Our whole family - it's no secret. We *love* Lego. The company makes quality superior products, they have excellent customer service and the products the make are just as beloved by adults as kids.
One of the ONLY problems with falling in love with Lego is that they are an expensive toy. The large majority of Lego we buy is second hand. Occasionally we'll buy sets on sale, and once a year we save up and make a big purchase at the Lego store, taking advantage of double VIP points (in October and April each year). They offer $5 on every $100 you spend, but during Double Points time, you get $5 back for every $50 spent - that way we get the most for our money.
Unfortunately for those who LOVE Lego - even second hand Lego is often tremendously overpriced. When it comes to second hand Lego, we have a general guide we go by when deciding to buy. When it comes to "mint-in-the-box" and expensive collector sets (Many of the older Star Wars sets like the Death Star) are EXTREMELY valuable if they are complete and especially if they are still in the box. While those things are super important for collectors - that's just not our style. We are firm believers that Lego is meant to be BUILT and PLAYED with. Very little of what we have is kept on a shelf - like the very first little hovercraft Kaedin's mommy built when she was just three years old. (she paid her neighbor $.10 for those blocks back in 1985.
We also have a collection of the Collectible Minifigure Series that we're going to buy frames for - but that's about it. All the rest of our Lego will come out of boxes and bins and be PLAYED WITH. As a result, we don't aim to buy super high-priced mint sets, we'd much rather have something that might be missing a few pieces. We'll download instructions online or use parts to build our custom creations. We don't need boxes and manuals - to us - every single Lego brick has value -sentimental value - FAMILY-time value. Those things are worth WAY more than money to us.
Kaedin's mommy, Kristie has been building with Lego since she was just three years old, and even before Kaedin was born she had a pretty sizable collection. Every Lego part and piece we have is something we've collected for this project, mostly by buying it - we've invested quite a lot of time and money into this project, as many of you know, Lego is NOT an inexpensive hobby. As a result, we have to really think carefully about the things we buy - if we overspend on one set, one bucket of Lego from a yard sale, or one Ebay auction... it's less that we will have in the long run. As a result, we have a "going rate" that we generally keep in mind when making offers to buy Lego, and we hope you'll understand that the INCREDIBLY inflated prices you see on Ebay or Amazon when you google Lego - ISN'T REALLY what Lego is WORTH or even what it's SELLING FOR.
Our favorite thing to buy is a big bin of mixed Lego - while it's not fun to dig through the inevitable mix of doll hair, Barbie shoes, Gi Joe arms, McDonald's toys, Matchbox cars, playing cards, board game parts, dominos, dice and other random bits... It's economically the smartest way to go. We STRESS to people - please don't bother to go crazy if you're giving us a bin of old Lego. We're happy to sort, wash and organize all of it - in the end, that's a lot of fun for us. We love digging through bins, and using the pieces and minifigures (and sometimes instruction books) to figure out what sets might be (mostly!) in the bin, and in the end, we've gotten tons and tons of REALLY great Lego sets and parts that way.
Depending on what kind of "bulk" Lego you have, and how "pure" the bin is (if there's lots of other toys, or more than just a few off-brand bits, like Megablocks) - then bulk rates for Lego are most sensible at under $4 a lb. If you have particularly SPECIAL things in your bulk bin of brick - like lots of Star Wars or Harry Potter sets, then they might be worth a bit more, however, unless you're willing to spend the time to pick out all the pieces for each set and organize them along with the instructions, you're not going to get the ridiculous prices you see on Ebay.
To be honest - the prices you see on Ebay are every bit as ridiculous as the look. Sadly, the second-hand Lego market is often full of incredibly jacked up prices by adult Lego investors who buy up massive amounts of brick, sit on the sealed sets for some time, and then when the set is retired and no longer abundantly available on the shelf at Target and Walmart, they ask five and six times (or MORE!) the original cost... it's a sad practice that shuts true Lego lovers out from buying sets that came out before they were collecting, and it means that many kids born in the 2000's will never have the opportunity to have some of the incredibly cool sets made in the 80's and 90's. The reality is - if your Lego has been opened and played with, there are GREAT resources to find the value of individual sets at website like Peeron, Brickset and Bricklink - but unless you've sorted the sets before selling, keep in mind that even those USED prices aren't accurate once you've lost a few pieces or misplaced the building instructions, the box or the mini-figures that it originally came with. It's ALWAYS our goal to offer you what your second-hand Lego is worth, and if it's worth more than we can pay - we're happy to tell you that too. Many times it makes more sense for us to hold off and buy unsorted buckets of loose brick, rather than complete sets. In the end, we're going to be working on this city project for years to come and if we have to work extra now to find the right pieces for what we want to build, that's alright.
If you think you may have a valuable set, or are just interested in what your collection might be worth, we're happy to help point you in the right direction. We'll gladly make an offer, or just help you to find out the value. If you're looking to sell your entire Lego collection - weather it's all sorted and in the original boxes, or just tossed into a huge bin, please reach out! Let us know what the bin weighs, send a list of the sets you have, along with some photos, and we're happy to make an offer - if it's in our price-range, or the kind of sets we're looking for right now, we'll be thrilled to buy them from you. And if you're one of the awesome angels who isn't looking to be compensated - please know that your gift of Lego, no matter how large or small - will be TREASURED, and most importantly, built and PLAYED WITH. Because no matter what the price guides say - to us - all the value of Lego is in the time spent building with your loved ones, as well as playing and growing your child's imagination.
We love Lego - it's a huge part of our family, and you can never put a price tag on what it means to have a safe, fun, and educational activity that we can all do together, even on the days when our health prevents us from doing anything else. Mommy has spent a lot of time in hospital beds searching online for the Legos we need, and Kaedin and Mommy can OFTEN be found, propped between heating pad and ice packs, with splints on their fingers, sorting or building, and that's just priceless.
Kristie, also known as TheBrixChick, is a 34 year old mom living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Together with her husband, Justin and her son Kaedin (5) they are building a massive Lego city and hoping to bring awareness to Rare Diseases and invisible illness, like EDS.