6 TIPS FOR PURCHASING LEGO® PARTS ON MARKETPLACES

Buying LEGO parts in marketplaces can sometimes be a scary job, if you have never done it before.

Don't be scared, it's easy.

If you want to build that cool custom LEGO model you found instructions for on Rebrickable, you will need to get the LEGO parts it needs. Here at BuildaMOC, we have been doing that for close to 10 years, so we’d love to share with you some tips that we found overtime!

We will give you some tips on:

 

  • Where to buy the LEGO parts?
  • Making sure the store's terms are right for you
  • International shipping and prices
  • Tips on color parts/molds

1. Where sould I look for original LEGO parts?

There are three different common marketplaces where you can purchase these LEGO parts, mainly divided in two, official LEGO parts service, and unofficial LEGO marketplaces.

LEGO Pick a Brick (or Bricks and Pieces) – This is the official LEGO parts catalog. LEGO has been increasing the range of individual parts available to consumers over time, slowly building an amazing catalog of common and rare LEGO parts.

Bricklink/Brickowl marketplaces – these are the largest unofficial marketplaces for LEGO parts
Both are similar in function, there are thousands of individual private/business sellers in each marketplace which each have stores in which they show what parts they have available. You are able to make a purchase on each of these stores and arrange shipping with the seller.

In summary, when buying parts we always recommend to check both LEGO and the unofficial marketplaces at the same time, to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.

2. Read the terms before purchasing (applicable to the secondary market)

Don’t want to be hit by outrageous unexpected fees, cancellations, or any other kind of tomfoolery? Always read the terms before even browsing the store.


Sometimes you’ll see a very cheap shop, which you think will have all the parts you need, and you go and happily fill your cart up with cheap LEGO goodness. However, after going to check-out, you see that your total price has doubled, or tripled.


This is because you may not have read the terms of the store that you were going to purchase from. Unfortunately, some secondary market stores have some policies for lot limits/lot average value, and will add fees if they are not met. You can also see the shipping costs upfront on many shops, so you won’t be surprised when you see a high shipping fee from an international shop. Which brings me to…

3. International shipping can be expensive

Not all stores are in your country/region, so have this in mind when making purchases. International shipping can be very expensive, especially if sent with tracking. If you buy from a store which is not in your country, expect to pay higher shipping fees.

 

4. International shipping can be slow

When purchasing abroad you need to consider that shipping can be slow, especially in periods of high shipments. When purchasing after black Friday, you can expect shipments to take at least a week longer than usual. Shipping carriers get overwhelmed by Black Friday weekend heading into Christmas, and can have packages delayed until late January.


If you need your parts urgently, choose a express delivery service, if you don’t want to risk it!

5. Always check the feedback score before purchasing

If you don’t want surprises, always take a quick glance at the feedback score, and recent comments before purchasing.


It is important to not only look at the total score, but the number of negative/neutral comments. A seller might have 1,000 positive votes, but if they have 100 negative at the same time, we could consider that seller very unreliable. A good seller should not have less than a 99% positive feedback rating.

 

6. Be careful with colors!

LEGO has changed color naming and palette overtime, for example, gray tones were updated to a newer greyish tone, which is called Light Bluish Gray (compared to the old Light Gray). Same thing happened to Dark Gray -> Dark Bluish Gray and Brown -> Reddish Brown.


These colors also vary in naming between marketplaces. Light Bluish Gray in Bricklink, is the equivalent of Medium Stone Gray in Brickowl, for example.
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