First, if you are not familiar with the Lego slang, you should read this little Glossary I made.
It will help you better understand these tips because I use several acronyms.
Bricklink is an online LEGO shop composed of over 10 000 sellers all over the world. When you first start using it, it can be quite intimidating!
I have been using it for over 7 years now, and while I am not an expert, there are several helpful tips that are useful for any newcomer!
I have been helping people with Bricklink a lot since I released the instructions for my Razorcrest
and I want people to be aware of the time and money required to get the parts they need.
If you understand how the site works, it will help you to not overpay for your parts while also simplifying the process of getting these parts.
Like with many things in life, you can spend less money if you spend more time, and you can spend more money if you don't want to wait.
Obviously, you first need to go to the website and create an account.
Then, the most important thing is your Wanted list.
Pieces can be picked with the search engine and added to the Wanted list one by one, but for larger models, it can be super long...
So if you are building a SeC (someone else's creation) make sure they provide you with an upload-ready part list. Just like I do for my Razorcrest
Here is how to upload a XML part list in Bricklink :
Never try to buy everything from just one shop ! (The shops that have the broadest and deepest and most extensive inventory tend to overcharge)
If you already have some pieces in stock, you can remove them from the Wanted list before you start shopping.
Then you need to be aware of what are going to be the biggest chunks in your budget, to do that look at your Wanted list using the different features available to :
- Order them by price
- Order them by quantity required
- Order them by color or type.
This will help you understand :
- which Pieces are the most rare/expensive,
- Pieces than you need the biggest number of,
- and the combination of the two,
Look for a shop that offers these most expensive lots at the best price and add them to your cart
Once on the shop's page, use the Wanted list link to see what else this particular shop can provide and at what price. Select these parts and add to Cart
You can quickly select all of by hitting the "min" feature near the top of the store page. This allows you to add the minimum parts you need, as determined by your Wanted List, without having to go through each part 1 by 1.
Try a lot of shops ! Shop competitively!
When you find a shop that has a good quantity of the parts you need at a good price, make sure their Shipping costs are also reasonable(Ask an invoice when you can)
Keep in mind that the Inventory of each shop can drastically change at a moments notice. When you find a good shop, don't hesitate too long before you order.
Once you have placed an order, remember to update your Wanted list with the "Apply Order" feature.
There is an option to remove what you have bought from the Wanted List to give you an idea of your progress in purchasing all of the parts.
Repeat these steps until you have all your pieces !
With my UCS Razorcrest specifically, if you try to buy all from one shop, Bricklink could show you a total price of 2 000 USD ! But if you spend time looking for the best places to shop. And some luck. You could end up finding everything with doing 8 orders for a grand total under 800 USD.