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What's the biggest/fastest profit you've ever made on re-selling a LEGO set?

indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
edited April 2011 in Buying & Selling Topics
Hmmm, reading some of the other topics here sparked a fun thought...

Looking at it with the eye of an investor, I think we can "predict the price curve" on LEGO sets very clearly:

PHASE I - When a big new set comes out, it might cost about $100 or so...
PHASE II - A year or so later, it goes on clearance, and it drops down to $75 or less on the shelf...
PHASE III - Then a few months after it's discontinued, everyone wants it, and it hits $150+++ on E-BAY...

So... What is the biggest/fastest profit you have ever made on re-selling a LEGO set? How long did you hold it, and then how much did you profit?

If you are "the Gordon Gekko of LEGO bricks", go ahead and boast! =D
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Comments

  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    edited April 2011
    To be a bit of a historian, I'll mention 7190 Millennium Falcon. Its quick appreciation has been eclipsed by more recent sets, but it was the first Lego set in the eBay era that I recall skyrocketing in value soon after being discontinued.

    It had a high retail price of $100, a somewhat protracted production run, and contained Princess Leia who was exclusive to the set. Its resale value peaked ~2-3 years into retirement at around $450.

    The Leia minifigure also set the standard for high value minifig collectible, fetching upwards of $80 on eBay.
  • thesinisterpenguinthesinisterpenguin Member Posts: 96
    I made about 47p profit selling a spare Series 4 minifig the other day. That is about my peak.
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    edited April 2011
    @Racao, Wow, so about a 140% Annualized Return on Investment...
    Try doing that on the stock market!
    [Note: Annualized R.O.I. = total profit made / years held]
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I made £4 selling a S3 Elf the other day.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    I'll let you know if I ever get around to selling one ;0)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,448
    I'll let you know if I ever get around to selling one ;0)
    You and me both !

  • jb15jb15 Member Posts: 53
    I bought 376-2: House with Garden (link: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=376-2 ) brand new in a slightly crushed, but sealed box. I got it for $2. A family member and I spotted it at the same time, and raced to buy it--luckily I was able to pull out my money first!

    Anyway, I sold it on eBay for over $220--not bad... :)
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,317
    I bought my cafe corner for $150 and sold it for $300 and I also I bought an AT AT walker for $50 and turned around and sold it for $100.
  • PacotheDuckNinjaPacotheDuckNinja Member Posts: 5
    When it first came out, I bought 3826 Build-A-Bob, it languished in my closet for a few years following my dark age, and last year I sold it for $100 on Amazon. Not bad for a $35 set that I got for free after using several gift cards.
  • mirandirmirandir Member Posts: 31
    I made $99 on selling a Chrome Vader I got for free...
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^ Seriously? $99? I live in rip-off Britain and I only paid £12 or £13 for mine. Someone got the wrong end of a bad deal on that one.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    I bought 376-2: House with Garden (link: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=376-2 ) brand new in a slightly crushed, but sealed box. I got it for $2. A family member and I spotted it at the same time, and raced to buy it--luckily I was able to pull out my money first!

    Anyway, I sold it on eBay for over $220--not bad... :)
    That was on the other day for about £30 and I passed it up ... think you sold v high there!
  • jb15jb15 Member Posts: 53
    edited April 2011
    I bought 376-2: House with Garden (link: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=376-2 ) brand new in a slightly crushed, but sealed box. I got it for $2. A family member and I spotted it at the same time, and raced to buy it--luckily I was able to pull out my money first!

    Anyway, I sold it on eBay for over $220--not bad... :)
    That was on the other day for about £30 and I passed it up ... think you sold v high there!
    Hmm...I don't think we're talking about the same one. Mine sold a few years ago...

  • 50missioncap50missioncap Member Posts: 96
    Bought the ferrari FXX for $35 with a coupon at constructive play things... sold on BL a few days later for $150.
  • TheBigGuyTheBigGuy New ZealandMember Posts: 69
    I sold a Jango Fett minifigure a few months ago for over NZ$150. It was from set 7153 and I can't remember how much I paid for the set. Still, that's a pretty sweet profit on just one minifigure.
  • mirandirmirandir Member Posts: 31
    edited April 2011
    @atkinsar: Yeah seriously! However I must say that at that point the only known release consisted of 1000 of theese minifigures and nobody knew if there were going to be any more of them coming out. I believe there are now 50-80.000 of them out there... So yeah the price has gone down a little.

    As a comparison the first white Boba Fett minifigs were sold for over $500 each on eBay at first. Now as more figures has been released you can get one for under $20.
  • CrankinCrankin Member Posts: 17
    Just sold a UCS millennium falcon used for $1230.00. Have sold several other large sets. I'm averaging 120% return on investment. I've just started selling sets in the past year or so, so it's not like I've been sitting on these sets for long. I buy lots of Lego for myself and my family and I just figured out that I can offset the cost by buying extra sets and selling them once they get discontinued.

    Bought a used carousel while it was still in production for my daughter to build. 3 months later it was discontinued and we sold it (she knew we were going to sell it after the build...that was the deal). Sold it used for $340. So she got the fun of building and we made a little money on the side.

    Just sold a new taj mahal for $550.00. Bought it on sale for $250.00

    It's a great way to pay for your hobby. Plus if your an AFOL it's quite fun.
  • JOCKOJOCKO Member Posts: 1
    I bought 7783 the batcave for 69.99 sold new for 425.00. I had the set for about 18 months. On to bigger and better sets...but purely as a method to fund our build collection.
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    I bought 7783 the batcave for 69.99 sold new for 425.00. I had the set for about 18 months. On to bigger and better sets...but purely as a method to fund our build collection.
    Yep, I had a feeling that the Batcave would be the winner...

    Over 337.76% Annualized Return On Investment!

    You should have bought ten of them! =D
  • brickmattbrickmatt USAMember Posts: 96
    edited April 2011
    I recently decided I wasn't interested in my Spiderman sets and began selling them. I sold 4851 (which I had originally bought off the shelf for $30) for $50 - $20 profit. A smaller deal was finding two of Kingdoms set 7950 (presumably left over from the ones they had at Christmas) at Aldi on clearance for $2 each. I already had one, but for that price I snatched both, kept one, and sold the other to a friend for $4, giving me in essence a free set.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    edited April 2011
    Probably that Star Wars spaceship (the one from Return of the Jedi the Emperor flies in on with folding wings).
  • legowomen1980plegowomen1980p Member Posts: 12
    ahhahahahaahahah,

    I have you all beat.. I sold a item # 7779 The Batman Dragster: Catwoman Pursuit for $130 and I only paid $9.99 for it..

    that is... a 1300% profit.. beat that.. plus I had 13 of them and sold them all in under a month at that price..
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    Heh... ok, since you threw down the gauntlet.

    I bought multiple copies of 4476 Jabba's Prize for $0.49 each, and sold each one for $57 or higher. That's an ROI of more than 11500%
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    ^OK, I declare Rocao the winner with the fabled "One-hundred-and-fifteen-bagger"!

    The boys on Wall Street should be jealous! =)

    Indy Out
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    ^Wait, but if you "flipped" them all within a week, then your *annualized* ROI would be 604,897.96%!!!

    Six hundred thousand plus?... Not too shabby! =D

    Indy Out
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,706
    Sold a Statue of Liberty for $550 the weekend I bought it for $150.
    The quickest turnaround I have ever had, so far, for buying a set, and selling it.

    Although I must admit it will be more difficult if everyone starts thinking it is a money maker (I think back to Baseball cards and Comic books of the early 90's).
    As for Batman sets, it was pretty wild they climbed as high as they did like that... I seriously doubt you will see that type of meteoric rise for Lego sets again... unless the batman line is redone anyway...
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    edited April 2011
    ^ Unfortunately, it wasn't a week turnaround. I bought them on clearance from Target in 2004 and sold them in 2008.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,144
    About 8 years ago I won a German EBAY auction for "Over 500" 1x1x1 and 1x2x1 mint classic windows in red and white... my winning bid was $140.

    When I got them, I counted them out and realized that the seller had never bothered to actually count them... because there were 1,028 windows in total.

    3 years ago I sold them to an American collector for $1.50 each... or $1,542 in total... for a profit of $1,400.
  • super_curry_maxsuper_curry_max Member Posts: 75
    I've never bought a set to sell it, but most of the Batman sets must be in the running for most expensive after discontinuation.

    I wasn't collecting lego at the time these were available and since i've come back in I've wanted to get the Arkham Asylum set but whoa the price on that is crazy.
  • allendeanallendean Member Posts: 32
    For those of you who made such a nice profit, where did you sell your sets? Ebay? Bricklink? Somewhere else?
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    About 2.5 years ago I bought 20 Star Wars droid battle packs for $5 on clearance at my local lego store. Sold them all about 6 months ago for $30 each. This was my biggest percentage return.

    I recently got my hands on a sealed UCS first run falcon for ~ $1300. Hoping to sell it in 10 years for > $10k.....only time will tell. Appreciation is imperative for me in this hobby but to be honest if it beats 5% per year I am a very happy camper. If Lego ever loses/gives up the Star Wars license I will ask $50k for the Falcon lol.

    I used to try and buy sets on clearance and guess what might be valuable (bottom fishing) but now my main strategy is buy high and sell higher. Got some sealed Green Grocers for just below the $300 mark 2 months ago and looking to sell above $600 within 12 months. The returns are not as great as picking a winner at the bottom but I cannot complain about risk free profit.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,706
    edited June 2011
    For those of you who made such a nice profit, where did you sell your sets? Ebay? Bricklink? Somewhere else?
    I have sold everything of mine at eBay for now.. With their rising costs I am leaning more and more to selling on BL, which is slower going than eBay (due to more people browsing eBay than BL at least right now).
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,706
    edited June 2011
    About 2.5 years ago I bought 20 Star Wars droid battle packs for $5 on clearance at my local lego store. Sold them all about 6 months ago for $30 each. This was my biggest percentage return.

    I recently got my hands on a sealed UCS first run falcon for ~ $1300. Hoping to sell it in 10 years for > $10k.....only time will tell. Appreciation is imperative for me in this hobby but to be honest if it beats 5% per year I am a very happy camper. If Lego ever loses/gives up the Star Wars license I will ask $50k for the Falcon lol.

    I used to try and buy sets on clearance and guess what might be valuable (bottom fishing) but now my main strategy is buy high and sell higher. Got some sealed Green Grocers for just below the $300 mark 2 months ago and looking to sell above $600 within 12 months. The returns are not as great as picking a winner at the bottom but I cannot complain about risk free profit.
    I do not think I am going to hold anything for more than 1000 USD.. mostly because the higher the price the more risk.. risk the buyer doesn't think it is worth it in a condition (for 1000 I worry about someone complaining because there was a 'nick' in the box or something), risk getting it to them in the condition you sent it (despite best efforts, shipping companies seem to treat boxes like hacky sacks more and more at this point) and shipping a pricey item means insurance may not be available or will cost a fortune....
    I think my friend also said something to put this into perspective which was: "If I could sell a plastic toy for 1000 Id do it in a heartbeat."
    Not to mention realizing you basically have thousands of dollars sitting in a closet in your home...

    Small sets are 'hit and miss' to be honest and it is about how many do you buy to make a killing? Does that set get a similar set out from Lego later, causing the original to drop like a stone.. I was fortunate and sold all of the 6209 Slave 1's I had before the redo of it, but again I do not like having to worry about that.. Now again I, like most you, buy stuff on Clearance or sales (like BOGOs) but since more and more people, some not even interested in Lego- they are just bargain hunters now, all think the same way.. which is Ok.. IF Lego runs out.. I think Pig Farms a good example of this.. now they are going up a bit now, but for the most part well under retail because Lego 'sold out' only to have them back in stock for another 20 days ( I believe).. so it is a bit risky.Plus smaller sets sometimes do not all sell at once, sometimes it occurs over a span of months.
  • war44lockwar44lock Member Posts: 75
    I bought a small bulk lot, paid $106 NZ for it. Sorted it and had an older ARC 170, a Jedi Duel and a real nice Bounty Hunter Pursuit. A few odd parts and a speeder bike from Ewok Attack as well so not bad really. So I had them about two weeks, sold the Bounty Hunter Pursuit for $70 and the ARC 170 for $80, sold Jedi Duel for $40 and kept the brown speeder and scout trooper Because I didn't have one.

    When Lukes Land Speeder came out (2010) I bought 8 of them on sale $39.99 each. I split them up and sold each one the same, speeder plus Luke for $33.00, Ben Kenobi for $12.00 and R2-D2 and C3PO would sell for $30.00 as a pair. I could never quite believe it each time I did this but they always sold. I kept all the Sand Troopers because I wanted a good size squad of them. I now look for sets I can do this sort of thing with and it really helps keep my costs down more than making alot of money, interesting though.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited June 2011

    I do not think I am going to hold anything for more than 1000 USD.. mostly because the higher the price the more risk.. risk the buyer doesn't think it is worth it in a condition (for 1000 I worry about someone complaining because there was a 'nick' in the box or something), risk getting it to them in the condition you sent it (despite best efforts, shipping companies seem to treat boxes like hacky sacks more and more at this point) and shipping a pricey item means insurance may not be available or will cost a fortune....
    I've had a similar concern. On multiple occassions I've had an opportunity to purchase multiple Death Stars at a discount (BOGOs), but haven't pulled the trigger because of difficulties/risks in selling large sets like this. The box it comes in measures 80" in length + girth - which is one inch over the USPS restriction for some countries. So you gotta either shave an inch off the box and ship it just in that box (hoping it doesn't get damaged along the way), or pack it in a larger box and charge a ton of money for a shipping service without the size restriction (USPS Global Express, FedEx, or UPS).

    I'm also assuming quite a few people are hoarding the Death Stars, waiting for the retirement and hopefully a value ascension like the MF. So you'll be competing with them for a while. Long term it'd pay off I'm sure. Depends on how patient you are.
  • RedBrickMarketRedBrickMarket Member Posts: 28
    Are we talking about percentage profit, or $$$ profit? Which will win? :D
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,706
    edited June 2011
    I do not think I am going to hold anything for more than 1000 USD.. mostly because the higher the price the more risk.. risk the buyer doesn't think it is worth it in a condition (for 1000 I worry about someone complaining because there was a 'nick' in the box or something), risk getting it to them in the condition you sent it (despite best efforts, shipping companies seem to treat boxes like hacky sacks more and more at this point) and shipping a pricey item means insurance may not be available or will cost a fortune....
    I've had a similar concern. On multiple occassions I've had an opportunity to purchase multiple Death Stars at a discount (BOGOs), but haven't pulled the trigger because of difficulties/risks in selling large sets like this. The box it comes in measures 80" in length + girth - which is one inch over the USPS restriction for some countries. So you gotta either shave an inch off the box and ship it just in that box (hoping it doesn't get damaged along the way), or pack it in a larger box and charge a ton of money for a shipping service without the size restriction (USPS Global Express, FedEx, or UPS).

    I'm also assuming quite a few people are hoarding the Death Stars, waiting for the retirement and hopefully a value ascension like the MF. So you'll be competing with them for a while. Long term it'd pay off I'm sure. Depends on how patient you are.
    Yeah.. which is one reason why I do not sell much outside of the country.. Pricey BUT if the buyer wants to pay and also pay for the insurance and tracking Ill do it.. usually it is not worth it for overseas buyers because of the large price.. a guy wanted a Cafe Corner from me in India and had to pay about 75 bucks to get it over there, but to my surprise he paid and received it, and left me pos feedback :-)

    As for Patience, you hit it right on the head... it really is about patience and allowing those weekend sellers to get rid of their stock to make their tiny profit in order for the prices to increase..
    Death Stars I think will still increase pretty rapidly, although I know a handful of sellers on eBay that are hoarding A LOT of sets.....
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    You can insure for up to $2500 via 3rd party insurance very cheaply for international shipments. It is a non-issue if you do your homework.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    In some places, like Australia, the price of LEGO is twice as much as in the U.S. My Bricklink store sells a lot to Aussies. They are willing to pay the high shipping rates because it's still a better deal for them.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited June 2011
    You can insure for up to $2500 via 3rd party insurance very cheaply for international shipments. It is a non-issue if you do your homework.
    Care to share some of your homework?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,706
    Well 3rd party insurance seems a bit dubious to me.. especially with paypal rules the way that they are.. what is 3rd party insurance?
  • thor860thor860 Member Posts: 10
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to quickly introduce myself on here and will post on a few other forums here to notify you of my contact information for fraud related Lego sales. My name is Thor Magnussen and I now work for Lego; I'm here to help combat the fraudulent sales on sites like ebay, ecrater and this site as well.

    If any of you have information related to fraudulent sellers please contact me via email at [email protected]

    Thank you,

    Thor Magnussen
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    My fastest profit was on a sealed Galaxy Explorer #497 set. I bought it two years ago for $300 on Ebay and sold it a week later for $750.
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 806
    i'd love to buy the sets and sell them for a profit but never have the money to buy any!, if only i had bought 2 or 3 10179's
  • DatoDato Member Posts: 111
    Just came back from my fastest, biggest, and my one and only transaction ever-- a LEGO XXL 5512 I got for $30 on BF. I advertised it on craigslist for about 2 weeks, got a few low-ball offers, but eventually someone showed up today to buy it from me for $60 without haggling. A 100% return in one month is pretty good in my book.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    This may not be in the top ten fastest/biggest profit, but I thought it fit with the spirit of this thread, and would be good for those keeping track of trends and future speculation:

    Sold my first Imperial Flagship from Black Friday today. Bought for $130 from [email protected] Sold on Bricklink for $200.
  • clowndiscuslegoclowndiscuslego Member Posts: 97
    i sold a sandcrawler new in box for $100 more then i paid for it and only owned it for half a day!
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,345
    sold a mini TIE fighter ebay £3.99
    paid £0.19 in Tesco lol
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @roxio - that isn't much total money, but the profit margin is wonderful!!! :)
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    ^^ Since when did Tesco sell those?
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