While you may think Lego is only a kids’ toy, it can be much more than that.
A growing number of people buy Lego with the hope that its value increases over time. In other words, these people see buying Lego an investment, similar to buying stocks & shares.
In this article, we’re going to explain how it’s possible to make money from Lego. Keep on reading for all the details, or click on a link to jump straight to a specific section…
If you have a child, you’ll probably know that Lego regularly launches special sets alongside big movies or TV shows. You may have seen the plastic bricks themed with Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And that’s in addition to the regular ones, like police stations, castles or haunted houses. There are also limited edition ‘Creator’ and ‘Insect’ sets which are also popular right now.
It’s also worth knowing that the Lego brand now also extends to video games and cartoons – it’s a huge business.
Buying and selling Lego could turn into a good money-making opportunity and it’s all about the life cycle of Lego sets. The company produces and sells sets for a couple of years, after which they retire and won’t be sold in traditional outlets anymore. Those who miss the boat and are desperate for a discontinued set will then need to look for the special editions on eBay or Amazon. So, if you choose to invest in Lego, this is your chance to command high prices for those unique sets that can no longer be bought directly from Lego.
Do your research first. Like with any other investment, to buy and sell Lego for a profit, you’ll need to know your market. Certain genres and sets do better than others. The trick is that nobody really knows if – or when – the brand might discontinue a special edition. This means there’s no way of telling whether a certain set could be sold later at a higher price.
To choose wisely, check out some of the specialist sites dedicated to buying and selling Lego. For example, the online price and investing guide Brickpicker offers plenty of analysis on price trends. This could help you make more informed Lego purchases.
Bear in mind, though, that because Lego is under no obligation to discontinue their sets, there’s never any guarantee that what you buy will be a good investment.
Brick for brick, the sets linked to films or cartoons tend to be more expensive. Make sure you calculate the price per brick of the sets on offer, then wait to buy it when it’s on sale or a special offer. For instance, the resale value of the Star Wars sets has done well in the past, but previous success is not necessarily an indicator that these’ll be good buys for the future.
It’s crucial that you keep your Lego in pristine condition. This means the box must be unopened and stored correctly – away from anyone who might be tempted to open it and play with its contents.
Keeping your box out of direct sunlight is also a must, as a faded set will be less desirable than a set in pristine nick.
Some of the more serious investors in the US lease climate-controlled facilities to keep their Lego in optimum conditions. That’s not to say you should too. Those tend to be the people investing on a bigger scale, for instance, buying 3,000 boxed sets!
It depends. As previously explained, it can be tricky to predict which Lego sets will make a good investment. There’re US-based investors who claim to make a 10-15% return on their buys. But bear in mind, some think that this is a ‘bubble’ and the prices will soon crash. Again, just like with any investment, you should understand the risks before you spend your cash.
You could also make money selling old Lego in bulk. MusicMagpie and Zapper, for instance, will buy the bricks off you. Alternatively, you could try your luck on eBay. Some serious collectors often need a spare piece for their set which might just be hiding in your pile of Lego.
If you’re on the fence about whether to invest in Lego, then you might be swayed after reading about Josh Mangleson, a Lego collector from Brisbane, Australia.
Mangleson says he first started buying Lego as a child, before noticing how the value of his sets had skyrocketed over time.
“In high school before I had my first job I’d try and find ways of making money to buy new LEGO sets. I’d look at buying them online, and I started to see the values on some of my older sets and could hardly believe my eyes. So I started to see my own LEGO collection as a bit of an investment”
Mangleson explained how he sold a total of 250 sets, netting him a $20,000 (£10,600) profit, which he has since used to put down a deposit on a house.
Meanwhile, US-based collector, Lucas Lettrick, says he makes a typical 150-250% return when buying a selling Lego sets. Lettrick says he’s spent a cool $65,000 (£53,000) buying Lego in a recent video interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Yet despite his steep investment, Lettrick recently explained on his YouTube channel, that you don’t need to lots of capital to start out.
“The better strategy I would say, especially if you’re starting out and is the way I started out, is putting smaller amount of money into purchases and then building your way up.
“Start small with a small amount of cash, buy really good purchases that are on really great discounts that you can really maximise what you’re selling them at and how much money your’e getting back out of them and then slowly, as you build up that pot of Lego money, you can start buying bigger sets.”
- Be patient. It’s unlikely that you’ll instantly make big bucks buying and selling Lego. The profit arises from making a smart purchase, sitting on it for a while and waiting for the price to rise. Like any commodity, the price may fall before it rises. Or it may never rise.
- If you intend to sell your Lego on eBay, read our How to Make Money on eBay article.
- Learn as much as you can about the market. Use Brickpicker to gather information and study the price research.
- When you decide to buy, look out for deals and check out various retailers. If you buy your set at a low price, there’s more potential for profit later on when (or if) the set has been retired by Lego.
- There’s also a market for mini figures. It’s definitely worth the investment as they may become collectible later on.
- If you do decide to invest in Lego, then make sure you do so as part of a diversified portfolio. And if you can, you may wish to buy more than one type of set. For example, stick solely to Star Wars sets and you could be in trouble if the public’s interest in the franchise fades in future.