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My LEGO Craigslist adventure

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My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby dane » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:15 pm

So, every so often I type in LEGO on Craigslist, just to see what comes up (usually nothing), but what to my suprise I see a post that says "lots of legos". So, I email this kid and he sends me some pictures of a whole butt load of LEGO, almost all of it being from before 2005. I see Jango's Slave 1, Imperial Inspection, Grievous Chase, Geonosian Fighter and the original Republic Gunship and AT-TE just to name a few. I started collecting last Valentine's Day, so all of these sets I have only seen in pictures, so I'm pretty excited. So, I ask him if all the sets are 100% complete and have the minifigures and he says yes. So we meet up and I give him $400 for all the Star Wars sets minus the Minis. I get home and go through them and find about a dozen minifigs missing and only about half of the instructions were there. Pretty much all the rare minifigs like Jango and the Geonosians were there and I can get the instructions of eBay, so it wasn't that big of a problem, but something just wasn't there. Every set I've every owned I bought brand new, and there was just something unsatisfying about having these amazingly awesome and rare sets, only used. Almost like I didn't earn them rightfully or something. Does anyone know kind of what I'm feeling? I'm probably just a wack job, but anyways, I think I'm just going to take them all apart and rebuild them, display them one at a time for a few weeks and then sell them and try and make my $400 back. I've never sold a used LEGO set before, so would it be better to sell the minifigs individually, or sell them as complete as I can make them? Just wanted some input from someone with a little more experience.ImageImage
Last edited by Draykov on Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby fredjh » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:37 am

I've never felt that way. I got a garage sale box of LEGO and built several sets from it, and found the experience of tracking down which sets they were, getting the instructions, and building them (having to fill in some missing pieces) very satisfying.

The pictures show a lot of good sets, like the UCS Naboo Fighter, even; I'd be thrilled if I were you.
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby hatcher » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:03 am

I agree with Fred. I scored a huge lot of lego a few years back and had a great time digging through the box and putting everything together. Looking at your pics, I'd keep everything (except Bionicle and the minis, but that's just me). Those star wars sets are especially nice.
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby Gooker1 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:17 am

I only feel weird buying used sets if they come put together. I can't tell in your post whether you had to put them together originally, but it doesn't look that way. There's a joy in putting the pieces together when they come from a used seller. Maybe that's what's missing.

You got a terrific deal on those sets, as the republic gunship and slave 1 can fetch close to $200 together. I'd hold on to them b/c you got them so cheap. Unless you have the money to buy sealed versions of those sets to where you would open them up anyways, I'd stick to your score. ;)

Congrats!
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby thepatient » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:22 am

If you have that feeling nagging at you here is a solution. Just take your loot and donate it to the following place:

The guilty LEGO fund
c/o thepatient
Urasinner Dane Lane
Victorville, California 92666

I think it would all make us feel better; don't you?
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby UOldPirate » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:48 am

I'd have to agree with Dane, I'm not a big used Lego fan either. For me, I don't know if it's the cooties factor or what, but if the set doesn't come sealed in a box, I don't want it. As far as reselling, I would try to make each set as complete as possible and sell them off that way. Have you tried searching ebay for a sample set, like Jango's Slave I, to see which way is selling for more, complete vs. separate minifig / set auctions?
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby Mofo Jones » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:09 am

Nice score! I suggest that you keep what you want, and sell the rest. However, I'd suggest that you keep the rare SW sets.
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby Draykov » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:37 pm

UOldPirate wrote:I'd have to agree with Dane, I'm not a big used Lego fan either. For me, I don't know if it's the cooties factor or what, but if the set doesn't come sealed in a box, I don't want it.


I've bought a few used sets over the years, particularly when I was coming out of my dark ages, and I'm of more or less the same mind. I prefer minty fresh brick. The used stuff can sometimes be in really shoddy shape. That said, I regularly shop on Bricklink, but again, I like to buy "new" when I can. I limit my buying of used stuff to trusted sellers if I'm looking for something old and out of production.
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby ricefields » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:51 pm

I would contact the seller on principle to get some money back since he claimed they were complete, and a dozen minfigs is substantial. Even with the unlikely situation that some money will be returned, just letting him know will hopefully make him feel bad and offer something up himself. At the same time, he could claim that you should have checked the stash first; you have to do your research first and be able to quickly scan for all the required pieces. The worst thing of buying used / loose are the missing pieces/minifigs or ripped up stickers and instructions that devalue your purchase or make you feel you did not get as good a deal as you expected. Most upsetting is missing rare pieces that cost several dollars to buy on bricklink!

When you're ready to sell, my strategy would be to sell SW sets with the minifigs and if incomplete, acquire them to complete them if it makes sense based on research of previously sold complete sets.

If you don't have these sets and they are complete, I would only keep 7153, 4482, 7163, and 4478. If they are missing a decent number of pieces, missing figs and no instructions, I would sell them. the height of the value for these sets have come and gone (maybe except 7153) but it should not be difficult to make your $400 back.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby grumpy111 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:59 pm

I've bought used before and it was advertised as "from collector/displayed only" but when I received it, the pieces were well used dings and dents and cracked minifig torsos as well as missing pieces.. so I was disappointed and just stopped putting the set together and put it away. There's other times I bought used and the pieces were nice and corners were sharp and that is satisfying to put together.. But if I was you I would just be thrilled to get a deal like that! You may never find another bargain like that again..
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby dane » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:35 pm

thepatient wrote:If you have that feeling nagging at you here is a solution. Just take your loot and donate it to the following place:

The guilty LEGO fund
c/o thepatient
Urasinner Dane Lane
Victorville, California 92666

I think it would all make us feel better; don't you?

That is so funny! Pretty much the only time I've ever been to California was a trip to Victorville! If I'm ever out there again I'll be sure to deliver the goods!

[quote="ricefields"]I would contact the seller on principle to get some money back since he claimed they were complete, and a dozen minfigs is substantial. Even with the unlikely situation that some money will be returned, just letting him know will hopefully make him feel bad and offer something up himself. At the same time, he could claim that you should have checked the stash first; you have to do your research first and be able to quickly scan for all the required pieces. The worst thing of buying used / loose are the missing pieces/minifigs or ripped up stickers and instructions that devalue your purchase or make you feel you did not get as good a deal as you expected. Most upsetting is missing rare pieces that cost several dollars to buy on bricklink!

Yeah, I met up with him in the parking lot of Sears and he brings out a massive box full of LEGO. Even though I should have, I didn't want to spend 20 minutes going through every detail in the afternoon heat, so I took his word for it. The sets clearly were played with at one point and not mint from a collector, sadly Jango has a semi deep scratch on his chest. At least now I know I'm not a fan of buying used LEGO, but it is pretty awesome getting to see and hold something you've only seen through a picture or computer screen. Almost like meeting a celebrity!
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby BlueDragonZ » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:58 pm

dane wrote: But something just wasn't there. Every set I've every owned I bought brand new, and there was just something unsatisfying about having these amazingly awesome and rare sets, only used. Almost like I didn't earn them rightfully or something. Does anyone know kind of what I'm feeling?


I have the same feeling with buying used sets. It just doesn't seem to satisfying to me after I brought it even if the item is Mint and owned by collector. I don't treat it as a precious item compared to my new sets.

dane wrote: I'm probably just a wack job, but anyways, I think I'm just going to take them all apart and rebuild them, display them one at a time for a few weeks and then sell them and try and make my $400 back. I've never sold a used LEGO set before, so would it be better to sell the minifigs individually, or sell them as complete as I can make them? Just wanted some input from someone with a little more experience.


I usually end up selling the used sets like you do too. Sell the minifigures and ships separately.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby Darth's Daddy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:08 am

The best advice is to never buy a fully assembled used set. The joy of Lego is building! Putting a set together for the first time is the most fun in my opinion.

However, before buying used, make sure to see pictures of the set assembled to have a resonable level of comfort that it is complete.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby Tyrant » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:24 am

I once also bought a large lot off of Craigslist (which is, to date, my only succesfull transaction of any kind on craigslist despite numerous other attempts) from a mom and her son. In the pictures they sent me I could see reasonable chunks of various Star Wars sets, but for me the real prize was Vladek's Dark Fortress (one of the few decent sets in Knights Kingdom II) which appeared to be nearly complete. Once I got the whole lot back to my house I had to sort out the Megablocks. The frustrating part about this was that in one or two of the Star Wars sets a few of the parts had been replaced with Megablocks. I still can't figure that one out. So, even though a lot of it was mostly intact I still had to dismantle most of it to be sure it was all LEGO. The Fortress ended up being complete and I still have it built. I haven't gotten around to selling the Star Wars sets I don't want yet. I need to because one of them is the Slave I (the one with Dengar). I ended up buying more off of her once I contacted her to inquire about the fact that a number of sets seemed half complete. For some reason, they had 2 Dengars. The upside was that I got to build some of these sets from almost scratch and I got a reasonable sized tub of extra parts. The downside is I also have a cardboard box full of Megablocks that I can't decide what to do with (I'm leaning towards giving it away, but I honestly feel cheap even doing that).

So, for me, buying them preassembled isn't a huge issue. Most of the sets I buy secondary I buy for the parts/figures anyway, so they won't be staying put together for very long. In the case of the Dark Fortress I got, I'm planning on eventually modifying it anyway with the parts from the second one that I bought so I will still be building on it. If I meant to only display them, I wouldn't have a huge issue with buying them prebuilt.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby UOldPirate » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:45 am

Tyrant: I'm not surprised you ended up with 2 Dengars. Have you ever seen how kids play with these things? They rip sets apart and combine them like they are all part of one giant collection. The kid with the missing Dengar probably has your missing pieces. Another reason why I'm not a used set fan.

BTW, has anyone ever purchased used Lego and found teeth marks in the bricks? I once saw a kid playing at the outdoor Lego tables at Downtown Disney, FL gnawing the pieces apart with his teeth. I'm not sure if this is common or if that kid just had an ABS deficiency in his diet. Either way, not pretty.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby J30spiff » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:00 am

UOldPirate wrote:I once saw a kid playing at the outdoor Lego tables at Downtown Disney, FL gnawing the pieces apart with his teeth. I'm not sure if this is common or if that kid just had an ABS deficiency in his diet. Either way, not pretty.


I've seen this once when my kids transitioned from Duplo to Lego. The Lego pieces fit more snug and using their teeth was easier for them. Of course the Lego were put away until they learned to take them apart.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby Draykov » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:24 am

UOldPirate wrote:BTW, has anyone ever purchased used Lego and found teeth marks in the bricks? I once saw a kid playing at the outdoor Lego tables at Downtown Disney, FL gnawing the pieces apart with his teeth. I'm not sure if this is common or if that kid just had an ABS deficiency in his diet. Either way, not pretty.


It's happened to me. An old Paradisa set I picked up on eBay for my daughter showed up with a few of the 1x1 pink plates gnawed to death.
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby UOldPirate » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:43 am

I had a feeling that Disney kid wasn't the only one who used his teeth as a brick separator. Nasty!
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Re: Pre-Owned Brick: Less than satisfying? (A Craigslist tale)

Postby Shortround » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:58 pm

UOldPirate wrote:I had a feeling that Disney kid wasn't the only one who used his teeth as a brick separator. Nasty!


And this, my friend, is exactly the reason any used bricks I buy go straight into the dishwasher.

No joke, get yourself a mesh laundry bag and drop in anything bigger than a 1x plate, and put that sucker on the top rack. I've even had success getting that greyish-brown tobacco smoke film and smell off of 'em. Just make sure you set the dishwasher to air dry. I don't know what the melting point of that plastic is, but that's not something I want to risk.

I have an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner I put the smaller parts in, but soaking them in soapy water for a few hours works just fine, too.
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Re: My LEGO Craigslist adventure

Postby Jargon » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:06 pm

Those looking for information on washing LEGO would be well-served to look here.
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