The forthcoming BrickLink Designer Program (BLDP) will only
ship sets to 30 countries. Following the
recent announcement post on Brickset, some commenters outside those countries
were upset about this restriction. Also,
some commenters offered to buy sets and forward them to people.
Let's create a package forwarding program to match up recipients
outside of the 30 countries who want sets with senders within those countries
who will offer to purchase and ship them.
DO NOT POST REQUESTS YET because the BLDP is not finalized. First, let's discuss how the program will work.
Recipients could post which sets they want, then senders could private message them to make financial and shipping arrangements. Senders won't publicly post offers to send, preventing recipients from begging them to fulfill their request.
However, a pile of forum posts requesting sets could become unmanageable. It may be cleaner for recipients to use an online form to make their request. The form data could be public so senders could choose recipients and private message them. When a request has been fulfilled, the recipient could remove their request from the form. I've created a sample form here - https://forms.gle/i8UZL7LJdPBEBNVi6
It seems beneficial for the recipients to estimate the shipping cost to them from a BLDP eligible country. This will make them aware of the shipping premium before any sender buys them sets. Doing this work also shows that the recipient is committed, making their request more likely to be fulfilled by a sender.
Estimating shipping in advance adds complexity. Recipients would need to know the countries of potential senders. To keep the list of senders private (so recipients don't beg them), they could use a form to enter their country, then an admin could updated the Brickset forum post with the list of sending countries.
To help with estimating shipping, a sophisticated online recipient form could estimate size and weight of the requested sets. Compare the set piece counts and to the size and weight of a typical Lego set with a similar amount of pieces. This would take some coding and a capable form (I didn't immediately see this in Google Forms).
Lastly, I would encourage recipients to offer a premium to senders to cover their time and risk. I recommend setting a percentage of the total of the sets purchased, maybe 3-5%.
What do you all think of these ideas? Let's find a good way to get these BLDP sets to our fellow Brickset users who can't get them.
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