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10 Tips To Win At Second-Hand Lego Hunting

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10 Tips To Win At Second-Hand Lego Hunting

Postby Peppermint Pig » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:56 pm

Lego is awesome. So is Craigslist. The question is how to tap the potential of Craigslist and your local area to acquire more Lego. This is a short guide on how to succeed in this often competitive environment.


1. Take the initiative: Post an ad yourself, and be clear about what you want. Some people make no distinction between Lego and its ill-conceived clone-brand cousins such as Megabloks or Tyco. And unless you're actively seeking it, be sure to declare that you are not seeking Duplo.

2. Add Pictures! Even when you're posting a want-ad, adding a picture will make your post stand out in the listing. You can post pictures of what kinds of lego you want for reference, or create your own flashy advertisement. Consider hosting your image(s) off-site, as opposed to uploading photos directly as Craigslist only permits for poor quality.

3. Set limits on how far you will travel to find Lego. Remaining in your county tends to be the best solution, but you must determine this for yourself. With gas prices as they are, it's crucial to preserve your wealth and maximize your Lego hunting ability.

4. Write and conduct business in a friendly, persuasive tone. This includes setting your terms in a way that appeals to the seller. Be patient with slow responses, but be ready to stop doing business with people who behave in a flaky manner.

5. Never assume people are going to see your ad since most people using Craigslist are infrequent visitors! Stay vigilant and see what other ads are being posted.

6. When an ad says toys and it doesn't specify what kind, send an email to confirm what they have. You might get lucky. Then again, you might get Megabloks or Duplo. :(

7. If they have what you want, try asking them to hold it for you.

8. Be wary of advertisements that include baby items along with toys. This is often a bad omen.

9. Make a list of good looking garage sales including their running times, then plot a driving course with a map service such as Yahoo Maps. This will save you oodles of time and help you hit the good spots before others, provided you wake up early!

10. If you see Duplo or Bionicle but no System at a garage sale, ask the owner if they have any other Lego that they might be willing to get rid of. You'd be surprised how often people respond positively and scramble a tub or two out into the open. If they have Lego, but aren't ready to get rid of it yet, leave your contact information, then cross your fingers! If you're meticulous, keep a chart of garage sale locations which didn't pan out for future reference.

Good luck out there, Lego Hunters! :D
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Postby Voran_the_Scholar » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:49 pm

Goodness, there's a system for everything. Thanks for the tips.
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Postby Peppermint Pig » Mon May 05, 2008 4:34 am

Just a little update with pictures! If you make a design for your ad, which I strongly suggest, I hope these give you some inspiration. Let me know if the images and thumbnails load.

And PLEASE PLEASE let me know if any of these ideas help you find more Lego in your area! Thanks.

Here are some of the ads my brother and I have posted in the past:

One of our first ads.
Image

An older ad from a little while back.
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This one was never used. We added a little disclaimer on the bottom.
(To put it simply, I don't agree with Lego's policy since it's not founded on principle and is instead used as a legal stick to beat on people, which is overbearing authoritarian ip policy.. but I added the disclaimer anyways.)
Image

Two ads ago, we used this, which should be familiar if you saw the spaceman before.
Image

The latest design, which will be going up soon. Where it says sample, I usually put our location that we confine our hunting to.
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Postby JoshWedin » Mon May 05, 2008 11:20 am

Those are some great ads. I'm sure the professional look really helps. I keep an eye on Craigslist for Lego but have yet to actually snare any. But garage sales, thrift stores, and such have netted some great finds.

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Postby Jansen » Mon May 05, 2008 8:05 pm

Yes, those are great tips, PeppermintPig! Thank you for sharing your techniques on buying. Also, those are some great ads!

JoshWedin wrote:Those are some great ads. I'm sure the professional look really helps. I keep an eye on Craigslist for Lego but have yet to actually snare any. But garage sales, thrift stores, and such have netted some great finds.

Josh


Sadly, I haven't ever found LEGO at a garage sale or thrift store. :x
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Postby Sir Dano » Mon May 05, 2008 9:17 pm

Its rare to find Lego at yard sales around here, but I did score the first two Slave I's at a yard sale a few years back for $15. :) I love yard sale season. :)
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Postby Donut » Tue May 06, 2008 3:04 am

When I first joined this forum, the first question I asked was about buying LEGO from garage sells and was introduced to craigslist. Now, I finally see how it is done. Thanks for the informative tip, maybe I'll have better luck next time.
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Postby kelderic » Tue May 06, 2008 4:17 am

JoshWedin wrote:Those are some great ads. I'm sure the professional look really helps. I keep an eye on Craigslist for Lego but have yet to actually snare any. But garage sales, thrift stores, and such have netted some great finds.


Same situation here, been watching Craigslist, but never seen anything. Garage sales, however, have been responsible for most of my collection.

Never thought about putting an add up myself, though, definately a good idea. Thanks, Peppermint!

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Postby Danielas » Tue May 06, 2008 4:15 pm

Some thrift stores can have cashes! Mom found the Harry Potter Castle at a Rams Rack for 3.00 :D :D :P
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Postby Peppermint Pig » Tue May 06, 2008 9:08 pm

Great deal Danielas.

We've had equal success with garage sales and craigslist ads (both advertising and responding to other ads). We have never seen any thrift store Lego yet.
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Postby Lego Knight » Mon May 12, 2008 6:28 pm

My area is pretty much wiped out for used Lego. I have already bought all of my friends Lego, and since I live in the middle of nowhere our stores don't restock that often. Target finally got 7094 on Friday....
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Postby castlebuilder100 » Tue May 13, 2008 9:24 pm

I got two of the $89.99 Ultimate Collector's Edition Batmobile for 29.99 at a local store. The store sells all kinds of random things including older LEGO sets that never sold. There were also about a dozen of the smaller mosaic making kits for 1.99 or 2.99 each(I can't remember). :cry: I wish I had bought these :cry: . This was about two months ago. I hope to go back soon to see what they have.
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Postby Danielas » Wed May 14, 2008 11:27 am

castlebuilder100 wrote:I got two of the $89.99 Ultimate Collector's Edition Batmobile for 29.99 at a local store. The store sells all kinds of random things including older LEGO sets that never sold. There were also about a dozen of the smaller mosaic making kits for 1.99 or 2.99 each(I can't remember). :cry: I wish I had bought these :cry: . This was about two months ago. I hope to go back soon to see what they have.

WERE DO YOU LIVE!!!!!! Can i come over some time???? Whats the store called!!
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Postby HenrytheV » Wed May 14, 2008 3:21 pm

Thanks Peppermint for the tips. I have yet to actually get any Lego off of Craigslist; although I have E-mailed a couple of people. I even tried other states (with me paying for shipping) and so far no bites.

For me I look for Lego anywhere and everywhere I go. Thrift stores are good ($0.29 Bionicles), Homeschool Booksales too (This for $2.00 MISB) and the occasional buy at any retail store (4 of these and 1 of these for $20).

I guess what I am trying to point out (other than that I buy Lego everytime I see it) is that you have to look for deals everywhere. Craigslist may be a good spot, but just about any other place can be good too.

Peppermint Pig, where do you advertise your ads? I checked with my local paper and they wanted to charge me $17 just to run a want ad. :shock:

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Postby Peppermint Pig » Wed May 14, 2008 6:23 pm

There were also about a dozen of the smaller mosaic making kits for 1.99 or 2.99 each(I can't remember).

WERE DO YOU LIVE!!!!!! Can i come over some time???? Whats the store called!!


Those are indeed some very good deals. Have you considered reselling them for a profit?

Thanks Peppermint for the tips. I have yet to actually get any Lego off of Craigslist; although I have E-mailed a couple of people. I even tried other states (with me paying for shipping) and so far no bites.

Some people aren't very good at follow-through.

I sold off my little grouping of Playmobil (Playmobil is relatively good for resale), but all the other clone brick toys haven't sold because people dropped the ball. I'm going to sell them in a garage sale this weekend, I hope. Lure them in with the temptation of baked goods. :)

BTW, Is it just me, or has Lego gone a little soft on Ebay? Could be the economy.

Those are some good deals HenrytheV.

I guess what I am trying to point out (other than that I buy Lego everytime I see it) is that you have to look for deals everywhere. Craigslist may be a good spot, but just about any other place can be good too.


Sure, but I haven't really found too many places. Last time I went to the Goodwill, they didn't even have a toy section. Just seems a little tougher here. We can exhaust our money just fine with Craigslist and saving up for TRU sales, but I would like to save a little more money.

Peppermint Pig, where do you advertise your ads? I checked with my local paper and they wanted to charge me $17 just to run a want ad.

Craiglist only.

Want-ads in the paper are pricy. My brother did it maybe once, and he did get at least one nice collection out of it, but it's not cost effective over the long run, except maybe for resellers. We're in the process of establishing a store now to pay for our hobby. If we moved a lot of volume, I would probably look to publishing an ad in a smaller or alternative newspaper where a graphic ad might be cost effective.

I actually post these ad images inside the craigslist ad (using html and hosting the image file on photobucket).
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