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Bricklink: Am I just unlucky?

dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 756
I've placed around a dozen Bricklink orders in the last few months.  Pretty modest sized orders including sealed retired sets, parts, minifigs or a combo of those.  Less than half of the orders have actually arrived with no issues!  I've had a couple cancelled by the seller because they don't have the sealed sets they have listed, the latest one just yesterday. A few times the seller has contacted me to say they don't have the quantities they thought they had for certain parts.  Another one arrived with a "picking error" for an order that was missing a lot of 20 parts in an order that only contained 4 lots!  Even had one with a MegaBlok part mixed in with LEGO!

To be fair to the sellers in each case they did sort it out satisfactorily with either a refund or sending replacements etc. but surely it cant be this bad all the time, especially with orders that are all pretty small?


  • RakulRakul USAMember Posts: 176
    I think you are unlucky.  I've placed about 100 orders over the last year or two and had maybe one or two that had any issue at all.  Both of those were resolved quickly.  Good luck going forward.

  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    Nope, feeling the same pain here - 6 out of the last 7 orders with issues of some sort spread over BL and BO. Most of it fairly minor - missing bits, wrong parts (too long or short) and all rectified quickly. 

    I've just had to run a separate 'error wishlist' for the current project and I'm hoping that when I place that order, everything arrives OK or it'll be one of those never ending jobs :-)

    On the flip side though, the first 40 orders through BO were faultless which probably contributed to most of my brick buying budget heading in that direction.
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 756
    ^Don't have strict guidelines as such, but to be honest most of the stuff you've mentioned I'd considered before ordering anyway. I always make a point of checking the feedback first before ordering and usually round up to the nearest 5 or 10 or in some cases just buying whatever the seller has stock of. The orders that have had the problems were actually pretty simple orders for example one mentioned in the original post that only had four lots.

    Can't get much simpler than buying a single sealed set either, both from sellers that had many orders and perfect feedback as far as I can remember, yet still had both cancelled from the seller because they didn't actually have the item.

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,473
    I've placed hundreds of BL orders, and the number of serious problems I've had can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    Keep a note of the good sellers, and use them again where possible. You'll build up a large group of sellers you trust.
  • elspankdogelspankdog TexasMember Posts: 403
    edited June 2017
    Some great buying tips above.  I use all of those myself.  I always buy extra if the part is used and affordable as well;  chances are you'll get a junker in one of those used parts.  Try to never buy used black, white, tile, or transparent parts if possible.
  • Jern92Jern92 MalaysiaMember Posts: 801
    I ordered about a hundred tiles on Bricklink, paid for it immediately and was informed the seller sent them out. Fast forward a week, realised the package had been stuck in one place for days when I tracked it. Emailed the seller and asked them to check with the post office, and she was told that apparently they had lost the package. As she didn't have enough tiles to issue me a second order, she refunded me.

    Fast forward a month, the package finally arrived, but it had been torn and rebagged by the postal service. Inside was an apology note for damaging the package, and less than half of what I ordered was inside. So that sort of didn't end too badly, and the seller was amazing in dealing with the whole issue, but I do wish I had gotten what I initially ordered.
  • MattDawsonMattDawson Solihull, UKMember Posts: 1,202
    I've only ever encountered three problems with Bricklink throughout my entire duration and purchasing history going back to 2009.

    Two were scam sellers, and another where the order didn't arrive; however, he has proof of posting so it had been lost by the postal service, and I got a refund and he claimed it back from their postal service, IIRC.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,638
    I have never had that problem with Bricklink. The only problem I ever had was with a buyer and that was once.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 623
    edited June 2017
    A sizable percentage of the orders I place on BL have at least one little problem, usually just a missing part or two, and usually involving the smaller parts like 1x1 plates and tiles.  Even with all the confusion over the old-vs-new greys, browns, etc., most sellers are pretty good with the colors, and I've only had a couple of color-related errors in my orders over the years. That said, I don't usually buy a lot of pinks, magentas, etc. that have lots of different official shades and hues...

    Note to BL sellers;  if you list a set as "complete", then you are stating that, yes, indeed: ALL the parts are present with the set (minus the "extras"); and ALL the stickers (if applicable) are either applied to the correct parts per the instructions, or the sticker sheet is included; and the instructions ARE included.  Seems so simple, yet well over 20% of my used, complete set purchases on BL (and BO for that matter) are not actually complete.  The saving grace is that 99% of the sellers rectify the situation immediately with no fuss.  I realize that nobody's perfect, and every seller will miss something from time to time, but I wish the errors were spread out more evenly among the buyers...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,947
    I also think more errors are made with used parts than new parts. When parting out sets, it is harder to get things wrong compared to manually listing used parts.
    Just out of interest, what were the sealed sets that it turns out the sellers didn't have, and were they priced competitively to begin with?  I can totally understand a missing piece here or there, a whole lot not making an order is somewhat believable too, but when this extends to whole sealed sets, it sounds more like people might be click seeding their stock than an honest error.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    Just out of interest, what were the sealed sets that it turns out the sellers didn't have, and were they priced competitively to begin with?  I can totally understand a missing piece here or there, a whole lot not making an order is somewhat believable too, but when this extends to whole sealed sets, it sounds more like people might be click seeding their stock than an honest error.
    It's happened to me before as a seller, so I find it believable. Maybe they sold the set on BO, or Ebay, or at a trade show, or just decided to keep it for themselves, then forgot to update their inventory.
    I've done it myself too, once, with a Belville Millimys Bedroom set due to a miscount.  Why I was wondering what the specific sets were, if it was battle packs or construct a Zergs then it could easily be a mistake.  If it were UCS busts or Public Transports then it would be click seeding.  
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 756
    edited June 2017
    Just out of interest, what were the sealed sets that it turns out the sellers didn't have, and were they priced competitively to begin with?  I can totally understand a missing piece here or there, a whole lot not making an order is somewhat believable too, but when this extends to whole sealed sets, it sounds more like people might be click seeding their stock than an honest error.
    First one was an Elves set, shipping from somewhere in Europe. I had a feeling he'd under-quoted the shipping and cancelled so they didn't lose out. Second was a retired SW micro fighter that was actually less than rrp so was probably too good to be true, maybe a mistake on the price. Claimed he'd ordered it ages ago and it had got lost in the post so never actually received it. Although not sure why he'd added to the inventory if he never actually had it.
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 806
    As a bricklink seller its quite common for me not to be able to find the parts ordered and have to refund the missing parts etc only to find them a few weeks later! Most of the time though i think its bricksync causing the issues between bricklink and brickowl.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,398
    With the proliferation of Lepin sets out there, has anyone run into receiving Lepin parts mixed in with Lego parts in a Bricklink order? If that starts happening, I'm probably done with any MOCs.

    Someone mentioned Lepin being secretly owned by Lego, but if it scares people into worrying parts and sets are legit, they might buy exclusively from Lego (and authorized dealers).
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,473
    ^I suspect that anyone found selling non-Lego bricks on Bricklink would quickly get called out for it, and banished if they did it repeatedly. Buying parts from Craigslist or eBay may become more problematic. As far as I know, I have not found any Lepin in the local thrift stores yet, but I'm sure it is only a matter of time.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,947
    ^^ Some people have been caught listing Lepin sets on BL. Even clearly identifying them as Lepin still breaks the rules.
  • RoobotRoobot USAMember Posts: 24
     Try to never buy used black, white, tile, or transparent parts if possible.
    I understand white (yellowing) and transparent (scratches), but what's the problem buying used black or tile pieces?
  • bluedragonbluedragon United StatesMember Posts: 486
    Scratches are very visible on black parts and tiles in general.
  • elspankdogelspankdog TexasMember Posts: 403
    I guess it really depends on the part.  I should have specified I usually only buy black bricks or tiles new.
  • omniumomnium Brickenham, UKMember Posts: 777
    edited June 2017
    I think my problem rate is 1 in 10 orders. But the problems have always been minor and rectified by the seller quickly.
    The most baffling I had was ordering 4 of the same minifigure and received 3. When I pointed out that I was only sent 3, the seller didn't seem particularly concerned that they didn't notice the error and refunded me the cost of 1. Most odd. Perhaps they thought I was trying it on and decided not to argue? I can understand sending 49 of a 1x1 plate instead of 50, but 3 minifigs instead of 4 should be obvious to most people :-O
    More often than low counting mistakes, I tend to get the odd extra piece by accident, which I always 'fess up to and offer to pay for and never been asked to so far.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,311
    when someone sent you an extra fig but also forgot a few pieces...
    you feel you can't complain.
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 801
    I've taken to only ordering sets from BO/BL. The number of errors I encountered when ordering parts became ridiculous, and the vast majority of sellers assume you're trying to pull a fast one when you bring their attention to problems. Additionally, refunding me for a missing piece is worthless when (a) that was the piece that drew me to their store in the first place, and (b) it's going to cost me several times that amount to secure the part from another seller. I sometimes wonder whether sellers are deliberately listing pieces they don't have just to generate sales.

    I decided to source anything I needed from retail sets wherever possible (Rebrickable is great for determining which sets to buy), and opened my own BO/BL stores to get rid of the excess bits I didn't need. Almost 700 sales later and only a handful of complaints, most of which I resolved by refunding the order in full, 2 by arranging for the missing pieces to be supplied by other sellers at my own cost (with the buyers' agreement), and 1 that was lost by PostNL and which I refunded in full immediately despite not getting PostNL to cough up for over 12 months. If memory serves, only 3 times did I have to let people know that I simply couldn't find something they'd ordered, and I offered them the chance to cancel in full rather than send everything else and refund the difference. If other sellers operated the same way, my confidence in ordering parts from BL would replenish, but my direct buying experience and reading the views of the vocal minority of sellers and the increasing number of annoyed buyers who use the BL forum, leads me to believe that things are actually getting worse.

    I closed my store before Christmas but I'm swimming in Lego again so will probably open again soon. I would have done it sooner but BL seems unable or unwilling to put a stop to those sellers who are gaming the system by flouting consumer laws, setting artificially low prices and the adding a blanket fee on all orders, etc. It's like the wild west of online retail.
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