Just in case it is in any way unclear: No affiliation with The Lego Group is implied or intended. See disclaimer

SPECIAL NOTE: These are rules for auctions run "by hand", that is, via email. I currently do all my auctioning at various auction sites. A favorite of mine is Serious Collector. In fact, if you want to find auctions I am running there, click here.

Auction Rules

  1. Bids should be emailed to me at lpieniazek@mercator.com
  2. I will post updates on RTL once a week and to bidders daily.
  3. Minimum bid increments are shown in the chart below.
  4. Prices DO NOT include shipping. You pay insurance too, if you want it.
  5. Item state is noted and may be a Sealed Box Set, an Open Box Set, a Loose Pieces Set, or a No Box Set.
  6. Items will remain "open" until the Cutoff Date, and then begin progressing through going once, going twice, and sold on consecutive BUSINESS days. A bid received during this period resets the state to G1 as of midnight on the day it was received. (ask me if you are wondering about a particular weekday being a holiday)
  7. I have listed the opening bid in the "bid" column.
  8. I reserve the right to wait for checks to clear, (but I won't if I know you), to ask for references before allowing bids, and to pull any or all items (but I don't intend to unless noted).
  9. I hope that if you bid, you would like to buy at the bid price, even if you get outbid. I will offer the set to the Second Highest Bidder if necessary in order to try to complete the auction. However, I do recognize that people need to make different plans when outbid. I will not hold you to a bid once you are outbid.
  10. Buyer assumes all Missing Piece Risk if the set is a Sealed Box Set or Open Box Set. However, if there is some problem, please advise and I'll try to help.
  11. Preferred payment method varies by your location:
    1. US: I'd prefer payment via a personal check, but this is not carved in stone.
    2. NonUS: I'd prefer payment via a money order denominated in US funds. Ask if you have any questions
  12. Persons abusing the bidding process or generally being rude will be excluded from the bidding.
  13. I will allow auto bidding if you request it
  14. All prices are denominated in US Dollars. Foreign bidders will need to work out payment details.
  15. Timestamps on your email resolve ties as you might expect.
  16. Some items have Sealed Box Surcharges. These items are noted. The surcharge varies, and it will be clear whether it is a fixed dollar amount, or a percentage of the winning bid.
  17. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Bid Increment Chart

Opening bid Bid Increment
0.00-14.99 0.50
15.00-34.99 1.00
35.00-89.99 2.00
90.00-299.99 5.00
300.00 and over  10.00


The process whereby I will increase your bid in response to someone else's bid. You need to prearrange this with me, and you need to tell me how much to increase by (>= the bid increment amount) and when to stop (the highest you are willing to go). Your cap amount is private info and I will not reveal it to anyone else. I will notify you when you did an autobid and why (who the bidder was that bumped you). It sometimes becomes obvious that an autobid is in place based on the bidding sequences. I cannot help that.
Cutoff Date
The date after which the Once Twice Sold progression begins. This date may be the same for all items in an auction, or may differ from item to item.
Loose Pieces Set
The item has the original box, which has been opened. It may have been flattened at some point. The pieces have been removed from their bags. The bags may or may not be present. All other materials (stickers, instructions, flyers, minicatalogs, survey forms, etc.) if any, are present unless otherwise noted. Stickers have not been applied.
Missing Piece Risk
The chance that a Sealed Box Set or Open Box Set is missing a piece. Sometimes Lego(r) Consumer Affairs can supply a replacement, sometimes they can't. If you pay the Sealed Box Surcharge, you assume Missing Piece Risk. If you don't, I assume the risk (but if I find a missing piece, I have the right of refusing to sell the set to you instead of obtaining a replacement piece)
No Box Set
The item no longer has the original box. All required pieces are present (although spare pieces may be missing). Instructions are present unless noted. Stickers are not applied unless noted.
The process of concluding bidding on an item. An item with no activity goes to state Once at midnight of the cutoff date, and if no bids come in, to state Twice one business day later. Again, if no bids come in, the item progresses to state Sold one business day later.Should a bid come in while the item is in state Once or Twice, the item returns to open state and the "clock is reset". The item will go back to state Once at midnight of the day that the bid came in. Should a bid come in once the item is in state Sold, it is too late, the item has been sold already. Even if the item is not bought by the highest bidder, the bid is too late, as the item will then be offered Second Highest Bidder. This may mean a slight loss of potential dollars to me, but I prefer to run an orderly auction and not encourage late bidding.
Open Box Set
The item still has the original box, but it has been opened. The pieces are in their original bags, which are sealed. All other materials (stickers, instructions, flyers, minicatalogs, survey forms, etc.) if any, are present unless otherwise noted.
To remove an item from the auction, even if it has bids. I reserve the right to do this unless I specifically not that items will not be pulled.
Pulled for Trade
A type of pull in which the item is removed because someone worked out a side deal with me for an item I really want. See my Wish List for ideas on how to get my attention (grin).
Reserve Price
A secret threshold that if not exceeded, will cause an item to be pulled at the end instead of being sold to the highest bidder. I don't use reserve prices.
the rec.toys.lego newsgroup on the internet
Sealed Box Set
The item is still in the original box. The seals are on the box and have not been tampered with. Therefore, all the parts, instructions, stickers, etc. should be there. However, buyers of a Sealed Box Set item assume Missing Piece Risk.
Sealed Box Surcharge
I am a BUILDER, not a collector. Some of the items I am selling are ones that I would like to build and play with myself, but can't afford to keep. Some items have sealed boxes, or have opened boxes but with the parts sealed in their bags. If an item has a Sealed Box Surcharge (percentage or dollar amount), the winning bidder has two options:
Play occurs while waiting for your check to arrive and for it to clear. Bidders need not reveal their selection until they win the item.
Second Highest Bidder
The bidder that bid the second highest amount of money, or in case of ties, the bidder who did so earliest. In case of a problem with the high bidder, the item will be offered to the second highest bidder (whose bid is not considered binding, see the reoffer rule), or reauctioned at my option
The dollar cost of sending the items to the winning bidders. All bids are exclusive of shipping cost unless specifically noted. I prefer to use exact dollar figures and enclose a refund of overage. I will try to honor your shipping requests within reason, but I reserve the right to use no more than 2 different shipping firms per auction, one of which almost always will be the US Postal System.
Trade Credit
A dollar figure arrived at in a side transaction, in which the bidder supplies an item on my Wish List (or that tickles my fancy) and I credit the bidder the amount we arrived at as credit towards bid items. Should the bidder win items of less value than the trade credit (or no items at all), I owe the bidder some or all of the trade credit.
Wish List
Items I want and will offer trade credit for. I have a Wish List you can look at.

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