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How To Choose Lego Sets To Part Out

Choose Lego sets to part out

For the majority of Bricklink sellers, finding new stock at prices which result in a good profit margin is critical for the success of their store. In the case of sellers who focus (at least in part) on new Lego, you’ll need to find Lego sets that provide a good return on their investment.

Many sellers think that simply finding a set with a 2.5x or greater part out value is a sign of a sure winner and will promptly snap up sets, only to find many of the items still sat in stock months or even years later.

The part out value is only a guide and sellers need to look at the set in more detail.

 We’ve laid out some additional things to consider when making your purchases.

1. What is the discount offered?

Many Lego buyers are constantly on the lookout for discounted sets. Often a 20% discount will see buyers rushing to the checkout. But Bricklink sellers should be cautious with discounts. A discount is often shown in relation to a RRP (Recommended Retail Price). The RRP is a guide price for the set to be sold at. However, it may never actually have been sold at this price. Therefore, any discount shown may not be a true reflection of the reduction in price on offer.

Its worth looking around and checking the RRP (and discount) against other sellers.

You should also look at using other tools such as Keepa (an browser plugin) that will allow you to see pricing over time. This will show you whether the set has been sold for less previously or not.

Irrespective of historic sales prices, its important to determine if the set is a good deal now or not. It doesn’t matter if there was a better deal 6 weeks previous if that deal is no longer available to you. Of course, you can hold off in the hope that the set reaches those earlier discounts, but that can be chasing a lost cause. So, if the discount looks genuine and represents good value the set may well be a worthwhile purchase

Keepa data
Keepa data for Lego set 76387

2. What’s is the current sales value?

We’ve talked a lot about part out value previously and won’t go over that again. Enough to say that you need to be aware of what the current 6 month average is, as well as the Current Sales Average.

Aside from that I would recommend checking minifigure prices. I do this mostly on eBay as that is where I find it best to sell them for the most profit. 

3. What is the current availability of the Lego set?

Availability (or rather lack of it) is the thing which will increase the price of items the most. Newly released minifigures and parts will start high in value as demand outstrips availability and with the value decreasing over time as more people gain access to the set and part it out. 

If your able to obtain a set early in its release cycle you may be able to make additional margin by parting it out quickly and making it available for sale now vs buying it at a later date.

With new items it can be beneficial to not even wait for a discount. The difficulty can be that the inventory for sets may be slow to be released, therefore, making it difficult to obtain a part out value. So in a case like this, you may need to use your instinct based on other factors beyond the part out value.

4. What quantity can you buy?

When parting out sets its usual to buy sets in reasonable quantity whether this be 5, 10, 20 etc.

Buying in quantity will ensure you have a reasonable amount of each item for sale, whereas buying only one set would leave you with as little as one of each item for sale in some instances. 

So, if availability is short you may want to consider whether its worth picking a set up if you can only get your hands on one or two.

An exception may be when you’re buying a limited qty of very large sets which are likely to have parts in much higher quantities than smaller sets. The Creator Expert modular buildings are a good example of this. Of course, you may still end up with some parts in limited numbers but this will be much more limited.

5. What is the sell-through rate?

In retail, it is helpful to know how likely you are to sell an item. You don’t want to hold so much stock of a particular item that you are unlikely to be able to sell it in a timely manner. Therefore you may want to check its sell-through rate.

To check the sell-through rate, look at the price guide for an item on Bricklink and check how much qty of that item has sold in the last 6 months. Then compare this to the amount of stock held on Bricklink for the same item. Your calculation should be ( qty sold / qty for sale * 100 ).*

For instance if an item has sold a quantity of 10 in the last 6 months and there is 100 for sale currently, the sell through rate would be 10%. 

This would mean that stock would be likely to sit a long time before selling through.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to check the sell-through rate for a whole set but you may want to run this exercise through some of the main items. 

*When calculating this I focus on my own sales region I.e UK for all figures.

6. How long has the set been available?

It’s important to consider how long the set has been available for, as there are numerous ways in which this can have an impact on your ability to sell quickly and achieve a good profit margin.

Discount %

As a set ages it is likely to attract higher discounts. Therefore its important to check around other retailers to ensure your getting the best deal possible. 


If a set has been available for some time the market may be flooded and so no matter how good the deal is, it may be difficult to compete with other sellers who have picked up the same set.

Higher availability will mean that many other sellers are also buying the same sets for part out. This is when we often see a race to the bottom on pricing with each seller undercutting another to try and move their stock.  

Accuracy off the 6 month average price

Another key issue with ageing sets is that the part out value may be skewed as it will contain items that may have sold for much higher values in the early stages of the release of the set. As the set ages, the prices of each item will decrease so the part out value shown will not be a true reflection of the value you will achieve.

7. What minifigures are in the set?

Historically I have always found that sets with good minifigures in them result in the highest return. They also provide different opportunities to sell them than a set made of purely parts can do.

One tip I always use is to get my minifigures up for sale before even parting out. This way I have the items up for sale quickly, recouping some of the costs outlaid before I part out, leaving the remainder of the set as your profit to be parted out at will (keeping in mind my points I may below in part 10).

Exclusive Minifigure

8. What is the cost per item?

Another metic that some sellers may find useful is to calculate the cost per item. This is a very simply calculation of the number of total items in a set divided by the part out value. 

You can then use this as a rough guide as to whether the set is good value. 

9. Are there any newly released items in the set?

Another factor to consider is if there are any newly released items available in the set. Newly released items will have a high appeal and attract a higher value when new, with the value decreasing over time.

Any new items will be shown in the sets inventory on Bricklink. To easily see all new items that are contained in the set go to the sets inventory and click on the “New Items” view instead of the standard view shown by default.

New Items

10. Other Considerations

How quickly can you part out?

So you’ve managed to find a great deal on a set that is heavily discounted, has great minifigures and a fantastic part out value. You buy as many as you can find and then add it to your backlog for parting out. By the time you come to part it out the part out value may have dipped, the set may have a better discount and the marketplace may be flooded with the items from the set.

Any backlog, is simply cash tied up that is not making you money. If it is not in your store it can’t be sold. Therefore you need to think get the set parted out and into your inventory. The only exception here would be if you wanted to hold on to the set as an investment in the hope that the price will increase after the set retires.

Do you have the storage space (pre and post part out)

Don’t underestimate how much space Lego sets en masse will take up whether this be as sealed sets or in terms of drawer space for parts storage after parting them out.

If you don’t have the drawer space to part out you will have to wait until you’ve sold enough quantity to make room. This leads us back into my prior point on how quickly you can part out and the impact of not parting out quickly can have on your return on investment.

Not always time to research

Sometimes there simply isn’t the time to research all the above points. Either the offer is time sensitive (online prices can change in a flash, or stock may sell out), or your stood in the supermarket with no time or internet signal to check thoroughly.

In these case you may need to go with your gut. Remember though that you can always return items and you don’t have to hang onto them if after getting home you realise you’ve made a mistake.

Be Prepared

As they say in the Boy Scouts, always be prepared. In other words, do as much as you can in advance. Be aware of new releases and potential availability. If your visiting a supermarket you’ll have an idea of the range of sets on offer. They are not going to have large sets, all themes or store-exclusive sets.

You can keep a spreadsheet of sets you are interested in with detail of part-out value, minifigures etc.

Personally, I have developed my own set of automated actions (using my iPhone’s shortcuts feature) which all me to quickly produce multiple sets of data at the click of a button and simply entering a set number. These are a godsend when standing in the supermarket, in front of a pile of discounted Lego, as long as you have internet access.

Cash Back Schemes

You can save yourself some extra money, therefore increasing your margin, by using online cash back companies. These companies often have agreements with retailers which give you a fixed percentage discount off your purchase. You do need to ensure that their discount can be used in conjunction with other offers and discounts being offered by the retailer themselves, but you can save yourself a lot of money over time.

Cash-Back will take a little time to come back to you as they have to be any returns period has passed and that you have not returned the items.

I personally use Quidco but there are plenty more such as Top Cashback


Getting the best sets for part-out is all about the margin you will make. Don’t fall in to the trap of looking at the discount alone as there are many other factors outlined above which relate to how easily you will be able to sell the items in the set as well as how best to ensure you get the best price for them. All these factors will help you achieve the best profit for the set.

1 Comment

  • John
    Posted 28 November 2023 at 03:42

    Solid tips there. I wonder what your iPhone automations are (;

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