This week, I'm writing about one of my family's favorites (yours, too?): Lego! See the other posts in the series.
Once my son got to the point that he was tearing his Lego sets apart to make all kinds of interesting creations, I heard from another mom about buying bulk Lego on Ebay. That sounded like my kind of deal, so I asked for her advice. Here are her tips for success:
- At the most, plan to spend $6-8 per pound of bulk Lego, including shipping, on Ebay. If there's nothing special in the batch (like minifigures, really special pieces), keep it to $6. There are always lots of bulk Lego listed on Ebay, so if you lose an auction, just move on to another one.
- Be sure and verify with the seller that the Lego has been stored/used in a non-smoking household as the plastic in Lego can hold odors for years. You can clean the Lego, but in some cases it's impossible to get the smell out of the plastic. It's best to avoid the problem and ask questions of the seller to determine if they're the original owner or are honest about where it's been stored.
- As with any Ebay purchase, look for trusted sellers with good histories. If you've never purchased from Ebay before, ask around and find a friend who can help you through the process.
- When you receive your bulk box of Lego, plan to check through and clean the pieces. WashingLego is easy in the washing machine: Buy very fine mesh laundry bags (as bigas you can) that zip shut, such as bags meant for lingerie washing. Sort the piecesbefore putting them into the mesh bags, putting like-size pieces in each bag so thatthe little pieces don’t get stuck in the bigger ones. Fill each bag no more than 1/3 full with Lego, and putseveral bags into the washing machine. If you have abatch of particularly dirty pieces, put them together so you canlimit the number of bags that need to be rewashed. Wash on regular cycle witha mild soap; if they’re really dirty, you might need to wash them 1-2 times more. Shake out the bags and run them through several spincycles to dry them out more. If needed, lay out the pieces on a towel to finishdrying.
Once you have a huge box of random Lego, the kids can get really creative, or you may want to look for new sources of directions.
Big thanks go to Glennys (mom of twin 11-year-old Lego fanatics), for her fabulous advice and suggestions!