Selling The Missing Piece

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If you’ve ever “completed” a 5,000-piece puzzle only to discover it’s missing pieces, your sense of accomplishment might be dimmed. Because of this, it’s bad form to resell games or puzzles that are missing pieces, unless you clearly state what’s missing. Some venues don’t even allow that. After all, these products are supposed to be fun diversions, not exercises in futility.

So, can you make money off incomplete board games, Lego sets, and puzzles? Here’s the scoop:

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Game Pieces

There’s been a lot of buzz about game pieces lately. Hasbro’s Monopoly, for instance, retired the boot, wheelbarrow, and thimble. If you’re superstitious and swear that you can only win if you play the thimble, you can buy a replacement game piece online. It follows that you can sell game pieces individually as a complete set or in a bundle. The same is true of dice, cards, and other parts or accessories.


Legos get everywhere. Show me a kid who keeps his or her Legos perfectly organized at all times, and I’ll send a team of researchers to study the phenomenon. But Legos aren’t just for kids; in fact, the more complex builds are designed for teens and adults. Understandably, if you’ve spent hours putting together an expensive set only to find you’re missing a piece, you’re going to look for that piece everywhere.

Once you’ve overturned the couch cushions, moved the furniture, and emptied the vacuum cleaner, you might look online. If you do, you’ll find there’s a whole community dedicated to Legos, where you can buy the parts you need.


Selling individual replacement puzzle pieces isn’t a realistic option for a number of reasons. Identifying each piece is time-consuming for starters, and even if you and the potential buyer both identify it correctly, there’s no guarantee it will fit due to the way puzzles are made. However, you can get crafty. A quick search on Pinterest might inspire you to start a puzzle piece side business.

Instruction Booklets

Don’t forget there’s also demand for instruction booklets. This applies not only to games and Lego sets, but also to embroidery kits, model-building kits, and basically anything where someone would be lost without the instructions. Manufacturers will sometimes replace booklets for free, or make them available as downloads, but not all instructions can be tracked down this way.

If you want to resell games, it’s a good idea to check that all the pieces are included. In the case of puzzles and complex building kits, if you don’t want to check by putting them together, it might be enough to list the item with a “buyer beware – used items may not have all the pieces.”

Hunting for puzzles and Legos? Check out our Toys, Baby & Games auctions!


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