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While most fans buy large numbers of sets and even new parts there is a also a lively market for second-hand or used LEGO both as parts and in sets.

Second-hand Versus Used

There is no universally agreed definition of used or second-hand in a LEGO context. A set still in a box is not generally considered used. It may be considered second-hand (especially if it shows some shelf wear as it has passed out of a retailers hands into those of a consumer before reaching the current buyer.

When dealing with collectors especially it is useful to be aware of terms such as MISB, NIB and the meanings of various descriptors such as:

  • bite marks - scratches or impressions left on elements from teeth when trying to separate elements.
  • built once - a given set is opened, put together following the provided instructions and then disassembled for storage and sale.
  • heavy playwear - elements used for a long time by children display damage and markings including bite marks (above).
  • lightly or gently used - usually this means someone has built and possible played with a given set or element.

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