The Danish toy brick phenomenon, better known as “LEGO”, has been one of the most sought-after toy categories for decades. Today’s kids are just as enthralled with the LEGO build kits as previous generations, and adults are getting into the culture with their own love for all things brick. With sets ranging in price from $10 – $400, however, it is not an easy hobby to enter into with a limited budget. Getting LEGO cheap will require work.
So, how does one who wants the trendier LEGO builds at a low price go about shopping? What sites are the best for ordering builds? With the right strategy and a little flexibility, it’s possible to buy LEGO cheap, and pay low prices for even the most sought-after sets. Here are the top destinations for buying builds at much less than MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price).
Buy Directly From LEGO Cheap
LEGO is one of the few companies out there giving their customers some of the lowest prices when purchased directly from them. In addition to the brick and mortar locations set up in metro areas around the world, the online store is often stocked with last-minute sales, clearance inventory, and member-only offers. To be certain that you are always in the know on how to get all the good LEGO deals from Lego.com, it is recommend you do the following:
1. Become a LEGO VIP member. This is a free program that rewards its members nicely. By signing up, you are automatically alerted to the best deals for all LEGO customers. In addition, you’ll get exclusive access to VIP member deals, usually resulting in a free gift with purchase, a discount on your total purchase, free shipping, or bonus points. You can register through the LEGO website, in person at a LEGO store, or by calling the Lego customer service number (1-800-453-4652.)
2. Make sure you are logged in to your VIP member account with every purchase.
Each time you buy from Lego.com, you’ll be rewarded with points that can be redeemed for future discounts, special offers, and LEGO gear. Currently, each dollar spent will net you 1 point. Get $5 toward your next purchase after you accumulate 100 points. You are able to redeem your points for credit on your order at any time. While the offerings change each month, some of the more notable perks have been double points on select build kits and members-only gifts with purchase.
3. Check weekly for special offers.
In addition to the VIP deals, there is a constantly changing selection of deals for shoppers. These can be anything from “last-chance” prices on discontinued builds, 40% off or more on accessories and storage solutions, and a simple mark-down on their less popular kits. They do not always email these types of offers; you’ll have to check the site periodically for best selection.
4. Snag holiday reductions.
One of the best ways to build your collection for less is to buy holiday-themed inventory at clearance pricing. Their Christmas nativity sets, limited-edition Advent calendars, and Santa minifigs aren’t usually sold out before the holiday, making them a good buy when holiday inventory gets marked down. (The sets are just pieces, after all, which can be reconfigured and incorporated into your other builds, regardless of where they originated from.)
Pick-A-Brick: LEGO Cheap?
Did you know that you can buy LEGO pieces one-at-a-time? The LEGO company calls this “Pick-A-Brick.” Purchasing LEGOS at $.10 – $.30 a piece may not seem like a good buy, and it isn’t if you are simply trying to recreate a complete build kit a la carte. But if you know that the newest movie-themed set is made special only by a few additional pieces to a set you already own, you can likely get the same experience by buying just the minifig and some pick-a-brick elements. Most kids and adults get joy from customizing their LEGO builds, anyway. The Pick-A-Brick method allows you to buy just want you want or need – a very budget-friendly way to build a LEGO collection.
Most people feel comfortable shopping the large online retailer Amazon, especially during the holidays. With transparent pricing, hundreds of available sets, and free 2-day shipping for Prime members, it’s an easy way to buy. It’s important to note that Amazon likes to list the MSRP as the actual price of the LEGO sets, then appear to discount them deeply. Be sure to compare the prices on Amazon with retailers and don’t assume that 15% or 30% off really means it’s the lowest-priced alternative.
One way to buy LEGO cheap from Amazon is to sort by discount. To do this, sort by the following:
- Click on Toys & Games
- Then, choose Building Toys
- Next, select Building Sets
- Sort by LEGO brand on the left-hand side
- Choose Prime shipping on the left-hand side
- Sort by Amazon.com as the seller on the left-hand side
- Select your discount (25%, 50%, 75%) from the left-hand side
- Or, click here to see them sorted for you!
(Note: You can find deals from sellers other than Amazon. Their shipping prices and buying policies may not make the deal as good as it seems, however. Use your discretion before ordering from a 3rd party seller. They can be a good way to get discontinued LEGO cheap.)
Online Auction Sites
eBay is still a popular way to buy LEGO pieces and somewhat complete build kits. The chances are high to be duped into buying knock-off sets, however, and the practice of being sold imitation brick made from someone’s basement 3D printer are higher than normal when buying from a non-authorized LEGO dealer. If you’re up for the risk, however, the chance of getting a great deal on a bulk bag of bricks is high. Purchasing random LEGO cheap by the pound is how many people have built their collections to an enormous size for far less than retail.
Here are some additional tips to consider when buying cheap LEGO from online sites like eBay:
1. Know the piece count in each lot.
While many retailers sell by the pound, it’s more likely to find them sold in lots by number of pieces. If you’re not sure if something is a good buy, go to your LEGO sets at home and measure out 100 pieces of varying size to see how much you’ll actually get with a lot. You may get far less than you visualize when first looking at lots.
2. Calculate shipping.
LEGO can be expensive to ship. Look for sellers that combine shipping on multiple purchases and that offer reasonable shipping prices. It’s not uncommon to find the shipping prices to be more than the LEGO lots themselves, but unless the lot is especially small, you’ll want to be paying more for the LEGO itself than the shipping.
3. See the lot.
Is there a photo of the lot? If not, you might want to skip buying. Some sellers may put only the least desirable pieces into one lot, and it’s always best to see what you’re getting. Always see photos of the actual lot you are buying before you bid!
Toy and General Merchandise Retailers
Stores like Walmart, Target, and even Toys R’ Us aren’t usually the first place you may think of when looking for cheap LEGO. But with a fast-paced merchandise cycle that requires them to stock new inventory all the time, it may actually work in your favor to window shop your local retailer frequently to catch good buys. Buy clearanced LEGO when it’s marked down 15 – 50% at these retailers.
While some locations may actually have a higher price tag than LEGO online, the additional discount is often worth it. Small stores in less-populated areas, and with less foot traffic, have been known to have LEGO builds sitting on shelves and waiting to be purchased at up to 80% off MSRP. It definitely pays to check out your local stores and see what pricing patterns you may be able to take advantage of. Using a barcode scanner app on your smart phone can help you price and compare without leaving the aisle.
Garage Sales for LEGO Cheap
Most people know that LEGO is valuable these days. This means that your odds of finding an unsuspecting garage sale host with bags of bricks marked at a few dollars are likely slim to none. But you can likely still find value in odd lots at rummage sales. It’s also much more reasonable to haggle. Use your negotiating skills to make a purchase of all the LEGO at a particular yard sale, and get an even better deal.
Facebook Buy/Sell Groups
With the economy in a precarious state, people all over are getting rid of their excess, sometimes at a great bargain. Look for Buy/Sell groups in your local area on Facebook, ask to join, and set up a search alert for anything with “LEGO” or even “LEGO cheap” in the sale posting. Some of the best LEGO prices out there have come from being the first to jump on a neighbor decluttering their attic or basement.
Getting LEGO at a good price is a combination of shopping strategy, timing, and understanding how build kits work. If you don’t need to have the newest kits in mint condition, you’ll find a wide-range of options for buying bricks for any budget. Approach buying LEGO cheap like a scavenger hunt, and you can discover amazing builds, unique pieces, and a world of opportunity at a price you can afford.
Friends and Family for Cheap LEGO
I have also found that you can get LEGO for cheap from people you know! Many parents are holding onto old sets from kids who have left the nest, simply because they don’t know what to do with them. Put out a call to people you know, asking if anyone wants to sell their LEGO. You can usually find cheap LEGO this way, as people you know and trust rarely want to make too much of a profit.