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How to get started selling on Bricklink

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  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 1,002
    @Switchfoot55
    dont count work hours! it only pays off if you dont count work hours.  you have to do this for the "fun of sorting"!
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,306
    Keep in mind, BL is going to take 3% of your selling price (feebay even more), and you're going to have to have a way to ship all of these (and go through the hassle of shipping them)
    The fees and time commitment necessary to open a store are the two biggest factors holding me back at this point. I'll likely try a few other avenues (including here) before I resort to fully opening a store. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769
    Fees at 3% are not that big a deal at BL. They are easy to pay when you need to, and you can run up $10 of fees (non US only ? or $5 for US users ?) before needing to pay them.

    Of course you need to factor them in, but they are nowhere near as big a chunk as ebay would take. But you will also need to remember paypal fees which are slightly more.

    You might just want to upload your track as others have noted, include your own photos and you'll get a buyer if reasonably priced.
  • DaraghDaragh IrelandMember Posts: 363
    @asrfarinha All good points, wish I knew all the answers. I am new to BL selling too, 3 and a half months and just over 200 orders. I will comment on my experience and thoughts under the headings you used:

    Price competitiveness
    I think this is a major issue for small volume of parts or variety, I have played with prices a lot and tried to do some observations but don't really have enough data. Once you are under 6 month average there is not much more you can do.

    Part variety/rarity
    One of the things that I feel fueled my sales was that I started with a lot of retired sets to part out and early series Mixels, they are all nearly gone now and I expect sales to suffer as a result. 

    Trustworthiness
    Don't think that should be any problem with 32 100%, my 4th sale was my largest so far, €600. A few more of them would be nice. 

    Seasonal Trends
    I am not around long enough to comment but from what I gather Winter months are best, except around Christmas when it dries up during the holidays. 

    Market saturation
    Definitely an issue in my opinion and everyone parting the same discounted sets. I saw someone in the US say they never part out sets that are on sale regularly or have big discounts - seems strange but I understand where they were coming from.

    The killer question I think is volume/variety, which is the key driver in the early stages and for relatively small stores, e.g. <250k parts, there are good arguments for either. I seem to end up chasing both. 


  • koshkakoshka UK/SwedenMember Posts: 193
    I'm still finding things to be quite random having started on Bricklink back in February. At the start I focused on a smallish number of rarer parts because of my own experience in bricklinking several modulars. Those sold fairly well but things have gone quieter recently. In September I finally got around to listing lost of technic parts that I'd acquired from sets that I'd bought to get other rare parts. They've sold reasonably well and prompted me to have my first go at parting out a new set, the Claas tractor. 10 days on and I haven't sold a single part from it. 

    October was my best month with 10 orders (the store went from 6000 to 20000 parts during this period). It then went dead for over a week and then I had 3 orders in 12 hours. 

    I've experiemted with cheaper prices and free tracked postage for larger orders but I'm not convinced that these have made much of a difference.

    At the same time as using Bricklink I've been using an auction site. My sales and profit margins have been much higher there but it is more work so I've learnt to sell a lot every few weeks rather than listing stuff all the time. Sets sell well there and even though I've listed some I've only ever sold parts at Bricklink.

    My original aim was to make enough profit to cover the costs of bricklinking CC, MS, GG, the Taj and a few MOC designs from ebay. Once I've managed that then I'll stop as it does feel like it's becoming a chore.


  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,306
    The fees and time commitment necessary to open a store are the two biggest factors holding me back at this point. I'll likely try a few other avenues (including here) before I resort to fully opening a store. 
    I likely just need to open a new thread, but I'll toss in one question: is there a way to test a 9v motor without the 9v batter box? I don't want to just start touching wires and batteries and have something blow out. It obviously greatly affects the value of what I have. 
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,141
    I of all people know it takes awhile to build up a BrickLink store and actually move the inventory.
    BrickLink doesn't apply fees to shipping costs and eBay does. Percentage fees are easy enough to factor into prices. US paypal users can't charge fees directly, but it has to be accounted for somehow. I charge exact postage plus a flat handling fee to cover stuff like packing materials, fixed Paypal fee, and percentage Paypal fee on postage amount. A handling charge avoids losing money on small orders. I also charge for big packing materials when necessary.
    You might want to get more stuff to go with the parts you're already planning to sell. I'm often looking for discount sets that are a good deal for parts, and there's a lot of that in Christmas season.
  • asrfarinhaasrfarinha Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 140
    Thanks for addressing my points @Daragh. I think we've reached a lot of the same conclusions, and most of the times the conclusion is "well, it depends... you see...". So it's complicated, and constantly evolving, the best we can do is follow a few good practices and then adjust as necessary.

    One thing I do in my store that is a bit different than a lot of others is not charging any extra fees. I do it because I feel it makes for better customer experience, and it's something I like to see in other stores.
    I feel it should be my responsibility as the store owner to absorb any extra costs. Sure, got burned when someone ordered €0.40 in parts, but that only happened once and now there's a €5 limit in place.
  • koshkakoshka UK/SwedenMember Posts: 193
    Thanks for addressing my points @Daragh. I think we've reached a lot of the same conclusions, and most of the times the conclusion is "well, it depends... you see...". So it's complicated, and constantly evolving, the best we can do is follow a few good practices and then adjust as necessary.

    One thing I do in my store that is a bit different than a lot of others is not charging any extra fees. I do it because I feel it makes for better customer experience, and it's something I like to see in other stores.
    I feel it should be my responsibility as the store owner to absorb any extra costs. Sure, got burned when someone ordered €0.40 in parts, but that only happened once and now there's a €5 limit in place.
    I've also gone down the no fees route as I found them a pain as a buyer. Out of 50+ orders I've had two where the Paypal charge ate up any profit. One way I've found to offset this is to try and obtain stamps at less than face value. I've managed to do this for both the UK and Sweden. It also offsets the packaging costs for orders where I can't recycle old envelopes.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,141
    I think it's reasonable to have some fees to cover expenses not related to item price, but I agree some fees are excessive in monetary value and/or confusion.
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