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How long do you wait before you sell?

momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
I was just curious since there are so many people who collect and sell here, how long do you wait before you resell your purchase? Do you hang on your sets until they guarantee you a certain percentage of profit? Do you just clear out after so long? I find these discussions interesting since there are so many collecting and selling Lego. Thanks for any insight!


  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    I wait years until the price peaks. Occassionally that results in a burn when Lego decides to release a similar set (or in the case of Star Wars, a remake) but ultimately the key with any toy is to hold onto it for a while, keep it in the box and in as pristine of condition as possible.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    My guess is it's all over the map. sometimes you do quick turnarounds if you get a great deal on something and/or the market won't last long, such as with a brand new item that isn't widely available yet, or before the holidays when something is temporarily back ordered. This can also be done when something first sells out, like the recent Emerald Night. There is a burst of demand right then, because people are feeling like "man, I missed it", so they are interested in getting it now and will pay a reasonable premium where in 6 months or a year they may have just moved on.

    Other times, you are buying for longer-term value once the set is long gone and the secondary market supplies have dwindled somewhat. this is both a riskier move, as there is no guarantee of certain profit, and with more people getting in on the game, price increases may not be so certain or so pronounced. Additionally, your money is tied up far longer, which has a cost of it's own of course. the upside of course is that this has in recent history led to the best profit margins ultimately.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,187
    I'm not a massive reseller, but I tend to sell off my unwanted used sets once they reach 2x the retail price (I typically buy the sets during sales so selling for retail is not terrible). For sets that have little value I usually part them out since the parts and minifigures can often fetch more than the complete set. For MISB sets, I like to acheive 3x the retail price. If I have multiples, I'll stagger the sales and progressively increase the price.

    It is very important to keep updated on LEGO future sets as well as possible cancellations as this can greatly affect the market of sets. A huge reason people are interested in confidential pictures and descriptions of unreleased LEGO sets is if a rare part is included in a new set, then the price will drop as the supply increases.... you will want to unload the parts before they enter the market. Of course preliminary images may not be entirely accurate.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    Thanks for your input. I have sold for the fun of collecting as we are a Lego family. I enjoy passing the savings along. Now, I am trying to be smarter about it. I am learning alot from reading on here. I noticed that the Imperial Flagship and Emerald Night Train have jumped up in price. I was also questioning whether it was the burst of demand or will they keep going up.
    I did have Cafe Corners, Green Grocers, Taj Mahal, and Eiffel Towers that I sold right after they sold out. I did make a profit, but if I had a crystal ball.....I would have been set for quite some time.
    Star Wars remakes do take down the values, but those are my kids favorites. We never have a problem opening up that inventory.
    I see so many people talking about selling on here...that I do realize what a big group we are. I have fun talking with everyone and hearing what they do with their inventory. Thanks!
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    vwong19-my son likes to watch the upcoming sets also. He knows a new Jabba set is coming those won't be as high anymore.

    Another question I have for all of you just buy any set on sale or are you picky? When I first started years ago, I purchased anything on clearance at 50%. Now, my kids buy the clearance, but I am very picky about what I pick up to keep in inventory. I only spend money on the sets that I believe are in high demand and will stay in demand. I pass on all other sets even if the price is great.

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    I think IF and EN will keep going up medium to long term of course. What I was saying is that there is an initial cash-out bubble to take advantage of if you want a quicker turnaround. not that the price will ever really drop, but I think the pool of potential buyers is bigger immediately, then will dwindle over time, at a slower rate than supply does, hence the price increases longer term.

    I'm choosy about what I buy. The 50%+ off items are generally dog sellers for a reason. When I buy at that price, it's pertty much always for the parts. For full sets, I approach it like you do.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Generally I tell people a year, but like the above poster indicated, its "all over the map". Most sellers seem to flip them rather quickly so I like to hold on to them till at least that initial supply is gone.

    I haven't dealt with the non-licnensed sets very much, but from my experience its a good idea to flip them as soon as you can get a reasonable margin. Lego will keep duplicating the same sets with minor change with things like City so your window is short there. People who buy sets like Ninjago and Atlantis are generally not collectors. They just jump onto whatever the "next hot thing" is and quickly forget about the previous.s
  • VaderXVaderX Member Posts: 220
    but if I had a crystal ball....

    ha isn't that the trick?
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    I feel its just like being a stock broker or close. Prices go up when demand is there and supply is none. Sets go out of production with a certain timeframe, I still need to develop a understand being from a secondary market of Lego. My last profit seller was the Batman and Harley Quinn set which I sold off for about 200 USD and had initially paid retail price for it. But had to keep it with me for 2 years.

    I didn't had a clue about it, it was just something we will do soon thing, and suddenly a dear friend of mine back then introduced me to BL and I was shocked.

    So point is, if you have the investment, and if you are sitting in a primary market region, invest in Lego and let them bake till they become hot and then sell them off. Best part is, if an item you are selling has a hyped-up price of say 500 bucks, you could walk away selling it for a bit less, making someone happy, make a good return and feel great like.

  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 816
    You have to be cut out for the buying and selling market whatever you buy and sell and ask yourself why are you doing it and what risks are you prepared to take?
    I am not talking specifically Lego here but buying and selling is about making your own decisions and quantifying the risk.

    Not trying to upset anyone here but can I please make a few comments?

    momof2boys 99 said 'I did have Cafe Corners, Green Grocers, Taj Mahal, and Eiffel Towers that I sold right after they sold out. I did make a profit, but if I had a crystal ball.....I would have been set for quite some time'

    These sets retired quite some time apart. How come you didn't learn from the Eiffel Tower what the Taj Mahal would do and likewise with the CC and GG?? Can I suggest that you were not prepared to take that risk? I shipped in 4 CC's at £200 each from the US and shifted them all within 4 months for £375 each. Was that a bad decision? Not in my book. Why? Because I used that money and went again. You have to keep turning it over.

    I have a friend who is known throughout the world buying and selling old Dinky, Corgi and Hot Wheels die cast. He always says to me that the first profit is the best.

    I have bought a massive amount of Lego this christmas all at 50%. I don't care for a lot of it. Can I lose? No I can't. Every set is guaranteed profit. 100% winner. At this point I hear you ask ' how can I be so sure? The reason being is that I have a 4 year old daughter and as with all 4 year olds they go to birthday parties and give birthday presents. At worst I have 10 years worth of birthday presents? But I put a lot of effort in and spent most of my Christams chasing Lego. And before anyone asks why I didn't spend that time with my daughter it was because my girlfriend is Slovak so we had our Christmas a week early because they went to have Christmas in Slovakia this year with my GF's family. Had they stayed in England then I would not have been chasing Lego.

    Coolsplash says 'invest in Lego and let them bake till they become hot and then sell them off '
    IMO that is very bad advice. Can I ask how much money you have put in the oven to bake then?

    I am saying all this respectfully everyone, just trying to make a point.

    'That' discussion that went on before Christmas made me laugh. LegoFanTexas took a bit of a slating for a while. But does everyone seriously think that it is easy for him. If he is buying Lego in that volume then he is putting the effort in, let me assure you. It doesn't just fall at his feet. He is also taking calculated risks by using his OWN judgement. Not by asking the next man. I assume he will stand by the decisions he makes. Will everyone feel sorry for him if the price of Lego crashes and chip in so he doesn't lose out financially? I doubt it very much. Anyone who thinks he can clear shelves out without putting a lot of time and effort in watching the market obviously doesn't understand what is involved.

    Investing money in anything is a form of gambling. The differance being that if you lose then you still have something to show for your money.

    A lot of people think the DS will increase in value once retired. More than likely. But if it is such a certainty then how many is everyone buying? So lets leave the house out of it. But what about the car? I drive around in quite a nice car. It is paid for. It is not a neccessity. It is a luxury.

    Why don't I sell that car now and spend all the money on DS's?
    100 of them. Buy a lesser car, DS retires, rockets in value, sell them all, masive profit, buy a nicer car? And all I had to do was drive around in a lesser car waiting for DS to retire? So simple................ Don't think so.

    I live in the UK and I am employed. I am also a sole trader and business registered because I buy and sell things. Anything. But I also smoke. Cigarettes are £7 per packet. I smoke 10 packets a week. £70. Stupid I know but that is another issue.

    I put a lot of effort into buying and selling. So once every three months I jump on a plane to Eastern Europe and do a 20 hour round trip to Europe to buy my cigarettes. I am allowed to bring back 3200. The £70 now costs me £25. That is a saving of £45 a week. The point I am trying to make is don't put a lot of effort into trying to make money with one hand if you are going to give it away with the other.

    I would warn anyone about putting all there eggs in one basket. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. IMO little and often is the best policy but you have to keep driving yourself and work within the boundaries of your financial position.

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Well said, and in the end, it's different for everyone. Bottom line:

    1) know the market - research! and it never ends, you have to keep up on it.
    2) Capital available to invest and for how long you want it tied up.
    3) Risk tolerance.

    those things (certainly 2 and 3, but even 1 to some extent) are different for everyone
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Some math...

    Take a set, call it set A

    Let's say it retires, you paid $100, in one year it doubles to $200. You made $100 profit.

    If you wait one ore year, it goes up to $300, you made another $100. That is not bad... So does that mean the answer is to hold onto sets for years?

    Maybe, depends on you.

    Take the same set, after one year you sell it for $200 and use that money to buy 2 newer sets for $100 each, after a year these new sets are worth $200 each. By buying and holding, you earned $300 in two years, by flipping and rebuying after one year, you earned $400 in two years, but doubled your labor costs because you have now had to do something new each year, rather than let them sit.

    So what is the "right" answer? None, it depends on you, each person is different, but this is one reason why retailers have clearance sales, if stuff isn't moving fast enough, they would rather turn over the money to something new that will sell faster.

    Some people do this as a hobby and would rather just toss DS or FB sets in the closet for a few years and not worry about it. Probably won't make the total return of someone who flips all the time, but it is less work.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    Thanks for everyones input. I know that I am the only one that can figure out my own selling, but I still like to hear what everyone else has to say.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited January 2012
    ^^ Right. This same principle applies to those sellers on Bricklink that specialize in parts vs. those that do sets. The sum of the parts of a set are typically worth much more than the set itself (primarily current sets I'm talking about). But it's a huge effort in parting out those sets - sorting the parts, organizing the parts, pulling parts, weighing, bagging, packing, etc. And you probably have smaller size orders, but a larger number of them, so again you're spending more time filling orders.

    Is it worth it? As Tex has said before, depends on how you value your time. It could be a fun hobby doing that. Or it could be a tedious chore.

    I found a somewhat happy medium last year by doing a mix. Sold a bunch of sets - mostly modulars to people in Australia. But also sold a lot of minifigs - they were easy to separate from a set I just bought and easy to organize. Then either kept the rest of the set for parts for MOCing (which was dirt cheap on a price/part after selling the figs), or I sold the rest of the set as an "Incomplete set w/o figs."

    To give an example. There are four unique figs in 7964 Republic Frigate that I was able to sell for $16-$20 *each* early on. Plus Yoda for $9 or $10. And a lot of people bought just the frigate (w/o minifigs) for $65-$70. Take out about 6% for PayPal and Bricklink fees, and that's about $130-$150 of revenue. I was lucky enough to get a bunch of them when they first launched at MSRP during a TRU BOGO (so $96 after taxes). So I would make $35-$55 on each set. And it was at a pace I could live with.

    Now of course prices have come down on what you can get for those figs and the frigate itself (more competition, less demand to pay a premium to get the figs "first"). But I did find more frigates at 50% off at B&N on Black Friday, and flipped the figs and ships for similar profit.

    Just one option that might work for some people.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    sidersdd-thanks for sharing. I have sold just the figs when my son did some parting out for his own collection. I just would not want to take all of the time to sell parts and pieces. I like selling complete sets. Good job on the RF selling! I miss all those good sales we had. We were spoiled for awhile. I really loved when Toys R Us had Buy-1-Get 1 half and the sets were discounted already. That was fun!!
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ Oh, right. There actually was a point where Republic Frigate was on sale for less than MSRP (something like $95), and it worked with the BOGO as well. It was during one of those crossover times when they're switching the deals and they stacked for a period of time. That was sweet.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    i remember that. i had my trigger finger on teh buy on that deal several times and never hit it. same thing with the red cargo train.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited January 2012
    ^ Yep, got them Red Cargo trains on sale + BOGO as well. Loved it. That's another one I "part" out. Sell the track, the PF parts, and the train components. LEGO makes it easy to sell the individual cars because each car is a bag (or 2 for the engine). The only thing that is time consuming is cutting the stickers for each car from the one sticker sheet. I would make about $100-$120 off each Red and Yellow Cargo train early on. Not so much anymore.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    I ordered so much from Toys R US during that period. It was crazy. I stalked the site on my computer waiting for the good sets to be in stock. It was a never ending sale. I think the UPS man got sick of me. Now.....I kinda miss all of those sales.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ heh-heh. I don't. Burn out city for me. Less reselling, more building for me this year.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    I know. I know we are in for a dry spell. I love shopping for good deals, so I will miss those good sales. However, my husband will be happy that I am not buying so much.
  • choob99choob99 Member Posts: 147
    We are probably in a dark period for sales until about march or so, however I'm always looking for the next big deal!!!
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,350
    Feels a bit strange, this week is first since early November that l haven't been waiting on orders from lego, argos, toysrus, Wilkos, elc, JL, Tesco, Asda, iwoot, etc , although l trawl the stores on the commute home every night to get my daily fix, as well as checking in here often !

    I have bought probably more than average reseller does but at a level l feel comfortable with. Most of the buys are no-brainers. I work on a site where there are 10,000+ people so with a bit of research it was easy to flip quick profits with sales at work e.g. the toysrus 3in1 geonosis superpack, bought at £50 on 3for2, sold same week for £50 each with no other fees, that's quick and simple 50% profit.

    My loft is rammed with lego. 75% is misb and mainly sold from Oct-dec. Other 25% is loose/used lots bought from boot-sales etc and sold jan-sep.

    Whatever works for you is best. Am l rich ? No. Am l happy ? Oh yes .
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    @sidersdd, I agree totally with your idea of selling, but it does become a tedious job as I was doing that a lot 2010 and early 2011. For me, 2011 was more of a 'Could you get me that set' which has kept me busy for couple of months. BL helped me a lot with that, even the postman who visits me went crazy delivering boxes at my place every 10-15 days. It was good. Mainly Technics, Creator, City and Architecture and very few SW. And how can I forget Mindstorms NXT 2. I am a small part of a local club here which is responsible to organize events/competitions in local schools and due to my presence they introduced Technics in their event for very first time replacing Meccano, as that is part of another plan I have to create awareness in the education sector as well.

    Another problem I face sometimes is selling something I do not find interest in, i.e. Star Wars :) Ok ok I know that is totally forbidden :P

    So financially, its been a slow and steady year. And joining this Forum I am learning when to buy and I did buy quite a lot (50 sets are on the way right now and working on another 20), will resell half of those at a decent margin, some of them will go towards my own collection, and the rest to resell later.

    I will keep you all posted over this 'shady' deal I am a bit excited about.

  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    To anyone holding onto MISB for years, but especially resellers where you expect to make a profit by doing this, have you read LEGO_Nabii's comment quoted below? If so, are you concerned about the bricks yellowing? I'd certainly be worried if I sold a $1000 set just to have the buyer open it and want it returned because of discoloration:
    ...According to LEGO quality control too much dark is as bad for some of the secret formulas of the chemical companies as direct sunlight is for others. I recently confirmed this by keeping what was a pristine old grey SHIP in boxes in my basement for three years when I unpacked it, it was about 25% yellowed. Keep your bricks in translucent boxes!
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    tk79-You learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing. I always new about leaving them in the sun. I have never heard about problems with darkness. Has anybody else had this happen? It was very interesting.
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    ^^ I don't buy it. Atmospheric conditions, maybe. Lack of light? No way.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited January 2012
    ^^ I don't buy it. Atmospheric conditions, maybe. Lack of light? No way.
    That's direct from Lego. So this is what it takes to make you stop buying?
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    @LEGO_Nabii Any more info about the issues of storing things in the dark? Also, does LEGO quality control have a set of best practices for long term storage of LEGO bricks?
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    I've opened sets that were sealed in the 70's and never had this problem. In my real world experience this is simply not true.
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    from now til mid jan as i fancy a week off ;-)

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    how long do you wait before you resell your purchase?
    Usually until the parcel has arrived.

  • thecleatorthecleator Member Posts: 70
    Untill i have more Legos the savings lol. These sales come too close together
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Just to follow up...

    When I say mint, I'm not talking about "perfect", I'm talking about what you'd expect to sell on the shelf at a Lego store.

    To give a comparison, to anyone who understands coin grading... anything over 60 is considered "mint", but the difference between a 62 and a 64 is huge to a collector.

    I'm happy with anything 60 or over, a minor nick or scratch is no big deal, allow me to attach a picture of a box that was described as "new"...

    The below picture is not "new" in my personal opinion... some may disagree with me, but I did complain about this one and I did get a partial refund for it. It was sold as "new in box", and it is indeed "sealed", but the box is pretty beat up. The picture doesn't do it justice, it looks like it was dragged behind a car then kicked across the room.

    Now can it be sold as "new"? Sure, so long as it is accurately described. If the seller posted a picture of it and said "this is sealed, complete, and unbuilt, but has a beat up box" and then priced it as such, I'd be happy to buy it and not complain about it. But I paid a premium price for it and expected a premium product in return.

    In the end, I got $20 back on a $80 purchase for the below item, which struck me as fair. I also offered to return it for a refund, which the seller declined in favor of a partial refund.
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 709
    @LegoFanTexas looks like you got it from pixmania LOL

    As a seller you should know that it costs more to accept a return than to give a partial refund. Added the risk that it could get damaged more or lost in transit and time needed to sell it again - its better to give 25% discount and move on.

    by the way - it wasn't me
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @bricknation - yes, I know that is quite true... in some cases I'm happy to take a partial refund, in other cases I actually don't want it unless it is mint.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    BTW, who or what is pixmania?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    @LegoFanTexas now that you have described your definition of mint, I think we never had any disagreement at all. your "mint" = my "new in sealed box"
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    I'll always describe a box if I think it has damage. A lot will have minor scuffs along edges, or a crease in some place, I think many bought in store are like that.
    But to be honest, if I bought from ebay from someone who clearly wasn't selling much lego, then yeah, that box LFT is new, sealed in box. As far as they're concerned the lego inside is new, and the box is sealed. I'd be a bit peeved if it came like that, especially if it was a gift, but would I chase a 25% discount, no, they didn't actually list it inaccurately.

    And if I'm getting a set to open my self, it doesn't really matter if it has minor scuffs and creases, the 10 out of 10 mint is just irrelevant if it's gonna be opened.
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