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Bricksetters' Bricklink stores

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  • rbozarthrbozarth TexasMember Posts: 92
    Couldn't where else to ask this BL question. I have lots of different wanted lists. I'm ordering the contents of one again, is there a quick way to set the "have" box of every item in a 150 part list to 0 again?
    After playing with the site for awhile, it appears there isn't a way to accomplish this.  Creating a copy with a different name with zero have quantities to re-use and rename is the only way I can see doing this.
  • Speedman29Speedman29 UKMember Posts: 2,119
    Cheers. Couldn't get that to work either. I'm only a buyer on there, so I wonder if some function isn't there unless you are a seller as well
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    got an order from someone in my neighborhood, he came over to pick it up
    I know the street name, it's only a few blocks away, but I rarely have occasion to go there. (it's a side street not on the way to where else I'm going)
    WesterBricks
  • hvarahvara HelsinkiMember Posts: 4
    Hi all,
    Couple weeks ago I opened my store in bricklink, store name is VaraShop - I only sell sealed sets, let me know you are from brickset.  Cheers.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    got a bunch of simple orders, one $100+...
    ...then $8 for 50 lots. Paid Friday when I'm busy, wasn't going to get it ready in time Saturday so I didn't rush, thus Monday
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    April has been quite slow for orders coming in.
    One had a few pieces I couldn't find, but one of my sets to part out had it
    I listed some things from that set lot by lot rather than waiting til I had the whole set sorted, and sorted a few other things that were in the same bags - most I've done with my backlog in months.
    added remarks to avoid double listing those parts if I list the rest of the set at once
  • rbozarthrbozarth TexasMember Posts: 92
    April was definitely a rough month in the Bricklink world.  So many new sets seems to be reducing the interest in the site.  Lack of clearance deals is also making it tough to stock the store.  Time for some parting out of my backlog to get the inventory up I guess.

    store.bricklink.com/bozbricks
    KingAlanI
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    same here @rbozarth rarely seeing big sales anymore but have more than enoguh backlog to part out

    bought a package of packing tape rolls this evening, my first purchase of supplies in awhile
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    I know most like parting out the newer stuff as it's a simple click to upload. Note though that those of us who rebuilds sets from 80s, 90s, 00s are finding to more and more challenging to find older parts (speaking as a U.S. buyer). Prices are definitely up, especially on castle, space, and pirate parts. There's room to make money if you've got loose parts to post. 
    KingAlanI
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    BL sent out an email recently about UK VAT collection. Sounds like startuing May 18 they'll be collecting and remitting it much like for US sales tax. Well, I already have onsite payment set up for that.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    a few big orders (a few dozen lots) this weekend, along with a couple small ones.
    even when worth it by dollar value, that much sorting can get overwhelming

    I had some parts stored in #10692 boxes. They were lightly filled enough, especially after picking orders, that I repacked into small plastic trays. I had them since starting my store, but cardboard gets dinged up easier than plastic and I needed the floor space.

    Had some packages come in just over a weight limit so I rearranged the packaging

    Did a lot of repacking into smaller plastic bags, including but not limited to the above.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    Same here. Number of BL sales really down in April and May. But I am only a £35k part store, so a fairly tiny inventory. 

    Lots of used parts to list and seller e.g. circa 10kg of dark Bluish grey parts. But not sure it is worth the effort!

    https://store.bricklink.com/TheFew#/terms

    Store closed this week.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    Any forum wisdom on offer to improve Bricklink sales? Its all rather quiet at the moment with only around one or two orders a week..

    How do you guys make your stores successful?
  • DB361DB361 UKMember Posts: 290
    ^ I wouldn't worry too much about how quiet things are at the minute, Spring and early Summer are always the quietest time of year, and it's probably been amplified this year with people making the most of finally being able to head out and about.
    There's two key things for me that have helped my store grow - choice of parts and customer service. I ship every day (which I know is not practical for many), only charge shipping at actual rates and have zero additional charges, all of which go down very well based on the feedback I receive.
    For growing the store in terms of parts, that can be a lot more tricky in terms of how much time you have to put into the store, what your budget is and what your storage situation is like. If you have the ability to buy more stock, I think your best bet right now would be to trawl car boot sales and Facebook Marketplace for low cost sets. Parting out used sets is SO much more time efficient than sorting out a random box full of everything, and the profit margin can still be very good.
    TheFewKungFuKennyKingAlanI
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    Thanks for the thoughts. Perhaps it is time for me to open my store beyond just the UK again! 

    I do have around 100kg of used Lego that I could add to my store,  but as you say, sorting it is the issue!

    It is already sorted by colour. So I would have to sub sort by part... Perhaps if we have another full on lockdown??
  • rbozarthrbozarth TexasMember Posts: 92
    A few gold Harry Potter's added to my store.  I ship daily and have over 120K pieces to choose from.

    store.bricklink.com/bozbricks
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    Dumb question......

    Is there a way of taking a bricklink want list and parting it out into store stock... like you would with any set from the catalogue?
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    edited July 2021
    Yes, listing random used parts is a pain, a big reason I don't go seeking out bulk lots, parting out used sets is nearly as convenient as new sets (but I can't do multiple quantities for economies of scale). My backlog is a bunch of new sets to part out.

    a few days ago I sold a bunch of minifigs. this included many of my few remaining Nexo and Ninjago, could condense them into the nonlicensed character bin, and could also condense my superhero and licensed non-superhero into the same container. that order was still challenging to pack because it included a couple dozen lots of regular parts as well.

    I try to ship as fast as possible, which means every day if I have the orders. I'm guessing that might not be practical because of special trips to the post office, but I only have to do that some late Saturday afternoons. I'm not sure how this works in the UK generally or with your schedule, but here's what I do:

    Usually I leave things for the mail carrier to pick up. That wouldn't work if they've come already or don't have anything to drop off and thus don't notice what I have going out. On weekdays and sometimes on Saturday I can use a dropbox in my neighborhood that hasn't been picked up yet or hand it to a carrier still making their rounds. Most of my packages are small enough to fit in a dropbox slot.

    Also, printing mailing labels means I don't need a retail location to pay the postage itself, it's cheaper, and I don't have to handwrite addresses or customs paperwork.

    While USPS isn't open to the public on Sundays (except some express packages), tracking information shows things still move on the backend on Sundays, so I find it particularly useful to mail Saturday, especially the Saturday before a Monday holiday. (July 4th is this coming Sunday; for Sunday holidays, many places give the next Monday off for people who have Sundays off anyway)

  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    Very low on 2x3 bags, my last bag of 100 is already open (even buying in 1000+ lots they're generally packaged in hundreds)

    so I'd been using 3x5s or putting multiple lots into the same 2x3 when usually I'd use separate 2x3's

    was looking around eBay, many listings with a bit over $10 for a thousand, or about $15 for 2000 (most listings were plain, but some had white label blocks which i thought about to avoid address labels), but I'm thinking of a bit over $20 for 5000 or a bit udver $40 for 10000.

    2x2s aren't any cheaper, so even if they'd be better for the tiniest lots, I'll get the more versatile 2x3's. I've noticed similar with the smallest bubblemailers, but I have plenty of those right now.
  • rbozarthrbozarth TexasMember Posts: 92
    All minifigs are 15% Off in my store.   

    https://store.bricklink.com/bozbricks
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    Quick question for UK peeps....

    I have a buyer who wants to pay for a large set using bank transfer, aa opposed to PayPal. 

    Can you see any risks with doing that?

    Thank
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 3,235
    I don't think there's an increased risk. A bank transfer is usually non-returnable without some investigation by the bank. But it's possible that the transfer can appear to work but then get stopped if there's no cleared funds with which to pay (a cheque masquerading as a BACS transfer). So you need to wait until the money has cleared.

    Key thing is, not everyone has paypal, so it's a legit payment method, but keep in touch with your bank and the buyer - make sure it's a BACS transfer rather than a cheque.
    TheFew
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 1,016
    @TheFew - I've had several buyers pay via bank transfer; all without any problems.

    Just make sure you have a decent audit trail, and use tracked/insured postage!

    TheFew
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    Thanks both. If they pay i will move the money to a new account before posting. I always use tracked and insured postage, so all good there.
    MaffyDLobot
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 947
    Check with your bank that the payment has cleared, and isn't just showing as pre-cleared. UK banks are very naughty when it comes to telling you what you can spend. They'll let you move it to another account, and then take it back anyway, making you overdrawn. And they'll throw in charges just to be nice :)
    TheFew
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    Parted out some of 2 #41935, first significant inventory addition in ages
    20 or 30 each of a few dozen lots, real easy to sort
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    Parted out the rest of those 41935's

    set bulk discounts only for buying the whole lot as I don't want to count out that many tiny parts again

    also lowered most prices on my inventory of the following colors - coral, sand green, dark green, light aqua, lavender

    manageable sort and good pricing, but not sure if I want to get more before I go through more of my backlog
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    New buyer placed an order that included sales tax but sent the payment directly to me, one needs to use the payment link/button on BrickLink to correctly handle the sales tax.
    I sent him a message and edited my store policy with instructions to pay through BL for ST orders
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    What do people think...

    I currently have a £5 minimum order policy at my store.

    Do you think the numbers of order would increase if I removed this minimum?
    KingAlanI
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    TheFew said:
    What do people think...

    I currently have a £5 minimum order policy at my store.

    Do you think the numbers of order would increase if I removed this minimum?
    Possibly, but do you want to deal with such low value orders. I prefer to get fewer £10 orders than multiple £1 or £2 orders.
    FizyxKungFuKennyKingAlanI
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    CCC said:
    TheFew said:
    What do people think...

    I currently have a £5 minimum order policy at my store.

    Do you think the numbers of order would increase if I removed this minimum?
    Possibly, but do you want to deal with such low value orders. I prefer to get fewer £10 orders than multiple £1 or £2 orders.
    Depends how many more orders there are... I guess I'll have to give it a try and see what happens. 
    KingAlanI
  • DB361DB361 UKMember Posts: 290
    I also have a £5 minimum purchase limit, and honestly I couldn't do without it. By the time you factor in the cost of postage and packing materials, and the time taken to pick, pack and post your orders, the chances are you'll be making next to nothing on orders that small. Yes, as a buyer I completely empathise that a minimum order restriction can be annoying, but from a sellers point of view having loads of tiny orders to sort through is just too unworkable for me.
    TheFewKingAlanI
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    I charge the cost of a bubble envelope and the PayPal fixed fee as a handling charge so I don't lose out even if someone ordered a 1p part. But it seems such a waste of resources to send a few parts in a bubble envelope and  also a pain if I have to go and post a cheap order by itself. Not so bad if you have other ones to post at the same time. You sometimes also get people complain that postage costs more than the parts, which obviously is their fault for ordering so few parts!
    TheFew560HeliportKingAlanI
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    I tend to charge a set fee of 50p up to £5 order value and £1 there after. I would need to rethink this i guess if I drop the minimum order limit. The cost of bubble envelopes has also recently increase by 50%.. so I guess I would have to be careful not to lose out.
    KingAlanI
  • rbozarthrbozarth TexasMember Posts: 92
    No minimum price in my store and I do not have handling charges to include the paypal fees.


    https://store.bricklink.com/bozbricks
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 947
    €7.50 minimum order for me. Below that it's not worth the hassle of driving to the post box, never mind the Post Office. You can spot a mile away those orders where someone has added random crap to meet the minimum, I get 2-3 a week like that. I removed the minimum for a month or so a couple of years ago, and I did get some extra orders, but not enough to worry about losing.
    TheFew
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 1,914
    A £5 minimum seems perfectly reasonable to me! I don't have problems with store minimums at all as long as they are within reason. To try to make the shipping costs more bearable, I rarely place orders that aren't at least $10 in value anyways, usually somewhere in the $20-40 range is the sweet spot for myself.
    KungFuKenny
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,697
    I've also tried to stay clear of making small orders as a buyer for this reason. I tend to end up spending $15-$25 minimum anyways when I submit an order. Occasionally, I'll need just that singular part. However, I try to check at my local Bricks and Minifigs first just in case they have it on the bulk tables. 

    I tend to be more annoyed with Lot Cost/Size restrictions as a buyer than minimum purchase amounts. However, I've never been a seller, so I likely don't understand the rationale behind said lot restrictions. 

    I've also recently tried to find sellers with free shipping costs. I may have only otherwise spent $15. But free shipping at $30 or greater is too appealing to pass up. It feels like a win win. Shipping would have cost $5-$8 anyway. I spend at least that much more on the order itself, plus more to meet the threshold. I sort of feel like I've gotten "free LEGO" and the store ends up getting a larger order. 
    pxchrisgmonkey76560HeliportFizyxKungFuKennyMarshallmario
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 3,235
    The only time I've worried about store minimums is when I'm after specific bricks which may be rare and the store that has them has none of the others I'm after and I have to mess around with the stores to get it all to work.

    I still think it's entirely OK for stores to have such minimums, even in those cases :-)
    FizyxKungFuKenny
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    I have no minimum order size, I have $1 domestic handling and $1.50 foreign to avoid losing money on small orders, sounds similar to what @CCC does

    small orders aren't too hard to pack, and a paypal account with micropayments fee structure helps. I leave packages by the mail slot for the carrier to pick up, or take with me when going out anyway to drop in a mailbox, so no extra trip to ship, I wouldn't make a special trip for every little order
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    buyer complimented me on bagging each lot separately so he didn't have to sort one big bag

    Sometimes I condense lots when really near a space or weight limit, but that didn't apply. Even so I wouldn't bag everything together.
    opaque, transparent and rubber separate, also no smooth pieces mixed with studded (to keep parts from damaging each other)
    no similar colors mixed, no large and small in the same bag (to keep sorting easy)

    560Heliportbandit778Switchfoot55
  • DB361DB361 UKMember Posts: 290
    ^ Whereas I cannot stand so much single use plastic being used - having to take out every individual lot from each plastic bag really gets on my nerves. Using single use plastic bags is sadly an unavoidable part of running such a business, but the least I can do as a seller is use as few of them as I can get away with. I'm about as far from a climate change activist's opinion that the world is about to end as it's possible to get, but I still really wish there was a more environmentally friendly solution that didn't cost an arm and a leg.
    For small orders, everything will get put into one bag. For larger orders, I'll separate out either by part type (plates in one, tiles in another etc), and combine some of those if there isn't the amount to justify its own bag. The only exceptions are transparent panels/windscreens etc which will each get protected in their own bags to avoid getting scratched up, minifigures (I'll normally try and get 3 or 4 into a small bag), and used pieces which all get put together mixed up in one bag, as that is a tiny fraction of my stock.
    As yet, I've never had any feedback against this approach, and indeed I'm getting more and more customers specifically asking for less and less plastic to be used.
    autolycusKingAlanI
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,729
    I had one buyer moan about the amount of plastic I used in an order once. I used around 5 bags for a decent sized order. Got my goat a little as the fool was buying plastic!
    KingAlanIgmonkey76
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    I bag maybe 10 lots per bag depending on how many fit in. Minifigs always get their own bag as having to sort those, especially the heads, would be annoying for a buyer.
    KingAlanI
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    my inventory is already bagged separately so it's easy to pack it that way especially when the buyer buying all I had of that item.

    I don't want to appear cheap about bags I get for under a penny each

    @DB361 and @CCC seem to be on the same page as me for keeping specific kinds of items bagged separately for protection and ease of sorting.

    Once a seller bagged each fig part separately, that was excessive to unpack. I bag each part of a fig together, multiple copies of the same fig may or may not be in the same bag. (sometimes I separate them ahead of time to make it easier to pick orders for small quantities)
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    USPS rates temporarily went up for the upcoming holiday season
    in short, commercial base rates for 1st class package all went up 30c
    priority flatrate packaging also went up a bit

    was surprised when this came up for orders i invoiced at the old rates


  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    The USPS holiday rate increase ended right after Christmas - i.e last week of the tear ships at the prices from the August 2021 price list
    had to remember to invoice some recent orders at the old prices and just updated my shipping rates
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    orders have come in relatively slowly, and most of them are for just a few things, then I get a 60 lot order and 2 of about 20 each. warned the buyers that I can't pack them all right away but hopefully I can get it done this year.
    the 60 included several used, and many of the new are the same color and category as another lot, don't have to dig as much for those.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    hectic December 31st, spent much of the afternoon packing the 3 complex orders, finished a roll of tape and took multiple attempts to get the new roll started. did get it all mailed. besides end-of-year, I always am particularly eager to get stuff sent out before a long weekend

    however, finished off with a big simple order and a one-item order

    Revenue after sales tax not quite $4000, a bit over $1500 in direct expenses (sales tax, PayPal fees, postage, BL fees) and another $300 on mailing supplies and sets, profit around $2100
    Fizyx
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 2,279
    No orders yet this year, but a few days between orders or bursts of orders is fairly normal for me lately
    besides making a spreadsheet for the year with my old one as a template:

    mailing on the 2nd the things from late on the 31st (as usual, simply left out for mail carrier pickup)
    accounted for a couple bubblemailers and large ziploc bags used personally rather than for the store
    NPB'ed a late December order, which was soon paid (NPB often works as a reminder), then packing that

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