I started selling Lego from my bedroom in my parent's house more than 5 years ago. Since then I've gone on to become a company director for my very own Lego empire.
Lego has long been a reseller's ‘go-to' product. However, there's so much of the stuff it can be overwhelming… Which is exactly why I've created this mammoth post designed as my ultimate guide to selling Lego.
This guide is set to provide you with EVERYTHING you need to know to sell either a minifigure or a range of Lego sets, parts and accessories!
- Where To Buy Lego To Sell
- Should I Sell The Lego Set As Parts? Or As A Set?
- Should I Buy New Or Used Lego?
- What Is Lego Worth?
- How To Store Lego
Where To Buy Lego To Sell
So you're looking for where to buy Lego to resell for profit. Whether it be at a Lego show, toy fair or online the Lego market is HUGE!
Should I Sell The Lego Set As Parts? Or As A Set?
With the ever-growing market of Lego itself and resellers, there is no surprise that more and more of us are wanting to join the game.
The key question is how do you decide which sets to part out and which to invest in?
What Should You Look For In An Investment Lego Set?
When looking at sets to invest in, you want to be looking for something unique about the set. Usually, you want to pick up Lego sets that are larger, like the modular buildings, winter sets, special editions and sometimes even the smaller ideas sets.
You also want to be looking for a set that has a unique figure in, forget about the dime a dozen figures that come in more than 1 set or are likely to be mass-produced, you want to aim for a unique Minifigure.
Finding a set that will have a special edition Minifigure included or a Minifigure that will more than likely only to be produced for that set alone. The unique Minifigure is what instantly adds value to a set as some collectors will only collect Minifigures.
Popular and in-demand Lego sets that are now retired are sets such as the Modulars e.g The Green Grocer, The Town Hall and The Fire Station, these at the time weren't overly popular and so once retired and then skyrocketed from builders and collectors wanting to complete their collection.
Modulars have become popular and now flood the market as many people were hoping the trend would happen again as they did the older sets.
What Makes A Good Lego Set To ‘Part Out'?
With so many new builders, MOC'ers and creators coming into the Lego community come the suppliers of the goods themselves. The key points you want to look out for in parting out is price, part count and practicality.
When I say practicality you want to have a good range of parts in a set, within the set it needs to have the ordinary pieces that are needed such as 2 x 4 bricks to create a base and then influence of a new or sought after a part that isn't as common.
There is no point in picking up a set that has a lot of parts that aren't already selling or selling very slowly in your inventory.
Price is always a big part of parting out, generally, work on a double or triple ratio. If the set costs £5.99 you potentially want it to part out for £12.00 or even better £18.00.
When working with the part out you generally want to have room to discount for any low months you may want a sale or for if you put on any promotions. This will allow you to still make a profit on your parts without coming too close to breaking even.
While we work on a triple return on investment ratio when parting out sets, this is just one example others may look to earn their money back from purchasing the set in Minifigures along ensuring the parts are pure profit before fees.
Not all sets will have everything you want from it, some parts you may have an abundance of already that are selling at a slower rate compared to the other parts. This is where you want to make sure that you are paying what you feel it worth it.
Say you have 25 parts in a set, 10 of those parts you already have 100 of and are struggling to sell, what does the set then mean to you in value? If you can make enough profit on the remaining 15 parts enough to cover the slower selling 10 then get it.
Should I Buy New Or Used Lego?
There's an age-old discussion on the Lego forums and it all comes down to one simple question. New or Used Lego?
You'll find some people sceptical of fakes, and unwilling to purchase used, and therefore pay an additional cost to purchase new. However, you'll find the bargain hunters or those looking for more unique, no longer available parts that simply have to purchase used.
As Lego resellers, what we need to assess is what condition Lego we should sell…
Selling New Lego
When you're first looking at how to sell Lego, I'd always suggest looking at new Lego. The benefits of selling new Lego parts are you can acquire new Lego quite easily and quickly. You can buy Lego sets within toys shops, supermarkets and online and have them in your hands the very same day.
Another benefit to working with new Lego parts is that they will not require cleaning, taking away an extra step so you can get the parts sorted and put into the inventory quickly.
When buying new Lego sets you can often get a large quantity, meaning you have more of the same part, which is useful for those who are wanting to buy in bulk to complete a build. Buying new can often mean you can build your store and add diversity quicker and with half the sorting than used would take.
Selling Used Lego
There are many benefits to selling used Lego parts, you may not think it right now but once you have had a good haul with used you will always want to buy it.
Remember there's no best way to sell Lego or right way to sell Lego. It will really depend on your circumstances; budget, storage options, amount of time you have to dedicate to selling Lego etc.
You can buy used Lego from charity shops, eBay and at car boots and auctions. In our opinion, the greatest benefit to selling used parts is that you can often find parts that are rare or uncommon which make them more valuable and can often be in high demand.
The rare parts will come from sets that were released years prior and had a particular part in them. You can also get the parts much cheaper if you find a bundle that is listed for a low price, this can make the parts cheaper and worth buying to sell for profit over new parts.
Unfortunately, a drawback to buying used Lego is faked. Something we're seeing more and more of as the popularity and price of Lego continues to grow. However, don't let this put you off. I have an entire post dedicated to educating people on how to spot fake Lego to ensure you don't fall prey to the knock-offs.
Another drawback to used Lego has to be the cleaning process. I've encountered everything you should and shouldn't see in a box of Lego so be prepared for anything (cigarette butts – yep!).
Not only does cleaning Lego cost money in materials, it also takes up valuable time. I have got a post dedicated to sharing some of my greatest Lego cleaning secrets, although this certainly isn't going to be for everyone.
Ultimately, the decision as to whether to sell new or used Lego is yours. While you can go about selling both new and used Lego you're likely to quickly find that one type of Lego suits your needs better than another.
That said, I hope this post has highlighted that there's A LOT to think about when selling Lego regardless of its condition.
What Is Lego Worth?
Finding the right price for any Lego item whether it be a set, part or a Minifigure is going to determine exactly how profitable this venture is for you. The unfortunate part is that there's no right or wrong answer to this question. Instead, there are two things; research and a strategy.
Personally, I use a mix of Amazon, eBay and Bricklink to determine what an item is ‘worth'. However, let's remember that any item is only truly worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Then I decide how quickly I'd like to sell the item. Unless I'm new to the platform. In that case, I sell at a 50% discount of average to quickly get my feedback up so buyers trust me as a seller. Some Lego items are really popular and you'll be able to use your pricing research to get an idea of how often an item sells. It might be once a day, once a month or even once a year.
If I'd like to sell the item quickly, then I'll price my item at the lower end of the ‘sold prices'. I might do this if the item is very large and taking up a lot of space, or if it cost a lot of money and I want to ‘cash out' so I can reinvest the money back into something else.
If I feel that the price might increase over time or if I feel that I offer a better quality of service than some of the other buyers (particularly when it comes to selling single bricks, if I have a wider variety available so they only need to shop with me rather than 4 other sellers) then I'll price my items higher.
How To Store Lego
Whether you have Lego to resell, play with or your an enthusiastic AFOL raring to build. Your Lego won't be of much use to you in a large box making it impossible to find what you need.
After owning more than 500,000 Lego parts. I know first hand how important the organisation is. Which is why I've put together a guide on how to store a Lego collection.
The way your storage works is going to be based on its size so I've broken it down into small, medium and large. Find the method that works for you but most importantly adapt it to your needs and ensure that it's always scalable should your collection grow.
Storage For a Small Lego Store (~1,000 parts)
This is great for if you don't need to have loads of Lego but still want it organised. You haven't got enough of one unique part for it to use a box of its own.
Start by separating your Lego into unique parts such as bricks, plates, base plates, mini-figures, accessories, doors and windows and tiles. Dividing into these small sections will make finding the parts you need faster and easier.
When I first started selling Lego I stored my Lego collection in numbered take-away tubs in my wardrobe. The tubs we're super cheap and seemed to suit a vast array of parts. As the collection grew I started using grip seal bags to separate the different parts within one box to maximise the space in one box and minimise the need for multiple half-full boxes.
As I started selling at Lego shows I moved to Really Useful Box dividers (as shown in the image) these are much more expensive and can't always be stored as easily. Again you can use the grip seal bags to maximise the space within each slot of the box.
If you are reselling the items, be sure to keep the used Lego separate from the new Lego.
Storage For a Medium Lego Store (~50,000 parts)
This is for the more avid collector, builder or reseller. No doubt by now your collection of Lego is starting to take over a little and need a better organisation technique.
When we started to whittle down our parts inventory and focus mainly on mini-figures we worked with Really Useful Drawers, we got these from Costco though you can get them from HobbyCraft and Amazon.
We bought a set of 8 drawers and bought the tray liners separately for them from Really Useful Boxes, the tray liners sit in the draw and become a divider of 15 smaller compartments. (different to the ones previously mentioned)
This is great for organising a larger collection of parts, where you can dedicate a draw to plates but then your 2 x 4 plates and 2 x 2 plates can be separate.
Storage For a Large Lego Store (~250,000 parts)
When I say large collection, I mean this is a collection that has taken over a whole room or majority of a room within your house.
We used our spare room and created a shelving system, we used large sturdy racking, with a small plastic takeaway tubs.
Within each takeaway tub would be a separate part, this part would then be noted down in the inventory of Bricklink, Brickowl or Ebay as been in box number 123. These would then run along the shelving in number order and continue in that way.
We then used plastic shoeboxes from Costco or alternatively you can get 12l Really Useful Boxes for anything larger or a larger quantity.
Anything we had more than 3 shoeboxes of would be transferred into 35 Litre Really Useful Boxes.
Storage For Lego Sets
If you're looking to invest in Lego long-term or have a large collection of Lego sets then your storage method is going to differ to those highlighted above. It's mainly going to consist of shelving.
I recommend going for this highly durable black plastic shelving. Suitable for interior and exterior use it can hold multiple boxes of Lego modular or UCS sets etc.
If you're looking for that added protection for your sets, then consider purchasing some film and covering the box. This will protect it from small scuffs, dust etc. and can easily be removed without any damage.