Lego arbitrage

Is there an arbitrage opportunity in the market for Lego parts? From GeekDad:

A few weeks ago, I picked up an Imperial Dropship set to stow away in the gift closet (handy to have for for short notice kids’ birthday parties and to build up a stockpile for our own birthdays, Christmas, etc…).  It was roughly $13 and included 3 stormtroopers and 1 shadow stormtrooper pilot.  Looking at the minifigs for sale on the usual sites, I found prices for the shadow stormtroooper (new) ranging anywhere from around $4 to $18.  New condition stormtrooper minifigs were fetching anywhere from $3 to $18, with the average being somewhere in the $5 area.  So, if one were to purchase the Imperial Dropship LEGO set, even at full retail price, and part it out, the net take would be at least $20 for the four minifigs alone, then probably a couple of bucks for the ship itself.  That’s a pretty decent profit margin considering that you can just auction these off without having to bother with retail space or staff and buyers pay for their own shipping.  Plus you may get that determined collector who starts bidding the price up.  Start adding in the much beefier prices for less common figures and it becomes even more compelling: Snowtroopers, AT-AT Drivers and Ewoks going for $20 each, Count Dooku at $25, Greedo at $45 and Jango Fett at $75.  Even Jar Jar Binks will get you at least $7 and no-one likes him…  Of course you can usually pick up Star Wars LEGO sets on sale on any given week, so full retail price is not something that you would typically have to pay for your stock.

Food for thought.

2 thoughts on “Lego arbitrage”

  1. Yes a whole alternative career path! I think I will keep this from my child, who has just started getting involved in lego ‘trading’ at school. Though mostly this involves him giving lego to some other kid, who promises to give him something or other in return, but never does, so perhaps getting him into the more formal/deeper market would be an improvement.

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  2. I don’t think it’s arbitrage – it’s not like there’s a price mismatch between the two markets. Some people value minifigs, some parts, and LEGO sets come with both. Breaking them up *ought* to yield a higher return than just selling the whole set.

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