2020 saw the rise of numerous nontraditional markets: From sports card trading to the recent explosion of NBA Top Shot and other NFTs, folks are finding ways to make money in more ways than ever before. Personally, I love investing in LEGO because the process combines my love for bricks with business. With that in mind, I wanted to bring you some of my favorite tips and tricks for getting involved in the LEGO investment game.
It’s important to ask yourself some questions before you get started. How much can you afford to spend, and how long are you willing to sit on your investment? The last thing you want to do is invest money you can’t afford to lose! LEGO sets are never guaranteed to go up in value, but most do over time. We all have to make our best-educated guesses at which sets are worth holding onto because investing in LEGO is rarely an overnight money-maker.
Another more product-specific question is what condition of LEGO sets would you like to collect? Will you only buy sealed sets? What about sets with damaged boxes? Will you only buy Minifigures? Would you buy sets and sell them individually piece-by-piece? Set some ground rules for how you’ll invest to ensure you aren’t buying junk and/or everything you can get your hands on (believe me, I’ve done it!) Of course, you can change your mind as you get deeper into the game, but it’s a good idea to set some ground rules so that you’re not investing your money on everything you come across in your LEGO hunts.
As is the case with all markets, what’s hot ebbs and flows. That said, LEGO Star Wars, Castle, LEGO Ideas, and LEGO Creator Modular buildings are always safe bets to go up in value, as they’re some of the most timeless series in the LEGO lineup. Some of the early modular buildings are worth double or triple their original price tags, not to mention certain LEGO Star Wars sets’ value increases.
Another good tip is to watch current events. When Kobe died, the sets he came in skyrocketed. When Gina Carano was fired from The Mandalorian, her Minifigure tripled in value from $7 to over $24 inside of one week! Just like the stock market, you’ve got to watch trends and ride hype waves as they come and go.
LEGO can take up a lot of space. The better condition your LEGO sets/Minifigures are in, the more valuable they will be, so you don’t want to cram your sets in a corner or in your garage. Find a place to store your sets that is away from pets, smoke, sunlight, or anything else that can damage your investment pieces. LEGO sets are toys, but if you’re investing in them, need to treat them like cash. You wouldn’t leave your nest egg crumpled up in a corner of your room, would you?
This is one of my more open-ended tips, but it boils down to exploring all of the marketplaces available. In the 21st century, there are so many avenues through which you can buy your LEGO sets. Consider yard sales, garage sales, thrift stores, antique stores, used toy stores, Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, and anywhere else you can think of for conducting your purchases. Beware of scammers though; if you’re meeting someone from online in-person, do your best to verify the authenticity of sets, and always meet in a public location (I recommend the parking lot of your local police station for large cash transactions!) If you’re buying online, only buy through verified or well-reviewed sellers.
This final tip comes full circle and compliments my first tip: Plan, plan, plan. Just like investing in the stock market, you’ve got to set a plan for when you’ll cash in. Are you looking for a short-term investment? Are you looking to hold onto products for years? 5 years? 10 years? When it’s gone up 50% in value, or maybe doubled? These are all good factors to keep in mind as you’re making your purchases and building out your investment strategy.