The Beginner’s Guide To LEGO Star Wars Collecting 104: Online Shopping

The hardest part of collecting LEGO Star Wars sets is spending your money, and unless you are taking part in the LEGO equivalent of a paperclip challenge you’re going to want to know the ins and outs of purchasing LEGO, and how to get the most for your buck.

We live in two worlds – the real one filled with bricks & mortar stores and a digital landscape that has as many ways to buy Star Wars sets as there are 1s and 0s in the binary form of the word LEGO, so this installment of The Beginners Guide to LEGO Star Wars Collecting will concentrate on online shopping.

It’s not a secret that the main pro for online shopping is convenience; not having to leave home and comparison shopping for bargains is a definite boon. The downside is not being able to inspect what you are buying and major delays in shipping during peak shopping periods.

The most obvious place to start your buying is the official website itself. It’s been around since the late ’90s as a product catalog that supported their shop@home telephone shopping service and started selling online at the start of the 2000’s.

The biggest point in the favor of is that they have a VIP Rewards program that builds up in-store credit which can be redeemed against future purchases, run promotions like double VIP point events, sell exclusive products, often include limited edition gift-with-purchases that aren’t available anywhere else and hosts the annual May The 4th Be With You event. Putting itself at a disadvantage by strictly sticking to its own embargo dates, it’s often quicker to buy it from big box stores.

Then there are the online shopping sites of the big box stores – like,, Barnes & Noble, and plenty more besides – as well as and where LEGO also operates their own brand stores.

There are also numerous non-LEGO specific retailers that have been providing an online shopping service to Star Wars fans and have gone unnoticed by the LEGO community. One example is Entertainment Earth, which has been a go-to for Star Wars action figure collectors since 1996. While they are better known for officially licensed Hasbro and Funko products, their LEGO pricing is as competitive as any other online LEGO seller.

What you also might not be aware of is the plethora of specialist websites that only sell LEGO – new and used – to the community.

One such online retailer is The Plastic Brick, which was started by a fan and collector in 2010. Largely unknown, their specialist knowledge and the care they take in selecting and inventorying sets means that they have an excellent reputation amongst AFOLs.

The biggest source of used LEGO sets is; founded in 2000 (and bought by LEGO in 2019) as an online forum for LEGO fans it soon developed into a marketplace where members could buy and sell LEGO sets, bricks, and other associated items. Unlike eBay, Bricklink sellers operate their own storefronts (a function that eBay later adopted) that utilize Bricklink’s vast database. Credited as being the most successful LEGO shopping portals it is nonetheless a difficult retail experience that isn’t as intuitive as it should be and requires an unreasonable amount of LEGO knowledge to get the best out of the site.

While Bricklink is arguably the most well-known LEGO community retail site there are a number of new platforms – like Pilot Brick – that have recently begun to compete with the c2c giant. While it doesn’t have the volume of listings a growing amount of collectors have begun to look for alternatives that provide a more personal experience and one that is independent of LEGO.

Finally, there are the online classified sites – like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Gumtree – which offer a pretty barebones service that provides little to no customer service or guarantee. While many, many, many bargains can be had at such services, they are very much in the let the buyer beware realm.

Unfortunately, there are as many sites selling fake LEGO; you’ve likely seen them popping up on your social media feed and the thousands and thousands of positive comments have made you listen to your instead of your heart. Don’t, because by and large these are companies who sell bootlegged sets and LEGO is going after them vigorously to help protect their brand, the intellectual property of stakeholders like Disney/Lucasfilm, Ferrari, and Nintendo – as well as the community designers whose MOCs get cloned.

Similar to sites selling fake LEGO are fake LEGO-selling sites, and there are as many of these on the internet as there are legitimate ones.

It’s important for everyone to be able to spot the scam sites – LEGO has released a guide on the signs to look for and how to let them know. The bottom line is that if it looks too good to be true then close your browser tab because those sites offering 75192 Millennium Falcon at +50% off, don’t have any visible LEGO graphics up, and have curious spelling mistakes are to be avoided at all costs!

On a final note, building up a LEGO Star Wars collection is a process and there are no true shortcuts but the savvy shopper can reduce the impact on their wallets. 

Entertainment Earth


  1. Another good guide. However, I fear you will put people off using Bricklink. Whilst it is not as straightforward as buying a set from or from an actual shop, for a collector, I believe it to be the most important tool in a Lego collectors toolbox so well worth the small amount of pain to learn how it works. Buying missing pieces for the near complete rare bargain set off eBay. Bricklink. Can’t afford the ridiculously priced ComicCon exclusive or Lego giveaway from years ago. Get the bits from Bricklink. The official set from Lego has that annoying detail that just does not look right and you want to fix it. Bricklink. You think that the planets from the Planets sets from a few years ago would look good decorating a Christmas Tree. Bricklink. Love that 2019 Employee Exclusive Xmas Wing but not prepared to get a second mortgage for a MISB set. Get the bits from Bricklink and build your own. etc, etc, etc

  2. Hi Jeremy. Great article. All seems very heavy US based. Are there some good alternative UK/European sites too? Thanks

      • The bigger UK shops/sites are Amazon, Argos, IWOOT and Lego. They have their own websites but I go through Brickset and their “Buy in the UK” pages for each and save the shortcuts on my phone homepage. Other shops sites are Tesco, ASDA, Hamleys, The Entertainer, Debenhams, Smyths and John Lewis. Again, I have done a Lego Star Wars search and saved to my phone homepage. I have also set up Camelcamelcamel UK alerts for specific sets from Amazon I am looking for and have set up HotUKDeals alerts for Lego Star Wars in general or for specific sets. This way, I can check all sources in a couple of minutes. Also, not forgetting eBay for which I have set up specific searches with email alerts. Any more, let me know

        • Thanks Russ
          I aim to be that very rare thing of a star wars completionist. Still a way off but still time in my life I hope! All the stores you say are great for the newer sets. It’s the prequel ones I am after. I assume it’s just the usual places like eBay….
          Fully understand if you don’t want to give away trade secrets and Hidden gems.
          I am also impatient so seem to buy sets as soon as they come out and therefore use the Lego site for reward points. Idiotic I know. I’d have saved a fortune this Black Friday.

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