eBay Spending and So Many Legos

We have some news!!!  We are going on vacation!  OK that’s really not news, probably won’t catch this anywhere besides Mrs. Even Steven’s Facebook page, but news for us.  We are taking a little break to visit Miami, enjoy some sunshine and family, possibly in that exact order since we live in Chicago;)  We will be celebrating the wife’s birthday, most likely at a park with some BBQ and some sunshine.  If the wife is truly luck and then I unlucky, you will find me out at Miami’s hottest dance club, partying like it’s 1999. 

In my absence, I have asked some of the finest personal finance bloggers in the world to share their writing talents and stories with us all.  Please welcome Slowly Sipping Coffee to the stage, if you like what you read please head over to their site and share in the comments below. 


The SSC kids received a small box of Legos* for Christmas and have really enjoying playing with them. Mrs. SSC has also REALLY enjoyed playing with them, I think as much or more than the kids. We were pretty limited on our building capacity, having only ~50 pieces, and we were debating buying more, but those playsets are pretty darn expensive. So, Mrs. SSC being ever resourceful turned to the internet to look for some cool Superhero Legos for our son and discovered that you could buy a single Batman Lego figurine for mere pennies. Well, maybe 300 pennies… and in the midst of searching for more Legos she found out people sold of boxes of them at a time on eBay. And then it all started going downhill. “How could Legos go wrong?” you ask… well, let me tell you… It all started with a simple question from Mrs SSC, “Hey – how does eBay work?”

So, as most of us know, eBay is pretty great. I’d used it back in the day to pick up some inexpensive homemade bamboo fly rods, and other occasional knickknacks, along with selling a few items. But, since they changed their format a decade or so ago, I haven’t really used as much. Still, I was more familiar with eBay than Mrs. SSC, so, I outlined the basic premise – You put in a bid, and see if you win it, or ‘click buy it now’. Little, did I realize, I should’ve given her a tiny bit more instruction.

Mrs. SSC: “I found 280 Legos for $25! I’ll put in a bid for $27.”

Mr. SSC: (Shaking my head in disbelief) “No, no, no, no…. See, you bid however much you’d be willing to pay, and it will incrementally move it up for you. If you just bid $2 over, you’re wasting your time. Bid what you’d ultimately be willing to pay for it.”

Mrs. SSC: “Oh, okay, that makes sense. I’ll put a bid in on these then.”

Little did I know, that after a little searching around, she found an even bigger lot and it was a better deal than the one she already had a bid on. Confident she would lose that first auction, she bid on this bigger lot of about 350 Legos. A day or so goes by and I hear that Mrs. SSC won that item and she was nervous because now she might win the other item as well.

Mrs. SSC: “Okay, so how do I cancel my bid? I don’t want this bigger group anymore.”

Mr. SSC: “You can’t.”

Mrs. SSC: “Oh sugar!!!”**

A few more days pass, with Mrs. SSC huddled by her laptop, nervously wringing her hands, praying that someone else puts in a bid on that lot of Legos. Alas… I will sum it up by saying that soon we had two giant lots of Legos in transit to the SSC household, along with a Batman figurine. Why do we need more than 600 Legos? I can’t answer that because I don’t know either. But we do.

600 Legos make a great obstactle course in the middle of the night!

600 Legos make a great obstacle course in the middle of the night!

Thank goodness for allowances though, as this was all coming from Mrs. SSC’s personal funds. That’s what our allowances are for though – We can spend on something that is non-essential without feeling guilty about breaking the FIRE budget, since allowances are built in to the budget. Plus, it gives us an outlet to be able to not feel so restricted with FIRE and justifying every little purchase. I have my allowance and budget it according to my hobbies, and Mrs. SSC does the same with hers… although, now apparently her new hobby is playing with Legos.

I do have to admit – I had a similar experience with our son who also received a toy car track set for Christmas. I had been making giant loops over the couch, and other toy obstacles, and I just needed a little more track, plain and simple. So, I bought a booster set with 15′ of track, a few more cars, and some fun turn-arounds. Now, I can race my cars through Mrs. SSC’s Lego City, all while the kids play Godzilla, tearing around and ruining our fun. Don’t they understand these toys are for the parents?????

Not built by the three year old.

Not built by the three year old

At least now, Mrs SSC has learned how eBay works. So, in the future the kids can amuse themselves with the boxes that the toys are delivered in. I just can’t wait until the kids get old enough for Kinects, robotics, erector sets, and rockets! That’s going to be awesome, and hopefully, one of the kids will be into it too!

Have you had an experience like this before, where you get something for yourself, that you tell yourself is really for the kids?

Better yet, end up buying more than one of the same item, or just a ridiculous amount of something?

Please let us know we’re not alone in this regression to childhood!!!



* Technically they were Duplo, Lego’s bigger, chunkier cousin for toddlers. However, everyone knows what Legos are.

** Technically, not the family-friendly word that Mrs. SSC used…

12 Responses to “eBay Spending and So Many Legos

  • Nothing specific comes to mind, but I know I’ve done it in the past. Not the “for the kids” argument, since we don’t have any. But I’ve definitely gone a little overboard when I was buying up for crafts and such.

    You don’t realize how much you’re bidding on until you win all of them. Then you’re sitting surrounded by, say, piles and piles of yarn. Hypothetically, of course.
    Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted…Blood, teeth and HVACMy Profile

  • Yeah – I thought for sure I’d be able to cancel a bit 🙂 Oh well! Now I am just hoping I can sell them for a similar price in a few years… but then I’ll just be replacing the Duplos with the real Legos!

  • Uh, I’m guilty with cloth diapers off eBay. You have to bid on lots because you won’t win them all, right?

    We were going to get the Little Miss some Legos for Christmas, but they really were more expensive than I thought. She was a little young too, so maybe for next Christmas I can find a good deal on eBay….
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Grocery Shopping on a Budget of $200: 6 Lessons LearnedMy Profile

  • Great score on eBay! I don’t have kids, but my Legos from when I was a kid are all organized neatly in bins in my parent’s basement. One day they will be my kid’s Legos. I do not shop on eBay often, and probably for good reason – I’m sure I would find a ton of stuff I want to buy.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…3 Ways to Make Your Living Situation More AffordableMy Profile

    • I can be a real impulse buyer, especially years ago, and man did I end up with some stuff that I now think, “What did I need this for?” Now I avoid sites that might tempt me, like banjo hangout’s classified section, amazon – unless I have a specific item in mind, etc…

  • Not going to lie… I can’t wait for my little guy to be read for legos. Lucky for me, my mom kept ALL of my legos from my childhood, so we should be pretty set.

  • I can be a real impulse buyer, especially years ago, and man did I end up with some stuff that I now think, “What did I need this for?” Now I avoid sites that might tempt me, like banjo hangout’s classified section, amazon – unless I have a specific item in mind, etc…

  • I totally get it, and my girls get way much more Lego than they want, but little do they know I am investing in their future. That’s right, Lego continues to hold it’s value and the re-sale of it in years to come will far out way the return on fad toys they want (and break). For the record I probably have 10k+ pieces just waiting for an opportunity to resell them. Don’t feel guilty when you buy quality. 🙂

  • Good Idea.
    My children play LEGO Then concentrate more
    I bought my son to brain development.

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