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How to store parts for Bricklink store?


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As I've been working my way through my bulk sets, I've been finding myself with some leftover pieces.  I was originally just going to sell them off in pound lots.  But, as my wife as been seeing the fruits of my labor lately, she's really wanting to tackle a lot more.  I have a small Bricklink store, and it hasn't done much business.  I don't have much inventory listed online, so it's understandable.

 

Now that we've become more savvy with sorting, and have better defined our business plans, we want to get our Bricklink store really going.

 

I'm trying to figure out the best way to store parts.  I imagine it's something like this.  Or, does anyone have any better ideas?

 

We just need help in keeping the little hands out of the drawers (2 year old and 6 year old), possibly something that stacks.  Something that is easily movable, as we would normally store this out in the garage, and then bring it inside at night, when we're pulling orders.

 

Any ideas?

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I use those exact ones for my bulk pieces. Not a bricklink store just pieces. they work great, have four of them. You can even get dividers for the drawers. not sure how big you want to go. My original one filled up pretty quick with my first 16 lb lot.

Also for the very common pieces consider a bigger set of sterilite plastic drawers as those big drawers on the bottom will fill fast with 2x1, 2x2, and 2x4 pieces.

Another consideration is if you deal in both used and new parts you will need to have two separate filling systems to keep them seperated.

Also I can see that being a pain bringing several in and out of the garage all the time. I would consider mounting them to a wall in your garage and having a table set up with lighting for a nice little inventory and packing station.

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Are you sure you really want to do this!!!

It starts with a few sorter trays and rack likes that. Then bigger trays and racks, bigger boxes and dividers, then bigger shelves. The 2x2 bricks then get put in different boxes from the the other bricks then all the different types of bricks get there own box then each colour gets its own box. Its a natural progression and time consuming.

 

I have made use of hundreds of empty butter containers, washing capsule containers anything we use around the house, ice cream containers etc etc

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I use plastic tubes from Home Depot and sandwich bags. It works really well, no dust, and the best part, each (nearly) 5liter tube is $1.05. I`ve printed off the part names/labels from Bricklink and taped them to the exterior of the boxes and then put in the corresponding part. Really cheap method, but it works great, cost me about $125 to store many, many times that worth of parts. Also, small sets fit in there as well, though I use cardboard moving boxes for 99% of my sets. And those were $1.00 each also. 

 

Here is a link to them

 

As far as the drawers go, they`re great, no questions, but if you`re trying to make money, the cost of those is much higher. I was considering them, and though affording them is no issue, I decided to go with the bags/tubes. Much more economical for me, no dust (I own several of these kinds of drawers and over time they collect dust bunnies), only on the tops, and 5seconds of cleaning with a rag takes care of that. Just a suggestion, if you feel sorted drawers would work best for you, definitely buy those, but if you want a very cheap yet (I would argue) equally effective method, consider what I`ve said. 

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I use plastic tubes from Home Depot and sandwich bags. It works really well, no dust, and the best part, each (nearly) 5liter tube is $1.05. I`ve printed off the part names/labels from Bricklink and taped them to the exterior of the boxes and then put in the corresponding part. Really cheap method, but it works great, cost me about $125 to store many, many times that worth of parts. Also, small sets fit in there as well, though I use cardboard moving boxes for 99% of my sets. And those were $1.00 each also.

Here is a link to them

As far as the drawers go, they`re great, no questions, but if you`re trying to make money, the cost of those is much higher. I was considering them, and though affording them is no issue, I decided to go with the bags/tubes. Much more economical for me, no dust (I own several of these kinds of drawers and over time they collect dust bunnies), only on the tops, and 5seconds of cleaning with a rag takes care of that. Just a suggestion, if you feel sorted drawers would work best for you, definitely buy those, but if you want a very cheap yet (I would argue) equally effective method, consider what I`ve said.

Genius DIY solution actually...I like that....

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I use plastic tubes from Home Depot and sandwich bags. It works really well, no dust, and the best part, each (nearly) 5liter tube is $1.05. I`ve printed off the part names/labels from Bricklink and taped them to the exterior of the boxes and then put in the corresponding part. Really cheap method, but it works great, cost me about $125 to store many, many times that worth of parts. Also, small sets fit in there as well, though I use cardboard moving boxes for 99% of my sets. And those were $1.00 each also. 

 

Here is a link to them

 

As far as the drawers go, they`re great, no questions, but if you`re trying to make money, the cost of those is much higher. I was considering them, and though affording them is no issue, I decided to go with the bags/tubes. Much more economical for me, no dust (I own several of these kinds of drawers and over time they collect dust bunnies), only on the tops, and 5seconds of cleaning with a rag takes care of that. Just a suggestion, if you feel sorted drawers would work best for you, definitely buy those, but if you want a very cheap yet (I would argue) equally effective method, consider what I`ve said. 

 

I honestly had no idea what solution might work, which is why I was asking.  I really like your idea.  That's pretty much what I do when I'm sorting through bulk lots now.

 

I like this idea much better than my original idea.  It's certainly easy to move them around.

 

For my set storage, I use large 30-40 gallon bins.  But I've got each bin QR Coded, so I can just scan it with my phone to check inventory quickly.  I can see doing the same thing with these, if I need to.  For that matter, I could connect the QR code to an online list of the current inventory.  Hmm....

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I use recycled boxes of about the same size as those Home Depot tubs right now, we'll move to plastic or heavier cardboard (made specifically for parts inventories, usually metal, so very sturdy) when we get a little fancier, and plastic bags.

 

I personally don't like the drawer systems because I like to keep our parts in "Bricklink Order" so that pulling orders is fast, and I want something more easily expandable than the drawers. Cardboard bins on shelves works better for our ever-changing and ever-expanding inventory.

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I use plastic tubes from Home Depot and sandwich bags. It works really well, no dust, and the best part, each (nearly) 5liter tube is $1.05. I`ve printed off the part names/labels from Bricklink and taped them to the exterior of the boxes and then put in the corresponding part. Really cheap method, but it works great, cost me about $125 to store many, many times that worth of parts. Also, small sets fit in there as well, though I use cardboard moving boxes for 99% of my sets. And those were $1.00 each also. 

 

Here is a link to them

 

 

With the tubs, I'm pictures multiple stacks of 10 high and when pulling an order you will (seemingly) always need one of the bottom tubs.

And then of course you have to muscle it back into its proper place.

 

This seem to me to be an advantage of the drawer system.

 

Is this really an issue for you tubbers?

 

Hmm... someone needs to design a plastic shoebox that has a pull-out end like a drawer. 

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With the tubs, I'm pictures multiple stacks of 10 high and when pulling an order you will (seemingly) always need one of the bottom tubs.

And then of course you have to muscle it back into its proper place.

 

This seem to me to be an advantage of the drawer system.

 

Is this really an issue for you tubbers?

 

Hmm... someone needs to design a plastic shoebox that has a pull-out end like a drawer. 

It would be an issue if they are stacked that high, mine are only 4 high as per my shelving, all I have to do if I want something is lift up the top 3 (I have a bit of room at the top) and pull the bottom 1 out. Really easy, same thing goes if you have the right shelving. 

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With the tubs, I'm pictures multiple stacks of 10 high and when pulling an order you will (seemingly) always need one of the bottom tubs.

And then of course you have to muscle it back into its proper place.

 

This seem to me to be an advantage of the drawer system.

 

Is this really an issue for you tubbers?

 

Hmm... someone needs to design a plastic shoebox that has a pull-out end like a drawer. 

 

Our boxes are shelved, with just enough height to easily grab the edge of the box and take it off the shelf. Stacking the tubs would be a giant pain the butt and far too much labor.

 

With a small store, you can get away with being inefficient. We're at 150,000+ parts now and heading for at least a million. Stacks of tubs won't cut it any more than drawers will.

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It would be an issue if they are stacked that high, mine are only 4 high as per my shelving, all I have to do if I want something is lift up the top 3 (I have a bit of room at the top) and pull the bottom 1 out. Really easy, same thing goes if you have the right shelving. 

 

At $125 worth of $1 tubs that's a lot of shelf space you've got there :-)

 

I'd LOVE to see photos of people's part organization system - that's as interesting (mmm, more so actually) than the awesome storage room porn in the other thread.

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Our boxes are shelved, with just enough height to easily grab the edge of the box and take it off the shelf. Stacking the tubs would be a giant pain the butt and far too much labor.

 

With a small store, you can get away with being inefficient. We're at 150,000+ parts now and heading for at least a million. Stacks of tubs won't cut it any more than drawers will.

 

A million parts? That's when you wait until the kids are old enough to force them into child labour to help out - you know - to teach them the value of hard work and running a business etc. Oh, and math ... "here Jimmy.. please count out 356 of these purple 1x1 studs" .. not to mention tiny fingers are better at handling those darn 1x1s. Plus they can chase the parts when they fall on the ground and roll under the far side of the table. That's what they call a Win Win.

 

Even at 150K parts you must make or break based on your systems you have in place. 

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At $125 worth of $1 tubs that's a lot of shelf space you've got there :-)

 

I'd LOVE to see photos of people's part organization system - that's as interesting (mmm, more so actually) than the awesome storage room porn in the other thread.

Yep, it`s a decent amount, and I still have large tubes full of unsorted stuff. Then there are instructions, boxes, sealed sets, minifigures, polybags, ya....Everyone here knows what I`m referring too haha. Eventually it`ll get sorted out, but I`ve been telling myself that for years now. 

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A million parts? That's when you wait until the kids are old enough to force them into child labour to help out - you know - to teach them the value of hard work and running a business etc. Oh, and math ... "here Jimmy.. please count out 356 of these purple 1x1 studs" .. not to mention tiny fingers are better at handling those darn 1x1s. Plus they can chase the parts when they fall on the ground and roll under the far side of the table. That's what they call a Win Win.

 

Even at 150K parts you must make or break based on your systems you have in place. 

 

My children are 19 and 16 and have worked part time in our business for years (books transitioning to LEGO). But, mostly it's my husband and I.

 

Fortunately, building efficient systems is what I do. ;) Not the first try, mind you, that would be too simple and boring. :D 

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With the tubs, I'm pictures multiple stacks of 10 high and when pulling an order you will (seemingly) always need one of the bottom tubs.

And then of course you have to muscle it back into its proper place.

 

This seem to me to be an advantage of the drawer system.

 

Is this really an issue for you tubbers?

 

Hmm... someone needs to design a plastic shoebox that has a pull-out end like a drawer. 

 

There's a company out there that has done that for comic book long boxes.  The long boxes stack, and it has a drawer that slides out. (Can't think of the company name right now, though).

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You won't get it right first time thats for sure. The boxes need to be clear and sealed or at least print a picture of the item and put it on the box. I have used the "really useful box" craft boxes for the tiny pieces stacked 3 high and it is always the box at the bottom you need so don't stack them too high. 

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I use plastic tubes from Home Depot and sandwich bags. It works really well, no dust, and the best part, each (nearly) 5liter tube is $1.05. I`ve printed off the part names/labels from Bricklink and taped them to the exterior of the boxes and then put in the corresponding part. Really cheap method, but it works great, cost me about $125 to store many, many times that worth of parts. Also, small sets fit in there as well, though I use cardboard moving boxes for 99% of my sets. And those were $1.00 each also. 

 

Here is a link to them

 

As far as the drawers go, they`re great, no questions, but if you`re trying to make money, the cost of those is much higher. I was considering them, and though affording them is no issue, I decided to go with the bags/tubes. Much more economical for me, no dust (I own several of these kinds of drawers and over time they collect dust bunnies), only on the tops, and 5seconds of cleaning with a rag takes care of that. Just a suggestion, if you feel sorted drawers would work best for you, definitely buy those, but if you want a very cheap yet (I would argue) equally effective method, consider what I`ve said. 

So, you organize everything in sandwich bags in plastic boxes? I want to start a BL store, but I don't have much to start off, so I don't think is a good idea to invest in drawers instead of more pieces for now. Do you mind showing any pictures? Also, do you think this method is really that much cheaper? For $125 you can buy 6 drawer storage cabinets, with 60 drawers each.

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I'd love to see more photos of everyone's storage solution.

My store is at about 5000 pieces now and we're adding more! What I did initially when starting out was to place each sets I parted out into a sandwich bag. I write the set numbers onto the bags and the same number goes into BL's "Remarks" option. Those were usually small sets so I have no worries.

As I added more I find this a little tricky as finding the smallest piece could be daunting. I am still using this method but will soon be consolidating the pieces from different sets and store them based on color.

I'm still far from a perfect storage system that I can easily add new parts into and pull parts out when someone makes an order. But I'm pretty sure I'll get there someday.

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Personally, I prefer the Sterilite plastic drawers/bagged parts for my Bricklink inventory - they're stacked 10 high and are easily switched out when the need for expansion hits other surrounding drawers. But my store is over 300K parts. So it depends on how big you want or expect your inventory to get. If it is going to remain small, then Plano tackle boxes work just fine or the other methods listed above. But once space becomes an issue, I really would not want to have to pull a bottom tub from a stack of 5-10 heavy tubs while pulling orders.

 

I thought the tackle boxes were perfect . . . until my inventory really took off. Now I probably have 100+ of them empty sitting in the garage long since replaced by over 150 drawers :(     And while the cost of the drawers is much higher than some of the options listed, they're a business expense and you can just get a few each week/month as your inventory grows.

 

Again, it depends on your goals, but I would suggest figuring out your long term goals and building with that in mind. That way, you might prevent winding up with an obsolete storage system that you outgrew and is now a waste of money and space.

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The Steralite tubs offer a low cost of entry (99 cents), while sounding pretty scalable.  I only have a couple hundred parts in my store right now (which explains why I have zero part sales in 9 months).  But I've got 100 lbs of bulk sitting in the garage, and a wife anxious to try this out.

 

I've been doing the "put a set into a ziplock" when I've parted out sets, and for the most part, it works good.  It can be painful when you're looking for that one tiny piece.  It's not the speediest of ways to do things at times. So, I'm about to switch out of that, too.  I'm finding the idea of putting all of one brick into a tub, and having them sorted by color very appealing.

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As I've been working my way through my bulk sets, I've been finding myself with some leftover pieces.  I was originally just going to sell them off in pound lots.  But, as my wife as been seeing the fruits of my labor lately, she's really wanting to tackle a lot more.  I have a small Bricklink store, and it hasn't done much business.  I don't have much inventory listed online, so it's understandable.

 

Now that we've become more savvy with sorting, and have better defined our business plans, we want to get our Bricklink store really going.

 

I'm trying to figure out the best way to store parts.  I imagine it's something like this.  Or, does anyone have any better ideas?

 

We just need help in keeping the little hands out of the drawers (2 year old and 6 year old), possibly something that stacks.  Something that is easily movable, as we would normally store this out in the garage, and then bring it inside at night, when we're pulling orders.

 

Any ideas?

 

I have spent a lot of my spare time this summer trying to figure out the best way to store > 20 kgs (45 lbs.) of bulk bricks and pieces. As of today, I have catalogued some 11k pieces and believe me...it's a real nightmare!

 

Persoannly, I use a mixed solution with racks like the one you have showed for the small pieces, and plastic bags (ziplocks?) for the bricks and plates. The problem is that I own a lot of different other pieces in low quantities and I don't know how and where store them. Consider that the process of uploading the items on BL webiste is extremely time consuming.

 

Good luck ;)

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