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Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

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Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby cfl_sw » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:34 pm

Over the last few years I have been able to pay for most of my star wars collection (worth about $4,000) by reselling. I find good deals or wait till a item retires and then I sell it.

example: I found a 4504 falcon and a 10131 tie collection both sealed for $300 and then I sold the falcon for $320. I guess I got a free sealed tie collection. Take in mind these are canadian prices.


Do you make money off of lego?
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby Puddleglum » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:00 pm

I most certainly do not "make money" off of LEGO, in the sense that in a given year, I am sure I spend more on LEGO than I sell. However, I definitely resell items to drum up more LEGO spending money. It's a great way to stretch your LEGO budget, and it can be a sort of game to see how far you can make things go. For example, I just found a bunch of Indiana Jones sets on clearance for 75% off. (Thanks to the tips in the finds/deals section!) Selling 1 copy of Temple of the Crystal Skull made me enough money to pay for the second copy for myself, and a copy Temple Escape.

I also recently sold a large number of my old Star Wars figs (mostly figs I had duplicates of), and instructions, for hundreds of dollars. I figure I made back nearly 50% of the original money I spent on those SW sets, by selling only a very small number of the figs. (I am still swimming in SW figs!) Often I will buy sets for parts, and sell the minifigs, making up anywhere from 50% to 90% of the set price, getting the parts themselves for dirt cheap. If you find sets on sale, it's usually possible to make back the entire cost of the set by selling the figs. As you said, buying an extra copy of SW sets to sell later is also a pretty reliable way to get some extra spending money. Especially if you found the sets on sale! :)

All that being said, I most certainly do buy my fair share of sets new from the local LEGO store at MSRP. If you really want a set, waiting around hoping for a sale can be a fool's errand. And, I like to encourage LEGO when they make sets I like, by buying them as soon as they are available! :) I just try to be judicious about which sets those are. Needless to say, thinning that list down has been harder lately. ;)
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby fredjh » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:21 am

Lately I've been buying multiple copies of some sets, especially when I've found them on sale, so that I could keep one and hopefully sell others later on. Typically, it's either got to be on sale, or a set I think will be very popular or valuable in the future. I've had a couple of good garage sale finds, too, but they are not new-in-box sets.

But since I have not sold any yet, I am not making any money or even offsetting any cost. In fact, all it made happen was to dry up my LEGO budget.

I've got a couple of older sets that I have not opened that have become WAY more valuable, though, and I've been considering trading or selling them. I have a UCS Naboo Fighter and 4504 Millennium Falcon both in unopened boxes. When I got these particular sets, I never thought I would be selling them, though... I had always intended to build them. But when I get the 4504 for $75 on a Black Friday sale a couple of years ago, and the cheapest BL price is now $250, I need to think twice.

But now I've gotten sets that I bought with the intention of reselling. I will probably open a bricklink store at some point.
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby Andi » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:40 am

Actually no, I don't make money off of Lego. Rarely that I get the price back I paid for something I sell, but most times it's between a bit less to very much less what I get when selling something. May it be from the 80ies (childhood Lego) or new (built once).
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby Tyrant » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:52 pm

There was a thread a few months ago on a fairly related topic that may interest you if you're lookng for where people stand on the issue. Link
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby fredjh » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:27 pm

Tyrant wrote:There was a thread a few months ago on a fairly related topic that may interest you if you're lookng for where people stand on the issue. Link


That's an interesting thread... I'm glad you posted the link. After a couple of pages, I certainly agree with your point of view on the subject.

BTW, "scalper" is the wrong word... I'd say "entrepreneur."

EDIT: it never occurred to me that people really have something against capitalism... when I came late to the game and had to pay inflated prices on bricklink, I either decided it was worth it or it wasn't worth it, I never begrudged the seller! In fact, I was inspired to buy extra of sets I thought would be worthwhile. But that's just me.
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby banthafodder » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:41 pm

I have no problem with capitalism and people making money off Lego. Just know that you do take a risk when buying extra sets that prices don't always go up or may not be sustainable. A good example of this is the Geonosian set which on Buy it now options on ebay is going for 75 to 100 dollars but on open auctions is selling for less than 20. As long as both buyers and sellers no the risk of the market. Again personal experience, I bought a chrome Vader just about the time they came out and paid a lot but at the time I felt that I did not want to miss out on the opportunity. Then when TLG basically handed them out in Europe because they couldn't hide them in boxes the market dropped on these and you can pick them up on ebay very reasonably. Another good example is the republic tank which has now been re-released.
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby fredjh » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:11 am

banthafodder wrote:I have no problem with capitalism and people making money off Lego. Just know that you do take a risk when buying extra sets that prices don't always go up or may not be sustainable.


Of course... which is why, when I buy two sets instead of one, it's a set I'm buying anyway because I wanted it myself.

Case in point... two Emerald Nights; it's sort of insurance against LEGO abandoning it, because if they don't release the cars in the future, I can make another one from the second set. If they do, then it'll increase the value of the Emerald Night (when it inevitably stops being sold new from LEGO). You guys go on about Star Wars, but some of the train sets are going for huge amounts of money on bricklink, too. The Santa Fe "kit" is going for over $1300... and that doesn't even include any motors or track!
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby Draykov » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:06 am

I know that there are people out there that pay for sets by buying them in bulk, then selling off the minifigs. I can't bring myself to do that (buy in bulk or part with minifigs). So no...I spend way more than I could ever make on LEGO, because whenever I buy it, I keep it (unless it's a gift, or I suddenly decide there was no point in buying 3 Jedi Starfighters, even if they were on sale at a great price).
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby zithy » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:03 am

Yes, is my simple answer.

The one thing that irks me though is people who try to profit by listing an Echo Base for $50 just because they found one at Walmart the first day it's there and there's not many listed on Ebay. Of course, they'll go on and on about how rare it is. Or when selling a different set they mention it's retired, but when you check it at LSAH, hey, it's in stock! THAT peeves me big time.

A few years back, Amazon had a buy-2-get-1-free special. So I bought a few sets, including around 3 dozen 7264's for the final amount of near $33 per. They get retired, off the store shelves and a while later, I start selling some. I never list sets for sale until they're retired; it's stupid anyway, since the value doesn't rise until much later. If I sell a 7264 tomorrow for, say, $175, am I a scalper? Of course not. NO ONE IS who sells an item once said item is discontinued from its manufacturer.

I mentioned "scalper" because I hit the link and read a little of the thoughts there and wanted to add my thought to this post.

The biggest problem of making money on Lego is the patience, space and initial cost. Case in point, I bought 8 7261's (Turbo Tank, with light-up Mace) soon after they were released. It took 3 years, I think, for it to be retired. Then another 2 years for it to finally rise enough in value to be worth selling after fees/costs. I've stared at the stack of them for 5 years, but I'm obviously very happy at the value of them currently.

Beats the stock market :p
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Re: Do You Make Money Off Of Lego?

Postby D4B0MB » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:21 pm

yep, ill usually wait till they go on clearance at walmart, then ill snatch a bunch.

for example, when the first 2 battle packs came out, i bought 1 of each, so that i would have at least 1 of each.

then they got a ton in and marked them down to 5.00 a box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (CDN). i picked up like 10 of each, and still have them all in their boxes (minus the first 2 i built).

so i got like 10 clone packs and 10 droid packs unopened, mint condition. :)

also, rogue shadow's on clearance now too, for $40 (CDN) at walmart, got 1 i bought originally, and another i bought at $40, still in its box. next payday im getting another one!
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