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    How to Part Out a LEGO Set: 70803 Cloud Cuckoo Palace


    I was strolling through my local Walmart and saw two Cloud Cuckoo Palaces.  Aware that this set was becoming hard to find, I decided to purchase one to part out.  I knew that parting out a set is something that many Brickpickers would like to know more about; therefore, I decided to write an article based on my personal experience. This article is for members who would like to have more knowledge on this subject. Without further ado, let's get started!

    Part I: Know Your Set

    DSCN9211

    Before you buy a set to part out, you must know the set you are purchasing.  I bought this set knowing that I would probably be able to sell the minifigures for about $30 to $35 dollars.  After that, I still had the rest of the set to sell.  If the rest of the set sells for $10 to $15 dollars, then I would make $20 to $30 dollars.  I consider that a successful endeavor.

    Part II: Should I Break the Seals?

    DSCN9219

    I spent quite a bit of time wondering if I should break the seals of this set.  I did some research on eBay and found out that the sealed set was selling for $30 to $40 dollars.  I figured that it would be good to get more experience in parting a set out, so I decided to break the seals.  For people looking for convenience, parting out might not be for you.  One thing that I was surprised by was the amount of time that it took to part this set out.

    Part III: Shipping Costs/Creating Your Lots

    This part does not take a whole lot of work, but with just a little bit of planning you can cut your overall shipping cost by a decent amount and make more money at the same time.  Even though the shipping cost will only be a few dollars, it is good to keep thinking about ways to save money.

    The shipping cost is approximately one dollar for each padded envelope, and each envelope costs about fifty cents.  The rest of the set can go in a small box and the cost will be approximately $2.50.  I combined the cost of the envelope and the shipping cost to simplify the table.

     

    Lot Name Shipping Cost
    Emmet $1.50
    Wyldstyle $1.50
    Unikitty $1.50
    Executron $1.50
    The rest of the set $2.50

    The total expenses are $8.50. This one way to part the set out, and it is an effective way to accomplish the process - but is there a better way?

     

    Lot Name Shipping Cost
    Emmet and Wyldstyle $1.50
    Unikitty and Snail $1.50
    Executron $1.50
    The rest of the set $2.50

     

    The total expenses are $8.50.  This one way to part the set out, and it is an effective way to accomplish the process - but is there a better way?

     

     

    Lot Name Shipping Cost
    Emmet and Wyldstyle $1.50
    Unikitty and Snail $1.50
    Executron $1.50
    The rest of the set $2.50

    I would say that this is a better way.  By combining Emmet and Wyldstyle, we can subtract $1.50 from our expenses, bringing the estimated shipping cost down to $7.00 dollars.

    You may have noticed that I added the snail to the Unikitty lot.  The snail is not nearly as popular as Unikitty, but when combined, the snail can make the lot sell a bit faster.

    Part IV: Taking Pictures and Lighting

    This part is optional.  Some people use official images in their eBay listings, but I like to show buyers exactly what they are buying.  The main problem with taking pictures is lighting.

    I like to use an Ott-Lite that looks similar to this.  It gives a white light instead of a yellow light that most ceiling lights tend to give.  The second thing that I use when taking pictures is paper.  It can reflect light very well and can also soften it if you wrap it around the light.  Do not get paper near the light if it tends to get hot, as this could start a fire.

    If possible, do not let light directly hit the object you are trying to photograph.  My favorite method to light a picture is to open the Ott-Lite just enough to turn it on and then slide a piece of paper in between the light and the bottom support to reflect the light indirectly onto the object I am lighting.

    DSCN9242

    This way, there is not a nasty glare that hinders buyers from seeing the object you are photographing.  After you get your lighting system rigged up, you can place your minifigure on another sheet of paper and take a picture.  This is the result I got:

    DSCN9227

    This is one of the simplest ways to light a minifigure.  It does cast a shadow at the bottom, but buyers can still see what they are buying, and that is the most important part.

    Part V: Selling Your Items on eBay/Pricing Your Lots

    After you have taken your pictures, you can just load them onto your listing.  I chose to use a padded envelope to ship the small things and a small box to ship the rest of the set.  I decided to list with free shipping.

    Because I was familiar with this set, I had an idea of what the lots had been selling for, but it is always good to double check by looking up the sold listings on eBay.  After I researched trending prices, I decided on my prices, which you can see in the table below.

     

    Lot Name Shipping Cost My Price on eBay Minus the Shipping Cost
    Five Lots $7.00 $52.38 $45.38
    Emmet and Wyldstyle $1.50 $17.97 $16.47
    Unikitty and Snail $1.50 $15.97 $14.47
    Executron $1.50 $7.47 $5.97
    The rest of the set $2.50 $10.97 $8.47

     

    All this minus the $20 dollar retail price equals $25.38 profit!  That is approximately 127% profit!  I would say that this has been a success.  *Note* If you do use eBay to sell your items, they will automatically take away 10% of your profits.  I did not calculate that on my table.

    Part VI: Packaging the Lots

    Before I put my items in the padded envelope, I placed them in plastic bags to give the minifigures an extra layer of cushion to prevent scratching.  Here are a few of the minifigures in plastic bags:

    DSCN9236

    After I dealt with the minifigures, I taped up the original bags with clear packaging tape so that the pieces would not fall out.  Now everything is ready to be shipped.

    Summing it Up

    I hope that you have found this article helpful and useful in your own investing experience.  Please leave a comment on what you thought about this article.  Your feedback is appreciated!  Once I finish selling all my lots, I will leave an update in the comments sharing the rest of my experience.  Thanks for reading!

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    good article and replies. Maybe i'm missing it. sorry if i am. What i would like to know is your net profit / loss after everything is said and done. *Set price paid w/ Tax = -$x.xx *Revenue from sales (set, minifigs, box, etc...)= +$x.xx *eBay, Shipping, & PayPal fees = -$x.xx --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total = $x.xx Thanks

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    I bought the set for $21.03 including tax. Snail and Unikitty: $15.97 Emmet and Wyldstyle: $17.97 Set with no minifigs: $10.97 I have not sold the Executron minifigure yet. Total: $44.91 Minus 13%: $39.07 Minus approximate shipping cost of $7.57: $31.5 So far I have made $10.47 and have received two feedbacks. I am still waiting on the third.

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    I would not have changed anything. Because I bundled the figs, I did not have to pay as much to ship the stuff. Emmet was not as popular as Wyldstyle, and because there were not many Emmet and Wyldstyle lots available on eBay the lot sold very quickly. I did a bit of research and decided to list with free shipping. This makes the listing appear near the top and really gets people's attention. I tried to price my lots just a little bit higher to make up for the shipping costs.

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    Note that eBay has been charging their fees on the shipping costs as well - you've always been charged the PayPal fees on the full payment. And the paypal fees have a fixed and variable cost that penalize low-cost purchases over single larger purchases. I'm still debating parting out my most recent sets versus selling the whole box. Selling the whole box might have less shipping expense versus the individual parts.

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    I've got my own excel sheet with formulas so for a more realistic total I did your set to see how it came out...the shipping is the $.50 envelope and $1.98 more realistic shipping cost: Rest of set Emmet and Unikitty Wyldstyle and Snail Executron TOTAL PROFIT Item Cost $(20.00) Sale Price $10.97 $17.97 $15.97 $7.47 Paypal $(0.62) $(0.82) $(0.76) $(0.52) eBay Fee $(1.10) $(1.80) $(1.60) $(0.75) Shipping $(2.98) $(2.48) $(2.48) $(2.48) $(13.73) $12.87 $11.13 $3.73 $14.00

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    Thank you so much for this article! I'm a big (huge) kid and a real estate investor but have always loved Legos just didn't have time or the childhood to play with them. So I'm making up for it now. My question is: How did you know what they were worth before you bought them? How detailed? I see I can go to ebay and look up each part, but they're not all individually on there. I'm looking at a Star Wars set at Target that's half off with 3 mini figures... I see that one of the mini figures sells on ebay for about 80%. I don't quite understand brick link yet... IS there a way to put in a set number to see how much they are selling in parts? Thanks again for all your help! John

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    Thanks for your comment, John! I knew how much to price each item because of other BIN listings and auction listings on eBay. Again, the only thing that determines the value of anything is how much people are willing to pay for it. I do not know a lot about Bricklink either, except that parting out a set there takes much more patience. If you would like to part out the set piece by piece, you should eventually get more profit, but it will take a lot more time to list, sell and ship. If you would like to see how much the parts are selling for on Bricklink, just go to bricklink.com and click on the "Catalogue" button. There should be a search box. Type the set name or number that you would like to find the value of. When you find the set you're looking for, click on the number to the left of the image of the set. To the right of the the stock images, there should be a button that says "View Inv" Click on it. There are all your parts! You can click the number to the right of the image to see details about the part. If you click on the color you want under the "Price Guide Info" text, you'll be able to see pricing info on the parts. Keep in mind, though, that Bricklink pricing tends to be lower than eBay pricing. If you plan on parting out the set on eBay, I'd recommend selling the set in chunks and minifigures, not individual parts, so that you can save on shipping. Looking at sold listings on eBay also really helps on pricing of a set. Also, if you found a set at 50% off, I'd highly recommend buying it. 50% off sales don't happen often. I hope this helps you! If you have any more questions, just comment and I'll reply ASAP.

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    Guest Some tips on parting out & selling LEGO sets

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    […] (Written by Noodlenut) […]

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