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Setting up a Bricklink Store

Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
Hi Everyone,

I know that this has been a topic multiple times before but I'm thinking of starting a Bricklink store.

I've been doing my research across multiple websites/platforms etc. to see whether or not it is worthwhile. I am 17 years old (maybe a bit nieve even thinking about this) but I thought (like many people) that this could be a little extra cash to fund my Lego hobby.

I was in Symths Toys Superstores (Equivalent of Toys R Us but in Ireland) last week and they had a huge lego sale. There were great deals on the star wars stuff and I picked up as follows.

75119 Sergeant Jyn Erso for €10 I think
75120 K-2SO for €5
75121 Imperial Death Trooper for €15
75523 Scarif Storm Trooper for €10 I think
75524 Chirrut Imwe for €5
75525 Baze Malbus for €10

These were all great prices as they are usually €25 each.

When I got home I was thinking that buying some more of them would be a good idea to part out and maybe resell.
Now I know that this was a lucky time to find them at that price and they are probaly back up in price already but is it really worth it.

The like of Chirrut Imwe for €5 has I think over 150 pieces so how could you go wrong.

I guess I'm just trying to say, Is the hassle of buying the sets, parting them out and then selling them on for a few cent/euros at a time worth the effort or realistically how large does you inventory have to be or how much should you be aiming to invest at the start to buy inventory.

Thanks
Ayrton1310. 

Comments

  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    Sorry I meant to say K-2SO has over 150 pieces. He actually has 169 parts.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,869
    I am 17 years old
    You have to be old enough to form legally binding contracts to use BL. In many countries that is 18.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,869
    Also, those large figures are rarely RRP. You got good prices, but not excellent by the time you charge the buyer for postage. Plus if you part them out, many of the parts are almost worthless. I wouldn't bother trying to sell them as parts. You only need one part to sell and you cannot sell it as a set any more, and what you have left is close to useless.
    pharmjodMr_Cross
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 5,996
    I agree with @CCC - constraction figures are made up of elements which are in many cases highly specialised and therefore IMHO near to useless for most builders.

    Furthermore, the sets you bought are in many cases currently widely available (e.g. on Amazon) at a big discount so you might have difficulty shifting them whole at a meaningful profit right now; if you're happy to hold on to them for a while (potentially years) then there might be a bit of money to be made from them later, but I can't see them increasing in value much to be honest.
    pharmjodJackad7Mr_Cross
  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    Thanks for the reply CCC, I'm 18 in October so I'll be eligible at that stage, what types of sets/ pieces should I be looking for?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,869
    To put it into some historical perspective, there were similar Super Hero ones in 2012. They can be had (new, sealed) for about £15 each, Batman and Cap America are a bit more ~£25 and Iron Man is now the expensive one at about £40.

    I think they all went for as low as £8-10 on amazon in the sales.

    Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus really seem to be poor sellers on amazon currently. They are permanently discounted.


  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    So probably the likes of Darth Vader and  Kylo Ren would be good ones to pick up?
  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    Sorry drdavewatford, I only saw your recommendation now. Thanks for the advice. So when ye are saying that the buildable figures have potentially useless, what are sets that would have good pieces. Also, I learned that selling minifigs was a good way to start, is this true or are people still just going to buy at shops with large inventories. This leads to another question, whats a good size inventory to start with?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,869
    So when ye are saying that the buildable figures have potentially useless, what are sets that would have good pieces.
    System and technic sets are good to part out. Constraction (large figure) sets are not useless, they are just useless as parts. As sets they are OK.

    Minifigs are good to sell, and you can have a relatively small store and sell OK if you specialise in them as many orders tend to be just a few minifigures (postage is cheap compared to order value). If you want to sell regular parts, be prepared to have a much larger store. Bear in mind that small stores will often have to have lower prices than average to sell.
  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    edited August 3
    Thanks for the advice, so if I were to set up for a larger store, what amount of money realistically would I need to invest. I have over 60,000 in my own collection but just don't want to sell them as yet. So we'll say I'm starting from scratch.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,869
    I cannot say. It varies so much depending on your location, your prices, how many orders per day you want, what the parts are (how much competition), etc.
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 92
    Similar questions to yours @Ayrton1310 are being asked on the BrinkLink thread here
     - see third post down on page 16. Its a good thread with plenty of information worth reading and absorbing.

  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 286
    I had a flicker of an idea to buy multiples from Walmart when I find 60+% off items to sell to feed my habit.  The main issue as others have said is shipping/packaging and ebay/paypal fees eat up your profit.  BUT, if you use a site like Craigslist or even Facebook to make the connections, there could be some money in it.
  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    The biggest problem in Ireland or Europe even is trying to find the good sales. I am subscribed to the Walmart email list (I don't know why, it doesn't even make a difference to me. Lol) but the price drop on lego every so often is insane! Anyone in Ireland knows a good place for sales? Amyths is good but Argos is a rip off!
  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    CORRECTION: Smyths is good but Argos is a rip off the majority of the time.
  • scoiltreasascoiltreasa Ireland Member Posts: 1,295
    @Ayerton there's a lot more than that to keep your eye on. Smyths, Argos, Artnhobby,  Easons,  littlewoodsireland, Tesco, toy master and all the independent toy shops. Easons has 25% off all items this weekend online, if you use the promotional code VOUCHER12, it will take another 12% off.

    One other thing. Your 17, so surely you are either in 5th or 6th year of secondary school? You should probably think forward to if you will be able to maintain the store and all the work that comes with it when entering an academic centric year of Leaving Certificate. Study will dictate Lego (unfortunately!).

    Also do you have any experience selling lego? If you just have a few sets and figures to sell, adverts.ie is good. Your next few years will probably also be financially expensive with college and what not. Can you realistically afford to invest funds in lego to sell then.
    sid3windr
  • DaraghDaragh IrelandMember Posts: 346
    In addition to the very sensible advice from @Scoiltreasa I would add that apart from waiting until you are 18 to open BL account you will need to plan storage, packing materials etc.

    There is no magic number for what inventory you need to start seeing sales, I did not open my store until I have 30,000 parts listed, it depends on what you are stocking and in what quantity. You won't be able to start with a large variety and large quantity so you might consider specialising in one area, minifigs, technic, creator etc etc.  

    As I said in another post, it is not always the sets that are reduced the most that will sell the best when parted out, the constraction sets for example (sorry). Some sellers concentrate on new sets as the come out, list them quickly and sell the minifigures for nearly what they paid for the set, leaving the parts which will sell eventually (if priced right) as the profit.

    Apart from looking at the BL price guide for a particular set when parted out, look at the supply of the parts against sales. You can't do this for every set/part, but it is worth spending some time looking through the individual parts in a set, what's the average price and how many are in stock.

    Quick example a 1 x 2 blue brick, average price guide suggests these sell at a price of 3.4 euro cent each. In the last 6 months 115,000 have sold. There are 830,000 for sale - nearly four years supply -  a small store is unlikely to sell any of these unless you have a large number and a very attractive price. A set with lots of basic parts with similar stats to the blue brick are going to be hard to shift.

    Best of luck whatever you decide.
     
    mak0137
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,681
    I'll also add that you'll soon get sick of spending half an hour picking a parts order worth about €1.40, from which you'll probably be lucky to make €0.50 profit.
  • CommanderJigglypuffCommanderJigglypuff NetherlandsMember Posts: 49
    I have a relative small store, but I mostly sell leftover figures from sets I buy in multiples or duplicates from other sets (I had like 6 Finns at some point). This way you can make some money and still enjoy your hobby. Sometimes figures are worth half of the set and if you buy that set on discount you practicaly get that for free..

    I think buying sets for making profit isn't an optimal way of making money as other, bigger, that have more money to spend shops probably always have parts/sets for cheaper. Parting sets out sounds nice, but rarely ever works for the above reason. 

    And what Paperballpark says is also true; even if you buy sets on discount you it's not like you part them out and sell everything in an instant with max profit. You should always use a realistic minimum order amount so that you don't have to waste time on 50 parts for 2 dollar orders. 

    If I were you I would expand my own collection and sell some duplicates or figs you don't want when you buy sets on discount. They sell better and don't take much of your time. The only problem is (especially in the USA) that there are hundreds of stores who all want to be the cheapest and can be, because they buy like 100 of the same set at a time.
  • Ayrton1310Ayrton1310 IrelandMember Posts: 39
    Thanks everyone for your comments, I appreciate you taking the time to put in your input.

    As far as school and all that goes @scoiltreasa, I have two other brothers who are also thinking about this idea with me so there will always be enough hands ready to sort the Lego! I don't want to be making huge money out of a bricklink store either, it would just be an additional "fun" way to make money and build our collection. 

    I can see where your coming from @Paperballpark but I sort my Lego and search for large quantities of different lots regularly myself anyway so I don't think it would be much of a difference.

    Storage is actually being sorted in the next few days @Daragh. I'll post some pics when I'm done the build of the table, shelves etc. 

    Jackad7catwrangler
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