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Buying bulk tips

I want to get into building mocs but at this point I have a very small inventory of spare parts.  I would like to hear everyone's best ideas on where/ how to get started.  Like preferred purchase stores/websites etc. And any potential pit falls to avoid.  Thx


  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 556
    Things become expensive if you don't have a specific moc vision in mind.
    Are you generally building and need bricks for that or do you have a moc idea?

    I've just finished my first large project. It's Christmas themed. I started by setting an eBay search to pick out Winter Village themed sets that were used and I was particularly interested in incomplete sets. I found I could pick these up really cheaply when minifigures were specifically missing and in these cases I was often the only bidder or could negotiate a fair buy it now price.

    I also spent ages looking at set inventories cross referencing the Brickset database to BrickLink to see which sets were also a good source of pieces. The Frozen palace was a good set for me and I found a few eBay sellers who had split the minifigures to sell separately. 

    Then I began the long (and sometimes quite expensive) process of Bricklinking the specific parts for my design. I must confess that this was the best bit as it was so satisfying when a box dropped through the door with all the pieces I needed for a specific phase.

    I also split my build into a couple of phases to split the cost. One phase meant the model could be considered as 'an acceptable finish' - it was a complete model and looked good. But phase 2 was to embellish and buy the pieces that really made it special.

    As I say, it was my first project. I did enjoy it although it wasn't cheap.
    I don't have masses of parts left over either so I'd say I bought effectively.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,685
    Build up your inventory of parts. If you don't have a specific moc in mind, this is best done by buying sets when they're discounted - 40% or more would be no-brainers. This will increase your parts pool.

    Also, join a LUG (Lego User Group). This will allow you to meet others, and most LUGs normally share details of local deals etc between themselves.
  • sithbucknut77sithbucknut77 OhioMember Posts: 6
    I restrict myself to star wars sets and I already have 80+ sets.  I have several ideas in mind for scene building but I am leaning on doing my first moc with what parts I can come up with first. I have plenty of various large base plates, it's the various bricks/angled bricks & scenery type pieces I'm coming up short on.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 864
    If you don't mind used parts, local thrift stores might be a viable option. This seems to be regional, as here in CT I have found several shops that have a fairly steady supply of LEGO, but other places I have visited had nothing. Keep in mind that a used lot may also contain non-LEGO stuff, and not just non-LEGO bricks. I've found anything from furry green pennies to electronic devices that I still can't identify mixed in with used lots.

    Keep an eye on the clearance aisles in Walmart and Target, and use Brickseek to check your area when people post great finds. Use the Walmart app to scan prices in the store, as I have found the tag in the clearance aisle is often higher than the price scanned at the register. I've also had great luck at Walgreens a couple of times, finding sets at 90% off.

    Try to keep an eye on what your building goals are, and start sorting before things get out of hand.
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,558
    I really like the tip about hunting for incomplete sets - I tend to avoid them when I'm looking for sets to build, as opposed to sets as parts packs, so this is well worth remembering when I'm gathering materials for an MOC.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 27
    I use BL and BrickOwl for specific orders, but only after I've gone through the used tables at my local used Lego stores.  It helps (at least for me) to have a list of what I need.  Otherwise I end up picking out unique pieces without any plans for their use.  Some stores are better than others for this though.  A couple in my area go through their bulk purchases and remove the rare elements for their BL shops.  A couple don't, which means that you can run across some very unique and rare pieces.  It also helps to know when they refill their bulk tables as you can try to be one of the first to go through the new stuff to find those gems you need.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,077
    Also it is getting to that time again when BF is approaching and Walmart will likely have its large 'classic' boxes on sale for 30 dollar each
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