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How do you sell used sets?

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Hi, I am new to selling lego. I am planning to sell some of my lego star wars collection on ebay but I need advice. For example, do you ship the set disassembled? If disassembled, do you sort the pieces or is it just a giant pile of bricks? Could you please help me.

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Take nice photos of it assembled to show nothing is missing first of all.

Most buyers will prefer to build the set from 0 themselves - that´s the fun of Lego and it will be cheaper to ship too.

If you still have manuals and original boxes then you will be best off taking the sets apartm cleaning and bagging the pieces in some sort of logical order or by size and type. I usually use ice cream tubs or transparent plastic cake boxes as they fit inside most original Lego boxes.

It has been known for buyers to complain whe a used set is sent disassembled so it´s always worth asking the buyer what they want before doing all the extra work.

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When I use to sell used lego I would always disassembled the set while working from the instructions in reverse. This way you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone by checking the set is complete and having the pieces placed in numbered bags. I use to get more than the going rate when picturing the parts in numbered bags too, it provides the buyer with more confidience seeing the set built and disassembled in an organised fashion.

Edited by John82
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18 minutes ago, John82 said:

When I use to sell used lego I would always disassembled the set while working from the instructions in reverse. This way you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone by checking the set is complete and having the pieces placed in numbered bags. I use to get more than the going rate when picturing the parts in numbered bags too, it provides the buyer with more confidience seeing the set built and disassembled in an organised fashion.

Yes, reverse engineering is a nice option but the time/cost relationship is not as good. I guess it depends on how much you value your time and also the selling price, set size and condition. If there is no manual or box or a small playset, it´s probably not worth the time and effort and it is better just to bag the pieces as quick as possible.

A UCS 10030 obviously deserves better and will sell for more if cared for.

Edited by Val-E

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I assemble the set to check if everything is complete, and replace anything missing or significantly damaged (I never sell a set with missing pieces). I disassemble by instruction book; the pieces corresponding to each booklet get a separate bag. If the set is very big or has a very large booklet (e.g., 10188) I'll further split.

If you're going to sell a set to somebody collecting it, it may be better to leave it assembled so that they can check its condition. 

If a set is boxed, I always ship it in a cardboard box and always use protective packaging, even if the box is in poor condition. That makes sure it always arrives in the same condition I listed it in.

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No need to take the thing apart based on the instructions. Just build to insure its complete, replace pieces as needed (or note what’s missing), photograph the set built and be sure to show all minifigs, take the set apart and put the pieces in ziplocks. Box it up and ship when it sells. Also, buy a scale and ship using ebay. The scale will pay for itself in just a couple sales.

 

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Small sets I will have all the pieces in a bag and then put any minifigures in their own baggies as they generally make up most of the value of the set anyway.  On larger sets, I will put pieces in different bags by color.  Just a nice gesture to the buyer to let them know you aren't just dumping parts in a bag.  I get very aggravated when I order a bulk lot on ebay and get parts dumped in a box with no bags or protection of any kind because I have generally bought the lot for the reason that there was something of value there and hate to see it just dumped in a box when it gets to me, so I try to avoid those types of situations as a seller.  

For small sets, I will also try to sell as maybe a small group to kill a few birds with one stone, so to speak.  I will put like sets together, like Clone Wars, or Original Trilogy, Pre-Trilogy, stuff like that.  

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^^ Personally hate ‘sorted by colour’. Random example, but for me and most, it’s way easier to locate the lone 1x2 red tile in a mix of similar sized parts than it is to find it in a bag of red parts.

 

For large sets I’ll divide first by build section (numbered bags) and subdivide each number into roughly 3 categories of ‘tiny’ ‘small’ and ‘everything else’, very similar to any brand new set. For smaller sets I’ll just do the subdivide by size. I’ve done enough used sets that I’ve got a rough system of what types of bricks fit into which category, but it’s flexible based on the bricks in question on a set by set basis.

 

I’m lazy though, used sets don’t usually fly off the shelf for me, so I typically leave them built up until they sell, then disassemble and bag before shipping it out. I might be able to convert more views/watchers into purchases if I photographed the sorted and bagged parts in addition to the completed build, but I generally can’t be bothered putting that much time into a single set in one sitting. Usually photograph and list several sets in a listing session, so the build time, photo time and listing time investment is usually all I can manage in a single go.

 

My schedule generally allows me to have the time to do the disassembly at the point of sale though, this obviously doesn’t work for everyone.

 

TLDR: Assemble and photograph 100% complete set with figs/manuals/box (when available), disassemble and sort by build section and size. Happy buyers every time. My 2¢!

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Thanks to everyone who replied. The comments helped a lot. For the sets with damaged stickers, should I include new 3rd party sticker sheet or buy the actual lego one. For example, my 10215 has damaged stickers but the actual lego one is just too expensive. Also, do used sets sell well compared to sealed sets? And lastly, does missing box and building instructions have a huge effect on the worth of the set? (e.g. 10212 without box or instructions)

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Thanks to everybody who replied. The comments helped a lot. As for sets with damaged stickers, do I ship it with new 3rd party stickers or the lego one. For example, I got 10215 with damaged stickers but the original lego stickers are too expensive. Also, do used sets sell well compared to new sets? Does missing box and instructions decrease the value of the set? (e.g. 10212 without box or instructions)

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On 2/5/2018 at 2:44 PM, Raf H said:

Thanks to everyone who replied. The comments helped a lot. For the sets with damaged stickers, should I include new 3rd party sticker sheet or buy the actual lego one. For example, my 10215 has damaged stickers but the actual lego one is just too expensive. Also, do used sets sell well compared to sealed sets? And lastly, does missing box and building instructions have a huge effect on the worth of the set? (e.g. 10212 without box or instructions)

I would personally sell as is. If I was a buyer I would want to purchase my own stickers rather than have knockoffs, butttttt I am weird like that.

I would say sealed sets most likely will sell better but it all depends on what you are buying and what your time is worth. I love lot hunting, building old sets and taking nice photos of them and then selling them, its way more rewarding for me then just selling a sealed box. However, time IS money.

And I would say missing instructions hurts more than missing the box. However you could always list in the description that the instructions are free to download and even send them the PDF later after the sale.

All in all, you probably won't make THAT much more per set if you have to go buy a new sticker sheet / instructions. It may be worth it on a few, but I would sell as is and be very clear what you are selling.

And I will say it over and over, but a REALLY good photograph of the product can increase your profit a lot.

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12 hours ago, scatttcat said:

All in all, you probably won't make THAT much more per set if you have to go buy a new sticker sheet / instructions. It may be worth it on a few, but I would sell as is and be very clear what you are selling.

And I will say it over and over, but a REALLY good photograph of the product can increase your profit a lot.

I'd add that as long as you're selling sets that get sold fairly frequently, it's easy enough to check the difference in price among sales that have the box, instructions, etc. compared to those that don't. So you can see whether making the set whole is worth the extra expense.

And if you're selling sets that don't hit the market very often, then you're dealing with a different animal altogether.

Edited by mizeur
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I would add in regards to the question about manuals, if you can get the manual at a reasonable rate, your set will move quicker if it’s included than not. I have managed to sell several sets without manuals, but they are my shelf warmers for sure. If you can get the manual and up your asking price a bit for having it included, I’d try for that; you won’t make much/any more profit, but you’ll move the set and earn the profit you do earn faster.

Stickers are tough....case by case basis really. Sometimes it’s worth it, buyers love ‘brand new stickers’ in a listing, but if it makes your buy-in too high, it’s not worth it. Similar to the above though, many people will consider the set as incomplete without the stickers, which usually adds up to moving it slower!

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