Today we are covering How to Buy 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, which covered a lot of great ways to save on new LEGO) you will get the best deals on used 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 are covering ALL of the great ways to save. Most of which we have personally tried and a few other ideas that friends and family have tried.
As we did in the last article we cover effective ways to save money on LEGO at each store/venue. Get ready to save!
How to Buy Used LEGO (and get it 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
- 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.
There are many different types of LEGO you can buy used. They include LEGO sets, LEGO minifigures, LEGO elements, bricks, plates, technic pieces and more. Pretty much anything that has been made, can be found used.
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 offer good pricing, others offer very little for the money. Here are some solid tips to help you get a good eBay deal.
You can buy most any combination of LEGO on eBay:
- LEGO sets
- bulk assortments
- specific number of pieces
- a group of minifigs,
- or even manuals.
There is a very big selection to choose from.
Here is what you need to be aware of:
Buying LEGO in Bulk on Ebay
Get actual assortment photos. If you are going to buy in bulk, you should be careful so you are sure you get what you are paying for. You will 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.
Beware cherry picking. Many bulk assortments already have the good pieces (elements, specialty bricks, minifigures – minifigs) cherry picked out to sell elsewhere. Again, you want to see the actual picture of what you are getting. If all the good pieces are gone, you are going to end up paying a premium price for the cheaper bricks.
Check shipping costs. If shipping is not a set price, make sure you calculate before bidding. Bulk LEGO can be expensive to ship because it is heavy. If the shipping price seems high you can ask the seller how it is calculate. The best way to ship LEGO, depending on the size of the shipment is most likely with flat rate priority mail boxes or via Fed Ex.
Evaluate seller feedback and make sure there aren’t complaints about the assortments that are sent. This is very important. Don’t just look at the star rating. Make sure you check people’s feedback on the actual LEGO assortments they sell.
Look for 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. If it doesn’t say that in the listing, either skip it or contact the seller to ask.
Avoid 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.
Purchase 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.
You can also meet at some police stations or police meetup places. In our area there is a meetup station that is recorded by the police department. It is way on the other side of town though so not very convenient for us.
Many craigslist transactions go smoothly but you do want to be safe. You can find great deals on LEGO on craigslist but you have to know what you are doing.
Shop many locations, not just in your geographic area. The selection on CL 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. TIP: check retail prices, Amazon and Ebay to see how much sets are going for and decide if you think it is a good deal for you.
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. The fastest buyer will get the deal.
You can bargain. Usually this works best if you are buying several items from the same seller. Try asking for a deal and get a discount for buying more than one set or buying everything they have.
Do you have more? Always ask if they have other items available for sale. You would be amazed at what you may run across by doing this!
Advertise. Place an ad saying you will buy use LEGO sets or used LEGO in bulk.
Buying Used LEGO on Facebook Marketplace
Most of the tips for buying on Facebook Marketplace are the same as for buying on craigslist (see above.)
However, there are a few extra things to keep in mind.
Facebook buy sell groups. Finding general buy sell groups in your area is easy. Just use the Facebook search bar for your location and the words “buy sell.” These groups are filled with people who put up all sorts of things for sale. Search within groups to find what you are looking for. Again, you must be fast.
Look for LEGO Facebook groups. There are also LEGO buy sell trade groups in some local areas. We have one near me though it is not very active. Most of the better groups are for all of the United States. If you are in a different country, your options may vary but I bet you can find a good group if you ask around! Many people selling on these groups will ship. Payment is often through Paypal or Stripe.
Use Due Diligence. Make sure the person you are doing a transaction with is on the up and up. Put his seller name in the search box of a group you are in and a couple other similar groups to see if any complaints come up.
Block and Move on. If you get messages from someone in the group that is not related to buying LEGO or makes you uncomfortable, block and move on. I actually had to deal with a couple of uncomfortable situations through FB buy/sell groups and I ended up having to block people.
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.
However, that is not always the case. I also snagged a bag of LEGO that had a whole bunch of plates in it for $3.00. Awesome!
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. There is a line at one of our popular thrift stores each and every morning they are open. Remember you are competing with resellers as well as people like you who want to find specific things. Rest assured there are others looking for the same thing you are!
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. Bonus: Some will actually hold items for you and as long as you buy the majority of what they hold they will continue to give you first pick.
Bargain. Again, with smaller shops you can ask them for a discount for buying in quantity. 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. LEGO is heavy.
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.
Buying LEGO at Garage Sales, Yard Sales and Rummage Sales
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 (yay!) many years ago, but rarely find good deals like that now.
People know that LEGO is expensive and usually mark it accordingly. Sometimes you will get lucky and find someone who just wants it gone. That is a good day indeed.
Go Early. Again, you need to make sure you are there right at the start of the sale.
Call Ahead. 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.
Don’t put them down. Once you have them in your possession do not put them down while you shop. Keep your hands on them at all times.
Don’t put it at the checkout area. Honestly, if there is something I really want at the rummage sale, I do not even leave it up at the checkout area. People sometimes say something is theirs when it isn’t and if they sale is busy, the person checking people out may not know who put it up there.
Bargain. You can totally bargain at a garage sale. One of the best tactics is to group a bunch of things together and say will you take $xx.xx for this stuff? Add up what it would normally be and offer to buy it all at a lower price. Go a bit below what you want to get it for and let them come up a little bit from that price if needed. You will get awesome bargains this way!
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 deal unless you are only ordering a few pieces.
Bigger shops. If you are going to be ordering a lot of LEGO bricks and pieces, you should look for a bigger store that has good variety and has what you are looking for in stock 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. (although some buy bricks and then sell them so one can’t be 100% sure that the place the seller got them from was no smoking, no pets.)
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 may 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 from that place.
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 buy used LEGO (and Get it Cheap!)
I can guarantee that they work! I’ve used many of these ideas to build our LEGO collection over the years. 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 article for how to save on new LEGO bricks, sets and elements.