|What a new Lego set looks like|
This box had my full attention. Lego sets such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones can sell for big bucks on eBay. A few years back, I made close to $200 dollars on a sealed Harry Potter Lego set. This set was a fire engine truck called "Creator Fire Rescue." Though not as popular as Star Wars or Harry Potter, if it was unopened with the pieces still sealed in packs, it could be a money maker. But I needed to know the story on the suspicious looking taped lid. I hoped the box had been briefly opened then resealed, leaving the inside untouched. Either that or the set was "used" and someone was trying to keep the pieces from falling out. Summoning up my best investigative garage sale skills, I shook the box. There was no messy sound of loose parts rattling and sliding around inside. With too much tape to remove, the easiest thing to do was just ask the seller. The family was scattered throughout the driveway. Asking no one in particular, I blurted out loud, "Is this Lego set new?" At that, the Dad summoned over his son, who I guessed to be around twelve years old. Still shaking the box to listen inside, I asked the young man, "Hey buddy, is this new?" The kid stared long at the box, then glanced up at me, "Oh yeah, I never played with it...it's new." I thought it was a little strange that a kid wouldn't play with a Lego set, but some kids are fickle. Who knows-maybe junior just didn't like fire engine sets? The kid seemed sincere enough and how can you not trust an innocent looking twelve year old, right? Satisfied it was new, while also not wanting to doubt the young man's personal integrity, I peeled off a five dollar bill and handed it to the budding
After a few more yards sale stops, I headed home with some decent scores including my brand new Lego set. A few hours later, I prepped the Lego set for an eBay photo shoot. Normally when I open a new set I know exactly what to expect. Lego sets contain pieces that are packaged in clear plastic packs. When listing on eBay, it's important to show all those packs so buyers know what they're getting. In order to show the packs-I needed to open the box. Using my trusty penknife, I carefully removed the multiple strips of scotch tape that sealed the box lid. With the tape removed, I eagerly peered inside looking for the much anticipated plastic packs. But when I squinted into the box my heart dropped. Either Lego had radically changed how they pack their sets......or I'd been snookered!
The Lego pieces were not factory sealed inside neat little packs like I expected. Heck no....this was a more like Dixie cup packaging instead! All the parts had been dumped into individual plastic party cups. These cups were then stacked and wedged in long rows inside the box. (This explained why I didn't hear a lot of loose pieces when I shook the box.) Like a college kid cleaning up after a frat party, I poured out the half filled cups like so much stale beer. Once the cups were all poured onto the table, I could tell it wasn't even a complete set! Larger parts like tires and base pieces were missing. Making matters worse, there was dog hair mixed in with the pieces. You might imagine this could be a minor gross out factor to a potential buyer! On the bright side, I rationalized that maybe that kid didn't fib to me after all. Perhaps he told me the truth and really didn't play with the set. Judging from all the K-9 hair, it was probably his dog who opened the set! Yeah that's it...it was the dog see? But whether it was Fido or the kid, it was going to now cost more time and labor in cleaning up this not-so-new set. With this disappointing discovery, the set's value had gone from a potential of around $60 dollars on eBay, to maybe $5 to $10 as used "parts" lot. So much for new!
|My "new" Lego set!|
Oh well, live and learn right? Even though the kid got me, it was partly my own fault. Despite the kid's innocent assurance that the set was new, I still should have looked inside. I am more amused how the youngster scammed me with his poker face bluff. The kid has a future playing championship poker in Vegas some day! That's how it goes at the garage sales-win some...lose some. But jeez...if you can't trust a kid, who can you trust?
Have you ever been snookered on a yard sale deal? (If so, I hope it wasn't by a kid!) Tell your story in the comment section below....
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