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Bricklink vs. PAB vs. Lego Sets
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I thought it might be interesting to discuss the three of the most common methods of obtaining pieces in the Lego world; Bricklink (also including orders from other online stores), PAB, and Lego sets. Commonly it's seen that a variety of people prefer buying legos online rather than taking a trip to the lego store or toy store and vice versa. The overall question is which method gives you more bricks for your buck?

In this thread, share your experiences with the three lego stores listed above (or others for that matter). Which do you think is a better bargain? Which do you prefer? Any store recommendations? I'll post after I get a few different opinions are posted...
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| January 4, 2010, 9:15 pm
You should also add Ebay to that list. Parents wont let me buy on bricklink, so that's one down. PAB is pretty good, but lego cheats you out of alot of parts because lego parts are based off of right angles, and the PAB cups are cylindrical. The best bet for me out of the list would have to be sets. You get people and parts all in one package. no shipping costs or cylinders to deal with...
Permalink
| January 4, 2010, 9:32 pm
A big part of what drives my decisions are what I want, where I am, and the benefits of using a particular method for getting the parts.
Bricklink has been very good for me in getting specific or rare parts I want. I haven't had a problem with it, but I've only used it six or seven times and never for a large order (over 20 bucks).

PAB at the LEGO store is a rarity for me -- I live very far away from any Lego stores (closest is two hours away) so I haven't used them much, but have been satisfied with the four cups I've purchased.

Lego sets are purhased for specific figs and/or parts. Every set I've picked up over the past year has been to get something for Glomshire Knights or Blockocop (webcomics). Sometimes its for a fig, others it's to enhance the number of a certain part in my collection, or to stash away for later use.

In other words, I like all three methods. I've used e-bay, too, but I hate the shipping charges and everything I've gotten through e-bay has either been of questionable quality or (in the case of bulk purchases) an obvious attempt by someone to purge a large number of basic bricks or useless parts from their collections.

That's my experience; to sum it up, I'm a fan of the three methods mentioned by Dylan and a lukewarm admirer of ebay, I guess.
Permalink
| January 4, 2010, 9:52 pm
Quoting Dennis Price
I've used e-bay, too, but I hate the shipping e-bay has either been of questionable quality or (in the case of bulk purchases) an obvious attempt by someone to purge a large number of basic bricks or useless parts from their collections.


Ebay has always been good to me. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that I only buy from 98% Approval rated people, and only use Buy it Now...
Permalink
| January 4, 2010, 11:08 pm
Quoting Brick Freak
You should also add Ebay to that list.


Ebay is placed in the category "also includes orders from other online stores" as mentioned above.
Permalink
| January 4, 2010, 11:18 pm
EBay(and other websites): Good deal if you buy in bulk

PAB: Good for multiples or a bunch of a piece you need, but really far away to get for me

Sets: Nice to have, easy to get, ridiculously overpriced.

That's my opinion!
Permalink
| January 4, 2010, 11:21 pm
Well...

Bricklink: A+

Pros:
*Easy to find parts
*You can pick out exactly what you want, so if you need 1,000 lego hot dogs, then by goodness your getting 1,000 hotdogs.
*Huge sellection
*Sometimes cheap prices and sales
*Cheaper than most other PAB and bulk lego sites in pieces larger than 1x2.
*Everyone with internet and a credit card can access it.

Cons:
*Shipping and handling are a pain in the (mouth shut to avoid more moderation)
*It's hard to know where you are buying from, but once you get a good seller you like, then it turns to a good thing.
*Wait time for your parts
*Not all stores have the things your looking for

(Might I recommend Amazing Bricks for stellar service and quality; http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=carolannee)



PAB: B

Pros:
*If you have two stores by your house, then your in good shape
*Usually cheap when buying small parts in bulk
*No wait for the goods
*You can see exactly the color and shape before buying

Cons:
*If you don't have a Lego store then your screwed.
*Limited supply of the most basic pieces, no rare pieces at all
*You can look in the back for more stuff but it doesn't help in your looking for rare pieces. (pieces other than bricks)
*Having some little kid knock the cup out of my hand because he thought it would be funny.
*It's good if you want to stock up, but other than that it's useless
*I've bought 26 of those large cups in the past three years, and I still don't have enough!


Lego Sets: D-

Pros:
*You can get special figs (although you can get them on BL)
*The connivence of these sets is that there located everywhere. If you cant get on the computer or to the lego store, it's your best bet.

Cons:
*OVERPRICED
*You can't choose what pieces you want
*You will not be able to get certain pieces in bulk therefore lessing your chances of being able to make a bigger MOC and draining money.
*I bet you won't even use half of the pieces that come with that set.
*Sets restrict you to build what are in the instructions.
*I haven't bought a set in 3 years and don't really plan to.

Remember that this is just one opinion of many. Read through all of the reviews and choose which might be the best in your situation. Hope this helps!




Permalink
| January 4, 2010, 11:44 pm
Bricklink is great and it's never failed me, But I find that it's best for finishing off big projects, Becuase in my opoinion you need a basic piece for every rare piece. I know you can get basic pieces on Bricklink too, But it's just not what I feel it should be used for.


The closest Lego store to my house is only about 20-minutes away wich is quite nice for me. To me pab just feels like a mini Bricklink with limited parts, So if your'e there sure, Why not grab pab cup otherwise it just dosen't make sense to me.


Sets definetly seem like the best bet for me, Although it depends more on what set you get.

For example, I got lots of nice sets for christmas including: Cafe Corner, Green Grocer, Town plan, And a random space pirates set that I have know Idea what it's called lol.
Anyways I can see the Town Plan, Green Grocer, And cafe corner going to great use for me But, The space pirates i'm not so sure about. So... That's just what you got to think about while one set might be worthless too you, Another one might be worth hundreds.


So, In conclusion, I would say that Bricklink, And sets are very close in my book, But I think sets Overall top bricklink by just a hair.
Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 12:21 am
Quoting Brian peczyna Because in my opinion you need a basic piece for every rare piece.


Brian, you've made an outstanding point. I've been thinking of how I could condense that thought into one sentence, but you have done it for me! Thanks. -Dylan
Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 12:36 am
Quoting robert ball
If you are forced by circumstances to buy retail, say at Toys R Us, and you need a trainload of grey, what would be the top sets to buy, both in Castle and Space?


Just saying, this is relevant to my interests as well.
Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 6:17 am
Well, I use all three. It is sometimes hard to choose which one I want. I like to use PAB because every piece can be purchased all at the same time, but alot of the pieces are over priced. I use Bricklink when I find a store that I need alot of the pieces from. But sometimes I will have to order 2 Bricklink orders from 2 different stores in order to get all the stuff I needed. Bricklink usually has more piece variety (and lower prices, on PAB a 2x4 brick is $0.25 and on Bricklink it can be as low as $0.04) I use both of those quite often, but when I buy a set I usually keep it built, but sometimes I will destroy it and sort out the pieces.
Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 7:00 am
Quoting Dylan B
I thought it might be interesting to discuss the three of the most common methods of obtaining pieces in the Lego world; Bricklink (also including orders from other online stores), PAB, and Lego sets. Commonly it's seen that a variety of people prefer buying legos online rather than taking a trip to the lego store or toy store and vice versa. The overall question is which method gives you more bricks for your buck?

In this thread, share your experiences with the three lego stores listed above (or others for that matter). Which do you think is a better bargain? Which do you prefer? Any store recommendations? I'll post after I get a few different opinions are posted...

I have to go with LEGO because the sets are just made and better quality.
Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 7:35 am
 Group admin 
Bricklink is my baby! When I buy these days, it's for very specific parts. With Bricklink (and every now and then PAB on line), I can get the exact parts that I'm needing, and in the quantity I want. Sets are fun, and there's something about cracking open that new shiny box, but usually 90% of the pieces in a given set are parts that I already have more of than I'll EVER need. So if I have $500 to spend, I feel I get the best deal by ordering specifically what I need, even with shipping costs from five or six sellers. At least I know every single piece is one that I WANT in my collection. Can't do that anywhere else.

Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 7:51 am
Hm.... Well that's some good advice from many exsperienced builders. Mabey i'll start using bricklink for bigger orders.


Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 12:45 pm
I'm starting to think that Bricklink is the best bet, I mean they have any brick you could possibly think of in high quantity and quality.

I'd just like to point out that when you build a complicated and advanced set you gain techniques and skills for your own models.

Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 2:56 pm
Quoting Dave Shaddix

Agreed, purchasing the occasional set to build is fun and you get to learn new things. It gets you thinking out of the box ...no pun intended.


The box... makes up part of the pricetag, I believe...
Permalink
| January 5, 2010, 8:51 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Brick Freak

The box... makes up part of the pricetag, I believe...


As does the subject, if I'm not mistaken. I get the impression from other conversations I've read here and there, Licensed sets (Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Toy Story, etc.) are more expensive.

Since I don't buy sets very often, I've never done a price comparison, but it makes sense. Those subjects have to provide licensing fees to the brand name that are being used, and that could drive up the prices of those sets; in the end, making the cost of pieces even less economical than ones from a non-licensed set.

Permalink
| January 6, 2010, 7:47 am
Quoting Mark Kelso
Bricklink is my baby! When I buy these days, it's for very specific parts. With Bricklink (and every now and then PAB on line), I can get the exact parts that I'm needing, and in the quantity I want. Sets are fun, and there's something about cracking open that new shiny box, but usually 90% of the pieces in a given set are parts that I already have more of than I'll EVER need. So if I have $500 to spend, I feel I get the best deal by ordering specifically what I need, even with shipping costs from five or six sellers. At least I know every single piece is one that I WANT in my collection. Can't do that anywhere else.


The only problem I have with BRICKLINK (sorry about the mix-up with PAB earlier) is that they are multiple stores so you will have to pay multiple shipping... to you its not a problem, but to a lot of others it is! :P
Permalink
| January 6, 2010, 8:12 pm
Quoting Phazezorz .
You mean BL, right?

Here's what you do.
-Create a Wanted List
-Search for stores that have all the items on your wanted list, or a strong majority.
It works.

Bricklink>Lego Sets>PAB.

Just my OP.


OK. I hate it when I type in the wrong thing!
Permalink
| January 6, 2010, 8:16 pm
If I need certain parts for a big project, like my stadium will, I prefer bricklink. I also use bricklink to buy old sets, specifically for my Aquazone diorama that is constantly growing. If I just want more spare parts, I use eBay. I also buy a lot of sets in stores, but I build them and don't use the pieces for other MOCs.
Permalink
| January 7, 2010, 2:56 pm
Quoting Dylan B
I thought it might be interesting to discuss the three of the most common methods of obtaining pieces in the Lego world; Bricklink (also including orders from other online stores), PAB, and Lego sets. Commonly it's seen that a variety of people prefer buying legos online rather than taking a trip to the lego store or toy store and vice versa. The overall question is which method gives you more bricks for your buck?

In this thread, share your experiences with the three lego stores listed above (or others for that matter). Which do you think is a better bargain? Which do you prefer? Any store recommendations? I'll post after I get a few different opinions are posted...


I prefer eBay.

Permalink
| January 7, 2010, 7:47 pm
My parents won't allow me to buy things online (don't ask) and there are no LEGO stores in Colombia, not to mention South America. So my only method of aquiring parts is buying sets.
Permalink
| January 7, 2010, 7:50 pm
Living in the UK (As I am proud to do) your first restriction is that there are only 3 lego stores in the whole country anyway, and the nearest to me is 2 hours drive away, so my only experience of PAB is online. As commented above, it's robbery and several times the order has been wrong or in one case not even sent! I put my serious head on and sorted it out but 7-8 weeks, 3 phone calls and lots of e-mails to get 15 worth of parts (some of which were missing)? Not worth it.

I understand some peoples complaints about sets being overpriced or full of pieces they wil never use, but i've just had a stellar haul of sets over xmas and my birthday as gifts. I can't expect my mother-in-law to buy from my BL wants list but she can pick up a SW or Indy set from TRU. I'm building up my collection and trying to improve my building too so I actually rate sets. They tend to teach me a technique that i'll translate onto something else i'm building and some are decent value, you've got to choose wisely. Anybody who buys Home One just for the Ackbar fig has more money than sense, but the medieval market village i'm putting together now is rammed with parts, lots of them rare or in unusual colours. The fact it was a xmas gift from my wife kind of negates the value argument..... Plus, I can buy a set when I take my kids to the toy store or supermarket

I am a huge fan of Bricklink though. I've never had a single problem buying from across Europe (Postage tends to keep me from buying from US stores). I try to get as much from one store as possible to keep my postal costs down and spend a bit of time comparing to get the better deals - all the tools are there on the site.
Permalink
| January 8, 2010, 5:44 am
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