The Online LEGO Shop team is doing a test in the UK for the online Pick-A-Brick services by adding a minimum order value. If it works out, this change may be introduced in other regions as well. Below are the details.
There are currently two different element purchase options at the Online LEGO Shop; Pick-A-Brick and Bricks & Pieces. While these services might appear similar, the infrastructure behind these services is very different. From packing to shipping, the Bricks & Pieces infrastructure is designed to assist with small orders to help the end user complete a project or replace lost elements. On the other hand, the Pick-A-Brick infrastructure was designed to fulfill large bulk orders, similar to going to an official LEGO store and using the Pick-A-Brick wall to purchase elements by the cup.
So far, the online Pick-A-Brick experience didn’t have a minimum order limit, but as this service was designed for bulk orders, small orders impacted the internal processes of fulfilling them. To help with the fulfillment process and to align the Pick-A-Brick experiences both online and at official LEGO stores, the company decided to test adding a minimum order value to Pick-A-Brick orders.
Starting this week, the Online LEGO Shop will be running a test in the UK to get more info about having a minimum purchase amount for Pick-A-Brick orders. The minimum order value will be aligned with the price of the large Pick-A-Brick cups in official LEGO stores (£11.99). The test is going to be visible to all shoppers in the UK.
The test will last until an appropriate sample size is generated of online Pick-A-Brick orders after which additional testing could be done or this process could be rolled out to additional countries. Feedback from the new experience will be an important part of this test and the Online LEGO Shop team will be monitoring the situation closely. (Images below demonstrate what a user can expect to see from an empty bag, below the threshold, and at/above the threshold.)
Personally, I have used both Pick-A-Brick and Bricks & Pieces and had a good experience with both services, but they are definitely different. Pick-A-Brick is part of the main section of the Online LEGO Shop, so you can easily mix it in with your regular order, qualify for free shipping, package tracking, VIP points, promotional items, etc. – just like any regular purchase. As Pick-A-Brick is meant for bulk orders, it has a good selection of basic pieces that people ask for most often, and you can order up to 999 pieces per element.
Bricks & Pieces is mostly meant for replacing broken and lost elements, but they also allow purchases. It is accessed through the LEGO Customer Service portal. Here, you will find a wider selection of parts, including more unusual pieces from recently released sets, but you are limited to up to 200 pieces per element. Once you are ready with your selection, you will be taken to the regular Online LEGO Shop checkout page where your Bricks & Pieces order will show up as one item in your basket. You will qualify for free shipping, VIP points, and promotional items just like a regular purchase, but the Bricks & Pieces part of your order is not going to be trackable. Delivery of Bricks & Pieces purchases normally take about 2 weeks, but with the current pandemic it is estimated to take about 5-7 weeks.
It’s also worth mentioning that although Pick-A-Brick and Bricks & Pieces are meant to serve different purposes and are fulfilled by different departments, they have many of the same elements. If you are looking for specific parts, it’s a good idea to compare both services, as the selection and prices are often different. In fact, I have seen the same parts costing significantly less/more through one service than the other. And it is also a good idea to compare the selection and prices to the BrickLink marketplace. This is especially true when you are looking for a large quantity of parts and difference in prices can have a major impact. Here are the direct links to the different services for your convenience.
What do you think? Do you use Pick-A-Brick, Bricks & Pieces, or both? How do you like the experience? And what do you think about having a minimum order value for Pick-A-Brick? Do you have any questions or concerns about this potential change? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!
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