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Is there any good way to determine the value and market demand for partial sets?

Hey all, I saw an ad on my local Craigslist for some attractively priced modular sets. Here's the catch though, they seem to be missing their mini-figs and possibly some unique parts (such as lamp posts, the clock face for the Town Hall, etc.) To begin with I'm sort of leery when it comes to buying partials, because I've seen $30-40 sets on ebay which have only fetched maybe one-third of the full-set price. On the other hand for sets in the $150 range I'm not sure-- for example how much would you pay if a Grand Emporium was 98% complete? Or how about if it was only 80% complete?

Another question that has been running through my mind is what to do with those sets in the $30-40 area that are Near Complete but are missing some vital component, like a Lego 6335 missing two of its racecars or a Star Wars Tie Fighter missing its mini-figs. I can imagine there's some cases where parts would cost more than what would one could clear on a sale, so would it make more sense for me to try and trade my partials for other partials, or perhaps 2 or 3 partials for one complete set?

Right now I'm keeping a bunch of my partials for the enjoyment value, but eventually I could see it being a collection issue if I purchase enough bulk lots.

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,310
    edited November 2013
    There is a market for sets without minifigures. There is a market for near complete sets, but where do you draw the line on 80% complete sets or 70% complete???

    Modulars without the minifigures is no big deal. The minifigures are easy to replace. Licenced sets missing minifigures may be a problem especially if the minifigures are only available in said set.
    madforLEGO
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    I've bought a few partial sets and was not able to find anyone interested in trading for them. I ended up giving a few away, selling a couple and the rest ended up in our bulk. Most were missing only mini figs. Some were missing minimal pieces.

    The problem with buying partial sets without knowing what pieces are missing is that replacement costs can vary greatly from basic bricks to hard to find pieces. Personally I now only buy partial sets if I care enough to buy the missing pieces, or I can buy them cheap enough I don't mind adding them to my bulk bricks.
    madforLEGO
  • I've bought a few partial sets and was not able to find anyone interested in trading for them. I ended up giving a few away, selling a couple and the rest ended up in our bulk. Most were missing only mini figs. Some were missing minimal pieces.

    The problem with buying partial sets without knowing what pieces are missing is that replacement costs can vary greatly from basic bricks to hard to find pieces. Personally I now only buy partial sets if I care enough to buy the missing pieces, or I can buy them cheap enough I don't mind adding them to my bulk bricks.

    What I usually do is add 1-2 partials to help sell an otherwise ho-hum bulk lot; I figure it might give somebody an idea for a project or some modifications. Though I've held onto stuff like a 6615 Stunt Flyer (that's just missing a tail piece) and a partial Octan set or two-- I'm enough of a Lego neophyte that I wouldn't have these sets otherwise.

    Yeah, something I might try doing eventually is trading towards partials of a certain type; like if I already have Space Police sets from the 90s it might not hurt to "double up" on them, to achieve a certain shape and color consistency in my spare bricks. A bunch of the undersea sets are actually the bane of my existence since yellow isn't something I often like to use (okay, maybe construction vehicles would be the exception).

  • pillpodpillpod Member Posts: 273
    If anyone is selling the Ollivander's portion of Diagon Alley, I am the market for it. :)
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