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BL Minimums, Lot averages, lot maximums, etc-please explain

bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 818
I've been a BL user since 2006. I buy a decent amount of parts from BL but lately I have become discouraged. It seems that not only do you have to shop by price but you also have to check out each seller's rules for shopping at their store. 

I know these individual rules are now posted at the top of the seller pages but it really has made it quite difficult to shop for parts on BL. 

Some of the rules I've encountered besides minimum order (which I can understand that a seller may not want to pull a few parts for a small sale) include:
-minimum lot average
-maximum lot

I am not looking to annoy any seller who does this. I just want to know why. I filled a cart with tons of elements, tons of lots and the order total was quite sizable. When I tried checking out I had exceeded the seller's 5 lot minimum. 5 lots? Is this person trying to sell their inventory or just have it listed on BL? As a consumer, I just want it to be easy to find what I want and check out, not go to each seller's page and discover if their rules will allow me to shop there or not. 

I am curious to hear from BL sellers why these practices are in place. Thank you!



  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,484
    edited September 2021
    bmwlego said:
    I filled a cart with tons of elements, tons of lots and the order total was quite sizable. When I tried checking out I had exceeded the seller's 5 lot minimum.

    This does not sound right. Have you exceeded their maximum number of lots? If you go over a minimum, then you have met that constraint.

    The main constraints and the reasons some sellers use them are:

    Minimum order value - you cannot checkout if you are below this value. Reason - low value orders are not worth bothering with.

    Minimum average lot value - order value divided by number of lots, you must exceed this. Reason - Large orders with one cheap this and one cheap that are not worth bothering with.

    Maximum lots - you must be under this (or equal). Reason - some wreckers think it is funny to add a whole store to a cart and check out then not pay and hold stock up for weeks. If over 1000 lots were ordered, the parts cannot be reinstated in the store as BL cannot deal with large numbers like this and the seller has to do it by hand or BL has to reinstate from old backups, which might not be accurate at the time the fake order was placed. BL admins recommend sellers use a maximum lot number to stop this. Plus some sellers prefer not to have to deal very large orders so might set his at a lower value such as 50 or 100 if they are normally busy.

    Some sellers also try to put in their own constraints, such as you cannot buy more than two minifigures at a time. These sellers tend to use low prices then profit from high postage costs and they cancel orders by hand if a buyer buys too many of their cheap items. Best to least favourite them.

    In your case, having a five lot maximum is very strange, especially for a parts store. What you can do is again least favourite the store so they do not show up in searches.

  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,755
    Never heard of "wreakers" before! Will have to work out how to install a 999 lot maximum in my store - but to be honest it sounds like a lot of effort for someone to go to just to be a dick. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,484
    It is quite easy. There is a tick box to add all items shown on the page at their maximum numbers to a cart. 

    See this example here:
    This example one person placed 11 orders of 1000s of lots (100Ks of parts) within a period of 40 minutes.

    My typical orders are either under 10 lots or  20-30 lots (lots, not items). Not that I ever get them, but I don't think I be able to handle 200+ lot orders in a reasonable time and fit in around life, so a smaller limit like that makes sense to me. It won't affect my typical orders but does stop someone completely emptying my store for a laugh.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,755
    Thanks for the advice. Always good to be prepared against Lego terrorists!
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 948
    A low maximum lot setting may be appropriate for someone who deals in sets, as there's only so much room in a shipping box before you need to double up on the shipping cost. Well, there are obvious ways around that, but perhaps they're not easy to incorporate into BL's shipping calculator.

    Otherwise, it's possible the store owner has made a mistake and may appreciate a message asking if it's an intentional restriction? It's possible also that they are currently very busy either with a few large BL orders or other things and they are deliberately restricting new orders to those that are easy to deal with.

    You could try BrickOwl where a maximum lot restriction is not allowed.
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 2,125
    I ran across one seller who also had a ridiculously low maximum lot number (perhaps the same one you're dealing with @bmwlego and in their terms page they stated that it was because they specialized in being a cheap resource specifically for people who are missing a couple parts from a set... seemed pretty silly to me.
    But I agree, there are a lot of odd restrictions that people put on their stores which can make it pretty hard for a buyer to navigate through. Some of them I completely understand, others are just incomprehensible. I was trying to make an order earlier this week and I was half way through building a cart in a store when I realized their minimum buy was $250! While I get a minimum buy, that's just crazy. I've never placed an order in a single store for anywhere close to that amount.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Yellowstone, 1883Member Posts: 3,034
    I've recently encountered some similar constraints that initially left a bad taste in my mouth. However, I messaged the seller and let them know I was JUST below their lot value restriction and wanted to see if they'd allow me to order. It was a decent order (around $75) so I figured it worth a shot. 

    They got back to me within an hour with a bypass code. YMMV, but could be worth it if the shop checks a lot of the wanted items on your list. 
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 818
    My apologies-it is a typo in that sentence. I was filling a cart and when I went to check out, I had exceeded the seller's 5 Lot MAXIMUM-not minimum. 

    Thank you to @CCC. @Aleydita, @pxchris, @Switchfoot55 for your replies so far. The scammer shoppers must be an insane headache for sellers. I'd never imagine doing this to someone! 

    I'm glad I'm not the only buyer who this bothers. 

    I also "least favorited" the 5 lot max store but that seller still pops up. Maybe it has to save to my account and doesn't take effect immediately. I opened a different browser but this seller still shows up :-(

    I sent a message to the 5 lot max seller on 9/2 and it hasn't even been read yet. The store has a feedback of 800+ so it does do business on BL, and very briskly as they've received a lot of positive feedbacks in the past week alone!

    Is there a way to show lot avg, lot maximums in search results? I know this is done for minimum buys but what about averages and maximums?

    Thanks for your input and advice! Very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I am glad I asked because the whole spammer experiences you linked to @CCC were eye opening. 

  • arathemisarathemis RomaniaMember Posts: 513
    It might not say "read" in bricklink. But the email that notifies the user of a new message does contain the message itself. So he might just read it in his email inbox.
    No need to go to BL to read the message. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,484
    If you still see items from the seller when searching, there is a box you need to tick to hide sellers you least favourite.  It varies a little depending on how you are searching / using wants lists but expand the options and it should be there.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 818
    Thank you! I changed the settings in my search options and now that seller won’t come up!

    Very helpful!
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