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How to Make Money with LEGO Brick by Brick

There are a lot of enterprising and interesting ways to make money in our modern world, but can you really make money with LEGO?

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LEGO may have started off as a way to stop blocks from falling over, but it has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry, with commercial tie-ins and plenty of competitors.

Fueling the growth of LEGO is a combination of adult and child fans, both clamoring to get the latest Star Wars or Harry Potter versions of the plastic toys.

There are actually a few ways that you can turn this to your advantage and make money with LEGO.

10 Ways to Make Money with LEGOs

Many in the LEGO community know that there are several income streams possible in the Brick-building world.

But if you’re new to LEGOs or  trying to find a hobby that can turn into a money-making opportunity,

1. Speculate in LEGO

Is LEGO better than stocks?

The most common way people are making money with LEGO is through speculation.

The idea is that you buy and hoard LEGO sets when they first come out, or better yet when they are on sale.

If and when the LEGO set becomes discontinued, you can sell the set for a price much higher than what the original set cost.

Profits on these sets can be staggering when looked at in relation to standard stocks.

Let’s take the 10179 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon. When it was released in 2007, it sold for $499.99 in 2005. Today, a new, unopened set has a value of approximately $2,999.20, which means it has a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 14.78%!

What sells?

The thing about speculation is that you need to make sure what you’re purchasing to store will actually sell in the future.

As such, most LEGO investors focus on popular items such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and other popular films and franchises.

This doesn’t mean you can’t find other sets to purchase though. There’s a market for architectural LEGO sets as well as some of the more obscure ones.

The main thing here is to do your research. Using sites like BrickPicker and BrickEconomy can help you find trends and ideas, as well as monitoring marketplaces like eBay.

Where to sell

The main place to sell pristine condition LEGO sets is eBay. It’s popular, safe, and easy to use. Of course, they take a slice of the pie, but for the security you get versus selling directly, it’s worth it.

As an alternative, you could use BrickLink or Brick Owl, which are marketplaces for selling LEGO sets and pieces.

Things to keep in mind

There’s actually a whole bunch of things you need to be aware of before starting your LEGO speculation career:

1. Condition – Any LEGO set you buy, store, and intend to sell in the future has to be in perfect condition. This means your storage area has to be climate-controlled or at the very least moisture- and rodent-free.

2. Storage – Aside from keeping your sets in top condition, you need to make sure that you actually have enough room to store everything. LEGO sets are bulky and the largest (and potentially most profitable sets) can be positively huge. A garage-sized space can be enough to get you started.

3. Depreciation – Like with any investment, there is the chance that the price can drop. All it takes is for you to either pick the wrong set or for LEGO to reintroduce a set to see your profits disappear.

4. Shipping – Depending on how you sell the sets, shipping and packaging costs need to be considered. For the most part, these can be put on the buyer, but even if they are, you still need to physically pack and ship the sets, which takes time and space, as well as some upfront costs.

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2. Salvage LEGO Bricks

If you don’t have the capital or the storage space to buy and store brand new, mint condition LEGO sets, you can always go the “salvager” route.

Here, you look to buy LEGO bricks in bulk lots from other people through yard sales, Craigslist, eBay, etc.

You can then sort the pieces by color, size, and shape. You can then organize them into sets that you can sell for a profit.

It’s sort of retail arbitrage with LEGO bricks.

If you have used but complete sets (make sure they’re complete by looking at their building instructions online), these can be sold for even more. You won’t get to sell these for the same price as pristine sets, though, unless it’s a very rare set.

This method takes up much more time but is offset by the generally lower cost of bulk purchases and the fun that you can have sorting the LEGO bricks.

LEGO hoarding

Things to keep in mind

1. Time & space – As I mentioned, sorting LEGO bricks and assembling them into smaller sets will take time. Also, you probably won’t need garage-sized storage space but you’ll still need to have some space to place your LEGO bricks in.

2. Local isn’t always good – Even if you live in an area with many LEGO enthusiasts, you may need to have to look elsewhere for good-quality LEGO bricks.

3. Ask for more info – If you’re buying a bulk lot of LEGO bricks, make sure to ask if the seller knows what’s in it. This can help you determine the value, especially if there are some popular sets.

3. Get Paid to Design New LEGO Sets

If speculating or thrift-shopping LEGO doesn’t interest you, but you love building different things from basic LEGO blocks, then you should probably consider designing new LEGO sets.

LEGO themselves make this almost absurdly easy with their LEGO Ideas website.

The way it works is that you first create a new LEGO set from actual, currently available LEGO bricks or a virtual building tool, and then submit it to the LEGO Ideas site.

People then come and support your idea, and once your idea reaches 10,000 supporters, it will then be flagged for expert review.

The review process is done by LEGO employees and there’s no guarantee that your set will be chosen, but if it is they will actually make the set for sale!

So how do you make money with your LEGO idea?

Well according to the LEGO Ideas site, if your idea is chosen you will receive:

1% of the total net sales of the product (this includes projects featuring original models based on third-party intellectual property such as a game, TV show, or movie).

1% might not seem like much, but consider the size and scope of LEGO’s consumer base and price structure of sets (even small simple ones sell for $10 or more), and you can see that this has the potential to be a very good, not to mention passive, money-spinner.

Of course, getting your ideas selected in the first place is the hard part, but if you have the skills and enjoy building new creations anyway, it’s worth submitting them.

4. Create With LEGO Bricks

If designing isn’t your strong suit, don’t fret! There are other ways to earn money with your LEGO building skills.

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Become a LEGO Master Builder

Who knew you can make a living from constructing stuff with LEGO bricks?

LEGO employs Master Model Builders, who build those large-scale, detailed sculptures in LEGO retail stores, Discovery Centres, special events, and LEGOLAND theme parks.

You get to play with LEGO bricks all day, and that sounds like a dream job, but you rarely get to be a master builder on the spot. You usually start as a model gluer and work your way up to master builder.

Also, the pay isn’t that glamorous. Master model builders earn around $37,500 per year. It isn’t life changing, but the fact that you get paid to play with LEGO bricks all day probably makes up for it.

Become A LEGO Artist

More and more people are using LEGO bricks outside of their general use case to make money.

People are creating art and even furniture with LEGO. Artists like Sean Kenney and Bruce Lowell command high prices for their unique works of art.

Businesses often want custom pieces done, and there are enough geeks and LEGO aficionados out there to create a decent-sized market for your potential work.

5. Work for LEGO

If you are dead serious about your LEGO obsession, then why not browse LEGO’s career board?

You can do more than just build as you can help shape and design the future of the company.

You can also work at any of the LEGOLAND locations like California, Florida, or New York.

6. Build a LEGO Artist

It may seem like the same thing as LEGO builder, but what I’m referring to as a LEGO artist is someone like Stefano Belcato. 

Belcato is an Italy-based LEGO master who reimagines some of the most celebrated paintings from the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Piero Della Francesca, and Andy Warhol into cool LEGO “paintings.” All the pieces Stefano creates feature LEGO minifigures as the models.

I’m not saying you should copy Belcato, but find a niche or style you can do to combine LEGOs with some kind of art medium.

7. Offer LEGO-themed Events

You can build massive LEGO-themed party décor, organize events and workshops dedicated to LEGO fans, and other similar  special occasions.

You can charge as an organizer, event venue decorator, host, or other roles depending on what you’d like to offer.

8. Build Your Own LEGO Subscription Box Business

If you’re into buy-and-sell or scavenging LEGOs, a subscription box business can be a perfect fit for you.

You don’t even need to have a brick-and-mortar store – you can totally run a subscription box business from the comfort of your own home.

You just need to have an eye for rare pieces, custom builds, and exclusive content that you can curate into a monthly box subscribers would go crazy for.

9. Provide LEGO Photography Services

If you have photography skills and a passion for LEGOs, you can mix these two and offer photography services for LEGO builders and LEGO businesses.

You can also take photos of LEGOs and minifigures from your own collection and sell your photos online.

10. Become a LEGO Blogger or YouTuber

Create content around LEGO on a blog or YouTube channel. Monetize through a wide range of platforms, such as:

  • Affiliate Marketing (promote LEGO products and earn a commission for each sale through affiliate links placed in your blog content).
  • Display Ads (monetize your blog by displaying advertisements from ad networks, earning revenue based on impressions, clicks, or a combination of both).
  • Sponsored Content (if you’re lucky, you can collaborate with LEGO or other brands in the LEGO industry for sponsored blog posts. In this kind of collaboration, you create content featuring their products in exchange for payment).
  • Memberships or Subscriptions (you can offer premium content or exclusive perks to subscribers who pay a membership fee, providing them with additional value and access. Membership platforms like Patreon work well for this route).
  • Sell Physical Products (you can open up a subscription box business within your blog, buy-and-sell rare LEGO kits, or create your own LEGO-inspired products to sell in your site).
  • Podcasting (you can start a podcast and monetize through sponsorships, ads, or premium content subscriptions for your podcast audience).

Having a LEGO-themed blog means you can also put a donation button, where visitors can voluntarily give you monetary donations “for a cup of coffee” or appreciation.

Yes, You Can Still Make Money with LEGO in 2024

While some people look upon LEGO as simply a child’s toy, others with vision are looking to turn a profit and even create a business from these simple bricks.

LEGO as a business does not look to be slowing down any time soon, and with new LEGO fans growing up with the cartoons and games, the opportunities for making money with LEGO are not abating.

What are you waiting for? Go and find your bricks!

If you love this post, don’t miss my guide about other hobbies that make money or selling vinyl records, baseball cards, and other collectibles.