With the holiday season rapidly approaching, are you already thinking about toy shopping? I like to start watching prices early so that I know I’m getting the best deal. When you know what “regular” price is for your big-ticket purchases, you’ll know when a sale price is worth it.

One of the most popular gifts at my house each year is Lego–yours, too? Here are some strategies for how to save on Lego:

Know the Basics

As you’re entering the Lego years of your life, know right off the bat that trademarked sets cost more than the Lego-brand sets. You’re paying for the licensing to get names like Marvel, Cars and Harry Potter. I’ve talked about that with my kids when we’re looking at Lego sets at the store, and sometimes it affects how they spend their allowance. Second, shopping for Lego is like shopping for groceries. No one store has the best selection or price. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for deals, and you’ll see some good sales between now and the holidays. If you’re okay with large bins of bulk pieces, you can buy Lego secondhand through Craiglist or Ebay.

Selection and Pricing

Target and Walmart offer a smaller selection of Lego at their stores, but the prices are generally lower than the Lego Store or Toys R Us. In November, Target will release their annual Toy Coupon Book, which usually has a few coupons for specific Lego sets on sale through Thanksgiving. Walmart sells some Lego Bundles online at better value, often 2-3 sets packaged together.

The Lego Store and Lego.com offer the best selection (particularly online), but their prices are typically the MSRP, and free shipping is only for $75+ orders. On the up side, they occasionally offer freebies when you purchase certain sets or spend a certain amount, and they do have a VIP program where you earn points per dollar and can redeem them later.

Amazon have great deals

See below the best sellers

 If you’re a Lego family, how do you save on Lego?