zondag 14 september 2014

Bricks to Riches by Amanda Moak - book review

I`m a member of the Facebook group called `Lego Investing`, a group that talks mainly about what are good deals for Lego investors.  Lego has been, and is definitly becoming of late, a good investment for those wanting to make a small dime on the side by looking for which sets are great value for reselling fast or down the long line.

Though `small` might be a bit overstated, the author of the book and her husband have both managed to quit their daytime jobs and live full time off Lego these days.  

Bricks to Riches - How to sell Lego online is a result of their years of experience in this field, and when Mrs Moak announced her book on the group and went to sell it through Amazon, I ordered a copy.

Though from my point of view, I`m more of a sheep in wolf`s clothing.  My main reason for being in that group is actually to get an idea of which sets are hot, and as such what I need to grab fast of my wanted lists as retirement is emminent and the sets in question are going to skyrocket then, while others I can wait for as they would drop to all expectations afterwards.

There are some chapters in the book which to a European, and more specifically Belgium based, resident are useless, like how to handle sales at supermarket chains like Wall Mart and Target, which we do not have overhere, while our local retail chains like Carrefour never have those sorts of huge markdowns.

Add to that the fact that Lego is actually a lot cheaper in the USA, and some parts are definitly out (you will never find a 2.5 euros equivalent of buying by the pound here, your more looking at 4 to 5 euros a pound) for use.

But here are some very intresting chapters in the book even for Europeans.  A definite guide to use sites like eBay and BrickLink, how to run shops on those, how to search those sites for bargains etc...  If you can use it to find a bargain for buying and reselling, you can just as well use that for buying and collecting. 

And I can say they actually work, even on a small site like eBay Belgium or 2deHands.be... I already got some decent deals for my brickpiles out of that (like the T-rex set I showed a few weeks ago).

The book itself feels in reading build up, writing style and illustrating a bit like the wargame mainstays of Osprey Publishing.  Detailed without getting TO technical so the casual reader wouldn`t get half of the things talked about, yet everyone is bound to pick something up from it.

For myself, I thought this a good `investment` (pun intended) for my Legobrary, a nifty book which I learned a lot from, like tools to determine actual value of a set, and how to place a decent, but not offending bid, to the seller.

The book is available through Amazon US, and if you have the money to spare (it isn`t that expensive, and it stays under the minimum value limit to be declared and import taxes paid on it), it is definitly worth it if you want to make a few extra euros but have no idea how to get about decently, or like me, if you want to be able to `scout` the field and grab those sets before you have to pay an arm and a leg for them after retirement (like these days for example the Harry Potter line, or the big ships from Pirates like the Pearl...)

Because after all, like in all decent businesses, it is better to have a steady buyer seller long term relationship with half a dozen people, then a few quick scores resulting in dried out sources swiftly.

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