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
– 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.