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Do you sell for good profit or keep that 'last' set in your collection?


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As a fairly new collector/investor...sometimes I have doubts if I should sell my last set or keep it when the set is already EOL.  Potentially you could sell for higher margin down the road if you keep it - also the set will never be as cheap (most likely) as when you purchased it on sale before EOL if you want it for personal collection. 

 

So the usual scenario is buy +4 multiple of a set on sale(s)...sell them as you go, as stock dwindles you might raise prices.  Just curious how many people here just keep that LAST set and delete the listing?  Of course set value, personal favourites, budget and space are variables.        

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Some sets I don't give two cents about....B-win, crawler....fb.........i'm not going to be buildling them, im not going to have a huge modular playset in my house...(because im not playing w/ 1 modular....if i go...i go all the way) So all for profit on these..... Other ones for example HH....Even if it gets really high..I like halloween and october and MF's so much, when I get down to 1, it's going to be an issue.

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There is no right or wrong answer and all investing is a gamble as to what the future will hold, you use your knowledge, experience and information you have access to to change the odds more in your favor.

 

Typically once a set is retired it will have a spike in price, then will slowly increase in price for 3-5 years. At which point most sets fall out of demand, why? maybe the theme is old and boring, maybe new pieces or colors have been released making that old set undesirable, in the case of themes like HP and SW sets are often reproduced like the multiple versions of the xwing, in the case of pirates and trains newer sets are bigger and better and people dont want the old sets, the santa fe was the most expensive hard to find train at one point but when the maresk train came out the santa fe dropped in value.

 

So how long should you hold? no one has a crystal ball, but from my experience most sets are ripe for picking around 1-2 years at which point if my inventory is full i will sell to make way for new sets, i recently have cleared out many of my imperial shuttles, emerald nights, maresk trains, etc... to make room and fund purchases of LOTR and other newly retired sets, sure those older sets my appreciate more still but the profits and space was used to buy heavily discounted newly retired sets that i feel will have a significant ROI in 1-2 years. I would rather have a 100% ROI in 1-2 years than a 200% ROI in 3-5 years, sure the 200% ROI is better but in the same time period i can do multiple 100% ROI sets, so no i dont get the "peak" price of the set but thats ok because ive sold multiple sets and totaled many times more profit. Plus for those who have a nagging wife like me, i have to show her that im selling sets on a regular basis or she gets cranky and sceptical of my alternative investment strategy, often i just rearrange my boxes to make it look like ive been selling when i really havent haha.

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I have been debating this same question recently.  I am down to one of the Captain America sets and feel that it may be the "best" (relative term) to sell it, but I just can't find it in me to list it.  I can rationalize it with the idea that it will keep appreciating long-term, but I think it is the collector in me overriding the investor.

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I have been debating this same question recently.  I am down to one of the Captain America sets and feel that it may be the "best" (relative term) to sell it, but I just can't find it in me to list it.  I can rationalize it with the idea that it will keep appreciating long-term, but I think it is the collector in me overriding the investor.

 

You dont say? :D

 

Yea I have the same problem with my MISB Medieval Market Village....  I am not sure I can sell it when it gets to the line where I make decent profit.

 

 

Now when LOTR starts hitting selling point I will probably cry!

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I have been debating this same question recently.  I am down to one of the Captain America sets and feel that it may be the "best" (relative term) to sell it, but I just can't find it in me to list it.  I can rationalize it with the idea that it will keep appreciating long-term, but I think it is the collector in me overriding the investor.

yeah, I have similar smaller sets (Cap Am, Forbidden Forest, Freeing Dobby, Hulk Escape etc. etc.) where of course I wished I had more of but when it gets down to the LAST one I kinda want to keep it haha.  I could make a decent profit but would be cool to have down the road just for pure collecting or passing/giving to my 4yr old son.  I would be happy but cringe when he opens a EOL mint box to play lol.  I know I'll never buy the retired set again from a reseller so once my sets are gone it's gone. 

 

Maybe my new rule should be keep the last two...so if you sell/give one down the road you still have one left :)     

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I have sold 9/10 imperial flagships... i cant seem to let that last one go. A part of me is this set is F***ing amazing and i need to build it while the other side is 500$ to invest in more legos.

 

Also this was my first lego investment ever so i might have a "personal" attachment

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Personally, I'm not a 'builder' and buying used doesn't interest me (maybe a little germophobic?! jk)...if I had a cool Lego display area it would just be mint boxes displayed on shelving behind a velvet rope haha.  Some of us might have itchy hands and can't stand the thought of sets in our closets begging to be opened/built/played with but I'm busy enough with other things I can show some self control.  Or I just see $$ value and can't open them :P   

 

I have sold 9/10 imperial flagships... i cant seem to let that last one go. A part of me is this set is F***ing amazing and i need to build it while the other side is 500$ to invest in more legos.

 

Also this was my first lego investment ever so i might have a "personal" attachment

 

Starpod made a good comment about 'personal attachment'.  Sometimes rebuying a set you had or want again is not the same as keeping the set you originally bought.  Or maybe I need collection intervention therapy haha. 

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It's an interesting question.

 

From a purely economic perspective, selling some set and holding the last one does not make sense.  Either you are happy to sell the sets and take the current price so you should sell them all, or you are not, so you should keep them all.  Or if you have already sold them but now have renewed positive outlook on their growth you should buy more of them back.

 

That only really applies to EOL sets as current retail available ones it doesn't really matter how many you sell off if you can still get more.

 

Also, I'd never open a set for personal use under the justification of "it only cost me $xx amount when I bought it."  The decision to open should be a trade off based on the current market price as that's essentially the opportunity cost you are forgoing by "consuming" the set yourself.  Of course if you plan to sell the used set after building it or displaying for a while then you factor that in by market price - expected used sale price = cost of me opening the set.

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  • 1 year later...

I have sold 9/10 imperial flagships... i cant seem to let that last one go. A part of me is this set is F***ing amazing and i need to build it while the other side is 500$ to invest in more legos.

Also this was my first lego investment ever so i might have a "personal" attachment

I had 8 of these. (Bought discounted for $125 at a Lego convention in Cincinnati) I have 2 left. Wanted to build but couldn't justify bringing the value down. Then last year I found one used on CL for $350. I popped on it. Built it snd now can sell it for close to $450 used if I choose. I would recommend doing the same if you simply want the experience of building it. If you want to keep it really long term then you need to decide if it's worth that kind of cash.

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When I have multiples of a set and I really like it I always keep two for the long term. In many cases they are paid for due to selling the others. For the sets where I am willing to sell all of them I notice I do price the last one significantly higher than the others I had. Something inside me says that the buyer has to pay a premium for obtaining my last copy.

 

I do have a problem with selling my last copies. Need to rationalise and just take the money and run.

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I do collect the Star Wars UCS ships and am holding onto my last Imperial Shuttle which is the first one I got.  I am tempted to sell it, but should have my basement set up soon so I can have a place to display these awesome ships.  I try to collect the unique Super Hero minifigures but some of the sets have done so well that I have a tough time keeping one for myself.  

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I tend to only invest in what my son and I enjoy building.  This way, we're not stuck with sets the family has very little interest in.  My son plays with Star Wars a lot, so he gets a few of the better sets from that line, and then there's the "investment closet" where multiples go to sell later.  I have built all but 2 of the LOTR & Hobbit sets and plan on keeping the entire collection (yes, all 26 sets).  It will be passed down to the next generation, when and if it gets to that point.  Amazingly, almost the entire collection fits neatly in a 28X28X28 box. Same thing can be said for the Architecture series - I just don't see myself parting with many of those sets, even as they skyrocket up in value.  I find the whole line fascinating and unique, and it's truly a "hobby".  But, I still have multiples of many of the best sets, so we'll see what happens when I am truly forced to make those decisions.  When you see a set worth 4 to 5 times what you paid for it, it's hard to not consider listing it, but I tend to resist the temptation to put them up to make a quick buck.  After i'm dead, my son or someone else can take them and sell them off, or pass them on to someone else who might be interested, but until that point, they are not going anywhere.  But, Star Wars is a mixed bag.  It's near impossible to be a completionist with that line, so you have to purge a few.  However, lots of respect to the few out there that has a collection of almost every star wars set. 

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Even though I got away from it for awhile, my investment strategy at this moment is to sell enough to pay for our habit.

The best example of this is the Speed Champion sets. I bought 3 sets of the $15 cars. Sold two sets, which covered the cost of the third plus a little extra.

 

Same here. One set of 4 already shipped, second set tomorrow through CL.

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I'm a builder first and a collector/investor second. I tend to slowly stockpile my desired sets over the course of their shelf life and I generally build ones that appeal to me early in the piece. I figure I can always sell it used later. That way I'm never tempted after EoL to crack one open. The whole reason I got into Lego investing was to make my habit cost neutral :-)

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