LEGO is not a cheap hobby, as I’m sure any AFOL – or parent with a LEGO-addicted child – is well aware of! But, there are some ways to get cheaper LEGO sets and parts.
So, here’s my list of tips for finding cheap (well, cheaper!) LEGO in the UK. It’s worth bearing in mind that some LEGO themes are cheaper than others. Licensed sets (think Star Wars, superheroes, etc) tend to be pricer per part than LEGO’s own themes, and also tend not to become reduced, at least by much. Sets that LEGO labels as “Exclusive” (think LEGO modulars/other LEGO Creator Expert sets) tend to be harder to track down with discounts.
1. Know where to look for cheap LEGO
- Brickset.com – my favourite place to stay up to date with online LEGO offers is Brickset – Huw and the team have a great range of tools which automatically post the latest LEGO offers from Amazon, as well as a more detailed list of LEGO discounts in many UK retailers.
- Amazon.co.uk – some good offers (assuming you quality for free delivery!). Use Brickset to check up on latest discounts.
- Smyths Toys – often have discounts on ranges both in-store and online.
- John Lewis – most stores seem to have a decent range of recent LEGO sets, and they also offer a price match service, so can be cheaper than you’d think! They also sell on LEGO and offer a click-and-collect service – handy if you live near a store and want a specific set!
- Supermarkets can also reap some good finds for end-of-range sets. Your local large Sainsbury’s, Tesco and ASDA store is a good place to check on a regular basis (plus you can use your rewards/points cards in these stores)
- Shop.LEGO.com sales and deals – worth a check occasionally, but I don’t expect much more than key rings with discounts offered directly from LEGO
2. Use loyalty and discount cards for cheaper LEGO
The most obvious place to start here is the LEGO VIP loyalty card. This offers points on all LEGO purchases via shop.lego.com and in LEGO brand stores equivalent to 5% off.
When buying in other stores, becoming a member of their own loyalty schemes can really help make cheaper LEGO, especially if you are buying LEGO on a regular basis!
3. Use cashback sites (?)
Not something I use, but I know some AFOLs in the UK make use of cashback websites to reduce the cost of their LEGO. The basic idea is you receive a small percentage of the amount you spend through certain websites back, as long as you use the links/tools provided by the cashback sites. Afraid I can’t recommend any, though – you’ll have to follow my advice in #5 below and talk to other AFOLs.
4. Be patient, and cheap LEGO will come to you
This is something that I am really, really poor at as a LEGO fan: if you wait until long after sets are initially released, there’s a good chance that you’ll get them cheaper than their RRP in a lot of cases. Being a total LEGO addict and “needing” new sets as soon as they come out, I probably lose out quite heavily here at times!
Patience doesn’t just apply to new LEGO sets, though – if there are particular sets you want, keep an eye on eBay and you can pick up the occassional bargain. Just beware that bulk “LEGO” bricks sold on eBay are often not 100% LEGO despite any claims they are. There may well be a mix of Megablocks and other non-LEGO parts mixed in for good measure.
5. Talk to other AFOLs
One way I find out about new LEGO offers is because I talk to other AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) on a regular basis at LEGO User Group Meetings (I’m a member of a few but my “main” group is Brick Alley LUG in Darlington). I’m a member of the “AFOLs of Facebook” group, which although has a worldwide membership does have a good number of UK LEGO fans who will post any decent offers they find online. Twitter is also a place to find hints of cheap LEGO sets and parts – I tweet as @TheBricksMcGee, so you can learn of offers as I do if you follow me there.