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Pick-A-Brick collective

rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
edited August 2011 in Marketplace
Hi all,

Since there is variation in the Pick-A-Brick selection from store to store (for the time being), I thought there might be a desire for a collective effort to procure desired elements not available locally and provide others with the same opportunity from your local selection.

Doing this, of course, greatly hinges on current inventory tracking. I think we can leverage the great platform provided by iPaB at BrickBuildr: http://www.brickbuildr.com/view/pab/

Minimally, I think this effort would seek to provide a contact person for each store that is willing to field requests. I imagine the requests would be accepted at the discretion of that person.

If you're willing to be a procurement person for your local store, please post to this discussion and I'll get you added. I'd also like to solicit ideas for ground rules (i.e. Payment expected in advance, order minimums and maximums, quantity tolerances, small commission to offset travel costs). I really think LUGs could step up to cover their store as a group, and imagine bulk ordering would be most efficient in that type of group format.

Finally, although I'm a member of the Brickset staff, this is being conducted without the endorsement of Brickset, just as all things in the Marketplace.
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Comments

  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    I'm willing to do this for the Indianapolis store. Our LUG members do a great job of keeping BrickBuildr up to date. I need to think a bit about ground rules. Payment in advance is a must.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    This is a great idea - sadly I don't live near a store, but I'd be keen to buy cups from people (especially if they have the elusive trans blue plates!)
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I'm happy to do this for the Manchester LDC, and possibly the Liverpool store, but I can't promise I will be able to get there very often. I would also be keen to buy from others.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    In addition to cups, boxes of elments can be bought as well. A box of 2x4s of a particular color, which on average contains around 650 pieces, runs around US$70. I'll weigh one tonight to see what shipping costs might be to different regions.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Box of 2x4s weighs about 3 lbs 9 oz. First class shipping to UK or Australia would be $31.08. Priority Mail to UK would be $38.65, to Australia would be $43.30.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 763
    edited August 2011
    Count me in. I'm addicted to Pick a Brick! I can spread the word to other members of I LUG NY to see if they would be willing to get in on the action. Great idea. There are 4 stores here in NY and we shop at all of them.
    I guess a must would be payment upfront, and through a personal pay pal transaction so you don't have to pay any fees. The shipping will add up however and this would bring your total to over $20 I imagine for a large cup. Add in a small commission and you'll jack the price up to near $25. It could be worth it if you actually get parts that you've been looking for.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    @sidersdd: yeah, I don't think anything but the smallest elements make sense to ship overseas. But I definitely think there's an opportunity for them to collaborate among the LEGO stores they have there.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited August 2011
    @bmwlego: I agree, the approach isn't going to be cost-effective for many of the bricks on the wall, but I think some of the smaller elements like tiles will easily outstrip Bricklink prices (which we have to pay shipping costs on anyway). To carry it a step further, if store managers are only allowed to custom order a small portion of their wall, maybe we can take a distributed approach whereby we vote to establish a priority list and try to satisfy as much of the list as possible across the stores by avoiding duplication.

    To reiterate, I envision that LUGs are the best suited candidates for this effort both in their ability to "cover" a LEGO store location and with the assumption that they will be consume a large amount of bricks.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    @rocao - You're probably right, but I would think it would be worthwhile for uncommon colors in large quantities - such as Dark Red.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Fantastic idea! Us here in Singapore find it extremely hard to get any bricks we want at all. All we have is bricklink. I'm definetely in on this. However, we have no lego stores nearby, we can only be consumers.

    How do we go about making a purchase?
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    I could be in the consumer camp too if its more economical than Bricklink! We don't have Pick-a-Brick in New Zealand either.
  • AlHazredAlHazred Member Posts: 14
    There are two stores in NJ convenient to me. Assuming the iPaB works, I could potentially provide that service here.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Any updates on this?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,124
    I can handle the Tigard, OR store. I go there about 3 times per week on average.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    I'll draft up some guidelines later today. I wanted to inventory my local store to put my money where my mouth is... which I took care of recently.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,124
    ill inventory Tigard this afternoon - looks like it is seriously out of date on iPaB
  • PerryMakesPerryMakes Member Posts: 73
    I'm in. South / Southwest Chicagoland area. Orland Park store is closest.
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    @bmwlego...I'd be happy to handle the Queens Center Mall store.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    How many 1x2 bricks is one able to squeeze into a small or medium size cup?

    How much is a cup anyway?

    Sorry if I seem ignorant, never seen a PAB wall before!
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 763
    Cloud...and anyone else interested in knowing how many 1x2 bricks fit in a Pick a Brick cup. Check out this et of pics in my photostreaover on flickr.
    The pics are basically a tutorial on how to fit 650 plus 1x2 bricks into a single PaB cup which is about 1.5 times the amount you would get just dumping them in.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/notenoughbricks/sets/72157624766209816/
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    wow awesome! So how much does 1 cup cost? Any chance u can help ship some over to Singapore?
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^^ I'm not signing up for an hour of precise stacking as part of this service though. :) At least not without some compensation. Perhaps that can go into the guidelines - different service level offerings. :)

    On a related note, here's one of the guides to maximizing the 2x4s in a cup. With this guide you can get 169.
    http://news.lugnet.com/general/?n=48676
  • TervlonTervlon Member Posts: 23
    Sidersdd is right. To get a well packed cup takes a lot of time that most people don't have. It seems that there will be a lot of trust and tolerance going into a service of this type. I can already see receivers being upset that more pieces aren't in the cup they ordered.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    I think each provider can specify if they're willing to do any optimization, with the default expectation of none. On principle, I imagine some of us will do slight optimization if we have time to spare, but I don't think the time it takes to stack an entire PaB cup can be compensated monetarily without making the entire service too expensive, so it shouldn't be expected. The prevailing rate for an additional half hour of my time is a lot more than the value of 1/2 a PaB cup, so the buyer is better off just adding a 2nd cup to the purchase.

    That said, I imagine if the transaction was a trade of PaB parts rather than a purchase, both parties might act in good faith to optimize the cup as they would be getting the favor returned.

    Agree, disagree?
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Agree - I think there are some simple optimizations that can be done with either columns or quick layers. I'm not saying I'll do a quick dump of parts into the cup, but I just don't want to be spending an hour or more filling cups with parts that aren't even going to be mine. The way I look at this is that I make frequent trips to the LEGO store, and I'm willing to help out a fellow AFOL get some parts that they may not otherwise easily (or cheaply) get.

    Don't get me wrong though - I do enjoy the geekiness of optimizing those cups and coming up with creative ways of filling them. When the holidays come around we'll have those small boxes to fill as well - which are much easier and faster to stack with squared elements.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 763
    ^agreed wholeheartedly. I also agree with sidersdd, I wouldn't want to do this again let alone for another builder, unless someone was paying me for my time (or perhaps they throw in a PaB cup for me too?).

    thanks for the link regarding the 2x4 bricks. The other way to maximize the amount you get from the PaB selection at a LEGO store is to buy an entire box of the 1 element you are looking for. If people can get together and do this then it could be beneficial as well.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ yep, mentioned the boxes above in this thread. I have a list of box prices that I'll look to see if I can post. The box prices depend on the element (e.g., 1x1 round plates boxes cost much more than the 2x4s, and you're really better off filling cups I think in that case).
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,124
    didn't get a full inventory of Tigard, but PAB is well stocked today with no duplicates. Manager told me 140 cases are coming in tomorrow as well.

    Notable items today from my memory were 1x2 bricks in tan, brown, green. 1x1
    bricks in orange. 1x2 "grooved" bricks in light grey. 1x1 white clear cheese
    slopes, several styles of grey clip connectors, grey ladders with clips on one end. grey mini antennas. 2x6 windshields in smoke color, 1x8 blue tiles, 2x2 red tiles. 1x2 yellow jumper plates, 1x1 round clear yellow plates, tires and grey wheels. grey 2-sided axles for 4-wide cars, 6x16 dark grey plates. white 1x16 bricks. several colors and sizes of 2x bricks, several colors and sizes of 4x plates. 1x4 black plate "wings".
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    There's nothing more fun (or geeky) than optimizing a holiday PaB box. At the end, we close three sides and then stuff it full of flower petals and flower stalks until it is busting at the seams. :o)
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Whats a holiday PaB box?
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,407
    At Lego brand stores if you make a $75 purchase during the Christmas shopping season they give you a PaB box ( getting smaller every year ) to fill up with free Legos between December 26th and March 31st. They used to give you one for every $75 purchase such as $75 =1, $150 =2, etc. but they changed that 2 years ago I think.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    wow, we in asia are dying from the lack of the pab wall. Only option we have is bricklink which have already been profitted from the sellers. Sigh...
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Packing the boxes is indeed fun. I posted pics of some of the Master Builder Academy boxes on my flickr feed. I believe they are the same size as the recent holiday boxes:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidersdd/5795893140/in/set-72157626741213491
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 220
    I love holiday PAB boxes they are the same volume as a large PAB cup and the fact that they are square means you can get a lot more in. It's even better when you have 10 and they forget to mark the boxes to show you have filled them once already ; )
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Looks like I'm heading to Brighton for the weekend on the 24th of Sept. I don't know whats in store, but if you message me with with requests I can have a look. If you message me your number (UK peeps) I can text you if there's ambiguity over an order, as I doubt I'll have time to list things on here then go back to buy them.
  • sramsram Member Posts: 60
    @sidersdd -- MBA provides PaB boxes? I did not see any in the latest catalog. That is the spiel on MBA does not say anything about getting a PaB box similar to the holiday PaB boxes?

    @jonboy2000 -- I did wonder about that... the cardboard boxes look smaller at first glance.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ The MBA PaB boxes came free when you pre-ordered back in April/May.
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 220
    ^^ am I sad to say that I filled a large PAB cup with water, then lined a holiday brick box with a sandwich bag and filled it up! I also happen to know that it's 11 x 11 studs and 9 high although fitting 10 high is not a problem. The size is deceiving.
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 220
    edited September 2011
    I have been trying to get hold of 1x2 lime and 1x2 and 2x2 dark tan tiles for ages. Every other country seems to have them but none in the UK shops which I've tried to order from and phoned regularly to check if there's any on the walls.
    I phoned the other month and was told they had the lime ones on the wall. I asked the person(who I know) to fill 2 large cups. When I arrived to pick them up, 2 cups of 1x2 bricks were presented to me!
    It does frustrate me that the majority of staff in Lego stores don't have a clue about what part is what. Due to this I find that they stick with parts they have previously ordered rather than mixing it up. My other gripe is that the majority of the wall is always 2x4 and 2x2 bricks when they have so much more to chose from(I've seen the lists). If I wanted these bricks I could just buy a brick box at much better value than what you could get in a cup. I understand now that the ordering system has changed so that they have a picture list to order from rather than a written list. Hopefully things might change....
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Anyone knows roughly how many 1x2 bricks go into a brick box?
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ At least 540. You can get 60 columns of 9 high up to the point where the box top folds in. As jonboy2000 points out, you can go 10 high or more, especially as you taper towards the center.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    So few?

    I'm refering to the huge boxes that lego shops get supplied from the warehouse to fill their PAB walls. I suspect there are thousands in those!

    Are we allowed to purchase those?
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 220
    ^ 540 is good. That's only 2p a brick, although you will get a bit less in a large cup due to the shape(maybe 490ish).
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^^ Ah, I thought you were talking about the holiday boxes. For the brown boxes you supposedly get around 2800 in a box. The box of 1x2s costs US$81. That's $0.02892 per brick.

    For the large cup, I went in and filled one quickly (no real precision or stacking) and came up with 480. These cost $15. That's $0.03125 per brick.

    This doesn't include tax for whatever state these are bought in. For me, it's 7%.

    I'm going to pick up a flat rate envelope today and see how many fit into it. I know you can fit exactly 880 in a small flat rate box. I'm guessing you can fit more in the envelope. Both run $13.95 for international.
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 220
    What's a flat rate envelope/small flat rate envelope? As far as I know they are not available in the UK. We do have small and large grab bags but they don't let you fill them up off the PAB wall
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    The flat rate items I'm referring to are from the postal service for shipping. Just trying to come up with the costs and price to charge for this.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Anyone can assist to help me grab a few cups from Houston, TX(5015 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77056)?

    Would like some tan bricks among others
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,124
    Tigard store as of closing time Sunday night:

    i may have typed some duplicate due to the way I took the pictures.

    1x2 45' slope - red
    1x4 tile - dark green
    1x8 tile - blue
    4x4 plate - tan
    2x2 brick - black
    1x2 brick modified w/clip - white
    2x2 tile - yellow
    1x2 brick - green
    2x4 brick - medium blue
    1x12 brick - white
    2x4 brick - black
    2x8 plate - red
    2x8 brick - black
    2x4 brick - orange
    4x6 plate - yellow
    2x8 plate - tan
    2x4 brick - dark green
    2x2x2 75' slop - light grey
    1x8 tile - red
    1x2 jumper plate - yellow
    2x2 plate with rounded hole extension - black
    1x1 plate with clip on top instead of stud - light grey
    1x3 plate - dark brown
    mini steering wheel - white
    2x8 brick - blue
    4x6 plate - white
    2x4 brick - light grey
    2x6x3 windshield - smoke
    2x6 plate - tan
    2x8 brick - yellow
    2x4 brick - red
    4x4 plate - yellow
    2x4 brick - dark grey
    1x1 plate with clip light - white
    1x2 45' slope - dark brown
    2x2 brick - yellow
    1x1 round clear plate - yellow
    mini antenna - dark grey
    something black - can't make out the picture
    2x2 brick - white
    2x2 tile - red
    1x2 plate with ratchet clip attachment (outside) - light grey
    2x4 brick - black
    4x6 plate - yellow
    2x2 brick - red
    2x4 brick - red
    4x6 plate - tan
    2x6 brick - dark grey
    2x8 brick - blue
    4x8 plate - white
    2x8 brick - red
    2x8 brick - white
    2x8 brick - red
    2x4 brick - orange
    2x4 brick - bright green
    2x6 brick - white
    1x2 plate with ratchet clip attachment (inside) - light grey
    1x2 brick - dark brown
    small wheel hubs - light grey
    2x6 brick - yellow
    2x4 brick - tan
    4x6 plate - white
    2x2 brick - dark green
    2x4 plate wings - black
    2x2 plate with 2 axles - light grey
    1x1 brick - orange
    2x2 brick - blue
    small smooth tires - black
    2x2 inverse 45' slope - white
    2x2 inverse 45' slope - blue
    2x2 inverse 45' slope - red
    1x2 plate with arm up - dark grey
    2x2 brick, modified with handle - white
    1x2 plate with arm up - light grey
    1x2 brick - tan
    2x2 brick - dark brown
    trans clear cheese
    2x4 brick - red
    2x4 brick - white
    2x4 plate - tan
    2x4 brick - yellow
    2x6 lattice/ladder with 2 clips on one end - light grey
    2x4 brick - brown
    2x4 brick - black
    2x6 brick - dark grey
    2x6 brick - yellow
    2x8 brick - yellow
    2x4 brick - bright green
    2x4 brick - yellow
    2x4 brick - dark grey
    1x6x(5?) wall panels - white
    2x4 brick - black
    2x2 brick - trans clear
    1x2 brick - tan
    2x4 brick - light grey
    1x8 tile - red
    1x2 plate handle (both ends) - dark grey
    2x2 inverse 45' slope - white
    1x2 45' slope - orange
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    ^ Can you update BrickBuildr?
    http://www.brickbuildr.com/view/pab/side/off/28/
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    sorry i haven't had a chance to formally "launch" this with a new thread and my first pass of guidelines. i hope to get to it soon!
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