How to Sell Legos Online for Cash
How to Start Your Lego Business
The best way to start your business is to go to a site called Bricklink, which is an online mega-store for used Lego sets and bricks, basically an eBay for all things Lego. If you have new, unopened sets, you can also sell on Amazon and get some good prices, but be sure to check out the fees Amazon charges first.
Sellers at Bricklink can set up a store and buyers can either browse for a specific product or browse stores. As a seller, you can use the prices at other stores to help you decide what to charge for your stock. To set up your business:
- Decide on a name and create a store (see the video for instructions).
- Attach your store to an email and PayPal account (that is where an adult over 18 has to be involved).
- Inventory what you want to sell.
- Add your items to your storefront and price them.
- Luckily, pictures of the item are easy to add from Bricklink, or you can take your own photos of built sets.
- Get some packing materials for shipping (we ordered flat rate priority and priority envelopes for free from USPS).
- Open up your store and wait for sales or emails from customers.
- Be ready to mail out at any time and be sure to check the email at least daily for questions from buyers.
One thing we found out was that buyers on Bricklink expect to pay for shipping, and the international buyers are not deterred by shipping costs. Moreover, they are also some of the best buyers because some international collectors can’t get Lego sets they want in any other way. So it is a good idea to agree to ship outside the U.S. if you want to get the best prices on your items.
Setting Up Your Store
You need to click on the “Sell” tab at the top of the page. There will be a helpful page in which you can tell what, and in what condition, your sets and parts are. Don’t do that yet. You need to create the store settings. Click on “My Store Settings”. There will be several things for you to fill out on that page.
Fill everything out and then click on the tabs above to set other things. Be to click “Save Settings” at the bottom after you finish each page! You will need to enter an email address and also set up a sellers account at PayPal. That is where a parent needs to help. Bricklink also allows you to take checks, but PayPal is a lot faster and easier for most customers.
Getting Your Legos Ready to Sell
- Choose: Pick the items you want to sell. You can sell indivdual bricks, but sets or minifigures are more popular, make more money and are easier to sell.
- Clean: If they are dirty, clean your sets with a microfiber towel and water. Use mild dish soap if necessary but no harsh chemicals.
- Sort: Make sure you don’t have any junk in your pieces and no "off-brand" bricks.
- Check to See if Set is Complete: If you have any instructions for sets and have all of the pieces, then rebuild the set! If you don’t have instructions, you can find them online at the Lego website under "service" and "building instructions." By rebuilding, you can find out if you have any missing pieces.
- Pack: Check to be sure you have all the pieces and put them all together in a box or Ziploc bags.
- Instructions: If you have the instructions, you should include those too.
- Order Missing Pieces: If you are missing a piece and can't find it, then you can often order it on Bricklink so your set is complete.
Adding Items to Your Store
After you have gotten your Legos ready and set up your store, it is time to fill it! Go back to the "help" page telling you how to put your items in the store, and go through that. Be honest in your description of what your set is like, and you might want to price it down if it is used or in bad condition (If it’s in bad condition, then your price should be pretty low).
Sets or Bricks?
Do I have to sell just sets? No, you can sell anything Lego at Bricklink and lots of people offer individual pieces for sale, which are great for anyone who is missing a piece and will be helpful to you if you have a few pieces missing in your sets.
Tip: If you want to offer individual pieces for sale, you will probably need to divide these up and put them in Ziploc bags, envelopes, or plastic sorting bins to keep them organized. Be sure to label the pieces! Look on Bricklink to see how different pieces are labeled so that your buyers can find the pieces they want.
How to Price Used Lego Sets
Next, check on Bricklink to find out what prices are being asked for the sets you want to sell. Of course, themes like Star Wars and Batman will be worth the most, but many other sets can also bring good prices. You have to have an idea of what the other stores are selling the item for before setting your prices. If you want to sell your items fast, you might want to price them slightly below what the competition is asking.
Adjusting Your Prices
Not getting any orders? Maybe you didn’t check the other prices first and priced it too high, or maybe there isn’t much of a demand for what you’re selling. Just hang in there, and eventually, it will be sold. If you really need to get rid of it, then price it below the competition, which should help. Bricklink lists the lowest cost item first on a search, so this can help your store get traffic too
Adding Pictures of Sets
Do I need to take photos of my sets? No! One of the best features of Bricklink is that you don’t have to take any pictures of your items! The site has pictures of all the sets and pieces pre-loaded and all you have to do is check the box for a picture when you list an item and Bricklink will automatically put the correct picture next to your item. That makes it easy!
How To Get Lego Instructions
While sets that are still in boxes are prime, most buyers don’t expect that. They do like instructions if you still have them. If you don't, let them know that they can find instructions for sets going back to 2002 from Building Instructions from Lego.com, or the free site run by building enthusiasts, Lego Instructions. You can print them out, or just give the buyer directions on how to find them.
You need to get supplies ready for shipping and sending off these sets you have for sale:
- Get standard boxes to ship the sets in from your mail service (USPS for me) and some bubble wrap or some sort of cushioning for the sets, especially if they are being sold for a lot.
- Take sets apart and offer to not include the box to ship more efficiently and lower shipping costs.
- Bricklink lets you print out a receipt for your orders right on the website.
- You might want to send an email to the buyer to let them know when it was shipped and to ask them to give you a good review.
- Include a copy of the instructions with the set or give directions of how they can find instructions online.
- After you ship an item, you can also record the fact that it is shipped on Bricklink so that your buyer knows it is coming.
Maintaining Your Store
As a parent, I liked the fact that I could have the questions asked by buyers filtered over to my email so I didn't always have to check the Bricklink store or else wait for my son to tell me about them. However, on the other hand, because my son could answer questions through Bricklink, I didn't have to be involved in every transaction.
Usually, the question that buyers want to know is the cost of shipping, so it helps if you have already weighed your sets and can use that weight to figure out shipping costs. You can ship either through UPS or USPS and either site lets you ship from home and offers free boxes to ship with. Buyers on Bricklink know they are paying for shipping, the cost is not a problem, but you will need to tell them how much to pay you on PayPal (price of item plus shipping) before you send the item.
Can You Make Money Selling Legos?
My son, Brendan, set up his online Lego business with my help when he was 12. He set up the store and interacted with customers and I handled payments and shipping. In six months, he had sold everything in his store and made $900 from sets that had been purchased for under $200.
Good Beginning Business
While I wondered at the time whether this idea of selling on Bricklink was worth it, I now realize that my son's experience in this business was transformational to his character. He realized that he could do something important and that he was able to run a business. Now my son is 19 and over the last 7 years he has deliberately bought new and used Lego sets with an eye to their resale value. All in all, I am very glad I invested in his "crazy idea."
Are Used Lego Easy to Sell?
Absolutely! Unlike most toys, Lego sets continue to have adult fans, and the adults who collect are serious and will pay good money to get what they want. In fact, used sets tend to become more valuable the older they get, especially if they are complete.
It helps to still have the boxes and instructions but those aren't essential.Unless a set has been unpopular, Lego sets tend to retain their original value and even go up over time. What is important is having all the pieces in the set. Complete sets are worth a lot more than just a bunch of pieces. They are also easier to sell. If you are missing some pieces, you can often find these online at Bricklink.