Please refrain from posting animated GIFs, memes, joke videos and so on in discussions other than those in the off topic area.

Dismiss this message to confirm your acceptance of this additional forum term of use.

Are brick lots a good purchase?

Lego_Nerd98Lego_Nerd98 Fort Worth, Texas, USAMember Posts: 235
So, after the year is over, I'll probably have money to burn on Lego. I'm wondering if I should purchase a brick lot or two. While I have bought one before (and it was pretty cheap, too), the quality was not superb. But I don't necessarily want to pay the big bucks for pristine parts....

That brings me to my question: are brick lots a good buy? Should I buy a set lot instead?

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,204
    It depends what you pay for them and what is in the lot. You might as well ask is buying a second hand car good value for money. It depends.
    Renegade007cjhkiki180703Jern92madforLEGO
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    ^If I buy a used piece of string is that the best way to get the right length of string?
    Renegade007cjhkiki180703
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,025
    edited December 2015
    The issue with brick lots is that you could end up with a lot of pieces you will never use and will just take up space. I used to buy lots before discovering BrickLink. I basically searched on eBay, and searched lots. If it looked like it had some pieces that I wanted, I bid on them. I did get good deals, and the parts I wanted, but the rest of the lots were pretty much useless to me because they didn't fit the themes and style of building I was focusing on. Now that I use BrickLink regularly to buy exactly the pieces I want, it is unlikely that I will ever buy a brick lot again. I didn't like the clutter.

    These days I focus on buying exact parts on BrickLink. As far as sets, I either buy them because I want them as it is, or I like the parts, or plan to use the set for modding. I do however occasionally buy partial sets o the secondary market. Things like sets without minifigs, or part of a set. This system works much better for me than buying random lots. It saves both money and space. Having said that, I do know people who buy loose lots regularly, but they also tend to be very active sellers on BrickLink. Meaning they keep the parts they want, and get rid of the rest through their BrickLink shop. Selling random parts like this though is a LOT of work.

     
    kiki180703
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,405
    Nearly all the Lego I have was purchased as bags of bricks at thrift stores. It is hit-or-miss shopping this way, sometimes there's nothing in the stores, other times there's more than my budget can handle. For me, not knowing for sure what I got until I get it home is part of the fun, as my grandson and I sort through it all. We often find non-Lego bits mixed in with the thrift-store purchases, some of it not even Lego-related at all. I've learned not to rule out anything as a Lego part without checking it closely, as some of the stuff I initially sorted into the "that's not Lego" pile actually is Lego that I had not seen, like the figures from the Juniors sets and the drill for the from of the 4940-1 Granite Grinder. I'm still searching for that drill, I know it is here somewhere.

    Random lots seem to have more imagination (not sure of the Lego part#) included than boxed sets. If you want to be able to build a set from instructions, random lots may not be a good fit for you. If you enjoy building without instructions, random lots can be a great way to accumulate parts.
    kiki180703catwrangler
  • Lego_Nerd98Lego_Nerd98 Fort Worth, Texas, USAMember Posts: 235
    @datsunrobbie that one lot I got ^ did indeed have a bunch of Mega Bloks and other unrelated things.
    kiki180703
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Bulk lots of random bricks & parts is a good buy strategy only at the beginning of collecting. As you can't go wrong and likely won't be excessively duplicating what you already have. But as your MOC part collection grows, you'll want to go this route less and less. After that you'll want to sort or put those parts to practice so you know what else is needed (part types, color palette).

    This of course doesn't guarantee condition of parts to be excellent or at least good. If this is a concern, then hunting for parted out new sets would be a good route. The approach can be varied where you're hunting for good offers/auctions of such gutted sets on ebay. Or you can flip the tables and hunt for good deals on whole sets that are minifig heavy (i.e. Star Wars or Superheroes) that you can gut the figs from and sell off. That way you'll end up with tons of parts real fast at a cheap rate. Considering a set like SW Final Duel, the minfigs account for 50% of the RRP so you'll basically get 700 parts for $40.
    kiki180703
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,405
    I prefer buying in person rather than eBay, so I can get an idea of how much is Lego and how much is "other stuff". I also tend to check all the loose toy bags at the thrift shops I frequent, because that bag of Tinkertoys could have some Lego parts mixed in too. Collecting Lego this way is certainly not for everyone, but for me it works well.
    kiki180703catwrangler
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 540

    I never find Lego at thrift shops.  Or if I do, it was not marked down sufficiently.  Goodwill received some Ninjago sets I believe from Target, they were marked nearly at MSRP unfortunately.

    Buying bulk lots online has gotten extremely competitive the last few years.  It used to be you could get a decent lot without much competition.  But if anyone spots pieces that could be valuable in the lot, the price gets driven up to the point where it's questionable the value is there.

    kiki180703
  • Lego_Nerd98Lego_Nerd98 Fort Worth, Texas, USAMember Posts: 235
    @natro220 yeah, I had to look a long time for a good bargain. I had finally found a $40 lot with ~1000 pieces.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    edited December 2015
    ^that's not a terrible deal but if I'm buying bulk it has to be significantly better than that. For $40 I'd be hoping for a decent size crate filled with upwards of 2000 and minifigures. Sorting and cleaning takes time, and unless you value your time at a very small rate any less than that I'd be buying new stuff. You can pay around $50 for new 1000 piece sets if you choose wisely and wait for a decent sale. 
    kiki180703
  • Lego_Nerd98Lego_Nerd98 Fort Worth, Texas, USAMember Posts: 235
    @MattsWhat Actually, all of the pieces were cleaned prior to shipping; but yeah, I should have looked for a better deal.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    edited December 2015
    ^paying for someone else to clean your lego? You must be made of money ;) 
    And it's not about waiting for a better deal. Let it happen organically. Some people on here seem to get deals all the time (and probably spend a lot of their time hunting) but the majority only score a decent deal once in a blue moon. The key is being ready when it happens so you know what your getting. Being able to spot that chicken suit torso or ski shoe part from CC, that's what your gunning for. It only takes a few decent pieces to get your money back and then your sorting a free box of lego (which is always good). 
    kiki180703Lego_Nerd98
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,405
    MattsWhat has an excellent point about sorting and cleaning and the value of your time. I'm usually sorting while watching TV in the evenings, so for me that time was already lost. Walmart has the 1500 piece 10697 box bouncing in and out of stock at $50.

    Almost two years ago I emerged from a long "dark age" when I found a 10188 Death Star, complete except for one of the internal boxes, that also had most of a 60022 Cargo Terminal stuffed into the box. It cost me $56. I don't expect to find a deal like that again, but I'm always hopeful.
    kiki180703catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,204
    MattsWhat said:
    ^paying for someone else to clean your lego? You must be made of money ;) 
    And it's not about waiting for a better deal. Let it happen organically. Some people on here seem to get deals all the time (and probably spend a lot of their time hunting) but the majority only score a decent deal once in a blue moon. The key is being ready when it happens so you know what your getting. Being able to spot that chicken suit torso or ski shoe part from CC, that's what your gunning for. It only takes a few decent pieces to get your money back and then your sorting a free box of lego (which is always good). 
    I made that lucky mistake of getting a few clone troopers sets and sold off the minifigs quickly and just dumped the rest of the parts in a box as I couldn't be bothered to sell them. Two years later, I realised what the skis were. I'm not sure how much skill there is in spotting future well selling parts (just as for sets), much of it is luck.
    kiki180703
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,405
    Luck and patience go hand in hand. I spend a couple hours almost every weekend searching the local thrift stores. More often than not I come home with a couple of bags that don't make the "brag" list. Right now I'm looking at a 5380 Duplo tub  that I picked up for $4.99 a couple weeks ago, and discovered 15 4066pb130 blocks with "Made in Connecticut by Lego" printed on them, along with all the parts that were originally in the set and a few off-brand pieces.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,204
    I remember your one, all those shell casings and batteries!
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,724
    I feel really lucky now that the bulk lots I've picked up in charity shops have worked out as well as they did! There's been a certain amount of cleaning involved, but nothing like what you guys went through!
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy