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Is there a market for buying & selling MOCs?

DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
BrickLink is attempting to rise from its recent past with a little reinvention. Tonight they have launched their teaser site for the MOC Shop where builders can submit MOCs for buyers to browse and purchase.

moc.bricklink.com

So what do you think? Is this a game changer for Lego-related aftermarket sales? Would you buy someone's MOC kit? How does this compare with CUUSOO?

I'm intrigued. I have to respect them for trying something different. I'm curious if there is really a market for this type of transaction.

Comments

  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited March 2014
    Was just about to start a thread about this...

    Believe it or not, there is a large market for well built custom MOCs and this is coming from someone who only deals and builds in Technic, which most AFOL turn their nose up at... I can't imagine what kind of market that really good system builders would get...

    IMO though the real market for this is casual fans who don't know about bricklink and don't want to build models themselves... Great Mocs would do far better to casuals on Ebay since Ebay is so much more well known, but you have higher selling fees... Knowledge of bricklink is devastating for sellers on Ebay...
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,674
    Many modular MOCs sell on eBay all the time. Also, not sure on how they sell but many MOC instructions are available, so why not have all the pieces along with the instructions...
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited March 2014
    The real money is in the instructions, not the actual MOC or kit for it... Piecing out kits is cumbersome and expensive and most people don't want to pay for your time...

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    I thought the point of the BL MOC shop is that people still buy parts from regular sellers as they would for any BL order. That is, that the designer doesn't necessarily sell the kit as a whole.

    I noted on the BL forums, I reckon there will be problems with people making money off other people's MOCs. Find something online, submit it as your own original work, maybe amending a couple of parts first. I wonder how BL are going to handle the legal claims that they are allowing people to sell plagiarised works.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    They have a tagline at the moment ... We're starting with the best.

    And this is one of the MOCs they are showcasing.

    image

    A poorer version of something that already exists in an official set at a similar scale. What a way to kill it before it starts.


    The Stephen Hawkin one is a copy of one from six years ago with minor changes ... hopefully by the same designer. http://kottke.org/08/07/lego-stephen-hawking

    image
    image

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    And just to add something else ...

    Is there going to be a backdoor price increase in fees?

    http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/newsview.page?msgid=806118

    Fees and Pricing
    The base MOC price will be the sum of the part price from a seller’s inventory. Let’s say in your store, the base MOC price comes to $10. As part of the submission process, the designer will have selected a design fee of 0%-5% (3% is $.30). This will be shown to the buyer as part of the model price. ($10 + $.30 = $10.30 Model price) BrickLink takes 30 percent of design fee and 70 percent goes to the designer. But, the designers will receive 100 percent of the design fee as part of the grand opening of the MOC Shop. The regular BrickLink fee will be a fixed 5% of the base price and will continue to be assessed with the design fee to sellers on a monthly basis.


    This is from a page about the MOC shop, but notice that the regular fees (not the designer fees which the buyer pays) are stated as 5% not 3%.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    **Stephen Hawking**
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,133
    edited March 2014
    I can just see this becoming a poor version of CUUSOO. Look at this masterpiece!

    image
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    ^ I find those quite clever, especially the bricks / plates with studs on top that you can build with. Min you, they only really act as display pieces when you see them individually. If you build with them, you might as well build using duplo.

    But I'd never pay for the instructions, not when you see how easy it is to create from the photos supplied.
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    Out of curiosity, but no interest, what are they supposed to be? Non-studded building blocks?
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 1,048
    image
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 1,048
    image
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 1,048
    Some interesting builds on there.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911

    Out of curiosity, but no interest, what are they supposed to be? Non-studded building blocks?

    That one is a tile. The bricks and plates make more sense ...

    image
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited March 2014
    Yep some of those large bricks (seems to be about half the mocs shown at the moment) are pretty cool - would I buy them - no. Can I imagine someone else buying them - no. They're interesting to a lego geek, but a lego geek probably has most of the bricks and the ability to recreate them. Those headlight bricks are probably my favourite that i've seen but once you realise that they aren't accurate due to the solid stud, they just look wrong.

    I can imagine complex mocs being bought - crowkillers technic models for example are great and as has been said modulars, train carriages etc sell on ebay. They are beyond what most could reproduce and they have a wow factor. The trouble is, buying a complete set of parts for complex mocs is going to cost a huge amount. Its going to be off putting for the vast majority of casual browsers and thats assuming there are more than a couple of stores able to supply the parts. So cost is going to put of most casual buyers. Non casual buyers, the lego enthusiast probably won't need all the parts as most will come from their own collection. Can you buy just 50% of the parts easily?

    As for the simple models, most aren't going to have the wow factor needed to encourage a purchase in anything approaching large numbers. Many will be easy to reproduce without paying for them. With small models its even more likely you'll have the pieces unless they're very rare which will push up the cost of even a little set.

    There'll be a few mocs that I think will do really well - the ones that make you go wow but don't cost the earth. Will it change much? I doubt it, those that already use bricklink will carry on, those that dont but find there way over there will compare the prices of a moc they can buy from bricklink with a set they can buy at retail and I suspect they'll walk away.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,442
    CCC said:

    Out of curiosity, but no interest, what are they supposed to be? Non-studded building blocks?

    That one is a tile. The bricks and plates make more sense ...

    image
    Glad i'm not the only one who didn't see that.

    I can see a market for MOCs but I don't think this is really it, little novelty sets like those featured in this thread so far ares massively easy to make something very similar.


    ^I was in the middle of writing something very similar regarding pricing but you beat me to the punch, totally agree.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    So this is basically going to be The Brothers Brick, but with a shopping cart.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,133
    Reading more about how it will work, I actually honestly can't see it working. It seems you have to buy all the parts for a moc from one seller, rather than from a few, and they admit 'Even with these small models, there are usually between 1 and 5 sellers worldwide who have 100% of the parts.'

    I just can't see there being enough advantage for sellers to make it worth the effort needed for them to 'complete' the inventory and be able to sell the mocs.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    I'm curious what MOC designers that currently sell instructions think of the fees. The designer can set their fee at 0%-5% of the parts cost, and BL takes 30% of that. So the highest possible "royalty" is 3.5%, for designing the model and providing instructions, a parts list, and "digital model" (LDD?). That doesn't seem like a good incentive to me.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    Although there is an incentive to use harder to find parts to increase the cost to the buyer (and hence royalties). Presumably also an incentive to try to have a monopoly on one special part, so buyers need to buy the whole thing from your own store.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    I think this feature was a waste of their time. Paying someone directly for what they feel their design is worth, getting an LDD file or parts list/instructions, and then buying the parts I think is better for all parties. With things like atxdad's script or the other webpage that is out there now that will optimize your BL ordering it is getting easier and easier to do this.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited March 2014
    If you already sell instructions, there is no point in selling MOCs, especially large ones... However, my wife does try and keep her store stocked with as many parts for my models as possible...
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    If you already sell instructions, there is no point in selling MOCs, especially large ones... However, my wife does try and keep her store stocked with as many parts for my models as possible...

    Is that a euphamism for something? :)
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 941

    Reading more about how it will work, I actually honestly can't see it working. It seems you have to buy all the parts for a moc from one seller, rather than from a few, and they admit 'Even with these small models, there are usually between 1 and 5 sellers worldwide who have 100% of the parts.'

    This would appear to be the plan's downfall. A multi-shop cart would have solved this however, perhaps the long-awaited new version of BL will offer this?
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    I like the MOC Shop idea, it has potential. It also has obvious flaws. I'd like to see it honed rather than abandoned or left as it is.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    It would've been better as a nice viewing interface to a specific category of stuff listed in peoples stores already. If they added a "MOC" category so people could list things in their stores instead of using the generic "Other" category then people could list MOC instructions or full MOCs for sale and the MOC store could be an interface to that category so that they are viewable in one area. This would solve the current problem that custom builds are hard to search for on Bricklink.

    Then the MOC shop would show the pictures, info on if it is instructions for sale or the actual model, and if only instructions were for sale the part list would be required to be uploaded by the seller, and the option to look for parts directly from the shop would be available. I could see that as useful, but wouldn't want the "buy all parts only" feature since I can pull first from my inventory.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    edited March 2014
    ^ I quite liked this too:

    Me: This salad is really ordinary, it's ok, but not great
    Chef: now about I make you a much better salad from scratch?
    Me: that sound great. What will it be like
    Chef: it will be amazing, it will have everything you need in a salad.
    Me: can you give me a list of ingredients
    3rd party; get real, you can't expect the chef to give you a list of ingredients.
    Chef: yes, we can.
    Me: great, lets see it
    Crickets
    Me: what about that list?
    Crickets
    Chef: ok, here it is
    Stares down at grilled cheese.
    WTH????
    You said a great salad and I get a grilled cheese?? No one you didn't want
    to share the list of ingredients
    I like grilled cheese, but that's neither what I asked for nor what you promised.

    --

    Chef: no you are getting it all wrong. This is the cheese to go on the salad.
    Me: okay, thank you very much! Bring in the salad, please.
    Chef: yes sure
    Crickets
    Me: salad.. please?
    Chef: oh no, I will wait to see how do you like your cheese that will go on your
    salad first.
    FollowsCloselyStormKitty
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,133
    crickets?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    As in quiet, no news. All you can hear is the crickets.
    Pitfall69
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    And not, crickets, insects, that's what they eat in the far east.
    Kanohi
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    The more that I read into this, the worse it is starting to sound... Everyone running this new promotion doesn't seem to be on the same page...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    They do seem to be making rules / policy up as they go along. I don't know if that is what they are doing, or just the impression when they drip feed information after leaving part finished systems with lots of questions.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    People were already selling MOCs on Bricklink before, so I really don't know what they are trying to accomplish here... Just make them easier to find or something..

    What they need to do is fix that God awful forum layout that they are using... If I took over running that joint, that would have been the first thing that I would have changed...
    FollowsCloselyMatthewkhmellymelbinaryeye
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,434
    All it sounds like to me is a way to push prices up on individual parts and increase the fees. While I understand wanting to generate more fees, I don't see this as being a good thing. Parts are already expensive and with all the changes in the last year on all levels, I may not be in this hobby much longer.
  • slybynightslybynight Member Posts: 5
    I'm doing this right now - for the first time. 10 of these.

    flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157635260224964

    Here's my thoughts so far...

    1. Yes, getting the parts and inventorying kits is a mare - I would recommend designing so you can get all bits directly from 1 source (pref pick a brick - it solves a lot of problems)
    2. Boxes are a bit of a 'mare - I was luck enough to stumble across some.
    3. LDD is great for rapid prototyping but not very good at printing instructions - I ended up doing a video.
    4. The alternatives to LDD are quite a steep learning curve.
    5. Everyone hates you for advertising (I am expecting a flaming for posting this)
    6. Retail outlets are tricky
    7. make sure you label kits "for adult collectors only" - it gets you out of lots of potential trouble.
    8. forget about making any money for the hours you will be putting in. - at best its a self sustaining hobby - my hourly rate for these 10 kits is working out at about 6 pence.


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,911
    ^ Nice MOC. Out of interest, how much did the boxes cost you - and do you think it sells better because of the box?
  • slybynightslybynight Member Posts: 5
    Boxes were being thrown away! - There were 10 and I "rescued" them - lovely magnetic catches too! the imagery is just printed and stuck on with spraymount. If I ever get around to selling my next MOC, I will need a bigger box, and I too am a bit stumped - who knows, I might stumble across some more! Feedback from buyers so far is that they are buying it fro themselves - not as a gift. - so maybe they dont care about the box? dunno. I just feel it makes the whole thing look a bit more appealing in the Ad's and allows the option of buying as a present for someone.
  • slybynightslybynight Member Posts: 5
    Of course - this being my first one I have nothing to compare it to wrt sales!
  • slybynightslybynight Member Posts: 5
    Then theres the green postal boxes - £1 each from Argos - If I hadnt found the other boxes, I was going to print the artwork on the inside and make the postal box reversable
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    We bought a MOC base for #3450 including instructions and bricks on t.h.a.t. auction site and it adds so much to the overall appeal of the set. I would be more inclined to buy a MOC that came as a full set than just the instructions, but wouldn't say I would never buy instructions without the bricks.
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