Monday, June 11, 2012

"Where Does She Get Those Wonderful Toys?" Part 2

In the first part of this series, I discussed some of my tips for buying Lego at a discount. Due to popular demand, I'm expanding this a bit more to cover non-traditional sources and what to avoid.

6. Craigslist. If you're looking for bulk lego or cheaper, used sets, Craigslist can be a potential goldmine. The average price for a bulk lot is $4/lb (that's on the low end for non-Star Wars sets) to $7/lb (with manuals, Star Wars and minifigures). I absolutely advise you to thoroughly wash anything you buy. If you don't have the time to handwash, try the dishwasher with a garment bag. Just remember to set the machine on a low/no heat dry setting and do not put anything with stickers or prints in the dishwasher.

(p.s. I've noticed a trend where people are using Craigslist as an eBay replacement. Meaning they're trying to get top dollar and will pit you against someone else. I won't play this game.)

7. eBay. Ooh, there's a listing for a newly released set for over 30% off the retail price! Too good to be true? Probably. There's been a significant increase in "drop-ship" scams where sellers buy Lego direct from Lego.com with stolen credit cards and then ship to your address. If the set that you ordered looks like it came directly from Lego, contact the seller and then eBay, PayPal and Lego to make sure it's a legitimate sale. Otherwise, if it is fraud, Lego.com will flag and blacklist your address in the future.

8. Black Friday. A given. But you'll have to brave the crowds, risk stores being out of stock etc. The Lego stores also have their own Black Friday sales with scratch cards giving you anywhere from 10-50% off your total purchase. Definitely follow Toys N Bricks prior to Black Friday - the best sales and deals will be announced there.

9. Garage Sales. A lot of fellow Lego collectors swear by garage sales. Just go early. Which is why I haven't been to one - I like to sleep in on the weekends! :)

10. Bricklink. Just missing a few pieces to complete a set? Picture an eBay (with only Buy it Now prices) that just sells Lego. The user interface is a little archaic but there are a lot of hard to find pieces and sets. Things to watch out for: minimum purchase requirements differ per store and always read the feedback (just like eBay).

Okay, now kick back and enjoy BBQ season with some Beertroopers.

BBQ Season

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