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Picture this: Your child approaches you with a toy request. For once, the toy isn’t a video game and doesn’t require batteries. Instead, they have their heart set on LEGOs. You jump for joy! And then you realize how much LEGO sets cost.
It feels ridiculous to hand over that much cash for a few hours of entertainment. On the other hand, creative thinking, problem-solving, and screen-free time are priceless. So how do you obtain the requested LEGO sets without going broke?
We’ve put together a list of tips to help you acquire LEGOs without losing the shirt off your back.
- Ways to Get Cheap LEGOs
- FAQ on Getting Cheap LEGOs
- Final thoughts
Ways to Get Cheap LEGOs
1. Buy used
If you do it right, this can be the best way to get cheap bricks. Don’t worry if sets are missing booklets or pieces. Instructions can be downloaded from LEGO’s website. Their customer service helps with stickers and lost pieces too. And if you strike out there, BrickLink probably has what you need.
Remember to give those bargain buys a good washing. Since they’re plastic, LEGOs can be dunked in warm water.
Below are a few places to get used LEGOs:
This is a wonderful online marketplace for buying and selling used LEGOs. Search by category to find a specific minifigure or set. While this is especially great for collectors who want retired items, it can be a useful tool for locating stickers or pieces for a set you already own. We don’t recommend BrickLink if you want a big bin of assorted bricks for a LEGO newbie. But if you or your child wants a certain set, definitely check BrickLink first.
You can find some serious deals on eBay and some complete ripoffs. Sellers who list LEGOs professionally will offer a quality product at an acceptable rate, and you can trust their customer service. But they probably won’t have the lowest price tag.
You want to find people offloading their LEGO collections without first researching the bricks’ value. These sellers unwittingly give you the deal of a lifetime. Keep in mind a few things though before bidding:
- Don’t buy from a seller without an overwhelming percentage of positive feedback. There’s a chance the auction is a scam.
- Account for shipping. What seems cheap might not be after you pay UPS.
- A bulk auction of LEGOs should cost around US$7 per pound.
This is where parents sell their huge bins of LEGOs after the kids grow up. You’ll frequently find listings for bulk bricks or mixed sets at amazing prices. People don’t want to sort through the pieces or research the value, and you can wind up with a steal. We like that sellers must have a Facebook account, so the transaction feels more transparent than a Craiglist sale.
If you don’t see a bargain on Marketplace, Facebook also hosts LEGO Buy, Sell, and Trade groups. Try to find one specific to your area.
(d) Second-hand LEGO Stores
Bricks & Minifigs has locations throughout the U.S. You can sell them your LEGO sets and browse other used ones. It’s a great place to dig through used minifigures. You might get lucky on eBay and find a better deal, but Bricks & Minifigs lets you look at used LEGOs in person.
If you don’t have a location near you, look for a local LEGO resale shop.
(e) Thrift Stores & Garage Sales
These options require an abundance of luck and determination. But if you find LEGOs, you’re sure to get a bargain! Browse your local garage sale listings for LEGO mentions and try calling ahead. If you’re shopping at a thrift store, arrive right when the store opens. LEGOs at Goodwill are like diamonds in the rough, but your patience and determination might result in baseplates and minifigures for a few dollars.
2. Buy in bulk
If you’re building a collection from scratch, we recommend buying basic LEGO parts in bulk. You can do this used or new. Remember that one pound of LEGO equals 180-300 pieces. Most experts recommend spending US$6-12 per pound, depending on the kind of pieces in your lot.
Ways to buy in bulk:
LEGO fans recommend visiting the LEGO store with your engineering hat on. If you’re able to utilize every cubic inch of the Pick-a-Brick cup, you can get a great deal. Layer the pieces from small to large, then fill the empty crevices with tiny studs. Your math skills will pay off!
The Pick-a-Brick wall also gives you an opportunity to obtain some interesting components without buying a whole new set.
If you’ve never used eBay before, you might feel safer purchasing bulk blocks from Amazon. You’ll find listings for assorted LEGO lots at competitive prices. And even if you use a third-party seller, you’ll get access to Amazon’s customer service.
3. Buy on sale
Sometimes you’d rather have new LEGOs. You might be looking for a specific set and haven’t found it used. Or you’re getting bricks for someone’s birthday. There are still ways to find LEGOs in the box at a discount.
(a) Clearance sales
Believe it or not, some LEGO sets don’t fly off the shelves. These kits go on sale or retire early due to lackluster sales. Big-box stores also have regularly-scheduled sales, like Black Friday or Back-to-School sales, that include LEGO. We love following Krazy Koupon Lady and her page dedicated to LEGO sales. Pay attention to her listings and you’re sure to get a low price on new sets.
Check out sales on LEGO’s website too! Subscribe to their mailing list to receive notices on those.
Costco usually charges less for LEGO than other big-box stores. If you’re looking for an extra-large set of mixed pieces or a huge seasonal build, visit their warehouse first.
(c) LEGO VIP
At the very least, join LEGO’s VIP program and earn points towards brick discounts. When you buy through their site or participate in their programs, you’ll rack up points. Eventually these get you 5% off. You’ll also have access to VIP sales. And frequently, when you make a purchase through LEGO’s website, they include a free promotional item.
(d) Buy through a cashback app
Do you have a Rakuten (formerly known as eBates) account? Get cashback from your LEGO purchases through your Rakuten account. Simply install the Rakuten browser app and activate your cashback before shopping on the LEGO online store. If you prefer to shop on your mobile, search for and navigate to the LEGO online store through the Rakuten mobile app. Rakuten partners with many other online retailers too, so it’s a great app to use all around for getting cashback when shopping online.
If your kids like to construct a set once and never use it again, you might be better off renting your LEGOs. NetBricks offers a subscription plan that allows you to rent LEGO sets, build them, then send the bricks back. You’ll have the thrill of creating without the expense or clutter. You and your kids can select specific sets from their catalog and do unlimited builds every month. The only question is how fast you can finish them!
FAQ on Getting Cheap LEGOs
Why are LEGOs so expensive?
Like with any toy, you pay more for quality. LEGO stands by its durable materials and excellent construction. According to Forbes, LEGO’s “quality control is so tight that only 18 out of a million pieces on the manufacturing line are discarded.” The company also pays licensing fees in order to bring you Star Wars sets and other media tie-ins. You might find similar products for a lower price, but it’s unlikely you’ll find such high standards or responsive customer service.
Is it cheaper to buy LEGO pieces individually?
Not usually. Especially if you subscribe to the idea that time is money! Scouring websites, yard sales and thrift stores might get you some bargains. But if you’re looking to build an existing set piece-by-piece, you’ll end up paying more. This method only makes sense if you want a retired, hard-to-find set. You can probably find the key pieces individually on BrickLink.
Do other brands work with LEGO? Is there a cheaper version of LEGO?
Other brands make bricks compatible with LEGO. Sometimes you can spot the difference by the quality. Brands like Mega Bloks are becoming popular enough that the prices resemble LEGOs. The main difference there is the licensing. You can find PJ Masks sets from Mega Bloks, but not LEGO.
If you want bulk, basic blocks at a lower cost, look for compatible brands like Garunk. They’re a clone brand available on Amazon. Customers like them and they’re LEGO-compatible. Buying basics from this brand frees up your money for specific pieces from LEGO — like minifigures, wheels or foliage.
Which country is cheapest for buying LEGO?
Believe it or not, the base cost of LEGO is the same globally. The major difference comes from taxes and tariffs. The U.S. has slightly lower prices, but this varies depending on other countries’ tax fluctuations.
Where can I get free LEGOs?
If you’re a LEGO VIP member, you can occasionally get a free mini set with a purchase on their website, or by attending a Mini Model Build. Don’t hesitate to put the word out to your friends and colleagues too. People love giving their unused toys a second life. You can also reach out to neighbors on a local Buy Nothing group.
How much are my LEGOs worth?
Want to sell your current LEGOs to buy new ones? Get the best value by pricing your pieces on Bricklink. Their catalog lets you search by set or piece number, and you can check what other sellers are charging. Whether you end up selling on Bricklink, Facebook, or eBay, this step helps you price your LEGOs properly. Then you can use these funds to acquire new sets!
Is there a good time to buy LEGOs?
Yes! If you have your heart set on a certain set, look out for its retirement date. LEGOs start out cheaper, then go up in price. After they’re retired, their worth — and cost — usually shoots way up. Keep track of retiring sets here and be sure to buy your set before it leaves production. If you’re lucky, retailers will put your set on clearance before it’s gone.
LEGOs are literally a building block of childhood. Creating vehicles, skyscrapers and brick cities is a foundation for many families’ playtime. But if you don’t have an excess of extra funds, you might feel left out. We agree it’s cool to get brand new, gigantic LEGO sets. It’s not a requirement though, and you can definitely acquire an impressive LEGO collection without going broke.
We’re sure at least one of our tips on how to get cheap LEGOs will work for you, saving you a bundle in cash. You’ll be left with a full piggy bank and a full LEGO bin.
For more on how to get cheap LEGO sets, check out our list of best budget LEGO sets.