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Ordering from BrickLink

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  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    I always make sure I use the quantity and price fields when building a wanted list on Bricklink. I usually use the price to make sure that I don't end up crediting a seller with having more parts when their price is just out of line - if a quick browse shows sellers selling a part at 4p, 4p, 4p, 5p, 5p, 6p, 7p, 12p, 20p then I'll set max price to 7 or 8p. I find it generally not worth trying to buy pieces at their lowest price - unless you want hundreds of the same item - because postage always matters. And the I use min quantity for pieces when I want some to rule out sellers with just a piece or two.

    As to good UK sellers- there are some fantastic ones, and I only now buy from UK sellers. If you pay quickly the good ones can have your pieces with you the next day and in excellent packaging - individually bagged items, with bubble wrap in flat boxes to minimise costs.

    To name a few stores I use again and again (although it definitely depends on the type of pieces you are after) who do that:

    Prosarch
    A brick shiphouse
    Gizmocom
    Kram
    A slim chance
    Yellow farm bricks


    Hope that helps

    Lee
  • Short_RoundShort_Round Member Posts: 161
    Thanks for the advice guys. Bricklink doesn't seem very noob friendly, so I'll have a play with the want-list thing this weekend.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    As a fellow noob, I can vouch that the two greatest tips I've stumbled upon are indeed the "Wanted List By Shop" option, and the "Part Set" into Wanted List. These seem to be two rudimentary steps to successful Bricklinking. From here you can tinker with the settings to your heart's content... Just remember (this is Tip #3) to stay active on the site or LOGIN FREQUENTLY! Right now the system logs you out after about 15-30 mins, so if you're planning something extensive (cf. Part Set) do it in increments and save yourself a massive fit of nerd rage.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    I made a rookie mistake in pulling together the replacement pieces for my 10179 project. I entered all of the parts I needed and in the "min quantity" box I put the total number I needed. I then went through each piece to get a sense for what was a reasonable market price. Then used the amazing "wanted list by shop" feature, starting with the seller with the most items, and working my way down.

    This was all great, except that I should have chosen lower quantities for some of the more rare parts. I didn't think to realize that by setting a minimum quantity for certain parts, I would miss out on the opportunity to buy partial quantities from sellers I was already purchasing from. Now I'm stuck in a bind where I have to buy just a few parts from multiple sellers because the only sellers who have the full quantity are charging exorbitant rates and the smaller sellers tend not to have multiple pieces. I've been able to tack on a couple of extra pieces to some of the existing sales (that's the one good thing about the invoice process) but man I am mad at myself for not realizing this.

    End result is that I'll spend $15-20 extra bucks on shipping from the extra 5 or so sellers I'll need to use. Lesson learned is to play around with the min quantity and not use your total number needed as your "min".
  • frhanlanfrhanlan Member Posts: 4
    hoyatables: In a shop, besides the "Show All Items this store has on my Wanted List" link, there is an "(All Items)" link that will show you everything in your wanted list, ignoring minimum price and quantity. You can use that next time.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    Excellent. Thanks!
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    So I've received all but one of the dozen or so Bricklink orders I placed for Falcon parts.

    Overall, the experience was quite positive. Most sellers shipped quickly and the orders were complete and accurate. One seller got an extra gold star for catching an error after he shipped but before I received and letting me know so that I could throw some other items in the envelope with the correct items -- in other words, free shipping. One seller took a long time to ship without a reasonable excuse, which is kind of annoying because it was a seller I used for a large number of parts. And one seller made a couple of mistakes, so I'm hopeful he will make it right.

    Overall, a good experience. I think it's a great site once you get to know the interface.
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 530
    I hadnt any trouble with my orders but only did three. the sellers responded fast after payment and the parts were in good condition. Due to not doing orders so often i dont know how much errors happen because i hadnt got an order with error on seller-side.
    one of the more annoying things is: you placed the order and after invoicing you notice that you forgot to order some parts which you need.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    ^ Most sellers will allow you to add more parts to an invoiced order, just put a note on the order saying 'sorry, I forgot X, please can you send me a new invoice'.
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 530
    thanks. forgot that possibility because im not a power-buyer on bricklink like others here.
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    Only issue I've ever had with bl is sellers in other countries not responding to questions, and one seller who sent another person's order to me as well as my own, which was eventually sorted out.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^that happened to me recently too! My package went from north Europe to east Asia before getting to south west USA. And same goes for the other person's package.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    I've ordered waaay too much lately, and the only issue I've had is still ongoing: I ordered two cowls ($1.50 + $2.50 S&H) I need to be able to list a set as complete. The invoice was long in arriving and now it has been languishing in "Ready" mode for a week. On the other hand I had a package from New Zealand arrive less than a week after payment! The cowl-holder above is in the state right next to me!
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,337
    I have made well over one hundred orders, from a couple of pounds to a couple of hundred, and as of yet I have not encountered any problems other than one missing piece on one occasion. I have only ordered from overseas twice so I cannot reliably comment on that really, but so far that has all been fine. I very highly recommend KRAM as it is very well stocked (being one f the largest UK stores) and Keith is a pleasure to do business with. The only issue I have really is the poor user interface which is not particularly easy to get along with. In my opinion the site ought to be closed for a week or so and completely revamped so it is formatted more like many other Lego sites such as Brothers Brick, FBTB, or dare I say it, Brickset!

    As a matter of fact I am hopefully going to be making a fair sized order tonight for a Coruscant Underworld MOC. I have already received some fantastic decals from BrickBuildersPro which are a good start.
  • speedpro50speedpro50 Member Posts: 12
    I have a list of 83 missing bricks I need to order for #7676. I made a spreadsheet for the part# and the quantity that I need to purchase. What is the best way to use bricklink to make these purchases? Will I have to buy from multiple stores (if so the min. buy becomes a problem I think)? Is there a way to find a single store that has them all? Any help is appreciated.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,089
    speedpro: Put them on your bricklink wanted list (assuming you now have an account with the site), then within the wanted tab do a "wanted by shop" search - it will bring up a list of the shops that have some of your stuff, ranked in order of who has the most first. You may find that Lego is cheaper for some of those parts to the extent it's not worth foing through bricklink. Put an email request in to Lego through their customer service "I lost a part from a set" section of all the parts you are mising and they will send you price. Usually anything over 20p a piece on bricklink can be bought via lego directly cheaper than bricklink. I have found this to be the case for about 650 pieces required to complete my bricklinked UCS MF.
    speedpro50
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    edited September 2012
    I thought I heard about a program that works out the best prices for each item but cannot find it in the search.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    edited October 2012
    Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere (didn't find it in the search), but if I have a wanted list in BrickLink is there a way for me to see which sellers have the most items I need in stock?

    So it would say: "Buy these pieces: ______ from this seller, and these pieces: ______ from this seller" so that I can best combine shipping costs?

    Thanks.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited October 2012
    On the Wanted tab click the "By Shop" tab.

    It won't break down exactly like you have it, but will show you who has the most items from your list. You can create multiple want lists, so once you find a seller who has most of the items you are looking for at a price you want (the By Shop doesn't take price into the equation either) you can then create another list with the remaining items and repeat the exercise.
    speedpro50
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    Thanks @sidersdd!
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,944
    It seems that Bricklink is one of the major Lego marketplaces on the internet, but I have never used it before, and would like some information about it first. Do you have to have an account to buy from it? What are things to look for before buying a set (feedback? location? Other descriptions?)? Are the sellers generally trustworthy? Are there any disadvantages to buying a set from another country (the one I'm looking at has none for sale in my country)? Any other hints and tips?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,929
    You must sign up for an account.

    You don't buy from it. You buy from sellers that use it.

    Most sellers are trustworthy. Although I have found some definitions of excellent (for used items) not so good. I have received cracked and heavily scratched items described as excellent, so I only buy new unless not possible.

    If buying from outside EU (if you are in the EU), remember you will probably need to add import duty. It makes an apparently cheap US purchase significantly more expensive.

    One thing that is done badly is that sellers can add whatever fees they like. Some sellers use this to undercut more honest sellers but actually charge more. So they might seem 10% cheaper than another seller, but by the time you add 3% bricklink fees, 5% paypal fees, minimum lot fees, etc. they are more expensive. So read a sellers splash or profile page before even bothering to look too much at their stock, especially when purchasing lots of parts, rather than just one set. In the past, I have spent hours looking at building up a large purchase, only to realise that the seller adds on so many extras that they are not competitive.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,929
    PS. If you are after a specific set, it is always worth asking here in marketplace first. Sometimes someone will have a spare that they have not listed on bricklink.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,944
    edited November 2012
    But you need an account before you buy from anyone, then?
    Are credit card details and stuff safe? (I'm probably just paranoid about this. It's used by a lot of people, so I'd assume it was)
    CCC said:

    ...but by the time you add 3% bricklink fees, 5% paypal fees, minimum lot fees, etc. they are more expensive.

    So Bricklink takes a commission from every purchase, then?

    ^Good idea...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,944
    The biggest problems with BrickLink are the additional fees and particuarly postage. You are not able to find out the exact postage, or indeed the exact cost of your order, until you've commited to buying, without contacting the store owner beforehand which is hassle and delay you can usually do without.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,929
    You don't need to supply credit card details. Yuo can pay through PayPal for most sellers, although some refuse to use it and want bank transfer. Obviously more risky with those sellers.

    Bricklink does charge a percentage fee for all sales. Many sellers absorb those costs in their prices, but some abuse the pricing system and add these on as extras so that you pay the fees. Just make sure you know whether a seller does this or not before you spend too much time in their store, as this can shift their prices significantly.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,944
    ^^The one I looked at had a chart of prices based on weight and destination. Surely if you know the weight approximately you can estimate the shipping charge?
    ^Good to know.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,929
    Yeah, most sellers try to give an estimate of shipping prices. Remember you need to add in weight for packaging though. I normally ask a seller for a postage quote before checking out, and whether I can add more items later within the same postage bracket.
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    CCC said:

    Yeah, most sellers try to give an estimate of shipping prices. Remember you need to add in weight for packaging though. I normally ask a seller for a postage quote before checking out, and whether I can add more items later within the same postage bracket.


    BTW CCC, it seems that you are somewhat used to BL. I just spent some time remaking my splash and terms according to what people like most.

    From a buyer point of view, would you like them? Anything to improve?

    http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=LegoProds

    -G
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ Its a very good splash/t&c. Some of the best I've seen. Only thing I would consider re-writing is:

    "remember that an order is a binding contract. However, if any problem happens, I will be happy to cancel the order without any penalty."

    Its not true and as you'll cancel anyway is largely pointless. Might be better to say:

    "Please only order if you're serious about paying as I'll pick the order and weight it before sending you the invoice to pay."

    Its a balance between being as clear as possible and providing all the information necessary and not scaring buyers off by being too officious. I'd say you've got it spot on.


    More in general, one thing I do notice with bricklink sellers is that they are often even worse than ebay sellers for not understanding the law. Those in the UK that say they're not responsible for damage in transit or lost items or its the buyers responsibility to pay for insurance are laughably out of touch. Also those that say placing an order is a contract - no its not, and without exact postage costs (and without knowing the weight of packaging let alone the parts its impossible to) it absolutely can't be, is another favourite.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,929
    ^ A quick look through your terms, I'd buy from you. I think that you have all the information a buyer needs.

    One thing maybe to think about ... I will always ship to the address in bricklink. If the address in bricklink and paypal don't match, I will always ask before shipping.

    It is a good idea to ask. But remember that if a buyer makes a claim through PayPal that you didn't send an item, you must prove that it was delivered at his PayPal address. They don't care if you shipped to his bricklink address, you have not shipped it to the one they have.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,944
    Just out of interest, are there any major/recommended EU based bricklink stores? Or is it just a matter of going for the one with the best deal?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^I would say so. I'm not a massive bricklink buyer, i guess 20-30 orders in the last year. But i've not had one problem with a buyer. Occasionally orders are wrong, light bley instead of dark bley for example. But without exception they've been sorted out quickly and at no cost to me. I've also always been told to keep hold of the wrong pieces rather than send them back. I don't think you need to worry too much about bricklink sellers.

    Having said that, be sensible. If they don't allow paypal or similar equivalents then that should raise a flag. If its a high value item then maybe contact them first, just to reassure yourself. Again, high value items - look at their feedback , consider their location. Rightly or wrongly Eastern Europe and further east would concern me, unless they had high feedback.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    I think there was a previous thread where a few people recommended a few Bricklink stores they've used. Will take a look.
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    I try to stick to UK sellers and can recommend a few. For EU 1001 bricks have always been good and have a great range.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,929
    There are some big ones. KRAM has a large inventory and I have used this store many times and always got good service. Saying that, some of the best service (and lowest prices) I have got is with smaller sellers.

    Bear in mind I don't think I have ever bought a set on bricklink, I am a parts buyer. I tend to want someone that charges honest prices for shipping, and then I will fill up to a certain weight with them, whether I need the parts right away or not. If I'm paying postage anyway, and they have interesting cheap parts that might come in useful, then I will buy them.

    As I said before, my problems have been down to condition of used parts and sellers not being honest about it. I have bought "excellent" stuff that turned out to be cracked or bitten. I was refunded when I complained about it, but of course, may not have purchased from them at all if I had known that a part I wanted was not in the condition they said. I am sure most sellers are honest, it is the few bad ones that make you give up with used parts.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    edited November 2012
    I love BL with a frightening passion. In theory, at least. Nearly 100 transactions and only one lost parcel, and the buyer has been very patient as the investigation continues. As a seller, I receive numerous requests for shipping quotes which I am happy to provide, even though only 1 out of 50 actually goes through with the purchase. As a buyer, I have never had an issue that wasn't resolved with courtesy and promptness. Just yesterday I received an order of about 200 new parts from a veteran seller who ran a crazy good sale, had thousands of dollars of orders to pull and pack, one plate was missing, I mentioned it to him and added that he better do absolutely nothing about it, yet he insisted on sending me the plate at his own expense. If you ever have the unlikely expeience of feeling like you got the rough end of the stick in a transaction, the BL forum is a judicious international board and will help you sort things out.

    I should add the thing that often seems to get under the skin of new Bricklinkers: read a seller's Store Terms and Splash page before checking out.
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    Without trying to make this too much of an advertisement, I do want to respond to the "unknown shipping" issue. I created a function in our store to allow users to get exact shipping before they place an order. We also have the only real-time shipping calculator that kicks in post-checkout and lets you pay immediately. I completely agree that BrickLink needs to build these functions and let all sellers use them. I've even sent my code to the BL admin for whatever he can use of it in the rumored BrickLink 2.0.

    image
    LostInTranslationkylejohnson11BrickDancer
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    @DadsAFOL would it be possible to use your code for that?
  • allmybricksallmybricks Member Posts: 156
    Like others have said, the best thing to do is review the Store Terms & Splash pages before hitting the buy button. Can't stress that enough. I find that it's usually pretty easy to pick out the better sellers by the content of these pages.

    My rule of thumb for looking for good sellers is prices under 6 month average with no lot limits, no minimum buys, and no packaging / hidden fees. I'll break these rules sometimes for super good pricing. I'll also pay more in some cases when the terms are not favorable.

    As mentioned sometimes sellers will hide their fees (Bricklink & Paypal) in inflated shipping costs. They'll have the lowest price by far, but then make it up on hidden fees. This is super annoying and not much that can be done about it... I just choose to shop elsewhere going forward.

    I've never had a problem in over 100 orders, but one thing I need to be better about is checking feedback. As long as someone has feedback count >20 I'm not questioning it and I'll order without ever checking it. That's a bad habit that will bite me someday.

    Over time, you'll find how to make the site work for you and who the best sellers are. Almost all of my purchases now are from sellers I've purchased from before. Good loyalty programs like that Dad's AFOL Supplies are awesome. After a few orders, you work yourself up to a 20% off coupon for all future orders. If a seller gives me a coupon, chances are I'll be back. Jason's (@DadsAFOL) automated checkout is amazing and really takes some of the back and forth waiting out of the process. Love it. I'm sometimes impatient and I procrastinate on projects for my LUG - so waiting for an invoice and then waiting a few days for them to pull the order and ship it is sometimes painful. I shop at a lot of large stores that don't have the best pricing because they are usually setup to churn out many orders per day and decreases my wait time until the parts arrive.
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    ^Way up

    Thanks for both of your tips! I implemented the "please order if" right now.

    I know that about paypal, and if in any case I need to ask, I will only ship to a BL address if it's a somewhat reputable buyer. If not, I'll cancel the order or just ship it to the PP address.

    -G
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,434
    ^^ I placed an order from DadsAFOL just because of the recommendation he received on Brickset. I'd do it again without question.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    I've ordered from Bricklink about half a dozen times in the past two months, and been very satisfied each time. New sets in all cases. Even when I bought some sets listed as being in damaged boxes, the shelf wear was so minimal that I had to actively look for it before I found it.

    Note that the sellers seem more inconsistent in leaving feedback for buyers and in responding promptly. Almost every eBay transaction I have ever done has resulted in a seller leaving positive feedback for me, and responding within a day to any messages. Bricklink sellers don't seem to leave feedback with the same consistency, and they can be slow to respond to communications.
  • thorniethornie Member Posts: 245
    ^ I've found Bricklink sellers only leave feedback after you've left feedback for them first. You are right though, it does take a while for them to return the favor. I have a template email I send sellers politely asking for them to leave me feedback. My guess is that they have so many orders that they get to all the feedback at once when they have the time.
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    ^ I think the majority of sellers leave feedback upon shipping an order. I do. As a buyer, I leave feedback as soon as the order is received.
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    As a seller I leave feedback once the buyer either leaves feedback or marks the order as received. I feel feedback should be left once the entire transaction is completed.
    Thezoofox
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    So far I have used BL to finish getting all the missing pieces and minifigs from my 80's Castle sets. Not all the prices were the same and others were more reasonable than some. I found that shopping around and seeing what each store has to offer gives the best result. I have a thing for minifigs and I sometimes get a few that I dont really need but they look good so I buy them anyway. I mean after all I have 3 airplanes, a train and bus on top of the city buildings that need people in them!! Never enough minifigs!

    Massey
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Ditto, as a buyer I leave feedback when I get the package and mark it completed, and generally expect the seller will leave feedback within a few days of my leaving feedback. I've waited quite some time in some cases, though. Ditto waiting for the seller to mark the order closed out.
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