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LEGO investment guide for sellers & collectors

by admin on October 17, 2012

in Shopping Tips

In the past few years investing in LEGO has become a trend and hot topic amongst LEGO fans. Previously people bought LEGO for their children or their own enjoyment, and only considered selling their collection when they wanted to move on from the hobby or had to sell their collection due to financial or other issues. However especially since the use of the Internet it has become quite apparent that LEGO sets, minifigures and parts (especially the discontinued or rare ones) are in fact a hot commodity that can bring significant gains. :)

LEGO fans realized that by selling LEGO they no longer want or need they can fund the hobby (LEGO is an expensive toy after all – and more LEGO is always better), or make extra money for other expenses. This trend has progressed so far in fact that there are now those who look at LEGO exclusively (or almost exclusively) as an investment; they buy new LEGO sets in multiples with immediate or future gain in mind, or scout for old LEGO sets they know are still in high demand.

Personally I don’t consider myself a LEGO investor, however I do sell LEGO (especially minifigures) to fund my hobby. In fact I own all my LEGO free and clear just buy investing a little time and effort of doing a few sales a month. Whatever comes in from these sales is what I use to buy new LEGO. I have also talked with some long-time LEGO investors who shared with me that their LEGO investments far outperformed their gains on the stock-market or other, more traditional lines of investment vehicles.

Whether you just want to fund your LEGO obsession, or you are considering LEGO as a serious investment vehicle, one challenge you will run into, and where you spend most of your time at, is price-research. This is the heart-and-soul of investing in LEGO (or in anything else for that matter); you want to buy low and sell high. Today I would like to introduce you to a website that will help you in your price-research and your LEGO portfolio management, so read on! ;)

BrickPicker.com is an online LEGO Price and Investing Guide that was created by two brothers, Jeff and Ed Maciorowski. Jeff is a professional website engineer, while Ed is a professional LEGO fanatic. Together, they realized there was a need for a unique online LEGO destination that would help provide pricing information for LEGO in the secondary markets. Ed grew tired of physically jotting down hundreds of eBay auctions by hand which he used to come up with average LEGO set prices and aid him in finding great deals for his budding LEGO investment hobby. The brothers set out on a quest to provide fair market value of LEGO sets to millions of LEGO fans all over the world. That quest was the creation of BrickPicker.com.

The mission of BrickPicker.com is to educate the LEGO enthusiast, collector and investor of the most up to date and current prices of new and used LEGO sets. Through a partnership with eBay, BrickPicker.com has access to countless current and past auction results from the thousands of various LEGO sets sold on eBay each day. By utilizing this information and putting it into easy to understand charts and graphs, BrickPicker members can make intelligent and cost effective choices when making their next LEGO purchase.

Various tools and data are at the BrickPicker member’s fingertips. Tools such as a LEGO Comparator will allow users to match several LEGO sets next to one another with key information elements such as piece count and pricing trends. This information can help gauge what set may be a better value for their money.

Another tool, the Bulk LEGO Price Guide is available to help answer that question that is seen so very often on forums, “How much is 100 pounds of LEGO worth?” Just move the weight slider to your desired setting, select filters such as theme or specific colors of pieces and find out what past eBay listings sold for.

The core tool for BrickPicker.com is its BrickFolio. This is an investment tool, much like you would see on any financial website that will allow collectors input or import their entire collection of LEGO sets from other sites and get up to date values while giving some key insight into their collection.

A few remaining and notable features for the site are it’s Blog & News Aggregator that constantly grabs the latest news (including our news here at TBB) from all your favorite LEGO sites and display them in a fun and easy to read way, reports about Top Selling LEGO Sets, links to find the best prices on LEGO and a very active Forum with members that talk about the great deals they found.

Another thing that is quite unique about BrickPicker is its content. Their blog, known as the BrickVesting Blog covers areas of content that discuss topics tailored to the collecting and investing of LEGO. Article topics such as “Shipping Wars” talk about issues of trying to get that pristine LEGO box for better resale value in the future. One of the most read blog articles is “LEGO Investment Bubble: Fact or Fiction?” looks at some data and other collectable markets to forecast whether an investing bubble does exist.

While the BrickPicker has key information about the multitude of LEGO sets in existence, their focus is about the value of these sets and their place in the LEGO investment world. So take some time, visit BrickPicker.com and use it to make intelligent and cost effective LEGO purchases in the future. I’m also adding a direct link to BrickPicker in the left-hand side-bar so you can quickly get to the site when you need it.

If you have any questions or comments about BrickPicker’s features, feel free to share them below. You might also want to check out the LEGO Shopping Tips section for related articles, or choose from the posts below:

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric at a LEGO a Day October 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Like you, I do not consider myself a LEGO investor, but I do buy a lot of LEGO to resell. It simply pays for my hobby, and is self sustaining.

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Jonathan December 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Hi I have lego from 1992 sets and instrutions.am looking for a buyer

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legostuff71 October 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I don’t plan on selling my LEGO sets. I just learned how store my sets and also become selective on what sets I buy. When I get old and the LEGO sets have lost there magic with me . I plan on giving my LEGO sets to children that never had a chance to experienced the magic of LEGO. Like I’m having now.

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Garmadon October 17, 2012 at 4:13 PM

The point is that you don’t sell the ones you have, you just buy more specifically to sell. I would’nt sell my LEGOS, but I would certainly buy LEGOS just to turn around and sell them for double.

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Garmadon, yes, some people keep all their LEGO sets, and some buy to sell, but there is also the in-between strategy of buying sets for yourself and selling some of the parts or minifigs from it. This is a great way to fund the hobby without risking of buying extra sets or sets you don’t really want for yourself. You are not going to get rich this way, it is not for running a business, but it definitely bring in enough to have regular spending money for LEGO. ;)

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Yes, that is a joyful and noble way of exiting the hobby. If you would like to share how you are storing your sets let me know. That is always a big dilemma and a big topic! :D

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gid617 October 18, 2012 at 6:25 AM

I don’t have trouble storing my sets. . . I divide them up and sort the pieces in peanut butter jars! :lol: ;)

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admin October 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM

LOL! That’s actually a great system! Also quite portable! :D

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gid617 October 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

And the best thing is I don’t have to pay for them. . . :D

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oldlegodad October 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

My name is from the store I had on bricklink(dot)net. I bought and sold individual pieces all over the world. I didn’t make a big profit when I liquidated after son moved on. When I first started sell off I had no idea and sold my mini figs by the pound ! The catalog on that site is fantastic for pricing LEGO™.

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Oh, minifigs by the pound! I would have loved to buy those! :roll:

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Jonathan December 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I have a lot of those minifigs

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yodaman5556 October 17, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Yeah. BrickPicker is a cool site (I did an article for their BrickVesting blog). It is a great idea, really. I don’t know why other people didn’t think of making something like BrickPicker. Ed and Jeff are nice and cool as well, plus they participate in their website (commenting and going in the forums) -which makes it even better! :)

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Yes, it is a brilliant and very helpful. Perhaps the reason others have not done it is because it is not an easy process. As far as I know the brothers are paying for the data used, and it also requires programming skills to pull something like this together. I know I couldn’t have done it. :roll:

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Micho October 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Anna, you are KILLING it with the latest articles!!! AWESOME JOB!!! This is very useful information, I hope we sell well during this 4th quarter.

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM

LOL! Thanks, Micho! I can yack on about LEGO all day. Might as well write it down instead of driving my family and friends nuts. ;)

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Chris of Yoda Archives October 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

I’ve sold extra min-figs. I’ve thought about picking up extra sets on sell and sell later. I’ve just not had the extra cash when I found a really good deal. You really need to know retail prices to know what a good deal is.
That price guide is real informative.

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Chris, yeah it is curcial to know your prices. One way to achieve that is to focus only on one theme. It may sound limiting, but the point is that you can jump on a deal right away because you know prices in that theme in and out. Some people also keep a log of retail prices as well as BrickLink/eBay prices in an easily accessible folder they can reference as they browse stores, garage-sales, or online. It takes some work, but it is doable. ;)

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gid617 October 18, 2012 at 6:29 AM

For a lot of sets though, you can guess the price pretty accuratly just by the box size, at least if you’re used to it. ;)

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admin October 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Yes, and also by the piece count. ;)

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Eric at a LEGO a Day October 18, 2012 at 9:20 AM

When I shop for LEGO, I use employ a few simple rules. If the set is less than $.10/piece, it’s a decent value to me for purchase. If the set is selling for around $.05/piece, it’s a good “investment” for future reselling. If you find LEGO for less than $.05/piece, it’s a no-brainer to buy it. You will (almost) always make money.

These price points can be adjusted up slightly for popular licensed themes like Star Wars, Avengers, and Lord of the Rings.

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admin October 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Eric, yep, that works very well. Pretty much any LEGO sets you buy for retail price or better will sell for a profit either as a full set or parted out. ;)

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gid617 October 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I actually figured that just by buying a few ninjago sets and then splitting them up, you could get 150% of your money back again – the Ultra Sonic Raider, for example, you can sell Pythor for $40, the four ninjas for $40 or so, and the Raider w/o minifigs for another $40 (or even 50 – 60). Unfortunatly, I’m not in the US. . . otherwise I would have done that! (But next year. . .)

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admin October 17, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Yep! That’s the idea! :D

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Håkan, Sweden October 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Some comments about a possible speculation bubble. I think most collector’s items become items precisely because they were considered worthless in the first place, and when the nostalgia demand hits decades later, the supply is limited because most of it has been thrown away or deteroriated in funky garages.

When something is marketed as a collectable instantly, the supply remain higher than the demand, and what happens it’s exactly the opposite, bubbles burst and what was so expensive when it was basically new and fresh has to be thrown away for pennies.

I guess Lego will never be worthless, since at least in itself it functions as a constructive toy, whatever happens, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you count on making a buck later in life.

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admin October 18, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Hakan, yes, those are very good points. However there are some things that makes LEGO a pretty safe investment. Some you already mentioned, like the fact that you can always part out the set and sell the parts. Just by doing this you can double your money, although it can take some time to sell all of it.

For investment, I would ALWAYS look for sets that are not just potentially hot now or in the future, but also comes with tons of useful parts. For example all the Modular Houses and other large adult-oriented sets are excellent for this purpose. Even if selling the set as a whole would not bring in the profit you want, you can part it out with selling all or most of the parts quickly.

LEGO is an excellent investment also because the availability of sets is limited to a few years only. Once the sets are gone, they are gone, and only available in the secondary market. And there will always be people who want them and who are willing to pay the price. I would say as long as long as the Internet, shipping services, and in general the world as we know is around, LEGO is going to continue to be a great investment. Of course if the world ends this December… well, and least we die with our toys. :roll:

I wouldn’t buy sets on the already inflated secondary market and try to sell that in the future (the notion of buying high and trying to sell even higher – which is a no-no in any investment field), but as long as you are buying retail or better, you will make money. It is pretty much garanteed. ;)

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Håkan, Sweden October 18, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I’m actually startled that culling out parts works that well.

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international financial investment March 14, 2013 at 5:51 AM

This is the heart-and-soul of investing in LEGO (or in anything else for that matter); you want to buy low and sell high.

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Jonathan December 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I have lego sets and instrutions back from 1992.i have a chest full and wanting to sell the lot.my number is 07577840720

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admin December 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Jonathan, I would suggest that you take good pictures and list your lot on eBay. That would be your fastest option. You can also reconstruct the sets and sell them on BrickLink by set. This takes more work, but you would also get more money for them.

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Jonathan December 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM

I would like to re build but haven’t got the time.i also have the mini figs.just looking foe a buyer to take all.

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admin December 22, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Jonathan, you might consider mentioning your intentions at the BrickLink forum. Please note that no buyer is going to bite unless you have at least some pictures. You might also consider advertising locally for a quick sale. The UK also has graigslist, right? I’m in the USA, so I can’t help out, but if you have any other questions just let me know.

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Ann June 1, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Hi
I have an official ex display model of Lego disney pixar models and wondered if anyone would be likely to buy it and how much it might be worth or how much I should ask for it.

There are about eight different cars in a plastic do me case.
Thanks

.
Thanks Ann

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admin June 1, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Ann, is this what you have? http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?G=4646117. There is no price-guide info for it on BrickLink from the past six months, however similar displays sell for about $100. You can try selling it either on eBay or BrickLink. You will find a buyer as some people collect these. :)

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Ann June 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Thank you for your quick reply. Yes it is like the link you sent but I think some cars might be different.
I think I’ll try Bricklink first and see how it goes.
Which part do I advertise it on?
You can tell I’ve not done this before!!
Ann.

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admin June 1, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Ann, yes, I would also recommend BL first. I think if yours is close enough, you could advertise it under the same one I linked to before and just add your own picture in the description. Or you could also check out this other one: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=G&catString=539.748 and se if that matches better.

If it is totally different you can also sell it as a custom item, that way you don’t have to worry about adding it to the main catalog. Whichever way you do it, make sure you announce it at the BL forum. Unique items like this usually get more interest if people on the Forum know about it.

Depending on the condition, I might start with a price of $120 and see how that goes. If it doesn’t sell you can always go lower. If it doesn’t sell within a month, I would go the eBay route. Also, I would suggest to only allow buyers from your own country, or surrounding areas. I would not risk selling this international.

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Ann June 2, 2014 at 3:11 AM

Thank you for your information it was really helpful.
I will definitely do what you suggest and hopefully it will sell.
I may look out for some more if these it would definitely be worth iit.!!
Ann.

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admin June 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Yes, there is definitely a demand for these. Not overwhelming demand, but enough to sell them. One issue with these displays is that the LEGO sets inside of it are glued, so some people don’t like them, but they also make nice displays. If you can find some of the popular themes like Star Wars, Ninjago, Legends of Chima, you should be able to sell them for more. ;)

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Pato August 14, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Selling Batman lego!

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debbie September 26, 2014 at 8:09 AM

hi,
i have lego agents 8635 used but all there , with box and instructions built once not played with.
Lego city 7744 as above
lego greengrocer 10185 as above
lego firestation 10197 as above
lego grand emporium 10211 as above

just wondering how much they are worth ready to sell
many thanks
Debbie

Reply

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