When purchasing LEGO, you might be wondering if you should buy used or new LEGO. Which is the best option?
You should buy used LEGO if you are on a budget, environmentally conscious or you have time to go through many listings until you find a good deal. Contrarily, you should buy new LEGO if you want a toy in perfect condition and with which no extra work is required before playtime can start.
Let’s have a look now a bit more in detail at all the circumstances in which used LEGO and new LEGO are the best options.
When should you buy used LEGO?
So, the main reason why people buy used LEGO is to get a better deal. LEGO can feel like expensive toys to purchase. I talked about it at length in our post “Why is LEGO so expensive? (And alternatives to consider)”. If that is the case and you cannot afford or do not want to pay the full price that comes from buying LEGO new, buying used LEGO is an excellent option.
Because of the high quality of this toy, you can find used sets in excellent condition but which still have a discount as compared to what you can find in a shop.
Another reason to be choosing to buy used LEGO instead of new ones is for environmental reasons. If customers started buying fewer new products and started buying more second-hand ones, companies would reduce their production accordingly, which would benefit the environment.
If you have enough time and patience to go through the many listings available online, it might be a good idea to buy used LEGO also. Because of the sheer volume of LEGO available online, there are good deals to be found for those with time to look. So, even if you are not on a budget, you could, in any case, end up getting a very good deal if you have time.
What to expect when you buy used LEGO
It is not all sunshine and rainbows with buying used LEGO. Even though there are very good reasons to buy used LEGO, there are also some disadvantages to it. Let’s look at them now.
Expect some scratches or color lost
LEGO products are of great quality, but time gets us all, including LEGO pieces. Therefore, when you buy used LEGO products, expect to find some pieces with scratches or some pieces where the color is not as bright anymore.
If you want to fix this, you can check our post “Tips To Restoring Discolored Lego”.
Expect dirty pieces
It will happen. You will buy a used LEGO and when you open the box, you will find it dirty. Even if you don’t, cleaning the used sets or pieces that you buy is a great idea and it is not so hard. The best way is to clean them by hand, always with water under 104°F / 40°C.
If you want more information about this, you can check our post “This Is The Best Way To Clean Lego”, where we explain it in much more detail.
Expect the odd missing piece
At some point, you will buy a used set and you will find out that there is a piece missing. The good thing about LEGO is that, because of its modular approach, you are most likely to have that piece in another of your sets. If you don’t, you can always buy specific pieces separately. Thanks to how modular their sets are, this is not such a big problem.
When should you buy new LEGO?
If money is not your top concern but you are really short on time and you want to make sure what you are buying will be good, then you should always buy new LEGO.
Because of their high standards, you will always get a set in perfect condition. This means that you don’t need to run through hundreds of listings before you find one that matches what you are looking for.
Also, buying new LEGO means that you or your children can start playing with it straight away. No need to clean it or repaint it. Because everything is new, you will be the first one to play with it, so you can jump on straight away.
If you are more into the themed sets than into the generic ones, new sets are also a better option. Themed sets tend to have more specific pieces, so ensuring you will have them all becomes more important. All the above still applies, but the need for the specific pieces can tilt the balance in some cases.
Now that we have had a look at when you should buy used and new LEGO, it is time to learn where we can buy them
Where can you buy used LEGO?
If you want to buy used LEGO, a quick search on the Internet for the term “where can I buy used lego” will give you a ton of different options. This shows that this is a very popular option.
My recommendation is to check BrickLink as a first option. It is the largest and most well-known platform where people buy and sell their LEGO sets and pieces. In addition to BrickLink, eBay is also a great option and you can find really good deals there as well.
If you don’t like any of these two options, I have listed below other sites that also sell used LEGO:
These are only a small selection of websites. Be sure to shop around in order to find the best deals.
Where can you buy new LEGO?
If you want to buy new LEGO instead, the options are also almost endless. The first step would be to check the LEGO official website. In there, you will find everything you need and then some more.
If you are going to be buying directly on their website, it is a good idea to become a LEGO VIP member. Being a member is free and it will give you some perks and discounts.
Other than that, Amazon offers good prices and great convenience as always. Depending on the country you are at, certain retail brick & mortar shops will also sell LEGO sets. Here you can usually find good deals after the sets have been in the store for some weeks.
Other tips to save money when buying LEGO
In addition to when you should buy used and new LEGO, what to expect from used LEGO, and where you can buy both, there are also other tips that can be useful when you are about to buy LEGO and you want to save some money. I have listed below my top three tips to consider when buying LEGO.
Consider buying in bulk
One of the best ways to save money when buying LEGO is to buy them in bulk. That means buying big quantities of generic pieces that do not have any specific structure attached to it as themed sets do.
This has the advantage of sparking the imagination of the player because the end result is not fixed and it only depends on the creativity of the builder.
Generic sets will always be cheaper than themed sets
In addition to buying in bulk, another tip is to buy generic sets instead of themed sets. Themed sets, because of the licensing, will be more expensive than generic ones.
It’s true that building a Star Wars set can be a lot of fun, but playing with a less specific one can be extremely rewarding.
Missing instructions and pieces can be found online easily
If you are worried about missing instructions or pieces when buying used LEGO, know that it is very easy to find the instructions for all the sets online, for free. So, if you buy a used set and the instructions are nowhere to be found, no need to worry. Just google it and you will find the instructions in less than a heartbeat.
As for the pieces, as I mentioned before, you can always buy them online. Because of the popularity of LEGO, its high quality and its modular system, finding the pieces that you are missing will be a piece of cake compared to building the LEGO set you have just purchased.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you are interested in buying used LEGO, be sure to check our post “A Treasure Hunters Guide To Finding The Best Old Lego Sets”.