Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links to help keep the forum online: LEGO.com Amazon

Which is the best place to buy LEGO? Ebay, Amazon, TRU...

CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
edited December 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Is there a way to figure out which store is the best in Ebay, Amazon, TRU, B&N, JL, Argos and others with respect to sale, availability and shipping :) (I do come up with some tough discussions :P)
«1

Comments

  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,028
    I would say that in general Amazon is a great place to shop: prices are excellent and there is not tax and free shipping (at least in the USA). Even if you would buy something full price, you would still end up with a better deal then buying locally.

    On eBay new sets are usually listed for crazy prices. In my experience shopping there for any newly released sets is not worth it. However it is an excellent place to shop for sets that are older and gently played with. If you are shopping for sets or parts and don't care about mint condition boxes and all, this is a great place!

    If you are looking for specific parts by far BrickLink is the best place to shop. It is a heaven for MOC-ers!

    With TRU sales you gotta take your calculator and be very clear on what the prices supposed to be. Prices are almost always jacked up, expecially when there is a sale going on. You may still find good deals here; just know your numbers.

    Barnes & Noble had some surprizingly good deals this past year - will they continue that in the future? We shall see...

    So, I would say there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It all depends on your needs and wants, and you do have to figure it out what fits best your specific situation.

    Brickset is an awesome place to get updates on sales, so you are in the right place to get your LEGO deals education....(c;
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,349
    Amazon for new sets (usually): No tax or shipping (in most places).
    If you have to pay tax it is still not bad as you can add stuff to your cart, check it periodically and see price drops that can occur, plus their customer service is pretty good, especially if you see a price drop before your item ships. (although you can call, as evident from others on the forum doing this, and usually get the price drop after is ships.

    eBay is good for past sets, and usually there are enough sellers (especially now) to get a decent price and shipping depending on what you are looking for.

    BL is good for availability and I have bought very old sealed sets from overseas and got them in good shape, but people definitely know what sets are worth, so getting a good deal can be relative, IMO.
    The best part of BL are the piece selection, you can find almost any pieces to complete a set, or build a set from scratch.

    TRU is a joke right now especially.... VERY few LEGO sets are actually at retail prices, even Technic sets... The only set I believe at retail is the 3677 Reg Cargo Train, at least that is the most notable right now (not sure if the LEGO death star is still retail at TRU).

    Walmart has clearance going on now, same with Target. I says watch their LEGO selection every week, sometimes they will drop a LEGO set to a sale price online, but also check Amazon because sometimes Amazon will match it if they have the item.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432

    TRU is a joke right now especially.... VERY few LEGO sets are actually at retail prices, even Technic sets... The only set I believe at retail is the 3677 Reg Cargo Train, at least that is the most notable right now (not sure if the LEGO death star is still retail at TRU).
    There are several sets at (or below) MSRP at TRU in the U.S.:

    Death Star, Super Star Destroyer, Imperial Shuttle, Tower Bridge, Technic Excavator, Robie House (below MSRP), Red Cargo Train, Pet Shop, Grand Emporium, Fire Brigade, Diagon Alley, Shuttle Expedition, Medieval Market Village, Public Transport, Technic Mobile Crane, Lightning Dragon, Winter Village Post Office (below MSRP, although I don't think I've ever seen it in-stock), and many of the Friends sets (for now anyway). Emerald Night and Imperial Flagship were MSRP as well when they were stocked.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,349

    TRU is a joke right now especially.... VERY few LEGO sets are actually at retail prices, even Technic sets... The only set I believe at retail is the 3677 Reg Cargo Train, at least that is the most notable right now (not sure if the LEGO death star is still retail at TRU).
    There are several sets at (or below) MSRP at TRU in the U.S.:

    Death Star, Super Star Destroyer, Imperial Shuttle, Tower Bridge, Technic Excavator, Robie House (below MSRP), Red Cargo Train, Pet Shop, Grand Emporium, Fire Brigade, Diagon Alley, Shuttle Expedition, Medieval Market Village, Public Transport, Technic Mobile Crane, Lightning Dragon, Winter Village Post Office (below MSRP, although I don't think I've ever seen it in-stock), and many of the Friends sets (for now anyway). Emerald Night and Imperial Flagship were MSRP as well when they were stocked.
    I stand corrected, thanks @sidersdd
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654

    when they were stocked.
    Lol, that's the key phrase. Seems whenever a good deal is available they are "out of stock" -- or "in store only" and these sets typically are not sold in stores.
  • BeardedCastleGuyBeardedCastleGuy Member Posts: 127
    I was amazed @TRU a couple days before Christmas when I saw a variety of sets @ msrp (certainly not all and I didn't record the numbers either). Half the shelves for LEGO were literally empty as well but that's not uncommon, it seems they'd rather run a bit short than have a lot of leftovers to clearance, they seem to think a lot of folks will grab something that IS in stock rather than go elsewhere. Sadly it seems to be a true observation at that.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432

    when they were stocked.
    Lol, that's the key phrase. Seems whenever a good deal is available they are "out of stock" -- or "in store only" and these sets typically are not sold in stores.
    True - although in that case I meant "when they were stocked" to be "before they were discontinued." I found EN and IF in-stock most of the time during the year, and during BOGOs. They only became rare toward the end of the year.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Thanks you guys for the detailed information :)
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    edited January 2012
    A friend of mine is thinking about to invest/resell/trade in Lego as is based in the UK. What are the best places to buy Lego in UK being it physical stores or online.

    Moved to Buying and Selling by YC 1/20/12
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 834
    If they're in the UK already, I would imagine they probably already know all the decent places - there are no 'secret' stores that magically sell Lego much more cheaply than anywhere else...

    Your best advice to them would be to join this site and pay attention to the frontpage and forum! Not sure however how much one can really invest in Lego in the UK though, it's not the hotbed of insane deals like the USA....
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    ^ there are "secret" stores you can buy lego from in the UK. These are the ones that only have business customers and tend to offer wholesale prices.

    one of these is just down the road from Wernham Hogg - provided you can spend £6k in your first order and a total of c.£20k annually ;-)
  • wRuBwRuB Member Posts: 86
    edited January 2012
    Has anyone ever ordered Lego from ELC? Just wondering if they package it properly so the boxes dont get squashed... Thanks!
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited January 2012
    ^^ Never worked in retail but would love to know what sort of percentage off RRP you get on retail.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 651
    ^^ Have placed 2 orders with ELC and both were delivered well protected inc airbags/bubble wrap. Both orders were for multiple sets so they were shipped in larger outer boxes. What they would be like with a 1 item shipment, I'm not sure.

    I would also add that their stock system is a little slow to update. My last order end up being 2 sets short due to no stock.
  • evileddie1313evileddie1313 Member Posts: 126
    Amazon for new sets, EBAY for older sets, TRU's BOGO 50% off basically gives you 20-25% off(if you can match the prices of the 2 sets closely and they are not way above Lego MSRP). If you are an Amazon 'Prime' member, you get free 2 day shipping. As stated earlier, Amazon and EBAY also has the advantage of no tax if bought from out of state here in the US.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Thank you guys and @evileddie1313, I will try to watch Amazon as well.
  • wRuBwRuB Member Posts: 86
    Thanks Chompers!
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    edited February 2012
    I wanted to know if Amazon Warehouse Deals is any different the the normal listings they have?
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    edited February 2012
    Yes. Warehouse Deals are usually items that have been damaged in some way (box dented, hole in box, etc.) or items that have been opened and returned.

    Amazon is pretty strict about only selling "new" merchandise, and once something is new or damaged (even just package damage) it doesn't meet their definition of "new" anymore. Hence, Warehouse Deals.
  • DaddyWhaleDaddyWhale Member Posts: 130
    I've only bought one thing from Amazon Warehouse - 10193, MMV. It was great! Saved over ten percent on price and all the bags inside were in pristine condition.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Thanks for the info @DaddyDeuce :)
  • canuhandle23canuhandle23 Member Posts: 104
    wait to target and walmart 50% off deals
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Will there be 50% off deals at Target and Walmart?
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Amazon now has the PotC BP for $79 with free shipping. They are just trying to match WMT's price. FYI...
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    The difference between Amazon and Lego:

    1) Amazon boxes typically arrive crushed or damaged; Lego boxes typically do not. Lego uses thicker shipping boxes than Amazon. I would have to add that Lego also uses Fedex, which tends to be nicer to boxes than UPS/USPS, which are used by Amazon.

    2) Amazon sets have a risk of being tampered with; Lego boxes don't.

    3) Amazon does not provide 5% in VIP points; Lego does.

    4) Shipping is free for both if you wait for a special "free shipping" offer from Lego.

    5) Lego charges sales tax in most states; Amazon soon will. However, Lego periodically offers 10% off deals (Black Friday) or other offers to offset sales taxes. Furthermore, the amount of a Lego [email protected] order offset by VIP points is not charged any sales tax.

    6) It is possible to pickup free promotional items (Hulk MF, Chrome C3PO, etc.) if you order at the right time.

    Conclusion: I will grab this set from Amazon only if I plan to build it within 30 days of ordering it; otherwise, I will still get it from Lego [email protected]
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ a bit biased and over-simplified I would say.

    1) I've had no damage in any box ever received from either Amazon or LEGO
    2) Not sure I buy this argument on stuff bought directly from Amazon. It's all coming from the same place as the stuff bought directly from LEGO
    3) True, but Amazon has much more frequent and better sales on items
    4) true, but Amazon free shipping is every day, LEGO is a few times a year
    5) depends on the tax jurisdiction. I pay no tax at either place, nor will I anytime soon, so this is a non-issue for me personally
    6) True

    Conclusion: Buy from both, depending on price, and considering the availability of freebies and free shipping.
  • timinchicagotiminchicago USAMember Posts: 239
    Do not forget about Amazon Prime. I frequently get my orders the next day if ordered early, and always the second day otherwise. My May the 4th order from [email protected] arrived in good condition but the packing materials consisted of a bunch of inflatable bags crumpled up and not even inflated.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    ^ a bit biased and over-simplified I would say.

    1) I've had no damage in any box ever received from either Amazon or LEGO
    2) Not sure I buy this argument on stuff bought directly from Amazon. It's all coming from the same place as the stuff bought directly from LEGO
    3) True, but Amazon has much more frequent and better sales on items
    4) true, but Amazon free shipping is every day, LEGO is a few times a year
    5) depends on the tax jurisdiction. I pay no tax at either place, nor will I anytime soon, so this is a non-issue for me personally
    6) True

    Conclusion: Buy from both, depending on price, and considering the availability of freebies and free shipping.
    Yes...it is simplified, but that's the point. As for bias, these are just my personal experiences; however, there are several threads (see comments below) on Brickset that discuss the problems I mention.

    1) I seldom receive a lego set from Amazon that hasn't been damaged. I've concluded it's due to the cheap shipping boxes used by Amazon. There is another thread on Brickset discussing Amazon's cheap shipping boxes and the tenancy of boxes to arrive damaged from Amazon. Also, Amazon also doesn't mind combining orders into a single box...say a fragile boxed Lego set and a set of weights or a set of tools. They are clueless on how to have items arrive intentionally intact.
    2) I forgot to add that there are fraudulent sellers on Amazon (well documented in another thread). TRU has similar issues with this as well (again, another thread discusses it). The point is you have to be careful; however, there is no need to ever worry about products shipped from Lego.
    3) In general, you are correct; however, I was referring to the topic of this thread: TH. Since the TH is an exclusive, it will always be fulfilled from a 3rd party...not Amazon.
    4) The tradeoff (for me) is getting an item shipped free that will (in all likelihood) show up crushed on one end or the other. Not good for future resale, but fine if I plan to build it.
    5) I pay 10% tax at one (Lego) unless I use VIP points to purchase, and will soon be paying 10% tax at the other (VIP points are irrelevant). Again...that's the way it is in our state.
    6) N/A
    7) I would also add that Lego Customer Services is the best I've ever dealt with; I invariably end up talking with someone from India when I contact Amazon CS.

    Conclusion: In theory, Amazon is typically a better deal. In reality (based on my experience with Amazon and their cheap cardboard shipping boxes), Lego is better. I have to also consider my future plans for a set I buy from Amazon; not so Lego. If it is for resale, then I am forced to strongly consider purchase a set directly from Lego who does a much better job of getting it to my house. If I plan accordingly (which I do), then Lego is typically the better deal...especially a large, heavy, expensive, exclusive set like the TH.

    JMO...
  • timinchicagotiminchicago USAMember Posts: 239
    ^ Actually #3 is no longer the case as Amazon is selling TH directly as of today.
  • typotypo Member Posts: 185
    edited May 2012
    timinchicago, you beat me to it...

    Farmer_John,
    You're speaking strictly from a reseller's point of view, and I get mostly where you're coming from, although it's hard not to sense some bias in your comments. From a collectors point of view, whether you purchase from Amazon (Direct), Target, Walmart, etc. LEGO will always replace missing or damaged parts. The box damage is a case by case issue, I never received a damaged box from Amazon, I ordered Green Grocer from LEGO a few years ago and the box was damaged. I collect so it doesn't really matter to me...

  • MarkVMarkV Member Posts: 42
    First set from Amazon (just getting out of the Dark Ages) - 9493. Box crushed on long axis so sides were bent and a nice 4" crease along the front as well - originally thought it was the mark of a razor blade, but the front wasn't actually cut. We'll be building it, but I keep all the boxes and prefer to have them undamaged.

    I'm a Prime Member, so 2nd day shipping is free, but I think I'll be sticking to Lego stores when possible. Lego shipping prices definitely make me avoid ordering online when possible. Luckily, there is a local store.
  • gollumgollum Member Posts: 10
    First set from Amazon (just getting out of the Dark Ages) - 9493. Box crushed on long axis so sides were bent and a nice 4" crease along the front as well - originally thought it was the mark of a razor blade, but the front wasn't actually cut. We'll be building it, but I keep all the boxes and prefer to have them undamaged.
    MarkV, sorry to hear that your first experience with Amazon shipping was not so great. I have ordered several Lego sets from Amazon and I would say that about 80% of them come to me in nice condition. The other 20% range from things like a minor ding on one corner or a light crease across the front all the way up to severely smashed corners and boxes that look like they were used in the Stanley Cup.

    The nice thing with Amazon is that return shipping is free for damaged items. I have returned damaged items many times, as I feel if I am spending this amount of money on toys, they should appear as if they weren't used as a tiger's chew toy.

    Just my advice, but I suggest you don't give up on Amazon after this one purchase. There are a lot of good Lego deals that you don't want to miss out on just because of one bad experience.

    Best of luck!
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    I've never had a bad experience from Amazon (direct) or LEGO, so unless LEGO is giving away a great freebie, I buy from whichever vendor has the better deal. This is usually Amazon, but there are occasionally some stellar deals to be had from [email protected], even after you factor in shipping.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    Add me to the list of people who have never had a problem with US Amazon or TRU. All of the sets I have purchased from each merchant so far has been in great condition. I can't remember ever ordering anything directly from Lego as of yet (though I've purchased many things in-store).

    I've ordered from Amazon France and Amazon UK a few times (I live in the US), and those sets haven't fared as well on their trip to me. Defects have included slightly smashed/creased boxes and a slice along the bottom corner of a box. I guess that's my penalty for trying to save a few $$ when I want a set and there are no sales going on in the US.

    Regarding price, I typically buy from whoever has the best price. I typically just hope for the best on shipping quality, and it's worked out ok so far (excluding overseas shipments).
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I have has some impressively destroyed boxes from Amazon arrive. Maybe just my bad luck, but I get more trouble from them than anyone else. TRU is a close second however...

    Lego.com orders are almost always perfect.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    @LegoFanTexas - Exactly my experience.

    Again, I write much of it off to either the lesser quality boxes used by Amazon or the fact that Amazon combines shipments and the large/heavy item(s) in the box always win. The fact that TLG ships from North Misssissippi (which is very close to where I live) doesn't hurt.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ That, and TLG uses FedEx, which I find treats boxes better than UPS. Or at least my local FedEx does...

    This is why I use FedEx to ship all my items I sell, rather than UPS. Personal experience anyway...

    Re: Amazon, yes, they have terrible packing materials, their thin boxes are useless and the packing protection often just as much so. That being said, returns and exchanges are generally super easy, so I don't fret over it too much.

    I will say that Amazon has been better this year than they were last year.
  • gollumgollum Member Posts: 10
    Toys R Us' Lego usually arrives at my door step looking like the boxes were used as a booster seat or as an aerobic stair step device. Just bad luck, I guess, but I keep buying any way.
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 251
    In the last 24 hours I've ordered from [email protected], Amazon and ebay. Not ordered from Amazon before so I'll see what the condition of the set is like when it appears but I've never had a problem with the other two.

    I think generally it's a case of chasing the bargains though, pick the website which is offering the best deal.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 651
    Toys R Us in the UK are shocking!!! Purchased items just get sent in large plastic bags and offer no protection, will never order on line from them again. Have had no problems with Amazon either from them direct or via a market place seller. [email protected], again always well protected/packed. As for eBay, just depends onwho you buy from. From a private seller, items can just be wrapped with brown paper or at the other end of the scale well protected in a second storg cardboard box.

    I have to say the more important issue here is with the delivery companies not the sender!!! some as stated above are ok and some just could not give a damn. This subject has been well covered on here so I won't go on ;)
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    I actually had a problem last year with Amazon where I purchased a set and had to return it three times due to damage (a pain in the posterior for me and additional costs for Amazon). On the third try, Amazon just canceled the order and returned my money without asking me if that was how I wanted to deal with it. I called them about it and they said they weren't going to try again. So, my only option to get the set from Amazon again was to repurchase it for the new, higher price.

    So to @LegoFanTexas's point above, it is easy to return sets to Amazon (if it is picked up)...but only for so many tries.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Well sad part, Amazon does not ship to Pakistan. 8 out of 10 Sellers on Ebay run and hide knowing someone from Pakistan wants Lego :P and stores like TRU, Walmart, Kmart do not provide shipping to Pakistan as well. Only Barnes & Noble provides shipping to Pakistan BUT, my last order to buy the Forest Police Station never arrived, so after 45 days or so got a refund.
  • typotypo Member Posts: 185
    I just received Town Hall from Amazon Direct, the box is in perfect shape and all the parts seem to be there...Amazon's record for me still flawless...
  • MarkVMarkV Member Posts: 42
    Second Lego order from Amazon (see earlier comment) - 10216 and a Brickset Star Wars - 10216 box damage from the Brickset Star Wars book "cracking" the edge of the box - 2" crease.

    For me, I think I'm going back to just ordering Lego from [email protected] when free shipping is available and shopping the local stores. I guess I will need to watch out for already opened sets... you just can't win if you're anal :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @Coolspash have you considered signing up with a freight forwarder in the US? They will receive all your orders and then ship them in bulk when you ask to Pakistan, for a lot less than most sellers can ship a few items.

    They do charge for this, but if it means you can order BOGO deals and Amazon sale items, it may make sense for you.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    @LegoFanTexas, that is an idea I did not think over. But for those BOGO deals, Amazon deals, even buying from [email protected] is something a freight forwarder won't do that don't you think so? So I have to ask for personal favors with the friends I have made in the US, sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.

    But can you help me out with this freight forwarder plan? Maybe identify how can I sign up and such. I would be so grateful.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freight_forwarder

    http://www.worldclassshipping.com/

    Google is your friend. ;)

    Makes no difference where the stuff comes from, I sell to overseas buyers all the time who have me ship to a domestic address which is really a freight forwarder. Anything you can order online to be shipped to a domestic US address, you just have it sent there from Amazon, TRU, etc. and they'll collect all the items, then pack them into large boxes to make one shipment. If it is enough stuff, they can palletize it and send it cargo via sea for a lot less money.
  • 111ins111ins Member Posts: 265
    I have thought about doing this to Canada. Is there anyone that has done this and is it worth it? I would think that a large shipment like this would always get taxed, or does it sometimes get through without?
    Thanks, Brian
  • 111ins111ins Member Posts: 265
    About Amazon... I have bought several sets from Amazon.uk and .fr in the past. Does anyone know why they will ship a HP set at one time and not another, or I was also wanting the AC 7066 and they will not ship to me. The sets that I have ordered in the past were also large sets so I can not see the size being the issue... or has anyone called and they can change the shipping allowances manually?
    Thanks again :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I have thought about doing this to Canada. Is there anyone that has done this and is it worth it? I would think that a large shipment like this would always get taxed, or does it sometimes get through without?
    Thanks, Brian
    Taxes are different from country to country...

    If @Coolsplash is selling, he may have an import permit that exempts him from some taxes, or that might make them higher! :)

    Something to consider is that if you end up buying enough that it comes via pallets, you may well need an import permit and pre-paid taxes. I don't know what that is in Canada, or if it is even required, but keep it in mind.

    If you're buying enough stuff, a good customs broker is usually a wise investment, and should be your first call. If I was importing hundreds of thousands of dollars of stuff in a single cargo shipment, I would want to talk to one.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links to help keep the forum online: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy