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On topic... I don't see LEGO losing its 'investment' potential for some time. As long as new generations continue to be introduced to LEGO as kids, you'll always have some type of population of AFOLs 'coming out of their dark ages' to help sustain the secondary market's existence.
personally I would take out the architecture sets and the star wars shuttle and get a death star to hold over. my daughter is 16 months and there is one put aside that she will get when she is 7 or 8. I have two that I will sell off around the time and hopefully they will pay for her set. Pretty certain by then these will be quite pricey and will go for more used than they cost new now.
as for sets to lay down to play, why bother with a police station as there is a new one every 2 years, buy a good 2nd hand 7994 - thats an iconic set that they wont repeat - 4645 sucked...
btw, id lay down a couple of funhouses rather than the batcave - everyone is going to hoard the new batcave thinking it will be the next 7783, it wont be.
still find it funny to read the " I sold X of these and made Y but now I cant bring myself to open the one I kept and actually now got essentially for free" - mostly cos im kicking myself i sold all my 7783s and now baulk at the price I have to pay for a 2nd hand one....
Of course, it could also be the other way round: Ten years down the road, the boy might not be interested in Lego at all. Or the father, for that matter.
On the selection of sets: Assumedly, an investment in collectibles should be into those items which will be in high demand _and_ in low supply. The obvious sets recommended by everyone will probably not be in low supply.
On the whole topic of Lego as investment, however, let's keep in mind that we're all strongly biased towards liking Lego, and this forum is a filter bubble.
1376 Spiderman Action Studio 24.99 47.53
1381 Vampire's Crypt 14.99 56.31
1382 Scary Laboratory 39.99 101.41
3739 Blacksmith's Shop 163.52 29.99
5850 Royal Crystal Palace 49.99 53.87 (not new)
6762 Fort Legoredo $100.00 GBP127.34
Not a large sample, I know. I was quite surprised to find that according to those prices, all sets seemed to make nice profits.
Points to ponder: One needs to buy any set intended for resale twice. I'm not sure I could guarantee MISB of 10188 in my cellar as long as I haven't built it, too.
It would also be interesting to know how long it would take to sell off a Lego collection of, let's say, 20 boxes via bricklink. Does anybody know?
There's just too many people keeping too many of these sets for resale imo and whilst even then it only accounts for a tiny chunk of the total Lego sales, the amount of people that are going to be willing to pay more than RRP for old lego sets when they can buy new ones at RRP or less is an even smaller chunk.
Something has to give, the balance of sets being kept mint for resale and available buyers isn't staying stable and ultimately its supply and demand. Whilst good money will no doubt be made on some of the more iconic sets I think a lot is going to be lost - especially when considering ebay etc charges, the loss that the money invested could have made elsewhere etc etc.
Wasn't there a huge flux of 'investors or flippers' in the comic book hobby in the 90's (shortly after the death of superman) that eventually led to most of the books produced in that era being worth very little in the secondary market?
That's not saying there won't be somebody ready to snatch up your DS for $500 (used) when you (or your child) are finished playing with it down the road. But the smart money goes towards something you wouldn't mind keeping in your collection forever IMO.
I collect art prints/gig and movie posters as well. These are sold as collectible items each being hand signed and numbered with no future re-prints of the poster.
If there were limited editions like this with lego that were numbered and not to be re-released this would be a sound investment. But I doubt Lego wants to leave money on the table when it comes to bigger sets so the chance of 'limited' runs is pretty small. Plus, they would be depriving many children (the target audience) from ever playing with the set as the re-sellers/flippers would snatch them all up day one.
All that said.... I'll still be pitching the investment angle to my wife when it comes time to purchase 10212 & 10221. : )
This is similar to buying penny stocks, or berkshire-hathway. Will you make good returns on both? Depends. But a penny stock you know that should at least maintain value? Thats not so bad, especially if you sell some and still maintain a stack for sale later.
I find my biggest issue isn't making money/breaking even, its finding the space to 'hold these in decent condition until I'm ready to sell' space. I've picked up lego 7327, 8078, 7048, 7627 -- in bulk from 'clearance.' Of course, then you have other worries, like 'should I go ahead and break seals, to make sure there is what I think there should be in these boxes' or 'sell new in box, as is'?
Of course, I could go with someone else's example of 'open them all, fill a swimming pool, and dive amongst my loot' or give them away as 'awesome presents' while some of the kids I know aren't sucked into the 'lego sucks, where's the controller' realm.
I think I rambled. Apologies, I've been awake since 4, and I'm missing my morning coffee. I should add, my fun comes from finding the bargains, watching how they appreciate in value.. I don't think I've sold anything lego yet. I did dabble in heroscape which led to lego, as lego sets are much more likely to hold value, and not get nerf'd by their parent company.
There's no doubt that within the Lego communities there are more discussions about Lego investment, but I wonder if we aren't confusing the active investment talk with the number of people actually doing it. I was investing in Lego for the past couple of years prior to all of this discussion and am still investing at the same rate...I "hoarded" the same Wal-Mart clearance deals last year as I did this year. The 100 Clone Walker Battle packs that I got didn't flood the aftermarket...in the end there were a limited number of these around.
I really doubt resellers right now are more than drop in the bucket in terms of worldwide Lego sales. When you see people quitting their jobs, stories in the media, discussions rampant on non-Lego community sites then there is cause for concern, else I still see a fairly healthy aftermarket for the right kind of sets.
It is hard to argue with the recent examples of Emerald Night and Imperial Flagship...those sets were "openly hoarded" on this very forum with tales of multiple people with 10+ sets and the aftermarket pricing shows that the hoarded supply for resale cannot keep up with demand. These sets were out for a while and were available on Amazon, Target, etc. after Lego EOL them (at least for a few weeks) so there was tons of opportunity for resellers to build a hoard even after the EOL notification...and yet they still are performing.
Another thing is that seeing how these two perform people might start hoarding even more...
Are you on expressobeans Deadareus?
I'm struck by the similarities and differences between the Lego market and the street/gig/cinema art market. It's interesting how in the former the limited edition aspect is known upfront and in the latter only emerges after the event. So the market behaviours are very different at the start but converge as time passes.
Anyway, back to Lego talk.
I will say I have been much more picky about what poster/prints I go for more now than when I started a year ago... Mostly thanks to the Lego addiction.
Back to Lego chat.
I just posted the same question on the Bricklink forum - but since more oppinions would benefit me more I thought about asking the same things here.
I am a Lego fan since always, a buyer for a few years now and thought about combining
my passion with a little business-side, opening a shop on Bricklink.
This will remain of course more of a hobby enterprise, something I will do in
my spear time.
I do have some 15-20 small or medium used sets that I will list.
I'll also list some used parts, but I don't want to get involved much in the
parts business yet, as this requires massive amounts of time, work and investment
in order to be competitive.
I was also thinking about taking a small credit and investing somewhere around
5-7K Euro in (new) sets.
Part of that amount I would invest in a few expensive "adult" sets (like Tower
Bridge, modulars, etc) that I would keep and sell only when those get End Of
Life. Another part I will try to invest in sets I think are/will be wanted by
more people when I can find them at a discount (on Amazon for example).
Please help me with your opinion on my ideas, if you think I have a good chance
for my investment to turn profitable, or any suggestions you might have.
PS: I don't look at this as a "quick way to get rich" or something cos' I know
it's not. I would just like to be on the "+" side rather than the other way around... :)
My point was to open my own thread and have people who would like to answer be able to do it there - on my own thread and with my own title. If this would be against your rules please tell me so. If not please help me by moving it back...
Any feed-back is welcomed.
You are unlikely to get much interest in your store if you only have 15-20 sets parted out, unless you are significantly cheaper than the big boys.
It seems that, distilled, @adn2377 is asking this "What new sets should I spend 5-7K Euro on for investment, split between AFOL (for EoL sale) and KFOL (if bought discounted)?". Much of the answer to that lies in this thread, so it seems entirely reasonable to refer it to this thread.
I am not interested in parting sets - just in selling whole sets for the moment - as I was saying to be a good (and sought) parts seller you must invest much much more money and time...
How much money you invested on Lego? How much you sold it for? After how many years? Is there any other investments you could have made with that money to get a better return?
Although Lego can be a self funding hobby but when you consider it as a business/investment, the whole matter gets a totally different dimension.
Some old Lego sets do sell at below RRP when you consider inflation.
Only a few sets will appreciate heavily in price. However, we should consider the median price in future rather than one or two odd high prices.
Since you indicate that you have already read this thread, then I imagine you already have your answers as to which "AFOL" sets you should target for investment purposes. I'm not sure we've touched on the "KFOL" sets, though, so I imagine many will have new input there. Lastly, there has been significant discussion already on whether or not this is a "profitable" venture but I'm confident that question will continue to promote vigorous discussion.
Ok, no problem from me if this is the way you like to organize things on the forum...
Still, in my oppinion, "Lego as investment" means some people that have money and instead of buying stock they buy Lego... - opposing to what my thread was about -> Making this a small business and the perks needed in order to have a chance of success.
Of course, the are things in common but they are not the same thing at all.
You are right about the AFOL sets, combining information from here with the things my common sense told me I shoul be able to come up with a decent list.
You are also right about the KFOL sets - not much talk about that (other than Ninjago beeing strong in the US because of the animated series they have) and input still needed...
Apart from those - some other information I seek -> Would the euro amount I specified be enough for creating a (very) small business (but on the "+" side)? What would the best sale mix would be in the oppinion of other sellers given the information I provided?
And this is the tip of the iceberg... :))
will be best choice
To add to the topic: I'd think that EOL-the.es should go well.
Is this realistic or am I just rationalizing?
I had never thought to try to support/supplement this hobby but I think it's time. I just hope that the selling of it doesn't impact my enjoyment.
I think everyone's experience will be different, but I don't find selling detracts from the joy of collecting and building. It could take on a life of its own since bargain hunting can be obsessive and doing it effectively requires constant vigilance, but I suspect many hobbyists do that regardless of whether or not they resell.
The "buy one copy to own, one to resell" approach is pretty simple and will go a long way to self-fund the hobby.
But I'm more worried about the hassles and headaches you all experience when dealing with potential scammers, non-payers etc. Just wondering if that's going to be more aggravation than it's worth.
Lego. Not just a toy. It's a niche asset class.
My Mother has several original Thomas Kinkade oil paintings from early in his career. Those were purchased for pretty reasonable money (a few thousand each if memory serves), they are now worth quite a bit and are on her balance sheet as a listed asset.
So Lego isn't completely nuts... :)
Then again, if she takes a tax hit . . .