Bricklink can be a formidable system for the unitiated to try and get around, but you shouldn’t let bad press or a bad experience in the past hold you back. Maybe you have some idea about Bricklink and how it works or maybe you have never seen it before. Whatever you experience, the guide below may help you somewhere along the way. Let’s bite off some a small section of Bricklink to look at here in an introduction. This is a beginner’s guide and while I don’t claim to be an expert in all things Bricklink, I hope that by sharing some knowledge I can introduce you to a valuable resource.
Bricklink (www.bricklink.com) has some fantastic resources and features that all LEGO builders should really utilise to help build your all round brick-building experience. If you need parts this is one of the best places to find them and there are sellers based right here in South Australia!
Entering the above link in your browser will take you to the main page. You will notice in the very top right the option to log-in (if you already have an existing account) or register (if you don’t).
If you need to create an account, you will need to select a username and password just like registering to any other site, put in a contact email and register away. Once that is all sorted and your credential are active, go ahead and log in which will bring you to your MyBricklink page as per below;
“What do I do now?” you may ask, well let’s have a look at some of the features of Bricklink.
Notice that next to the search bar in the top middle you have a drop down list, this can help you to find specific things you may be looking for on Bricklink. First thing to notice is in the middle of the list they have HELP TOPICS listed. If you get stuck at any time this is a great place to look for some guidance!
For now we will leave the selection as ALL ITEMS.
Click in the search box next to the drop down menu and type in a kit no, for example 6970 – If you don’t hit ENTER you will notice you get a few options matching your search ‘float’ underneath the list. This can be handy when you are looking for a part or set that has multiple matches. For now we will click the first result and be taken to the results page.
This will give you a quick overview of what you may be looking for and some indication of Condition (New/Used), the Quantity available in each condition and the number of Sellers who have the item and an average price. If you hover over the price result with a mouse you can see the range of pricing on what is being sold. If we are checking out this particular set, we can also click on the name of the set for some more in depth information.
We will now jump into the Price Guide Tab which is next to Items For Sale tab as per below;
This shows us that no one has been selling the item NEW, but the USED price is currently around US$118. If there had been regular trading of the item in Australia, the Australian Dollar pricing would also show up here.
If you are interested in what parts the set has, you can also click on SET INVENTORY tab at the top next to PRICE GUIDE, and you will be presented with a list of parts in the set. Great to see what you may have missing for your own set!
Shifting along, you decide you want to buy an item (parts or sets) from a seller, and they will have a Bricklink ‘Store’. Most people would have used Ebay and the concept for Bricklink is similar. Bricklink lists thousands (if not millions) of items, being sold by different people who all receive feedback based on the number of transactions they have done. When you search items, Bricklink presents you with a list of Stores that have the item you are after and the price.
If we go back to the ITEMS FOR SALE tab on our previous search, we will see the following;
Now you notice MORE OPTIONS under the search button (top right), if you open this up you can select SELLER LOCATION and click the selection to only be AUSTRALIA. For this particular item there are no sellers in Australia, but if you are looking for who has your parts locally, this is a great option to narrow down the results. Especially if you want to save on some postage! Sometimes though, you will have to search worldwide!
You can also search on just parts, for example ‘plate, 2×4, dark grey’ and find individual parts through Bricklink. There is so much there to help you build what you need.
Straight up front I can tell you that it is VERY UNLIKELY that one seller will have EVERYTHING that you need. Be prepared to buy from multiple shops to get all your parts.
In the next section you decide that (a) you don’t want to buy a set for the price listed but you want to buy it piece-by-piece as it may be cheaper, or (b) you have your own creation (MOC) that you need to get parts for. In both circumstances you will need to generate a Wanted List to find these parts.
Wanted Lists, although a simple concept, can have their own little intricacies, we will split them into a separate post to come shortly.
Hopefully this introduction guide has helped you work out some of the basics to using Bricklink and where to find the right information.
Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Ben is a Committee Member and Secretary of Southern Bricks LUG South Australia, Classic Space fan and technology glutton. He also helps run Custom Brick Builds, specialising in Emergency Service LEGO Vehicles and Minifigures.