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While looking for current Lego offers on Amazon, I was surprised to see loads of offers such as:

  • 10x Lego inverted slope 2x2 dark red
  • 8x Lego plate 4x6 new dark grey
  • 40x Lego Technic pin long with stop black
  • 40x Lego plate 1x2 light gray
  • 25x Lego brick 2x2 new brown

and so on.

It seems quite some of those parts come in ... peculiar colours, such as lime green or lots of browns, but I may be mistaken and this might change day by day.

What are those offers?

  • Is that vendors who buy loads of original Lego sets, put the individual parts into larger bags of 5 to 50 pieces, and then sell them and somehow have a little revenue margin?
  • Is that vendors that somehow get large quantities of the same pieces from Lego (e.g. through channels that allow toy stores to build up some custom scenery around the actual sets in showcases if there is such a thing) and then resell packs of such pieces?
  • Or are those offers not for Lego pieces at all, but for some rip-off that fakes the brand logo on the studs?
10

I think it's really hard to tell for sure without actually making a couple of orders and seeing what arrives. What I can say is that it appears that they are selling at a HUGE markup over similar parts available on Bricklink. (A quick check shows an average markup of 600% over BL on several lots)

I would guess that either the first, third, or some combination of those two guesses is likely to be the case here. Since secondary markets like BrickLink and BrickOwl are somewhat niche sites maybe the seller(s) are taking advantage of people unaware of them and selling at a very good profit to a larger market. Additionally since Ali Baba, Ebay, and Amazon tend to have a large number of counterfeit sets available these sellers may be able to get away with selling all or a mixture of counterfeit parts to increase their margins.

As for your second guess, there are programs that The LEGO Group makes available to organizations of various sorts to acquire large numbers of pieces at fairly reasonable prices however they do tend to monitor the secondary market fairly closely for evidence the parts from those programs are being resold so, while certainly still possible, it is less likely the parts are being sourced that way.

Again though, it is nearly impossible to tell simply from the advertised lots without actually making a purchase to verify what you would get.

4

Great answer by Nathan Stohlmann.

I see another option why these could be sold on Ebay for higher price than you can find them on Bricklink.

3/5 bricks on your list may be not as interesting in AFOL's point of view. Yes, there are cases when you may need these specific elements, but such cases would be quite specific. I find that most Bricklink sellers tend to part out sets rather than sourcing specific elements in high quantities (however this is also an option some times). So seller end up selling most sought after elements and end up having a ton of these bricks nobody wants. One option (obviously) would be to sell them even cheaper than others hoping someone may become interested. But you may have simply too much of them or market is saturated. So, alternatively, you as a seller could explore another market places, like Ebay, where audience is much larger and is unaware of market prices for these elements.

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  • 2
    You seem to mix up Ebay and Amazon (?), but other than that, this sounds like a good answer, as well. In particular, it would correspond with my impression that the bricks are offered in unusual, not always pleaseant to look at, colours. – O. R. Mapper Dec 18 '20 at 10:23
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    Oh, Amazon? While this is an obvious mistake I made this just proves my answer where sellers are looking for new markets. Until this time I was only aware of Ebay (as a global market place) used to sell LEGO elements in bulk. – Alex Dec 18 '20 at 10:32
  • While I like the basic thesis I actually disagree with the opinion that a lot of the parts that are being advertised on Amazon (Ebay is maybe different? Didn't check) are fairly useless generally to AFOLs. Part of the reason for that is that precisely which parts are useless depends greatly on the style and theme that a builder is working in. Castle builders often use lots of BURPs and LURPs while a microscale builder may find no value in them at all. Constraction (Bionicle) builders use a lot of bionicle parts but many other AFOLs consider them useless. – Nathan Stohlmann Dec 18 '20 at 14:58
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    @NathanStohlmann I agree that most, event most obscure elements are given love in MOCs sometimes. They just not as popular between all AFOLs. And I didn't meant to say that all bricks that end up on Ebay/Amazon are actually useless so I've reworded my answer. – Alex Dec 18 '20 at 18:47
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The cheapest option to get elements in bulk is the pick a brick wall in Lego stores, or similar options in Legoland resorts. I know plenty of people who make their otherwise very expensive Lego hobby affordable by reselling those elements.

E-bay and Amazon are similar platforms in that you can reach a large market of people who aren't aware of this option or do not have easy access to a store nearby.

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It's common for these sellers to be drop-shippers, using BrickLink stores as their fulfillment provider. All other comments apply.

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