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Your Reselling Memories of 2018


brickvoyeur
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As this year comes to a close, we have much profit to be thankful for. 12 months of buying, selling, and dealing with the wonderful customers.

Was there anything special for you that stood out this year? A great deal on an item to flip? Flip something for an out of this world profit? A special customer who really made your year?

 

A special buy was finding someone's hidden stash of First Order Star Destroyers.

On 8/17/2018 at 9:30 AM, brickvoyeur said:

Stopped by a local Wal-Mart to pick up something for my niece's party this weekend. While in the doll aisle I noticed odd spacing behind the expensive doll houses that didn't match the depth of the doll house box. Pulled them forward and there were 4 FO Star Destroyers stuck back there. They rang up for $79 a piece. This store showed at $124 on brick-seek as of Monday.

To show my appreciation for their effort I grabbed a magna doodle and wrote "Thanks for the stash. Hide them better next time". Sat it in his hiding spot along with a poo emoji pillow. I'd love to be there when they show up to collect their haul.

 

A special sale was flipping 50 x 75119 Jyn Erso Buildables for a $450 profit

On 5/24/2018 at 9:22 AM, brickvoyeur said:

Unloaded 50 x 75119 Jyn Erso for $500 cash local. Got them at $1 each from Wal-Mart clearance. Had a post up on Craigslist for months and someone bit. I assume he's forwarding it somewhere....but once my cash marker verified the bills were real, it didn't matter if he's reselling it or grinding them up to snort. Down to just one.

 

I also had a very "special" buy on eBay that offered me a bag of used marital aids. Thankfully he didn't deliver.

 

On 6/18/2018 at 6:09 PM, brickvoyeur said:

Arrived at home to this from ebay. Label stuck to the side. The conversation has been even better. Worth the price of admission. Someone is about to receive their SNAD wakeup call.

 

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On 6/22/2018 at 7:59 AM, brickvoyeur said:

 

 

And the circle is now complete. The entertainment factor has been stupendous.

 

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On 6/25/2018 at 3:32 PM, brickvoyeur said:

And the rich get richer. eBay auto refunded me when the item was marked as delivered, and the message came in just a few moments after the transaction went through.

 

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^^ I bet the FBI can check the DNA. I wonder if his daddy gets a shipping discount?

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Everyone else have a fun and profitable 2018?

 

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I took a break from selling this year.  Didn't realize just how much of a break until I was checking records the other day.  I sold a $20 item in January, and a $20 minifig in November.  And that was it.

I'll have to get off my butt and get back to selling.  The inventory is there.  But the break has been nice.

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2018 is for me the year of my farewell to KMart. They will not survive long into 2019 (next court hearing is tomorrow, but unlikely Chapter 7 will be announced there and then, rather likely they will continue on with bids and wrap things up end January). Some KMart highlights of 2018:

- I perfected my "Free LEGO" strategy, developed in 2017, and got an average discount of 85% across my LEGO purchases from them.

- Even without using points, I found some great deals at KMart - $2 Constractibles, $5 Ninjago Vermillion Raider and Destiny's Shadows for example.

- Most of what I picked up was already retired, or very advanced in "the dance", which meant I could flip my purchases almost instantly.

- The points back went crazy for a while ($50 back on $50, $75 back on $75, $300 back on $300).

- SYW Sweeps was a money-printing machine for a while - $2-$4 per day, $20-$40 per week including bonus winnings.

Unfortunately, it's all drying up now. Sweeps pay out very little ($0.10-$0.25 per day), cashback offers have dried up, and store inventory is not being replenished.

Adios KMart!

Edited by Phil B
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In 2018 I sold off the last of the big sets I paid full rrp for. SSD, R2, GE, FB all gone from the shelving units. Kept one haunted house up there, will never build but can't let go for some reason. Did fine on all those but hoped for a little better, especially on haunted house

I don't have a single set I paid full rrp for now.                              

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This year for me has seen a huge change in my AMZ resale business model. In 2016 and 2017 I bought my Lego sets almost exclusively from Toys R Us using discounted gift cards I would buy from eBay (a lot of them) and shenanigans to cumulate to a 30-40% percent discount  in store between gift cards, Toys R Us sales and Toys R Us credit cards reward points. These 2 years I sold 200 k$ annually. I exhausted myself, literally. The profit wasn’t great around 15% but I had cash flow meaning that I sold consistently throughout the year and paid the credit cards debt monthly. Then we all know what happened to Toys R Us. So I had to join the bandwagons of those buying at discount from Walmart, Target, jet, etc. throughout the year stocking up on a huge inventory for Christmas. I filled up my basement, had to buy $800 in shelves and no $ back until November in that most of what I bought did not really jump in price on AMZ til then. So, I had to spend 50 k$ upfront or basically all the profit I made in 2016 and 2017 before I saw some $ back. Stressful to say the least. Overall, 2018 was less busy than 2016 or 2017 but more stressful due to the unknown territory. The best news is that for what I sold this year with this new model I doubled my percent profit to nearly 35% compared to the paltry 15% from 2016 and 2017. So, yeah. Other than that I loved the legendary Target sales from that one day in April. That was like living in a parallel universe for a couple of hours. On the negative side I am worried about Walmart now cancelling orders. The toys safety paperwork scare front Amazon was also not fun at all. Also, during this Christmas season I noticed a lot more non-Lego or should I say non- brick centric 3P sellers trying to sell Legos for a profit. In several cases they had hundreds of sets to sell and they depressed pricing all to way til now for some items. What else? Oh yeah, the city’s and friends advent calendars stinked up big time for me this year. It looked like everybody had some for sale. Crazy....nearly 200 offers consistently for the city advent calendar 6020 til now. Yuck. Also 10254 was bad. I did not get much discount when I bought these this year and I was hoping for the price to take off by now like it did in 2017. Oh well....not really. But I did great with other sets like 10251, 75102, 60167 etc. so overall I survived the Toys R Us debacle and hopefully I can increase my revenues in 2019.

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23 hours ago, redcell said:

This is why I laugh when I read so many of the gloom-and-doomers here talk about how the sky is falling, how we are in the end times of Lego reselling, blah, blah, blah.   

This doesn't necessarily show that the sky isn't falling, what is does seem to show is that you clearly have an impressive gift/ability (and a very strong work ethic).

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2 minutes ago, KShine said:

This doesn't necessarily show that the sky isn't falling, what is does seem to show is that you clearly have an impressive gift/ability (and a very strong work ethic).

As I've been saying the past few months...LEGO sets are better investment than stocks.  Time for anew article!  LOL

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I overhauled my business model. This year I scaled back on both the clearance and flips. I also did less selling to other resellers. And I was mostly inactive from May-October.

I still ended up within a few hundred of last year's sales thanks to decent Jan-Feb and Nov-Dec. Pretty sure my hourly's much better even if I've got some accounting to catch up on for figuring out ROI. 

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spent more with all of the 40% off sales than I sold to prepare for 2019.

I'm sure this was a testing year for all of the retailers to see how much of the toy market they can grab without TRU.  I'll be interesting to see if it happens again in 2019.  I'm sure we'll see a lot of clearance after christmas at the retailers that did not do well.  rest now and prepare. :)  

 

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It was a good year overall. I managed to remodel my selling strategy beyond simply eBay and developed a small presence on BL selling bulk sealed sets. My BL orders alone accounted for $1000 this past year. I've moved most of my inventory and done so quickly, though I wonder if I am selling too fast on a few items. I've been lucky enough to have only spent $15 on packing supplies this past year, reusing Amazon, Walmart, and B&N boxes and used padded envelops. I also have managed to maintain buyer's paying for shipping, which has really helped. After taxes and fees,  I'm at an average 3x my buy in cost. It's good, but local WM clearance is coming harder to procure, and the nearest Target, B&N, Khols, Micheals, etc. is an hour away.  

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Best: 21125 Jungle Tree House - 18 sold @ $140 eBay avg buy-in was $34

Worst: 41182 Capture of Sophie Jones - 0 sold and took down listing

2x top line sales compared to 2017.  Net margin after fees/shipping/supplies was 170.12% - a 28% increase compared to previous year.

Some fun data: averaged 3 min 39 seconds per package.  This was printing/cutting shipping slip, retrieving set from stash, identifying right size box, and packing everything up..  

Last year I used proceeds towards new master closet buildout, conversion to salt water pool, wife's $1800 gym membership, and all Xmas gifts.  This year proceeds will pay for 4 RT tix & beachfront house in Turks & Caicos, kids play room makeover with big screen TV, Nintendo Switch, couches/gaming chairs, 7' air hockey table & other toys.

Hoping 2019 will be enough for 1 bed/1 bath home addition. Really not up to me.  It's all in the hands of the Farm Cottages now.

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25 minutes ago, carini26 said:

Hoping 2019 will be enough for 1 bed/1 bath home addition. Really not up to me.  It's all in the hands of the Farm Cottages now.

Good choice!

I bought much less this year, but my profits seemed to be higher on average.  I did buy quite a bit of the below average clearance fodder at Walmart for 65-70% off.  Those discounts were shocking to me, though I know that MSRP is quite inflated on some of the LEGO sets these days.  Also, phantom stock continued to haunt me on the larger sets like Destiny's Bounty, AT-AT, Star Destroyer, etc.  I don't know how Walmart can lose track of these things, but maybe they're sitting in a trailer somewhere in the back waiting for a future clearance.

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1 hour ago, KShine said:

3x your buy in cost? On only LEGO?

Yeah, some sell for significantly more, like the 70 copies of 41230 I got for a $1 and flipped for $12, but that was a one off. Same with the 4 copies of 41310 I snagged for $0.10 and sold for $11. On an average sale I usually make about 3x my buy in because there  is used to be cut throat clearance markdowns of 75% or higher at WMs in my neck of the world. 

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43 minutes ago, Mark Twain said:

Yeah, some sell for significantly more, like the 70 copies of 41230 I got for a $1 and flipped for $12, but that was a one off. Same with the 4 copies of 41310 I snagged for $0.10 and sold for $11. On an average sale I usually make about 3x my buy in because there  is used to be cut throat clearance markdowns of 75% or higher at WMs in my neck of the world. 

Ok, then that makes sense - I was viewing things from within the mindset of myself.

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2018 was the year of selling TRU exclusives to the US for me. Mostly Black series figures and Jurassic World stuff, nothing Lego related. 

TRU Canada has been on point with getting stock quickly, as well as still getting exclusives. A couple items netted me some crazy returns. Looking at you Zuckuss/Veers/T-Rex Ambush Playset.

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11 hours ago, Mark Twain said:

It was a good year overall. I managed to remodel my selling strategy beyond simply eBay and developed a small presence on BL selling bulk sealed sets. My BL orders alone accounted for $1000 this past year. I've moved most of my inventory and done so quickly, though I wonder if I am selling too fast on a few items. I've been lucky enough to have only spent $15 on packing supplies this past year, reusing Amazon, Walmart, and B&N boxes and used padded envelops. I also have managed to maintain buyer's paying for shipping, which has really helped. After taxes and fees,  I'm at an average 3x my buy in cost. It's good, but local WM clearance is coming harder to procure, and the nearest Target, B&N, Khols, Micheals, etc. is an hour away.  

I often buy from ebay but I know BL is better overall; but the unknown S&H costs always seem to dissuade me...please convince me to buy from BL!

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3 minutes ago, $20 on joe vs dan said:

I often buy from ebay but I know BL is better overall; but the unknown S&H costs always seem to dissuade me...please convince me to buy from BL!

Every seller has their own terms and conditions, so read them before buying. Request a quote where possible. And you can estimate reasonable shipping charges yourself with some not-too clever use of PayPal's Ship Now tool.

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I often buy from ebay but I know BL is better overall; but the unknown S&H costs always seem to dissuade me...please convince me to buy from BL!


BL is much less scuzzy than other market places. Most folks on it are AFOL, fellow collectors selling to other enthusiasts, but even the bulk resale folks don’t gouge on things like shipping. The main factor that really kept me at bay as a seller was how complex and confusing their UI was to list and sell. It’s basically the equivalent of trying to learn Linux when you are used to Windows.


Sent from my iPhone using Brickpicker Forum mobile app
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