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Is anyone experiencing a lackluster sales season?

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I was expecting to be super busy selling things this season. I ordered all of my shipping supplies in advance, organized my inventory, posted it and have been waiting. The sales have been much slower than anticipated.

I think it's likely due to what I'm listing but perhaps its how I'm listing, or simply that things will pick up this week.

 

I've got the following items listed but have barely moved any:

 

Mixels Series 1

Monster Fighters (Excluding the HH)

Lone Ranger

LOTR HD, UH, OF

Creator Houses (retired sets)

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Mines been pretty good so far. Sold a ton of used Star Wars/City/Ninjago/Harry Potter stuff as well as a fair amount of sealed Architecture/Super Heros/CMFs/ and 10245s. Haven't listed any Lone Ranger or Lord of the Rings yet, other than a Goblin King that I've had listed at $99.99 for the last six months.

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I don't have any of those items listed currently, but I would guess that you're battling against dozens of other relatively new sellers who are also in the same position as you, expecting to unload all the same exact sets that everyone else was grabbing last year with the plan to sell this year. Many of them are probably willing to accept a slim margin or even a loss, so you're going to have a tough time selling them at a good price. Additionally, other than the Mixels and Creator houses, those sets were not really highly desired when they were in stores last year, so it will probably be a couple more years before some new people come along and want some of those sets for their collection. Again, I haven't checked the market for any of those sets.

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I was expecting to be super busy selling things this season. I ordered all of my shipping supplies in advance, organized my inventory, posted it and have been waiting. The sales have been much slower than anticipated.

I think it's likely due to what I'm listing but perhaps its how I'm listing, or simply that things will pick up this week.

 

I've got the following items listed but have barely moved any:

 

Mixels Series 1

Monster Fighters (Excluding the HH)

Lone Ranger

LOTR HD, UH, OF

Creator Houses (retired sets)

Beside the mixels, I think those are not the most popular of themes right now.  Are you selling on eBay BIN?  If yes, then then the eBay search engine is not friendly to listings that have sat for a while with no recent sales (think several cycles of GTC with quantity all unsold).  Pricing is an obvious place to start.  But also consider offering free shipping, returns, extended returns.  Also try to mix it up and list a few bundles.  It also never hurts to list something as a short auction (starting at your desired BIN price) or 7-10 day BIN.  If you really want to just move stuff, then list it as an auction starting at 0.01 and let the market figure it out.  My guess it is more of what you have listed versus how you have it listed.

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Don't feel bad.  There are some BPers making a killing this holiday, and then there's the rest of us.  I haven't put that much out for sale because of my inventory which is mostly recently retired exclusives that I'm not ready to let go yet, and the rest is mostly Star Wars and Super Hero stuff that's not really in short supply, so I'd be selling at a loss.

 

I look at the "What did you sell today" thread, and I see a wide variety of odds and ends that have been EOL for over a year, and also a lot of Minecraft, Creative Towers, Advent calendars, Arctic Icebreakers, etc.  It seems the fastest moving the merchandise is mostly the "hot item of today" (in general)... Black Friday deals, and other items that just came out, but sold out quickly.

 

Also, where are you selling?  I have the feeling that Amazon sellers are doing much better than ebay sellers.  I'm definitely preparing to have an Amazon store for next Xmas.

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My experience is that I get as many or more sales after Christmas (people using up the gift cards and cash they got) as before. Before Christmas it's mostly moms and dads buying for kids, after Christmas is when the collectors spend (just my experience). So, I wouldn't despair yet :) 

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I don't have any of those items listed currently, but I would guess that you're battling against dozens of other relatively new sellers who are also in the same position as you, expecting to unload all the same exact sets that everyone else was grabbing last year with the plan to sell this year. Many of them are probably willing to accept a slim margin or even a loss, so you're going to have a tough time selling them at a good price. Additionally, other than the Mixels and Creator houses, those sets were not really highly desired when they were in stores last year, so it will probably be a couple more years before some new people come along and want some of those sets for their collection. Again, I haven't checked the market for any of those sets.

Great post with a lot of good points from Mos.  

I also think that some sellers expect a miraculous jump in prices during December.  For certain, there is a huge jump in sales volume / orders, and for the right sets, there is a bump in price.  But to expect an across the board +10-25% jump in December is way too high of an expectation.  I actually started ramping up my selling in November, and I have seen prices go down for certain retired sets once the other sellers started to dump their inventory in December.  .

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i'm doing alright.  the real 'downer' was the cinderella castle due to TRU and other reasons.

lego was most likely prepared to not have another 2013 holiday season dolphin cruiser debacle.

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Don't feel bad.  There are some BPers making a killing this holiday, and then there's the rest of us.  I haven't put that much out for sale because of my inventory which is mostly recently retired exclusives that I'm not ready to let go yet, and the rest is mostly Star Wars and Super Hero stuff that's not really in short supply, so I'd be selling at a loss.

 

I look at the "What did you sell today" thread, and I see a wide variety of odds and ends that have been EOL for over a year, and also a lot of Minecraft, Creative Towers, Advent calendars, Arctic Icebreakers, etc.  It seems the fastest moving the merchandise is mostly the "hot item of today" (in general)... Black Friday deals, and other items that just came out, but sold out quickly.

 

Also, where are you selling?  I have the feeling that Amazon sellers are doing much better than ebay sellers.  I'm definitely preparing to have an Amazon store for next Xmas.

 

We should start a new thread in January for all the Amazon sellers titled "What set did someone return to your store today?"

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We should start a new thread in January for all the Amazon sellers titled "What set did someone return to your store today?"

 

Knock on wood my Amazon sales during Christmas have resulted in very few returns in the past. I'd venture to guess it is because often they are sent as gifts directly to the recipient. (No buyers remorse or realizing they paid to much)

 

My return rate during the holidays is definitely lower than the rest of the year, and FBA sales are returned even less than seller fulfilled.  

Edit:

To back this up: I sold 710 toys on Amazon from Dec 1 to Dec 31st last year. From Dec 28th to Feb 8th I had 8 toys returned. 

 

Edited by Dbroncoboy
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i'm doing alright.  the real 'downer' was the cinderella castle due to TRU and other reasons.

lego was most likely prepared to not have another 2013 holiday season dolphin cruiser debacle.

No shortage with Princess and Friends lines... booo!! :P

 

Selling is hard and it will get harder with competitions coming on board.  Realistically, one needs to decide if retail is really what they want to spend their free time on.  We can call it Brickvesting or whatever, but at the end of the day you need to be a retailer to move your inventory.

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My sales in lego and other products have been slow and sporadic. At times I have also thought it to be lackluster. I think ppl are really procrastinating this year too.

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I imagine that most people who are having a great year have also been doing this for over 2 years. They have the right inventory and experience to make their inventory competitive as profitable prices. I personally continue my downsizing and am loving this year, which is also my 3rd. My only regret is not having the space to fully feast on the smorgasbord of retiring exclusives. This could very well be the end of the modern day gravy train. I would be frustrated and demoralized if I was a newer investor trying to grind out a profit this season.

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I imagine that most people who are having a great year have also been doing this for over 2 years. They have the right inventory and experience to make their inventory competitive as profitable prices. I personally continue my downsizing and am loving this year, which is also my 3rd. My only regret is not having the space to fully feast on the smorgasbord of retiring exclusives. This could very well be the end of the modern day gravy train. I would be frustrated and demoralized if I was a newer investor trying to grind out a profit this season.

 

Agree, and I think this year will knock some of the new guys out. It looked so easy last year, this year not so much. Unfortunately some people are going to lose their shorts this year, and I think it will knock down the following for a bit. 

 

I've had a decent amount of success, I went big on the millennium falcon because it has performed spectacular for the past two years, that's going to burn me the worst.  

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I should have added initially that most things I bought for QF have done well and some of the items I've got listed outside of Lego are doing ok with the exception of SGE. I'm really determined to thin out every non exclusive or large set I own and was hoping this season would do it. Oh well.

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I have a number of sets I hoped to flip that flopped like the cruiser and castle. On the other side I have done great with sets from last year like the heartlake vet. Next year I will rely less on flips and more on sets that have been gone a year. 

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I imagine that most people who are having a great year have also been doing this for over 2 years. They have the right inventory and experience to make their inventory competitive as profitable prices. I personally continue my downsizing and am loving this year, which is also my 3rd. My only regret is not having the space to fully feast on the smorgasbord of retiring exclusives.

 

my inventory has also been down-sized.

 

same selling experiences here w/ the exception of the disney castle.  the advent calendars, tumblers, ewok village, exo-suit (in aug), and long retired sets have all sold-out.

 

i do have 2 recently acquired sets to list (10181 ET and 10196 GC- all complete w/o box) to list.  They should sell soon enough along with my cloud city (loose w/ box).

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I imagine that most people who are having a great year have also been doing this for over 2 years. They have the right inventory and experience to make their inventory competitive as profitable prices. I personally continue my downsizing and am loving this year, which is also my 3rd. My only regret is not having the space to fully feast on the smorgasbord of retiring exclusives. This could very well be the end of the modern day gravy train. I would be frustrated and demoralized if I was a newer investor trying to grind out a profit this season.

Why is why I think we will an ebb and flow of investors.  The media buzz that Lego "investing" got in the last few years definitely brought multitudes of new investors into the fold.  Because of this, margins will get smaller and smaller with the increased competition and many of these will eventually be thinned out many one of many reasons. 

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Leon C. Megginson (1960s LSU professor summarized Darwin's Origin of Species) said it best...

 

the%20strongest%20species.jpg

 

 

Why is why I think we will an ebb and flow of investors.  The media buzz that Lego "investing" got in the last few years definitely brought multitudes of new investors into the fold.  Because of this, margins will get smaller and smaller with the increased competition and many of these will eventually be thinned out many one of many reasons. 

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It was the anti-opinion at the time, but I think this is pretty close to how this year played out:

 

http://community.brickpicker.com/topic/7308-next-year-investments-for-flipping/#entry201637

 

Still time to turn it around, but that window is quickly shrinking.

 

Props on this, its not as gloom and doom as your post was, but its no 2013.

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Things are down - its definitely more sellers.

 

In Christmas last year I had 200 items throughout Christmas and about 10K of inventory. Dec was 20K ish in sales.

 

This year I have just under 500 items, 30K of inventory and sales are on pace for about 24K. It will be like this more and more every year. Just how it is.

 

You have a link to your store? You can PM it but I don't mind helping to sort out if its just how you list, etc. I have definitely figured a lot of things out in getting things to sell.

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Guest TabbyBoy

Also... buyers are more savvy and if the price is too high, they won't bite.  I'm listing mine as BIN with offer and I'm accepting any offer that puts me in profit esp. with CITY sets that I need to offload.  I have left stuff go cheap but, profit is profit and space is space.

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It was the anti-opinion at the time, but I think this is pretty close to how this year played out:

 

http://community.brickpicker.com/topic/7308-next-year-investments-for-flipping/#entry201637

 

Still time to turn it around, but that window is quickly shrinking.

 

Sick bump. Well called.

 

This next week will be interesting. Seems like retailers have been putting Lego on sale much less this year, which others have noted. Last year you could barely find a Lego set on the shelves in my area. Everyone seems pretty well stocked this year, which is probably driving fewer people online. 

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