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How competitive is your region? Buyers or sellers market?


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Primarily out of curiosity I wanted to start a thread to find out how competitive the local secondhand market is in some of the areas that you guys patrol. A few of you have probably heard me whine a bit about my area (Austin TX) being a pain in the butt and it truly is.

 

Since I've started using Craigslist I've noticed that if anything lego finds its way on there at an even remotely good price, its gone within a few hours, and almost every time I've gone to pickup or view sets or lots, I've been told by the owner that someone else either inquired immediately after me, or attempted to buy everything they had in one fell swoop, leading me to believe there's some big fish swimming in this pond. I couldn't even count the number of times I've missed deals that were posted very recently, and this leads me to assume this is also why clearance is not often found. I don't think these are soccer Moms buying sets though, I'm sure these are a few investors with some serious lego hunger.  

 

So how are the areas you guys live in? Can you find a good deal on CL two days after it was posted and its still there? Do clearance items linger on retail shelves long enough for you to wait for an additional reduction?

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Anyone who bothers listening to my occasionally-coherent ramble, know what situation I'm in, but I'll state it officially in this official thread.

 

LEGO sells like **** here. People are poor, and have other, more important, or more thrifty things to worry about. LEGO sits on clearance for a long time, easily hitting second and third markdowns. Sometimes, it lingers so long, that local retailers like Walmart have to store it in back of house containers along with other garbage, until they reach some critical mass and then dump it out on the floor on carts at 75%+ off (this is how I scored my $25.00 Helm's Deep).

 

Craigslist is also devoid of LEGO, which is unsurprising, because the LEGO that would be there is actually still sitting on Walmart/Target/Kmart's shelves. There's no secondhand vendors, and if there are other "brickvestors" near me, they do a great job of hiding. People here rarely buy LEGO, they don't know about LEGO, and when they somehow have LEGO, they don't know about its worth.

 

It would be hard for me to have an easier time buying here.

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Well no wonder, Wit. I mean, you can't expect much competition in a city with a population of you...

"Location: Buried in bricks, behind a closed door.". Eh? Ehhhh? Ah-ha-ha! :)

Here on Spaceball One, Cloud Cities sell for $12 bucks each and everyone buys Pharoah's Quest.

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Assuming you mean solely LEGO, but I don't see the my area, DFW, as all that competitive. This is probably not due to a lack of people buying, rather, I think it's because we're in a sweet spot geographic location for supply. There are a good mix of affluent and dirt-poor areas, and it seems that a lot of the dirt-poor areas that have WalMarts, Targets, etc.. get the same supply as the affluent areas. There's one store nearby (not a WalMart or Target) that we literally hit twice per week and we can always walk out with at least $100 of stuff that purchased at a minimum 10-20% discount.

 

We also have good access to other more rural areas using DFW as a base.

 

We never use CL...too low volume and too much work to get things, we buy many things at physical retail stores, but, as much as possible we try to buy absolutely as much as possible online.

 

I do the Burleson-Waco-Temple-Kileen-Austin-San Antonio run about once per quarter, because I have to be in Waco for business for about a week every 3 months. There never seems to be a shortage of stuff to pick up, and some WalMarts on that run even have entire "clearance rooms".

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Sounds awesome Wit, but sadly I'm with you Josh, no offense. It's so bad here that I won't even tell you where I live. Doing so is like cutting my own legs off above he knee. I've learned my lesson on that one. Around here, when you hear about or see a deal on LEGO, you act fast and keep quiet. Early on, before I knew any better, I tried interacting with another crazy. It was so bizarre, you'd think I threatened physical harm to him the way he took off with his cart full of everything available...and I do mean everything, cleared the entire clearance stock mere minutes before I found the toy isle in that stupid cow town...30 miles away from my home.

As far as waiting on further markdowns? No way man. If Target has something marked 50% or more it's because you got lucky and they skipped the 30% mark. Seriously, I've tried the "you're not trying hard enough" angle that has been mentioned before. 3 weekends in a row 7:55am standing outside Target with the same small group of people that all head to the toy isles when the doors are unlocked? Interesting and creepy at first. Then when nothing is found you get passed by one of them more than doubling the speed limit to beat you to the next store? No thanks, I have far better ways to spend my time and "effort."

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Guest eightbrick

Calgary AB:

 

Depends on the region. The Northeast/Southeast Industrial areas tend to have better deals at Walmart and less people looking for Lego but in the richer areas of town, Lego sells fast and sees little clearance. My local Walmart never discounts beyond like 30% on sets that people actually want to buy, and series 10 boxes, whether they be in bookstores, toystores, or department stores, are regularly smooshed (usually before I get there).

 

On the CL side of things, people in Canada use a different site called Kijiji. It's pretty cut-throat: any of the rare good deals are swallowed up in an instant, but most of the sales are pretty steeply priced (a couple sellers regularly sell current Lego MSRP obviously bought a discount). I sort of rage-quit Kijiji after being beaten to two sick deals within the span of a couple weeks: a used Green Grocer for 150 and the Ninja River Ambush and Fire Attack (the 1990s ninja series), MISB 20 bucks each. I think there are people who are checking constantly at work because everything has a bunch of views. GREEN GROCER FOR 150 COME BACK!!!!!  :cry: 

 

And if you guys want to complain about pricing, stack a 25% price increase on top of that for us canucks... Oh sorry, I'm doing the annoyed-Canadian-price-complaint-thing again. :)

 

EDIT: Forgot to mention our LEGO store. During "rush" hours at the store, it is probably the most packed place in the entire mall (the mall it's located in has like 200 shops).

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Sounds awesome Wit, but sadly I'm with you Josh, no offense. It's so bad here that I won't even tell you where I live. Doing so is like cutting my own legs off above he knee. I've learned my lesson on that one. Around here, when you hear about or see a deal on LEGO, you act fast and keep quiet. Early on, before I knew any better, I tried interacting with another crazy. It was so bizarre, you'd think I threatened physical harm to him the way he took off with his cart full of everything available...and I do mean everything, cleared the entire clearance stock mere minutes before I found the toy isle in that stupid cow town...30 miles away from my home.

As far as waiting on further markdowns? No way man. If Target has something marked 50% or more it's because you got lucky and they skipped the 30% mark. Seriously, I've tried the "you're not trying hard enough" angle that has been mentioned before. 3 weekends in a row 7:55am standing outside Target with the same small group of people that all head to the toy isles when the doors are unlocked? Interesting and creepy at first. Then when nothing is found you get passed by one of them more than doubling the speed limit to beat you to the next store? No thanks, I have far better ways to spend my time and "effort."

 

I understand completely. I thought long and hard about hiding where I was from until I eventually just decided to say screw it for whatever reason. My city is large enough that the way I see it, its not going to make a big enough difference for me to be anonymous. If I find a deal, obviously common sense tells me to secure it before I reveal it on here, unless I want to ask one of you a question about whether I should buy it. I miss out on alot of crap, but then again things are also popping up alot more frequently as well, due to the natural ratio of more people in the city to sell things. I'm sure there are lurkers on here, probably a couple for every major metropolitan area that lay low and wait for us to post things and do the legwork. I'd be one of those people if I didn't enjoy coming on here and BSing with you guys so much.

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Guest betsy805

Just north of Seattle.  Legos on craigslist sell within 30 minutes of posting and I've NEVER seen a clearance deal at Target OR Walmart. However, this also means that I can sell the used legos I flip, that don't get listed on ebay, rather quickly.  

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Can't say I have a ton of competition here, but with that comes poor selection as well. TRU's around here don't carry anything over $149.99, and those are sets that should be $99.99.  The nearest Lego store is 3 hours away in another state.

 

Wit, didn't you say you were in Alabama or something?  I was just there for a wedding, should have hit up some Walmarts, but was too busy drinking my weight while down there :sorcerer: and playing some amazing golf.

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Early on, before I knew any better, I tried interacting with another crazy. It was so bizarre, you'd think I threatened physical harm to him the way he took off with his cart full of everything available...and I do mean everything, cleared the entire clearance stock mere minutes before I found the toy isle in that stupid cow town...30 miles away from my home.

I agree, Brighton is a stupid cow town...

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Central North Carolina.

 

I live pretty much between the two Lego stores in the state. I get pretty decent deals on Craigslist on used legos. I'd say I'm probably the most aggressive CL buyer in my area. Charlotte and Raleigh stuff sells a little faster. I'm also closer to some more rural walmarts and get great deals there.

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http://providence.craigslist.org/tag/3889467398.html

 

There are lots of listings in my area--the good deals are gone within hours, the resellers keep listing the same things over and over--for the same price.

 

I personally have given up on craigslist.  Between the phishing for emails/phone numbers, the no responses, the meetings with myself in remote areas waiting like a fool...no thanks.

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Well my area (country) sucks in LEGO ....

 

I think the whole country has about 10 AFOLs and ridiculous prices....

 

If Im patient enough I get stuff clearanced 50% but since the lame mark-ups 50% clearance means like 15% below US Recommended Retal.

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Southern California is awful.  When something goes EOL people call stores to find out inventory and clean them out (even toys r us).  No clearance at Target or Walmart.  And tax on amazon... ugh!

 

I used to live out that way and concur...I wasn't buying Lego then, but I was flipping other things, and noticed a general lack of clearance in comparison to when I lived further North, where clearance was found much more often. If you are talking about L.A. County, I wouldn't expect to find a whole lot of clearance in the valley areas, but you might have better luck East, it's been too long really since I've been there to give good advice. 

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Can't say I have a ton of competition here, but with that comes poor selection as well. TRU's around here don't carry anything over $149.99, and those are sets that should be $99.99.  The nearest Lego store is 3 hours away in another state.

 

Wit, didn't you say you were in Alabama or something?  I was just there for a wedding, should have hit up some Walmarts, but was too busy drinking my weight while down there :sorcerer: and playing some amazing golf.

 

Just after I posted this, I get a Craigslist alert, some guy up in Omaha selling tons of sealed sets, guess I'm not the only one around here. :thumbsup:

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Lego is highly popular in my area/country, and quite expensive (typically 30% above US prices). The secondary market is (therefore ?) highly competitive.

 

This means any good deal on (the local equivalent of) CL is gone after a few minutes (yes, about 10 minutes is already too much for a very good deal). As said by someone above, I suspect some people are just spending their day searching the CL listings and reacting quickly. Competition is enhanced by the fact that most of the time you can ask the seller to ship so you don't need to live close to him so people are probably searching for deals all over the country. Some times, sellers prefer to meet buyers and get real cash, but you still have to move so fast that I have almost given up.

 

Of course, if the deal is not that good, you have more time to react. Seems like the "life time" of a deal on CL is inversely proportional to the price difference you can get from retail or market price.

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