Jump to content

Lego buying and selling in the UK (and EU)

Recommended Posts

Hi, I've really enjoyed reading this forum over the last month and appreciated the insight.

I've certainly got carried away at times in the early days of investing having read some of the advice in the forums. However, I occassionally notice a post that says something doesn't really apply to Europe, e.g the popularity of a certain line, or where is good for selling, or the time it takes for items to increase in value.

So as a lot of the advice is written with north america in mind, I thought it would be really useful to hear from those based in the UK and Europe.

- What are the main differences for our market to the US

- What sort of discout and ROI do you usually aim for?

- Where do you prefer to buy and sell trom?

- What delivery companies do you recommend for the mid to large sizes?

- Any good cheaper 2nd hand selling sites for used sets we want to make ourselves?

- Are there any yearly sales in our region to look out for?

- Aside from xmas are there peak times to sell in the UK?

- any good tips on saving in the UK by buying from the EU while the Euro is down?

- Any recommended toy shops for picking up older stock?

Sorry if this has all been covered elsewhere but i couldn't find a thread that focused on it.

Cheers

B

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello. People here like to answer questions like yours by pointing out that all the info you seek can be found somewhere on these pages. And while most of the members here are very friendly towards newcomers, there is a reason why they don't like to give valuable info away just like that. Every Brickpicker has got to "earn" his knowledge by himself, reading through all the posts contributed here on a daily basis. Also, oftentimes there is no objective right or wrong considering single investment/buying/selling decisions. Even though you can get to a point of investing basic knowledge that might be quite similar between members, everyone still makes different decisions in the end because the emotional/subjective factor plays an important role in the investing game, too. In a nutshell: You gotta find your own way. And while fellow Brickpickers will help you whenever they can, there will hardly be anyone ready to hand you everything you'd like to know on a silver platter.

However, I'd like to give you at least a partial answer to your first question as a start:
"- What are the main differences for our market to the US"
- bigger popularity of the Technic theme in the EU
- bigger popularity of Star Wars theme in the US
- no Ban Hammer in the EU
- no discounts on exclusives in the US
- so much more...
 

Edited by rfish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi rfish, thanks for your reply - appreciate the insight.

Without wanting to sound too defensive, i have been reading the blogs very regularly for the last few months, I've alerts set up, following members in my region etc. I guess the main reason I started this thread was because having been a regular reader, i could fairly easily answer the majority of my questions above for the north american market. I know where to look for all these if I want to know about the US and 90% of the posts seem to be about that market (not a criticism, they are still very interesting) but occasionally I'll see a simple reply that says the last 20 pages of comments don't really apply to Europe. It can lead to some seriously bad decision making if you're taking on a lot of well intentioned advice which you later discover isn't relevant to your region.

Some examples are the US popularity for selling via craigslist - I've only seen about 4 Lego posts in my area in the last couple of months and i'm curious if there is an equivalent. Gumtree seems the best option I can see though nothing has stood out in that time yet and sellers seem relatively savvy.

I've also seen a lot of US discussion about the UN Building and White House recently. Are these sets more popular in the homeland of their set? While I'm aware the UN building is a well known NY landmark, to me it is just a bit skyscrapery. Not sure if this is just personal opinion though.

There is loads of shared local knowledge on the site for the US so I just wanted to start a discussion for the UK. I've searched for something similar here numerous times but have not found it. If they do exist I'd be happy to be directed to them.

I realise that I probably asked too many questions in the first post and come across as a lazy newbie, but I'd rather centralise these issues than continuously ask if they apply to my region in every thread.

Apologies if this all sounds negative, I think the site is fantastic and I am quite addicted - I just want to make sure I'm not wasting a lot of time taking things on face value that might not really apply to my area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bobbynobricks,

I am in a similar position to you down here in Plymouth. I love this site and all the info and helpful people on here, but like you I get a little frustrated reading loads of posts which then find out dont apply to us over here, like you said not a criticism.

This becomes very prevalent when we hear about deals involving companies that operate worldwide, we over here do miss out.

I have recently after much revision started buying sets for investment small ones and a couple larger ones just to test the waters, I have my Brickfolio set up in GBP to see even week to we how they do lol

I have found by using all the variants of European Amazons you can get some deals but be careful of  shipping and customs costs. The same goes for all the worldwide Amazons, I have used them all for different things over the years. Packaging seems fine, but be prepared to sometimes get a crushed box.

I find also that Argos are quite good on price but I do like to buy in store if the box comes up on the belt damaged I can send it right back again!!!

Some deals at the big supermarkets seem good but I never see them in my local stores. I would like to try their online services but have no idea what their packaging is like???

I am a member at Quidco which gives you cashback that little bit helps with the price.

I also check HotUKDeals in the toy section for deals both National and Regional but you have to be quick with these deals.

I find I learned most about Lego from You Tube, the vloggers are brilliant start with Brick Tsar and Bricks On The Dollar and go from their subscribers list to all the others, but a special mention goes to British Vlogger Destination Lego watch his Haul videos, truly brilliant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Numanoid,

Good to hear from you - some great tips.

Yeah, I've been stocking up on a couple of sets here and there, mainly to finance my own renewed interest in building. As I've not really done much on the selling side there is the worry that I've just got a bit over-excited by the enthusiasm of the crowd when a lot of the factors might be slightly different here.

When do the customs get applied for the EU Amazon sites? Is it usually on the bigger items and are you notified on purchase?

I'd read about Argos' buy 2 get 1 free toys offers so I'll need to look out for that next time.

As for the supermarkets, I've actually found Asda/George has had some pretty good deals lately. You have to order online and either collect or pay for delivery, but they have come well packaged in perfect condition. The only problem I've had is getting them home as I don't have a car and have to collect at work lunch time. I've also click and collected from Tesco as well. My set was in perfect condition but it had no outer-packaging so there was potential for damage in transit from their warehouse.

Hot Uk Deals looks a good option. I'd noticed it mentioned before on Brickfanatics.com so need to get into the habit of checking more regularly.

I've not checked out the You Tube sites yet so i'll be sure to have a look through them later.

Just picking up on rfish's point about there being no discounts on exclusives in the US, have you noticed much here? May the 4th was the only one I've been aware of recently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Customs :- First I hear about it is when I either get a delivery guy asking for payment or I see it put on the invoice. Usually I find customs only get jumpy when you go over £40 -£50 and its a big box, so I tend to do separate orders. Think I have only been charged once, been caught out a couple of times from Canada and USA but never from the Far East. I think half the time its pure luck whether you get pulled or not!!

Exclusives :- Yeah I havnt noticed much discounts either though I know Lego Shop@Home have two big sales a year with double VIP Points so thats the time to save for. Not sure when though think its March and October.

I went in ToysRUs yesterday and saw the Rocket Racoon Exclusive ToysRUS polybag @ £4.99, didnt pick any up as I thought at that price surely there cant be much profit on it?? What do you think?? Nice to have a couple but worth picking up 20 ???$_35.thumb.JPG.cfbb206ff07e886d22b635e16

I am like you concerned about the selling aspect which I think will be trial and error. By the looks of it you have to look long term and wait for opportunities, I see alot of people are dusting off Star Wars sets ready for sale with the hype with the new film for example. Always Christmas is the time to sell stock get it listed in November for best sales and check on Ebay the price that set has sold at the previous few months to get idea of what you might get for it. Having said this I havnt listed anything yet only listened to the advice given here etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding customs, I always thought if you are buying within the European union, there is no tax to pay. I have bought from Denmark, Germany and Netherlands through Brick link and never had any problems. And they were very big boxes!

Numanoid, just curious to know your experiences with import tax, what are the custom charges if importing from the US? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys

I have been investing collecting in the UK for a few years now and would also love more detailed info on the UK market.

The UK section of the local deals is rarely updated, I guess no-one wants to give and secrets away!!

I find I buy most of my sets from Amazon, eBay, Lego Shop, TRU and Smyths

I did very well on the Argos 3 for 2 last year with R2, Red 5, Volvo loader etc etc but Argos seem to be moving away from stocking the larger sets so that is going to be more difficult.

I also buy from EU Amazon sites, but also the US site when they have offers like BOGOF on lego - got lots of 6860 Batcave's last year and paid no customs duty (don't know why!)

Smyths Toys have a 20% off everything sale late September/early October - that could be good this year as they now stock Death Star, Tumbler, Slave 1, Pet Shop, Sandcrawler, Ewok Village and many more of the bigger sets

I sell on Ebay mostly. I tend to use the parcel2go website for larger items and pack very well as buyers are very picky and couriers very heavy handed! Myhermes have a bad reputuation, but as long as you pack items in a good box they get there ok 99% of the time

I sell sealed sets, used sets and part out sets - anything that can make money

I go to boot sales and pick up more than you'd think - got a Harry Potter load last week - 4842, 4841, 4840 and 4738 all for £140!!

Xmas is the best period for sales, I start ramping up the listings from September and sales increase week on week.

Supermarkets can give good deals but you have to be in the right place at the right time - Tesco are currently selling off Hobbit sets including Lonely Mountain at 50% off for example

Hopefully this thread will grow with a bit more UK/Europe info for everyone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I registered a new account on Amazon.com rather than using my uk amazon account

It worked fine with a uk address

Haven't ordered any thing for a few months have they changed the rules?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it does seem pretty hard to get anything better than about 10% off in the UK (& Ireland - or are we too european for you guys these days?). We should try and breathe some life back into the UK user community on here - it seems the relatively sparse deals around here can be hard to find among the forest of deals available in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BigStuP, just registered a new account at amazon.com and try to order lego sets sold by amazon.com LLC but it still says:

Sorry, this item can't be shipped to your selected address. Learn more. You may either change the shipping address or delete the item from your order. 

This may be because:

  • The following types of items can’t be shipped to buyers outside the U.S.: video games, toy and baby items, etc

What am I doing wrong? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chezzzuk

Not sure - it seems only certain sets ship to the UK.

Check 76025 Green Lantern that ships to UK, yet 76012 Riddler Chase does not.

I don't know why but according to the terms the majority should:-

"Amazon.com gladly ships orders around the globe with AmazonGlobal. Available product lines, shipping rates and fees vary depending on the delivery address for your order.

The majority of items in Amazon's product catalog (automotive, baby, clothing, consumer electronics, health and personal care, home and garden, industrial and scientific, jewelry, pet supplies, shoes, software, sporting goods, tools, toys, video games, and watches) can be shipped to the following countries:

  • Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhastan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela "

Sorry I cant be more help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BigStuP, just registered a new account at amazon.com and try to order lego sets sold by amazon.com LLC but it still says:

Sorry, this item can't be shipped to your selected address. Learn more. You may either change the shipping address or delete the item from your order. 

This may be because:

  • The following types of items can’t be shipped to buyers outside the U.S.: video games, toy and baby items, etc

What am I doing wrong? 

​Only some stuff can be sent over this side of the pond. Search for Lego, then on the left of the page it'll give you an option to refine the search and under international shipping click on your country and it'll refine the search to just what will actually ship to you. A lot less sets I'm afraid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Numanoid - thanks for the heads up about the rocket minifigure. I don't have much experience with these but might pick up a couple myself. I recently sold a Yuran for around £20 but that does have the Star Wars factor.

chezzuk - I saw in another thread that you recommended selling on Amazon as you were getting better returns than eBay. Had you also tried sites like Gumtree or was the volume of your sales too high for that to be practical?

BigStup - some really interesting stuff in your post. i'd also noticed that Argos doesn't seem to have any of the larger sets any more which is a shame. Hopefully that is temporary.

i hadn't thought that the US Amazon store was an option so I'll be interested to see how chezz gets on.

I'd tried to buy from the Irish Smyths store last month when they had 20% off the big sets but they wouldn't deliver to the UK. I'll definitely look for a similar reduction in the uk.

parcel2go looks a useful tool. i'd seen on MoneySavingexpert that MyHermes was the cheapest so it is good to get some real feedback from your experiences. I've just had a terrible time with Yodel direct from Lego so I guess there will be issues with any.

I'd been considering trying out a few boot sales or similar sales (I still am bitter that my mum gave all my old star wars toys to a school sale back in the day). I was trying to find a good way of finding decent ones in your area - any tips?

Anyone got any other good tips on finding affordable 2nd hand sets for personal use? Most of the time ebay sets go up to the same sort of price you can usually find in a sale. Obviously that is good for us on the selling side but not great on the building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd been considering trying out a few boot sales or similar sales (I still am bitter that my mum gave all my old star wars toys to a school sale back in the day). I was trying to find a good way of finding decent ones in your area - any tips?

 

​Try www.carbootjunction.com to search for local sales

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding customs, I always thought if you are buying within the European union, there is no tax to pay. I have bought from Denmark, Germany and Netherlands through Brick link and never had any problems. And they were very big boxes!

Numanoid, just curious to know your experiences with import tax, what are the custom charges if importing from the US? 

​chezzzuk :- Hi there, thankfully with Lego they havnt charged me, not sure if it was the light weight in comparison with size of box?? I collect other things like Blu Ray Steelbooks been caught a couple times with them but too rarely to be worried. when ordering stuff from Asia they always try to put on the package that that the content is less than £20, Customs always ignored my parcel then no matter what I had inside.

As for USA, AmazonUSA tend to put a Customs charge on it before you press the 'pay' button. Not sure if this export tax for them ?? Been caught a couple of times by our Customs one in particular was a Cleveland Browns winter padded jacket cost me £60 but Customs charged an extra £37!!! which I obviously questioned but no that was what I had to pay. So I think we do need to be careful but ultimately we have to bite the bullet in and out.

Also regarding delivery companies MyHermes are shocking for me. I dread ordering from The Disney Store, if I am not at home they leave my parcel partially hidden in my garden hedge open to the rain with odds on a damaged box!!!!

Anyway enough of the rant its nice to chat to a few peole on here lets keep the deals and experiences coming folks

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

chezzuk - I saw in another thread that you recommended selling on Amazon as you were getting better returns than eBay. Had you also tried sites like Gumtree or was the volume of your sales too high for that to be practical?

I started collecting/selling lego this year so I have very little experience but what I have found is that for the same set (usually retired ones as you dont have to compete with low amazon prices), you can get more on amazon than ebay. You can see the brickpicker prices which are derived from ebay sales and then compare them to the cheapest on amazon. My experience is sales are slow. Lots of sets doesn't sell at all even if you are the cheapest. But it cost you nothing to open a store on amazon and you can leave the item for sale indefinitely without incurring any charges.

i hadn't thought that the US Amazon store was an option so I'll be interested to see how chezz gets on.

I have tried to open a new account on amazon.com but this made no difference. if the item is eligible to be ship to UK, you can use your existing UK amazon account.

parcel2go looks a useful tool. i'd seen on MoneySavingexpert that MyHermes was the cheapest so it is good to get some real feedback from your experiences. I've just had a terrible time with Yodel direct from Lego so I guess there will be issues with any.

​I have used parcel2go once as they have the first package sent free promotion. However, I find that they always give you Hermes as the cheapest courier anyway but the insurance covers only £10. You better used myhermes.co.uk directly as they offer £50 insurance by default. I have used them few times and they seem to be ok. Sometimes they just leave the parcel outside your house but up to now no problems. Fingers crossed. They always seem to be the cheapest. For 20p more, you can get them to pick up the parcel from your home instead of having to drop it off at the parcel shop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also check HotUKDeals in the toy section for deals both National and Regional but you have to be quick with these deals.

​To catch the deals before they sell out, you can use the android app and set an alert on "lego". Your smartphone will alert you when a deal is posted. Save you from having to check regularly!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

​To catch the deals before they sell out, you can use the android app and set an alert on "lego". Your smartphone will alert you when a deal is posted. Save you from having to check regularly!

​Thanks - I've also set up that alert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...