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How to efficiently shop on Bricks And Pieces and online Pick A Brick?

Your input was so helpful in learning how to efficiently shop on BrickLink.  Now I'm curious how to shop on Bricks And Pieces and Prick A Brick.
How are these services different?  What range of parts are available on each (ie: only in current year sets)?
Can we easily get minifigures, animals, printed parts, and other desirable parts in bulk?  Is this where BrickLink sellers get huge quantities of parts, perhaps speculating that they'll appreciate due to low production?
Why use these when BrickLink seems easier to use?  PaB can be browsed but BnP appears like it can not.  How do you easily find part numbers to search for?  I try BrickLink, but there seem like multiple numbers for each part (one is a mold number and one is mold + color number?).
Thanks for your help in understanding and mastering these two services.


  • karritkarrit Member Posts: 1,070
    If you know a set # you can enter it for BnP and get a listing of all available parts for that set.  PAB is very limited, usually around 1420 different elements.  A lot of parts are cheaper through PAB than BnP but not always.  I tend to search BnP by set # then if there is a particular part I want to see other color choices I'll search using the design ID rather than the element ID.  I also tend to have at least three windows open when searching  One so I can pull up set numbers from the main shopping page, one to search specific sets in BnP and I use a separate page to actually enter items in my bag.  If I open a 4th window it's to check for specific parts in PAB to see which is cheaper.  BnP has listings for most sets even if they are no longer being produced but the available parts become more limited the older the sets are.  There is another website: New Elementary that publishes a list of new parts with their element ID each month that a lot of people use to search out which of the newest parts are actually available to purchase from BnP.  I think the limit on purchases of a specific part are 200 per order but you can order multiple different parts in each order.  First time I tried to get the Tan Horses I was only allowed to order 4.  I don't know if that was all that was left in stock or if they were actually limiting them at that time.
  • mustang69mustang69 Member Posts: 544
    One thing to note about BnPs is that it's very glitchy. It's best to try to get everything in your bag in one fell swoop. If you try to add things to your cart and then try to edit your BnP order, it could end up with losing everything and having to start over.
  • FireFox31FireFox31 Member Posts: 305
    I've finally started using BnP (yes, right before it's about to change) and have learned a bunch.  I'll post it after BnP changes in the US if it's still relevant.

    One important lesson which might remain true after the switch:
    I spent six straight hours creating a BnP order, clicked "Confirm" to submit, got an error that "BnP is not available right now", and my entire 200+ item, $150 order was gone.

    BnP can glitch and lose your entire order, especially when you click "Confirm" to submit it.  Keep track of the element #, set #, color, and quantity of what you're ordering in a spreadsheet like Excel.  Once I built my order, my browser (Firefox in Windows) could not create a PDF of the page showing the individual items.  Saving the page as text captured everything buy the quantity.
    Keeping an external record of your order contents also helps because you can't see the individual items once the order is submitted.  Everything condenses to one line item with the total price.  Since orders take 5-6 weeks to fulfill, knowing what you ordered can help prevent you from ordering the same things again.

    Immediately after my order vanished, I spent 30 minutes rebuilding it from my Excel spreadsheet.  The effort of creating that spreadsheet saved me six hours of work I surely would not have done again from scratch.  The spreadsheet serves gives me a record of my order contents, prices, and quantities for future reference.
  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL Member Posts: 822
    Tip is to use BrickHunter (the plugin for Chrome (actually I'm not sure if it'll still work after the changes implemented by TLG, might still do for markets not yet changed over to 1 offering)).

    Build your "spreadsheet" as a wanted list at Bricklink, export and import it to Brickhunter. It'll allow you to not only compare prices between PaB and BnP, but also to automatically create carts for both, effectively doing away with entering all the parts separately, with the added bonus of being able to check BnP/PaB-pricing with averages in Bricklink.

    I (used to, not sure if it still works) love this tool!
  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL Member Posts: 822
    eMJeeNL said:
    I (used to, not sure if it still works) love this tool!
    Just checked, still works - just yields the same price for both PaB and BnP.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,837
    I have Mozilla and I have left my BnP cart open for some time and had no issues. However, if a piece becomes unavailable while I have the cart open it refuses to process the order. I have also found that if you get one of those 'something less than awesome occurred' errors, hit your back button and then pick your country again and it tends to bring back the parts in your 'cart' (although I have only done this immediately when I run into that error, not sure if the cart is sitting there for some time if you can do that).
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