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Selling Minifigs to Cover the Cost of the Set

Has anyone had success selling the minifigs to cover the cost of the set?  I'm trying to expand my inventory of parts without breaking the bank.  It seems like the most viable way is bricklink or ebay, but I'm not sure what the best route is if I try it or even if I should.


  • vwong19vwong19 Member Posts: 1,191
    It works on some licensed sets if you don’t mind collecting a bunch of specialized parts. It also depends on how much you acquired the set (on sale, retail, clearance). You can use Bricklink part out function to see how much the figures are vs how much you pay. Generally the set won’t pay for itself if you sell the minifigures, but it will be cheaper than most buying options.
  • milambermilamber Member Posts: 637
    edited January 2019
    Basically what the others have said so far. I've done exactly the same to try and build up a collection of parts. It does work, but it's pretty labour intensive. Don't underestimate the time and effort it takes to sell the minifigs. Sometimes you can sell them as a group, but usually it's one at a time so that's advertising, selling, packing, communicating with customer, going to Post Office, dealing with any lost parcels etc. Sometimes you can do all that for a net return of about £1.50 per figure.

    I'm retired and have plenty of time to do that plus I quite enjoy it, so no problem. If you are working it might be a hassle.

    It's rare that selling the minifigs pays for the set. It can happen, but usually all it does it subsidise it heavily. It depends on a combination of minifig popularity, timing of sale and, most importantly purchase price.
    I have 7 sets of #75954 Hogwarts Great Hall, for example. I bough them all on buy 2, get one free offers which made them around £60 each instead of £90. When they first came out I could easily sell the minifigs, basilisk, phoenix and sorting hat for enough to get the remaining set for free. Now they have been out for a while, that lots nets me around £46 after all fees and shipping so the whole remaining set is £14. That's great, but a heap of work has gone into 'earning' that £46. My 6 sets, now missing minifigs, have cost me £9.26 each. Those minifigs have proved popular and easy to sell for reasonable prices (The actual sold total is well above the £60 set cost, but fees and posting take a big bite from that)
    The companion set #75953 Whomping Willow for example, whilst costing less to purchase, ends up costing more after selling the minifigs than the Great Hall does, for a far inferior set in terms of parts. That's down to the minifigs being both fewer in number and less valuable.
    I have 4 of #70617 which cost me around £11 each after selling the minifigs, but I bought those cheaply as well. Same with #70618. I have 4 of those which work out at around £35 each, but that's mainly due to purchasing them cheaply. The minifigs only fetch around £14 after fees, etc
    Bottom line is that it's one way of building up a decent parts collection without breaking the bank, but not a licence to print money. Select your sets carefully and pay as little as you possibly can for them.

  • ReesesPiecesReesesPieces Member Posts: 1,120
    I think you might be able to connect with someone that is in the opposite position as you, someone that only wants the minifigures.   I'm sure there are plenty on this forum.  Even I might be willing for cetain superhero figs.  Decide on a set and split the cost, one person getting the pieces and the other getting all the figs.
  • pocketsmasterpocketsmaster Member Posts: 12
    Yeah, I'm getting stuff on clearance now for decently cheap to get parts.  I got six of the 75954 Great Hall as well and I'm contemplating trying it for that set.

    Thanks for the offer Reeses, but I've exceeded my spending limit for a while!

    Do you guys think eBay or Bricklink a better way to go?
  • milambermilamber Member Posts: 637

    Do you guys think eBay or Bricklink a better way to go?
    I use a variety of platforms. Local selling pages on Facebook, Facebook marketplace, Gumtree - you will have equivalents of these in the USA. They are best of all as there are no fees, but the audience is limited and it has nothing like the reach of Ebay which, at least for me, remains the best place to sell for the best price. I wouldn't use Ebay for anything expensive though. My sale prices, after fees, are always higher on Ebay than they would be on Bricklink, which I use to buy, but not sell.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    It is easy to do so long as:
    1) you pick the sets with higher minifigure to parts counts
    2) you buy on clearance
    3) you hold the figures for a few years
    4) the figures are not available in other sets

    When you start breaking those "rules", it becomes harder. For example, it is very rare that you can buy a set at RRP, remove the figures and sell them instantly for the price of the set to a single person. They would just buy the set. However, it is more likely if you bought at 50% discount and that is not widely available or you bought the set a few years ago at RRP and the figures have not been redone and so on.

  • dmcc0dmcc0 Member Posts: 778
    in addition to what @ReesesPieces said above, you might be able to pick up sets for sale without minifigs from collectors that just wanted the figs.  

  • WatfordScottyMWatfordScottyM Member Posts: 501
    Exactly that ^.  I'm more a collector of minifigs (particularly Batman) so am sometimes reluctant to buy the bigger sets as I only want the minifigs.  Joker Manor for example was just too expensive to justify buying as I'm unlikely to build the set itself.  

    Damn you shiny disco batman!
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Member Posts: 778
    I was initially hoping that the Batman minifig from Joker Manor would come down in price due to people buying multiples to get the rollercoaster track pieces, unfortunately more sets with the track pieces were announced/released shortly after so didn't really work out that way.  One of a few Batman figs I'll probably never own :( 
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