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Customer input on closing a BrickLink store for a break

Everyone deserves a break now and then, and BrickLink sellers are no different. As a customer facing many store closing this summer and not being a store owner, I have experience on how closings affect buyers. 

The first issue is should you close your store or just leave it open and notify buyers about how long the delays to invoice and ship will be. I vote for leaving the store open and here is why. Many buyers are working on huge projects and end up putting rare items from 50 or more sellers in their carts. Eventually the buyers will review what is in their carts and decide whether or not to complete the purchase. If a store suddenly closes, these buyers have no idea what parts are in which cart and may end up buying the parts twice or not at all. It is confusing to lose access to carts loaded with items we need. It can months to sort this out because some folks close a store for more than a month. And when a store reopens, our cart may be empty and/or the items you need may have been sold to someone else. 

Thus, I say leave the store open and let folks decide if they want to wait weeks for an invoice and maybe a month for a shipment. I understand that there are times that owners have to close stores; when that happens, please try to give notice on your listing page as well as the terms and splash pages far in advance. Sometimes we buyers forget to check the terms and splash pages. 

Also we get very frustrated when no one has a part we need; if so many stores are closed, we may not be able to find that part anywhere or at a price we can afford. If we can purchase the part and just delay the invoice and delivery part, that can be a big relief. 

Some sellers may argue that they have to check their inventory before invoicing orders because there often are differences between quantities listed and what they have in stock. Most buyers understand that these things happen and accept small adjustments to invoices if parts are not where they should be and can't be sold. 

What is your stand as a BL buyer or seller on stores closing for a break? 

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,309
    I always close my store when I cannot / do not want to fulfill orders in a timely manner. Until recently, carts used to get automatically emptied after a few days, so I expect many longer term buyers do not use the method of filling carts then waiting for days before checking out. I find stores that are open but will take one month to ship annoying - I tend to least favourite them and move on. 
    SprinkleOtterBumblepantskiki180703madforLEGODontcopythatfloppydougtscatwranglerOmastar
  • RakulRakul USAMember Posts: 183
    I would second @CCC, as you mentioned not all buyers read the terms and conditions.  If I am going to be away for an extended period of time I don't want to be hit with negative reviews given that I have a much smaller than average store on BrickLink 1 or 2 negative reviews will tank my feedback.
  • CalvCalv Central EnglandMember Posts: 900
    I leave my store open during a short holiday - about a week or less but put up a message so that people are aware of my holiday.  I still receive orders during this time and have never had any negative feedback. I am then usually busy when I return fulfilling all the received orders. I am usually online during this time so can raise invoices and answer queries. Since my store was opened in 2012 it has never closed.

     


  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited August 2016

    I'm a fan of stores staying open. Although I can see why it could be problematic if some customers do not read any of your store terms etc. Also doesn't closing your store affect your rating and therefore chances of getting on the featured stores list etc.?

    With the new Brick Link there is feature called "Store Announcements". If you turn it on you can add any text you want such as you are away and there will be delays in processing orders. You can set the colour of the text and background to stand out.  The text is displayed along the top of the your store page above "Shop, Terms & Feedback" and below your store name.

  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,271
    Basta said:

    I'm a fan of stores staying open. Although I can see why it could be problematic if some customers do not read any of your store terms etc. 


    This is why I don't feel it would change anything for anyone.  Until Bricklink adds a way for a custom "confirmation" style message on checkout there will always be problems.  I have mine close as I am away on work for 2 weeks.  Sometimes I'll leave it open and put a high minimum buy and put up a message on my splash with a bypass password if you're ok with the wait, but they really should have something that allows a store to stay open and easily notify buyers in a way that they can't miss.  A confirmation pop up where the seller's message gets saved with the order would be great, so that if the buyer complains about long processing times or such, the message they agreed to would be there.

    I prefer to just close sometimes when the delay is long because it stresses me out when I have pending orders that I can't fill, even if the buyer is ok with it.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    @graphite I understand and I agree with much of what you are saying.

    Maybe if there was an easy way to see what was in your cart where when a store is closed would also make it easier for buyers with a lot of carts open. Sometimes buyers also have family/work crises that pull them away from BL for a month. I like the idea of having a warning statement show up on the checkout page so that in case a buyer has missed the earlier messages, there is another chance that they will see a notice about a store closing or delayed invoices and shipments. And if this warning statement could be sent in a message by email to the buyer, that would be even more helpful.

    I am quite appreciative of all the hard, slogging work BL sellers do to keep the system running smoothly. And definitely benefit by using it often...too often. 
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