Selling Lego
Until I gave up everything to travel the world, I was a company director. Although I completed my degree in computing, I instead ended up selling Lego – that’s right, the childhood toy, Lego.

Since then I’ve spent the past five years (give or take) dedicating my life to the plastic brick. Since I started sharing my life (plus my lovely girlfriend Helen’s life) on Youtube it’s something that’s fascinated our audience. An since we’re no longer in the market, and don’t plan on going back anytime soon I instead decided to share my secrets of the Lego trade.

This is… How To Sell Lego At A Lego Show or Toy Fair 


Step #1: Register As Self Employed With HMRC

It’s BORING. It’s DULL. But it needs to be done. If you’re not already you’re going to need to register as self employed, or set yourself up as a limited company etc. 

Speak to an accountant for more information as to what will suit you and your current situation. 

Step #2: Decide What Lego You’re Going To Sell

When you’re starting out you’re probably not going to have a whole lot of cash to spend on stock. So you’re going to want to limit yourself to a particular Lego niche.

Head to a local Lego show and do your research, what are other sellers selling? 

What’s going to make you different?

It could be used bricks instead of new (selling used required additional cleaning materials, marketing products etc. so do your research)

It could be sets, bags of loose bricks, models, minifigures… The list is endless!

Step #3: Buy Lego

Now the fun part… Buy said Lego.

Once you’re happy with your research and know you’re niche you can begin buying your stock. 

I’ll be going into this in much more detail in a future post. 

Step #4: Get Public Liability

While public liability insurance isn’t compulsory I’d seriously recommend it.

A public liability policy covers your business if someone is injured in some way by your business, or if you damage third party property when carrying out work. Even just a minor scratch to personal property could lead to hefty fines, especially as you could be required to pay legal fees if the case goes to court, and these too will be covered by your policy.

You’re also going to want to update other insurance policies such as car insurance if you’re using your car to transport goods to / from shows and transport stock. Not to mention house / contents insurance if that’s where you’re storing your stock when not at a show.

Step #5: Find List Of Potential Shows

Next you’re going to want to find a list of potential shows you can attend. Some shows will be easier to attend than others. However in the beginning I’d recommend doing as many smaller shows as possible to perfect your set up and whole experience.

Just because you’re selling Lego doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself just to Lego shows. You could also look at doing Toy Fairs, School Fates etc…

Join some Lego associated Facebook groups and use Google to find out about the possible events near you.

Step #6: Speak To Show Organisers

Now you’ve found a list of events you want to attend you’re going to want to contact event organises as far in advance as possible. 

Be honest, explain you’re new to the scene, explain your niche and you’re offering. Although Lego shows are very popular you’re much more likely to be accepted if you’re offering something different to the other people selling that the show.

Don’t be afraid of picking up the phone and calling the organiser, communication is ALWAYS better over the phone.

Step #7: Get Storage & Promotional Materials

Now you all set for you’re first show you’re going to want some storage & promotional materials;

Business Cards
– Flyers
– Table Clothes
Storage Boxes: I always use Really Useful Boxes, they may cost slightly more than other boxes but they’ll last FOREVER. 
PayPal Machine: Allowing you to accept card payments direct into your PayPal account. 

Step #8: Attend Event

So, the time has come for you to attend your event and sell Lego!
However, before you get started a couple of things to note…

– Get there early: Anything can happen on the way to event, it’s always better to have more time than less.
– Take plenty of change: Again, always better to have more than less…
– Introduce yourself: Not just to the organisers but other sellers and displayers.
– Be polite: Kind of goes without saying right?
– Take snacks: You might not always have time to nip somewhere to get food so be sure to take snacks so you can eat as you go.

Step #9: Review & Repeat

Your first show is over, and by now you probably know what went well, and what didn’t.

However, don’t worry… It’s probably a little too early to judge too much so make some minor changes and head to the next show.

From experience each and every single show is different. Like anything we can do well somedays and terrible others, we can sell out of one thing at one show and have hundreds left over at another. – That’s almost the fun of it.

Now you’re on your own. It’s all about learning through experience, adjusting, learning, and adjusting again.


An that’s it. My complete guide as to how to sell Lego at a Lego show, toy fair etc. As always if you have absolutely any questions about this topic feel free to leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

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Selling Lego
Whether you’ve bought some used Lego to resell on eBay, Bricklink, Gumtree or simply have someone who’s a little too hands on with their favourite construction toy. Here’s my definitive guide on how to clean Lego.


Washing

If you’re Lego is generally dirty then you’re going to want to clean it through washing.

In most cases you’ll be able to wash the dirt off with some lukewarm water (no hotter than 40°C) alongside some mild soap or detergent. 

It kind of goes without saying (I hope) that you shouldn’t wash your electric Lego parts in water.

If the Lego is particularly grubby then you might opt to soak the Lego in a soapy solution for up to 24 hours. This should help loosen up the dirt and grime stuck to them. Once you’ve finished you’ll want to use an old toothbrush (more warn = less scratches) to gently clean between the studs on the top and the bottom of the brick.

You can also opt to disinfect Lego with a mild bleach solution. One tablespoon per gallon of water is the optimal ratio for a solution.

A small amount of rubbing alcohol could also be used. However if you are to do this be sure to keep the bricks exposure to the bricks minimal as it can fade the plastic. 

Once you have finished washing you’re bricks be sure to rinse all bricks thoroughly. Ensuring there is no left over residue on the bricks. 

It may be tempting to use the washing machine or dishwasher to clean a vast amount of Lego however in most cases I’d recommend against it. Both of these applications use heat which can warp the plastic. If you have no other choice then always use a netted bag and the weakest cleaning option available.

Once you’ve cleaned you’re Lego bricks you’re going to need to dry them. The easiest way to do this is by laying down a town and spreading the Lego out over the towel. It can easily take up to two days for the Lego to dry naturally although you can set your hair drier to cold and use it to cover the bricks to speed up the process. 



Dusting

Not all Lego cleaning is the same. Which is why I’ve also designed this section to show you how best to deal with DUST!

If you’re displaying your Lego creations on an open surface then they are going to collect dust. Due to the design of Lego bricks it’s hard to simply wipe the exposed studs on your creation to get rid of the dust as you’re unable to get between the studs easily.

Instead there’s a number of tried and tested dusting methods you can use;

DUSTERS: A feather or synthetic duster can in some cases work quite well. A quick dusting of your creations once a week can really helpful to keeping that dust at bay.

BRUSHES: Natural fibre paintbrushes are super useful to get in the small crevices of your bricks. Examples include; Make up brushes or paint brushes. I’d recommend dusting your Lego creations with this small brush post your dust with a larger duster. 

COMPRESSED-AIR DUSTERS: If you’re serious about cleaning your Lego creations of dust then you can opt for the slightly more expensive option which is a compressed air duster.

 


De-Scratch

 

If you’ve got some clear Lego pieces then you might note that they seem to be scratched, dull and foggy. Parts that could once be seen through now look as though they’ve been scraped along a piece of sand paper. 

However, there is a way to get these pieces looking new once more. You see the fogging or dullness and loss of shine comes from minor scratches. The way to fix these scratches is to give the piece a quick dip in a bath of liquid acrylic. You can get this in the form of this floor cleaner

To use this for your Lego all you need to do is dip the Lego into the polish making sure it’s fully covered. Then let it dry. The polish will then fill any micro-scratches. Once fully dry you can polish the Lego brick lightly with a soft cloth.


There we have it. My ultimate guide on how to clean Lego. As always if you have found this blog post informative then feel free to share with friends. If you have any questions, or hints and tips for readers in regards to cleaning Lego feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

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Selling Lego

As Lego continues to rise in popularity there’s absolutely no surprise that we’ve seen a rise in fake / knock off products. That said, the volume available and the quality of fake products has become rather alarming over the past 18 months. Which is exactly why I’ve wanted to create this guide on how to spot fake Lego.

This is perfect for those looking to start reselling Lego as well as those simply purchase Lego for friends, family and young ones. First off however I want to cover why you shouldn’t buy fake Lego…

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Fake Lego

I get it. It’s cheap like super cheap and Lego is a notoriously expensive toy. However, that’s still no reason to buy fake Lego… Here’s why;

Quality

There’s a big argument as to how good the quality of any fake Lego set really is. There’s 100’s of factories pumping out 100’s of different alternatives. So while one fake brand might be great, you may find another with bricks that barely stick together.


Endangering The Market

Fake Lego is having a big knock on affect on both the primary and secondary Lego market. This is going to impact Lego’s designs – many of which these fake brands will look to copy directly. We have also already found it to be having an impact on the consumers opinion of Lego. Especially by those who don’t truly know the difference between real and fake Lego. All of this is then going to contribute towards a decline of the secondary Lego market.


It Can Make You & Your Kids Sick

As counterfeit Lego continue to become more sophisticated the risks to our health are growing. Many of these brands look to be the real deal, and can often be unknowingly stocked and purchased by small independent retailers.

Only for them to be fake. While genuine toys such as Lego have to have all their materials heavily tested to ensure safety. Counterfeit goods won’t have gone through any of these tests. Fake plastic toys often contain high levels of phthalates which can be extremely dangerous. 

It’s Illegal

HMRC published this article directly relating to someone found to be importing fake Lego into the country. All the goods were destroyed although we have absolutely no idea whether or not they were prosecuted by Lego further.

The goods, which had been listed as “plastic blocks for decoration”, had been sent to the UK from China in four separate packages with a declared value of just $365.

An investigation was launched by Border Force and LEGO has now confirmed that all the goods, which will now be destroyed, are breaches of their copyright.

As the rights holders, the company can now decide whether or not they wish to prosecute the importer privately.

 

How To Spot Fake Lego

Sets

In my opinion spotting a fake Lego set is perhaps one of the easiest things to do. It’s mainly down to that all important red logo. I’m still get to see anyone try and print the Lego logo. Instead you’ll see alternatives.

Real Lego





Fake Lego




If you do see a genuine logo but are still unsure whether or not the product is genuine there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. Firstly, where are you buying the product? The safest place is in person at one of the Lego stores. Next best place would be a specialist toy store or major supermarket.

Next look at the box. Is the printing and finish to a high standard? Are the folds off? Is the printing dull? All these are signs of a fake product.

If you’re still unsure I’d advise you to either; politely question the store owner and ask if they would mind you opening the box to check the contents or leave it and move on until you’re sure you’ve found a genuine Lego product.



Minifigures

For genuine minifigures you should be looking out for the Lego logo printed onto every single part of the minifigure. This can be found in the following places;

 

Head has logo inside top stud and underneath it

Torso has logo on neck stud

Hips have logo in between leg studs

Legs have logo in hollow of feet

Make yourself familiar with the different Lego colours. As well as the weight and feel of different Lego minifigure parts. These are slight but noticeable differences in high quality knock offs. Don’t forget to look at the stud connections. Ensure they are genuine Lego format.

Finally take a look at the print. In these images below it is in my opinion one of the biggest giveaways. Lego always has highly detailed, highly accurate printing.

The one on the right is the genuine product.

how to spot fake Lego




Bricks

Despite being the cheapest Lego item in many respects. Lego bricks are still often faked. No more so than the rare bricks found in now retired and highly expensive sets such as the UCS Millennium Falcon and Green Grocer. 

However, just like the sets and the minifigures there are tell-tell signs of fake Lego bricks.

Every Lego stud comes with the Lego logo. If you can’t find it on the top you’ll be able to see the Lego logo underneath the part.


However, you can be quickly caught off guard with the logo saying something else instead of Lego on the fakes. ‘Such as Logo‘ in these cases be sure to look closely and check the weight, the colour, the cut and the detail.

Some clone brands will just come with nothing and be almost blank bricks like the image below.


As always the techniques that fake Lego manufacturers are using are becoming more and more complex. I do however hope this will cover the basics on how to protect yourself from the fake stuff.

In the meantime if you have any questions, comments or concerns leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

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eBay Reselling, Selling Lego

More and more of us are setting up home businesses, with the aim of quitting the 9 to 5, spending more time with our families and minimising overheads and expenses.

However, space in your home aside. One thing I personally struggled with was keeping my home business secure. At one point, the value of stock kept inside my house was worth more than my house. So I know first hand the importance of home business security. Which is why I’ve dedicated today’s post to learning how to keep your home business secure;

Shred Paper Waste

Before I became self-employed I was lucky to get one letter in the mail. However, as my business grew, and I became a company director I found myself getting three or four business related letters a day. Everything from letters from accountants, to the bank.

You can’t simply throw this paper in the bin. Criminals can easily access and use the information it caries. Which is why you should make a routine of locking away all personal or confidential information both online and in physical form. Any physical information no longer required should be shredded

Alarms are one thing, but what happens to that alarm when nobody is around? 

Your alarm could be going off but more often than not nobody seems to care… Which is why I’d choose a security cameras. Y-cam provides a range of internal and external cameras, including my personal favourite the Y-cam EVO. 

The Y-cam EVO films motions detected in your home using it’s super wide angle lens. You can receive alerts direct to your mobile phone when motion is detected. You’ll also be able to record and play back footage and sound of that very movement wherever you are in the world.

Set up is simple and straight forward (I managed to set up our EVO in a matter of minutes) and playback using the Y-cam EVO application is simple, straight forward and provides everything you could ever need.

 

Using A Registered Business Address

The internet makes it pretty easy to find out exactly where you live and the estimated value of stock you have. Which is why I’d always recommend looking into an alternative address (often referred to as a registered business address).

Using this information on your official stationery, website, invoices etc. Will really go a long way to increasing your privacy and keeping your home business secure. If you’re unsure of where to start then speak to your speak to your solicitor or accountant and see if you can use their office address as your registered address – many include this within a service offering. If that fails then look at opening an PO Box.

We’ve spoken about the physical storage issues, but what about the digital?

The first step you can take to protect your digital files is invest in some antivirus software. Being sure to keep the software and other programmes and applications up to date. 

Also be sure to keep your family devices and work devices separate to minimise the exposure to any threats.
 
There are just some of the ways you can keep your home and business secure. If you have a Y-Cam or a security system let me know in the comments how it has worked well for you? 

In the meantime if you think there’s any security issues I’ve not covered be sure to let me know!

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego

I’ve been submitting a self assessment tax return for over five years now. At a time it was a rather daunting task for 20-something however, thanks to new cloud software such as Xero this process has been made simple and straight forward. While my tax affairs have become more complicated in recent years forcing me to hire an accountant.

 

For a long time I committed to becoming a ‘Jack of all trades’ and saved myself some serious cash by doing so. April marks the end of the tax year once again, which is exactly why I want to share with you the very basics of a self assessment tax return. I hope that by doing so I can help you to save time, money and hassle.  

Who Needs To Complete A Self Assessment Tax Return?

Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. The majority of UK tax payers have their tax collected at source through the Pay as You Earn Scheme. This is where employers run a payroll scheme that deducts the correct amount of tax and national insurance each month.

 

The employer is then legally obliged to pay this amount over to HMRC every month or every three months depending upon their size. There are however many reasons as to why 7 million people in the UK need to submit a self assessment tax return to HMRC.

 

Below are the most common;

 

Income above £2,500 from Land or Property

 

Company Director or If you are self employed

 

Income from a pension and a salary 40% income tax payer and have savings income

 

Receive an income from investments that are not taxed at source.

 

Income from foreign sources Income subject to capital gains tax

 

Just remember this is just a few examples. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should be completing a self assessment contact HMRC directly.

 

When Does The Tax Year Start? And End?

The tax year runs from the 6th April until the 5th April each year.  

When Do I Have To Submit My Tax Return?

I believe the deadline is very generous. HMRC give you until 31st January to submit and pay your return. That’s around 10 months!

 

Yet many still fail to meet that deadline and by doing so receive penalties for doing so. Many of us also leave it to the last minute. Causing unnecessary stress and running the risk of being unable to submit the return on time.

Save yourself from this self assessment embarrassment  

How Much Does Submitting A Self Assessment Cost?

If you’re willing to put in the graft and do all the work, record keeping and mathematics yourself then submitting your self assessment tax return to HMRC is totally free. However, remember time is money and it’s often all about finding the best of both worlds.

 

You can outsource your self assessment return entirely to a bookkeeper or accountant. This could cost anything from £300+ per year. It’s entirely dependent on the accountant you choose and your personal circumstances.

 

However, I found the middle ground for myself was using the cloud based accounting platform Xero. It cost less money than an accountant, but also required less work than doing the entire thing myself. Time vs Money for me personally it was a winner!

 

Where Can I Learn More About Self Assessment?

I remember when I first went into the world of self employment. It was a first for anyone in my family, and being young at times I found it confusing and hard to understand. HMRC knows this is often the case regardless of your situation which is why they host regular webinars.

 

Just remember that if you’re confused or for whatever reason don’t understand you should always contact an accountant or HMRC directly. They’ll be able to tailor the answer to your particular circumstances, ensuring that you’re always submitting your self assessment forms correctly.   I hope this latest post has given you some insight into submitting your own self assessment tax form.

 

The most important thing to remember is to complete your form as early as possible, and keep on-top of your record keeping. This is going to really reduce the time it’s going to take you to complete your return whether you choose to use an accountant, cloud based accounting services or do it yourself.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego


I've been using Xero as my cloud based accounting platform of choice for the past four years now, and heres why.

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software designed for small businesses. I have personally been using the software since January 2015 when I ventured into a world I knew very little about – self employment.

  

Since then it’s allowed me to understand the financial situation of my business, save time, save money and plan accordingly for the future. I can’t recommend it enough (which is why you’ll often see me go on about it in Facebook groups & on Youtube hangouts)



I therefore decided it was long-over due that I dedicate an entire post to a Xero review. Explaining exactly why I use Xero for my cloud based accounting. Clearly, I’m not the only fan of Xero as their community is made up of more than 862,000 subscribers in over 180 countries. 

 

Accounts

In this Xero review I’m going to start with perhaps one of the most basic and yet profound features this online accounting service offers. It’s ability to be able to link my bank and credit cards as well as my PayPal account. Updating them all in Xero in real time.

 

No more logging in to check all of your business bank accounts. Load Xero up and you can be assured that all your accounts are completely up-to-date. I can see the overall financial possition of my business on one screen – not a calculator or spreadsheet in sight!

 

To link Xero together with your bank account is as simple as logging into your online banking. No more wasting your time writing down your expenses or exporting and importing CSV files. With Xero your income and outgoings are right there in front of you.

 

The reconciliation Xero offers also allows you to create ‘rules’ allowing you to select what certain transactions should be catagorised into. This not only saves you time but reduces the risk of human errors. 

 

Integration 

If the ability to work together with your bank wasn’t enough maybe the integration with almost 500 different applications might be. In this section of my Xero review I’m going to be talking about everything from SqaureSpace to Shopify and Gusto to Debtor Daddy (and everything in between!)

 

All this is designed to allow you to customise your Xero experience exactly to your businesses needs. Giving your the opportunity to connect with other time saving applications from advanced solutions for point-of-sale, time tracking, e-commerce and more!

 

Support

Aged just 20 I began my life as a self-employed entrepreneur. I knew very little about accounting, taxes and everything in between. When I got set up on Xero I had questions;

 

Why does this do this?

 

Why isn’t this doing that?

 

Am I doing this right?

 

If like me you’ve never done this before it’s super overwhelming and confusing. Luckily Xero’s support team was here to help every step of the way. I’m not just talking about being there for the few weeks where I was getting set up.

 

Just recently my business became a limited company, I was back to square one with one-million and one questions, again Xero’s amazing team was here to help… best of all it was quick, free and the amount of support they provide is unlimited.

 

Mobile

Xero also comes complete with a mobile application. This mobile application allows you to view your businesses financial situation whilst on the go or out and about.

 

It’s made all the difference when I find a business opportunity whilst on the road allowing me to see exactly how much I can afford to invest without restricting my business further.

 

Cost

When starting up a new business we all know how important it is to save money wherever possible. I wanted to be in full control of my financial situation. I didn’t want to hand everything over to an accountant who wanted to charge me £150 a month for the privilidge. 

 

Instead I opted for one of Xero’s three price plans;

 

Starter – £10 per month Ideal for bloggers or those who are just starting out.

 

This allows you to reconcile 20 transactions a month. Enter 5 bills Send 5 invoices

 

Standard – £22 per month My personal choice and more than enough for most small-businesses.

 

Reconcile unlimited transactions Enter unlimited transactions Send unlimited invoices

 

Premium – £27.50 per month If you conduct transactions in a currency other than your local (UK – GBP / US – USD)

 

Everything standard offers plus multi-currency transactions. Take Xero up on their 30-day free trial to find out which service might suit your needs best.

 

Bookkeepers & Accountants

As your business grows and your needs change you may find yourself needing some further accounting assistance in the form of a bookkeeper or an accountant.

 

What’s great is that with Xero being a cloud based platform your person of choice can access your books at any time. You are also able to keep in full control of your financial situation and make decisions accordingly.

 

If you think finding someone with the knowledge and experience who is also a Xero professional is going to be tough, think again. Xero have created this fantastic interactive tool to find the best person for the job, local to you.

 

Security

The final part of my Xero review is dedicated to security. Afterall, your handing over very sensitive information in regards to your business. Which means security has to be tight… and it is. Xero’s platform is run with a secure SSL encryption. SSL encryption is the exact same as what your bank uses, so with security as tight as your bank. You can be sure you’re sensative information is in safe hands.

 

I do hope you enjoyed this Xero review. If you’re still unsure then be sure to take them up on their 30 day free trial to find out if they are right for you. If you go ahead and sign up then be sure to let me know in the comments.

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