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


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Why should the LEGO secondary market be any different than running an ordinary business these days?  If you ignore the LA-LA LAND known as the stock market and the disconnected vision of the world it gives some people, you will realize that small to medium businesses in the US(and I'm sure all over the world as well) are struggling to make money.  I have owned a brick and mortar business for 20 years and it is more difficult than ever to grind out any profit at all, so I am not surprised by the negative attitude of some members.  

 

Many people were spoiled with insane returns early on in the eBay/LEGO reselling days.  I cannot blame them for being upset.  The Money Train has derailed.  That being said, there is still enough potential for people to "grind" out a nice profit.  The Asian market is expanding and The LEGO Group continues to show strong profits.   Heck, sometimes, there is still a way to make a short term, kick butt profit flipping certain sets like the AS, Minecraft, Crawler and others.  I am truly sorry that some believe this site will destroy the secondary market.  While the added exposure might bring more people into the hobby/business, it will also bring added buyers as well.  The added exposure will help increase brand recognition and keep the values high.  More and more people will realize that LEGO bricks are valuable and they will treat them as such.

 

What I can promise you is that Jeff and I will help any person who wants to get involved in this undertaking by offering a quality forum to ask questions and to give people some tools to help research and track investment choices.  The new Daily Deals that will be released shortly will help people save money and the Brick Classifieds will help members save money selling their sets on an active marketplace by charging little(1-2%), if any fee to do so.  For those who are willing to put in some work and research, the future looks promising...

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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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There are better times to sell in the year, from my experience the best month is October, shortly followed by November and December, this is the worst time of year, things will pick up from June onwards. I've been selling on for years, mostly used and some new, it's the same every year.

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Why should the LEGO secondary market be any different than running an ordinary business these days?  If you ignore the LA-LA LAND known as the stock market and the disconnected vision of the world it gives some people, you will realize that small to medium businesses in the US(and I'm sure all over the world as well) are struggling to make money.  I have owned a brick and mortar business for 20 years and it is more difficult than ever to grind out any profit at all, so I am not surprised by the negative attitude of some members.  

 

Many people were spoiled with insane returns early on in the eBay/LEGO reselling days.  I cannot blame them for being upset.  The Money Train has derailed.  That being said, there is still enough potential for people to "grind" out a nice profit.  The Asian market is expanding and The LEGO Group continues to show strong profits.   Heck, sometimes, there is still a way to make a short term, kick butt profit flipping certain sets like the AS, Minecraft, Crawler and others.  I am truly sorry that some believe this site will destroy the secondary market.  While the added exposure might bring more people into the hobby/business, it will also bring added buyers as well.  The added exposure will help increase brand recognition and keep the values high.  More and more people will realize that LEGO bricks are valuable and they will treat them as such.

 

What I can promise you is that Jeff and I will help any person who wants to get involved in this undertaking by offering a quality forum to ask questions and to give people some tools to help research and track investment choices.  The new Daily Deals that will be released shortly will help people save money and the Brick Classifieds will help members save money selling their sets on an active marketplace by charging little(1-2%), if any fee to do so.  For those who are willing to put in some work and research, the future looks promising...

 

As someone with the most knowledge about the number of members, brickfolio values and other data on this site along with access to very helpful eBay data I would love to hear if/how you plan to change your investment strategy for the future. Will you slow down your purchases and limit your investments? Maybe you already have? I don't expect you to give away your entire strategy or anything but just a general idea of how you are personally moving forward would be very interesting.

 

Also I would just ignore anyone who thinks this site ruined LEGO reselling. If you guys didn't do it others would have anyway. I would rather have this site in your hands than someone else's. You guys have always been fair and helpful. Like many others I may have done LEGO investing without this site anyway but having it has been an invaluable tool which has benefited me beyond what I could have accomplished on my own.

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I dont and never would think that this site ''ruined'' LEGO reselling.... its a ridiculous statement to make really in my opinion.

 

I do still think that era of LEGO reselling hit its peak and i also think that 2013 sets (released) and onwards will show poor gain(net gain) as soon as people start trying to sell them bar few exceptional examples....

 

I kinda hope I am wrong though. 

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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:

Sorry Spade, where is the UK data that proves there aren't more investors, auctions and competition? I must have missed that post.

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For anyone wanting to do additional research you can signup for a 7 day free trial on terapeak.com. While BP obviously has access to much more info than you will find in the free trial it is still a wealth of information if you would like to investigate this all further on your own.

 

It seems you can go farther back in Amazon data than eBay. Here is an eye opening stat for everyone.

 

Amazon unique merchants selling LEGO in January 2013: 47,518

Amazon unique merchants selling LEGO in January 2014: 151,622

 

I am still messing with all the settings terapeak has to offer so I will report back once I figure out how it all works.

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For anyone wanting to do additional research you can signup for a 7 day free trial on terapeak.com. While BP obviously has access to much more info than you will find in the free trial it is still a wealth of information if you would like to investigate this all further on your own. It seems you can go farther back in Amazon data than eBay. Here is an eye opening stat for everyone. Unique Merchants selling LEGO in January 2013: 47,518Unique Merchants selling LEGO in January 2014: 151,622

Darn it Legodog. Now you are just taunting the nonbelievers by giving them facts. :p

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When I limit the data for only items listed as LEGO brand (instead of just LEGO in the title) and only new items the results are a little better but you can still see a growth of almost 10k new sellers from Jan 13 to Jan 14.

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When I limit the data for only items listed as LEGO brand (instead of just LEGO in the title) and only new items the results are a little better but you can still see a growth of almost 10k new sellers from Jan 13 to Jan 14.

Appears to be about 2,000 new items too.  Does each listing count, or does it figure out where products overlap and count that as one item?

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Here are the Total Sales in the US for sold LEGO items on eBay for the following years:

 

2011   $80,315,449.46

2012   $103,725,080.04

2013   $125,327,437.76 

Interesting info. There was a 22.5% increase in sales from 2011 to 2012 and a 17% increase from 2012 to 2013.

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Note that reselling (with local/online arbitrage, cross ebay/Amazon arbitrage) as a concept got very popularized recently, not specifically for lego, but for many toys in general. There was a snowball of "oh, you gotta buy popular toys on clearance and sell them next Christmas" kind of blog posts and ebooks.... No wonder more people want to try. Markets do have tendency to become efficient..

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oh crap, the sky is falling once more - there is slowdown in growth of sales...

 

Don't worry. I am now selling hats made of the finest aluminum pan lids for all your head-protection needs!

 

(That, by the way, for those paying attention, is a lesson in how to react to changing market needs. You're welcome.  :thumbsup:  )

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oh crap, the sky is falling once more - there is slowdown in growth of sales...

 

I don't think anyone is denying that sales are up. I think it is just the profit on those sales is slimmer and how the pie is split up with so many more new sellers.

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I don't think anyone is denying that sales are up. I think it is just the profit on those sales is slimmer and how the pie is split up with so many more new sellers.

No, I am saying that there is slowdown in growth of sales. it is indeed bad. If there were no slowdown in growth of sales, then the market would better accommodate more new sellers without significant negative effect on existing sellers

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No, I am saying that there is slowdown in growth of sales. it is indeed bad. If there were no slowdown in growth of sales, then the market would better accommodate more new sellers without significant negative effect on existing sellers

There needs to be a slowdown in growth, 20+% growth is not a sustainable number long term.

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The people who don't mind making $5 here and there on their investment wont care and will keep going thinking that everything is great. I know a lot of people who would easily keep doing this making very small margins. It's those that can no longer make 50% or more on their return that will leave and move on to something else. In any case I am somewhere in between. I will keep investing until it just isn't worth the time involved anymore. Of course everyone's time is valued differently and those with careers, children, etc may have a harder time justifying the time to profit ratio than others.

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The people who don't mind making $5 here and there on their investment wont care and will keep going thinking that everything is great. I know a lot of people who would easily keep doing this making very small margins. It's those that can no longer make 50% or more on their return that will leave and move on to something else. 

My takeaway from this thread and a few others is that those people are the worst and need to be burned at the stake for ruining the once lucrative Lego market.

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