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My First Year as a Lego Reseller and What I've learned from BrickPicker

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Thanks Sprocket for some excellent additions!

1 hour ago, Sprocket77 said:

As someone who started in the game last year like you, I agree with a lot of what you said, particularly about the game changing continuously, not being a sheep , loyalty programs and the most important, get approval from SO. There are a few items I think you're a little too black and white on though.

1. Buying part is easy - no it's not, if you said buying everything is easy, then I'd agree, but buying is hard for the simple reason that a lot of the time we want to buy everything and stopping yourself can be very tricky. Restraint can be hard and needs to be learned, especially when you can just stick a purchase on your credit card and forget about it for a month.

Buying itself is easy. Walk into a store, and see stuff on sale, put it in your cart, pay, and walk out feeling like you scored a deal. That was my point. "Buying the right things" is not easy - I tried to express that through a combination of points.

2. It's all about the buy-in - it is, but not necessarily about getting the best discount, you want the best buy-in on the best set. If I had waited for anything more than a 20% discount on say Indominus Rex here, then I wouldn't have got any, as it is I'm very happy that I have. Much happier than some sets I bought at 50% off.

Very valid point. There are sets and themes that you shouldn't buy at 40-50% off, and there are sets and themes where even RRP could be a good buy-in.

3. Pick one strategy, one that suits your lifestyle best - I think the days of picking one strategy and sticking to it are dead and your point about the game changing continuously illustrates the need to be on your toes and evolve. When I started, I had 2/3 year holds in my head, but quickly I saw that to do that with some sets, I'd need to churn over other sets to be able to grow quickly. So while I have had targets for investment all year and picked them up as I could, I also find great deals which I list straight away and constantly reinvest. 

I think there is a macro and a micro point in this: Macro: You need to pick a strategy (which can change over larger spans of time as the market and your personal situation changes), and then stick to that strategy for the duration of it (micro).

Not meaning to pick apart your blog, you do make some great points, did I mention getting approval from SO (or hiding 50% of purchases from her).

The big lesson I've learned from my first 18 months in the game is that the old military adage of no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, could easily apply to what we do, we can plan all we like, but dangle that big shiny discount in front of our face and all plans go out the window, (hence this months credit card bill will be well hidden from SO) :thumbsu: So adapt or die.

And like you said, if we help each other out, then we'll all do ok and enjoy the experience even more, this is a hobby for most of us after all. Join in, have fun, take the piss, post silly memes and remember

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Haay said:

Tabby is a one-man cartel in the UK. :D 

With Ebay Global Shipping Program, that cat´s reach is getting ever wider. Hard luck on the folk that were hoping to sell Spaceports this Xmas.

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On 11/23/2016 at 3:47 PM, Val-E said:

With Ebay Global Shipping Program, that cat´s reach is getting ever wider. Hard luck on the folk that were hoping to sell Spaceports this Xmas.

My spaceports are selling locally very easily for triple the buy-in.

Great post by OP.

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Thanks a lot Phil B for sharing your experience. I just started investing in Lego this year after 2 years of gathering information. This is exactly the kind of information I am looking for here. Very helpful for a newby like myself. Just a small interrogation: what does AFOL means? Sorry I am still getting used to the abbreviations.

Edited by Catherine Hallé

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2 minutes ago, Catherine Hallé said:

Thanks a lot Phil B for sharing your experience. I just started investing in Lego this year after 2 years of gathering information. This is exactly the kind of information I am looking for here. Very helpful for a newby like myself. Just a small interrogation: what does AFOL means? Sorry I am still getting used to the abbreviations.

Adult fan of Lego 

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Guest TabbyBoy
On 23/11/2016 at 3:47 PM, Val-E said:

With Ebay Global Shipping Program, that cat´s reach is getting ever wider. Hard luck on the folk that were hoping to sell Spaceports this Xmas.

I've not sold a single Spaceport on eBay and won't until at least next Xmas when it's more likely to get close to RRP. It won't reach RRP but, £60 a pop is realistic. I'll proably not use GSP as I prefer to send smaller sets overseas.  It'll be a nice finish to my "last year as a reseller" ;-)

Edited by TabbyBoy

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On 06/12/2016 at 2:48 PM, roxio said:

My spaceports are selling locally very easily for triple the buy-in.

Great post by OP.

To be fair it's not hard triple your buy in when your buy in was 84% off RRP.

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That was an amazing article. Thanks for sharing! I'm new here and have scouring the site and forums to read and learn as much as I can, and this was beyond helpful. Thanks Phil!

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This is a very good article. Thanks for writing it.

Don't mean to digress too much, but I see you mentioned the 41999 set. I just sold my last today (I had two of them) for £212 PROFIT (151% ROI). It was the sale and memory of the infamous 41999 thread that prompted me to come here (I've barely been on this site for the last couple of years). I really wish I'd got more of the 41999, but I get the impression some people think they were a bad investment.

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7 minutes ago, Gondorian said:

This is a very good article. Thanks for writing it.

Don't mean to digress too much, but I see you mentioned the 41999 set. I just sold my last today (I had two of them) for £212 PROFIT (151% ROI). It was the sale and memory of the infamous 41999 thread that prompted me to come here (I've barely been on this site for the last couple of years). I really wish I'd got more of the 41999, but I get the impression some people think they were a bad investment.

I think it's a bit of regret for not selling at peak levels of $450 - $500 and 41999 never reaching that plateau again that triggers the bitterness with this set.

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46 minutes ago, Gondorian said:

This is a very good article. Thanks for writing it.

Don't mean to digress too much, but I see you mentioned the 41999 set. I just sold my last today (I had two of them) for £212 PROFIT (151% ROI). It was the sale and memory of the infamous 41999 thread that prompted me to come here (I've barely been on this site for the last couple of years). I really wish I'd got more of the 41999, but I get the impression some people think they were a bad investment.

 

38 minutes ago, exciter1 said:

I think it's a bit of regret for not selling at peak levels of $450 - $500 and 41999 never reaching that plateau again that triggers the bitterness with this set.

I quoted it because of 3 reasons:

1. Because it was "Limited Edition" people jumped on this en-masse in the hope this was the next goldmine.

2. Then resellers started selling to other resellers driving up the price to the levels reported by exciter1. Heck, there was even this guy in the UK who was trying to corner the market.

3. Euphoria reigned for a while, then reality set in. Because it was limited, and  because hardly any "real" customer had a chance to buy one, there wasn't that much of a market for this set, especially with the non-Limited Edition of the same vehicle also around. So prices did not go as high as people had hoped, and apart from that initial QF, this hasn't been the goldmine from point 1 for many.

That doesn't mean you cannot make a good profit on these, as you clearly have. I used it as an illustration of "hype", and if you read back in that thread, you can sense that hype in all the posts. Must have been an exciting time.

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34 minutes ago, Phil B said:

 

I quoted it because of 3 reasons:

1. Because it was "Limited Edition" people jumped on this en-masse in the hope this was the next goldmine.

2. Then resellers started selling to other resellers driving up the price to the levels reported by exciter1. Heck, there was even this guy in the UK who was trying to corner the market.

3. Euphoria reigned for a while, then reality set in. Because it was limited, and  because hardly any "real" customer had a chance to buy one, there wasn't that much of a market for this set, especially with the non-Limited Edition of the same vehicle also around. So prices did not go as high as people had hoped, and apart from that initial QF, this hasn't been the goldmine from point 1 for many.

That doesn't mean you cannot make a good profit on these, as you clearly have. I used it as an illustration of "hype", and if you read back in that thread, you can sense that hype in all the posts. Must have been an exciting time.

It would have been an exciting time if I could get my hands on more! I went to a few Lego stores, but couldn't get any. Around the same time, there was a lot of hype around Lord of the Rings Orc Forge set. People went crazy for it because it was allegedly available in limited places (maybe Lego store and TRU). I bought about 19 of them. I sold my first one for about £16 profit (60% ROI) last week. It has slowly been creeping up, but actually the other LOTR sets have done so much better. I'm really glad I went big into LOTR - I fear The Hobbit was a waste of money though.

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Great article and useful as most have said.  

Interested to learn more about your comment on "Do your administration...means adding a row for each set in a 30+ column spreadsheet tracking all sorts of aspects of your purchases"

Aside from the obvious like Buy Price, Sell Price, what kind of admin info do you guys track?

thanks

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2 hours ago, JDM said:

Great article and useful as most have said.  

Interested to learn more about your comment on "Do your administration...means adding a row for each set in a 30+ column spreadsheet tracking all sorts of aspects of your purchases"

Aside from the obvious like Buy Price, Sell Price, what kind of admin info do you guys track?

thanks

30 columns does seem a bit excessive!

On my stock sheet, other than what you mention, I track the Condition, where I bought it from, when I bought it, where it is now and a status to reference when I last saw it (to confirm how confident that it is where I think it is). I could add a column for Notes on the condition, but haven't yet.

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