Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon
Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
IMO, the retiring label means no more production run, so how long it takes to go OOS depends on the final demand.
Putting aside my personal hatred of all things ewok, I'm not overly confident that 10236 will do that well as the minifigures already look quite dated - which is a similar issue for 8038.
I love the Crawler and think that it will do well. It's OT, a decent size, has a nice array of minifigures and the box-art is just beautiful.... Considering that it's got an RRP of £250 I don't think it will have been hoarded in massive numbers unlike cheaper exclusives.
The Lego resale Market is virtually dead for the following reasons:
1. Everybody knows about it now so everybody is doing it.
2. Lego production has ramped up to the point that it is meeting basic customer demand in both variety sets produced and the quantity of each set produced.
3. Knock-offs and clone brands are filling the need for "vintage" sets and none-Lego themes.
If any business major needs to write a theme paper, here is your rough outline! Examples of each point are numerous and plentiful. (Just read this ALL of this thread!)
I have had a Bricklink store since 2011. During "good-old-days", I could sell 10K a month in sets. Last month, I sold four sets to three customers for $158.00.
I think it is time to retire the second 1/2 of this thread's title: ....."and their secondary market value". With a few exceptions, that value is going to be pretty much what you paid for it.
Take the Tumbler, for example. I bought four last year within minutes of them selling out everywhere. And now it is not uncommon to see them sell for $300 + shipping.
In regards to your BL store... I may not have had a store for very long, but I have been dealing with Ebay for a while, and have noticed no drop in prices or in sales.
Could there perhaps be another reason your store isn't doing well?
The Tumbler like @SprinkleOtter pointed out is one. The Horizon Express is about 1 year since EOL and that's hitting about 2x RRP already. Mars Curiosity Rover is 2.5 years out and doing obscene numbers of 6x RRP.
The DeLorean was heavily boarded and was constantly on discount to boot, but that's already hitting 2.5x RRP. Even random SW sets like #75038 Jedi Interceptor at only 1 year after EOL is over 2x RRP.
So there will always be some sets that will spike regardless of how many resellers there are in the market.
(Antecdotal evidence of your particular experience, layered in a 'good ol' days' malaise, doesn't substantiate the proliferation of the current aftermarket.)
Reselling's no different. If the profit becomes smaller, or harder, to make then it all moves in the direction of no longer being worthwhile. Essentially, it IS all over - for them - because people don't want to carry on doing the same thing for a lower return.
I don't mean YOU per say.
Both views are reasonable, but it does depend on where you're standing. At the moment there seem to be a few people who think they can what others used to do, and that doesn't work. That doesn't mean there aren't people who are happy with how things are now.
This game has changed dramatically and prices have largely stagnated unless you are talking some older sets or the random 1 off sets that the crowd misses and takes off. It's figuring out those sets that is now the challenge. I will still buy just about any set I find on sale 50% or greater, but now I'm buying less of them. Usually just enough for my collection and some friends and maybe an extra or two to sell eventually. Maybe. Between the glut of speculators and LEPIN and LEGO keeping sets in production way beyond historical norms I'm about to get out of the reselling game at the scale I'm in and get back to very small time.
#8683 Series 1 Collectable Minifigures - These were the first CMFs released...and for $1.99 each no less. The ROI on these in sealed condition is now in the 10X-15X range.
#8684 Series 2 Collectable Minifigures - As the second series of CMFs to be released, people were starting to catch on. This was primarily due to the fast sellout of Series 1 CMFs. Some of the CMFs in this series were more popular (e.g., Spartan Warrior) and some were not (e.g., Ringmaster). Still, these originally sold for $1.99/each and now have an ROI in the 3X-14X range.
#8265 Front Loader - This was a Technic set that was kind of a dark horse. It's RRP was $80; however, I was able to get it for roughly $40 during the 2010 BF sale. I think there was as issue with TLG's website during the 2010 BF sale that caused the price to be extra low for about 10 minutes before it was corrected. The new Technic Volvo Front Loader #42030 appears to be modeled very close to the #8265 set...with the exception that its RRP is $250. The Volvo Front Loader definitely capped the price for #8265; however, those that got in at $40 still were able to get a 5X ROI.
#10185 Green Grocier - This set EOL'd in November 2010. It's RRP was $150, and it now sells for more than $1200 in NISB condition...nearly 8X its RRP. I had this set in my hand in my home; however, this was when I was first introduced to drop shipping. Someone else's name was on my order, so I contacted TLG to arrange a return. By the dust had settled, the Green Grocier was no longer available and I didn't want to pay more than RRP for it. Obviously kicking myself now...
#10194 Emerald Night - This is one of my favorite train sets TLG ever released. It's a classic design with a very nice color scheme. TLG doesn't release many train sets like this one, instead focusing more on engines. It's RRP was $100, but I was able to pick mine up from TLG during the 2011 BF sale for about $65. I don't recall there being any thought about it going EOL until this sale...and then it was gone. It currently sells for more than $500 in NSIB condition, which is 5X its RRP. I doubt TLG will release another one like it, so I see a slow but continued steady increase going forward.
#10196 Grand Carousel - Unfortunately, I didn't purchase a copy of this set before it was EOL'd around the end of 2010; however, those that did snap these up came out like geniuses. It's original RRP was $250, and I'm sure could have been had for less during the 2+ years it was available. It's now going for over $3000 in NSIB condition, which is 12X its RRP.
#10210 The Imperial Flagship - To me, this set was a no-brainer when it was first released. Its RRP was $180; however, it could be had for about $130 during the 2011 Black Friday sale. It's now going for over $700 sealed in box condition, which makes it an excellent performer for that era.
#10213 / #10231 Space Shuttle - As a science buff, this set caught my eye when it was first released. Its RRP was about $99; however, it could be had through Amazon for less than $80 from time to time. It's currently approaching the $300 mark with considerable room for continued appreciation. I think the reason for the slow rise is that it was a cheaper set that was out for a longer period, on sale often, and has been released in multiple variations. Still, I expect it to continue going up unless TLG releases another large Space Shuttle set.
I'm sure this isn't an exhaustive list, but these were the sorts of sets that I knew at the time would do well post-EOL and wish I'd purchased more of (certainly in hindsight). TLG has since released many other sets I know will do well over time, but the glory days of a substantial quick return are long gone.
Wow! I didn’t mean to knock over the hornets’ nest!
Sprinkleotter: Laughable? Really? Nothing you said refutes any of my points. You said you bought four Tumblers but didn’t say if you have actually sold them. If you have, please let the audience know what your flip time was and how much you made. I bought 10 Tumblers at the same time and listed them on BL for $330.00. I have not sold a single one which is not surprising since the current BL average sold price is $283.35. Someday, my price will probably be met but for now, I have the storage space and do not need the $2000.00 investment back. Which brings up another point. I wasn’t complaining about lack of sales, just a statement of fact on my current trend. I do not do Amazon or eBay. I’m sure I could move plenty of stock if I chose to go that route but right now, I’m content to just let ‘em sit. Also please remember that the post was directed at the new folk, not the old salts that hang around here. For new folks, I do not think it’s a worth-while to buy Lego for strictly investment purposes for the reason given.
Sumo: Yes, Lego is more popular than ever. The typical Walmart/Target has close to 20% of the toy shelf space dedicated to them. This very popularity is the reason that reselling/investing is a much harder game then it used to be. Some folks a mentioned a few sets that have done well in the recent years but those are a scant few out of the hundreds of sets that Lego produces. That is not a percentage, I'm willing to bet on anymore. How does one pick the right ones? That’s the million-dollar question now. Might as well buy some stock or bet on the 3rd horse in race #4.
Farmer_john: Yep, that is a great list of the stuff we all should have stocked up on but what should be purchased now to achieve the same results? There are too many factors in play now to make educated guess. Yes, I’d say that all the “hard-to-find” sets should retain their value but since everybody with a $1000.00 to spare knows this and is stocking up, future returns are long in coming.
So again, for the new guys, buy the sets you like. Play with them. Enjoy them and when your done with them, you may be able to get most of your money back which is more than you can say for 99% of the rest of the toy market. Bonus!
Lego investing will not put your kid through college anymore.
wow,people got so negative about the investing resale market. Or would it be a trick to keep the competition away? I think there are still good options for resellers. If you get premium sets at a discount you can still make a decent return.
From the starwars sets in the post above I would go with the sand crawler,it would not even be close. I think the sand crawler wont be around for much longer and I can see it go up 50% in the 2 years after retirement. Since coming out of my dark ages I have only invested (very small) in 2 sets,the sea cow and the tower of orthanc. Mostly for fun as there are much better options to invest elsewhere.
What the market does show is that it takes lego a very long time to sell the expensive sets. The natural demand for them is very small. How many sand crawlers would be sold every year after it has gone retired? I think 100 would already be a lot.
Also, if something stalls or doesn't grow after a year, it's gone, simple as. I'll reinvest in another instead. Some things I will keep for a while though. Still have 7 x #10221 sets I paid ~£180 each for, still growing nicely.
Currently have around 1400 sets and on average sell at least 3-400 a year. Profits are gradually declining though and competitors increasing, that's a fact! I do better at this though than I do stock and shares lol!
I just finished selling a set that I bought in 2013. #9391, the little technic crane (£14.99 RRP). Amazon had them for £8, but with some promo they had at the time (I cannot remember what it was) I got them at £6 each. I got 40 of them at that price. I just sold the last 25 of them to a reseller for £30 each. They clearly think there is still money in them to be paying that (bearing in mind that they are listed at £75 on amazon *). There was nothing really special about that one. Most of my purchases for resale used to be like that. I doubt I will ever regularly get deals like that these days.
* To be honest, I cannot believe anyone will pay £75 for one of them. I can't believe £50 either. But clearly some people do. They may well be right.
My ideal set to consider for reselling these days would have an RRP greater than $100, contain "desirable" minifigures, and be out for a year or less. Sets with an RRP of less than $100 are fine too, but shipping costs would begin to eat up a higher percentage of the profits.
A recently EOL'd example of a set meeting my criteria would be the #76023 UCS Tumbler. It had an RRP of $200, is an incredible build, contains desirable minifigures, and was out slightly more than 1 year. It was unavailable through [email protected] for a few months (during its first few months of release) and also had purchase limits (one per purchase) at [email protected] for a lot of its remaining availability. Additionally, it's the kind of set that is unlikely to ever be redone by TLG (for a lot of reasons). Sure...it hasn't skyrocketed yet, but I place the blame squarely on Ben Afflect for ruining the franchise. :-) It'll do fine over the long haul.
For as much as I love Star Wars and SW LEGO sets, I don't think they have a high display&play value like the modulars, CITY or Superhero sets, which is why I have not built many of the sets I got from Walmart a few months ago. I would rather continue expanding my town, than build a SW set that won't fit with any of it.
If you start stocking up on Ewok Villages or Sandcrawlers or SOH or Tower Bridge, who will be buying them? Sure, there will be some current fans that haven't purchased them during their long shelf life so far. But will there also be the influx of new lego fans that are really needed to make the new demand for retired sets? In my view, not only are there more resellers purchasing now but there is likely to be less growth in demand in future. What is going to bring these new people in? In the past, TLM was meant to be a big reason for the growth. Will TLM2 bring in people that didn't get pulled in by TLM? Probably not so much, as that type of person was likely to be pulled in by TLM. There will of course be natural growth as younger kids age, and their parents become interested as a result, but I cannot really see anything like TLM that is going to increase the fanbase like what happened around the time of TLM.
The other big deal for me is that there are less things I like currently compared to 2-5 years ago. And I often base my reselling on what I like. If I like it, chances are others will like it.
Another way to do this would be to determine what return is acceptable and hold a set until it meets that requirement. Again, this would have to be reevaluated periodically based on a number of factors related or unrelated to the EOL'd set being considered for resale (i.e., need for cash flow, need for more space, popularity of the set, aftermarket price of the set, potential for re-release of the set by TLG, etc.).
On one hand I can never be sure when the right time to resell a set is. On the other hand I can easily define my hourly rate through regular employment and know what my need is for additional cash flow. This is how I set my priorities related to this hobby.
What is the best time to sell? It depends why you are selling.
If you are selling to reinvest, then it is often a good idea to sell quite close to the start of the steady growth if you are going to invest that money into another set that is about to EOL and have the initial rapid growth. I have often done that. You give up the fairly certain but slow growth in exchange for a bet on the rapid growth of the next EOL set. Of course, it is possible to screw up and for the set not to EOL when you thought it would.
Whereas if you have cash sitting doing nothing (and by nothing I mean growing less rapidly than the long term slow growth of your lego), then it is better not to sell but invest the cash into lego. That is so long as nothing adverse happens to affect the growth in the lego - for example a reissue or a similar model that will reduce value.
Of course, you also need to watch out for volume. It is all very well saying a set is worth $x, but if only 2-3 sets sell for that amount over 6 months, and you are holding 50 of them, then it could well take a long time to liquidate the lot unless you go for a lower price. And if you make it known you have 50, then the price will almost certainly fall even if you think you control the market. Buyers will feel confident in holding before they buy due to the volume, other sellers might well cash in now rather than waiting. That happens a lot for apparently rare parts on BL.
It has now become acceptable for adults to have LEGO sets. That's a one-off change. Yes, there are degrees of acceptability so there are still people who will feel they are "allowed" to develop an interest, but the biggy has happened. So the number of people coming out of their dark ages, and looking to buy older sets, is likely to reduce - maybe a little; maybe a lot.
The other side is that we're only talking about the existing markets. TLG hope to expand in Asia and South America. If they succeed, that's likely to change things. If, in a couple of years' time, they manage to kindle an interest, in darkest Peru, for "the old" Assembly Square, Cafe Corner may well become of more interest. Many resellers may not be interested in dealing internationally, but it still affects the market, if only because those who are prepared to ship sets to Lima will buy them from those who won't.
I picked Paddington Bear territory rather than Asia because the latter illustrates a further angle. TLG have stated that they see it as their largest growth area. But how much have some of the newer clones changed that, essentially by getting there first? It doesn't really matter, but it adds another degree of uncertainty, and means an even bigger crystal ball is required.
Ewok Village is now missing.
Make of that what you will but to me it's not looking good for EV being around much longer.
Probably read more of this thread than is good for me considering I have never sold a Lego set in my life (I'm just a sucker for a good meme) and was fully aware of the retiring soon Tag on EV, was just passing on the additional bit of information to those who are still sitting on the fence with buying the set.