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  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    ^^----Well eBay encourages those to get top rate seller marks to get a 20% (I think ) discount on your fees, of course you mostly rely on someone's opinion (not fact) to get high ratings and keep your discount.. The issue I have with that and eBay as a seller is that I feel they do more to protect the bidder than the seller (A good indicator is removing the ability for neg feedback to bidders and substituting stupid non payment actions or whatever they are). This would be fine... if eBay did not make their money off of the SELLER. Say what you will about leaving negative feedback for bidders, but it was MAD (Mutually assured destruction) if a bidder decided to leave a wholly unfair comment that did not make sense (such as saying something was not in an auction even though it is stated there, or someone leaving feedback for a 'slow delivery' even though to eBay standards it arrived on time) .. Now they can do it with impunity.. yes eBay has made it a bit easier to stop people from leaving unfair comments, but it still occurs and getting a joke of a negative feedback from a bidder just who is being a jerk is just stupid. Never mind eBay's apparent laziness of not being vigilant and stopping the unscrupulous sellers from trying to avoid eBay fees by charging .01 for the item and 100 dollars for the shipping.. No, Lets start charging the final fee AFTER shipping is applied... Sorry for my rant but it just bothers me. I do not have a negative feedback right now, but it worries me as I am seeing some of the neg comments people put on other profiles is laughable at best, and libel at worse. As much as I hate it though I will still sell on it because the visibility is huge and nothing has been able to compete in terms of that yet.

    I like Bricklink and am probably going to sell there too but I do agree it IS a lot of work and I have not brought myself to start building my store yet. I like Bricklink as a buyer though as it forces the sellers to have to compete and keep prices low..
  • charg1nmalaz0rcharg1nmalaz0r Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2011
    Hey, i'm new here but have been lurking for a few weeks.

    So at 24 my son turned 3 and i bought him some lego and rekindled my love for lego. well i have been shopping around and have found bricklink to be the best place to get some good deals.

    my questions are
    1. how reliable is the it like ebay with a rating system, because i cant seem to find one.
    2. should i stick with my own country(uk) or is shipping from abroad reliable
    3. how can i find out how much postage will be before i buy? is there some rough guide on how much per weight it would take to ship certain sets? i understand people will be using different delivery methods but i would like some idea.
    4. if the above cannot be answered if i post an item and give details on weight and where it is coming from would people with experience in buying be able give me an idea on the shipping?

    and another random question. I saw on ebay people selling instructions for custom sets. what would i use to create my own quality instructions for models i make and does anyone know how well cutstom instructions sell for if they are good. I ask because i could make some pretty epic creations and it would be nice to get a bit of money to fund this expensive hobby.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Regarding the instructions, you can use LDD (LEGO Digital Designer) to create instructions, they're OK, but you don't have a lot of control over the layout, etc.

    The other option is to go the ldraw route: along with lpub4:

    There's a discussion on the pros/cons of each piece of software here:

    This thread over at Eurobricks also has a wealth of information on the subject:
  • charg1nmalaz0rcharg1nmalaz0r Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2011
    thanks for the links i shall take a look

    my other half thought i was sad the moment i got this crazy lego urge at 24. i have since shown her i could be worse and have collections like some of you guys and gals :)

    i'm still uncertain about bricklink after reading what people write about it. i just dont like to guess how much something is in total because i cant find out how much shipping would be. I find it hard to compare with sites that state it or that have default charge.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    edited May 2011
    Regarding the instructions, you can use LDD (LEGO Digital Designer) to create instructions, they're OK, but you don't have a lot of control over the layout, etc.

    The other option is to go the ldraw route: along with lpub4:

    There's a discussion on the pros/cons of each piece of software here:

    This thread over at Eurobricks also has a wealth of information on the subject:
    Thanks, I was thinking about this myself (building instructions that is).. To maybe try to make a few bucks on eBay (since everyone else seems to be doing, or trying to do, it). And also because I have a few creations I want to build in my head, but I know I would need to dismantle them if I build them...
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    edited May 2011
    ^ I've never thought about it too much, but are you convinced that they sell? I've never really looked to be honest.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad Member Posts: 1,337
    On Bricklink if you go to the store's "splash" page or "store terms" page a good seller will have listed exactly what shipping and handling charges are. The better one's will even have an estimate based on weight so you should be able to guesstimate what your total may be. If nothing is listed on the splash or store terms page except generic terms stay well away.

    Lastly you can always checkout with your oder and then the seller will send you an invoice that includes shipping and handling. If you feel the shipping charges are too high you can cancel the order (too high shipping IS a valid reason to cancel on Bricklink).

    I would stay with sellers who have good RECENT feedback as sellers. I personally have ordered thousands of pieces and have not had a single problem. I make sure to order only NEW so I know exactly what I am getting and can get a replacement shipped out if it is obviously not new. Every new part I have received so far has been just that - new. I have had a seller miss 8 pieces on a 1900 piece order and contacted the store and was quickly shipped out he missing parts. I would rather deal with Bricklink sellers than ebay any day of the week. I am in the USA and regularly buy from Europe and Asia again with no problems. Let recent feedback be the judge. I have also found Bricklink sellers package the pieces better than Lego direct so your clear window panes / doors don't get all scratched up either :)
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    It's quite time-consuming, but a lot of fun.

    If you're interested, here's an example of one of my first MOC's that I did with the full instruction & POV-Ray render treatment:

    I was trying to figure out things that could be built with LEGO that my nieces would appreciate. It's designed to fit the minifigs that use the "Slope 65 2 x 2 x 2" instead of the normal legs.

    I've included the .ldr, which was used to generate the instruction pages, the .pov that was used to generate the render shown, and another .pov which can be used to create an animation. Both of the .pov's require POV-Ray 3.6 or higher ( They were generated using l3p (as the comments in the files show).

    Both .pov's use a stepclock, so you'll have to add a +K25 (any number higher than the number of steps will do) to get the first render to go - the are comments in the animation file with the command line arguments you need to make that one go.

    Be sure to let us know if you have any success in selling these. I considered going that route, but figured it wouldn't be worth it. Mostly because I probably wouldn't buy instructions for someone else' MOC on the web...
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    dead link to brickshelf; "This folder is not yet public"
  • charg1nmalaz0rcharg1nmalaz0r Member Posts: 5
    yeah i see peoples instructions on the web and think why would people buy that. but at the same time i have seen some impressive modular houses that if i wasn't a dirt poor bugger i wouldn't have minded buying.

    might give it a try if i come up with something good. currently i do not have alot of lego to work with. i'm going to pick up my childhood lego next month so will be good then.

    i'm still not sure about bricklink. i think i'll give it a miss. seems like too much researching each buyer to fel comfortable in purchasing from them to be worth it. if only i had unlimited funds to risk it lol. one day.

    so i'll be sure to post if selling instructions is good for a little bit of lego pocket money. just something i thought about while looking on ebay.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    I believe if you have a nice enough (or elaborate enough) design then items will sell. I have seen locomotive instructions go for about 8 bucks a piece, and seen a few for desgins as big as the Cafe Corner/Green Grocer, etc go for more.. It does not sound like a lot BUT if you build something for yourself and already have done the hard work already then all you really are doing is making money for nothing (well eBay/paypal fees) but you are not likely shipping them to someone as I have seen people just email them as well...
    But I would say if you sell them on eBay, be aware that some people misread and assume you are sending them instructions via mail or on a disc or something.. so you have to be clear or risk neg feedback...
    But again even if you only sell one here or there if you have already done the hard work then why not?
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK - huh. I don't use Brickshelf too often. Looks like they've been approved now... For some reason, the POV-Ray render shows up way too light (looks gray/pink) when viewed in Chrome. Seems OK in everything else.

    There isn't much to see, but it should give you a bit of an idea of what is possible using the more manual tools (ldraw system). The equivalent instructions you get out of LDD aren't quite as much work, but don't look nearly as nice.

    My advice with mlcad/lpub is to start small & save often.
  • StuBoyStuBoy Member Posts: 623
    I think it might be wise to give Bricklink a miss... it'll save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars if you don't get addicted to it like me!

    Seriously though, Bricklink is generally very good, I've made over 50 orders over the last few years and the only problems I've had are a few missing pieces in large orders, which the sellers issued refunds for no hassles.

    Most of my orders have been from overseas sellers so can say its pretty safe internationally. Just check out their feedback, as others have said. You can also turn on a function in your Bricklink account to show the weight of items in your cart so you can get accurate estimates for shipping costs. You can also ask sellers for shipping quote prior to ordering.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,366
    Of all the problems of the Bricklink forum... one area that they are particularly good about is fraudulent sellers. Problems with sellers (or buyers) reach the Bricklink forum rather quickly... and sometimes a store shutdown can take less than 24 hours... upon investigation.

    So you are pretty safe when it comes to making purchases (from a seller with a feedback history). Just make sure you read the Splash page to find out about fees and other charges.
  • RedBrickMarketRedBrickMarket Member Posts: 28
    Yeah, I totally agree with the eBay comments. I love the visibility, but though I had a Top rated seller status, USPS was too slow, so I lost it. I shipped ASAP as advertised. :(. Well, customer service isn't any good either as they are just there to repeat what you said, say they want to help, and then try not to. :D
    I totally agree with you. Have you tried talking to eBay about it? I have. I figure the more the sooner they'll get a clue about what they're doing.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    edited August 2011
    Could anyone shoot me a quick note and tell me how to search bricklink for sold items? I am looking to buy some retired sets and want to see what they've sold for and I am not seeming to be able to customize my search correctly. Many thanks in advance.
  • davee123davee123 Member Posts: 864
    Search in the "Catalog", find the set you want, and then look at the link for the "Price Guide". That'll tell you all the sales in the last 6 months (new/used), and all the currently available sets. Example, set 6060 (Knight's Challenge):

  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    What you are after is the "catalog"->"price guide" feature.

    A quick way to get there is to select "Catalog Items" from the "Search" drop-down menu and enter the set number. Using 10182 Cafe Corner as an example, this will bring up the entire Catalog entry:

    From there, click on the "View Price Guide" in the rightmost box to get to the price guide for the set:
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    Ahhhh! I was looking for a search limiting item in the for sale tab. Many thanks!
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    Yeah, the price guide is my most used feature on that site.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited December 2011
    Are we even allowed to discuss Bricklink on this site? Oh well, a mod will crush the thread if not.

    I would be a new buyer on Bricklink, and found a couple of things that I think I wanted to buy. But since the interface is downright archaic over there, I could not seem to figure out how much I would be charged for shipping on things. As best I can tell, I simply have to agree to buy the item, and then just have to accept whatever shipping cost the seller tacks on to it when they send me an invoice?

    Not acceptable to me. So that's why I assume I'm doing it wrong? =)
  • canon03canon03 Member Posts: 364
    Some sellers announce how much shipping will be based on weight, but I've found that most don't. They pretty much have you after you submit the order, so your best bet is to send them an email to request a quote before you submit your order. You can modify your preferences to show how much each item weighs so you have a better idea on the total weight.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,827
    edited December 2011

    Usually, by clicking on the 'Splash' or 'Store Terms' tabs within the store you want to buy from, it will give you a summary of how much delivery costs using rates for different weights/speed and whether or not you would like insurance.

    However, I have always found most of them confusing. I usually send the store a shopping list and request an overall cost for postage on the terms I'd like it sent. It has yet to fail me.

    Good luck.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,756
    edited December 2011
    Why wouldn't you be able to discuss Bricklink ? It's an important part of the online community, and most AFOLs have used it at one time or another....

    You're not doing anything wrong. While Bricklink sellers have general shipping info on their Splash or Store Terms page, you're right that the exact shipping costs are only available once you've ordered. In practice, if you have major issues over what you're being asked to pay the vast majority of sellers would I'm sure allow you to cancel your order without problems, but I agree it's not ideal.

    Otherwise, flump's right - just send the seller an e-mail prior to placing an order - they'll invariably get back to you with a shipping quote.
  • emilewskiemilewski Member Posts: 482
    Agreed. I have a small bricklink store. I have the shipping terms (by weight) as the main splash screen when you connect to the store, but that does not help the buyer that much as who knows how much a given order will actually weigh. So just send an email before ordering asking how much shipping would be for such and such and let them respond. Make a purchase decision based on that.

    When I buy if I am buying a few pieces I would not bother (how much can a few bricks weigh) but especially for a set I would inquire prior to ordering.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Thanks for the insight, everyone. Much appreciated.
    Why wouldn't you be able to discuss Bricklink ? It's an important part of the online community, and most AFOLs have used it at one time or another....
    Well, I wasn't sure if we were competing sites, or anything like that. Brickset has some particular rules that have caught me offguard a bit in my time here so I'm still learning.

    Indeed - I doubt I'd care much about shipping costs on a handful of bricks. It was new, boxed sets that I was considering buying. Shipping costs vary WILDLY on eBay, so I was in no way comfortable with being obligated to pay a shipping fee before it was disclosed to me.

  • JasenJasen Member Posts: 283
    Yeah I've been banned from a store on Bricklink (haven't lost any sleep yet) as the shipping was ridiculously high and I disputed it. I bought $70 worth of Lego and the shipping was $52. After alot of back and forth emailing it was reduced to $42 which was still too much considering the other package I had coming was only $7 for postage.
    I know the 1st was coming from USA but our dollar was alot better than theirs at the time so it was unjustifiable. The $7 postage (roughly same size package) came from Germany in a backward little town (I google earth'd it :P)
    When I refused to buy I was told I must buy regardless and as I hadn't actually paid yet I refused, thus the ban.
  • prevereprevere Member Posts: 2,923
    I have a small BL store as well. Generally speaking BL sellers charge very acceptable rates for shipping (cost of actual shipping + a small handling fee). Again, generally, it is not like eBay, where some sellers can really tack on high shipping costs. BL is a fantastic community filled with very high quality sellers.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu Member Posts: 368
    My challenge is the lack of transparency. If I want a bunch of common parts I don't want the hassle of emailing each seller with the stock to find the best overall deal. So I just don't bother and probably pay more buying via PAB and eBay and sets to break for parts. BL really needs to embrace the technology they have their disposal and create a more efficient market.
  • DaddyWhaleDaddyWhale Member Posts: 130
    I also find finding shipping cost information discouragingly difficult on BL. Some sellers quote on weight. But is it net or gross (of packaging) weight? Some seem to quote on package volume (cm^3) as well.

    I agree that asking sellers by email is the best (of limited) options. But I have run across surly sellers. And in my experience a third or so don't even respond.

    But on the positive side, most sellers are honest and don't view shipping costs as a way of making money. They seem happy to accommodate requests as well (e.g. shipping without the box).

    Even so, I don't like the idea of entering into a binding contract before knowing all the terms.

    Some stores seem to have innovated in things like automated invoicing. I wish this kind of innovation were more widely embraced, with respect to the transparency of shipping costs.
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    Shipping cost that are higher then listed on the splash page can be cancelled with no penalty according to the website. I found this in the help pages under shipping
  • OnionButterOnionButter Member Posts: 15
    I have only placed a couple of BL orders, but my experience has been very good so far. Most orders were for a small pile of bricks and the shipping was under $2.

    - Chris
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Best way to work with Bricklink is to email the particular Sellers for shipping or simply check their store terms or Splash page as some of them have shipping charts mentioned. My experience with BL has been very good. And its always best to look before you leap, and to avoid trouble makers. The ratings system shows who to deal with :)
  • markg11cdnmarkg11cdn Member Posts: 4
    Shipping cost that are higher then listed on the splash page can be cancelled with no penalty according to the website. I found this in the help pages under shipping
    Yes - definitely. Shipping cost too high is always a valid reason for cancelling an order :
    Each store is operated by a separate individual or company and therefore you have to pay a separate shipping fee to each store you buy from. In addition to a shipping fee, some stores may have a handling fee and/or other fees. Please see the store terms which are also displayed on checkout before the order is submitted for any additional fees.

    If, after the order is submitted, you are quoted a shipping fee that may seem too high to you and it was not shown in the store terms upon submitting the order, you can cancel the order with no penalty by submitting an Order Cancel Request
    Though the order page may seem scary with it's talk of a contract between seller/buyer, you can always cancel if the shipping is too high for you. Also take a look at the store info/splash pages to look for 'handling' and 'paypal' charges before placing an order.

    Also, if you're looking at buying a large boxed set, most sellers will give you a shipping estimate before you even place the order.

    I've also worked with sellers to add/remove things from a parts order to reduce shipping costs or get the most items per a particular shipping price.

    cheers - mark
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 811
    in my bricklink store, i charge a minimum of $3 postage and if the order goes over 100g then i go to Royal Mail website to work out the shipping costs and then charge accordingly, youd be surprised how many people order 1 part like a battle droid arm or a 1x1 plate just seems daft to me but it's their money after all.
  • choob99choob99 Member Posts: 147
    edited December 2011
    Will be my first purchase from there, I'm in the USA and the seller is in the USA also, just wondering if anyone has ever had any trouble?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    edited December 2011
    It depends,
    If the Seller has a lot of feedback then they are most likely OK.
    Just be sure to read their 'flash' page and check their feedbacks.
    I'm guessing most stores with a large number of feedback may have a few negatives only because there are some people you cannot please.
    If the seller has a negative or negatives see if there are many about not receiving goods or good being of worse quality than described...
    Also be aware of the descriptions of the items they are selling and do not be afraid to ask questions.

    If the Seller you decide to buy from uses Delivery confirmation or some other tracking that also helps as well.

  • choob99choob99 Member Posts: 147
    Thanks for the response, I figured it was a lot like ebay, just wanted to make sure before I took the plunge, much better prices on there than on ebay!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    You will find a wealth of parts on BL that are affordable. I hate to speak on behalf of others here, but I think it helps a lot of us on here immensely..
    I sell old sets and I can usually find the parts I need...
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    BL could be better then Ebay with respect to the price of the sets, the most important part is to able to get old/used sets in very good condition. Ratings could be confusing as I agree with @madforlegos that sometimes you just cannot please some people. I have a store on Bricklink and that has opened a new world for me :) You will have a lot of fun @choob99
  • StuBoyStuBoy Member Posts: 623
    I've made over 50 orders on Bricklink, and the only problem I've had was parts of the wrong colour shipped by mistake. The seller refunded me the cost of the parts and let me keep them as well. So I've had pretty good experience with Bricklink - as @madforlegos said, great for finding missing parts or getting stock for mocs, or even for complete sets.
  • streekerstreeker Member Posts: 299
    Are you buying a set currently in production? Has the store only been open a few months? If you answered yes to both questions, I would think twice. It could be a fraudulent seller, the same type that pulls the dropship from LEGO using a stolen credit card. Those types exist on bricklink, too.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Really @streeker??? And come to think of it as I analyze Bricklink quite a lot, I have had feelings that something is not right and then the particular seller never responded :) But Bricklink is one amazing place to fulfill all your LEGO needs, and for people like me, it is LEGO Paradise :P
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    Make no mistake BL is better for replacement parts and new parts for those that need them.
    I would always caution buying any current new sets from BL sellers, because I believe that Paypal will not cover transactions from BL as they do with eBay.
    Also, most sellers on BL are going to sell the sets for near retail prices (at least the legit ones will)
    Again I, and others, have posted general guidelines in other threads about eBay scammer (Im just too lazy to look for it right now) which can apply to BL as well.

    Basically use BL for discontinued and used sets and you should be fine.
    OR if you buy an item inform the seller that if it is drop-shipped from LEGO with dubious information you will notify the appropriate authorities immediately.
    Not sure if that would help, but I guess if you really think that a seller selling a new Unimog can afford to sell them at 75 dollars, more luck to you.
  • akunthitaakunthita Member Posts: 1,038
    edited December 2011
    @choob99, I have placed almost 300 orders on Bricklink, and never had a problem. I would add to this though that I'm also an experienced eBay buyer and seller with over 10 years of experience, so I know what to look out for.

    ALWAYS check the seller's feedback. Read the negavites. If you are in doubt ask the seller a question, just to see how they respond. I NEVER buy from 0 feedback sellers without some previous contact.

    ALWAYS check the seller's Splash Page and Store Terms. Look for shipping fees, processing fees, processing time, smoke-free home, etc.

    If your order is high value, make sure you request insurance, but even if you don't get insurance, ALWAYS get tracking. It only costs a few cents and you will have some peace of mind that your package is on its way. Many sellers include it for free as it gives peace of mind to them as well.

    Mark stores that you have good experience with as your favorites so you remember them in the future.

    ALWAYS ask questions BEFORE placing an order.

    ALWAYS check the item condition and description.

    If you are buying parts, I recommend buying new parts only until you get used to the system. Different sellers have different opinions of what used can mean. Some sellers sell used parts that are just like new. If otherwise, they will give detailed description about the condition. Some sellers have lesser standards.

    NEVER buy used white bricks! Always buy them new! White bricks are notirous for discoloration.

    NEVER buy from sellers who only accept Money Orders or Checks (unless their feedback is high - over 50 as a seller is a good number - and all positive). You will have absolutely no recourse if they end up being a scammer.

    Hope this helps some! BrickLink is a LEGO fan's heaven! It can hardly get any better than that! :D
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    I saw a seller on BL that had 36 positive feedback, but he had 2 7939 Cargo Trains for $126 and and a Super Star Destroyer for $350. I was going to buy the Cargo Train, but later decided not to take the risk of a dropshipper. Just have to be careful of what is "too good to be true".
  • akunthitaakunthita Member Posts: 1,038
    @The_Brick_Builder, was the feedback as a seller or as a buyer? It makes a difference. If you are in doubt about a seller bring it up at the BrickLink Forum. Members there are amazingly helpful and scammers are dealt with quickly! :)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,833
    edited December 2011
    ... NEVER buy used white bricks! Always buy them new! White bricks are notirous for discoloration...
    I have to disagree with you here IF you have an old LEGO building/set that you need white parts for. If you use brand new white parts I believe the shading of the brick is different and it will look wrong, unless you place EVERY white part with new parts of course :-)

    Older color matching for LEGO is a tricky beast if you are trying to 'restore' an old set.

  • vwong19vwong19 Member Posts: 1,191
    Knock on wood I haven't had any problems buying or selling on Bricklink. I started my account because I wanted to collect and trade collectibles minfigs. It wasn't until a few months ago that I went international, but I always worry about those sales because shipping USPS 1st class international is cheap for my customers, but slow and pretty much blind. I have had a few non-paying customers, but they are usually new Bricklink users. It is truelly a great marketplace.
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