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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    luckyruss said:

    ^ thanks - so more correctly they charge someone else for fronting up the capital and then charge them 15% to sell it again. So I'm selling my Lego, and instructing my broker...!

    Like I said, what a racket! :)
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 949
    @gmpirate contact ebay and get your limit raised.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Castle-Medieval-Market-Village/dp/B001USHRCK/

    Just for fun, lets look at a more "retired set"

    MMV, oh how was this one talked about a year ago...

    It could be found for $90 often and sometimes a bit less...

    Today, selling at $160 on Amazon, that seller is netting $129 after all the fees.

    Not counting inbound shipping to Amazon which will average $2 or so for that set, plus about 40 cents a month in storage fees per set for that one.

    If you bought that set a year ago for $90 and shipped it to Amazon, your net after all fees and shipping and buying the set would be $30.

    Not bad for a $90 investment in one year, right? Well...

    It is a 30% return on investment, so long as nothing goes wrong. Customers can return that set after opening it and Amazon will give them a full refund, out of your money, and you'll have an opened, used set to deal with. If you do enough volume, it isn't too bad, but if you sell 10 of these and 1 gets returned opened... Yuck!

    If these sets don't sell within a year, you get charged long term storage fees from Amazon, which for this set is an annual charge of $36.04. They split that into two payments a year of $18.02, just to be nice. :)

    Yea, no kidding, so be sure not to do FBA on anything you are not sure you can sell within a year.

    Boy, what a business... :)

    BTW, I expect FB to do even worse numbers than MMV, it has just been out too long. There are already 78 sellers for FB including offers that will net below retail price. There are over 1,000 copies of FB already listed for sale, and that doesn't include the pallet full that I have and other sellers such as myself have.

    Hmm, anyone want to buy a LEGO business? :)
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    ^And on eBay they would take $16 and then paypal would take $4.80, so you net $139.20, oh but don't forget shipping is higher so you need to spend another $10 just on shipping (not including $ for boxes and packing). Just like that your netting the same on eBay.

    Amazon may be a bit worse because of the returns that you must take, but it is pretty much the same no matter which way you split it though. At the end of the day, you have to answer to the man.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515
    And no doubt amazon also made money from the initial sale to the reseller too, even if giving them 25% or whatever off rrp.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Dougout said:

    ^And on eBay they would take $16 and then paypal would take $4.80, so you net $139.20, oh but don't forget shipping is higher so you need to spend another $10 just on shipping (not including $ for boxes and packing). Just like that your netting the same on eBay.

    Yes, if you could sell it for $160 on eBay...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lego-Castle-10193-Mideval-Market-Village-NIB-sealed-/261332904620

    $142.50 w/ free shipping.

    Since you can't... :)

    And frankly, most people can't ship MMV for $10.

    Amazon nets you more, in return for taking more risk. That is simply a trade off a seller has to make.
  • LegoManiaccLegoManiacc Member Posts: 116
    edited November 2013
    Considering how (relatively) easy it is (money+time+storage is not rocket science), anyone getting into the LEGO reselling business in the last couple years without an exit strategy or at least expectations of lower profits year after year going forward, were setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Back in 2010-2011, I could look around and see I was already somewhat late to the party (as many others were coming in around the same time), but I hoped for a few more good years at least. The last two years have met my expectations, but we'll see what happens going forward in the next couple of years.

    I can say with certainty that I would not want to be the one left holding the "investment bag" and be working for no profits just to recover my costs, so buying a lot of inventory is not in my future plans.

    But maybe enough people feel the same way and then the reseller market thins out a lot going forward.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    At $142.50, you'll net $124.12 after eBay and PayPal fees, then likely spend $15 to ship it.

    But you can enforce no returns on that, and aren't subject to the harsher rules of Amazon.

    And frankly, if you look at the sales rank on Amazon, they aren't selling very fast at that price, it needs to come down $10 to move more volume.
  • RichBRichB Member Posts: 52
    edited November 2013
    MMV is worth holding longer in my opinion. Getting $175-180 for it next year might be the time to dump on eBay or Amazon.......if it ever climbs that high, which I think it eventually will.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,874
    ^Or part-out and sell pieces on BL. You'd get $175-ish for those over the course of a few years. Fantastic parts set. BL part-out "value" is $251.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    Considering how (relatively) easy it is (money+time+storage is not rocket science), anyone getting into the LEGO reselling business in the last couple years without an exit strategy or at least expectations of lower profits year after year going forward, were setting themselves up for disappointment.

    This is reasonable...

    The money made last year on sets that retired in 2011 was nearly double the profit margin per set as this year.

    The year before that, even nicer...

    Sadly, some resellers will have to learn it the hard way before they see that times have changed, so while some will exit, another will take their place, searching for the easy money.

    That is ok, welcome to capitalism. :)

    15 years ago I did a good business selling 3.5" 1.44MB floppy drives on eBay, clearly THAT business wasn't going to last. It wasn't a great business, but I sold a hundred or so a month for $7 w/free shipping, at the time, shipping was about $3 via PM flat rate box, and I paid, on average, less than $1 for each drive (they were system pulls, some new, some used).

    It wasn't the main thing I sold, but it was nice gravy, very easy to pack and ship and very few problems. If a customer complained, just send them another one and tell them to throw away the bad drive. Easy as lemon pie, but for obvious reasons that business did not survive the 90's. :)

    The real trick was finding a steady source for $1 good condition floppy drives, I bought and sold thousands of them, but over time they became hard to find as system pulls no longer existed after some point.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,033
    prevere said:

    ^Or part-out and sell pieces on BL. You'd get $175-ish for those over the course of a few years. Fantastic parts set. BL part-out "value" is $251.

    Great idea frankly. But also case in point, personally I dont have the patience or the tenacity to part out a brand new set on BL, its me. Its my mindset. But I think it could take a long time to get my funds recouped when I could just as easily invest in a ROTH IRA and forget about it. The other "piece" no pun intended is does this assume that you eventually sell EVERY single piece? What if you sell 80% and are left perpetually with 20% of the now random pieces that may and may not sell?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    RichB said:

    MMV is worth holding longer in my opinion. Getting $175-180 for it next year might be the time to dump on eBay or Amazon.......if it ever climbs that high, which I think it eventually will.

    For every dollar it goes higher than the current price (since shipping doesn't really change), you net about 85 cents more.

    So if it is selling for $160 on Amazon now and $180 on Amazon in a year, you'll net $17 more by selling it in a year.

    Is it worth holding onto for another year for another $17?

    Of course, that is why so many are for sale (many sellers have come to the same conclusion) and why the price hasn't gone up more.

    Frankly, I expected it to be around $180 today, prices are soft and there are many reasons for it. One of the biggest might just be the huge number of sets that LEGO is releasing each year now and the large discounts everyone is doing on them.

    As someone else said, why pay over RRP for retired sets when LEGO is releasing hundreds of new sets every year that are good quality and good prices? (compared to retired sets)
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited November 2013

    As someone else said, why pay over RRP for retired sets when LEGO is releasing hundreds of new sets every year that are good quality and good prices? (compared to retired sets)

    Because people always want what they can't have. But, your point is still valid given that Lego is basically flooding the market, and given that nothing ever appears to retire anymore, what you want is either available or insane on the secondary market.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,871
    I know I spent close to $6k last year on after christmas clearance at just Walmart. Some of the sets I bought have been gold (republic cruiser, dino hq). Many of the city sets and even star wars sets I bought have done "ok" but nothing stellar. I am to the point where I am aggressively pricing sets just to decrease inventory. I still make a fair profit, but I'm to the point where I also doubt I'll be buying a ton of inventory this year. I am now fully regretting the 15 epic dragon battles I bought at what was then a "great price" of 30% off :) Oh well. You win some you lose a bunch of others :)
  • littlepuppilittlepuppi Member Posts: 181
    Guys, I already have one (bought at 20% off) and considering adding a second Arkham Asylum 10937 when its 10% off for black friday with additional goodies thrown in.. I personally love this set and will probably build one of them, how do people think it will do when it retires though, and any ideas when it might?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    Guys, I already have one (bought at 20% off) and considering adding a second Arkham Asylum 10937 when its 10% off for black friday with additional goodies thrown in.. I personally love this set and will probably build one of them, how do people think it will do when it retires though, and any ideas when it might?

    Given what has happened with FB? It might be years, and years... :)

    Buy it for full price the day it retires, not 10% years before it retires.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    pharmjod said:

    Oh well. You win some you lose a bunch of others :)

    Two years ago it was "win most of them, lose on a few", now that is starting to turn around to your quote. :)

    I have enough inventory that I can't really get out of it this Christmas, but my goal is to have everything sold by next Christmas. What will happen after that is anyone's guess, but the margins aren't what I'd like to be seeing for the risk and time being taken.

    It will be interesting to reassess after Christmas and see how it all rolls out.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,256
    edited November 2013

    As someone else said, why pay over RRP for retired sets when LEGO is releasing hundreds of new sets every year that are good quality and good prices? (compared to retired sets)

    Because people always want what they can't have. But, your point is still valid given that Lego is basically flooding the market, and given that nothing ever appears to retire anymore, what you want is either available or insane on the secondary market.
    Many items are still retiring after 1-2 years. The High profile Mods are not, but that should not reflect ALL of the market. I see Imperial shuttles hitting 450 right now, 8043s are even hitting 300 (despite TRU having a bunch after EOL).
    The key difference is when every yahoo starts hording every set LEGO produces, it is then that the 2 year line starts to not matter.
    Also it does not help when TRU has over inflated prices which then cause a cap until their stock sells out (see the 8043).
    I see the days of sleeper sets being over as you have too many speculators and sites set up to specifically talk about 'sleeper' sets, which negates the whole idea.. Does not stop yahoos from buying the bull though, and it makes LEGO happy, it really does, because that means more people buying their product, regardless of their publicized ploys to thwart the 'evil reseller'.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Time to check on how my model did for this year. Jan 24 predictions for xmas this year:

    10219 Maersk Train - $280
    10217 Diagon Alley - $290
    4842 Hogwarts Castle - $248
    10212 Imp Shuttle - $422
    8043 Excavator - $306
    4184 Black Pearl - $169

    Pretty happy with the results. I realized 10219 would be off as the guy who has his 4 listed for $1k on bricklink really skewed the results at the beginning of the year....predicted $249 without those outliers.

    Ill post predictions for my 2013 investments at the end of Jan 2014.

    Biggest disappointment for me was 10217. It is only now gathering momentum. Decided to hold all of my 2012 sets for another year. 2 year cycles from now on.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Good predictions, you were low on Hogwarts Castle, high on Diagon Alley, but that will do well next year.

    8043 has probably reached its reasonable volume peak, it will keep going up, but I think slowly now, only to be rehashed in a few years.

    10212 has no where to go but up, it is unlikely to be done again and it is one of the best models, SW or no SW, LEGO has ever done, IMHO.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 861
    I hope you're right, LFT. This is my only "investment" set (and I only have a couple assuming I choose not to open one for myself), and I'd like for my gamble to pay off a little.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    10212 is well worth building, even at current prices. It is epic and beautiful and detailed.
    Pitfall69FollowsCloselySteve_J_OMbp10030
  • FenrisAkashiFenrisAkashi Member Posts: 242
    edited November 2013
    ^Agreed, its one of the few in a long time I'm very sorry I ended up missing and I'm not really a SW fan these days.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Yes, it sucks paying $400 today for something that was $200 less than a year ago...

    That being said, that was then and this is now... at $400, still worth building, and that is saying something... (for me at least)
    Pitfall69
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,356
    It is hard for the average person to invest in $200+ sets and tie that kind of money up for a couple of years. I bought a few Imperial Shuttles and all my boxes aren't perfect. I think mint boxes will go for a premium. I have a crushed box that I might just keep for myself and build. It is such a great looking set. So elegant.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    pharmjod said:

    I know I spent close to $6k last year on after christmas clearance at just Walmart. Some of the sets I bought have been gold (republic cruiser, dino hq). Many of the city sets and even star wars sets I bought have done "ok" but nothing stellar. I am to the point where I am aggressively pricing sets just to decrease inventory. I still make a fair profit, but I'm to the point where I also doubt I'll be buying a ton of inventory this year. I am now fully regretting the 15 epic dragon battles I bought at what was then a "great price" of 30% off :) Oh well. You win some you lose a bunch of others :)

    The price competition over the past few weeks has been brutal. My sales have plummeted as all of the holiday resellers have started listing and unloading sets for less than I'm willing to sell for.

  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    edited November 2013

    I see the days of sleeper sets being over as you have too many speculators and sites set up to specifically talk about 'sleeper' sets, which negates the whole idea.. Does not stop yahoos from buying the bull though, and it makes LEGO happy, it really does, because that means more people buying their product, regardless of their publicized ploys to thwart the 'evil reseller'.

    Those yahoos are in for a rude awakening when they start trying to sell all of the sets that they have stockpiled. The thing that is stunning to me is how much money some of these folks are putting into Lego without having ever sold a single set. Selling $15k worth of Lego isn't nearly as easy as it is to buy $15k worth of Lego. Some people seem to think that Lego is a perfectly liquid asset that can be unloaded quickly and easily at the drop of hat.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited November 2013
    My reselling has almost come to a stop in the last 8 months. I was\am only a "Hobby seller" and probably have a different sales model to most here. I was buying cheap OS and flipping locally at a bit below our RRP, so no holding onto sets for me (apart from the odd set or two).

    Lots of factors have contributed to my now, almost non-existent reselling.
    • Lots more competition.
    • Weaker dollar.
    • No discounting on Exclusives in the USA.
    • Better local pricing by TLG.
    • More supply of the larger exclusive sets locally.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    Those yahoos are in for a rude awakening when they start trying to sell all of the sets that they have stockpiled. The thing that is stunning to me is how much money some of these folks are putting into Lego without having ever sold a single set. Selling $15k worth of Lego isn't nearly as easy as it is to buy $15k worth of Lego. Some people seem to think that Lego is a perfectly liquid asset that can be unloaded quickly and easily at the drop of hat.

    The plus side is that some of those yahoos will sell a few things, discover that selling more than a handful of sets is work, and then offload the whole thing to someone like you or me.
    Pitfall69
  • jdylakjdylak Member Posts: 281
    How about the 41999? I held onto mine instead of quick flipping it as everyone was saying it will sell the year went along. It is down $350 now. I held out because of all I read here that it would be like $600 - $700. Then again I also passed on a Mr Gold for $300 when everyone said it would drop big time once the set came out. Thoughts on 41999 going back up? I assuming the down trend was because of the "second wave" released.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Re: #41999 - Some of the downtrend is the second wave, the fact that some have been picked up here and there.

    Some of the initial price spike was speculators thinking it would go to $700. Some of it was just hype from the launch.

    I said it then, and some disagreed, that it would be forgotten about with time, being such a limited release. A few people would want one, but at some point, everyone would move on and no longer care.

    Frankly, I had forgotten about it, it was a one and done.

    Will it go back up? Probably, it might settle around $450 sometime next year and have a long, slow climb to $600 over the course of 2 years.

    The fact is... any time you can double your money in a week, take it... bird in the hand and all that. :)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515

    Some people seem to think that Lego is a perfectly liquid asset that can be unloaded quickly and easily at the drop of hat.

    Like anything else, it can be if the price is low enough.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited November 2013
    :P
    rocao said:

    I'll take the under on average selling price of $600 by 8/7/2014. Offer open to the first person that wants to book it. We can wager anywhere from a trifle to a 41999 :)

    Average selling price... where? what country?

    I promise you that at some point before then I'll sell one for $600 or more, but it may not be the "average selling price".

    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/211234/#Comment_211234
    Lootefisk
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,874
    Just as quickly as a website (Brickpicker) or articles (USA Today) or set (UCS MF) can drive up investment interest, all we need is a sad viral story about someone losing their life savings because they bought a bunch of Star Wars & Atlantis sets that failed to appreciate.

  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 251
    I've sold both my 41999 copies already. I made nearly 2.5x RRP after fees on both of them which was fine for me for very little work and only having the set a few weeks. I really can't see them going any higher to be honest, I think this christmas may be the peak for this set.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited November 2013
    I think one of the circumstances contributing to the "relatively" low price of 41999 on the secondary market is that new stock (supply) keeps trickling in. At least in southern California, Lego stores have been restocked at least two to three times. Even TRU received a replenishment of stock within the past week or two. Who knows if there'll be more trickling in still.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,874
    ^Wasn't there some dude buying those up like crazy in the UK?
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379

    Those yahoos are in for a rude awakening when they start trying to sell all of the sets that they have stockpiled. The thing that is stunning to me is how much money some of these folks are putting into Lego without having ever sold a single set. Selling $15k worth of Lego isn't nearly as easy as it is to buy $15k worth of Lego. Some people seem to think that Lego is a perfectly liquid asset that can be unloaded quickly and easily at the drop of hat.

    The plus side is that some of those yahoos will sell a few things, discover that selling more than a handful of sets is work, and then offload the whole thing to someone like you or me.
    I've seen you refer to that happening before, but I've never closed one of those deals yet. I got close recently on a really nice collection of sets, but the seller ended up being way too sketchy for me to feel comfortable going through with it.

  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    CCC said:

    Some people seem to think that Lego is a perfectly liquid asset that can be unloaded quickly and easily at the drop of hat.

    Like anything else, it can be if the price is low enough.
    Indeed...I would gladly buy large collections of retired sets at the right price, but I think most of the folks who are diving headlong into $15k+ in inventory envision doubling or tripling their money in a year or two.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    rocao said:

    :P

    rocao said:

    I'll take the under on average selling price of $600 by 8/7/2014. Offer open to the first person that wants to book it. We can wager anywhere from a trifle to a 41999 :)

    Average selling price... where? what country?

    I promise you that at some point before then I'll sell one for $600 or more, but it may not be the "average selling price".

    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/211234/#Comment_211234
    Yea, I may have missed on that one. :). Lunch is on me. :)

    That being said, I won't ever really know since I sold all mine, I'd be crazy to not take $450 less than a month after buying them for $200.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited November 2013
    In your defense, you were far from the most bullish person about 41999 and your preference for a quick flip is well known.

    I tried to tell people that the initial sellout didn't seem indicative of the total 20,000 that would be made, and to temper expectations accordingly (and to wait if you were trying to buy on the aftermarket)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,118
    prevere said:

    ^Wasn't there some dude buying those up like crazy in the UK?

    Yep. At last count he told me he has over 900 and is aiming for 1000 of them
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    That is nuts... If true, more power to him, but I suspect he'll be disappointed.

    Or not, the beauty of capitalism is that he gets to try if he wants to.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    Well, if he's willing to lock that amount for a couple of years he might get some nice returns. Whether that's a smart move or not, that's another thing.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    dougts said:

    prevere said:

    ^Wasn't there some dude buying those up like crazy in the UK?

    Yep. At last count he told me he has over 900 and is aiming for 1000 of them
    That's an odd set on which to try and corner the market. It's not like it was a seminal vehicle from a licensed theme that has a huge fan base. It was just a limited edition variation on a Technic set. Maybe it will work out, but I would wager that this guy is going to end up thinking to himself "what the heck was I thinking?"

  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257


    I have enough inventory that I can't really get out of it this Christmas, but my goal is to have everything sold by next Christmas.

    What about R2-D2 this... Wait, what?!
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,874
    Even at selling 1 per day at said market price, it would take him 2.73 years to clear it out. Yikes.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    If it were a hot seller, he could move them pretty quickly, but if he was buying in at $450, he'd have to sell out at a higher price and, in my experience, when the price of sets climbs above $400, they tend to move fairly slowly.
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