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Advice on large (100 lbs) used Legos set

I bought a large set of about 100 lbs of Legos that has instructions for about 50+ sets.
I'm looking for some advice into how to go about this. There is 1 set that I want to keep, the others I just want to sell to get my money back and hopefully the set I keep I get it for free...

I figure I would separate everything by color / type of pieces and then following the instructions I would pick out the pieces for each set and put them in zip loc bags. I don't have the boxes, only instructions.

I guess my next question would be whether I put the sets together, take pictures and sell them or just keep them in zip loc bags and sell them that way. I thought in order to maximize the return on my money I would put the sets together and be able to take better pictures than just a simple bag...

I'm very particular in what I like to build (trains, large sets) so this will definitively introduce me to other sets I may have not consider putting together before and who knows, maybe I'll keep some more ;)

Has anyone here done something like this before? Any advice...

And yes... Looking at 2 big tubs has me wondering why did I do this in the first place, but oh well.. what's done its done.... I like puzzles... I like putting them together... I understand this will be a HUGE undertaking...

Comments

  • I've never done this, so don't listen to me...

    But my gut tells me that you are on the right path, sort the entire lot by part type and color, you'll need a huge number of sort bins to do this, however once done you'll be able to build each set and figure out what if anything you're missing.

    However, with 100lbs and 50 manuals, you're probably going to end up with 20 half done sets missing parts, so you also need room to build each set, run out of parts, start building the next set because you can't find the part, and once you've done enough sets to wear down the pile, start bricklinking the parts you're missing.

    This is not a small job.
  • As the advise on other threads for sorting goes, first sort is best by part - not by color. It's much easier to find a black 1 x 1 something in amongst lots of other 1 x 1 somethings, than to find it in a pile of black parts. So, put all the 1 x 1 modified tiles together, etc. It seems to me that this will also keep down (ha,ha) the number of containers needed. Do you have a big basement to do this in? :-)
  • I just did this with about 70 pounds worth in my dining room for over a month, which my wife absolutely loved. It was a BIG job simply sorting, I didn't even try to make complete sets. You will need endless containers, and then you will need endless bigger containers due to underestimating how big the first round of containers needed to be. :-)

    I got the 70 pounds for $20 at a yard sale, my best find ever.
  • Unfortunately with baby #3, I don't have a lot of space left in the house... so this is def going to be a challenge to find a place to put them.... For now I'll be on the floor in baby #3's room until she gets here later this month, then, who knows... Our dining room has been transformed into a game room for the girls... My office is now the baby's room... needless to say, we need to find a new house soon (Already working on that...)

    My wife thinks that after going through this little exercise of mine I'll be hating lego... I guess only time will tell, I wanted to try and see what would be a better investment, this or new sets...
  • edited December 2011
    Well I know there will be those that state you must sort by every piece, and have piece piles that are regardless of color.
    I sort by every color alone... mostly because I just do not have the space or containers to store by every part, nor the patience after sorting and cleaning parts to sit there and sort by every part... but I think it can be said you will need to do it at some point. so either do it now or later.. I do it later only because for me it is a lot easier to sort a lot by color and get the pieces out I need to a set reconstruction, then if I want to stop I'm not too concerned about space issues.
    It means that after you are done sorting by color you will need to clean any parts that are 'gunked' up (those who have done this before know what I mean) hunt for parts..
    I usually do the sets I want first, that gets them 'out of the way' and therefore I know all the parts I need are there (hopefully).
    Then I work either by themes (do all castle first, etc) or by largest to smallest (either by piece count or 'value' of the set).. again the part availability factor comes in.. if you are missing parts when you get to vehicles then you can decide if you want to hit up BrickLink, or if you want to have extra parts for the future lots you may get or have sets missing parts.
    Also some plastic polishes do great jobs and restores scratched up parts (surface scratching alone.. gouges usually means the part os done) and WD-40 can take off the magic market and sticker residue... Do not wash stickered parts in a tub either, hand wash them carefully.. either 'dusting them' or a clean wipe, be careful not to rub the sticker off.
    I usually use an old paint brush (or a cheapo one from a discount bin) to clean up light particles on the parts as well (especially plates)
  • ^ Listen to him. I do this also as my favorite part of the hobby. Assemble the largest sets first, they will have the most value. That way when you are done with the large sets you will only have the least valuable ones left. In my opinion, don't Bricklink the parts for the small sets it will cost you more money. Just leave them for a parts pile or sell them off as loose Legos.
  • What I usually do is take the really small common sets (there are some rare small sets out there) and put them into a big lot for sale. I have learned that individually those smalls have a hard time selling, but by bundling them into 1 lot you can usually get the equivalent of 5-8-sometimes 10- bucks for each, depending on how common they are.
  • As someone who has done it both ways, I highly recommend sorting by part type not color. It takes much less time to piece together sets this way IMO. You don't have to go crazy and sort by every single part type. Consolidate in a way that makes sense to you. For instance, I will sort into "small" modified plates and "large" modified plates and "normal" plates and "wedge/wing" plates. I can get the part bins b/t 20-30 this way so it doesn't get out of control and is still pretty easy to find things.

    Ditto to all those who said start out highest value to smallest if you are looking to re-sell. Definitely do the set(s) you want to keep first.

    Obviously you are going to maximize your return by putting the sets together and taking good pics, but honestly, if you use a Bricklink inventory and can say they are 100% complete, then you are going to get close enough to the same price that it might not be worth the time of putting them together (unless you are going to get some personal enjoyment out of the process). Of course you are going to be a very lucky person if you actually pull 100% complete sets out of the pile (even 100 lbs worth!).

    And just a fair warning, this process is going to take you a loooooong time. If you have a day job and are just doing it at night, plan and a month or two depending on how diligent (or not) you are.

    Of course in the end, assuming you got the Lego at a good price, you should easily get back your money, keep the set you want, and likely make a few hundred in addition.

    Good luck and have fun!
  • Mmmm nothing more satisfying than sorting a huge lot, I also go with colours into as shallow boxes as possible for spreading out as makes things easier than deeper boxes. What a lovely feeling when you finally find that one piece. I usually have a pen and paper by the side for missing parts, have also been using peeron.com for missing paperwork
  • I understand now why some here would separate by type instead of color, seems like a good suggestion, but I'm going to leave it for a second round of sorting....

    I'm making way thru colors (although it's very slow) and then I'll do by piece type
  • I think most people would separate by type first. I know there are those that prefer color over type. But look at the examples, like @Ollydc5 , who chases the high of finally finding that one piece. Sorting by color is like increasing the difficulty, or should I say dose, in that case.
  • edited December 2011
    I go by Color method because I would go crazy sorting by parts, even if there are in 'generic' part type piles, I also move decorated and stickered bricks into a bin with the minifigs..
    Those also can help with telling you want sets you have...

    The thing I like the most of going through lots is finding a set you did not know was in there (especially if it is a rare set)

    I had these experiences with two lots I got from AUS via eBay.. I knew they had a 7730 in the lot, but I also found two crane cars, a push train and the old train crossing with blue house, as well as a ton of 12v switches and rails (albeit a bit rusty but CLR took care of most of that.. next time I need to try Lemon juice to remove the rust stains)
  • edited December 2011
    Regardless of how you sort the pieces, you should look up the average selling price of each set you have instructions for on eBay and bricklink. Start piecing together the sets that will get you the most bang for the buck, i.e. if a 200 piece set is going to yield $50, compared to a 900 piece set yielding $100, I'd suggest going for the 200 piece set since you'll be done faster, and your probability of successful completion should, in theory, be higher. Bigger is not always better.
  • edited December 2011
    It depends on how much I have to sort ... it if it's a *lot*, then I always sort by colour first, as I find it's the quickest way to split the pile into more manageable chunks. I then sort each colour by a fairly arbitrary 'class' of element - short 1x plate (1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 1x4), long 1x plate (the rest), short 2x plate (2x2, 2x3, 2x4), long 2x plate (the rest), medium plate, large plate, round plate, wing plate, wheels/axles, trans elements, technic, etc. It doesn't really matter what the 'classes' are, as long as you're consistent ... I tend to vary the 'classes' a little between sorting session, depending on the mix of bricks I'm sorting through. Depending on quantities, and the project on the go at the time, I'll then do another split into individual element types (or another split into smaller classes). I use bulk-purchased clear plastic take-away tubs for sorting & storing. This approach has been developed & evolved over the last 12+ years, and it works well for me. If nothing else, the multi-pass method stops me getting too frustrated & gives me a sense of real progression as I work through the pile :-)
  • Anyone ever build a Mindstorms system to sort their bricks? I'm sure you could create an automated system to sort by color and size.
  • There's supposed to be a green grocer I there, which is the main reason why I got the set... So that's my priority, after that there's a batman and a few Indy ones... Lots of sw too... It'd be a while before I can get anything done... Just trying to work on it 30-45 minutes a day
  • Just trying to work on it 30-45 minutes a day
    Then report back to us in June when you're finished. ;)
  • Might be next Xmas... Too bad the girls are not old enough (3, 1 and a new one coming in the next couple of weeks) the 3 year old likes to build stuff, but can't help sort yet... :(
  • I'm a 'by type' sorter.
    What I really recommend is getting brickstore and opening the inventory for the set you're putting together - then adjust the quantity of each part as you go, to create a wanted list if you have missing parts.
  • i'd recommend using the office printer and print out the inventory for each set from bricklink.

    i'd then recommend you go to a shoe store and try and get 50 empty shoeboxes, one for each set.

    wash the bricks in a net in the bath and then spread out to dry for 2 days or so

    sort the bricks - i split by colour and then by brick but it will take longer. fill each shoe box with the inventory, build as per instructions and then take pic, dissassemble and recheck against inventory, label box accurately!

    i'm still in the middle of sorting out 25 KG (about half your haul) from last july.
  • I bought a large set of about 100 lbs of Legos that has instructions for about 50+ sets.
    I'm looking for some advice into how to go about this. There is 1 set that I want to keep, the others I just want to sell to get my money back and hopefully the set I keep I get it for free...

    I figure I would separate everything by color / type of pieces and then following the instructions I would pick out the pieces for each set and put them in zip loc bags. I don't have the boxes, only instructions.

    I guess my next question would be whether I put the sets together, take pictures and sell them or just keep them in zip loc bags and sell them that way. I thought in order to maximize the return on my money I would put the sets together and be able to take better pictures than just a simple bag...

    I'm very particular in what I like to build (trains, large sets) so this will definitively introduce me to other sets I may have not consider putting together before and who knows, maybe I'll keep some more ;)

    Has anyone here done something like this before? Any advice...

    And yes... Looking at 2 big tubs has me wondering why did I do this in the first place, but oh well.. what's done its done.... I like puzzles... I like putting them together... I understand this will be a HUGE undertaking...
    I generally sort and sell between 200-400 pounds per year of used Lego and here's what I do. First, I do a high-level sort that breaks the parts into about 8-10 categories, including all 1x__ bricks, 2x__ bricks, 1x__ plates, 2x__ plates, 4x__ & 6x__ plates, minifigs, small parts (1x1 bricks, tiles, etc.), etc. Second, I go back through each of those categories and sort into individual part groups (i.e., all 2x2 bricks together, all 4x4 bricks together, etc.). Then I sort those groups into individual colors (i.e., all blue 2x2 bricks together, etc.). I keep some parts grouped by part type, such as modified bricks, plates and tiles, and keep larger groups of the more unique parts grouped by color. A little hard to explain and perhaps a little hard to do on a one-off basis, but it has worked well for me over the years and has allowed me to work with a lot of Lego in a fairly small space (11x11 room).

    Depending on what sets you have in the lot, your best bet will be to break them into individual sets, build those sets, and then sell them on Ebay. If you build them individually from the instructions without first sorting the parts for the set, it will likely take you a long time. I use the Brickstore software to inventory each set that I sell and get all of the parts together, then I build them, and sell them on Ebay. You can also use the set inventories available on Bricklink or Peeron. Be careful though, I bought my first 100 pound lot 5 years ago with the exact same thinking that you seem to have and, since, have bought and sold well over 3000 pounds.

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