As I read my son’s Christmas wish list (aka the Santa List) this year, I was secretly hoping for more variety, but there it was — all Legos again. With age came sophistication for which Lego products he wanted, but so came an increase in price. It was getting more difficult to find a good deal at the Lego retailer or the big box store. So I ventured out into the used Lego market on eBay and Craigslist.
My first exchange went well – I was lucky. The Craigslist seller was young, with a trunk full of perfect-condition Lego boxes. I stockpiled the less expensive ones and kept his contact information. But he didn’t have what I was looking for the next time around. He suggested I go to BrickLink.
BrickLink is amazing — it was the place to go. As I opened the website link, I discovered a vast marketplace like none I’ve encountered before. BrickLink is the unofficial worldwide marketplace for buying and selling used Legos. It was started by Daniel Jezek, a computer programmer and fan of Lego. BrickLink went live in 2000 and is now to Lego what eBay is to secondhand shopping online in general. BrickLink is unique to the entire Lego world. You can find that one missing piece or that long-discontinued set that was a distant memory from childhood. It is a catalyst to bring people back into the enjoyment of Legos for themselves and to share with their kids. Today, more than $40 million worth of items are sold in the BrickLink community from every sector of the globe.
How it works: You can search different seller’s stores to see what is being sold. If you are looking for a particular item, you can search for that item directly. Once you find an item of interest, the site breaks out the details including number of parts, minifigures and year released. Also noted is the Lego suggested retail price and the site price guide. The price guide is great because it gives you the history of sales for the past six months compared to what is currently listed, including minimum, average and maximum pricing amounts. If you are looking at a collector’s edition or hard-to-find item, you may be paying more than suggested retail.
With a little searching, I soon found exactly the Lego I was looking for in numerous states, sold by numerous sellers. I contacted the seller nearest me with the best price and made the connection in person to save on shipping. In a few days, I was set for Christmas and made it work within my budget thanks to BrickLink.
Moreover, I now know what to do with our old Lego sets. If my son continues to be a Lego enthusiast, he can resell his Legos and save up to buy the bigger and more collectible Lego sets.
Tips for getting the best Lego deals:
- To shop Lego stores directly, sign up for VIP membership for exclusive member-only gifts, special store events and special bonus and double-point offers.
- For online purchases, buy from sellers with a good history rating.
- Look for terms such as “complete set” and that each set includes all necessary components, including the box, minifigures and instruction manual.
- Read the online description carefully. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is. Maybe the only thing for sale is the instruction manual.
- For efficient BrickLink searching, use the item number located on the front of each Lego box.