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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..
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 website.is 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.
The other option is to go the ldraw route: http://ldraw.org/ along with lpub4: http://sourceforge.net/projects/lpub4/
There's a discussion on the pros/cons of each piece of software here: http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/292/best-digital-program-for-building..../
This thread over at Eurobricks also has a wealth of information on the subject: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=39841
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.
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 :)
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: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=474294
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 (http://www.povray.org/download/) 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...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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? =)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
http://www.bricklink.com/help.asp?helpID=65 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
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.
I sell old sets and I can usually find the parts I need...
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.
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
Older color matching for LEGO is a tricky beast if you are trying to 'restore' an old set.