haven't made it. Secondly, you set up an auction with this exclusive item with the gold exclusive sticker and put that baby up on ebay. Get your friends and family to bid that baby up to the sky. Then, you unleash 10 more, slowly, but steadily, the bidders will come, and they'll pay top dollar for your item.

    Sorry, and maybe I am misunderstanding, but it appears you are implying you deal with those outside of the law and also reporting some, what I perceive as, unethical behavior (such as misleading buyers into believing something is what it is not) should not be a blueprint for 'success'.

    Now I'm not sure you if are being sarcastic in reporting you deal with those that are implied to be doing outside of the law (drop-shipping with stolen credit card information perhaps?)and to purposely mislead buyers but I for one do not believe such info as this is appropriate.
    I had ignored this when I first read it, because I believed it to be a troll post, but for those questioning the legitimacy of it, I would simply state that this is, serious or not, an absolutely terrible business plan.
  • Brick_ObsessionBrick_Obsession in a "Brick" house - Calgary, AlbertaMember Posts: 654
    It would appear he is a troll, only signed up at 1:00pm today.

    There is a lot of information in this thread that is worth while reading, his does not fall into that category.
    Si_UKNZ
  • crazycarlcrazycarl USAMember Posts: 392
    edited December 2012
    Man............
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,899
    I will say that having worked at a TRU for my first job the comment about hot wheel collectors did amuse me as there is a nugget of truth there ;)
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    There is not going to be a bursting of any bubble with Lego sets.
    mathew said:

    Lego should be about the building aspect and when the bubble bursts it will open up the hobby to those who haven't been able to afford it.

    All of this talk of a bubble in the reselling of Lego is a bit off the mark. For an asset bubble to form, prices have to become disconnected from the underlying value of the asset and start to become driven purely by speculation. Then, when confidence in the value of the assets waivers, everyone rushes for the exit and tries to sell for whatever they can get, which is what causes the bursting of the bubble. Lego is fundamentally different than tulips in Holland in the 1600s or shares in the Dutch East India Company in England in the 1800s or mortgage-backed securities in the US in the 2000s...the price for retired sets is driven by the demand of individuals who want to own the sets for something other than pure price speculation. Sure, there may be some people out there who buy retired sets in order to bet that their prices will rise, but, in my experience, demand is driven by people who want to own and play with the sets...that is not the stuff of a bubble.

  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    LEGO_HULK said:


    I truly disagree with your thoughts. Is eBay anymore unreliable than Bricklink or anywhere else. Unless you are selling thousands of sets and tracking it all on your own, then you have no information like anyone else so its good that there are sites like this and Bricklink to help show what people are paying for sets. You say it yourself, its a guideline. I don't think i see it stated there or on Bricklink that their numbers are pure fact. You say they rely on other sellers to get information, but isn't that the point. They are telling you that that is what people are paying for. Just like Bricklink data, we have no idea on whether the transaction ever made it through or was fraud.

    Not sure if you ever heard of Kelly Blue Book for cars. If you didn't that is a guide on what people pay for cars, etc. It's just a guide and has been around for ages. No one just pays exactly what that guide says either. You need to work your own deal in the end and be happy with what happens.

    I think you and CCC need to relax a little and just think that there may be people out there, including myself that might not know as much as you and like to look at data. It's only my opinion, just like you have yours.

    Sales data from Ebay is not an unreliable indicator of what a set might sell for on Ebay, but it is an unreliable indicator of the true value of a set. I sell on Ebay, Amazon and Bricklink, and the price that I can get for the same set will often vary from site to site, so if I was looking to Brickpicker to determine what a set was worth, it would not provide me an accurate assessment of value because it is only drawing data from a single source.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    I don't think there is a bubble in the sense that prices for rare in demand sets will ever fall e.g ucs falcon, taj, statue of liberty etc. However going forward it may be harder to eek out profits in the secondary market as this article is indicative of reselling becoming more and more mainstream. On the other hand TLG not giving good discounts may discourage alot of would be resellers as well. Good sales prior to BF and Xmas from other retailers will be key (e.g. Walmart this past fall)....the days of rocking up at the local Lego store at 6am on 12/26 and snagging good sets at 50% off are long gone. It will be interesting to see in 5 years where it all ends up.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 517
    Crap. I fed the troll. :(
    Si_UKNZ
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126
    edited December 2012
    prevere said:

    ^As a former newspaper guy, I can tell you that Ed didn't get to pick the headline for the article (at least he shouldn't have). That would have come from the reporter or copy editor at USA Today.

    That said, the article is what it is, like Toto is pulling the curtain back on the wizard. We had the BBC and NPR reports recently, and CNN Money (I think) and other outlets have been propping up Lego as a golden investment opportunity. Kids getting Lego sets stolen and returned, and the usual giant sculpture stories, it goes on and on.

    On the media forces at work here...1) Other collectible toy markets have had bubbles pop (and people dumping collections because of hard times), driving those interested to collect to look elsewhere; 2) There are less "physical" toys of interest these days, driving those who want collections of stuff to look elsewhere, and; 3) Lego has been in hyper expansion mode with new stores all over the globe, the Friends series created a media uproar, new theme park, new Super Heroes and LOTR series; new video games, the movie coming out, yada, yada, yada. Lego is a lot more in the media conscious than ever before.

    This is true. You have to understand what an honor it was to be thought of for an article for the second largest newspaper in the USA. I even joked with Matt Krantz, the financial writer who wrote the article, that people would be mad at us and we are going to create a bubble that was never there. To his credit, he really enjoyed the topic and spent almost 4 hours on the phone with my brother and I. Needless to say, things were taken out of context. As for the photos, Eileen Blass, the photographer, spent 3+ hours with two dorks like us taking pictures and video. She also went above and beyond to make a quality video, but I basically removed half of my sets from storage boxes to make an interesting shot.

    As for a LEGO bubble, I did an article for out site several months back and found that the average price of a LEGO set on eBay has been remarkably stable for the past two years. Besides the typical December bounce in prices for Christmas, the average prices for thousands of sets in our database grew around 10% a year. It never varied far from that, with the exception of the holiday season. What that tells me is that while there are your Cafe Corners and Market Streets out there, there are also a lot of investment dogs as well. You have to pick the right sets to invest in and resell and that will never change. As I stated earlier, with the exception of Huw, I don't think there is a bigger promoter of LEGO sets than us. We love those little plastic bricks and would never want to hurt the industry or its fans. We want to provide the fan a place to get some quality, free information and have some fun doing it.

    Also, as I have stated, I have never sold a LEGO set. I might have thousands of them, but I am in it for the long haul and have a firm belief in the product and its fans. Unlike some other so-called investors or resellers of collectibles who jump from item to item and pretend to really care about that collectible, Jeff and I really believe in LEGO and its product. I have been collecting LEGO since 1975 and plan on collecting LEGO until I run out of room or my wife kicks shuts down my credit cards, either way, we are no phonies and we practice what we preach. I buy the sets I recommend and use the site to help promote the product. There is no funny business or manipulation. Our data is as accurate as we can get it. I know people have mentioned Bricklink and Jeff has been in contact with them. We would love to work with them, but as you all know, they have other issues that need attention at the moment.

    Thanks again for letting me reply to the many comments. There are some I will not lower myself to answering...
    ViereDiggydoesatkinsarefitness
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126
    edited December 2012

    LEGO_HULK said:


    I truly disagree with your thoughts. Is eBay anymore unreliable than Bricklink or anywhere else. Unless you are selling thousands of sets and tracking it all on your own, then you have no information like anyone else so its good that there are sites like this and Bricklink to help show what people are paying for sets. You say it yourself, its a guideline. I don't think i see it stated there or on Bricklink that their numbers are pure fact. You say they rely on other sellers to get information, but isn't that the point. They are telling you that that is what people are paying for. Just like Bricklink data, we have no idea on whether the transaction ever made it through or was fraud.

    Not sure if you ever heard of Kelly Blue Book for cars. If you didn't that is a guide on what people pay for cars, etc. It's just a guide and has been around for ages. No one just pays exactly what that guide says either. You need to work your own deal in the end and be happy with what happens.

    I think you and CCC need to relax a little and just think that there may be people out there, including myself that might not know as much as you and like to look at data. It's only my opinion, just like you have yours.

    Sales data from Ebay is not an unreliable indicator of what a set might sell for on Ebay, but it is an unreliable indicator of the true value of a set. I sell on Ebay, Amazon and Bricklink, and the price that I can get for the same set will often vary from site to site, so if I was looking to Brickpicker to determine what a set was worth, it would not provide me an accurate assessment of value because it is only drawing data from a single source.
    Valid point. As we often tell people on our site, it is a "guide." There are many variations and conditions of any one set, but it is up to the educated and experienced user to tie it all together. Is the set MISB, NIB, used, used with box & instruction, etc...? There is no possible way, with our resources, to give LEGO fans exact prices, for hundreds of variations, of 9000+ sets. We often compare our prices to Bricklinks and they are usually similar. I'm sure you can find sets in which the prices are different, but the vast majority of sets sell for similar amounts on eBay and Bricklink. We would like to work with Bricklink, but as I stated above, they are concentrating on their own internal upgrade issues.

    eBay, with its Terapeak data, gave us the opportunity to gain access to millions of LEGO auctions for a fair price. Amazon does not sell "sold" data to our knowledge and to be quite honest, for older sets, is not a place I recommend buying a LEGO set from. New sets...a big YES though. The US eBay auction data feed is the largest in the industry, so it was the best(not perfect) way to come up with our data. I know prices in the UK and the rest of Europe can be quite different, but the ratios of growth of the various sets should be similar. A 10179 should have similar growth in value in the US as it does in the UK and elsewhere. So if you use our data that way, it could be valuable to LEGO fans worldwide.

  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126

    There is not going to be a bursting of any bubble with Lego sets.

    mathew said:

    Lego should be about the building aspect and when the bubble bursts it will open up the hobby to those who haven't been able to afford it.

    All of this talk of a bubble in the reselling of Lego is a bit off the mark. For an asset bubble to form, prices have to become disconnected from the underlying value of the asset and start to become driven purely by speculation. Then, when confidence in the value of the assets waivers, everyone rushes for the exit and tries to sell for whatever they can get, which is what causes the bursting of the bubble. Lego is fundamentally different than tulips in Holland in the 1600s or shares in the Dutch East India Company in England in the 1800s or mortgage-backed securities in the US in the 2000s...the price for retired sets is driven by the demand of individuals who want to own the sets for something other than pure price speculation. Sure, there may be some people out there who buy retired sets in order to bet that their prices will rise, but, in my experience, demand is driven by people who want to own and play with the sets...that is not the stuff of a bubble.

    I agree with this. TLG does an excellent job of managing inventory and not overproducing product. They discontinue sets on a regular basis and the majority of LEGO sets are bought by children, who really don't care about the secondary LEGO markets. LEGO investors and resellers like to believe they have an effect on LEGO prices and products, but overall, kids drive the LEGO machine and always will.

  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,117
    Amen
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    edited December 2012
    2013 and beyond may be a bad time for resellers but for collectors and buyers its only going to get better.

    I think this year is going to be a fantastic year for nice sets, we have just had the palace cinema announced which looks amazing, we have got the new flagship technic crane Mk 2 coming which im looking forward to, obviously a few more SW UCS sets and probably a few more exclusives along the way :)

    i say to hell with all this talk of secondary market prices, just enjoy sets as Lego intended, to build and have fun!, if prices do fall through the roof does it really matter?, at the end of the day the worst thing that happens is you have tons of MISB sets to freshly open and build with many hours of enjoyment :)
    Brickbase
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    After reading this article, I feel like buying up the last of the ~19 UCS MFs for ~$60,000 on Bricklink and cornering the market. Earlier this year there were ~32. So they have been selling even at the $2500 price point.

    I told my wife it was a no lose proposition....she just laughed.
  • staffmarkstaffmark Member Posts: 44
    When it comes to the value of collectibles, my rule of thumb has always been that they are not worth collecting once average Joes know they have value. For instance, once people began to realize the insane value of original Kenner Star Wars toys, they began socking away the re-releases from the mid 90s , thereby insuring that said re-releases had no resale value. Could it be the same with Lego? Not sure, but that's why I hate to see articles like this. Once Joe Blow on the street knows it - partys over, at least in my experience.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    the difference with LEGO that I keep coming back to is that they aren't generally collected like all the things we compare to - action figures, hot wheels, baseball cards, comic books, beanie babies, etc. the vast majority of sets sold originally and on the secondary market are consumed - that is, they are opened and built. the supply will always be diminishing after EOL, not just traded around amongst collectors hoping for future profits.

    More resellers could saturate the after-EOL market and keep prices depressed, but the only ones who are really going to lose real money are the speculators who buy up sets at 1.5+ RRP after EOL hoping to see prices continuing to rise. anyone who buys sets at RRP or below isn't really going to lose substantial money in the long run - they may have to sit on stuff longer, or sell it at break even or a slight loss, but they aren't going to lose most of their principal outlay. The tangible value of the set isn't going to disappear. It's not like paying $50 for a baseball card or beanie baby or MOC action figure at all. those things all have a theoretical actual value of near $0.00 Not so for a sealed EOL LEGO set.
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    edited December 2012
    dougts said:

    the difference with LEGO that I keep coming back to is that they aren't generally collected like all the things we compare to - action figures, hot wheels, baseball cards, comic books, beanie babies, etc. the vast majority of sets sold originally and on the secondary market are consumed - that is, they are opened and built. the supply will always be diminishing after EOL, not just traded around amongst collectors hoping for future profits.

    More resellers could saturate the after-EOL market and keep prices depressed, but the only ones who are really going to lose real money are the speculators who buy up sets at 1.5+ RRP after EOL hoping to see prices continuing to rise. anyone who buys sets at RRP or below isn't really going to lose substantial money in the long run - they may have to sit on stuff longer, or sell it at break even or a slight loss, but they aren't going to lose most of their principal outlay. The tangible value of the set isn't going to disappear. It's not like paying $50 for a baseball card or beanie baby or MOC action figure at all. those things all have a theoretical actual value of near $0.00 Not so for a sealed EOL LEGO set.

    Its extremely hard for a casual Lego buyer such as myself to keep a set sealed for more than a few weeks, the artwork and all of the pieces you can hear jiggling around in the box make it completely impossible to store it away.

    When i first got into Lego around a year ago, my main intention was to keep my sets purely for resale but that soon changed when i opened the shipping box for the first Lego set i bought which was the Fire brigade.

    Being a casual reseller takes ALOT and i mean ALOT of willpower keep everything sealed.

  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126
    edited December 2012
    dougts said:

    the difference with LEGO that I keep coming back to is that they aren't generally collected like all the things we compare to - action figures, hot wheels, baseball cards, comic books, beanie babies, etc. the vast majority of sets sold originally and on the secondary market are consumed - that is, they are opened and built. the supply will always be diminishing after EOL, not just traded around amongst collectors hoping for future profits.

    More resellers could saturate the after-EOL market and keep prices depressed, but the only ones who are really going to lose real money are the speculators who buy up sets at 1.5+ RRP after EOL hoping to see prices continuing to rise. anyone who buys sets at RRP or below isn't really going to lose substantial money in the long run - they may have to sit on stuff longer, or sell it at break even or a slight loss, but they aren't going to lose most of their principal outlay. The tangible value of the set isn't going to disappear. It's not like paying $50 for a baseball card or beanie baby or MOC action figure at all. those things all have a theoretical actual value of near $0.00 Not so for a sealed EOL LEGO set.

    Excellent points. Smart investors/resellers know most LEGO sets get discounted at some time before EOL and buy accordingly. Although it is quite possible to buy a retired set at "plus" MSRP prices and still make money, it is getting harder and harder to do so. The bottom line is that MISB sets get opened everyday and the ones that remain usually become more valuable. Most LEGO sets are purchased by children who care very little about future growth potential and just want to build and this is the main reason why a LEGO bubble will not form IMO. As for myself, I also find it hard not to open a wonderfully displayed LEGO box to build it. I usually try to buy one new set to save and a quality used set, at a lower price to build, to reduce my guilt about opening a MISB set. ;-)

  • itsnotmeitsnotme Member Posts: 111

    I usually try to buy one new set to save and a quality used set, at a lower price to build, to reduce my guilt about opening a MISB set. ;-)

    Judging by the photos, you have more than one MISB copy of quite a few sets!
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126
    itsnotme said:

    I usually try to buy one new set to save and a quality used set, at a lower price to build, to reduce my guilt about opening a MISB set. ;-)

    Judging by the photos, you have more than one MISB copy of quite a few sets!
    Well....UHHHHH...I said usually. There are exceptions. ;-) That's my OCD kicking in.
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