Buying Bulk LEGO

What is the best place to buy LEGO in bulk? In person, the best deals can often be found at yard sales and thrift stores, but they can be very hit-and-miss. You can also monitor Craigslist for people near you unloading their kids’ LEGO collections. When you find them you can get great bargains, but most of the time it’s not fruitful unless you have other reasons to shop there. Still, I know people who get up every weekend morning early and scour their nearby yard sales and garage sales, buy all the LEGO available, and resell that by the pound at the flea market and at LEGO events for a markup. But beware – you may find that there are a lot of MegaBloks or other unwanted clone brand products mixed in, so check carefully first!

When I built my Pokemon sculptures, I was able to do that using a bulk brick tub that lego was selling at the time (set #3033). I bought about 20 of those at $20 each and still ran out of certain parts – that’s why Squirtle’s tail was so small. Sadly, that tub was discontinued a few years ago and the bulk tubs that are available more recently haven’t had nearly as good of an assortment or as good of a price per brick.

Probably the easiest way to get specific parts cheap is to shop on BrickLink. It’s an online shopping mall just for LEGO. Sellers buy sets in bulk (generally when they have clearance sales at retail stores) and sort the parts, putting the individual pieces on their stores. Then you can go in and order any part in quantity. It’s an awkward site to use, but I think the best way is to start at the Catalog tab, find the part you want in the color you want, and then find a store that has them in sufficient quantity. Or if you add the parts to your Wanted List, they have algorithms to help fulfill your needs by placing orders from several different sellers. Whenever I’m working on a large project and run out of something, BrickLink is where I look first. For example I bought a lot of brown plates on BrickLink when I was working on my Teddy Bear model.

Of course the world’s #1 place to buy and sell used stuff in general is eBay. I’ve found some bargains there by searching for “lego pounds” to find people selling large collections all at once, and I have bought some of the 9V track in my collection there. Bargains can be found, but there’s a lot of overpriced stuff too, and as with the yard sales and thrift stores, watch out for clone bricks being mixed in.

There’s also bulk brick available from LEGO; usually they’re a lot more expensive that way but once in a while you can find some real bargains. Look for the “Pick-A-Brick” in the LEGO Shop-At-Home Store and if you have a LEGO store in your nearby mall, they have an in-person pick-a-brick wall where you can fill up a plastic cup with LEGO parts for a set price. Also check the Bricks & Pieces area on LEGO’s website which may have better deals than Pick-A-Brick.

And of course don’t forget about buying sets on sale. Look at your local Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, or Wal-Mart for clearance sales, and check Web sites online such as Amazon.com and others. Check for sales at LEGO Shop-At-Home (and try their phone number too, as they have weekly phone-only sales as well). LEGO Education also has bargains from time to time. If you do this a lot though, you may find yourself setting up a BrickLink store to unload the parts you don’t need from those sets!

If you know any other good ways to find bulk LEGO at economical prices, please post it here as a comment….

122 Comments on Buying Bulk LEGO

  1. Although I liked the LEGO pick-a-brick site, it didnt include every brick/component from every kit LEGO sells – just “some bricks”.

    I’d love to see a “bulk” way to purchase, say, 20 or 30 Mindstorms NXT Motor “bricks”, 5 “Intelligent bricks” (NXT Controllers), and a handful of sensors, and have that be enough of a “bulk purchase” to warrant a substantial cost savings.

    In the meanwhile, I’ll just keep tearing apart the old robots to build new ones, I guess. :-)

  2. Bill – thanks for the lead! http://www.legoeducation.com/ does indeed give me some purchasing options I didn’t know I had- that after searching around on LEGO’s web-store for quite a while.

    Looks like they’ll be seeing some of my “discretionary budget” as soon as I’ve got any of that again! :-)

    …OK gotta get back to building… :-)

    Best regards, and Happy New Year!
    -pbr

  3. I have had luck over the past few years purchasing frmo the lego stores. Once a year or so I will make a purchase of $600-$1000 and can usually get them to give me 15% off. This is easier if you ask for an additional 15% free rather then reducing the cost.

  4. I’m not sure if that’s something the clerks at the LEGO store are supposed to do, but congrats. Another great way to get LEGO store discounts is to attend LEGO conventions where you can get 20% off your purchase at the LEGO store that weekend just for showing your convention badge, and there’s usually a chance to get “scratch & dent” sets for up to half off, and then there’s all the free prizes handed out at the convention. For example, Bricks by the Bay is just 2 months away… http://www.bricksbythebay.com

  5. hey guys, I was wondering if you can help me out with a project I’m developing which includes lego. Im basically developing a training program for businesses, and part of it includes teamwork and leadership etc. So, I am looking for the BIG GIANT LEGO bricks and a lot of them so i can provide these people with activities and such. Would you know where i can aquire these? or atleast an idea?

  6. Not sure what you mean by “BIG GIANT LEGO” but if you mean Duplo, the bricks that are 2x in each dimension compared to regular LEGO bricks, you should be able to find them at all the same places listed in the article.

  7. Thanks , but i was actually thinking along the lines of lunablocks dimensions if you know what i mean…. BIG!

  8. I found a great site that organizes a bunch of links for bulk lego purchases: http://www.snazzindustries.com/bulk-bricks.html
    It has the same old regular blah about bricklink but actually has some interesting links I had never seen before. Like some lego education stuff where you actually can get a bunch of nxt bricks for much cheaper than normal.

  9. Bill,

    My next computer build will include Lego bricks for housing the motherboard, cpu, power supply and hard drive. Do you know anyone in BayLug who has done this before?

    See you this Saturday at the meeting.

    Joel

  10. Anyone have any ideas for buying 5,000 1 x 1 x 1 in about 5 colours? Its for an art project. Is Bricklink the best way? In some stores on there it would cost a fortune for all those.

  11. Depends on the color, I think. Pick-A-Brick at the LEGO store might have some of the colors you need, and that might be cheaper – you would have to do the math to be sure.

  12. Bill,
    I have about 50 to 60 lbs of legos that I found in a box way back in the closet. There are no sets per se but we bought them in sets years ago for the kids. There is to many to seperate and I wouldnt know where to begin. I am going to take the to the local PO and have them weighed so I have an accurate weight. If my calculations are correct in weight, appox. what are they worth, and where can I sell them?

    Thx

  13. Probably your best bet would be eBay. If you search for “lego pounds” you can see some other LEGO bulk lots for sale usually, and get an idea of how to price yours.

  14. hi i was wondering were is the best and cheapest place to buy lego all i realy want is the normal 2×4 blocks ect but need a few thousand.the cheeper the better as i am on a budget

  15. Hi, Im on a mission for my son to get the parts to build the rv from the lego road trip site. He wants to give as a Christmas gift and build it as a “father son” thing with my boyfriend (i melted and am determined to figure this out!) I live very close to manhattan ny. Could I go pick out pieces from the store (i have downloaded the instructions on the site, but know zero about legos myself so im dont know what to ask for/pick out) I know its not a set, but more of a diy job, could you put it into newbie terms or tell me specifically what i need to do? I would really appreciate the help, and understand its a lot. Thanx so much.

  16. I’m not sure what parts are in that model, but the odds are good that you’ll only find a few of them at the Pick-A-Brick wall at your LEGO store, even if you’re willing to make a few substitutions. I don’t think you’ll be able to do this in time for Christmas, unfortunately.

    Your best bet is to find a BrickLink store that has all the parts and is located close to you that the shipping can be quick. You might possibly get lucky and find a vendor in NYC with all the parts whom you can meet in person to do the transaction, but the odds are against it. Good luck.

  17. i would like to find the bricks to build the lionsgate ferry, what is the best way to go about that, only the instructions are available on their site. thanks great site!

  18. What I suggest is creating a BrickLink account and entering all the parts from the model into your wanted list, and use the wanted list feature to find vendors that have the parts you need. That way you can click the “Show items on my wanted list from this vendor” to see the other parts on your list that a given vendor has.

  19. How do I find specific LEGO pieces using only the part/item #? The part I’m referring is 4211026…. usually used as a stabilizing bar or other. This part can be found on all 4 of the feet assembly on the AT-AT (non motorized). Please help me locate some of these (about 10 – 20 of ’em). Thank you so much, I’ll be forever in your debt if you help me find them.

  20. You’ll have to get acquainted with the part naming systems used in the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community. I would start by looking up the set on peeron.com and finding the part(s) you need in the set inventory there and then find the part name or number on BrickLink. Bear in mind that there are slight differences between the naming / numbering schemed across sites.

  21. I have recently found a huge container of my boys old Lego’s . I am interested in know what they are worth if I chose to sell them. Over the years we bought so many sets I have no clue what is in this container. I would estimate it is about 50 lbs..

  22. Unsorted LEGO can be sold by the pound – we have a vendor who sells bulk bricks at our club meetings for (I think) $8/pound. He gets the supplies from yard sales mostly. If you can sort your son’s LEGO collection into complete sets, with instructions and such, you could do a lot more – many old sets, if intact, can be sold on eBay for good money.

  23. You got pretty much all the ways of buying LEGO that I know of. I wrote a similar article last year (http://www.squidoo.com/easy-ways-to-buy-individual-lego-pieces), and have had a great response to it.

    I would add that a lot of people have LEGO that they’d like to get rid of, so occasionally I’ve gotten some LEGO for free by just asking around. A lot of people don’t want it and would prefer to have more space in their garage or attic instead.

  24. I am buliding a complete working desktop out of legos i am currently in the process of having lego and other companys sponcer me no answer yet :( but i am wondering if anyone would dotate to my project i will put you on the list of sponcers i only need bricks black and white perfered anything from 1000 to 1 brick anything is possible email me at RaycoComputers@yahoo.com

  25. Probably too late for Sarah, but I wanted to build the Road Trip RV as well . . . you can’t get all the pieces from the pick a brick website, but if you call Lego replacement parts, they have all the pieces and can sell them all to you . . . for $80. All you have to do is download the directions for the RV from the Build Together web site, phone replacement parts, and order from the parts list on the RV directions. They are very helpful.

    Doesn’t make sense to me that Lego would air a cool ad like that and not have all the pieces available on pick a brick . . .

  26. I am looking for a replacemernt RC Battery Box /Receiver unit for a Lego 8675 Outdoor Challenger. Lego does not carry the part and I connot seem to locate one on the web anywhere. Does anyone have any thoughts? The actual part number is 47385c01.
    Thank you

  27. That’s a tricky one. My only suggestion would be to put it on your BrickLink wanted list – sooner or later someone might put one up for sale, and when they do you’ll get an alert email.

  28. Silly question, but would like a response.
    I posted my son is selling his legos at an upcoming garage sale and I am having tons of people coming out of the woodwork wanting to purchase. Why? Lego’s are everywhere. Are they just reselling on ebay? I can’t figure out why I have received so many emails with people wanting to take all of the sets without really caring if a piece is missing. Thanks for your help.

  29. Yup, probably putting them up on eBay, or reselling them at a flea market or similar. We have a vendor who sells used LEGO in bulk at our BayLUG meetings, and he gets his bricks from a network of people who visit yard sales like yours, buy all the LEGO they can, and then pass them on for a slight markup. I’d encourage your son to keep his LEGO in the attic until he reaches adulthood – if he’s anything like me, he’ll want to get them back from you sometime in his 20s and start building with them again.

    If you really want to sell them, put them up on eBay yourself, and you’ll get a lot more money for them.

  30. Hi Bill, My kids are attempting to collect all of the modular building sets. We have all but cafe corner, and market street. Would we be able to individually purchase all of the bricks needed to build those two sets? And if so, would that cost less than the used sets currently being sold on ebay? Or, should we just find a good used set on ebay? thanks!!!

  31. It would be a lot of work to try to get every part using bricklink, but it should be possible. I’m not sure which would cost more, but probably the easiest solution is to just find someone selling the set used on ebay … but bricklink also has sets for sale, so check there too.

    But I would encourage you (and your kids) to make up your own buildings using the *style* of those sets, rather than just building the sets designed by the LEGO company. LEGO is about creativity after all, not just collecting.

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