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Anyone else experiencing major drops in eBay sales lately???


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Ed/Jeff, do we have year-on-year data for eBay sales (that you're willing to share)? Can you tell us percentage-wise how 2013 compares to 2011-2012?

There seems to be a contention that the pie isn't growing among the naysayers, so I'm wondering if there is any evidence to back that up. There are definitely more resellers though we have no way of knowing how many.

I wonder if there is any way to obtain LEGO sales data also. Do they publish annual sales figures?

I'll see if Jeff can query that info. LEGO sales have increased substantially over the past 7-8 years and they do publish annual reports on their website.

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I'm the very definition of a "lurker" but I just wanted to throw something out there....   All this talk of how BP being to blame for all the new sellers out there is way off base.  The nu

It is a post like this which sums up my feelings on this subject and why this site was developed. There are plenty of untapped markets and sets for the LEGO investing party to continue. For those "ol

And how many sellers have quit the LEGO selling game since January 2010? Raise your hands... oh, wait, you're not here so you can't.

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After reading the posts in this "topic" ... perhaps I shouldn't feel so bad about recently getting banned from LEGO Shop at Home!

 

J/K ... dang LEGO Shop at Home!

 

OK ... long term ... I do this more as a hobby ... and because I don't want to have to pay obnoxious prices for today's sets 5 or 10 years from now!

 

(I should note that altogether I have spent about $10,000 ... but I'm in it for more the long term ... I probably won't get serious about selling any sets for at least 2 years!)

Did you really get banned? If I'm not mistaken didn't you just recently start buying. If so I wonder if you set a record.
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OK Comrade...I guess that picture of a shirtless Putin on horseback convinced you to put down your weapons. LOL

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Why should I fight the Russians.... I am slavic just like them.... i have less in common (language) with Germans and French than with Russians .... 

 

Now to go find that shirtless Putin lol :D

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Thank you Mr. Happy. The Russian army will be coming soon to collect your sets. You better move to Greenland while you have a chance.

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He should move to Iceland, at least then he could watch the filming of the next Star Wars movie.

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Why should I fight the Russians.... I am slavic just like them.... i have less in common (language) with Germans and French than with Russians ....

Now to go find that shirtless Putin lol :D

Jeff and I are pure breed Polacks but you can bet your dupa we won't roll over for those Commies. LOL

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I had no idea all this activity was going on in this thread. As already stated, these discussions generally involve those who have been doing this a while recognizing that things are changing while all the newer people say that everything is fine. I don't need to study any graphs or charts to know that the market is very different than it was several years ago and it's only continuing to go that way. To those who are so sure everything is fine, what are you basing that off? You're happy because you're making 1/3 less than you would have made a few years ago doing the exact same amount of work, you just don't know it.

 

Even your 1/3 less is probably being conservative - Fortunately, I have been able to counteract that a bit by growing 4 times larger.

 

Here are some examples of how things have changed:

 

For years I was able to accurately predict my sales/income based on the number of listings I had, and their values (increase your listings 50%, increase your sales 50%).  Now you need to keep growing just to keep the status quo.

 

Up until a couple years ago you could list a partial of a rare set, and the reaction would be ridiculous. Buyers once had a desperate hunger to obtain something rare when it was listed. Why? because they weren't available that often - and when they were made available, there was a feeding frenzy, and the item would be gone - quick.

 

There was a time that I would purchase everything on ebay that was priced too low (everything) - and if I didn't buy it, someone else would have. It kept the market valuations honest, and would just be sold later on. During the last couple years, low priced items have become so prevalent that I have needed to stop doing it (as have others). Nowadays, low priced items can just sit and go unsold - there was a time that those same items wouldn't have lasted an hour.

 

Up until about a year ago, aside from the instances of SW re-releases, I never had to lower my prices from where my previous listing (of the same item) had been sold - that is no longer the case. That was a hard/sad one to accept, not because the money, but since to a certain degree - it was my acceptance that growth had stopped.

 

People can say that it is still worth doing (which it is), but don't try to say that things haven't changed.

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Isn't TLG producing also more and more sets per wave for the last couple of years? I know, there is no data available on how many sets they actually produce, but I think it has to be taken into consideration that they just oversaturate the market disregarding the growing investor and reseller market.

 

Making only this webpage responsible for growing numbers of resellers and investors is a kind of searching for a scapegoat, isn't it? How do you think that works? Someone thinking "Oh, I have money to invest in, let's see... oh here, brickpicker... Lego, that's my choice!". I think it's the other way round, someone wants to invest in Lego, because he has seen there's a market for it (as I did several years ago) and then, afterwards, joined and found this forum to compare notes with others and monitor also the international market... but just my 2 cents :yes:

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I'm the very definition of a "lurker" but I just wanted to throw something out there....

 

All this talk of how BP being to blame for all the new sellers out there is way off base.  The number of resellers was growing long before BP got off the ground.  Here's a (relatively) quick timeline for you all:

 

In 2005, I didn't need to wake up before the sun to hit a clearance isle at Walmart - I could stroll in any time before the next weekend and basically be assured to find everything.  I'm pretty certain that not even once was an isle wiped out before I got there.  

 

By 2009, it was starting to pick up a bit.  Most of the Walmarts in populated areas would be wiped within a day or two of a decent clearance though the more rural ones would still linger a bit more.  You would now occasional run into AFOLs in the isle as well, which was certainly strange at first!  Also at this time, prices of bulk lots of Craigslist skyrocketed.  For those who weren't around in the 2000s, back then you could pick up 50lbs for $100 nearly every week!  And most lots were not cherrypicked by the sellers - loads of minifigs, near complete expensive sets, rare pieces were basically always included.  Now $100 might get you 20lbs with no minis :/

 

By 2011/2012, places like Brickset and toysnbricks and whatnot were attracting people to their forums to discuss reselling and investing.  Boom.  Any part of the cat still lingering in the bag finally jumped out into the open.  Clearance was now a crapshoot of getting lucky and hitting a Walmart before somebody else.  Besides, these days most of the desirable sets don't even make it clearance.  LEGO is popular enough now where most good sets sell out at full price. Honest, I don't even go hunting anymore.  My closest 2 targets and that's it for me.  I live in NYC (no walmarts in the city) and the tolls and gas required to hunt through Jersey for the off chance of finding something is just not worth it anymore.

 

Now Brickpicker comes along and makes what used to require 10 minutes of research now take only 5.  Honestly? So what? The market had ALREADY changed.  Many people, new and experienced both, just did not see it.  It's not like it is very difficult to notice that a LEGO set doubles it's price after a year.  Like I said, 10 minutes on eBAy and how many of you started investing for yourselfs?  It doesn't take a genius to flip LEGO guys...

 

The "Good Old Days" sure were easy but they're long gone my friends.  But that is no reason to fret.  Find a way to adapt and survive or start dumping you stuff now.  It most definitely will be more difficult as time goes on but I can assure you that as long as TLG is around there will be an aftermarket of some sorts for parts, minis, and sets.  Whether you make any money in the changing aftermarket is entirely on you.  Blaming others, deserving or not, doesn't help you move forward.

 

Now....Back to lurking comfortably ;)

--Gary

 

 

edited for typo

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While I'm relatively new to the Lego selling world, I was a seller and trader of cardboard crack aka Magic: the Gathering for many, many years.  In the beginning you could buy a box of booster packs and make a killing selling off the rares.  After a while everyone and their mother became a magic card dealer.  Sports card shops started selling magic, flea markets were full of people selling cards.  However, this influx of sellers didn't really affect the price of cards because the cards themselves were still a rare commodity.

Today, the average price for a rare card is a fraction of what rares were going for in the mid-90's.  This is due to the company changing the rules of the game, not the number of sellers.  They changed the tournament format so that only the latest expansions are valid, rendering most older cards useless after a while.  They nerfed the general power level of all cards so those ultra powerful rares when the game first came out simply don't exist.  Rares today go for no more than $30 in most cases, and this drop significantly after they get phased out of tournament play.  Rares when the game first came out would easily break $100, and some are worth $1000 or more today.  This is all because of the company changing the game, not the number of sellers.

There's still money to be made reselling magic.  You have to do your research and see what cards are seeing tournamnet play.  It's not always as easy as picking out the ultra rares and flipping them.  The market changed, people adapted.

I'm not saying Lego is exactly like magic, but there are similarities.  There are still only so many sets produced, and a semi-predictable retirement schedule.  However, we are seeing more remakes, especially in lines like star wars, and (I don't have any data, just a feeling) it seems like Lego is producing a wider range of products in general.  Just have to be smarter about choosing sets to invest in, guessing what people will be into 2+ years down the road, sets that might get an early retirement, etc etc.

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It's not the Russians you need to worry about it's the Polish  :shocked:.

 

There everywhere. I mean, my Wife is Polish. my kids are Polish, my in-laws are Polish, and now I find I am going to a website for advise that is ran by Polish. They have already taken over. Not with money or wars, but with good looking daughters, and now I have helped them because we have 2 daughters that of course will be good looking.  I must go and find a sad corner to cry away my shame. I helped the Polish take over the world.

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It's not the Russians you need to worry about it's the Polish  :shocked:.

There everywhere. I mean, my Wife is Polish. my kids are Polish, my in-laws are Polish, and now I find I am going to a website for advise that is ran by Polish. They have already taken over. Not with money or wars, but with good looking daughters, and now I have helped them because we have 2 daughters that of course will be good looking. I must go and find a sad corner to cry away my shame. I helped the Polish take over the world.

I like Polish sausage.

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Look, this thread started off with one member asking if anyone else was experiencing a slowdown in eBay sales. Without any real data or analysis, a number of people decided this was a good reason to complain about the increase in the number of resellers. Some chose to blame this site (unfairly, and as many have pointed out, without good reason). Some have tried to blame other resellers/investors for ruining the market, without having any research to back it up. Has the market changed? Yes, obviously. Is it a reason to get out? If you're looking for one, sure, it's as good as any.

 

Somewhere in all this we got data (thanks Jeff and Ed!) that indicates a slow down in eBay sales in March is typical. Good information! Facts! Data-driven analysis! Yay! No drama there, nothing to see here, move along thanks!

 

Many long time sellers have taken the opportunity to share their observations and it is much appreciated. Some others have made unhelpful observations and/or assertions of a dubious nature, and then resorted to ad hominems and straw men when called out for it. This is a data driven site. Let's stick to it whenever possible. If we have to make guesses, or have opinions, that's great - but let's make sure we call a spade a spade.

 

Is it tougher now then it was 2-5-10 years ago? Sure, because that's how markets work as they mature. If you don't like it, feel free not to participate! No one will think less of you (at least, I won't). Gripe and moan and point fingers, then I think less of you. Not that my opinion of you matters. :D

 

So like I said, let's use this site to make data-driven decisions and analysis. And double entendres about polish sausage, because that's, uh, important too. :hmm:

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Could Jeff or Ed provide the same graph over a 3 year time period? I think that would be more beneficial and stop a lot of the speculation (probably not). I know someone mentioned that this may be part of the premium membership which I will happily pay for but this one piece of info is so relevant to this thread it might be nice to post it here while we all wait to give BP our money for our premium memberships.

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Could Jeff or Ed provide the same graph over a 3 year time period? I think that would be more beneficial and stop a lot of the speculation (probably not). I know someone mentioned that this may be part of the premium membership which I will happily pay for but this one piece of info is so relevant to this thread it might be nice to post it here while we all wait to give BP our money for our premium memberships.

He said earlier that that graph would cost money.

-I don't always go shopping, but when I do I buy Lego-

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He said earlier that that graph would cost money.

-I don't always go shopping, but when I do I buy Lego-

Thanks, must have missed that.

 

In response to the original poster I did a quick google search and found that many people complain of this same issue. Sales suddenly drop for no reason and it can happen any time of year and can even be specific to certain sellers or items. Here is one article: http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2012/5/1336573422.html and there are hundreds of others. I didn't look in to it much further but it might be something for you to investigate.

 

My opinion is this time of year is just SLLLLOOOOOOWWW.

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Without any real data or analysis, a number of people decided this was a good reason to complain about the increase in the number of resellers. Some chose to blame this site (unfairly, and as many have pointed out, without good reason). Some have tried to blame other resellers/investors for ruining the market, without having any research to back it up. Has the market changed? Yes, obviously.

Living this market since 1999 is all the data I need to see a downturn. Not just a slow and steady downturn but a large downturn. Markets don't just "mysteriously" change. There are reasons. Being in this market only a few years doesn't give the whole picture. I appreciate all the newbies trying to chime in with their "experience" but secondary collectible markets are a whole different monster when compared to a retail market.

I'm not worried about myself. I'll look back in a few years and say "wow, where did 90% of the newbies go"?

I don't blame Brickpicker for this. This site is only gasoline. Its the multiple newbies that are the matches. Sooner or later one will strike.

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This thread needs more venom

only if it'd the one with tentacles the other one sucks so much. There differnt!!!!! Just like Canadian bacon and ham are not the same. That's why the local pizza joint offers both!!!!!
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only if it'd the one with tentacles the other one sucks so much. There differnt!!!!! Just like Canadian bacon and ham are not the same. That's why the local pizza joint offers both!!!!!

Sorry, but it happened, yes, this is the 1st time you have been wrong scene(spelling) I joined hxckid88.  i think Venom should be a girl, maybe kind of like black widow, and mystique. Venom needs to be scary

 

kind of like this

:

 

Edit: I removed the pic, as young kids might read this, and I don't want to be the one to give them nightmares

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