Today we are covering How to Score Used LEGO and Get it Cheap. Adding to your collection of LEGO is inevitable if you have a big LEGO fan and the cost of those little bricks can add up quickly.
Using the articles here, (earlier we wrote a popular article, How to Save Money on LEGO Like a Ninja, which covered a lot of great ways to save on new LEGO) you will get the best deals on LEGO and you can feel good about getting more pieces for your LEGO fan. Because, you know they are going to ask for more, right!?
Don’t worry, we have you covered. There are a lot of places to get good deals on used LEGO. We will go over all of the ones we have heard about or have personally tried. We will, as we did in the last article, cover effective ways to save money on LEGO at each store/venue. Get ready to save!
How to Get Used LEGO, Cheap
Each of the listed ways to save money on LEGO work. Keep in mind that some ideas for getting used LEGO are going to be better for you than others. It really has to do with what you are looking for, where you live, and what deals happen to be available when you are looking.
I am including detailed information below on each way to purchase used LEGO. Try a few and see which ones fit your needs and which you have to best luck with.
Buying Used LEGO on eBay
eBay can be a great place to buy LEGO. Notice I said “can.” It can also be a terrible place to buy LEGO. It all depends on the seller. Some sellers are awesome and others are, well, terrible. Here are some solid tips to help you get a good eBay deal.
You can buy most any combination of LEGO on eBay, from LEGO sets, to bulk assortments, to a specific number of pieces, to a group of minifigs, or even manuals. There is a very big selection to choose from.
- Bulk considerations. If you are buying in bulk you need to make sure that you are seeing pictures of the actual assortment that will be sent to you. If they show a picture and say random bricks will be sent, be cautious.
- Good pieces gone. Many bulk assortments already have the good pieces (elements, specialty bricks, minifigs) cherry picked out to sell elsewhere.
- Check shipping costs. If shipping is not a set price, make sure you calculate before bidding. Bulk LEGO can be expensive to ship.
- Evaluate seller feedback and make sure there aren’t complaints about the assortments that are sent.
- 100% LEGO. Some sellers have non-LEGO items included in their assortments and you don’t want to pay good money for non-LEGO parts. Try to find lots that are 100% LEGO.
- Sold by number of bricks. Some sellers put together a group of 50 or 100 bricks. Make sure to check what size you are buying. If you have bricks at home toss together an assortment that is similar to what you would be getting. 100 bricks sounds like a lot until you see the little pile of them. I personally think there are better, and much less expensive, ways to add to your collection than this one.
- $7.00 a pound. Some people say the price to shoot for on bulk LEGO is $7.00 a pound.
You can check out this How to Buy Bulk LEGO on eBay Guide as well for additional tips.
Used LEGO on craigslist
I will start this one out by saying that if you buy on craigslist make sure to follow all of the precautions necessary including meeting in a public place to do the transactions. Coffee shops are nice as there are plenty of people around and there are tables to set the merchandise on while checking to see if it what you expected.
Many craigslist transactions are good ones and you can find great deals here.
- Shop many locations. The selection isn’t limited by location as you can ask if people will ship. I am adding this tip in here as most people don’t think about that as an option.
- Prices vary widely. Some people are resellers and put high prices on their items. Make sure to know your prices.
- Act Fast. LEGO gets snapped up fast so you need to be quick. Sort by today and check on a regular basis. If you find something you like, email or text the seller immediately.
- You can bargain. Try asking for a deal or ask if they have other items available and get a discount for buying more.
- Advertise. Place an ad saying you will buy use LEGO sets or used LEGO in bulk.
Finding LEGO at Thrift Stores and Resale Shops
Goodwill, Salvation Army, Bethesda, and other stores and shops sometimes have LEGO. There are a plethora of these types of shops in most cities across the United States. Some are better than others for finding LEGO and some are better than others for the prices when you do find it.
I went to a Goodwill to see what LEGO was available and I found a sealed set (it was in their case near the front of the store) and it was very expensive. I could have gotten a much better deal buying it from a retail store.
- Go early. If you frequent a store be sure to find out when things are put out (most will have new stock in the mornings) and get there when they open for the best selection.
- Ask for it. With smaller shops, if you get to know the owner, you can ask him/her to call you when LEGO comes in. Some will, some won’t but it never hurts to ask.
- Bargain. Again, with smaller shops you can ask if you buy in quantity if you can have a discount. Be fair as these small shops have a low profit margin. Find a price that you both are happy with and you will likely to do more deals together.
- Look everywhere. Here is my biggest tip for buying used LEGO at resale shops. Look in every sort of box. Don’t just do a quick sweep for LEGO boxes or bins. Check cardboard boxes, Rubbermaid bins, and other containers. Give them a shake and if it sounds like LEGO check it out.
- Go online. Some of the stores have online auctions on eBay and other sites. You can ask if the store participates in something like that.
- No shipping charges. A bonus when shopping these stores is there are no shipping charges. Keep that in mind when deciding if something is a good deal.
To find thrift and resale shops for purchasing used LEGO try The Thrift Shopper. I used it and it was very accurate for my area.
I have had luck getting used LEGO at garage sales though I am finding it more difficult to score good deals as the years go by. I picked up a whole bin of LEGO for 1.50 many years ago but rarely find good deals like that now. People know that LEGO is expensive and usually mark it as such.
- Go Early. Again, you need to make sure you are there right at the start of the sale.
- Call Ahead. Or, you can look up the phone number for the address listed and call ahead to see what LEGO they are selling and ask nicely if you might be able to come over the night before to make your purchase. I have heard of people doing this but have not tried it myself. Some people will allow this but many don’t really like to do it saying it isn’t fair.
- Go Fast. Once you get there do a really fast sweep through the whole sale looking for LEGO.
- Pick it up. If you see LEGO boxes or bins, pick them up right away. You don’t want someone else to walk over while you are looking and grab them all.
- Remember the tip from thrift stores that you don’t have to pay shipping so take that into account when deciding if something is a good deal.
Buy Used LEGO Through Bricklink
Bricklink is a favorite place to buy used LEGO. There are many, many sellers from around the world selling there. You can purchase by set, by lot (bulk) or by piece. You can also buy new or used. It is like eBay for all things LEGO.
To be honest the site is a bit confusing to navigate but just dive in and click around for a while and you will get used to it. If you want a bit of extra help, take a look at this tutorial video I found for you covering ordering on Bricklink.
- Shipping minimums. Many of the stores have a shipping minimum. This is something to be aware of but it isn’t usually very big.
- Bigger shops. If you are going to be ordering quite a bit you should look for a bigger store that has a lot of what you are looking for so you don’t have to pay shipping on so many different orders.
- Evaluate feedback. Before ordering from a seller, check the feedback rating. This works similar to eBay.
- No smoking. No Pets. I personally like to order from shops that state they are a no smoking, no pets household or shop. I want clean bricks without an odor.
- Search USA or the country you are from. If you are in the United States, go ahead and filter by USA to make things easy on yourself and to save on shipping.
- Search your state. Check to see if there is a larger seller in your state with great feedback. If so, it might be a good idea to try them out. Shipping will be less and you might be able to get a bit of a relationship going with this person. Go to: buy>>Americas>>USA>>then scroll to choose sellers under your state.
- Featured Stores. You can search for featured stores in the right hand sidebar. These are the stores with the highest sales volume in the last month. They usually have excellent feedback and a lot of bricks, elements and minifigs to choose from.
- Watch prices. Different stores charge different prices for the exact same part. Do your best to find a reasonably priced store to work with and order as much as you can in one order.
Get the Word Out That You Want to Buy Used LEGO
- Tell Everyone. Tell everyone you can think of that you want to purchase used LEGO. Your friends, family, neighbors, hairdresser, store clerks, resale and thrift workers, and so on.
- Place ads. Try placing an ad on craigslist, in free papers, in bulletins etc.
- Go Social. Put it out on social media. Tell people you are interested in buying used LEGO on Facebook and Twitter.
- Put up a pull tab flyer at grocery stores, and other stores.
I hope these tips help you to learn How to Score Used LEGO and Get it Cheap. I can guarantee that they work. You just have to be patient and try some of the different ideas posted to see which are going to work for you.
Please leave a comment with any tips you may have for saving money on used LEGO. Brain Power Boy is a community and we can all help each other out by sharing our ideas and tips.
Don’t forget to take a look at our How to Save Money on LEGO Like a Ninja! article for how to save on new LEGO bricks, sets and elements.