Buying on Bricklink

Bricklink.com is the best place to find new and used LEGO building parts sets and minifigs.   Whether you are looking for a piece that is lost for a set or making your own creation Bricklink is the place to go.  I found Bricklink in 2002 because I was looking for pieces that I had lost for some Classic Space sets.  Baylit.com was one of the first sites I found that I could buy random pieces but that site is no longer with us.  Bricklink was the next one that I found and it was great.  I didn’t have to buy a set to just get the few pieces that I wanted.  From that moment I was hooked.  Using the site for a long time it is easy to use.  For new users it can be tricky.

When you are on a Bricklink page there are the three color circles near the top right.  Market, Studio and Community.  These did change recently.  Market is where the pieces are at.  Studio is Bricklink’s computer building program. Community is where the forums and help is at.  Hovering over Market shows the above screen.  Catalog on the left and Stores on the right.  Under Catalog you can click on one of the types.  I am clicking on Parts.

You get a list of all the part categories on Bricklink.  There are more than shown here.  One of the things that got me when starting to use Bricklink is what I called the piece wasn’t want Bricklink calls the piece.  This can vary to what The LEGO Company calls the piece.  You can explore the different categories to see what pieces are there.  Also at anytime the top of every page is a search bar.  Most pieces have a number on them and you can search for the number.  The numbers are very small.  If you have an iPhone in the settings under Accessibility there is a Magnifier option.  Once enabled if you click the home button it opens and you can zoom in on the number on the piece.  It is easier than just using the camera to do the same thing.  Don’t know how to activate it on the newer phones that don’t have a home button.

I clicked on the Brick category.  It brings up the list of bricks.  You might call every piece a brick but these are just rectangular pieces with no holes or slopes.  I am looking for 1×1 bricks.  I can click the 3005 and will open a new page.  Under that listing you can see the other versions of this piece.  These are older ones that are no longer produced and have differences from the normal 3005.

There is a lot of info on this page.  You can see all the sets that this part as appeared in.  You can see the Related Items which is the different variations of this piece.  There is also Items For Sale, Color Info and Price Guide.  This is where how I buy differs from most buyers.  I find the stores and prices from the Color Info page.  I find it the easiest but reading the the forums that most don’t buy this way but I think it has advantages.

From here you can see Lots For Sale, Wanted Lists, Price Guide and Known Colors.  More info than the other tabs but the other tabs take you straight to that section.  Here I can see if it is a known color.  The number next to the color is how many sets it appears in.  I click on the Price Guide Info for the Dark Bluish Gray.

There is the Last 6 Month Sales to show what the piece has sold for.  Current Items For Sale is what is currently available for New and Used pieces.  New pieces are pieces taken directly from a new set.  These pieces haven’t been used in any way.  The pieces from the Pick-a-Brick wall at a LEGO store also qualify as new.  Used pieces are everything else.  Most sellers won’t sell pieces that have too many scratches, bite marks or discolored.  There will be some scratches but sellers shouldn’t never sell pieces with discoloring or bite marks.  But that can be in the description of the piece.  So read the description once you click on one of the green squares.  The red ones are stores that don’t ship to your country.

It will take you to a store and will show you the quantity and price.  Select how many you want and click Add Items to Cart.  Is this the easiest way to buy?  No.  In the above picture there is a red heart.  This piece is on my Wanted List.  Next time I will show an easier way to buy using Wanted Lists.

Buying With Wanted Lists

Looking up every piece separately to buy on Bricklink will take some time.  If you are looking for a lot of pieces you probably won’t find all the pieces in one store.  Create a Wanted List will make things easier.

Going back to the 1×1 brick can see My Wanted List has a (1) after it.  That means it is on my wanted list.  Below that is Add to My Wanted List.  I can add this piece to an existing or new wanted list.

Clicking on Add to My Wanted List brings up this screen.  I can select the quantity, color, and condition.  I can set a max price and choose if I want to be notified when someone adds this piece to their store.  Except for some rare pieces, I have the notifications turned off otherwise you will get emails all day long.  On the left is the names of my wanted lists so you can have a list by project or use the Default Wanted List.  Now go find a store to fill your lists.  I found the store Recycled Brick.  Of course.

Once in a store go to the Shop tab and below is Wanted List.  It will show everything in that store that is on your lists.  On the left is a list of all the  wanted lists.  You can select and deselect which ones you want to see which pieces are available.  You can add the ones that you want to the cart and checkout.

Along the top of the page on the right you will see a heart with a Want under it.  This is a quick way to get to your wanted lists.  Click there will take you to a new screen.

Here you can see the list of your wanted lists and an Easy Buy option.  You can use this to find stores that have the most pieces to fill that list.  My first list has 118 unique parts on it.  When I click Easy Buy it will search to find the least amount of stores to complete that list.  Probably be from more than one store.  There may be no stores that have all the pieces.

Here it is finding the stores that can fulfill the list.  It will give you a list from this screen and below it is a button that says Create Carts.  Once you do that it will make shopping carts in the stores that have those pieces.  Or you can from the Wanted Lit page use the Auto-Select button.

Here you can select your country or choose anywhere.  You can ignore store you don’t like and don’t ship to you.  I have those selected all the time.  From the list of store you can select one.

Once selected you can see what is going to be in the cart.  One store might not have everything on your wanted list.  This one has 8 of the items that were on the list.

If the totals look correct or you can change them and hit Confirm Selection.

Now you can hit Checkout.  With Easy Buy, you can’t deselect international stores.  It looks at price and shipping costs and supposedly gives you the best price.  I don’t think it does.  I usually shop by this last method but I will then go and look at each store and see if there any other pieces that I want from that store and then checkout.  shop the second way and make the carts.  Then I go to each store and see if they have any other pieces I need from other wanted lists.  Once the carts are created it is time to Checkout.

Checking Out On Bricklink

From the previous Buying With Wanted lists, our cart has been made.  Near the upper right of the page there is a shopping cart and clicking will take you to this page.

Or from where we left off you can hit the Checkout button.

There will be all the parts in your cart.  You can make changes here.

On the right there is Item Total: the price of the parts.  Shipping & Handling: the cost of shipping might be here and might not be depending on the store.  Order Total:  This along with the shipping might say TBD, To Be Determined and you will find out more after you click on Proceed to Checkout.

Step 1:  Store Terms and Conditions.  You should always read these.  Some are laid out nicely and easy to read like the one above and some are a jumbled mess.  Either way you will get all the info about the store’s rules.  Shipping time, fees, condition of pieces and more.  You can see this before you check out from the tabs on the store page.  It is easier to read these before making a cart because you might find the stores as some odd fees.  My store has no fees.  Once you are done reading click Agree and Continue.

Step 2: Payment.  This is where you select your payment.  My store has Stripe where you can use a Credit/Debit card and don’t have to have an account with.  PayPal, where you can have an account and use your balance or a card.  You can also checkout on PayPal without an account.  The “Onsite” after PayPal means that once you are done with the steps you can pay from Bricklink.  Some stores don’t offer Onsite Payments.  Stripe is an Onsite payment.  Select and click on Select and Continue.

Step 3: Shipping. Here you can check if the address that you want the order shipped is correct.  Using an Onsite payment will make it the same on PayPal.  Some stores will only ship to your PayPal address.  Make sure that your PayPal address is correct if you aren’t using an Onsite payment option. Shipping options below.  Also below is the shipping options that you can choose from.

These will be different from store to store.  If it says Checkout or Instant Checkout and there is a lightning bolt after the store is set up with prices for shipping and you can pay instantly.  If it says Invoice, you will receive an invoice from the store.  Don’t pay until an invoice shows up.  Once the shipping option you want is selected click Checkout.  There can be Request A Quote at this point where you can get a shipping quote and click that doesn’t make an order.

Using an Instant Checkout option you will be sent to Stripe or PayPal and you can pay for the order and it is done. If there is a Manual Invoice option the buyer will send you an invoice with the shipping cost included.  The biggest problem with Instant Checkout not all the USPS shipping bands can be used.  Regular Priority, Regional Priority and end of January 2019 will also be First Class.  The Instant Checkout only can do a flat fee shipping.  When it is weight and zone Instant Checkout can’t be used.  First Class is going to zone as well so if Bricklink doesn’t update the Instant Checkout abilities it won’t be useable for sellers.

The seller will ship according to their store terms.  The seller will send an email through Bricklink and can have the tracking number if the seller provides one.  Below is where you can see that on an order.

You can see the tracking number in the lower right corner.  Once it arrives and everything looks good you can leave feedback for the seller.  The seller will sometimes leave feedback right away or wait until the buyer leaves it. Now start building with those new parts.

Using Coupons During Checkout

Coupons.  A seller may send you a coupon.  A coupon on Bricklink only can be used on a future order.  Where do you use it?  Since Bricklink hasn’t added the discounts for Instant Checkout that I want, I have been sending out coupons instead.  I have noticed that a returning buyers aren’t using the coupons they have been sent but are coming back and placing orders.  Here is where you can find to use them.

On Step 2 of the Checkout is Payment.  Below the Payment Currency option is Store Coupon.  When you select a coupon it will deduct that from the order.  The coupons will either be a percentage off on the parts or the shipping.  Below is with the coupon applied.

The Coupon shows in red in the Order Summary.  Now you can finish the checkout process and you will get the discount that was sent to you.  The seller sets how long they are good for.  The longest the coupons are valid is a year before they expire.  To see if you have coupons available you can hover over the My BL tab as in the first picture.  If there are any available there will say at the bottom.  Clicking on that will take you to where the coupons are.

This will list all the valid coupons that you have open.  It shows how much the coupon is for and the date when it expires.  Sellers will send them to you and if you don’t want them you can decline them.  Next time when you check out of a store make sure you look at Step 2 to see if you have a coupon.  If you ask me on Bricklink or send me your Bricklink user name, I will send you a 10% off coupon on all items if you mention this post.