My Favourite Childhood Toy
Most of us had a favourite childhood toy, for some it might have been GI Joe, for others it may have been Barbie dolls. For me it was LEGO. To this day I can still remember opening Christmas and birthday presents and smiling when I saw the classic red and yellow logo.
Random Facts About LEGO.
- LEGO was founded in 1932 in Billund, Denmark and to this day remains owned by the same family.
- The iconic LEGO brick was not developed until 1958, the same design is now copied by multiple companies but never to the same high quality.
- The toy has been named the toy of the century by various different publications.
- The company now have movies featuring their products, own a stake in Legoland theme parks and also part own a wind farm.
- The LEGO group is the largest tyre manufacturer in the world.
How I Got Started
As a child I probably played with LEGO from the age of three until I was around 10 or 11. I then didn’t touch any LEGO for a significant number of years. In the world of LEGO this is called ominously “The Dark Ages”.
Skip forward to early 2011. I was on a date with a lovely young lady (now my wife). We discussed various things including our favourite toys as a child, both of us said LEGO. A few days later one of the national newspapers ran a promotion giving away free LEGO. My wife purchased the paper and gave me this small LEGO set as a surprise.
That was it…. I was back in.
The urge to purchase LEGO grew and as it did so did my collection of unopened sets. I had the money to buy but not the time to build. Something had to happen, as luck would have it whilst browsing online I found the site Bricklink. An online marketplace for people to buy sets and individual bricks. Quick as a flash I knew I would have to sell some of my LEGO.
How I Make Money From LEGO
So how do you still make money 5 years down the line I hear you cry.
Essentially I buy LEGO sets when they are on sale. Ideally you want them to be reduced by at least 50%, but depending on the set I will settle for 33%. As with any business the cheaper you can get the product the more profit you can make.
The Bricklink site has a repository of every LEGO set ever made including what pieces are in each set and in what colours. By clicking the “Part Out” button the system adds all the individual parts from a specific set into my own inventory. Anybody who then views my site will see my complete inventory and is able to pick and choose what pieces they want to buy.
The buyer will then place a digital order on the system and I will compile all the pieces by going through my mini draw based storage system. Once I’m happy I have all the correct pieces the buyer will be invoiced and I’ll await payment via Paypal.
How Much Money Do I Make?
It’s a very difficult question to answer. Due to the nature of the pieces you may hold common pieces for years and not sell many. A rare piece or Minifigure may cover almost the price of a full set. Minifigures can sometimes actually make more cash if sold on Ebay again depending on the rarity. I never buy a set if the “part out” value is less than 3 times the price I pay.
I believe this year I have made around $2000 not bad for a childhood toy. The store has been closed multiple times reducing the amount of orders I’ve had, this is mostly down to my travel schedule. There are stores on Bricklink with thousands of orders per year but I’m happy with hundreds!
Is it easy money?
The simple answer is no. It can take a long period of time to compile a large order and if you are missing a part searching through drawers of pieces is extremely frustrating. It also sucks away your love for LEGO. I guess like anything once it becomes a “job” the enjoyment can wane; even for a favourite childhood toy.
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