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Parting out figs

Just wondering how many of you guys here are doing quite a lot of buying and selling and buy new sets, part out those mini figs and resell them separately? Seems like a lot of people on ebay are doing that and seems like there is a profit to be had - I have been acquiring a few sets as well so just wondering if you guys can give me some tips like the types of sets I should be aiming to get and also how to price sets that I am parting out without the figs and if I should sell on ebay or bricklink or any other sites?

Comments

  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,935
    I've generally assumed that the minifig parts on eBay haven't been parted out, but rather acquired in bulk like that. i.e 100 heads with sunglasses, 100 generic city torsos etc

    If you are selling rarer or more desired figs, eg Super Heroes or Star Wars, then I would imagine they are worth more 'whole' than parted out.
    VorpalRyumadforLEGO
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,257
    I do it sometimes with clearance sets. I buy the set for the parts to MOC with and put the figures I don't want in my Bricklink shop.
    VorpalRyu
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,454
    I don't think he means parting out the minifigs in the sense of splitting them up into their constituent parts. More likely the question is which sets should he buy to sell off the minifigs, how much should he sell them (and the remaining bricks) for, and where should he sell them.
    AceCobra1Andor
  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    do you get paid more and better customers for selling at bricklink?
  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    CCC said:
    I don't think he means parting out the minifigs in the sense of splitting them up into their constituent parts. More likely the question is which sets should he buy to sell off the minifigs, how much should he sell them (and the remaining bricks) for, and where should he sell them.
    Spot on CCC :) Just checking and they seemed to be quite a lot of sellers doing it
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,454
    AceCobra1 said:
    do you get paid more and better customers for selling at bricklink?
    Not really. Some things sell for a higher price on ebay, even after fees. Some sell better on BL. Many ebay customers are very good, with the odd scammer. The same is true for BL too.

    The average BL buyer is probably more lego-aware than the average ebay user.

    You have to do your homework if you want to do it for profit. Research what things are selling for, but also try to estimate likely demand. Prices for some figures can drop massively when the figure becomes common, or available from multiple sellers, especially following a sale on that set. If you are selling on ebay, make sure you are clear that you are selling genuine lego.

    AceCobra1
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    You don't necessarily get paid more selling on Bricklink, but there are less fees.
    madforLEGO
  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    CCC said:
    AceCobra1 said:
    do you get paid more and better customers for selling at bricklink?
    Many ebay customers are very good, with the odd scammer. The same is true for BL too.

    Any particular things I can do to protect myself from scammers? I pretty much exclusively used tracked delivery but I know some people claim that they got something which isn't as advertised and demand a discount etc.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,613
    AceCobra1 said:
    CCC said:
    AceCobra1 said:
    do you get paid more and better customers for selling at bricklink?
    Many ebay customers are very good, with the odd scammer. The same is true for BL too.

    Any particular things I can do to protect myself from scammers? I pretty much exclusively used tracked delivery but I know some people claim that they got something which isn't as advertised and demand a discount etc.
    For eBay, be descriptive in your listing, including your shipping method and how you ship, leave no shred of info missing of possible. Also note if they person has questions, ask them.
    Im guessing many get scammed becasue they take a single photo and say 'this item is for sale' in the listing.
    I think the more descriptive you are on eBay the less likelihood a scammer strikes you.
  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    Not sure where I read it but I remember someone got scammed and had their paypal payment reversed because the buyer claimed that a mini fig that was bought was "used" when it was in fact new. The seller basically said that he posted the mini fig assembled and the buyer claimed that new mini figs shouldn't assembled! I mean that is just shocking lol
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    ^That's completely ridiculous. There are plenty of examples of minifigures that are new, but already assembled.
    Andor
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    I've done a fair amount of this over the last couple years. Mostly on BL because it's super fast to list compared to taking pictures and doing up an eBay listing. Though I've done that at times as well

    Licensed figs are generally where it's at. Doing it ASAP after the set is released is the best bet. You have to be fast to list and keep adjusting your price frequently (BL) as the prices drop rapidly once more and more sellers acquire and list stock.

    Overall I don't think the return is worth the time to make this a main profit focus. Most of my experience has been more related to wanting to buy the sets for moc parts and trying to cut my costs down by selling off the figures. But if the parts don't interest me, I don't bother in general.

    The math pencils out a lot more if you are also selling off all the parts. If you are just trying to sell figures alone you will likely not make a net profit in the end but you will drastically reduce your price per piece on all the rest of the parts you end up keeping
    Kevin_HyattandheAndorSethro3
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 863
    Bear in mind that depending on where you live, buying a set with the intention of selling the figures constitutes engaging in a trade. There may be income tax, social security and sales tax to consider on any income/profit.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited April 2015
    ^That would be an interesting one, how do you decided what the Minifig portion of the set cost you? I mean when you sell them did you make any profit or did you just recover costs? Do you go of piece weight or price per piece. We all know that Lego charge more for a fig then a basic brick etc.

    Assuming you are selling just the figs and keeping the parts. I'm sure you could run your buisness on paper at break even or worse and so would pay no tax, in Australia at least.
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 863
    It doesn't matter whether you make a profit or a loss, if you're buying to sell then most jurisdictions would consider you a trader. In the UK that would mean declaring your income to the tax office and paying Class II National Insurance; in some European countries it would mean paying a hefty monthly social security contribution - even if you're making a loss. In some you might end up having to pay business taxes or Capital Gains Tax if/when you sell your house. Just be sure you know what you're letting yourself in for if you are buying to sell, regardless of the actual amounts involved.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    ^This is another discussion in itself. In the US, you don't even need to file a tax return if you do not meet the minimum requirements. If you are self employed or make some money...hmmmmm...let's say...selling Lego, you won't have to pay any income tax or file a return if you made less than $400.

    For example, you earned $1,000 selling Lego but you had $700 in expenses. Your net is $300. As a result, you wouldn’t owe any taxes, either income taxes or self-employment taxes. You must, however, file your returns because you grossed $400 or more.
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 863

    It can be an absolute minefield. It's entirely possible to sell on eBay for years without notifying the authorities but you never know when you're going to hit a trigger, say some threshold relating to money laundering regulations that forces PayPal to notify the tax office in your country of your income, and all of a sudden your years of selling are under the spotlight. Selling Lego isn't as profitable as you imagine if you do it the right way, taking account of all tax implications, consumer regulations, cross-border trading rules, and so on and so on.

  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    Yeah - assuming I make any money at all, I will be declaring it as I always have. I have my own accountant to do those things for me lol - but just wanted to see if there is much to be made as there seems to be a lot of interest in mini figs. I wouldn't believe someone people who actually pay over £10 for some figs. I have bought a few polys from a guy who works at the lego shop - The Darth Revan and Winter Soldier to name a few. Not sure if I want to keep a hold of it at the moment or resell them as I won't make a big profit on those yet...
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    I just paid $225 USD for a minifigure a few weeks ago.
  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    Pitfall69 said:
    I just paid $225 USD for a minifigure a few weeks ago.
    Wow - which one is that? Did you buy to invest?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. I just wanted him :)
    Sethro3GothamConstructionCo
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,304
    ^ Does that price include the postage? If so, nice job, most of them I've seen on eBay are that or more before postage comes into it. I managed to score a Collector for US$190 & Phoenix US$250 (including postage), was pretty happy with both.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Yes :)
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,304
    Also picked up two TC-4 for $15, Revan for $22.50, Hulk minifig for $30, Iron Patriot for $36 (US prices, all still in their polybags). Also managed to score a Malgus for under $25 approximately (without shipping most eBay listing at the time were around $30), part of a bulk Amazon order, think the ship on each item came to around $2.11.
  • AceCobra1AceCobra1 UKMember Posts: 565
    Wow... awesome figures. Do u guys collect it as an investment or open the packets to display it?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,454
    AceCobra1 said:
    I wouldn't believe someone people who actually pay over £10 for some figs. I have bought a few polys from a guy who works at the lego shop - The Darth Revan and Winter Soldier to name a few. Not sure if I want to keep a hold of it at the moment or resell them as I won't make a big profit on those yet...
    These were give-aways. Did you buy theme from the store, or just from him after he somehow procured them? If the latter I'm guessing you have no receipt anyway.
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,304
    All of the SDCC & other exclusives I'm buying are to add to the collection, by which I mean, me & my boys will be playing with them. It's under my supervision at this point, well the 5 year old, the 11 month old has to wait a while as yet.

    With most of our investments, we are grabbing one to build for ourselves, the rest are with the goal of first & foremost to earn enough to pay for our set. Of course, with some, like the #60064, because of how much we are likely to make there, will be extra cash for more Lego. I'm also planning to build some MOCs, so some of the doubles in my collection are to break up for parts.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    I tend to buy figures, but sometimes if you want the majority of the figures out of a set, if you can find the right sale, it is cheaper to just buy the whole set instead of individual figures.

    Something odd about me. I tend to try to get as many polybags as I can so I can open one and keep the other sealed. Yet I end up not opening either and sit on multiples of some of these characters..now why is that? I have no intention of selling.
    khmellymel
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    It is hard to open some polybags, especially if you think they will go up a lot in value. I finally make myself open one if I have a spare just so I will end up keeping the opened one in case of trades, etc. Some of these figs are just to wonderful to leave in the bag!
    khmellymel
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 648
    @Pitfall69 I can't quote you because I'm on mobile, but when you were referring to $400 being the threshold for paying taxes, what is that $400 in reference to? Per sale? Per month? I remember reading somewhere that eBay/PayPal don't report sales income to the IRS that are under $20,000 per year, and I'm not sure if that is true.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    edited April 2015
    Oh, I was just to referring to any income. Sorry if I was not clear.

    You are referencing the 1099-k forms that are sent out by third party payment processing companies. We have been getting one since 2011 because we have a credit card machine, but for PayPal you must have made over $20,000 through one credit card processor, such as PayPal AND That $20K must have been made through 200 or more transactions.
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,242
    Sethro3 said:
    I tend to buy figures, but sometimes if you want the majority of the figures out of a set, if you can find the right sale, it is cheaper to just buy the whole set instead of individual figures.

    Something odd about me. I tend to try to get as many polybags as I can so I can open one and keep the other sealed. Yet I end up not opening either and sit on multiples of some of these characters..now why is that? I have no intention of selling.
    That happens to me, too!  I have four Toy Story Alien polys just sitting there... I had this idea to MOC a claw machine (with power functions as a pipe dream) and needed the aliens.  But I can't bring myself to open any of them.  Alas, I only have four anyway, better to keep them in the pack and pristine for if I ever get around to building that claw machine... or so I keep telling myself...
    Sethro3
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