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Best place to buy used sets?

CrazyBrotherCrazyBrother Chicago, ILMember Posts: 1
Hi everyone,
First time poster here. I've been searching high and low for the discontinued Lego Creator (like #10224) that are used and therefore not a ridiculous amount of money and have struck out. You see, I have a special needs brother who in the past year has gotten obsessed with Lego. He's pretty decent (he builds at a 10-13 year old rate) and was able to complete the current Creator sets (the Cinema is his favorite) but i'm just striking out on the older stuff. Everyone seems to be hoarding them to sell brand new, which is cool, just not what I need. I can't justify paying $300 bucks (or more) for something that we'll be breaking open and building. The $150-$200 stretches my budget, but for the complex builds it usually takes Joe about 2 weeks, so it's worthwhile in my mind.
So yeah, long story short, any tips or suggestions? I really only need pieces and instructions (pieces can be an issue with used sets, I know. I can't tell you how often I make the 45 minute trek to the closest Lego Store for a piece run to fill in what's missing; the guys there all know me by name. I pray for 3D printers to come down further in price and some smart Lego dude to start cranking out hard to find pieces) so is there somewhere I should be looking aside from the usual places, like shows, craigslist and bricklink?
I appreciate any and all assistance.


  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    In general new LEGO sets bought directly from LEGO or retailers are always the cheapest. Older, discontinued by resellers. They are expecting to make a profit, so in most situations you will end up paying more then the set's original price.

    In addition, you can upload your collection to Rebrickable and see what else your brother could build from the pieces you guys already have.

    I'm originally from Chicago and very familiar with the LEGO scene there. In most places garage-sales and second-hand stores are not so good, but the Chicago area is different because there are so many LEGO stores in the area. In suburbs like Northbrook (which has its own LEGO store) garage sales are full of LEGO that you can pick up for the fraction of the price.

    Also, keep an eye on sales at retail stores. Right now Wal-Mart has an excellent clearance sale.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,307
    Forget what's past and buy current.

  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,593
    akunthita said:

    In addition, you can upload your collection to Rebrickable and see what else your brother could build from the pieces you guys already have.

    I wouldn't expect that you could build a modular building only by disassembling other models. unless your collection is huge and even then, some pieces are probably extremly hard to find.

    some people just check the inventory and order the pieces from different places (mostly, and it seems it can be noticeably cheaper than the prices on the reselling market, though it sounds like quite a job to find everything at the best price.

  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    You're a great brother for buying all these sets for your brother.  If you continue trying to buy him all the modulars and expert sets (especially the discontinued ones), it's going to cost a small fortune.

    If he just likes building and doesn't need everything assembled, then maybe you can help him try to MOC.  Building his own creations out of the bricks he already has will exercise his creativity and he can build endlessly.

    If he doesn't like building on his own and needs instructions, maybe Pley might be a solution.  If you haven't heard of it, Pley is a LEGO set rental company.  It's not for everyone, but it might suit the needs of your brother so that he can continually have something to build without you having to buy everything.  I've personally never used Pley and they have very mixed reviews, but it's something that you can look into.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    I would definitely try to build your own creations; even if it is just a matter changing the color or just adding another floor or two.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    I have worked with special needs children in the past; it all depends on what their comfort level is. Creative building may not be an option, but for others it is the only way to go. I personally do not know your situation and only you know what is best for your brother :)

  • EmkEmk New ZealandMember Posts: 21
    Hey - I'm in the same boat. My niece is quite unwell and has been undergoing chemo therapy. She's an amazingly strong and spirited girl despite everything..AND like your brother, she has a love for the lego creator sets. It's one of the few activities that keeps her occupied for a decent amount of time and isn't too taxing in her physical health. We've been searching for lego market street and green grocer without much luck. You're so right...everything is waaaaay too overpriced and people just hoard them :( I would suggest brick link too and sometimes ebay for used sets. Just be VERY careful not to be scammed :( also, I live in New Zealand, and sometimes we have a few sets floating around that other parts of the world can't get anymore. I'll keep an eye out for you :) what ones are you specifically after?
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    Have a look out for job lots, they can be very good value. Then build the sets and sell them on. Once sold, then repeat. Great fun and some children quite like sorting a big of Lego into colours etc. It is also fun to look out for job lots and try and get ones with sets you want to build.
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