I was thinking about the best place to sell LEGO pieces and decided to do some research.
If you (or your kids) are a fan of LEGO then you quickly accumulate sets. And while building sets are fun, they do take up a lot of room. You eventually get to the point that you need to clear them out to make room for more sets. While you could donate them to a local charity such as Goodwill, you can decide to sell your LEGO sets and minifigures. I did some research to figure out what is the best way to sell your LEGO bricks and minifigures. There are a variety of ways to do this including eBay and Bricklink. Where you can sell complete sets, bundles of bricks or individual minifigures. And don’t forget that you can leverage offline marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
Decide What You Want To Sell
My best advice for selling LEGO is to start by deciding what you want to sell.
This is because LEGO sets are not just the bricks. If you spend 30 minutes investigating the Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) community you discover that the world can be divided into 3 distinct groups.
The first group is the general fan. This is where I fall. We are in essence, big kids. We simply enjoy building LEGO for the sake of building LEGO. When we buy on the second-hand market, it’s because there’s a discontinued set that we want to build.
Perhaps it’s a classic series that we remember from childhood such as classic space.
Or it’s a set that came out during our personal dark ages.
The next type of AFOL fan you are selling to is the person who specializes in My Original Creations (MOC). These are the LEGO artisans. They are the ones who sit down and build amazing structures from LEGO that you cannot quite believe are real.
And they are always looking for more bricks.
The final type is the LEGO collectors. These are the people who collect LEGO just like any other art collector. And there is a variety of collectors.
Some collectors want to collect sets in unopened boxes. Meanwhile many collect just the minifigures. Because you can collect hundreds and display them even in an apartment. We wrote a post on how display your minifigures.
But collectors also further niche down. Some collectors just collect the opened boxes. And others enjoy collecting the instruction books.
Since we assume you are trying sell sets that you have already built, then you will not be positioning your sets to the collectors who specialize in unopened boxes.
While unopened boxes command the highest dollar value, this doesn’t mean you cannot make money for your LEGO collection.
Five proven ways to sell your LEGO sets are:
- In bulk - no need to separate. Just put all of them in a box. And put it up for sale
- As an unbuilt set - you are selling the parts to be built by the buyer
- Bricks without minifigures - you can sell just the bricks
- Minifigures without the bricks - you can flip the minifigures independently
- Accessories or special parts - if the figures have accessories then you can sell them independently. Or if there are unique bricks then you can sell them separately as well
There is no right or wrong way to sell your LEGO bricks and minifigures. Each option has its pros and cons.
For example selling in bulk is the easiest but will net you the least amount of money. Meanwhile selling individual figures, accessories and bricks has the highest profit potential but requires hours of work.
Don't Forget Offline
An often overlooked way to sell your LEGO is to use offline methods.
Rather we should say combine selling offline with online.
Here are the 3 ways to do this:
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
You can list your items on places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
These are free and simple to do.
The benefit of selling via these sites is that you don’t have to deal with shipping.
But the downside is that you do have to meet strangers face to face. While it’s rare to have a bad thing to happen, it is a risk you need to consider before meeting a stranger. And exchanging money.
At the very least, agree to meet in a public place during busy hours. And many police stations will let you perform face to face transactions in their parking lots. It would take a really tough criminal to rob you in the parking lot of a police station.
Flea Markets and Conventions
Another option is that you could rent space at a flea market or convention to sell your bricks and minifigures.
But you should only do this if you have a very large collection. Or selling LEGO is something you sell in conjunction with other products (such as Star Wars figures or comic books) that you use to cover your costs to attend these shows.
A simple shortcut to selling your collectibles like LEGO is to use a consignment store.
With a consignment store, you effectively are partnering with someone else (the consignment store owner) to sell your sets and minifigures. They may sell in-person as well as online.
They may charge a fee plus commission.
While you will have to pay someone else your cut, it does take all of a headache out shipping and customer service that comes from selling it yourself.
How to prepare to sell your complete sets
If I had to narrow it down to five steps it would be:
Round Up All Of The Bricks And Minifigures And Accessories
Make sure you have everything. This includes all of the bricks, minifigures, accessories, and instructions.
If you are missing anything, this will reduce the amount of money you can ask for your set.
Clean Your Bricks
Make sure that you have cleaned your bricks and minifigures. This may just be a quick dusting or something more. Be careful when cleaning your LEGO pieces if they did get dirty.
You don’t want to harm the bricks.
We wrote a complete guide on how to properly clean your LEGO.
Take Great Photos
The greatest lesson I have learned about selling products online is that great photos are the best investment you can make in selling your products.
You do not need a fancy camera or expensive setup.
I took a great course on Udemy about how to take product photos using just my iPhone.
Though you can also find similar information by searching for “DIY product photography.”
It’s not hard to take good product photos, but it does require patience and time.
If you can also show the LEGO sets on display in your house or being played with by your kids, it will also help. This helps put a frame of reference in the buyer’s mind about how much they will enjoy the product too.
Write A Compelling Description
After you have taken your product photos then you will want to write a compelling description of your product.
At the very least, you want to include the official LEGO model number and title such as “LEGO Creations 31083 Cruising Adventures.” This will help it get found by the people who are looking for that specific model.
Next, write a simple description of what the set is. “This is a 3-1 set that is designed to replicate sailing on an expensive yacht like they do on the TV show ‘Below Deck’. But it can also be transformed into a sailboat and helicopter.”
If you have the room share a personal story about why you enjoyed the set.
“I enjoy creating diorama scenes that I then photograph. I had an idea to recreate my favorite scenes from the Below Deck TV show. If you have kids, they will enjoy pretending to be living the wealthy life on the high seas. Includes 3 minifigures and some clever accessories like a camera and fishing poles.”
Set Your Price
The final step is to set your price. You should research the set online to see what collectors are offering it for and price accordingly.
Older sets will go for more money than newer sets.
Though if you are clearing space to make room for new sets and are just trying to make sure it goes to a good LEGO forever home, you might also be willing to take less money for it.
Just don’t get crazy and think LEGO is worth more than gold.
Don't Melt Your LEGO
In the LEGO Movie the fear of the characters is to be frozen in Kragle. Which was Krazy Glue.
While gluing your LEGO sets is frowned upon, I think there is something worse.
Much, much worse.
And that is to bury your LEGO sets into a box and forgotten in the garage or attic.
Because LEGO is designed to be the ultimate toy for kids. While adults enjoy them as collectors and builders, they are meant for kids.
Thus if you are tired of having your LEGO around or simply need to make room for more, make sure that you at least donate your LEGO bricks.
But as you read earlier in this article, there are many simple ways to sell your LEGO sets and minifigures.
LEGO has been a popular toy for over 50 years. There are sets that are designed to appeal to everyone.
These include licensed sets such as Star Wars and Harry Potter.
And of course the more advanced Technic sets.
You can even learn how to program robots using special LEGO kits. They are universal with sets designed for boys and girls.
But eventually, we all run out of room to store our LEGO. And then you must decide what to do. While it is easy to donate them to a place like Goodwill or Salvation Army, you can also sell them.
You can sell them online or offline. And you can sell them in bulk or part them out.