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I have a large used LEGO set that I'm hoping to sell or gift onwards (Scorpion Pyramid). It's currently built (and therefore complete, and not mixed up with any other LEGO), but I'm not sure what to do to prepare it for passing on.

  • Do I take it apart? (I'm assuming yes)
  • Do I try to sort the bricks back into build-order bags (i.e. the mixture of pieces that comprised bag 1, bag 2 etc), or do I sort them some other way by type of piece and colour? What would a buyer expect to see?
  • When you obtained the set, were parts in several bags? Were they numbered? Some people may prefer to search parts in a big pile that having prepared bags when building their sets. – A.L Jul 30 '16 at 19:48
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    I bought it new, so the parts were in separate numbered bags, yes. I guess if I now provide numbered bags then someone who would prefer to have all the parts in a big pile can just open them all and tip them out!! – Mich Sampson Aug 1 '16 at 15:36
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I have bought several used sets and it's a mix - sometimes people send the entire set built, sometimes split into larger chunks, and sometimes broken apart into individual pieces. It all depends on the current state of the set (fully assembled, partly assembled) and on the dimensions and availability of the shipping supplies. In the US it is easier to break the set apart and fit it in one of the pre-priced USPS shipping boxes that give you a uniform rate.

As a buyer, I always break the sets I receive down to the individual items and then inventory the sets using the full set inventory. Time intensive but it assures me I get the full set, and that there are no short-cuts/substitutions etc.

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I haven't bought much used Lego. But normally an entire set would be mixed together into one or two ziplock bags.

Given that the set is currently assembled, are you sure it has all the parts? Sometimes there are loose parts or figures that don't make it onto the final build. You may want to double-check with the instructions by rebuilding it.

Finally, is the set dusty or dirty or oily? If so you may want to consider dusting it or washing it (mild, warm, soapy water).

If you're feeling adventurous you could re-sort the set into bags corresponding to the instruction steps. I'm not sure a buyer would expect that. Or, perhaps more easily, if you sorted the parts by colour, it might make it easier to verify the inventory.

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    Thank you! Yes, I'm sure it has all the parts, as I was the one who built it and it's all been hanging out on a shelf ever since! But I'd certainly be willing to break it down for a buyer. I wonder whether a buyer would prefer parts sorted by colour or by size, but I guess there's some discussion of sorting in other questions on the site! – Mich Sampson Jul 30 '16 at 18:33
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As a general answer, it depends. Having to search for parts in a pile of LEGO can be one part of the pleasure of building. Unless the model has 1000+ pieces and it can become a nightmare.


If you have time

You can disassemble the set by following the instructions in reverse order and pack parts in several bags, then give them numbers in reverse order.

Otherwise

One quicker solution may be to:

  1. split the pyramid from the top to the bottom
  2. disassemble each part and put the parts in a bag
  3. number the bags in descending order (e.g.. 7 for top, 1 for bottom)

Since LEGOs are very often assembled from bottom to top, the other person will just have to open the bag 1 to start the assembly, etc.

But the instructions may not match perfectly with the order of the bags, so you should probably inform the other person that if a part can't be found at a given step, it should be in following bags.

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