Did you know that it’s quite easy (and fairly inexpensive) to order individual LEGO bricks? We often hear from readers who want to build one of our projects but don’t have all of the pieces needed. Or maybe your kids are wanting to order more lightsabers, or a bunch of bricks in a certain color. People often know about the Pick-a-Brick section on Lego.com, but I want to show you what I think is an even better option… Brick Link!
Bricklink.com is a marketplace for buying and selling LEGO. You can buy sets (current or retired), minifigures, and individual bricks of all types and colors. The way it works is very similar to eBay, except that there is no bidding. Sellers post their items for sale, and you can sign up for a user name and start purchasing.
Benefits of Brick Link vs. Lego.com:
- Wider selection of both current and retired bricks and minifigures. You can find Star Wars minifigures that are only sold in large sets, for example.
- Orders arrive more quickly. Lego.com’s Pick-A-Brick orders ship from Denmark and can take up to a month to arrive. I usually receive Brick Link orders in about 5 days, depending on how far away they are coming from.
Brick Link can be overwhelming at first! Here are some tips for efficient ordering on Brick Link.
Register for an account. Whatever you choose for your username will show up whenever you leave feedback for a seller, so choose accordingly!
Buy as much as possible from one seller. Each seller charges shipping separately, so it’s best to find a seller that has several different things you want. I start by searching for one of the pieces I want. Then I look for a seller who has that piece available and who also has a high feedback number next to his or her name. If a seller has received a lot of feedback, then they most likely have a lot of bricks available for sale, and I am likely to find several things I need. While writing my LEGO book, I often had a shopping list of several specific things to order, and sometimes I needed to order from more than one seller. LEGO bricks are not heavy to ship, though, so shipping charges are usually low. Still, you don’t want to order 8 things from 8 different sellers and pay 8 shipping fees!
Be aware the prices are related to supply and demand. Many common bricks are for sale at around 5 cents each, but a collectible hard-to-find minifigure might go for $10 or more.
Browse by categories.
Using the search bar on Brick Link is a little bit of a challenge, unless you happen to know the name for a particular LEGO brick, which most people don’t! In the beginning, I was quite frustrated trying to search. So here’s what I do…
This is what the home page looks like. From here, click on “Parts.”
You will then see this screen:
As you can see, there are a LOT of categories. I couldn’t get all of them on my screen at one time to do a screen shot! Here are the basics:
Bricks – Regular square or rectangle bricks. They are labeled by counting the number of studs. For example, 2 x 4 or 1 x 6.
Bricks, modified – Bricks that have something different about them. Could be a stud on the side, a handle, an axle, etc.
Plates – These are the flat bricks.
Plates, modified – This is where you can find flat bricks that have a handle on the end, clips, a socket, a ball joint, etc.
Slope – These bricks are sloped like roof pieces. The tiny slope pieces (see the C3P0 photo below) are in this category too.
Slope, inverted – These bricks slope the opposite direction.
Wedge, plate – This category is where you find all the “wing” pieces, so take notice! Just order tons of wings in different sizes and colors, and your kids will be happy building endless space ships, LOL. These are flat bricks that are triangle or “wing” shaped.
Many of the functional LEGO elements are found in the Technic categories.
So, let’s say we were going to try to order some of the pieces to build C3P0.
(You can see the instructions for C3PO here: LEGO C3PO)
The 2 x 2 yellow plate would be under “plates.”
The curved pieces are 1 x 3 curved slopes. They would be under “slope, curved.” If you click on that category, you would see this on the first page:
(By the way, I tried searching “1 x 3 curved slope” and it didn’t find the right result. You have to get the names exactly right, which is hard… I should have searched slope, curved 3 x 1 no studs.)
Click on the part number to the left of the piece we want – the slope, curved 3 x 1 no studs. This will take you to this page which shows all the MANY colors that this piece is available in. Scroll down until you see yellow on the “lots for sale” column at the left. Click on yellow.
By the way, the item number is a number given by LEGO. You can find this number on the underside of each brick. Look carefully – they are really tiny! This is a great way to find bricks online if you have one already and want to order more.
That will take you to this screen, which has a long, long list of all the sellers who have this piece available.
Now, this step is important.
While deciding who to buy from, you need to look at what country they live in (this will affect shipping costs), and whether or not they have a required minimum buy. In other words, is there a minimum that you need to spend with them in order to buy anything at all. Some sellers don’t have a minimum purchase, but many require you to spend $5 or $10 which makes sense since it’s not really worth their time to pack up 75 cents worth of LEGO bricks.
If you click on “more options” right under the blue search button, you can refine your search by country.
Also – look at where it says “condition.” You can choose to purchase only new pieces, or look at used options as well. (I always go with new, but a big part of that is that I am photographing our LEGO projects, and I don’t want dents or teeth marks in the pieces!)
After you have chosen a high volume seller who lives in the same country as you (or at least on the same continent), you can look to see what else they have for sale.
Complete your order. After submitting your order, wait for an invoice from the seller. Some sellers accept payment right on the Brick Link site, but many will have you just send over the total amount via PayPal.
Then wait for your bricks to arrive! For my kids, this means listening for the mail truck coming up the street every single day until they come!
Often, readers ask me for parts lists for our projects. This is a great place to address that, so I will! Parts lists are very time consuming to write. Looking up the names of all the pieces is time consuming. Counting the parts and make sure that we used the most “ideal” parts is time consuming. I try to offer as many step-by-step instructions on this site as possible, but I have not written very many parts lists. But – I have good news! My LEGO book – Awesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have is loaded with step-by-step instructions AND parts lists! The book is available for pre-order and will ship as soon as it releases.
Have fun building! You can browse through all of our LEGO project ideas here: LEGO Projects