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How to get started selling on Bricklink

Hi, Just wondering at what point is it feasible to start selling on Brick Link. Do you need a significant inventory to get started or would it be possible with a small selection of parts? 

Also wonder how you validate when a set is a good deal to part out. For instance I've found a store selling #70735 for £24.99 which seems a good deal. Would this be a good set to part out and if so how many would you need to make parting out viable. Watching videos online always seems to indicate a minimum of 6 sets before parting out.


Also, how does vintage lego (70's, 80's) sell in comparison to newer items.

Any advice appreciated.
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Comments

  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,047

    One thing to keep in mind...

    It's a lot more work than it may seem. While parting out a set can sometimes get you back more than you bought it for in the first place, you also may be sitting on some of the pieces for months, even years. Just be prepared as for every big order from your shop, you could get 10 little ones ordering only one or two small pieces. If you can get a set for $25 and sell it's pieces off for $50, great! But what if it takes a few years to sell it all off? It may be quite some time before you make a profit off of what you initially invested.

    Of course, that could be said of almost anything. There's also a risk to keeping sealed sets as well. Just be aware of how much work actually goes into operating a shop, especially if the plan is to part out sets for inventory.

  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,634
    ^although this is true you can make your life a bit easier if you choose the right set and don't have to part out past minifigures.  In #70735 for example, you will get a decent amount pretty quick for Ronin, and the other three will net you a bit too.  I reckon you could be 75% of investment back within a couple of weeks if you price them right, even with fees.  I must point out however, that the rest of the rex doesn't have anything particularly intersting so you might be sat on the rest of the inventory for a while if you don't have other bricks in your store to make something useful.
    If you have hundreds of grey slopes on the other hand, or over the required number of light stone grey levers, or white window pieces, then you're laughing all the way to the bank.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    Do you already buy on bricklink? If not, I'd start there. You can learn a fair bit about the selling process and how BL works by buying first.
    binaryeyekiki180703
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    I do appreciate the time element and it is a big concern. At the same time it seems that there are a ton of sellers making a reasonable income so they must feel it is worthwhile. 

    My own intention would only be to make a small amount to put back into collecting. But this seems difficult to do if inventory is low anyway. It seems easier to turn a quick return on eBay but the likelihood is only making £5-£10 which is not even close to the 2.5 times I think Brink Link sellers aim for.

    Also, it seems much harder to come by a good deal in the UK compared to US on new sets so maybe the better way in UK is on buying used parts, but that will involve a lot of sorting and cleaning I imagine.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,634
    there are a ton of sellers making a reasonable income so they must feel it is worthwhile.
    Where is your source on that information? Or maybe, what do you mean by reasonable income?
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    MattsWhat said:
    ^although this is true you can make your life a bit easier if you choose the right set and don't have to part out past minifigures.  In #70735 for example, you will get a decent amount pretty quick for Ronin, and the other three will net you a bit too.  I reckon you could be 75% of investment back within a couple of weeks if you price them right, even with fees.  
    That's kind of what I figured. The minifies could be a quick return but what separates Brick Link from eBay in that regard? Is it just a case of higher fees on eBay?

    This brings me back to the fact that limited inventory would have little appeal to a buyer. Do Brick Link buyers typically buy small quantities of parts?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    I doubt most sellers aim for 2.5x when parting out sets. Average prices for the sum of parts in a set tend to be about 1.5-2x RRP (very rough rule of thumb). But bear in mind many parts will not sell for ages, especially if you have only a small store. Unless you are very competitive on pricing and work for essentially nothing.

    Unless you have access to good quality used stuff, I wouldn't bother buying used lego to sell part by part.

    Minifigs are a great seller on BL, I regularly get people placing small orders for just a couple of figs or figure parts.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    CCC said:
    Do you already buy on bricklink? If not, I'd start there. You can learn a fair bit about the selling process and how BL works by buying first.
    I'm a total newby to be honest. I guess I'm trying to run before I can walk :) I guess I'm just trying to assess the viability and given that I just saw what I thought was a good deal it seemed a good opportunity to get started.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    MattsWhat said:
    there are a ton of sellers making a reasonable income so they must feel it is worthwhile.
    Where is your source on that information? Or maybe, what do you mean by reasonable income?
    I guess I'm making an assumption based on the vast number of sellers on Brick Link and of course based on numerous youtube videos. I 'assume' they would;t be selling if its not worthwhile.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403

    CCC said:
    I doubt most sellers aim for 2.5x when parting out sets. Average prices for the sum of parts in a set tend to be about 1.5-2x RRP (very rough rule of thumb). But bear in mind many parts will not sell for ages, especially if you have only a small store. Unless you are very competitive on pricing and work for essentially nothing.

    Unless you have access to good quality used stuff, I wouldn't bother buying used lego to sell part by part.

    Minifigs are a great seller on BL, I regularly get people placing small orders for just a couple of figs or figure parts.
    I was taking the 2.5x based on information in "Insider secrets to funding your LEGO hobby" and found in a couple of youtube videos. 

    So as a seller is it rude to ask if you find selling on Brick Link a worthwhile return / worth the hassle? 
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    The difference between ebay and Bricklink, other than about 7% higher fees for ebay, is that Bricklink is a passive system where you do not have to relist your items or have a clock winding down.

    Also, the customer demographic is larger geologically as I had big sales to Russia and China/Hong Kong, where you wouldn't get that reach with ebay since it's localized.

    Downside to Bricklink is lacking a function of auction, which guarantees you a quick offload of inventory, irregardless of profit loss that is. Plus the volume of views in a small window of time, say 1 week or 1 month (with relistings), is heavily in favor of ebay.
    All_That_Rockskiki180703Adzbadboy
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,720
    edited January 2016
    Hi, Just wondering at what point is it feasible to start selling on Brick Link. Do you need a significant inventory to get started or would it be possible with a small selection of parts? 

    Also wonder how you validate when a set is a good deal to part out. For instance I've found a store selling #70735 for £24.99 which seems a good deal. Would this be a good set to part out and if so how many would you need to make parting out viable. Watching videos online always seems to indicate a minimum of 6 sets before parting out.


    Also, how does vintage lego (70's, 80's) sell in comparison to newer items.

    Any advice appreciated.
    It's a lot of work. You better love sorting, organizing, pulling parts, and repeating that process over and over. As a big buyer on Bricklink, I see a lot of sellers parting out new sets, which makes listing a breeze. But what I really, really need, are more sellers posting specialty vintage parts from the 70s-00s. I think there is opportunity to make more with less effort on that stuff.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    prevere said:
    It's a lot of work. You better love sorting, organizing, pulling parts, and repeating that process over and over. As a big buyer on Bricklink, I see a lot of sellers parting out new sets, which makes listing a breeze. But what I really, really need, are more sellers posting specialty vintage parts from the 70s-00s. I think there is opportunity to make more with less effort on that stuff.
    Thats interesting because my perception has been that the vintage stuff isn't that desirable. Plus there is the issue of condition.

    Possibly more vintage than you intended, but I have some plates for instance from 1958 I believe but they are quite discoloured and have little clutch power now. So presume they have little if any real saleability.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,047

    ^ They may have little usability. But that doesn't mean a collector doesn't want them.

    I, for instance, have an obsession with classic space minifigs with worn torsos. Sounds odd, but I'm working on a layout that features spacemen that don't look like this is there first day on the job. They have been on this moon for quite some time and their uniforms have the weathered look to show for it.

    What's one man's trash is another man's treasure.

    (Damn do I wish my neighbor would throw out some LEGO!)

    kiki180703Dedgeckopreverealexwiltecjamkbenjes
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403

    ^ They may have little usability. But that doesn't mean a collector doesn't want them.

    I, for instance, have an obsession with classic space minifigs with worn torsos. Sounds odd, but I'm working on a layout that features spacemen that don't look like this is there first day on the job. They have been on this moon for quite some time and their uniforms have the weathered look to show for it.

    I have some just like that but don't plan on parting with them. I kinda like that they are worn too :)
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,047
    MattsWhat said:
    there are a ton of sellers making a reasonable income so they must feel it is worthwhile.
    Where is your source on that information? Or maybe, what do you mean by reasonable income?
    I guess I'm making an assumption based on the vast number of sellers on Brick Link and of course based on numerous youtube videos. I 'assume' they would;t be selling if its not worthwhile.


    That's a pretty big assumption. There are also a vast number of "writers," but few making a good living off of it.

    That's not to discourage you in anyway, I just wouldn't go into it thinking success is a no brainer because of the number of sellers there are. The sellers that are successful are very organized and put in a lot of hard work. There's no denying there are the smaller sellers that do well due to planning, rare/desirable pieces or minifigs, or sometimes just luck. But it's just a caution to basically say determine what type of seller you want to be -- a casual one or one running a true business.

    Having a good plan with a set you can get multiples of at a discount that has desirable minifigs in like you mentioned is a good start. Just think of how far you're willing to go.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047

    CCC said:
    I doubt most sellers aim for 2.5x when parting out sets. Average prices for the sum of parts in a set tend to be about 1.5-2x RRP (very rough rule of thumb). But bear in mind many parts will not sell for ages, especially if you have only a small store. Unless you are very competitive on pricing and work for essentially nothing.

    Unless you have access to good quality used stuff, I wouldn't bother buying used lego to sell part by part.

    Minifigs are a great seller on BL, I regularly get people placing small orders for just a couple of figs or figure parts.
    I was taking the 2.5x based on information in "Insider secrets to funding your LEGO hobby" and found in a couple of youtube videos. 

    So as a seller is it rude to ask if you find selling on Brick Link a worthwhile return / worth the hassle? 
    My comment about 2.5x refers to small sellers. Larger sellers can sell above average, as they have the breadth of stock as their USP. Some people will pay more (including postage) to get what they want from one store rather than buying from two or three.

    I find it useful to have a store for two main reasons:

    1) Selling sets that I find for a good price (often set buyers only want one set, some inventory breadth doesn't matter too much, so small sellers can compete with bigger sellers here). This can be fast, or may take a couple of years, depending on how you price.

    2) Parting out incomplete sets where I have bought them for something I wanted (often minifigs or specific parts, or the set but didn't want the minifigs, etc). I tend not to worry about profit here, the goal is shifting stuff I don't want rather than profit. I usually list at average minus 20% or so, and reduce prices after a month or however fast I want the space back.

    (1) is more business like and (2) is more hobby like and there are some cases in between although I rarely buy sets to part out unless there is something of interest to me. You will always have some parts left after parting out that won't sell on BL. I find it is not worth reducing them below about 50% average. If I have one of a cheap part left I tend to bung it in an 'eBay box', it is simply not worth the picking for a penny. If I have 50 of the same penny part when parting out (often happens if you purchase 10 of a set) I'll bag them and only sell them as a lot of 50 as that cuts down picking time. Some buyers may not like it, but they can purchase elsewhere if that is the case.

    eBay charges higher fees but sometimes it is worth selling more valuable parts there. For example, I find minifigs can go for 30-40% higher on eBay than BL.
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 601

    I started my own store last year as a hobby and totally agree with the above.  It takes up a lot of time, but I've really enjoyed it.  A few pointers that may be of help:

    • Get organised and part out everything (buying zip-lock bags in bulk is highly recommended!)
    • Buy in price is critical - Research the 'part out value' to ensure that it's viable
      Turnover of inventory - Check the volume/average selling price of minifigures etc
    • Buy sets in multiples - Otherwise you'll end up with lots of parts, but low volumes of each type
    • Know your market  - I'd advise that you should only buy sets/themes that you know about (e.g. what will sell!)
    All_That_Rockskiki180703raygunnAdzbadboy
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047

    CCC said:
    I doubt most sellers aim for 2.5x when parting out sets. Average prices for the sum of parts in a set tend to be about 1.5-2x RRP (very rough rule of thumb). But bear in mind many parts will not sell for ages, especially if you have only a small store. Unless you are very competitive on pricing and work for essentially nothing.

    Unless you have access to good quality used stuff, I wouldn't bother buying used lego to sell part by part.

    Minifigs are a great seller on BL, I regularly get people placing small orders for just a couple of figs or figure parts.
    I was taking the 2.5x based on information in "Insider secrets to funding your LEGO hobby" and found in a couple of youtube videos. 

    So as a seller is it rude to ask if you find selling on Brick Link a worthwhile return / worth the hassle? 
    My comment about 2.5x refers to small sellers. Larger sellers can sell above average, as they have the breadth of stock as their USP. Some people will pay more (including postage) to get what they want from one store rather than buying from two or three.

    I find it useful to have a store for two main reasons:

    1) Selling sets that I find for a good price (often set buyers only want one set, some inventory breadth doesn't matter too much, so small sellers can compete with bigger sellers here). This can be fast, or may take a couple of years, depending on how you price.

    2) Parting out incomplete sets where I have bought them for something I wanted (often minifigs or specific parts, or the set but didn't want the minifigs, etc). I tend not to worry about profit here, the goal is shifting stuff I don't want rather than profit. I usually list at average minus 20% or so, and reduce prices after a month or however fast I want the space back.

    So while I find it useful to have a store, profit isn't the only reason.

    (1) is more business like and (2) is more hobby like and there are some cases in between although I rarely buy sets to part out unless there is something of interest to me. You will always have some parts left after parting out that won't sell on BL. I find it is not worth reducing them below about 50% average. If I have one of a cheap part left I tend to bung it in an 'eBay box', it is simply not worth the picking for a penny. If I have 50 of the same penny part when parting out (often happens if you purchase 10 of a set) I'll bag them and only sell them as a lot of 50 as that cuts down picking time. Some buyers may not like it, but they can purchase elsewhere if that is the case. When selling small time like this, I find it ineffective to actually part out and store the parts sorted and separated. I prefer to keep the set together and pick from the set as needed. But beware, this does not scale well!

    eBay charges higher fees but sometimes it is worth selling more valuable parts there. For example, I find minifigs can go for 30-40% higher on eBay than BL
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403

    But it's just a caution to basically say determine what type of seller you want to be -- a casual one or one running a true business.

    Having a good plan with a set you can get multiples of at a discount that has desirable minifigs in like you mentioned is a good start. Just think of how far you're willing to go.

    Definitely a casual seller just aiming to make a modest return to reinvest in the hobby (as I'm sure the vast majority of sellers are doing). 

    There's been lots of great advice on offer and I'm just trying to decide to be cautious or jump right in with this set as a test bed.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403


    2) Parting out incomplete sets where I have bought them for something I wanted (often minifigs or specific parts, or the set but didn't want the minifigs, etc). I tend not to worry about profit here, the goal is shifting stuff I don't want rather than profit. I usually list at average minus 20% or so, and reduce prices after a month or however fast I want the space back.


    I could definitely see me doing this as I need to grow my own brick collection for my own use.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    @lobot all very good points. I think it is the buying multiple sets that is the hardest part for the novice seller. 
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 537
    Was it on brickset that they posted about this eBook?
    It's a book that is a how to guide on how to open a bricklink store. I haven't personally read it and all the reviews seem suspiciously optimistic... But may be worth a read

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B017DYMPM6/ref=pd_aw_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51v+NaV6IeL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3,TopRight,0,-44_AC_UL100_SR100,100_&refRID=1852GTK56X54X4KTM7FK

    P.s. remember to click through bricksets affiliate links if you do buy it. 

  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 1,774
    @Yodalicious  You don't know and I couldn't tell you how many classic space minifigure torsos I have thrown out because they weren't in perfect condition not to mention worn. 
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    @CupIsHalfEmpty I did actually buy that and have begun reading but thought I would canvas some opinion on the forum also. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    It is very important to remember that one style does not fit all when it comes to selling. Aside from basic customer service, run your store as it suits you. You will only find this out by doing.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 3,962

    ^ They may have little usability. But that doesn't mean a collector doesn't want them.

    I, for instance, have an obsession with classic space minifigs with worn torsos. Sounds odd, but I'm working on a layout that features spacemen that don't look like this is there first day on the job. They have been on this moon for quite some time and their uniforms have the weathered look to show for it.

    What's one man's trash is another man's treasure.

    (Damn do I wish my neighbor would throw out some LEGO!)

    @Yodalicious - this made me laugh because I've been buying fabuland figures listed as worn out for making them look like zombie characters, drooping heads and worn out eyes really make them look the part ;-)
    kiki180703chuckp
  • LegoTTLegoTT Member Posts: 354
    Very interesting thread- spurred me to think about the purpose of a store.  To many, it may be about turning a profit. To others, it may be about turning the bits and pieces left over from sets long-forgotten into a few nickels and dimes. 

    I always try to buy 'new' from BrickLink, but I do wonder about what percentage of buyers buy used pieces over new to save here and there. 

    Fascinating topic to me!
    All_That_Rockskiki180703
  • BrickCreatorBrickCreator Cheesehead, Born and BredMember Posts: 133
    If you are just a casual seller, my advice would be to focus on minifigures. Like other people have mentioned, high items coupled with high lots wouldn't work on a small scale. I have been selling for a couple years and quickly learned the ins and outs. Sure I sell pieces, but very rarely on their own. In almost every order I receive, I can immediately tell which item was the first item added to the cart that initiated the purchase. This is usually a newly listed minifig or exclusive polybag. If your prices are low enough, your pieces will sell, but you might not make a profit. I have had over 40 orders so far and only 1 or 2 of them has been just pieces. If you are serious about bringing in extra cash, part out in multiples, but if not, look for sets on sale and list the minifigs immediately (usually super hero sets). When I started, I would try and buy a set for a price where I could sell the minfigs and recoup the cost of the entire set. That way, I was left with a bunch of pieces and had already recouped my investment. Do this long enough and you will soon have a size able store. I hope this helps!
    kiki180703
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    Thanks for the input @BrickCreator . There's lots of useful comments and advise coming my way. I think I need to sit back and evaluate what the real purpose of a store is for me and what I want to gain from it. 

    It certainly sounds like the minifigures are a quick return (something I think I have identified with my example #70735 set). In this example I would think I could recoup upto 50% of the cost very quickly for the minifigs alone. The return of the other 50% sounds like it would be slow going.

    On the topic of minifigs, would you always recommend selling complete or breaking these into component minifig parts?

    As @LegoTT says above, this is a fascinating topic.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 994
    i startet listing my 90ies childhood sets and some gen1 bionicle in september.
    it took a while to start off, but when it hits it hits. the first 2 months i sold nothing but in december sales started to kick in. and the last week (1st january and on) was the best so far (7 sold sets)
    i did purchase a lot of mixed lots in summer. from then it was sorting sorting sorting (and still is!!). but from time to time i find things in the mixed lots i really dont need/like/want. so not to collect dust and use my precious space i just put them on bricklink.
    i try to be the cheapest in the world with sets i really dont want anymore.

    people will start ordering. just have a look at the pricechecker before listing something. so you can be serious about pricing and demand.

    i really would love to put individual bricks into my stores inventory. but i am lazy. so so lazy. i d rather put a set together and sell this as one. i might be missing out on funds in regards to selling bricks individually but i also have more time for sorting and building...
    i am afraid putting individual bricks into the store eats away all my precious time!
    kiki180703
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 494
    I have been selling for a couple years and quickly learned the ins and outs. Sure I sell pieces, but very rarely on their own. In almost every order I receive, I can immediately tell which item was the first item added to the cart that initiated the purchase. This is usually a newly listed minifig or exclusive polybag. If your prices are low enough, your pieces will sell, but you might not make a profit. I have had over 40 orders so far and only 1 or 2 of them has been just pieces.

    That's completely the opposite of my experience. I'm coming up to 450 orders on my store and only about 5% have been for figures and sets alone. I have no idea if I'm a typical example though and I completely agree with your "part out in multiples" suggestion. Parting out can take a long time but it's almost as quick to do 10 or 20 of the same set as it is to do 1.

    I once had a Han Solo figure listed that didn't sell for 6 months, so I parted it out and the head alone sold for 90% of what I had the entire figure listed for previously. The guy actually went out of his way to tell me he'd waited ages for someone to sell the head. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason why people buy the way they do, it's just habit. I have a particular part in my store that's readily available in a cheap set for less than I sell the part for. I don't set out to rip people off, I simply list at market value for the part - and I sell bleedin' loads of them. I've even bought some of the set and sent those instead sometimes, when it doesn't affect the postage costs.

    If I could make one suggestion for anyone starting out, it is to invest in storage solutions that will scale with you. Always try and think ahead. For example, when I started I bought some bead trays to store minifig heads. Now I have 100 times more heads and they're stored elsewhere, but I now use those same trays to store the tiles with printed letters on. Having the trays sat there empty when I first got the tiles was a happy accident, but it taught me that any storage solutions I buy should have more than one potential use. I've since up-scaled my storage several times as my store has grown, and I haven't had anything sat empty since those trays were filled.

    My second suggestion would be to buy packaging from a packaging supplier rather than the post office. The pricing is much easier on the profit margin and it's often better quality.
    kiki180703All_That_Rocks
  • RebelegoRebelego Georgia, USAMember Posts: 171
    I haven't read all these posts, but I'll put in my two cents. I started selling on BL in October. I plan on expanding it to where I can make a decent income off of it. Nothing crazy just enough to pay a couple car payments, weekend getaway, or more Lego. It has been a blast so far. Really a lot of fun. I expanded it a lot faster than I thought I would. (Or probably should) I look at it as just another part of the hobby.

    I have seen some people comment that it is just a way to rip people off that are looking for an old set or parts. I look at it as providing a service. How else are you gonna find that early 90s pirate minifig or set? What if you lost a part on a set that has been retired? Where are you going to find all those parts for that awesome MOC you're building? 

    Like I said, it's a lot of fun.  I would recommend that if you don't feel like working on your store, like organizing, parting out, etc. Don't do it. Walk away until tomorrow.  You want to keep it fun for yourself.  If you don't, it becomes work.  Just have fun with it!

    ^^I am all over the place with this, aren't I?^^
    All_That_Rocks
  • LegoTTLegoTT Member Posts: 354
    @rebelego ;

    One question that runs through my mind is how quickly (or slowly) does a new seller 'break even'. If there is an initial investment of X and subsequent periodic investments of Y, at what point do sales catch up?  I'm sure it's quite different for each seller. 
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 645
    This is a great thread, lots of good advice here. I've kicked around the idea of opening a BL store to clear out non-licensed theme sets and parts I've collected over the years. I've read that 50,000 is somewhat the magic number of parts people recommend having when starting out. Any BL sellers have any thoughts on this?
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,047
    LegoTT said:
    Very interesting thread- spurred me to think about the purpose of a store.  To many, it may be about turning a profit. To others, it may be about turning the bits and pieces left over from sets long-forgotten into a few nickels and dimes. 

    I always try to buy 'new' from BrickLink, but I do wonder about what percentage of buyers buy used pieces over new to save here and there. 

    Fascinating topic to me!


    I was very similar in always buying new pieces and only new sets. With one order though, I'm must've been keeping my eye on price over condition because I ended up ordering quite a few used pieces without even realizing it. They were all in great condition and opened me up to going used.

    Similar with sets. I bought my first few used sets a few months ago and all came in great condition. I know this isn't always the case, but I was very clear with the sellers what I was looking for and they were very clear with the condition of the sets with me. All went well and I'm happy because I've said quite a bit. I have two in production sets, exclusive sets coming to me as we speak that I saved about 25% on. Both were built once and only displayed. Fine with me.

  • RebelegoRebelego Georgia, USAMember Posts: 171
    @LegoTT , I hate this answer, but it all depends on everything.  Depends on how much you spend, how much it sells for, what you bought (some things sell fast, some don't). Too many variables. So, yes, very different for every seller.

    When I started, I went and bought about $200 in sets to part out. I knew I wouldn't make the $200 back fast. So, I listed some of my personal sets and minifigs I didn't really want.  They were Architecture, Star Wars: Slave-1, Tie Fighter, X-Wing (2012 Versions, I believe).  Sold all SW sets within a week and made all my Money back plus some.  I just wanted to replace the money I "invested". I took the "plus some" and bought more sets. Repeat. Repeat. I got my inventory up to around 26,000 items and now I don't buy as much inventory anymore. I like the size of my store, average about 28-29 orders/ month. So I'm happy with it.  

    The same plan may not work for other people, but it worked for me. Maybe someone just wants to part out a bunch of sets and not care how long it takes.  

    To sum it up: Different strokes, for different folks!

    Hope that answers your question. :)
    All_That_Rockskiki180703chuckp
  • goshe7goshe7 Columbus, Ohio, USAMember Posts: 504
    chuckp said:
    This is a great thread, lots of good advice here. I've kicked around the idea of opening a BL store to clear out non-licensed theme sets and parts I've collected over the years. I've read that 50,000 is somewhat the magic number of parts people recommend having when starting out. Any BL sellers have any thoughts on this?

    You can start with any quantity.  Roughly speaking 5,000 parts is the minimum to start getting a trickle of orders.  I've been satisfied with my business volume (time I need to spend vs. money I make) with an inventory of 30,000 to 60,000 parts.

    chuckp
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,169
    When I first started, the orders I got were mostly centered around additions of new minifigs from parting out sets, but now that I have a part inventory of ~250k parts I'm probably around 8 or 9 out of 10 my orders are purely parts.  Minifigs still sell well but the part out values for sets with good figs these days are lower than they were say 2 years ago.  They release good figs in sets with crappy parts and are like $50 for 395 parts.  So while you sell the figs right away for a decent portion of the value of the set, the remaining parts may never sell to get you above what you paid.

    All_That_Rockskiki180703chuckp
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 601
    chuckp said:
    This is a great thread, lots of good advice here. I've kicked around the idea of opening a BL store to clear out non-licensed theme sets and parts I've collected over the years. I've read that 50,000 is somewhat the magic number of parts people recommend having when starting out. Any BL sellers have any thoughts on this?

    I started with quite a small inventory last year, but I've re-invested any income back into new stock and gradually added to it, and reached around 30,000 parts. 

    I'm hoping that I can expand at a similar speed this year, and I'm aiming for 50,000 which I think is the maximum I can sensibly manage with a full-time job to work around.  However, the main problem I've had recently is being able to source stock at sufficient discounts to make it worthwhile.

    I  recommend that anyone considering this takes their time before diving in too deep; it will give you a chance to get used to parting out sets, sorting, picking orders, and a little more sorting....! 

    chuckp
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    Over Christmas I had a clear out, emptied my store. Yesterday I deleted it all and listed some new parts and minifigs. My first order came in after listing 3 minifigs and about 20 parts. If you have the right parts at the right price, they sell.

    There is no magic number. You can have a few minifigs and make a sale, or large inventory of 10000s of parts that few people want (at the price) and make no sales. It is not about how much you have, but what you have. If you have parts that few other people have, you'll make sales.
    natro220kiki180703chuckp
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 797
    I had also considered opening a store. It does seem like a lot more time and effort than I have to give to the hobby. I'm limited on just sorting/building my own collection, so to start sorting and packaging for other people in my limited spare time would suck all of the fun from the hobby. So keep that in mind. You will have to devote time to getting stuff ready to get sent out, time that may be better spent elsewhere (depending on your home/work life).
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 403
    Lobot said:
     However, the main problem I've had recently is being able to source stock at sufficient discounts to make it worthwhile. 
    This is exactly the problem I anticipate in the UK, and partly why I am considering now, because I have found what I feel is a good deal. Though I don;t expect to be able to repeat it too often.


  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 963
    I'm seeing quite a lot of BL sellers here! Would anyone want to post a link to their store here? I'm going to make some orders this year for my Taj and was looking to see where I could go look first ;)
  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 963
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    Lobot said:
     However, the main problem I've had recently is being able to source stock at sufficient discounts to make it worthwhile. 
    This is exactly the problem I anticipate in the UK, and partly why I am considering now, because I have found what I feel is a good deal. Though I don;t expect to be able to repeat it too often.


    When you see a deal you will often have to jump quickly. Even quicker if it is very good.
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 994
    Sethro3 said:
    I had also considered opening a store. It does seem like a lot more time and effort than I have to give to the hobby. I'm limited on just sorting/building my own collection, so to start sorting and packaging for other people in my limited spare time would suck all of the fun from the hobby. So keep that in mind. You will have to devote time to getting stuff ready to get sent out, time that may be better spent elsewhere (depending on your home/work life).
    yea.  dont "over-inventory" your store. only put that muhc into it you think u can handle!

    i got 3 orders de last days. wanted to build pet shop but had to delay it ...
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