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Selling out...expectation vs reality.


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Honored Brickfolk,

 

It breaks my heart to do so but the time has come for me to go completely liquid on my collection. Real life issues make this, one of my favorite hobbies, time and cost prohibitive. As I have never had to sell completely, I have no idea how to do it.

 

I would, of course, like to give my brick brother and sisters first shot, but I would also like to sell the whole thing in one go.

 

A few questions in regards to the brickfolio numbers...

 

1. Which value should I use when assessing value of my collection?

 

The "Brickfolio Value" or "Current Price" seems high and leaves little left "on the bone" for collectors.

 

The "Purchase Price" column seems a more reasonable basis, no?

 

2. Is expecting to break even at my cost (basically what I paid for the sets) a reasonable expectation?

 

I know this is largely dependent on the composition of my collection, but since I adhered strictly to the rule "Never pay retail for anything.

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Assuming you purchased all your sets at 20-30% off ... with fees/shipping you would be lucky to get your money back. Unless you are going to sell it very slowly just to break even. Usually huge collections like this will not fetch retail price so you would have to discount it at least 15-20% maybe more for someone to come by the whole collection as it is. Otherwise you can wait a long time to sell it slowly individually, but if you are in need of cash this might not be the best option.

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I realized my first response was completely pointless.

 

Anyway, if you have some older stuff, including modulars, I think expecting break-even would be reasonable. Your high-value sets could balance out the low-value ones that didn't gain, especially since you seem to have bought most at a decent discount.

 

Try a Brick Classifieds listing and see what happens.

Edited by minicoopers11
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As others have noted, it greatly helps to know what you have.  You can also create smaller bundles (20x super heroes sets, 20x City sets for Tabbyboy, 20x winter sets) and this can help keep your value higher and minimizing the number of transactions.

 

Definitely use Brickclassified as if you got your sets significantly on sale as there may be members looking to buy some of your sets and it would be effortless.

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Here is another member's experience when they decided to liquidate their stock.

 

http://community.brickpicker.com/topic/10456-my-one-way-transition-from-investor-to-seller/?hl=investor

After reading through the 7 pages of responses it amazes me at how many people back then (June of 14) no longer contribute here.  Maybe they have moved on or no longer respond just thought the turn over rate as I will call it wouldnt be so large.  

 

I just cant get over the fact that people will spend thousands on Legos having never sold anything online in their life or even worse have no game plan at all.  I have seen it all too often in collectibles where people horde but never sell or even really plan to sell.  So your loved ones have to deal with selling and many times end up basically giving it away.  So in the end your horde cost your family money and helped out a stranger make money on your loss.

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After reading through the 7 pages of responses it amazes me at how many people back then (June of 14) no longer contribute here.  Maybe they have moved on or no longer respond just thought the turn over rate as I will call it wouldnt be so large.  

 

I just cant get over the fact that people will spend thousands on Legos having never sold anything online in their life or even worse have no game plan at all.  I have seen it all too often in collectibles where people horde but never sell or even really plan to sell.  So your loved ones have to deal with selling and many times end up basically giving it away.  So in the end your horde cost your family money and helped out a stranger make money on your loss.

 

It's a good read and I appreciate Gondorian sharing his experience.

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After reading through the 7 pages of responses it amazes me at how many people back then (June of 14) no longer contribute here.  Maybe they have moved on or no longer respond just thought the turn over rate as I will call it wouldnt be so large.  

 

I just cant get over the fact that people will spend thousands on Legos having never sold anything online in their life or even worse have no game plan at all.  I have seen it all too often in collectibles where people horde but never sell or even really plan to sell.  So your loved ones have to deal with selling and many times end up basically giving it away.  So in the end your horde cost your family money and helped out a stranger make money on your loss.

 

I was as awesome then as I am now :D

Check out this pearl of wisdom:

 

Buying is easy, anyone with money can do it. Selling, especially for profit, is where your resolve is tested and your body abused ;)

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usually when liquidating a bulk collection you will expect less than current market value but again it depends on the sets involved.  Either way like you said there needs to be a little "meat on the bone" for the new purchaser to be interested in buying it.

 

If you've been buying  at sale prices then you should be able to recoup your purchase price for the most part (granted its not 100% chima and ninjago lol)

 

Based off your Brickfolio almost half of your collection is SW and Super Heroes so you should be fine.

 

When you have a list ready feel free to share or PM it.

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Here's the simplified list...not too big at 300 sets but this is what I'm working with. Most are within the last few years. Some EOL but not many. Some losers, some winners. There's some nuggets in there.

 

41009-1 Andrea's Bedroom          2

76000-1 Arctic Batman vs. Mr Freeze : Aquaman on Ice   9

75002-1 AT-RT    2

31011-1 Aviation Adventures      2

75003-1 A-wing Starfighter           3

75012-1 BARC Speeder with Sidecar         2

79004-1 Barrel Escape     4

76011-1 Batman: Man-Bat Attack              4

76012-1 Batman: The Riddler Chase          1

41022-1 Bunny's Hutch   10

70806-1 Castle Cavalry    1

41018-1 Cat's Playground              10

6858-1   Catwoman Catcycle City Chase  4

41055-1 Cinderella

Edited by Lockblock
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...  You can also create smaller bundles (20x super heroes sets, 20x City sets for Tabbyboy, 20x winter sets) and this can help keep your value higher .....

 

I have to totally agree with redghostx here.  I mean... I'm always interested when an investor says they're ready to unload their inventory, but when I see the list, I usually feel like, "OK... I like this theme, and I like some of that... but you'll have to pay me to take the other stuff..."  And so, if it's an all-or-nothing package deal, lots of people like me will value half your inventory at near "$0" (nothing personal... it's just the way many buyers will look at some things).  So breaking it into 5 or 6 logical groups might be the best way to get reasonable bids on it.

 

Just for the fun of it, I tried to put a value of "what would I pay" on part of your list (those things I was more interested in).  I won't say what value I came up with because you'd probably be insulted.  :( Whatever I buy, I'd like to think I can put it on ebay today, and make at least a few bucks on each item... based on that, most of the prices I came up ranged closer the current BP price-guide used values for these items.  Just my two cents.  I hope I did not offend.

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Due to the fact you have multiple pieces of a certain set I would suggest you putting them on Brick Classifieds, Bricklink or Craig's List. Show how many you have of each set and you will have a chance someone will take multiples of a set off your hands.  

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Judging by looking at your collection, it doesn't stand out honestly. This is a learning curve for all of us to mix the balance with exclusives. Assuming you got them at discount and spent close to $5000, the collection would have been worth more had you purchased $2500 exclusives even at retail like TH, MF, GE, FB which were readily available and rest $2500 on chima, lone ranger Galaxy squad etc,. All I am saying is that those exclusives which have risen over MSRP would have helped you absorb the shock of loss on other smaller non-exclusive sets.

I am not beating around the bush but just implying for other to learn from the collection you have. I wish you all the best in selling the collection, but in honestly there is not much attraction (for me - no pun intended) or for any other re seller who would try to get it at a very steep cost. I would again advise if you can sell it as a lot even with a bigger discount rather than individually parting it out which takes a lot of effort and time. Wish you all the luck and sorry to hear about you selling your collection.

Edited by siddji
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Not very sexy. Lots could be good. Some sets are heading positive, but not a ton crazy positives on there.

Curious why you bought what you bought. If it was all 50% off you shouldn't have a problem unloading. I am a hybrid QFLL and long term seller. While some of my portfolio looks like yours I have some modulars, AA, TH, etc sprinkled in there

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Brickpicker mobile app

Edited by justapilgrim
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Great thread and a reality-check for formulating an investment strategy...

Big, expensive, proven lines (mods, UCS, etc.) really are not that exciting to acquire. But they pay. And less folks hold them as entry-costs are high. And demand will always drive their price in the right direction.

The problem is.... Buying (for example) four hundred bucks a month in 2-3 next-to-eol large sets is, well... boring. Two clicks on Amazon and it's over. Lather, rinse, repeat next paycheck. All done on-line in three minutes. Not very thrilling.

But the same four hundred can be a blast to spend, considering the thrill of finding epically discounted sets that are long retired- or very near it- in obscure locations. Acquisitions of this type feel like an adventure, and large discounts are deceptively appealing. It really is fun to stumble on deeply bargained or long-retired sets.

Sadly.... The less fun strategy typically would have paid a lot more. A $5,000 miscellaneous "bargain" inventory of low-demand sets acquired over unimaginable trips and hours spent to collect them risks never seeing a return. Think of the fuel costs, selling fees, etc. Had the same 5K been spent on, say, the next-to-eol modular- and that single set alone even purchased at or near MSRP- expect investor/collector demand, ROI, and potentially a lot of it.

As an investor, $5,000 of hodge-podge is completely unappealing. However, $5,000 of the GE alone, or SSD alone, or R2 or AA or TH or any other set that will have future demand- let's talk business. I would gladly negotiate and find a win-win situation for someone that needed to liquidate $5k of a single set that is a Winning set. I don't want to sort through a mountain of clutter as an investor. But tell me you have 12 SSD's and are looking to liquidate the lot as a whole... Now you're cooking with oil.

Regardless of your strategy... Post your deals and use affiliate links through this site. Do your buying/selling through the brick trader channels right here. The most knowledgeable, qualified, and respected Lego investors have chosen Brick Picker as their home.

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Question for the original poster.  Seems to me this list is all the sets you do not want anymore.  Where are all the big exclusive sets in your collection. Most members who have been investing for any length of time would have a few exclusives in there portfolio.

 

I do a 180 on sets I have in my portfolio all the time. Re-assessing sets we own is something that we all must do regularly.  I assume most off your list were bought with a 30-50 percent off discount.  Moving them quickly individually on ebay or amazon to break even or take a slight loss can be done.  It requires rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty doing the work.  It will fetch you a better price than selling it all to one buyer.  

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Expectation = Hope Speculation

Reality = An item Is Only Worth what the market will bear TODAY.

There are Lessons to be learned here.

There is no sure thing.  Losing Thousands of Dollars on Lego Speculation is horrible.

Only gamble with what you can afford to lose. And then generate positive cash flow.  It is not easy...but not Rocket Science.  If you have to cash out because of an "emergency"...Your business model is probably flawed.

In my situation I cannot ever afford to cash out.  Income from flipping, short term and long term holds of Lego and other items is what helps give me Financial Security.

Buying a bunch of crap and selling a few items on Ebay does not make you a good reseller/investor.  If you are not "In The Black" every month..you are treading water.

I think many people would be better off funding a Roth IRA than trying to be a reseller. How many people have experienced the shame of being Lego Rich but Money Poor.  Of having your wife cave in to your speculative spending and struggling to pay the CC bills. Of bragging to your friends about making money when in reality you struggle to buy gas and credit card interest eats you away. Of keeping up the farce until one day you throw in the towel and fool yourself into believing "it wasnt worth the time".

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Question for the original poster.  Seems to me this list is all the sets you do not want anymore.  Where are all the big exclusive sets in your collection. Most members who have been investing for any length of time would have a few exclusives in there portfolio.

 

I do a 180 on sets I have in my portfolio all the time. Re-assessing sets we own is something that we all must do regularly.  I assume most off your list were bought with a 30-50 percent off discount.  Moving them quickly individually on ebay or amazon to break even or take a slight loss can be done.  It requires rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty doing the work.  It will fetch you a better price than selling it all to one buyer.  

 

I did not want to post this. Glad you did. I had the same impression. 

 

Myself I bought some duds and made mistakes. But the sets in the OP's collection make me much less worried about my own collection.

 

Make no mistake. Selling such a volume of sets, popular or not, winners or loosers, takes alot of effort and time. Let this be a warning to everyone not to loose the head and just buy anything that is discounted. Make a strategy first and get some experience about the sales part. It is alot of work putting sets on ebay, making pictures, packing them, sending them out. Hence, if all goes well. If you have a scammer or a pain in the [email protected] buyer on your hands? Then you have the ebay ads limits and tax administration. It is not a walk in the park.

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As a few others have said: i would sell off the winners individually (Tie's and Arctic Batman come to mind), it may be more work, but if you lump the winners in with the less desirables; you aren't going to see those winners return what they should.

 

It is more work, and maybe you don't have the time or enthusiasm to do it this way, but i think it would be for the better. My list looked very similar when i first started, when i realized i need to not buy just anything on clearance i started trimming the fat. I quickly realized that selling in bulk across many themes was going to lose me money in the long run, so i bit the bullet and sold them off individually, most actually at a profit.

 

/2 cents

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Myself I bought some duds and made mistakes. But the sets in the OP's collection make me much less worried about my own collection.

 

 

I have a feeling alot of members blindly follow what a few others are buying on this site and are stuck with alot of subpar inventory. What they do not realize is that those vocal members are experienced enough to dump them all off to wholesalers quickly or do not have day jobs so they are content to make scraps on each item all day long. Meanwhile these guys following work day jobs with families and have closets full of duds with no time and no knowledge on how to liquidate them.

 

Sorry to hear about your situation OP and I wish you the best in finding a solution. Hopefully your story will inspire others to research beyond reading these boards. Reselling is a job your create for yourself and should not be viewed as an alternative to an emergency fund or investing for your retirement.

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