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Bricklink "New User Guide"?

haydukehayduke PhiladelphiaMember Posts: 55
Hey all, I'm pretty new to Bricklink and looking for some advice on how to maximize my purchase power there. I've purchased a number of lots from a decent number of stores but realizing I'm getting crushed by all shipping fees. Curious if there's some better strategies someone can give advice on.

For example, right now I'm looking for 23 lots, but from seller to seller the price is anywhere from $23 to $107. $23 being a European seller, which is fine but I have no idea how to handle customs and gauge shipping and tracking. I'm sure someone has written up advice and strategies for buyers.

BTW, I know Bricklink has their own forum but you have been so helpful (to a lurker so far) in getting me started on this hobby that I figured I'd ask here first.


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,043
    Obviously the more you can buy from a single seller helps to cut down on shipping costs, so long as they are selling at reasonable prices.

    Are you using wants lists? If not, start using them!

    If doing it manually, normally it is best to start looking at the rare / expensive parts first, find the best value seller that has the most expensive part(s) you need, then fill up your cart with the other parts you need that he has, and so on.

    It is also worth checking can you substitute expensive parts for cheaper ones. This might mean using 2 2x1 bricks instead of a 1x4, or using a cheaper colour if they are available and the one you really wanted is crazy expensive.

    You should be fine for customs importing to the US from Europe (it is US -> UK/Europe where we pay!)

  • haydukehayduke PhiladelphiaMember Posts: 55
    Thanks! Yeah, I have been using wantlists... Up to now I think I've just been pulling the trigger too soon and not thinking out how best to allocate between sellers.

    I didn't think about subbing bricks, good idea.
  • DaraghDaragh IrelandMember Posts: 363
    Ask the European seller for a shipping quote. Regarding any import duty you will need to check that yourself locally or with a member in US, but I don't think it would be very high of a €23.00 order.
  • RakulRakul USAMember Posts: 176
    I don't think there would be one since that is only around $27 USD.  I've ordered up to $100 from Europe and don't recall ever having to pay anything.  Just like @Daragh said, the shipping is going to be key.  It can vary greatly between sellers and can get pricey fast overseas.
  • carnage717carnage717 U.S.AMember Posts: 166
    I have ordered over a 100 times from Europe and Asia on bricklink and never had to pay custom here in the US. Just make sure you read the sellers shipping section and splash page. Alot of them will only ship insured and tracked which can get expensive on a small order. You can always message them and ask for a shipping quote. 
  • elspankdogelspankdog TexasMember Posts: 403
    I use wishlists and either start with the seller who has the best price on the item I need the most of or the best price on the rarer items that fewer seller have.  I then add other items from those sellers on my wishlists that are priced reasonably.

    I also try to avoid stores with lot limits, hidden lot fees, hidden shipping and handling fees, paypal fees, and any other deceptive fees not priced into their inventory.  If your term page reads like a contract or a Barnes & Nobles coupon exemption, I just avoid your store altogether.  Best way to do this is build a list of favorite stores over time and try to order from them when possible and to make notes on stores to avoid.
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