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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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I think he is. I remember reading somewhere that the sales data that we get from Terapeak costs thousands of dollars. Very expensive.

I am sure that is true, and that they are spending more money than they are getting.

 

But they are really just reinvesting that money into the site. The site has a lot of value, so while you can say that they may not be "making any money" - it is certainly a somewhat misleading statement to make.

 

By the way, I think it is great for them that they have done so well - But I really don't believe that we need to start collecting donations for them.

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Are you serious???

 

 

I am sure that is true, and that they are spending more money than they are getting.

 

But they are really just reinvesting that money into the site. The site has a lot of value, so while you can say that they may not be "making any money" - it is certainly a somewhat misleading statement to make.

 

By the way, I think it is great for them that they have done so well - But I really don't believe that we need to start collecting donations for them.

 

Yeah I was being serious.  There are many posts from Ed/Jeff stating the nature of costs associated with obtaining data and running the site, not to mention the thousands of hours of time invested.  Sure the site has an inherent capital value that has been built up through site visitor and member numbers, but that figure is unrealised and most like way less than the costs incurred to date.  Don't really want to get into a debate about it and derail the thread, just wanted to clarify the post I quoted a little in case it gives the impression the owners are creaming it, which is pretty far from reality.

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1) Replicas - this is not a problem in my opinion. If there will be many fake minifigs, even sets, buyers will be more careful and will avoid purchases from risky regions, or BL shops without good reputation. Serious BL shops will supply from serious sources (toy shops, serious web shops, etc), so there would be just a minimum fake stuff. The most problem would be minifigures, but this just move the buyers from minifigures to buying the MISB sets.

2) 3D printing - The same as (1). Plus I have doubts that we can see products from 3D printers comparable with original stuff from TLG.

3) Economy - this is a global problem, which can affect every area of investing. The lego fans are collectors, and collector stuff is sometimes more stable during unstable periods.

4) TLG campaign against resellers - this is even more platonic threat than activities of publishing companies against the music piracy. If TLG ban some resellers, they can easy register themselves through their friends, family members, etc. This is much more easy in countries, when are brand lego stores, where you can buy as much sets as possible. More effective from TLG would be a) extending the life of sets, B) faking with EOL, c) reedition of popular sets. But TLG is limited with these instrument - they cannot extend the life of sets extremly, since they need to change their portfolio (they cannot produce 2-3 time more sets than usual, plus its hard to sell for example 10 modulars in the same time due the risk of canibalism effect). We can also react for such activity and buy these sets later, for example after 5-6 years from the release date. But of course, such things will decline our profits - because if a certai set is selling on primary market long time, more AFOLs would have a chance to buy it.

5) a grow of investors - this is definitely the most important factor. If the number of investors (and number of sets stored in their cellars) reach a critical level, this can attack the ratio of supply and demand. Because if many investors will clean up most of exclusive sets in a certain country, what TLG will do? They will see that there is a big demand for certain sets, and they will produce more and more sets (which normally wouldnt be produced). This can lead to a big deformation of the market. The critical time can be a year after EOL - there will be huge stocks in investors hands, but the demand should be very limited - since most of collectors bought such sets in normal way before EOL. The situation can be better after longer time, when more new AFOLs will come. The question is whether we can expect more new collectors than the number of sets in the secondary market. I dont know. I am still an optimist - because if I buy a set, which normal price is 100 usd, for discounted price 80 usd, even If I sell this set for standard price, I have a profit 25%. So I need just a small growth of the price, or be more patient and wait for a longer time. I think that the profit will be smaller and smaller, but still there will be some profit - for example 15-25% per year. The investors just need to be more careful and choose just the best sets as a investors targets. For sure there will be a solid demand for perfect lego models, such as Unimog. I cannot imagine that I can have a problem to sell such set, bought for 150 usd, for 200-250 usd. Or a big fan of hobits will become a AFOL and find, that X years ago there were lego sets with favourite characters - I cannot imagine that such fan will refuse to pay 200 usd for Helms deep - he must know that such sets will never be produced again. Certain sets are unrepeatable. We just need to be very careful and dont waste our time, money and storage place for crap.

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Guest TabbyBoy

Scrub what I've typed previously, I now think the biggest threat facing us is the massive fees that are now associated with selling.  If you add...

 

Final value fee

What a joke!  At least listing fees are negligible..... for now.

 

PayPal fees

Close to credit card fee so I'll forgive that.

 

Final value fee on postage

WTF? This yet another seller expense, hardly profit is it?

 

Packaging materials

Correct sized boxes are expensive and only add to postage costs if too big.  Bubble-wrap and parchment paper just won't do as today's fussy buyers now expect the item to arrive in perfect condition in a strong outer box.

 

Tax

With the seriously stripped out profit (if any) now in hand, we even have to part with more of it.  Don't bury your head in the sand as you WILL get caught.

 

 

 

Is it all really worth it?  I know eBay argue that fees have risen to account for fraud and compensation but, doesn't PayPal cover that?  Credit card companies do.

 

In Summary.... I now need to sell a

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Scrub what I've typed previously, I now think the biggest threat facing us is the massive fees that are now associated with selling.  If you add...

 

Final value fee

What a joke!  At least listing fees are negligible..... for now.

 

PayPal fees

Close to credit card fee so I'll forgive that.

 

Final value fee on postage

WTF? This yet another seller expense, hardly profit is it?

 

Packaging materials

Correct sized boxes are expensive and only add to postage costs if too big.  Bubble-wrap and parchment paper just won't do as today's fussy buyers now expect the item to arrive in perfect condition in a strong outer box.

 

Tax

With the seriously stripped out profit (if any) now in hand, we even have to part with more of it.  Don't bury your head in the sand as you WILL get caught.

 

 

 

Is it all really worth it?  I know eBay argue that fees have risen to account for fraud and compensation but, doesn't PayPal cover that?  Credit card companies do.

 

In Summary.... I now need to sell a

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Scrub what I've typed previously, I now think the biggest threat facing us is the massive fees that are now associated with selling.  If you add...

 

Final value fee

What a joke!  At least listing fees are negligible..... for now.

 

PayPal fees

Close to credit card fee so I'll forgive that.

 

Final value fee on postage

WTF? This yet another seller expense, hardly profit is it?

 

Packaging materials

Correct sized boxes are expensive and only add to postage costs if too big.  Bubble-wrap and parchment paper just won't do as today's fussy buyers now expect the item to arrive in perfect condition in a strong outer box.

 

Tax

With the seriously stripped out profit (if any) now in hand, we even have to part with more of it.  Don't bury your head in the sand as you WILL get caught.

 

 

 

Is it all really worth it?  I know eBay argue that fees have risen to account for fraud and compensation but, doesn't PayPal cover that?  Credit card companies do.

 

In Summary.... I now need to sell a

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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 have thought about this too. However, someone posted here awhile ago identifying that everyone including all of us have different intelligence levels, storage situations, time, money etc etc. Example... my sister knows exactly what I do. I could sit down with her for a full week and so her the in's and out's of how to do what most of us do. A month from now she would be confused, exhausted, frustrated etc. In no way am I calling my sister dumb, my point is that we as people have diffenrt skill sets. Think about a bunch of people in your life, how many of them, knowing there personality, situations etc could you really see doing what you d with lego much less to the extent that you do and be a true player as a reseller. food for thought.

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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:

 

Do you mean this........

 

http://randommization.com/2013/05/08/epic-recreation-of-lord-of-the-rings-battle-of-helms-deep-with-150000-bricks/

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I'm still going with too many resellers. If you look at the home page of brickpicker.com and scroll down to the bottom you see some stats. One stat that stands out to me is "Total current value of member Brickfolios". I recorded on 1-31-2014 (1 week ago) that the total value was $8.5 million. Today, one week later, it is $10.5 million. An increase of $2 million in 1 week. It looks like the stat might update nightly and some of this may be the increase in value of the sets in these brickfolios but my gut feeling is that a majority of the increase is from members adding new inventory to their brickfolios. Can the secondary market stay profitable when $2 million worth of inventory is gained by resellers weekly?

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 Can the secondary market stay profitable when $2 million worth of inventory is gained by resellers weekly?

It's a matter of how that inventory is ultimately used. If it's kept in a collection, or if it's sold before retirement, to those who want for their collection or to build, really no harm. If it's all kept past retirement, with intentions of selling, yeah, it's a problem.

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I'm still going with too many resellers. If you look at the home page of brickpicker.com and scroll down to the bottom you see some stats. One stat that stands out to me is "Total current value of member Brickfolios". I recorded on 1-31-2014 (1 week ago) that the total value was $8.5 million. Today, one week later, it is $10.5 million. An increase of $2 million in 1 week. It looks like the stat might update nightly and some of this may be the increase in value of the sets in these brickfolios but my gut feeling is that a majority of the increase is from members adding new inventory to their brickfolios. Can the secondary market stay profitable when $2 million worth of inventory is gained by resellers weekly?

 

The question remains

 

How many of it is real.... I sometimes added set to Brickfolio to make easier tracking of its value....  

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I'm still going with too many resellers. If you look at the home page of brickpicker.com and scroll down to the bottom you see some stats. One stat that stands out to me is "Total current value of member Brickfolios". I recorded on 1-31-2014 (1 week ago) that the total value was $8.5 million. Today, one week later, it is $10.5 million. An increase of $2 million in 1 week. It looks like the stat might update nightly and some of this may be the increase in value of the sets in these brickfolios but my gut feeling is that a majority of the increase is from members adding new inventory to their brickfolios. Can the secondary market stay profitable when $2 million worth of inventory is gained by resellers weekly?

That brickfolio $ total is completely suspect, since many people play around and want to show a crazy high $ amount, others are just testing with the idea of investing.

 

What is absolutely concerning is the fact that there are over 6,000 Brickfolios set up. Even if the total $ amounts are false - you still have over 6,000 people (just from this indication) who think this is a good idea. Since most everyone is buying the same sets that are declared to be "winners", it is crazy to think about the fact that inevitably you will need to compete with thousands to sell the same set. Then you add to that the flippers who are looking to sell for just a small profit, and the people who encounter desperate life situations, and will need to sell at a loss.

 

That 6,000 doesn't even begin to tell the story - I believe that there have been (on avg) over 400 accounts set up a week, for the last year (since the article) - That's over 20,000 in just the last year. 

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Call me naive or optimistic but I think k

the people who actively post here play a part in true investors. There's maybe 50 of us. How many here are really involved and such.

 

Well depends what you consider '' really involved'' I only have about 4000$ in LEGO both investing and collecting ...  But I do have a strong faith that all of my ''investments'' will likely breach 150% growth within 3 maybe 4 years.... since I cherry pick them :P 

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Gotcha. Also how many of these people havnt sold a thing and when they do they don't have the business savy or are aware of fees and just general dealings of Selling. I think I said it on here before but I just lack faith in people in all aspects of life. But when it comes to this I think people will truly get tired lose intrest etc.

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I am sure that is true, and that they are spending more money than they are getting.

 

But they are really just reinvesting that money into the site. The site has a lot of value, so while you can say that they may not be "making any money" - it is certainly a somewhat misleading statement to make.

 

By the way, I think it is great for them that they have done so well - But I really don't believe that we need to start collecting donations for them.

Jeff and I haven't made a personal dime from the site, we reinvest everything into the site, but the well is running dry.  He puts 50-60 hours a week into it.  Our affiliate commissions have dropped by 50%, even though our membership has quadrupled.  eBay has changed commission programs so we see much less revenue and many members will use sites like ebates to buy from instead of clicking on one of our links once in awhile.

 

The data we buy from Terapeak costs tens of thousands of dollars.  Not to mention server costs, analytics, and other payouts to programmers that help Jeff or new features we add.  If you want to argue semantics, be my guest, but I am here to tell you that there are some features like the non US data that could be removed to keep the site running.  We try to come up with ways everyday to offer new features that make you and us money.  There are two new major site additions that are almost complete that will help everyone make and save money.  

 

We don't want a pity party, but realize that without people clicking on our links, many site features will disappear or never get developed(like a true mobile app).

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Jeff and I haven't made a personal dime from the site, we reinvest everything into the site, but the well is running dry.  He puts 50-60 hours a week into it.  Our affiliate commissions have dropped by 50%, even though our membership has quadrupled.  eBay has changed commission programs so we see much less revenue and many members will use sites like ****** to buy from instead of clicking on one of our links once in awhile.

 

The data we buy from Terapeak costs tens of thousands of dollars.  Not to mention server costs, analytics, and other payouts to programmers that help Jeff or new features we add.  If you want to argue semantics, be my guest, but I am here to tell you that there are some features like the non US data that could be removed to keep the site running.  We try to come up with ways everyday to offer new features that make you and us money.  There are two new major site additions that are almost complete that will help everyone make and save money.  

 

We don't want a pity party, but realize that without people clicking on our links, many site features will disappear or never get developed(like a true mobile app).

 

I really really wish that you would change your ''links'' for affiliates and stuff to be similar to the one for Amazon price comparison on Brickset..... And i promise id use it 24/7 forever and close down all others.... I have to be honest and say that I really do not like the way its set up here but I might just be 1 person and I buy really little!

 

Btw: is there a paypal donate button or? if it is I cannot find it :P

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I am sure that is true, and that they are spending more money than they are getting.

 

But they are really just reinvesting that money into the site. The site has a lot of value, so while you can say that they may not be "making any money" - it is certainly a somewhat misleading statement to make.

 

By the way, I think it is great for them that they have done so well - But I really don't believe that we need to start collecting donations for them.

And just reading this, I`d offer a suggestion. Should they (Jeff and Ed) not be entitled to make some money? They are doing the work for the site, taking care of expenses/logistics. It`s not a charity service and of course they should make money themselves. Obviously I`m not familiar with how to operate a site like this, it`s not my area of understanding, but definitely that should be part of the equation  :thumbsup:

 

Why, yes, yes I did. It brings me to tears just looking at it  :bye:  :drool:

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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).

You visit this site and use its data and member sales information to your advantage, yet want to make negative comments about its existence and other members.  The elitist attitude from many of you who think it was your God given right to sell LEGO sets on the secondary market makes me laugh.  Sorry, LEGO investing is no more than buying a product at a low price and selling it for a higher price.  You are no genius.  I would rather deal with the idiots than some snob like yourself any day.

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I really really wish that you would change your ''links'' for affiliates and stuff to be similar to the one for Amazon price comparison on Brickset..... And i promise id use it 24/7 forever and close down all others.... I have to be honest and say that I really do not like the way its set up here but I might just be 1 person and I buy really little!

 

Btw: is there a paypal donate button or? if it is I cannot find it :P

We have tossed around the idea of a "donate button" but at this moment we are trying to develop other methods to pay for site operations.  We might readdress that idea in the future.  There is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes...as always.

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Jeff and I haven't made a personal dime from the site, we reinvest everything into the site, but the well is running dry.  He puts 50-60 hours a week into it.  Our affiliate commissions have dropped by 50%, even though our membership has quadrupled.  eBay has changed commission programs so we see much less revenue and many members will use sites like ****** to buy from instead of clicking on one of our links once in awhile.

 

The data we buy from Terapeak costs tens of thousands of dollars.  Not to mention server costs, analytics, and other payouts to programmers that help Jeff or new features we add.  If you want to argue semantics, be my guest, but I am here to tell you that there are some features like the non US data that could be removed to keep the site running.  We try to come up with ways everyday to offer new features that make you and us money.  There are two new major site additions that are almost complete that will help everyone make and save money.  

 

We don't want a pity party, but realize that without people clicking on our links, many site features will disappear or never get developed(like a true mobile app).

 

My post was in response to another post that I found to be a bit exaggerating about the situation. My point was that this is an investment for you (one that is deservingly doing well).

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You visit this site and use its data and member sales information to your advantage, yet want to make negative comments about its existence and other members.  The elitist attitude from many of you who think it was your God given right to sell LEGO sets on the secondary market makes me laugh.  Sorry, LEGO investing is no more than buying a product at a low price and selling it for a higher price.  You are no genius.  I would rather deal with the idiots than some snob like yourself any day.

Why the attack? First of all, I think that I am allowed to be annoyed about the way LEGO investing has changed, and second, I wasn't being as serious as you think - I was really just being a smart ass.

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My post was in response to another post that I found to be a bit exaggerating about the situation. My point was that this is an investment for you (one that is deservingly doing well).

I was just being honest.  Many members don't realize the cost of operating a site like this.  Unlike other LEGO sites, the main information(Terapeak eBay data) on this site costs money to obtain.  Jeff and I are constantly trying to figure out if our investment(in non US data for instance) is worth it.  If many members ignore our links to click on their own, the site will suffer.  Either we will have to cut back on regions or charge for information if members continue to avoid our links.  We have a ton of options and new data planned for our "premium membership" and this will work in conjunction with the Brick Classifieds(which Jeff is finishing up). 

 

It is hard for me to explain how cost effective the Classifieds will be for members, but I can tell you there won't be a cheaper LEGO marketplace when it comes to advertising fees.  Our site traffic has quadrupled in the past year and many members are not resellers, so we believe there will plenty of potential buyers out there.  We are hoping that the added revenue from the Classifieds and other new features will help keep the site free and full of data.  

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I was just being honest.  Many members don't realize the cost of operating a site like this.  Unlike other LEGO sites, the main information(Terapeak eBay data) on this site costs money to obtain.  Jeff and I are constantly trying to figure out if our investment(in non US data for instance) is worth it.  If many members ignore our links to click on their own, the site will suffer.  Either we will have to cut back on regions or charge for information if members continue to avoid our links.  We have a ton of options and new data planned for our "premium membership" and this will work in conjunction with the Brick Classifieds(which Jeff is finishing up). 

 

It is hard for me to explain how cost effective the Classifieds will be for members, but I can tell you there won't be a cheaper LEGO marketplace when it comes to advertising fees.  Our site traffic has quadrupled in the past year and many members are not resellers, so we believe there will plenty of potential buyers out there.  We are hoping that the added revenue from the Classifieds and other new features will help keep the site free and full of data.  

 

Your hard work is appreciated by so many - I am sure that it will pay off.

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