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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • Maxime_1987Maxime_1987 Member Posts: 33

    sdetsky said:
    I am not a reseller or investor but I do enjoy reading this topic thread.  One topic that I don't think has been discussed very often (if at all) is the type of person most resellers are selling to (other resellers or investors, adults coming out of the dark ages, parents of kids wanting sets), whether there are changing trends in customer types (e.g. more investors and less "consumers") and what effect that has on reselling and price trends.

    I bring this up because of the recent talk about whether Star Wars sets have not appreciated as much due to the glut of remakes/remodels.  As a consumer who purchases sets to build rather than to resell, I think the major reason Star Wars sets are not appreciating as much is that I see so many more of these for sale, whether new in box or used but mostly used.  For a builder like me, if I want a particular set, I don't care if it's new in box or used as long as it is in good shape, which a lot of the used sets are due to many Star Wars collectors being adults and keeping their sets in good shape.

    I buy all my used sets off of Kijiji.  At least 50% of the sets for sale at any one time are Star Wars.  The supply is way higher than the demand and I think as young adults who purchased Star Wars sets to build and display start to age, get married, have kids, etc. this is causing so many of these collections to be put up for sale.  This obviously cuts into the reseller market for the same sets.  Meanwhile, if I wanted a particular set from another theme, it is very difficult to find without going through a reseller (on Bricklink or otherwise), which keeps prices higher.

    Just my thoughts.
    Yeah I agree with you. Its always a question I have been asking myself. I would love to see some stats about who are you selling it to. Personally I kept track of the sets I sold to who just for my own personal information and that I like to do stats on spare time (I am a PhD student in neuroscience hence the reason I like to do stats!) As for me, I will say about 90% of people who bought my sets are not resellers and typical customers. But I only started recently to do that and I do not buy big amounts of lego. Usually only two sets of the same models just enough to make a little money to the sets I'm getting for my collection are cheaper! 

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,672
    Wow thank you guys! That generated a lot of discussion about the trains. Finally I can have it for 30% off! So I am buying the #60051 for now and the #21108 Ecto-1 for 30% off. Waiting for the #60052 and not sure for the Bike shop.



    Just out of curiosity, how are you getting the Etco 1 for 30% off and the cargo train for 30%
    TheLoneTensor
  • romanstarromanstar Member Posts: 197
    You can the best best director in the world but if the special affects are that rubbish and they use 'CGI' its shot.Remember the affects of the first SW films,it still looks realistic today!Fact!!
  • juddtaylorjuddtaylor Member Posts: 27
    The guy in charge is JJ Abrams. You have nothing to worry about here with special effects. He did the recent Star Trek movies which were awesome.
    Pitfall69pharmjodTXLegoguyAdeelZubair
  • cheekymunk3ycheekymunk3y Manchester, UKMember Posts: 108
    Plus he said he  is trying to recreate the old film style as much as possible by building models of the ships and the sets and using  as much practical effects as possible rather than reliance on special effects. I think it's in good hands. 
    Pitfall69pharmjodTXLegoguydougtsAdeelZubairchuckpLegoKip
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,672
    Considering if you watch the original three the dialog was almost as bad at some parts as in the last three movies made, I think it can be safely assumed that you will have detractors. The difference is that Lucas is not really involved in any of the story writing now, but again based on many criticisms as there are now for the recent prequels is it really going to be that bad? I think part of the problem is that no one director/screenwriter will compete with childhood memories of seeing SW for the first time, and that is what will undo many people's impressions of any new Star wars films past the original three.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,896
    ^All true. Except I can't undo seeing the Ewoks Xmas Special. That could have used some CGI.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Just out of curiosity, how are you getting the Etco 1 for 30% off and the cargo train for 30%
    Yeah...All I can ever get is 27% off. :wink:
    pharmjodVorpalRyu
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    Funny, but when I sell a Lego set, all I get is a name and a shipping address, with no way of knowing what the buyer intends to do with it, much less whether they are a reseller or not.  And that's the reason the topic isn't discussed here, because it would all be guesswork.  Statistics?  Gimme a break. 
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    Wow thank you guys! That generated a lot of discussion about the trains. Finally I can have it for 30% off! So I am buying the #60051 for now and the #21108 Ecto-1 for 30% off. Waiting for the #60052 and not sure for the Bike shop.



    Just out of curiosity, how are you getting the Etco 1 for 30% off and the cargo train for 30%
    Yeah, there's a whole lot of people who would like to know that also (at least about the Ecto 1).
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Yeah, 30% is the new 27% off.
    VorpalRyubobabricks
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Chubblesbobabrickschuckp
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    matticus_bricksbobabricksLostInTranslation
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,304
    Damn, 30% is the new 27%? Glad I didn't buy those Exo-Suits at 27% off, what a fool I would have looked... :wink:
    Pitfall69goshe7Rainstorm26bobabricksxiahna
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Speaking of which; what is the oldest joke in this thread? The DS? 27% off Exclusives? Is there others that are equally funny?
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    romanstar said:
    You can the best best director in the world but if the special affects are that rubbish and they use 'CGI' its shot.Remember the affects of the first SW films,it still looks realistic today!Fact!!
    Opinion!
    madforLEGObobabricksLostInTranslation
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited March 2015
    Pitfall69 said:
    Speaking of which; what is the oldest joke in this thread? The DS? 27% off Exclusives? Is there others that are equally funny?
    Oh Crap! A thread within this thread! :wink: 
    VorpalRyubobabricksLegoKip
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    ^You started it!!
    VorpalRyubobabricksFarmer_John
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,840
    I got a Triple-E today as a gift to start out investing. I would say this is a safe investment no matter what. ;)
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,840
    juggles7 said:
    Funny, but when I sell a Lego set, all I get is a name and a shipping address, with no way of knowing what the buyer intends to do with it, much less whether they are a reseller or not.  And that's the reason the topic isn't discussed here, because it would all be guesswork.  Statistics?  Gimme a break. 
    Honestly, I don't care what the buyer does to their order, it's their property now. If they want to keep it in their basement for another 4 years to resell then power to 'em.
    dougts
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited March 2015
    It doesn't matter but it might suggest problems down the road. Its almost certainly one of the major things that needs to happen for a bubble to happen. We saw it with the guy that was buying #41999s (and must have lost a ton so far) and very recently here we've had someone asking questions about already Eol sets to start investing with. That said we also had someone buy a #10179 as an investment and did very well. But if its happening more generally then there's much more potential for more people to loose more money if the game cganges .
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,581
    Investing in already EOL sets is a bit like investing in low growth 'safe' stock market trackers. They are likely to continue to grow at a very slow rate, fairly safe but unlikely to make much after fees are considered. You've lost the initial surge when the set EOLs. That is of course the gains from the risk of investing before a set goes, how long do you need to hold it, will it rise, etc? By avoiding the risks there, you lose any potential short term jumps taking instead the longer term much slower rises. Of course, even safe investments can go wrong, if there is something unprecedented such as a rerelease (or market collapse in what you invested) and you do not follow the news.

    Growth rates after EOL will of course depend on the sets being held, but missing out on an initial surge will mean needing to hold longer to get the same growth as someone that invested before.

    And sometimes you can tell if you are selling to a reseller. A few people I have sold to use their eBay IDs or website names in their PayPal payments. Not always, but sometimes. Also they tend to be people wanting to buy things in bulk.
    DadVorpalRyupreveregoshe7dougtsBrickDancer
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,896
    edited March 2015
    It doesn't matter but it might suggest problems down the road. Its almost certainly one of the major things that needs to happen for a bubble to happen. We saw it with the guy that was buying #41999s (and must have lost a ton so far) and very recently here we've had someone asking questions about already Eol sets to start investing with. That said we also had someone buy a #10179 as an investment and did very well. But if its happening more generally then there's much more potential for more people to loose more money if the game cganges .

    I think that was relatively isolated case with that 41999 buyer. I see three camps here for reinvestment, 1) Exclusives/$100+ sets, 2) Everything Else and a very distant smaller group... 3) Parts/Figs. Each has its benefits and detractors, with exclusives being the biggest risk/reward category.

    When I start seeing people dumping retired modulars at retail, then I'll worry. Until then, production/availability has not exceeded demand. And demand is constant. In 2013, there were 3,932,181 births in the U.S. another 5 million-ish in EU (you can scale up for the rest of the world). In 5 years, how many of those boys/girls want Lego gifts?
     
    madforLEGO
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,581
    To the last point, will Lego be able to satisfy their demands? If they ramp up production and can satisfy the future demand, then secondary market will suffer for nothing special type sets.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,111
    edited March 2015
    Another point here is in 5 years if TLG releases a modular each year will those kids in 5 years really want a FB? Or even a GE? Maybe. Maybe not. I think once you get to a certain point only the dedicated/diehard/OCD fans will want to keep going back and back to get yet another "retired years release". With that said, I doubt highly this has any major impact and you will only see some slight runoff due to this reason.
  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 815
    ^ People keep talking about the diehards. I'm not sure I agree with what most people think.
    I'm certainly not a diehard collector of die cast but of theme I do collect which was only available between 1969 and 1971 there are some that you can pick up relatively easy and some that are very desirable and you pay a premium. I've paid over £500 for some and we are talking 1/64 scale here. Because when they become available you go for them. My friend however is quite prepared to pay £4000 on some pre production models. Out of my league. Way out.
    But even if we take what I interpret you mean by diehard then how many are you estimating there are in Europe and the US. 500..2000...10000?? People will go back...that set they listed over as a kid but parents couldn't afford or replacing what they regretted selling due to their dark ages. Paying £500+ on Mr Gold is what I call diehard. Or they've just got plenty of money. But paying £1000 on a 10 year old modular? I think there will be plenty of people prepared to do that.
    The only clause I'll tie into that is condition is everything. The big money comes on the mint condition boxes. A couple of surface creases and you'll be 25% down straight away.
    madforLEGO
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452

    CCC said:


    And sometimes you can tell if you are selling to a reseller. A few people I have sold to use their eBay IDs or website names in their PayPal payments. Not always, but sometimes. Also they tend to be people wanting to buy things in bulk.
    Even then you could not be certain the item is being purchased for resale.  Judging from the comments here, it seems many sellers mix and mingle their business and pleasure, buying for both resale and for their own personal use. 
    pharmjod
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    I got a Triple-E today as a gift to start out investing. I would say this is a safe investment no matter what. ;)
    Careful with the "no matter what".  Those were the famous last words used in reference to #6857 Batman Funhouse Escape.  Apples and oranges, of course.   There's no way the Triple-E will become a TRU exclusive, but it's always possible that a similar item is released before yours has time to appreciate much.  The Triple-E has been showing as "retiring soon" for an amount of time that is growing worrisome.  Most products that are "retiring soon" sell out quickly. And the item seems to have even survived the double VIP points promotion.  Supply has clearly been exceeding demand, so the supply may have been huge.  Having said all that, just to show that things are never so simple, I would say that you received a wonderful gift!
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,302
    ^I think he might mean that since it was a gift and his cost was $0 he can't help but make money off it regardless of what happens with the 3E.
    FollowsCloselybobabrickspharmjodVortex
  • Maxime_1987Maxime_1987 Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2015
    Just out of curiosity, how are you getting the Etco 1 for 30% off and the cargo train for 30%
    Someone is selling them in a local shop for rebate! There are more than 20 sets right now at this deal. Good thing I live quite far from downtown! Quite happy here! 
  • ChubblesChubbles USAMember Posts: 459
    ^Where do you live, I'm on my way!  ;)
    bobabricksBrickDancerPitfall69
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Is it 30% off RRP? You also said rebate; does this mean you will get money back in the mail? Sounds like you aren't from the US.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Ahhhh. French Canadian. That clears things up. You are probably paying more for your Lego than we are.
    bobabricksSethro3Vortex
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    edited March 2015
    I've been in the collectibles business pretty much my whole life.  As alluded to earlier I have been heavily involved in authoring some price guides, and have had extensive talks with those who have authored them in other fields.   Here is one truth I have learned that seems to transcend virtually every single hobby.

    1. The BEST version will always increase in value.
    2. Condition, will at some point, become extremely important

    Now naturally a 'bubble' CAN happen.  And many different things drive value. 

    According to my statement above going out in buying a MINT UCS 10179 even at today's prices would be wise.  Of course I am not rushing out to do that.  But then again, I passed on buying a much better copy of Amazing Spiderman #1 & Amazing Fanatasy #15 before the first Toby Maguire movies came out, because I thought they were way to expensive at the time.... that would have been a great investment in hindsight.

    Personally I think we are a long, long way from a bubble bursting.  However I think we  may be past the 'easy & fast' money era as well.   And as many have brought out LEGO reissues will definitely affect things.  

    My 2 cents.  I think the folks that take this really seriously and do the work to really know what they are doing will do fine.  And I think the rest of us will be better suited by buying some of the 'big' and exclusive sets and just sitting on them for 5+ years, if you happen to have the space and funds to do so.

    I just purchased 2 Tumblers, some Modulars, Fairground Mixer, a few UCS Star Wars sets, and plan to set them aside for the long haul.   Is it the best investment strategy?  I guess only time will tell!  But in the meantime it is fun.
    LegoKiprocaocloaked7
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,672
    ^I think he might mean that since it was a gift and his cost was $0 he can't help but make money off it regardless of what happens with the 3E.
    Unless LEGO decides to leave it run forever, remove it for a year, and do it again.
    Will it make money? Sure, but how much and how long it will be to make that kind of money is to be determines as LEGO has shown a history of remaking Maersk sets.

  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,840
    edited March 2015
    Pitfall69 said:
    Ahhhh. French Canadian. That clears things up. You are probably paying more for your Lego than we are.
    We pay too much more. D: 

    EDIT: With the CAD being so low, I would actually think we are paying closer to the same right now, but I'm not a currency expert.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    There are very few sets that are worth buying after retirement. If you can buy sets without using Ebay and Bricklink, then go pick them up yourself, you might be able to make some money off of retired sets. Would you spend $1000 on a set just to make $100 in a years time? To me that sounds foolish.
    Dad
  • ChubblesChubbles USAMember Posts: 459
    The retired sets I buy are 99% for personal use.  
    Farmer_JohnFollowsClosely
  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 815
    I've sometimes bought sets immediately after eol at round about rrp on ebay because the seller isn't on his game ( or didn't care ) and that can give more security for those who want to minimizer the risk of having to hold long term and estimating when it will be eol.
    Bought 6 Imperial Flagships that way.
    The obvious risk to this approach is missing out altogether. Yet I didn't buy 10 Town Halls at +10% two weeks after eol. Dumbo I am.
    Pitfall69AdeelZubairSuperTrampFollowsCloselycatwrangler
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited March 2015
    Chubbles said:
    The retired sets I buy are 99% for personal use.  
    Me too. I use them either for gifts or just because I want to build them myself. The only other time I paid more than RRP for a set after it was EOL'd was the Series 1 CMFs that came and went so fast that I missed them. And fortunately I was able to catch those shortly after they were gone, so I didn't have to go too much over RRP on any of them (including the Zombie and Nurse). I figure if I missed out, then that's life.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Just got back from the Lego Store. They had the Lonely Mountain on sale for 20% off plus double VIP points. I'd been considering getting it, so went ahead and picked up a copy. Apparently, TLG is massively overstocked on that one.
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    edited March 2015

    Personally I think we are a long, long way from a bubble bursting.  However I think we  may be past the 'easy & fast' money era as well.   And as many have brought out LEGO reissues will definitely affect things.  

    My 2 cents.  I think the folks that take this really seriously and do the work to really know what they are doing will do fine.  And I think the rest of us will be better suited by buying some of the 'big' and exclusive sets and just sitting on them for 5+ years, if you happen to have the space and funds to do so.

    There will be no Lego market crash, but clearly we are in an era of diminishing returns for resellers, exacerbated by Amazon's FBA, which removed all barriers to entry as a reseller.  You don't need feedback, don't need storage space, don't need shipping boxes, and above all, you don't need to know anything about your products.  They'll give your "business" a low-interest loan, too.

    Coupled with the ease of reselling (and the true difficulty of making a profit, faced with FBA fees of 30%), is the misperception that Lego prices will continue to go up, up, up.  There is a limit to what even the (forgive me) dumbest buyers will pay on the aftermarket, so prices cannot go straight up.  Worse yet, the manufacturer is trying to increase their prices up to 50% on a per-piece basis, from 10 to 15 cents per piece. 

    It isn't whether Lego will continue to be popular (it will), or whether good sets continue to be made (they will).  It's the sheer number of new resellers that will eventually cut your profits in half.  There's no money to be made when there are a dozen others under-selling you on price.

  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 815
    edited March 2015

    ^ I forgot to mention the price per piece, I think that's another influence which will hold the value on the older sets. For example, go back 6 months and a FB (£100) selling at double rrp (£200), so lets say 80% profit after fees only actually cost the buyer 33% more than the TH at the then rrp (£150).

    People can say what they like about the VW. I know it's hoarded but that's been available at £56 from the European Amazons at times. Would probably be a £100 set if they brought it out tomorrow so becomes more attractive when compared to the prices of the sets available post eol. Not sure I've explained that clearly, hope so!!

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    What about the DS? How can Lego continue to justify making that set? How much would MMV be if it was released today?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,672
    edited March 2015
    Just got back from the Lego Store. They had the Lonely Mountain on sale for 20% off plus double VIP points. I'd been considering getting it, so went ahead and picked up a copy. Apparently, TLG is massively overstocked on that one.

    Saw the set, but just could not bring myself to pull the trigger on it.

    Pitfall69 said:
    What about the DS? How can Lego continue to justify making that set? How much would MMV be if it was released today?

    MMV would likely be 119.99 USD. DS has to be close to retiring, just becasue again of the dated look to the figures and the set as a whole i think, but then again if it keeps selling at that price and it is not costing LEGO much to make it, who knows...

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,672
    dougts said:
    MMV would be at least 129.99.  but in reality, if they actually did it today, it would still be $100, it would just have 1100 pieces and only 1 building or 2 much smaller ones.  that to me is the bigger problem than the price inflation - the decline in "substantialness" of sets across all themes and product lines.  they are price-hiking from three sides year over year.  1) price per piece going up.  2) average piece size per set generally going down.  piece count for comparable year over year sets going down.  

    not many set feels "epic" these days. they all seem more like half-done
    Yeah, I think a prime example can be the new pirate line.
    Talk about 'phoned in' I saw three of the sets that fit neatly into what appeared to be a 12x12x12 square at an LDC. A bit sad IMO
  • ChubblesChubbles USAMember Posts: 459
    New pirate sets are also pretty cheap though
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    ^Cheap is the operative word.
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