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Which is more important to the value of a set?

bluez3bluez3 Member Posts: 12
I purchased two Simpson houses with the intent to open and enjoy one and sell the other a few years down the line. One set the box is in pristine mint condition, and the other has a small 1cm x 2cm edge dent on the back side. It is likely from the box being pressed against the store shelf support bracket.

I am thinking of keeping the pristine box for myself and opening that set to build, however I would like to be conscious about the total value of both sets if ever I had to sell both. How much of a detractor would a dented box affect the set's value? What would hold more value in a collectors' eye, a sealed new in dented box or an opened in pristine box set? Or if I just open the dented box, would the sealed new in pristine box's premium value be enough to offset the depreciation the open dented box would suffer?


  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 573
    By and large any collect wants a piece in the most pristine condition possible. If you're planning on opening one I think your crazy not to open the dented box. The price difference between a dented open box and mint open box is minimal. The difference between sealed dented or sealed mint can be huge.
  • bobabricksbobabricks Member Posts: 1,842
    I would keep the pristine one sealed because it can bother OCD buyers (like me ;P).
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    It depends on what you care about more. A few extra bucks or keeping the perfect box for yourself. But the difference in price between 'perfect' and 'small dent' will not be much when it comes time to selling, my guess is ~5% less.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 Member Posts: 2,146
    I think you have are absolutely nuts if you think you want to open to pristine box and are questioning what the value in difference is with the dented box.

    Do not open the pristine box. Open the dented and enjoy LEGO to the fullest. Just by all means do not open the pristine box. Sell it in a few years for a nice profit. Come back to the thread and smile.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454

    You really don't know what you have until it is graded. Would I have my sets graded? Not a chance unless I knew my set was going to score in the 9's.

    A small dent or crease to the average collector doesn't mean much, but to the OCD collector; it means a lot. I usually drop my prices to damaged boxes $5-10 USD depending on the damage. I recently sold a damaged Hogwarts for only $5 less than I sold a mint box a week prior. If someone is going to open up the set, it doesn't matter if the box is mint or not. People do like to see a discount because of it though :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    No way. How? Only 1 bid for the $16,000 and 2 for the $12,000? Something is definitely amiss. Is it still sealed in its shipping box? How do they know the box inside is ok? That's ridiculous for a non graded set anyway.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,683
    Maybe the AFA should start providing CT scan results with every sealed set:)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454

    I guess it is time to resurrect this thread.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 Member Posts: 2,146
    It could be I am not looking hard enough or am too lazy to find out. But question, who grades the grader?

    I mean so I buy a box with a 9.5 grade on it. What qualifications substantiate this marking?

    Just curious.
  • samiam391samiam391 Member Posts: 4,487
    edited September 2014
    oldtodd33 said:
    First one- 0 feedback bidder.
    Second one- The user is no longer registered with eBay.

    Honestly, I'd guess the buyer's feedback for the 12,500$ one is similar to that of those above.
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    Pitfall69 said:
    Ooh, this entire concept makes me feel queasy. Doing that to a poor Lego set or minifigure is definitely not ok. And the fact that other people care so much about this stuff somehow makes me feel bad about my classic set collection, which includes boxes with tears, tape and even one with the name of its previous owner written on it. I like to think these things add character. :)

    But anyway, I would agree with the others and say that you should keep the pristine box sealed. If you really don't want to sell your own copy someday, then it shouldn't matter if the box has a minor defect. The main attraction is the actual model of course.

  • bobabricksbobabricks Member Posts: 1,842
    I have quite the OCD and little things do bug me but I can try to understand a sealed set's... flaws. For example I bought this set recently and the box is pretty perfect except I can notice little things, the biggest is that tiny white spot on the Lego logo (i haven't received it yet, hopefully it's removable :P) but I can understand it has had a lifespan of almost 30 years. Sometimes boxes need to be thought about. :)
  • bluez3bluez3 Member Posts: 12
    Thanks for all the comments. The overwhelming consensus is obvious. Now I am struggling with my own OCD issues in seeing if I can find another pristine box set and return the dented one before the return window expires. Those links and videos reaffirmed the importance of a sealed pristine box. Thanks again.
  • plantmanplantman Member Posts: 97
    I'm glad there are so many people keeping sets in pristine packaging. Although it raises the price I can't stand the thought of buying used sets or sets with damaged packaging (someone mentioned OCD). I want to be the first person to put them together. What I don't understand is why some sets - usually themed - benefit greatly from MISB, and some sets don't have that big of a difference. Anyway, in relation to the point of the thread, I am personally willing to pay a premium for a pristine box over a flawed one. This is especially true of certain licensed themes or classic sets.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    edited September 2014
    I'm not sure if I posted in that long older thread, but if so, this bears repeating...

    These encapsulation services are very highly promoted... by the encapsulation folks... ;-)

    What makes sense for encapsulation (coins, stamps) may not make sense for other items... LEGO.

    The grading and encapsulation of rare coins is common... and while grading services comments on their coins "finest known specimen, none graded higher"... may be informative to coin collectors... the use of such terminology for LEGO sets becomes meaningless.... there are likely none grade higher... because there are likely none others graded for a particular LEGO set.

    Don't waste your time getting your pristine sets encapsulated... not worth the bother when the number of folks collecting that genre of LEGO sets is miniscule....

    When serious old time LEGO collectors see these type of gimmicks... we get quite a chuckle over the hype that it creates... ;-)
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,460
    plantman said:

    Anyway, in relation to the point of the thread, I am personally willing to pay a premium for a pristine box over a flawed one. This is especially true of certain licensed themes or classic sets.

    Worth keeping in mind that this midset works bothways. Personally i dont bother keeping boxes, my collection takes up enough space as it is, but i am also always keep to get the best price so i will buy a damaged box over a pristine box only if the seller is lowering price as a result. That said i was fortunate enough to talk myself out of completionist tendancies early in collecting so buy very little aftermarket.
  • DrmnezDrmnez Member Posts: 855
    Honestly, the value, whether you agree or not, is whatever someone willing to pay $XX for it. One person may think an exclusive or a box set is worth $4000 , but if no one is willing to pay that much then obviously it really is not worth $4000.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Even though I think that these super high condition sets are overpriced (and we haven't seen that these $12,000 and $16,000 set prices are really legit)... sometimes I'm even shocked at the price of really rare LEGO items.

    Here is an Autmatic Binding Bricks set from 1950-51... it was not even produced by TLG... but by a company in Sweden called Geas Konstharts (of Gislaved Sweden). TLG licensed them to produce these sets for the Swedish market (they're almost identical to TLG produced sets, but with a few tell-tale differences).

    I would have given this set a $1500 value... but it just sold privately to a Swedish buyer for over $5,300. :-O

  • DrmnezDrmnez Member Posts: 855
    To each their own. If someone is willing to pay, that is how much its worth.
    I wish some eBay sellers would realize that having an item listed for several thousand dollars for two or so years means they are asking too much for their item.
  • bluez3bluez3 Member Posts: 12
    Crisis averted. I ended up finding another set in better condition than the dented box, so I exchanged it. I'd never be able to sell to another OCD unless I could satisfy the OCD in myself.
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