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Is it cheaper to...

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Is it cheaper to...

Postby thesilverspyder » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:22 pm

I have never bought bricks by themselves before. I usually only buy sets, and I'm trying to complete a star wars collection. Is it cheaper to buy for example 7264 Imperial Inspection or buy all the parts from somewhere online, and just assemble the model? I don't care about the figs, I have most of them already, I just want certain ships I don't have, and I don't like shelling out $150 or more for 300-something pieces. Another example would the the 10131 tie figther collection.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby Andi » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:26 pm

It depends.
If you manage to get all needed parts by only a few sellers than it can be cheaper. Else the shipping costs get too high.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby Draykov » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:48 pm

If you can get all of the parts you need from a relatively small number of sellers (accounting for shipping costs), it would almost definitely be cheaper to buy loose pieces...particularly since you're not concerned about acquiring minifigs, which, where SW sets are concerned, is one of the main driving factors in aftermarket price increase.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby JPCJedi » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:43 pm

The prevailing wisdom says yes, scavenge for parts instead of whole sets. I, however, prefer a more case-by-case basis.

A couple of years ago I sold my original RGS for $175 with minifigs, but some people claimed they had scavenged all the pieces for less than $100. For less valuable sets, I wonder if it's still the case.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby Gingerbeard Man » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:15 am

Draykov wrote:particularly since you're not concerned about acquiring minifigs, which, where SW sets are concerned, is one of the main driving factors in aftermarket price increase.

And "Imperial Inspection" is one set where this is especially true (due to the printed-leg Stormtroopers).

On BrickLink there are several listings for 7264 without minifigs around $75 (but those are in the UK).

If all you want is the Lego model of an imperial shuttle you could also consider looking at set 7166 "Imperial Shuttle". The only difference in the ship is the colour - 7166 uses old grey whereas 7264 is after the switch to the new "bley" grey.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby Puddleglum » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:06 am

Well, there are a lot of common parts in the set that you probably already have. The trick with this set is that there are three unique printed parts. I would use Bricklink to part the set out into a wanted list, go through and delete the parts you already have, then go see if there are any stores that have "most" of the parts you still need, and get a price. The first price will be a pretty good indication of whether or not it makes sense to scavange or buy whole.

Using wanted lists is not always the easiest thing to do on Bricklink, but if you want to go this route, go get and account at Bricklink (I'm assuming you don't have one based on your post) and I'm sure I and others would be happy to walk you through how to create a wanted list from a set, and how to see which stores have the parts you need.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby thesilverspyder » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:53 am

You're right about BrickLink and not being the easiest thing to navigate. They have so much good information, but no good way to display it. I would like to point to a complete set, pick a seller, and put the total list of parts into a cart, then remove what I don't want/need. That would be great if anyone wants to help me out. I'll create a BrickLink account today.
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Re: Is it cheaper to...

Postby Puddleglum » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:18 am

Okay, here's a quick primer on creating wanted lists from sets in Bricklink, and shopping for the parts you need.

Once you've logged in to Bricklink, start at the Wanted tab at the top. In the sub-tabs, you will see "Part Set". This takes you to a form that can be used to put all the parts in a set into your wanted list. There are a lot of options on this page, I'll hit the key ones: Set Number - obviously this is the key to the whole thing. Put the set number of the set you want. "Add to" You probably want to create a new wanted list, naming it after the set, for example, "Imperial Inspection". For "Wanted In" I always select "New", because I prefer to buy new parts, and it makes it easier to add the parts you need when you're in a store. Otherwise if a store has used and new of all the parts you need, it complicates things. Plus, you're more likely to find the most parts you need from people selling new anyways. Finally, DON'T FORGET to check the box "Set My Minimum Desired Qty for each Item to Qty of Items in Inventory". This should really be checked by default - basically it's what specifies that you actually need X number of a certain part.

So, now when you click "submit for edit", you'll get the full parts listing. You can go ahead and remove any parts you don't need here. Or, if you want, you can just remove things like the minifigs, and come back and edit the list later to remove what you don't want. Once you click "Verify Items", you'll get one last look at them before you "Upload" them into your wanted list. To get back to this list from anywhere in Bricklink, you just click the "Wanted" tab, then the "My Wanted List" tab. By default this will show all your wanted items if you've created multiple lists. You can view just one list by selecting it from the "In" drop down menu.

If you want to remove more parts, you can click a category to view just the parts in that category, or you can click the "show all" to see all parts in the wanted list. Once you are looking at the parts, it will want to show you all the stores that have each part. If you just want to see the parts (For example, to remove some), there is a drop-down menu all the way to the right where you can select "Hide Items for Sale".

If you're ready to start shopping, click the "By Shop" tab under "Wanted". On this page you want to select your wanted list name, and sort by "Lots (Unique)". Basically this will show you which shops have the *most* parts that you need. If you select the store, it will take you to that store, with a view of all the parts that store has on that wanted list. There will probably be several pages of parts. On each page, you can click "Auto-Fill Cart Min" to fill the fields in with the number of parts you need. Then you just click "Add selected items to shopping cart". Keep in mind that if there are, say, 6 pages of parts, you'll have to do this once on each page.

You'll have to do this at several shops to get a feel for which is the cheapest. There is no magic "show me the cheapest way to buy all the parts I need from among all the shops" button. Once you decide to buy some parts, you need to remove the parts you bought from the wanted list manually. (At least, if there is an automated way to do this, I haven't found it.) Now you'd have a smaller wanted list, and you can start the whole process again. Obviously, at some point we all have to decide how much time we're willing to put in to save some money scavenging! Good luck!
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