How best to sell LEGO
August 2, 2011 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm selling my childhood (1990's) lego collection. What's the best way to get money out of it? Specific questions inside

  • For my collection, what price range should I be looking at? $100? $500? What's the #1 way to get more money out of it?
  • I have about 40 lbs based on my bathroom scale. What's the best way to get a really accurate measurement, considering that I don't have a good scale at home?
  • Should I sell minifigs / instruction books / other specific types of blocks separately?
  • Some places say to throw away any damaged blocks or non-LEGO brand blocks. How important is this? If I do only sell mint lego, how can I best advertise this fact?
  • Is there someone who will just buy these all bulk from me? If I do that, how much is a reasonable price to get for them? I already emailed one bulk resaler on bricklink, but haven't heard back yet.
posted by rebent to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Heh, dependiing on how much of it is space, you might have a buyer interested here. ;)

Bricklink is generally the best way to sell bulk lots- however, you will get more if you can separate them by piece shape/size/color. Plenty of people may be willing to sort for either a cut or first selection of the pieces. Heck, I'd be willing to wort for you for a first pick at the space pieces! (My husband looooves the space legos, and is trying to rebuild his late 80s-early 90s sets, haha)

eBay is also excellent, however you're more likely to get people who are looking for a deal on a buttload of legos for their kids to play with, moreso than 'a specific piece I've been looking for for years'
posted by Hwin at 8:42 AM on August 2, 2011

I sold about 40 lbs of mixed used bricks a few years ago for $50 - a dollar a pound, via Craigslist. But I was just trying to get rid of them, and we had a lot of non-Lego brand stuff mixed in.
posted by COD at 8:55 AM on August 2, 2011

You do realize that mint means it hasn't been opened with all instructions and parts. Do you have the original directions and all pieces for each set? I would say you may be able to find someone to buy them, but you aren't going to get the money you think you are. I agree that a couple dollars a pound for random pieces that have been used is a good thought.

Why not give them to friends with kids.
posted by TheBones at 9:05 AM on August 2, 2011

I asked my son. He said it's worth at minimum $100, probably more. He got all excited about the space pieces, too. I haven't sold any lego, but I know that certain of the mini figs are worth a great deal individually. I think you'd get more separating out the space pieces & mini figs if you can't come up with complete sets, with the instruction books & specialized blocks separately, and listing via Bricklink.

Or if you don't want to bother, I'll take second dibs after Hwin and make you an offer. :-)
posted by theplotchickens at 9:10 AM on August 2, 2011

If you can re-assemble full sets, with instructions, do this, and list the sets individually on eBay.

Yes, pitch broken/off-brand blocks. You don't need to fluff that too much, just "No non-Lego bricks or broken pieces." But it's not "mint." You could mention that it was (if this is true) all purchased new and only played with by one careful child.

People on CL and eBay will buy it from you based on the pound.

One good, easy way to do this is to divvy it up into lots: base plates, minifigs, transparent pieces, as you have already done to some extent (definitely reassemble those minifigs!) and eBay them off that way.
posted by kmennie at 9:11 AM on August 2, 2011

I may be interested for my nephews. How much you want?
posted by notsnot at 9:26 AM on August 2, 2011

Hey thanks for the offers everyone but I'm not selling them on MeFi :p I will however post links to whatever sites that I do sell them on eventually. I'm a little surprised there's so much interest here!
posted by rebent at 9:37 AM on August 2, 2011

One thing, if they've always lived in a non-smoking house make sure you mention that. That's very important to Lego collectors and AFLs.

Looks like you have newer space sets, not classic. Too bad.

As others have said, if you're up for the work involved you might first check out Bricklink to see what some of the minifigs and other special pieces can fetch on their own and then sell the rest in bulk.
posted by bondcliff at 10:18 AM on August 2, 2011

I bought a 30-gallon tub of Lego from a guy on CraigsList. It had other stuff mixed in (including Mega Blocks, ugh) that I sorted out, so a buck a pound was fair. Your stuff is in better condition, so you could get more for it.

Bulk selling it saves you time but cuts your profit. The buyer will likely wash it all anyway (or was that only me? Ah, Simple Green, your scent now makes me think of Lego!) so think about the value of the time you would spend sorting it.

Yes, I am another MeFite who would like your collection!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:29 AM on August 2, 2011

It all depends on 1) how much time you have, and 2) how much your time is worth to you, and 3) how much you want to get.

If you go to sell individual pieces on Bricklink, make sure you aren't ruining any sets that could also go for a significant amount if complete.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM on August 2, 2011

Ooohhhh....I want minifigs!!!

My nephews and I love playing with the minifigs (they have lots building sets as well, but I just collect the minifigs and we all play together when they visit). I don't know anything about "vintage" Lego, but selling a bucket of minifigs and accessories is something I would purchase separately from bricks. So consider separating them out if they don't belong to a set.
posted by MultiFaceted at 1:48 PM on August 2, 2011

So just to clarify, I really don't want to cross into the grey area of selling on mefi. As much as I am glad to see them, please don't post any more "I want to buy these" comments. If you really must you may memail me about them, but what I'm really looking for is advice on how to sell them online, via amazon, bricklink, etc, and also advice about selling to resellers.

One reseller offered me $200 + shipping sight unseen. Is this typical? I expected that they would want to get more descriptions and better pictures?
posted by rebent at 2:03 PM on August 2, 2011

If I were a buyer, I would appreciate being able to bid on or buy separate lots:

- minifigs (all of them together)
- printed bricks (all of them together)
- big base plates
- other unusual pieces
- common or garden bricks by the pound

My son once sold a set on eBay and got a surprisingly large amount of money for it. It was in mint condition, in an unsealed box, with some unusual pieces.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:43 PM on August 2, 2011

God.... this is really hard.... I don't know if I can actually get rid of this stuff. It's 40 lbs of my happy childhood in exchange for... eating out for a month. Thanks for all the advice everyone. I hope I can listen to it.
posted by rebent at 9:27 PM on August 5, 2011

I usually encourage people to purge, purge, purge, to get rid of everything they haven't worn / used / played with recently. But when it comes to Lego... tossing it all into a few plastic bins in the garage could make sense if you have the storage space.

But if you don't have the room or just need to move on with your life, ignore me and send my kids the minifigs and big base plates and just sell it all. They're not going to stop making Lego any time soon. You can always buy more if you get back into it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:09 AM on August 6, 2011

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