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Showing posts with label used. Show all posts
Showing posts with label used. Show all posts

Used Tuesdays - Have Brick Will Travel

Not the Valentine's Day post you were expecting?

My next used lot happened because I got itchy. I was visting my folks in Florida (opposite side of the country) for 2 and a half weeks. I figured the first thing I wanted to do was check the local Craigslist and OfferUp for some LEGO. I didn't find very much but there was one lady with "Legos lots of them". I checked the pictures and saw some decent pictures. She was asking $60 which seemed reasonable for the amount in there.

We met and I picked up the lot, taking a quick glance through it. She noted how much Ninjago was in there and that her son was selling it to get money for RC cars. I had noticed in the picture that there were some clones mixed in. That quick glance told me that there was probably a little more clone brand than I wanted but whatever. I got it back to the house and started sorting.

Oh. My. Mega. It never ended. Almost half of the lot ended up being clone. I pulled out the legit minifigs (including a $12 Boba Fett) and put them in a baggie. About a dozen were complete but not worth much on Bricklink, maybe $2 each. There might have been around 30 figs in some state of completion. The rest of the pure stuff I got packed into 2 gallon baggies at about 2.5# each.

With the figs it was about 6# in total. At a bulk price that's $10/# for the LEGO pieces, junk for free. If the figs had any value it might be $30 which would make my remaining 5# of LEGO parts $6/#. Still somewhat reasonable I guess for my own play brick. At least the Boba Fett helped pay for the lot and there were several pieces that I needed for my own MOCs.

Yeah, there was some Ninjago in there. But there was also a bit too much Friends for an apparent 12 year old boy who was changing hobbies. I didn't expect the enormous amount of clone brick to be mentioned. All in all I should have passed on the deal but that probably would have meant no LEGO downtime on the trip.

Lessons learned:

  • Clone brick is great weight filler. Not good if you're buying.
  • People are not completely honest, even about things that don't matter.
  • You may often wonder where the other half of every set went,

Used Tuesdays - Second Lot

My second used lot came as sort of an accident. My sister-in-law has a friend who was going to put their 23# LEGO collection in a garage sale. My sister-in-law sent me many pictures to ask how it should be priced. I studied through and saw several key pieces that intrigued me. After looking up the potential sets on Bricklink I went ahead and made a generous offer of $10 per pound. In retrospect I realize that I was setting a precedent. I'll have to be more clear in the future that that price was for clean pieces with no junk.

And there was very little junk! Only a handful of Knex. I started with some key parts to figure out what could be in there. I then sorted by piece type and started reassembling. Imagine how pleased I was that most of a UCS TIE Interceptor was in there! No stickered plaque or instruction book, which is fine for myself. If I ever want to sell it I'll need the plaque at a minimum. It was also missing the dark grey cockpit, a hefty piece. Where the 6 month average on Bricklink hovers around $30, I was able to score one for $22 in beautiful shape.

There were several Harry Potter sets too. Some had a low value per pound, others were higher. I decided to piece together Dumbledore's Office and the Knight Bus. The latter one was a mistake. I saw that it was missing about 40 pieces out of 236. I didn't think too much of it and built a wanted list. Only after I got halfway through completing that list did I realize how expensive many of the missing pieces were. Nothing over a buck each but when you're piecing together a $45 set to sell and you need to spend $25 to complete it, that shows a poor return. I would have been better off selling the parts I had on hand.

The other big problem with this lot was the lack of minifigs. I found most of them were missing and when the lot is primarily Star Wars and Harry Potter, the licensing upcharge can be a bear. I inquired about any other minifigs and got a bag of about half a dozen a week later.

Lessons learned:

  • Parting out the remains of a set can be more profitable than piecing one together
  • Licensed minifigs are expensive. Check for them before making a generous offer
  • Some people have really clean collections!

New Installment - Used Tuesdays

It's been about last July since I stopped posting. Sorry about that. I became so overrun with work that I could no longer keep up on non-income producing activities. Like this blog, sad but true. But I've got a bit of a slow down right now, enough to start an occasional new topic I like to call Used Tuesdays.

As you may (or should) have read in my amazing ebook, Insider Secrets to Funding Your LEGO Hobby, I sell new parts on Bricklink, almost exclusively. But that's slowly been changing. I'm not giving up new, just adding a bit more used into the mix. Here are some lessons I've learned so far.

My first used lot was donated from a good friend. I was mentioning that I would be teaching after school LEGO classes and needed to find a nice lot on Craigslist to use. Her kids were grown and out of the house and she offered her old LEGO. It was 42# but ended up containing at least 10# of off-brand and non-LEGO items. There were quite a few classic sets in there and with her permission I reassembled some to sell to help pay for extra materials for the class. All sets were missing pieces, most were older looking and worn. A few were in good enough condition to put in my Bricklink store, the rest will become BRIX Museum pieces.

I used this lot to teach a couple of terms of after school classes for kids. It worked pretty well, the kids improvised with older pieces just fine. When it came time for the ramp race it was immediately apparent that wheels were lacking, and I hadn't pulled any out to complete older sets. I'll continue to use this lot for classes and such but I obviously need to add some wheels and other pieces. I've thrown some of my own older pieces in too.

Lessons learned:

  • Even self proclaimed LEGO fans may not always consider Mega Blocks as off limits.
  • Even if all the parts are there to complete a set, the condition of pieces may not be suitable.
  • Those couple of missing pieces could be worth half the amount of the set itself.