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What do you think poses the most harm to LEGO reselling/investing?


  

71 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think poses the most harm to LEGO Investing?

    • Hong Kong/China fake replicas of Sets/Minifigs
      25
    • 3D Printing
      5
    • Economy crash/decline
      17
    • Any attempts by TLG to stop resellers
      12
    • Other (explain in post)
      12


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Guest brickcrazyhouse

my biggest worry is gf (family members for others) wanting to open up a set to build.  now I always consider the first set hers

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Too many resellers is the largest problem. But, that will thin out as 75% won't be happy with $10 profits on their $100 sets.

Over supply is another issue. The more popularity, the more production will ramp up. This will severely hurt the secondary market.

Saturation among theme lines. LOTR comes to mind. So many sets, and so many similar sets that don't appear different.

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Too many resellers is what's hurting me most. I listed a discontinued set a week back, in this time four people have all undercut me. This set was an exclusive and there were no discounts available. People are selling for small profits just to undercut the next.

 

I second this one...the biggest threat to reselling is competition from other resellers.  There are so many more sellers at every level (i.e., professional resellers, hobby resellers, etc.) that it is becoming harder to sell sets for a worthwhile profit after they hit EOL than it was a few years ago.  Although there are winners every year, the number of "sure thing" sets that end up fizzling is increasing and it largely has to do with the increase in competition.  Who would have thought that MMV would be readily available for less than 50% above RRP 1 year after EOL or Diagon Alley could be had for less than $250 1 year after EOL.     

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The real danger would be if someone were to start a website that tells every idiot how to do it - without requiring any patience, knowledge, research, or discipline (sorry, I just couldn't resist).

 

I think the most dangerous thing is if Lego investing was ever featured on TV in any way. This is extremely unlikely but lets say 60 Minutes or 20/20 or one those shows ran something about how thousands are now investing in Lego or whatever. Heck, all it would take is a 2 minute segment on the nightly world news. It would be over the next day when thousands of investors would jump in. The secondary market would be flooded and all profits would be lost. The only thing that would still be worth any kind of money would be retired sets that new investors could no longer get their hands on. Anyone who thinks more resellers in the market isn't changing anything is kidding themselves because I was here in 2012 and things are definitely different now.

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A lot o comments on here seem almost angry at the thought that you might not be able to resell Lego sets in the future for ridiculous gains.

 

Legos are and always have meant to be toys first and foremost, you play with them, kids, adults, whatever it doesn't matter if you're worried about stockpiling hundreds of sets that you won't be able to resell for a profit open them up and make yourself a bed to lie on because you got yourself into the situation with dreams of golden bricks falling from the sky

 

Live by my motto and you'll never be burned.

 

Never buy a set you wouldn't want to build or play with, it doesn't matter if you're 16 or 66, you can still have fun making something out of legos

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I think the most dangerous thing is if Lego investing was ever featured on TV in any way. This is extremely unlikely but lets say 60 Minutes or 20/20 or one those shows ran something about how thousands are now investing in Lego or whatever. Heck, all it would take is a 2 minute segment on the nightly world news. It would be over the next day when thousands of investors would jump in. The secondary market would be flooded and all profits would be lost. The only thing that would still be worth any kind of money would be retired sets that new investors could no longer get their hands on. Anyone who thinks more resellers in the market isn't changing anything is kidding themselves because I was here in 2012 and things are definitely different now.

I can see what you are saying about a sudden increase in the amount of investors. My thought is that if so many investors come into the market to make some money, they will undercut the other investors until they have a very small profit and then they realize that it was a waste of time and stop investing. That is what I would do IMO. I wouldn't keep investing in Lego sets if I made 1% profit each time. On the other hand, if the number of investors starts rising slowly each year,  we may have a bigger problem. All of them want to make a lot of money every way they can. In doing so, there will be a lot of sets on the secondary market and we would never see gains like we did for other sets like the 10179 MF, the Taj Mahal, Green Grocer, and other sets that have gained tremendous value in a somewhat short amount of time.

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A lot o comments on here seem almost angry at the thought that you might not be able to resell Lego sets in the future for ridiculous gains.

 

Legos are and always have meant to be toys first and foremost, you play with them, kids, adults, whatever it doesn't matter if you're worried about stockpiling hundreds of sets that you won't be able to resell for a profit open them up and make yourself a bed to lie on because you got yourself into the situation with dreams of golden bricks falling from the sky

 

Live by my motto and you'll never be burned.

 

Never buy a set you wouldn't want to build or play with, it doesn't matter if you're 16 or 66, you can still have fun making something out of legos

 

Ditto!  Very well-said...  Build first, buy/sell second for me as well... Make a few bucks along the way is a bonus.

Using one's "Spidey-sense" (along with info gleaned from BP, etc...) on which sets to focus in on is a lot more fun than picking stocks...

Earning anything above 15-20% exceeds those investments... 

 

Getting involved with Lego building/buying/selling the last few months has been fulfilling on so many levels (organizing, analyzing, interpreting, prepping, etc...)

Thanks to all those involved and contribute to BP (and of course, the founders!)...  :thumbsup:

 

Going back to my day job...

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There will always be market corrections where the supply (# of resellers) exceeds the demand (# of collectors).  This will drive prices down temporarily until the demand picks back up.  I believe that LEGO is a brand that spans generations.  More adult LEGO fans (even investors) is a good thing, trust me.  I've already seen the impact it has in my own family.  I left the Dark ages just two months ago and I already have a strong following of new LEGO fans (mostly kids, some adults).  This is how demand is created: through brand recognition and pure enjoyment of the product.  Kids love LEGO.  Adults love LEGO.  There are few toys that have passed the test of time.  LEGO is one of them.

 

I'm all-in.  Not for investing purposes, but because I love the product.  If I never sell a set, I'll be OK with that. I can always give some to family. In fact, that's part of my plan.  To build a legacy.  How cool would it be to give a sealed set that you can't find in the store to a youngster who is in love with LEGO.  Maybe he/she saw the review on YouTube that was recorded 5+ years ago.  "Dad, I really wish we could buy that set.  I wish it was still in the stores."...then you give it to them for Christmas.  You can't put a price on that, my friends.

 

Build a Legacy.  Enjoy the journey. 

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I think Lego banning members is still a minority of people who go overboard and are reckless. Lego increasing shelf life of sets, raising the prices will hurt us.

 

I don't see fakes/knock offs being too much of a threat as there will always be people who want the authentic real Lego. As a big fan of Lego I would never consider buying fake Lego.

 

Increase in postage/ebay fees/taxes and so on will probably be the biggest issue as profits dwindle as well as the amount of resellers increasing and giving more competition.

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A lot of people buy used bulk lots and complain about finding Mega Bloks, Best Lock, and every other brick in there that is not Lego. It may not seem like the bootleg brick brands such as Lele or Bela will yield much effect now but wait until you buy that bulk lot of 'Lego' and it has fake Hulk maxifigs or Batman minfigures mixed in with maybe authentic Lego. I know no one here would intentionally buy the cheap knockoffs but saying they will not have any sort of effect is like saying counterfeit money does not hurt the economy.

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A lot of people buy used bulk lots and complain about finding Mega Bloks, Best Lock, and every other brick in there that is not Lego. It may not seem like the bootleg brick brands such as Lele or Bela will yield much effect now but wait until you buy that bulk lot of 'Lego' and it has fake Hulk maxifigs or Batman minfigures mixed in with maybe authentic Lego. I know no one here would intentionally buy the cheap knockoffs but saying it won't have any effect is like saying counterfeit money does not hurt the economy.

I'm more concerned about the person who buys a bulk lot and can't tell the difference between a Lego Hulk and a Bela Hulk and then sells one for Lego prices. It's a headache for everyone. How many people can tell the difference between the two in a pic on eBay? If it happens enough times it will drive all minifig prices down. Buyers will not have faith that what they are buying is genuine.

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Guest TabbyBoy

3D printing will never be a threat as I don't think it will reproduce the quality and the "ink" will always be too expensive. It's the cartridge prices that HP, Lexmark, etc. charge that enable the hardware to be sold cheap.

 

TLG stopping resellers is not an issue in the UK as they have higher buying limits and higher prices than the US.

 

I'm also not too worried about knock-offs as it's only a matter of time before Lego step in and squash these counterfeiters.  We have to work together to report anything that contains "non-Lego" and report it asap.

 

The economy is also of little concern to me as Lego is a popular tangible product where demand will often recover.  You can't lose the lot as you would with stocks and shares.

 

The things that concern me are the constantly rising fees of selling (esp. for postage which is really taking the piss), increased competition and overly demanding buyers that try to get the item free whenever they can.

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Hong Kong/China fake replicas of Sets/Minifigs - People who pay high dollar for retired lego sets know their products well and can spot a fake with easy. Anyone trying to pass off fakes wont last long.

 

3D Printing - The quality just isnt there yet, very difficult to match the exact dimensions, colors and other features of a lego piece, not to mention its very expensive, it will be years if not decades before 3d printing can exactly replicate a lego piece at a reasonable cost.

 

Economy crash/decline - this might actually be an issue but economic recessions usually are short lived. Plus as lego found out there sales did fine during the recessaion, the reason being parents would rather spend money on quality instead of quantity of toys, parents know $50 for a lego set is pricey but they also know those lego sets will still be around generations from now, i still use legos from the early 1980s! and chances are my kids will use those same legos and probably even my grand children, thats something no other toy can live up too.

 

Any attempts by TLG to stop resellers - TLG is only a threat to the large scale investors/resellers, im talking epopel who are doing tens of thousands of dollars in sales per years. The avg joe investor who has a could thousand dollars sitting in a closet is of no concern to lego. So 99% of the people on this website will not be affected.

 

Other (explain in post) - This was my vote. I beleive the greatest threat to lego investing is new investors, in the last decade we have seen a massive decline in returns. This is due to so many new investors saturating the market. You used to be able to buy any star wars lego set and get 300-400% ROI in 1-2 year, now most inverstors avoid star wars and even the best investment sets are returning 100% in 1-2 years if youre lucky, im predicting that in the next 2-3 years from now 50% ROI will be considered good and in 3-5 years from now 25% will be considered a good investment return. They key is to watch the market and realize when it is time to bail and move on to other area of the lego market.

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Definitely got to go with the fakes/replica category from the list, but also what others have mentioned in regard to over-production/longer lifespans. The fakes will over time kill the value of many Lego figures, then combined with the potential of there being sets available for considerably longer periods of time. The former situation is already growing and is an immediate threat. We`ve already discussed the fact that people are willing to pay much less for something that looks almost the same. This worries me, and I`m sure anyone else who wishes to sell individual/lot figures as well. The value of sets will come down over time as well if this keeps up. Figures drive the value of many boxed sets, not all but to a large extent, and this is a big concern. 

 

Over-production, if it were to happen with more sets, would also be a big problem. I don`t see it happening though. Only with a select few sets which are clearly popular and highly desired. Lego is unlikely to ever increase the lifespan of all/most of their sets. They are a toy company, and toy companies need to stay fresh. You couldn`t have the same rotation of sets available for 4 years at time, people will get bored, and you couldn`t add new sets alongside them, because then there would be far too many options available at once. More strain on production/distribution for this scenario, and it would likely hurt the profits for them. 

 

Bottom line, if you buy the bricks/sets cheap enough you`ll make money. And you know what, a lot of us are in this part time. If the value of Lego crashes (which I seriously doubt anytime soon), I`m going to go out and load up! Maybe build a 100,000 piece MoC for dirt cheap, or a life sized Helm`s Deep out of "worthless" Helm`s Deeps  :laugh: They may be worthless, but both would look pretty damn cool  :thumbsup:

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Counterfits will hurt certain aspects of reselling...what will probably do the whole thing in is what usually does things like this in: A large influx of resellers and glut on the secondary market.  The irony being that most here see LEGO's involvement in their brand on the secondary market as a bad thing.  It's probably the best thing for the reseller and secondary market.

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The only thing you need to worry about is people losing interest in Lego or another toy being more popular, which is very unlikely. It is a waste of time talking about anything else...

Absolutely 100% correct

 

Almost every other worry posted isn't really an issue.

 

Overproduction? Lego doesn't keep producing a dead horse. If they did, they'd be broke.

 

Too many investors? There's too much credit given to the people on this site who buy Lego as an investment. How many members here can spend 1k+ each month? Let's say you do--or the average is 1K--that's a minute portion of the amount of sets available at any one time. Not to mention discounts or closeouts. And there's also people here or elsewhere with a garage or basement full of Lego that won't get sold for another 10+ years.

 

How many of us here have a few Fire Brigades? Should be most of us, especially those who were able to get them from Amazon a while back for $105. Seemingly overnight the price jumped once it retired. Is anyone worried? No. How many of us have either sold our stock or have them listed right now? I'm guessing it's a small percentage. And yet no one is worried that there's too many out there or too many in people's investment portfolios. There's about 90 listed on ebay right now as a BiN, but probably 20 of the listings(using Lego 10197 as search) pull up non-set items. Should it worry anyone who wants to list theirs that it's among 70 other people selling them? Only if you're over invested and need cash. List yours for either the going rate or $10-20 higher and let it run(which is what's happened over the last 2 weeks).

 

Lego imposing limits or banning people. Nope, not an issue. And as has been commented on a few posts up, it will eventually help resellers on the secondary market. Remember the FB from the above paragraph? Suddenly, we all are paying $150 for them. Does anyone realize that this could actually raise the prices/profits once the sets retire? And besides, there's always a way to purchase from Lego.

 

Undercutters. There will always be people who are either impatient or just want to work harder at a lower profit margin. They sold their FB's 6 weeks ago for under $200 while now they're in the $240-260 range. All you usually have to do is to just extend your window to sell by about 2-6 months. Let the initial wave go by and then list your sets. Learn how to market your items - good pictures, explain your shipping procedures, don't have your listing details written out like a 3yearold with 6 different font sizes and colors. Be a good seller. Your items will sell. Funny thing is, if you are patient, YOU can be the undercutter. Regardless, there's a limited amount of any one set a person has and when they're gone, they're gone and you might be the next cheapest without adjusting any of your prices.

 

Too many resellers. No denying there's a lot of people selling Lego sets, and that number will likely only rise. But patience is good here too. Let's say you list a set but it doesn't sell in a week. Should that be a big deal? I don't think so. Either accept a lower profit or hold onto it for longer. Or find other areas to sell it. If you list a FB set and you're bummed it didn't sell for $299 so that you could double your investment, that's on you. Find out your profit margin and either list or don't. Take profit or wait. But keep in mind, there's hundreds of different sets all available at any time. Do you have multiples of sets? List one or two of a dozen different sets. Or bundle some sets from the same line and try that aspect of selling.

 

Do you ever track a set? Make a chart for a set you expect to retire soon. Mark the lowest cost you know of or that you paid for that set. Once it is officially retired, mark the date on the chart. Then either once a week or two, or monthly, keep track of the amount listed, amount sold, and average for both. Is there a crazy glut for the first month? A significant peak for prices at the 3 month mark? Do sales drop after 8 months? It shouldn't be the same percentages for every set, but it might give you perspective on how to deal with values and quantity available. And the cheaper the set, usually the more are available at any time down the road.

 

If you've been stockpiling Death Stars for the past 3 years, you should also be able to wait 1-3 years after it retires to sell them. If funds are too tight or you purchase too much, you may need to stop buying for a set amount of time. Regroup, then go back to it with limits in mind.

 

Bad economy. Lastly, this is also a non-issue of sorts. Parents always want their kids to be happy. You might have slow sales for a few months, but there's always people out there who can afford whatever they want. Lego isn't for everyone. Let's face it--Lego is expensive. But from August/September through the end of January, you can sell out of your inventory at times if you choose to. You might have to adjust your margins over the rest of the year or just let your investments age a little more.

 

Anywho, sorry for the long post. Blame Glenbart! His post got me thinking  heh

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Yup. This website actively spreading the idea doesn't help anyone, except the people that own it and get the commissions from ad clicks from new members stocking up. I respect the hard work and ability to seize an opportunity, but it really will kill reselling in the long run. At the same time, we're all guilty of using it and profiting so none of us have the right to complain about the crash when it happens...

 

Just wanted to dispel a bit of a myth there before it spreads.  The owners of the site make no money from it, in fact it costs many thousands to run and that is nowhere near covered by any revenue generated.

 

 

On topic, there have been some good discussions in this thread and I've enjoyed reading them.  My concerns are minor, but fall into the three categories of Economic conditions, Lego oversupply, investor/reseller numbers.

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