Bricksetters' Bricklink stores

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  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    Several simple orders this weekend, including my first involving sales tax. I put it in additional charges along with handling, messaged the buyer, and put it in my invoice template. The buyer was understanding, I worried they wouldn't notice or it would be a domestic equivalent of a foreign buyer mad you won't lie on a customs form.
    Parted out 4 #41180
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    So I am only a couple of weeks into store ownership and so far 3 orders. Two from buyers with zero feed back. 2 orders from the UK and 1 from Canada. All orders so far have been for minifigures and polybags. Now waiting for my first orders to arrive and hoping for some feedback.

    Now considering lowering my minimum purchase from £10 to £5. 

    Dreading my first large parts order that involves a lot of sorting and hunting. But looking forward to the moola!
    KingAlanIasrfarinha
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,510
    600 parts from 100+ lots is where the real funs at.
    TheFewKingAlanI
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    Most of my orders from buyers with low feedback go smoothly. The honest buyer has to start somewhere. Sometimes they build up feedback quickly, maybe from several orders placed around the same time. Sometimes even -1 feedback orders have gone well (the problem was awhile ago and they got back on track)

    Several dozen lots is a pain, but I considered value rather than quantity per lot. Whatever the overall order, high quantity lots can be difficult since one has to count all those pieces and might need to look through several unsorted bags.

    Still not quite caught up, I want a drink but I'm too busy. :P

    TheFewmithridate
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 942

    Quick plug for my store: https://store.bricklink.com/Lobot1626#/splash

    30% off all Star Wars minifigures for a limited time only!

    As a little bonus to fellow Bricksetters, please mention your user ID and I'll do a great deal on the postage.  Thanks, Robin :-)

  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    edited September 2017
    "Yes, I see your payment. Don't worry." have needed to send that to a lot of nervous buyers

    I hope Mr. 300 Lots is patient - packed a 1 lot and 28 lot tonight. Also have one of nearly 100 lots to do, but that's all Technic so I won't have to look in as many different places, and postage will be slightly cheaper split into 2 packages, so I don't need to do it all at once.

    TheFew
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    For the ~100 lot Technic order, postage is actually slightly more as 2 packages, but a small enough difference that I didn't worry since it helped me ship quicker. I was able to send something late Saturday, which I like to do any weekend, but especially a holiday weekend (today is Labor Day). After that, I was able to do relatively more sorting since there wasn't as much of a rush to mail after the weekend.

    I avoid using 13c prices (I'm not superstitious but customers might be), just started using 12.9, usually I have half cent increments between 10 and 20
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    Just had my 4th order, which is a parts order. 66 parts over about 12 lots. As i only sell new bricks i had to open around 30 sets (inc polys and mixels) to find all the parts. It took a couple of hours.

    It is clear that i need to find a better system for part storage for sales!

    I should also probably drop my minimum order from £10 to £5 on the assumption that this may attract my buyers.

    So far  £52 in my pocket after costs for 4 sales. Not too bad.  1/7th of a new UCS MF!
    KingAlanIKlintan
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    Several simple orders in a row, most high value, a very refreshing change of pace

    @TheFew making sales before sorting the set? so been there done that. I try to organize my inventory by color, then type, then exact part, so I just need to find the right container rather than digging through unsorted bags.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    @KingAlanI as i am new to selling on bricklink i did not was to break the seals on circa 50 sets in case no orders occurred. No i have had to open some sets it makes sense to sort them :-)
    KingAlanI
  • KlintanKlintan SwedenMember Posts: 52
    Any tips for starting a new store? I am starting to have a load of extra sets and parts that I want to try to sell.

    - Did you only start selling locally or worldwide?
    - Is it better to sell sets in parts or as complete sets?
    - Was a lot of time spent on store terms before opening?
    - Did you start out with lower prices to get things going?
  • koshkakoshka UK/SwedenMember Posts: 193
    @Klintan

    - Did you only start selling locally or worldwide?
    International as I was mainly selling rare parts so Sweden would have limited the market.

    - Is it better to sell sets in parts or as complete sets?
    Effort vs profit as parted out sets can sell for more but then some parts will never sell - listing can take a long time especially if you sorting loose pieces and not parting out sets. Parting out is much faster as Bricklink has tools for this. I've sold very few sets through Bricklink (Tradera or Blocket may be better for this).

    - Was a lot of time spent on store terms before opening?
    Look at some other stores to get an idea of what people want to know. Maybe give an approximate exchange rate in the shipping section as SKr won't mean much to most buyers,

    - Did you start out with lower prices to get things going?
    Not really - I mostly went with the 6 month average but I went higher for rarer parts. 

    Other stuff

    Thing about minimum charges and shipping. As a buyer I get put off by Paypal charges and additional shipping charges so I just priced my parts at a level that I'm happy to sell for. I try to use recycled packaging where possible but buying a bulk box of padded envelopes and grip seal bags was a good move at the start.
    Klintan
  • KlintanKlintan SwedenMember Posts: 52
    @koshka

    Thanks for the information. Having sets listed would not cost me anything I guess so I can test the waters with some parted out sets and some listed as complete. I also have a bunch of minifigures that I can list to see if anyone is interested to buy. Will try to list some sets on Tradera as well.

    The numbers of terms varies a lot between stores. From nothing to a full legal document. Somewhere inbetween in probably the best.

    As a buyer I also try to avoid stores with Paypal charges unless they really have something I need and the price isn't to high. Will try to keep shipping at a minimum.
  • koshkakoshka UK/SwedenMember Posts: 193
    @Klintan

    I think that buyers get nervous about shipping prices and the condition for sets. Until last week I'd only ever sold polybags and very small sets like the mini London bus. When I finally sold a larger set it was to someone who asked to collect it in person so that they could check that the seals were intact.
    Klintan
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    I have to say opening a store on Bricklink was very easy! I stuck to new parts from set part-outs. Adding these to my inventory via the tools was rather easy and using the automatic pricing tool (set to market average) was great. I have so far avoided used parts, as I cannot be bothered to sort and grade them at this time. I also sell minifigures (new and used) I also found adding these easy, but manually priced them, aiming to be somewhat competitive against other UK sellers. I started out with shipping in the UK only, but soon had people from overseas asking to buy, so I amended my store to enable this. With regards to terms, I used a copy of the terms from a number of stores I have used before. I.e. I selected the bits from each of them that I felt were relevant to me. Re fees. I only charge postage at this time, as I try to re-use old packaging and I am happy to swallow the PP fee. Should I run out of old packaging then I may add a token charge to cover costs. I also started with a minimum order of £10, but may soon reduce this to £5. Hope that helps.
    Klintan
  • KlintanKlintan SwedenMember Posts: 52
    edited September 2017
    Thanks guys.

    I have a load of polybags to sell as well. I guess these are the easiest things to sell since the condition of the bags is usually the same and they are easy to ship.

    For packaging I to have a lot of old material from my own purchases. But I really like the letters with bubblewrap attached. I rather pay for a bunch of those then to send it in something homemade.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    One order left to finish sorting but it's a doozy

    @TheFew once I submit a part out I may as well sort the physical parts,. since I'd have to delist each one to do something with the whole set.

    @Klintan
    International isn't much more trouble than domestic, so I may as well ship worldwide. Sometimes I have difficulty figuring out a foreign address format. International PayPal fees are higher. US users can't directly pass that along. My handling charge partially approximates the difference. I had been charging $1 more than domestic but just changed that to 50c. In general, I have a handling charge rather than a minimnum buy.

    I buy a few sizes of bubblemailers and gripseal bags in bulk. I reuse what I receive but it's not enough.

    Whole sets have less profit margin and can be harder to ship. For sets that come in a box, box condition can be an issue, and I give the option to send unboxed. Polybags are easier. I put them in a  gripseal bag for further protection in shipment; a quart bag (7 x 7.75 in, 17.78 x 19.69 cm) is just big enoguh for 3 with the top plastic flap folded down. Just account for the cost and weight thereof.


  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    One order left to finish sorting but it's a doozy

    @TheFew once I submit a part out I may as well sort the physical parts,. since I'd have to delist each one to do something with the whole set.

    @Klintan
    International isn't much more trouble than domestic, so I may as well ship worldwide. Sometimes I have difficulty figuring out a foreign address format. International PayPal fees are higher. US users can't directly pass that along. My handling charge partially approximates the difference. I had been charging $1 more than domestic but just changed that to 50c. In general, I have a handling charge rather than a minimnum buy.

    I buy a few sizes of bubblemailers and gripseal bags in bulk. I reuse what I receive but it's not enough.

    Whole sets have less profit margin and can be harder to ship. For sets that come in a box, box condition can be an issue, and I give the option to send unboxed. Polybags are easier. I put them in a  gripseal bag for further protection in shipment; a quart bag (7 x 7.75 in, 17.78 x 19.69 cm) is just big enoguh for 3 with the top plastic flap folded down. Just account for the cost and weight thereof.


  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    @KingAlanI next weekend will be sorting my parted out sets. I have just ordered 50 plastic takeaway containers for the purpose.
    Klintandmcc0KingAlanI
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 794
    Can't remember if I posted or not, but I re-opened the other day just to shift some sets and bulk parts that have been hanging around a while. Also added some recent SW sets that I old the wife were for selling :)

    I'm having a clear up this week so will be adding much more hopefully.

    http://ras.brickowl.com/
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    hadn't thought of takeaway containers for part storage. if they're like the Chinese food tubs I'm thinking of, good idea. shallow enough to be easy to look through, large enough to be useful. I mostly use 6qt bins, and sometimes those hold too many little bags or I have to leave empty space to avoid that. are the lids flat? raised lids could also waste space.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    Yes chinese style containers with flat lids. 

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J1KR1ZC/ref=pe_3187911_189395841_TE_3p_dp_1

    They are cheap, should stack and will fit into my storage area for Bricklink parts a treat. If in future they need to be upgraded to a new system it is not too much of a loss.

    In other news had an overseas buyer ask for a quote and then try to haggle down the price. I declined the offer in the end. Is this typical on BL?
    KingAlanI
  • koshkakoshka UK/SwedenMember Posts: 193
    It's happened to me 3 times. I declined twice and agreed once on the condition that they paid for insurance. It's always been for rarer modular parts.
    TheFew
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    Added an N-POP Girl

    @TheFew
    I have some international buyers walk away because of high postage, but no haggling. I don't offer insurance because I don't think it's worthwhile and not offering it makes the transaction simpler. Insurance it's available on 1st class mail international, so Priority postage would essentially make insurance cost even more

    I wouldn't know where to shop around in another country, but also check besides Amazon. That's about the same price as my 6qt tubs, so not as good a deal by volume, but better than a lot of small containers. I have enough storage containers for now, and limited space to put them, but I'll consider this when I expand. They should stack, but if what I use is any indication, there's a limit to how tall a pile is stable. A firm surface helps, also putting particularly heavy tubs near the bottom.
    TheFew
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    @KingAlanI my plan is to stack these about 4 high in underbed drawers. So they should be stable enough for that. I agree that they probably would not stack too hight as I imagine that they are very cheap flimsy plastic.
    KingAlanI
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    I have a few huge Sterilite tubs under my bed. Most of the contents are non-LEGO, but I have some particularly large stuff there. Sounds like the same idea of using that space but with smaller containers.

    I like to keep some regular size tubs available to use as temporary storage while going through another container or while working on a large order (to store lots I've already picked)

    I put something over the heat run so I don't drop any more parts down the grate
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    2 #30428 (sealed), 3 #40161, 4 #40165, #71019 Zane, #5004932 (sealed) from recent [email protected] orders
    2 #41123, #75170 sans Thrawn - offline purchases it took me awhile to list, more of that to go
    still not quite done with the 300 lot order


    SumoLego
  • KlintanKlintan SwedenMember Posts: 52
    Just opened my store. Now I have to wait and see if anyone wants to order something
    TheFew
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    Klintan said:
    Just opened my store. Now I have to wait and see if anyone wants to order something
    Best share a link here...
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    I notice @SumoLego liked my post with "2 #41123, #75170 sans Thrawn - offline purchases it took me awhile to list, more of that to go". He's the one who sold me the 75170, and the #75156 I already listed. I still have to list the used #10234 and build started some pieces pulled #70144 from him, but that's more work than parting out new.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    My store has been open less than 1 month and I have had nine order so far totaling £128 (inc postage). Mostly purchases of Batman Battle Pods, CMFs and some parts. I guess sales will slow down once the more desirable items have vanished from my stock! Nearly a quarter of the way there to buying a UCS MF!
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    Parted out #41127, 2 #41119, #41129, and a used #10234 - parting out used a different experience than either new part outs or job lots

  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    Sicne I rarely sell used, only a few lots were already in my inventory. Disassembling it feels similar to sorting a new set. I'm low on storage bins, but Target doesn't have any on sale this week, so I was motivated to sort other stuff to free up space.
    Recently passed 500 feedback. All positive except for 1 neutral for taking awhile to ship, fair enough
    Finally finished the 300 lot order. That buyer seems understanding; I'm including some bonus parts from his request list.
    Can't find a storage bin, fortunately don't need any of the parts right now, but of course frustrating. Moving the affected lots into stockroom until it turns up.
    Previously all of my tiered discounts were at least 5%. Now I go lower than that if there's an extremely small quantity difference.
    Listed a #30401 - was one short of a part from it, quite plausible that I lost something from the dozens I parted out before

    TheFew
  • Store open since June 2017 mainly selling no longer wanted new sets, polybags and a few minifigures. Very first order was also a non payer but better since, total completed sales to date of ~ EUR 400 across 5 orders. Got an order Sunday night for EUR 85 but looks like a non payer.

    Shameless plug of my store: https://store.bricklink.com/mw.ie
    TheFewKlintan
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    So what is the deal with non-paying buyers? How long do you give them to pay? what action do you take once you decide they won't be likely to pay?
  • KlintanKlintan SwedenMember Posts: 52
    I noticed that I had missed to click the checkboxes for PayPal so it would have been hard to buy anything from me since there were no payment method available. Wasn't to obvious.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 5,821
    TheFew said:
    So what is the deal with non-paying buyers? How long do you give them to pay? what action do you take once you decide they won't be likely to pay?
    I send them a polite reminder after three days and reiterate the store terms and give them a deadline to reply. If I don't hear back I proceed to the non-payment buyer section and cancel it followed by blocking them from ordering again. 
    TheFew
  • gunther.schnitzelgunther.schnitzel Member Posts: 92
    edited September 2017
    TheFew said:
    So what is the deal with non-paying buyers? How long do you give them to pay? what action do you take once you decide they won't be likely to pay?
    I plan to wait a week and cancel if I don't hear from him. The postage was reasonable (parcel, buyer in same country) so it wouldn't have been a reason for the buyer to backout. He is a new user with zero feedback, signed up a few days before. If I don't hear from him at all then I will add neutral feedback.

    The postage on the first order was 70% of the set value so I can understand why that guy didn't proceed, I gave him the option of cancelling when I invoiced him but he didn't respond at all, so I cancelled after approx a week and added neutral feedback.

    Seller can cancel fairly easily with the Request To Cancel and then Cancel. You can also do a Non-Paying Buyer Alert (NPB) - more info here: https://www.bricklink.com/help.asp?helpID=72 but I don't expect to be out of pocket (as a Cancel also cancels the BL fees) so won't try to force the sale.

    I have the request quote feature enabled, both of the non payments ignored it and went straight to ordering. It would be good if you could disable the Order button and force a quote request before ordering.
    TheFewsid3windr
  • elspankdogelspankdog TexasMember Posts: 403
    I use to do the cancel after 7 days thing, but retaliatory feedback will eventually force you to do the NPB option which takes another 7 days before you can cancel.  That is the only way to avoid retaliatory feedback.  Bricklink will not remove (or at least doesn't have to remove) retaliatory feedback if you didn't do the NPB option.
  • Yeah you're probably right, will switch to that approach to avoid risk of unwarranted negative feedback.
  • M_BossM_Boss Houston, TexasMember Posts: 236
    edited September 2017
    I have a request from a 0 feedback buyer to ship a fairly large order (for me at least) to Czech Republic, which outside of countries I ship. It is outside of DELCON, but does anyone know the Czech Republic mail website will give updates once it gets there? Or should I just avoid this?
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    Thanks for the info on how to handle non paying buyers. I will now know what to do when it happens to me. My current tardy buyer has now paid after a gentle prompt. So happy days for me!

    I have also had a buyer just order a whole load of mixels instructions. I never thought they would sell!


    Klintan
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
     TheFew said:
    So what is the deal with non-paying buyers? How long do you give them to pay? what action do you take once you decide they won't be likely to pay?
    I normally wait 5-7 days and send a polite reminder, if I don't hear anything after another 3-5 days I file a NPB. I just see it as a part of doing business so expect to get them from time to time. Think I've had 3 or 4 out of 260 orders, which isn't too bad.


  • alexwilalexwil UKMember Posts: 362
    To reiterate what everyone else has said, it's important to the community that you do complete the NPB process.

    if people place orders and don't pay and the sellers Cancel the order then they will just carry on doing it. With NPB it's 3 strikes and your out! 
    Klintan
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,640
    M_Boss said:
    I have a request from a 0 feedback buyer to ship a fairly large order (for me at least) to Czech Republic, which outside of countries I ship. It is outside of DELCON, but does anyone know the Czech Republic mail website will give updates once it gets there? Or should I just avoid this?
    That depends on your comfort level. You can still insure it (InsurePost cover Czech Republic). I personally only ship to countries where I can send insured (minus France, China and Italy), whether they have DELCON or not.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    DELCON?
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,640
    @TheFew is it USPS international mail tracking, we get full tracking, up to deliveries from USPS website from countries participating in it.
    https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immc2_022.htm
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,474
    @ColoradoBricks ah ok. Thanks for the info. I wondered if I was missing a trick, but being UK based I don't tend to us USPS... ta.
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 736
    @ColoradoBricks just out off interest, why no shipping to France, China or Italy?
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