LEGO Sydney Opera House Set for Only $195

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sydneyoperahouseMy hubby is an AFOL. He has quite a collection of LEGO sets from the 70s to the present. I’ve helped him acquire many LEGO sets at a nice discount. Most recently, I was able to acquire the LEGO Sydney Opera House (10234) set for only $195! The set is selling for $319.99 + tax at the LEGO Store, Amazon.com, and Target.com. Many other places sell the set for higher price which makes me wonder why anyone would pay more when they could just buy it from these three places.

If you buy the set directly from the LEGO Store, you can earn VIP points that are the equivalent of 5% credit towards future purchases. If you buy the Sydney Opera House set from Amazon.com or Target.com, you can save at most 5-6% paying with a Chase Freedom credit card (5%), Discover Card (5% with possibly double cashback), Target RedCard (5%), or Target gift card (5-6%).

Target Store on eBay

ebaygiftcardNow 5-6% is still better than no discount, but there’s another way to get at least 15% discount on all your LEGO sets – buy it from the Target Store on eBay!  The prices are identical to Target.com and the LEGO store, but with eBay, you can get additional discounts when you stack various discounts, gift cards, shopping portal, eBay Bucks, and other promotions.

Here’s how:

  • eBay gift cards – you can always buy discounted eBay gift cards from 3-10% discount! I’ve been able to acquire them at about 10-12% discount while paying with a credit card that earns 3% cashback (Discover It Miles).
  • eBay Bucks – you can always get at least 2% rebate on eBay purchases, and if you opt-in to receive promotional emails, you can get up to 10% rebate.
  • shopping portal – most shopping portals offer 1% cashback on eBay. I use TopCashback.

If you time your purchase right, you could maximize your savings and save at least 20% on your LEGO sets! That’s exactly what I did when I received a targeted 4x eBay Bucks offer.

Here’s how I got 21% discount on the LEGO Sydney Opera House:

  • Price of the LEGO set on eBay: $319.99 + tax = $347.99
  • Paid via eBay gift cards (10%):  $347.99 x 0.9 = $313.19 charged to my Discover Card
  • Discover cashback (3%*): $313.19 x 0.03 = $9.39
  • eBay Bucks targeted offer (4x = 8%): $319.99 x 0.08 = $25.60
  • TopCashback (1%): $319.99 x 0.01 = $3.20
  • Total out of pocket = $313.19 – $9.39 – $25.60 – $3.20 = $275 → 21% discount!

* Discover It Miles offers 1.5% cashback and I’ll receive double cashback at the end of the first year.

But wait. I said I got the set for only $195. So where’s the other $80 discount?

I was already quite happy getting 21% discount for the set. I plan to sell it when the set retires. However, when the set was delivered to my house, the LEGO box arrived damaged. Despite being placed inside another box with lots of padding, there was a very noticeable rip on the LEGO box itself. Since I was planning to sell the set down the road, I needed the set and the box to be in perfect condition. You never know how much a LEGO box is worth until the set discontinues and you don’t have a box (or you have a damaged box)!

Two years ago, I bought one of the most coveted LEGO sets in history from Craigslist – the Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon (10179). The set was complete except it was missing the box. I went on eBay to see if I could find a box. There was only one box listed and it was selling for $250 at the time! I couldn’t bare to pay that much for a box and passed. Well, I never found another box on eBay again. So alas, the Millennium Falcon is without a box. Lesson learned. Never throw a LEGO box away if you plan to sell it! But I digress…

target guest serviceBack to the Sydney Opera House. I took the set with the damaged box to my neighborhood Target store to see if I could either exchange for a new set or return the item. I wasn’t sure how that was going to go since I ordered the set on eBay and paid via eBay gift cards.  Customer service didn’t ask any questions about where I bought the set from. They were glad to give me a refund since the store didn’t have that particular set in stock. I thought they’d give me a refund in Target gift card, but they actually gave me a full cash refund – all $347.99 for something that only cost me $275 out of pocket (when you account for all the cashbacks and rebates). In other words, I just made $73 on a set that hasn’t even retired yet! That’s 26% ROI!

Round Two

Well, I still wanted the Sydney Opera House set, so I waited patiently for another targeted eBay Bucks offer and this time around, it was 5x eBay Bucks (or 10% rebate)! I ordered another set, only this time, I received 10% eBay Bucks instead of 8%.

Here’s how I got another 23% discount on the LEGO Sydney Opera House:

 

  • Price of the LEGO set on eBay: $319.99 + tax = $347.99
  • Paid via eBay gift cards (10% discount): $347.99 x 0.9 = $313.19 charged to my Discover Card
  • Credit card cashback (3%): $313.19 x 0.03 = $9.39
  • eBay Bucks (5x targeted offer = 8%): $319.99 x 0.1 = $32
  • TopCashback (1%): $319.99 x 0.01 = $3.20
  • Profit from the first purchase: $73
  • Total out of pocket = $313.19 – $9.39 – $32 – $3.20 – $73 = $195.6 → 44% discount!

That is an absolutely AMAZING deal! I can’t wait to acquire more LEGO sets this way.

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