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In the second part of my series Side Hustling we hear from Andrew, a fellow blogger and money nerd. Andrew has found a great way to turn a hobby into income. Read on to find out more.
My name is Andrew Young and primarily I write a personal finance blog called Capital Matters. My aim with the blog is to share some of my money saving tips and encourage long term investing. Blogging was probably something I should have started ages ago. I’ve always loved writing and I’ve been told I’m pretty good at it too. Who’d have known I’d go from writing stories about a sentient lamp when I was 8 years old to writing a personal finance blog. I’m going to get those Lamp stories published one day, I swear. I’ve always wanted to run my own business. Despite the problems that naturally arise from being a business owner, I think the freedom and satisfaction you can get from it more than cover the downsides. Aside from business, I’d probably consider myself a film nerd, an Apple fanatic and I probably drink far too much tea.
My side hustle is Lego selling through the website Bricklink. Bricklink is a great community of Lego buyers and sellers who are really enthusiastic about the plastic brick. I sell both used and new Lego through my online store, Capital Creations. Whilst I buy some discounted sets to resell, I primarily make money by parting-out. Basically that means buying a set and selling all the parts/minifigures separately for more money overall. A lot of buyers on Bricklink build their own creations and are on the lookout for individual parts. Bricklink is a great resource for this. Especially if you’re looking for a rare part or large quantities of one part.
It was a combination of factors. First and foremost I saw an opportunity to generate income. The Lego product was a good fit for me because I’ve always been enthusiastic about the product. I don’t remember my first set specifically but I have vivid memories of building with Lego throughout my childhood. The interest wained over the years until I spotted the race green Lego Mini in a store a few years ago. It reinvigorated my enthusiasm pretty much instantly. There was also one very specific event which pushed me to open the store. I was clearing out a lot of my old stuff and I came across some of my Lego minifigures. I knew that some old minifigures were now worth hundreds so I priced them on Bricklink. It turned out I had the ultra-rare Lego Boba Fett minifig with printed arms and legs. It was released as part of the Star Wars Cloud City Set from 2003. The set didn’t sell very well at the time but if you had one now it would be worth thousands. That discovery pushed me over the edge. I decided to open the store but ironically I never sold the Boba Fett. I couldn’t part ways with it.
It really depends on if I’m in a buying or selling phase. Setting up the store and organising new stock is the biggest time consumer. I couldn’t honestly tell you how many hours I put in at the start. If I’m in a buying phase, I have to spend time organising the parts. I’d say it takes me a couple of hours to organise a medium-sized lego set. But I quickly learned that buying multiple small sets is better than buying one large set. It’s easier to sort and you can easily build depth of stock. You will end up with multiples of each part which is great on Bricklink. If I’m in a selling phase, the time spent is dependent on the number of orders I receive. If I get an order I can usually pick, pack and post the Lego within a few hours.
I’m making a small amount of income at the moment but I’ve started receiving a few big orders which is motivating. I aim to provide really unbeatable customer service so that has definitely contributed to a growth in sales. A growing quantity of stock also helps. I currently have over 8000 parts for sale.
The highlight has probably been the global selling. Whilst I mostly sell to UK-based buyers, I’ve sent Lego to the likes of Belgium, Germany and China.
The biggest challenge was getting over the hurdle of initial stock-building. When the stock take is low, it’s naturally difficult to generate sales. Plus, on Bricklink, reviews are really important. When you haven’t sold anything, you don’t really have any legs to stand on to convince a potential buyer other than a competitive price. But when I got that first sale, it was exciting and motivating. It still is. If you’re a good seller, the Bricklink market rewards you for that. There continues to be challenges of course. But staying organised and maintaining good customer service really reduces those problems to near nil.
If you want a part-time side hustle that doesn’t require a lot of stockroom space, Bricklink is a great one to try. Of course, it’s easier to do well with Bricklink if you’re actually interested in Lego. I’d always suggest selling something you are interested in yourself. Like any new venture, mindset is really key for keeping yourself motivated, especially at the start. The marketplace is huge but competition is high. Be a really good seller. Go above and beyond for your customers and you will be rewarded. Just remember that this is not a passive income project. It does require ongoing work.
My aim is to continue to grow my Lego store inventory and maintain good customer service to drive more sales. Naturally, I will keep an eye on the state of the Lego reselling industry. Whilst I think this product and Lego reselling is a venture that will continue to generate income for a long time, it is always a good idea to stay informed.
Personal Finance Website: https://www.capitalmatters.co.uk
Bricklink Store: Capital Creations
I hope so! This is an excellent example of a young man seeing an opportunity and taking it. Andrew is taking an interest and turning it into cash. He is seeing his business grow and extend across the world. Thank you for sharing, Andrew!
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent financial advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.
Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.
I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.
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