Spotting LEGO selling scams

[From the question: How do I know if this great offer is legit?]

It’s an unfortunate reality of our modern era that there are people out to scam others in order to make money.

It is very easy to get caught up in believing you have found a brilliant bargain when you see a LEGO set listed for a great price. Scammers seem to target those who are new to the hobby and are not sure about pricing or how to recognize a dodgy listing. It can happen in Facebook trading groups, on eBay, online classifieds and/or Bricklink. Even experienced purchasers of LEGO sets can be caught up if it involves something they have been after for quite a long time.

Here are some telltale signs:

  • It’s a set that normally sells for a high price. It can be a currently available set or something that has been retired. The listed price will be considerably cheaper than retail and sometimes cheaper than the wholesale cost
  • The person has multiple copies of the same high price set at a cheap price
  • Or they have a range of hard to find sets at good prices
  • (On Bricklink) a store that has low feedback but appears to have lots of high price sets
  • A seller that only accepts Western Union for payment
  • The products are copies or fake LEGO sets but they have listed them as being genuine LEGO products
  • (Possible stolen goods) A seller with a large range of LEGO product for cheap prices (below wholesale) where the seller does not seem to know very much about the product. They may use incorrect terms or claim to be able to get hold of an item in bulk when they are not normally available in such a way.

Note: someone selling products with inflated prices is not a scammer. They are just someone who wants a high return on their investment.

How to avoid buying from scammers:

  • purchase from well-known sellers or from the LEGO store online
  • only buy high price items from people with more than 100 feedback on Bricklink or eBay
  • Ask friends if they think it’s a legitimate listing. There are often discussions about this on the Bricklink forum
  • Assume anything that seems like a real bargain is likely to be a scam
  • Ask for photos of the set (not the standard set photos)
  • Make your payment via Paypal or offer to pick up in person

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